How to write better essays

ESSAY WRITING GUIDELINES

According to the words of William Butler Yeats, education is not filing a pail, but the lighting of a fire. Upon reading this quote, I was left with an array of questions wondering what he may have meant. I choose to relate this quote with essay writing.

The experience may be one of the most maddening one ever has to go through. However, it does not have to be this way. I believe it’s all in the mind. Once you think something is easy, you have no difficulty doing it. Essay writing is based on pretty easy guidelines.

The writer has to carry out intense research on what they want to write. Through research they gain expertise as well as know-how. Analyzing the read material is the next step where they weigh the strengths and weaknesses. This may be through reading essays written by others.

Brainstorming by asking yourself a dozen questions and making sure you answer them also helps one in gaining original insights after proper speculation.

The writer has to come up with a thesis or main point which guides the reader on why and where they are going. The general appearance of an essay matters and therefore each paragraph should have its own point. With an attention grabbing introduction as well as title and first paragraph being major elements, the writer should be able to entice the reader.

In writing an essay, it should be formatted according to correct guidelines for citations by citing all borrowed ideas and quotations. Finally, the use of polished language, grammar and sentences that flow are attributes to a good essay.

The writers should proofread their work to make sure there are no mistakes and errors. Remember, not all that sounds good in your head looks good on paper.

What is a standard essay format explained

ESSAY FORMAT

 It is recommended that essays be written in word processed, 12-point times New Roman fonts according to the Modern Language Association (MLA).

The whole essay should be double spaced ensuring not to single space or extra space anywhere.

The heading should be included in the upper left corner of the first page consisting of the writer’s name, the instructor’s name, class and the date.

According to MLA, the essay should have one-inch margins all round i.e. on the top, bottom, left and the right. The last name of the writer and page number should appear on the upper right corner of every page. Both name and page number should be written in the page header and not where the text should be.

It should also have a title, centered and under the heading information on the first page and just above the first line of the essay. It should however be in the same font, with neither quotation marks, underlining, bold nor italics.

Indentation of the first line of every paragraph should be half inch or five spaces. The text of your essay should be aligned left in the word processor and lined up evenly.

The above are guidelines for writing essays in MLA format. However there are other various formats acceptable i.e. APA and Harvard and the Turabian format.

With every single choice of format, the writer should ensure that the guidelines provided are followed to the letter to prevent any issues with the essay.

Essay writing isn’t so tough after all right? Just follow all these steps and you will write your way to perfection.

WRITING AN ADMISSION ESSAY for college 500 words

WRITING AN ADMISSION ESSAY

Upon completion of High School, seniors are required to write application essays also known as admission essays to respective colleges of their choice. They are later judged on it. Applicants tremble at the thought that a single piece of writing despite their outstanding performance may lead them to not join college.

All colleges rate applications as very important and therefore take them with a lot of seriousness. When writing an admission essay, one should use the least amount of words to say the most. Admission officers have a whole mountain of applications to go through and the longer yours is, the higher your chances of elimination are.

The suggested amount of minimum words is 250 with no upper limit. This does not mean that applicants should fill pages with practically nonsense. One should be honest.

In writing of this essay, listing the number of positions you held in your previous institution may come out as boasting. You may be rated a braggart instead of gaining favour. Listing all your achievements may make the essay a tedious list instead of helping you get into college.

You should make sure you stand out from the crowd. Distinguish yourself from the rest of the thousands applying to the same college. Don’t try to cover everything in one single essay since you will end up looking busy, scattered and superficial.

A good essay is compared to a story. Make it more humane to show the reader that you are thinking about his/her appreciation of your writing. Colleges are like communities where people are expected to co-exist. You should therefore be likeable. In the use of humor, you should take great care not to offend the reader with an aim of pleasing him/her.

College admission officers look for diversity of mind. You should reveal your passions and expose your personality.

Book report

How to write a Book report college level

A book report is often more descriptive with a combination of both summary and commentary offering an opportunity for a student to think more critically about a book that he has read and to comprehensively demonstrate their understanding.

Even though teachers might provide their own requirements as well as a specific format that they need students to follow, there are certain general elements of a book report which include an introduction which provides basic information about the book.

In this part one should include the title of the book, publication information such as the publisher, year and number of pages. It also includes the genre of the book and about one to two sentences that seek to introduce both the book and the report to the reader.

