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Tutoring For Your Needs • Passion For Education

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Jul 282011
 

The thesis is the most important part to your essay.  It tells the reader what exactly your essay will be about and provides a basic structure for your essay that provides a strong foundation for your writing.  The best way I can explain a thesis statement is that it is usually a one sentence statement that directly states what your essay is about.

In order to write a strong thesis statement you have to have a firm grasp of what your essay is about in order to condense it down into one sentence.  A great way to do this is to think of your essay as an answer to a question.  In some cases an essay is directly answering a question posed by a teacher or professor, but other times you write an essay that does not have a question directly associated with it.  If that’s the case, imagine that your essay is answering a question.  Write that question down.  Then, answer that question, as completely as possible in one sentence.   If you can do that you will be able to write a strong thesis.

In order to write a strong thesis, pretend that your entire essay is answering a question and then answer that question in one sentence.

Jul 252011
 

A large mistake beginning writers make is that they switch between tenses.  Sometimes they will write in the present tense and other times it will be in the past tense.  To make it easy on yourself, always try to write in one tense.  The tense you write in will depend on the topic of your essay, but typically, your writing should all be in the same tense.

A great way to check this is to underline all of your verbs and then go through each one, making sure that they are all in the same tense.

To improve your writing, make sure that you write in the same tense throughout your essay.

Jul 232011
 

If a teacher or someone gives feedback on your writing, take those comments and criticisms into consideration when you re-write your essay.  Ultimately, what you choose to write and put into your essay is up to you; however, if someone give you advice on ways to improve your writing, it typically means that the message you are trying to get across is not as clear as it could be.

Never be afraid to ask for advice or help in your writing and when you do get help, make sure you thank those who are trying to improve your writing and then really think about why they made the critiques they did.  Then, come up with ways to improve your writing as a result.

To improve your writing ability ask for writing advice and re-write your essay taking those criticisms to heart.  Attempt to fix the writing that caused confusion in your readers.

Jul 222011
 

Facts are critical when writing an essay.  Facts are things that can not be disputed.  In your writing, it’s important to have