The body of the book report often has two sections with the first part offering an explanation the book and the second offering the student’s opinions about the book. For fiction the student needs to provide descriptions of the setting, who tells the story and the major characters.

It is also critical to give a detailed plot summary, the book’s climax as well as literary devices employed in the book. For non-fiction, the student needs to provide a general description of the author’s topic, main points as well as an argument choosing the chapters that are interesting.

For the conclusion, the student should pull his thoughts together and describe the impression that the book left on him.

Start writing the perfect essay in 3 simple ways

Writing the perfect essay for college

An essay is a piece of writing about a particular topic. The topic is thoroughly researched on and written about in depth. Therefore writing the perfect essay can be a maddening, antagonizing process if the writer of an essay is clueless, however, if the writer know what they are doing, have researched on the topic, writing can be fun, educative and even easy.

For an essay to be perfect, it must be applicable, germane and pertinent to the topic question. It must at all times provide an answer to the question posed. To write the perfect essay, one must first read understand and research on the topic.

According to Monash University, it is important to read and plan through the topic of research before starting the  actual research because starting research without first understanding the topic will  cause a writer to read too voluminous books and sites which will end up being of too little help if any help at all. After reading and understanding the question posed, then one can start the research and taking helpful notes for the essay writing. This essay will explain what and how a good essay should look and be written.

An essay basically has three parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. In The introduction, the writer defines the topic and presents a writer’s arguable thesis and informs the reader which direction the essay will take.

The body contains several paragraphs explaining the topic sentences with several examples supporting the writer’s point of view on the topic. The body should leave a memorable impression or in the least persuade the reader to follow the writer’s way of thought (Thomas, 9). The conclusion is a brief summation the writers ideas, However, if the essay way short do not rewrite all the ideas.

An essay therefore should answer the topic question clearly stating the author’s direction in the subject in discussion. It should also contain an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

Review of the APA and MLA writing formats

APA vs MLA differences

 APA Format

The title page consists of a running head, which an abbreviated title on top is left of the title page. A page header with a title flush on the left and the page number flush, right on every page. The author’s information is also put on this page, the name and institutional affiliation and the full title.

This format then contains the abstract which sums up the paper in 120 or less words. It includes important information such as the thesis or the main ideas presented in the work. Abbreviations and important words should also be defined.

On the first page of the text, the title should be centered, double spaced and at the top of the page. Quotations that are 40 words or longer should be set in a block double spaced and indented 1/2 inch from the margin.

There are 5 main levels of writing the headings. The heading helps one to organize the text for the reader. In text citations may also be used but the main format used includes the last name of the author, year of publication and the page number of the quotation.

Finally the referencing in this case should be done in an alphabetical order, listing only the works used. The references title should be centered and not underlined, bolded or italicized. The references should be listed using a hanging indent for references longer than one line. Examples

Last name, First name initial. Middle name initial. (Year)  book title. Location: Publisher.

MLA Format

The page header includes the last name of the papers author and the page number on the top right of every page. The title should be centered but not underlined, bolded, italicized or put in quotation marks.

In this case block quotations are quotations longer than four lines with a 1” indent. In text citations or citing from indirect sources may also be used.

It is important to note that this format does not use references but work cited. On that page the work cited title should be placed at the centre but not underlined or punctuated. Hanging indent is used for entries, which is made in an alphabetical order.

A Simple example is a citation from a book by a single author:

Last name, first name and initial(if given). Title. Location. Publisher. Year. Medium of publication.

 

Preview on ‘Islam Empire of Faith part 1 the documentary essay

Video Preview on ‘Islam Empire of Faith part 1 the documentary essay

This is a preview on ‘Islam Empire of Faith part 1’.  The documentary presents historic information regarding the Islamic faith.  The key theme of the movie is the origin of Islam and the manner in which Islam spread in its early times. The key character is Mohammed with the two key venues being Medina and Mecca.

During his time, Mohammed was viewed as a special as well as anointed person. With the focus on Mecca as the cradle of Islam, the city was made a center of trade. During the period, Muslims were called to player five times a day, through a player that was aired everywhere, something that prevails to date.

The Islamic religion allowed no idols of Mohamed or even God at the time. In the documentary, it is indicated that Mohammed was fought from mecca forcing him to go to Medina. The mecca people fought Mohammed in Medina for three years, but the Muslims emerged as victorious. Mohammed got a vision where he was instructed to pray while facing mecca. This was the shrine of Abraham, one of the early believers of one true God (Misr, 2011).

In the movie, the plot is well laid with the documentary being developed in the dessert, depicting the early Muslim life context. The documentary has been effective in presenting the origin of Islam. With commentaries from Islamic historian such as Esin Atil, the origin of Islam as one that was inspired by the belief of one God and one that emanated from winning of a war was enhanced.

From the documentary, it is clear that early Islam did not force any one to join the religion. Other people joined the religion after realizing the unique message that Mohammed had. In fact, the financial and social merits of being an Arabic Muslim attracted many people in the society to join the religion (Misr, 2011). The documentary nevertheless seems to leave out a lot of information concerning the early Islamic faith.

7 fears i had about How to write a great essay that were never true

How to write a great essay

Writing an essay is not rocket science. It can be very difficult and frustrating but can also be easy and fun if the whole process is planned and properly thought out. An essay is basically a compilation of one’s ideas and acquired ideas on a particular topic. It should not be a repeat or reorganization of someone’s work but an interesting new view on a subject. Writing essays enables one to develop effective analytical and critical skills which come in handy throughout our life experiences.

The whole process of essay writing begins with choosing a topic. The topic will be the first attraction point for the reader. It must be catchy with an effort to arouse a reader’s curiosity. The topic basically summarizes, in a few words, what will be talked about in the essay. So it goes without saying that a good topic will attract attention while a bad one will act on the contrary. But if you have been assigned a topic already by your professor do not worry because you will get another chance in the essay to appeal to the reader.

The topic can act as the title or a guide to the title and it is important to choose a good title for an essay. A great title can be gotten from the source material where nice phrases are incorporated or by analyzing the theme of the essay and determining a title through that. In addition, the intended audience can also help in outlining a great title. Sometimes it is best to write the essay first then choose the title later. All in all it must be interesting and appealing.

Now that you have a topic you must research on it. There are various sources of information that you can use. The internet is the most obvious and easily accessible source. Start with a light research on the topic to get a general idea of the subject matter. In this case the internet is more than suitable. After you have gotten a general idea, you can now dig in deeper by using the literary online databases, organizational sites and other credible sources that have more information. It cannot hurt to also bury yourself in a few books in the library. By the end of this process you will have built a great knowledge base and understanding of your work.

The knowledgebase built will now help you to analyze the arguments for your work. You can ask questions like “What do the experts say?” “What evidence is there to support this topic?” and so on. Remember that we have not yet started writing the paper. We are simply jotting down small points that will be used later. Through analysis we will be able to outline the following:

  • The claims on the subject i.e. the conclusions you have come up with
  • The reasons and evidence to support your views
  • The strengths, weaknesses and logic of your views

By now you have already completed the hardest part of essay writing and what follows is a walk in the park. The next step is to brainstorm. Think about what you have read and analyzed and add your own insights, ideas and thoughts. This is like a personalization of the work where your brilliance will be seen. When you are done brainstorming you can write your thesis. A thesis is the major point of your essay. It is a short declaration of what you are going to say and why.

All the steps above have now armed you with the right tools to embark on the great writing mission. But first you must outline your work so that you can have a guideline to use. Take a piece of paper and a pen and sketch your essay. This is a very simple rough draft with short notes of the general idea in each paragraph. It will help you to ensure that the ideas expressed in each paragraph flow smoothly.

You are now ready to start writing your essay. A traditional essay basically has five paragraphs but this is not a restriction and one can write as many as so desired. The essay will basically have three parts:

  1. The essay starts with an introduction. Remember when you could not be catchy with your topic from the Professor? Well, the introduction will now help you to attract the reader. So the first sentence must be powerful and attractive. Assume that your reader knows nothing of the topic and set up the issue building it up to lead to your thesis.
  2. The essay should have paragraphs each containing its own ideas. Make sure that ideas are expounded sensibly and clearly and you support your assertions with evidence.
  3. Then finally comes the conclusion. Finish the essay with a remarkable thought that the reader can think or talk about.

You have now successfully written a perfect essay. Finish off by reading and rereading the piece to ensure that the ideas are flowing and the grammar is perfect. Also, format the essay according to the correct guideline given by your institution. Make sure that your essay is original and your sources have been properly documented according to the guideline provided.

When the above steps are followed while writing an essay, the process becomes easy and fun. It is important to take your time when writing in order to produce a quality paper. All in all perfection is obtained through practice therefore the more you write the better you will become.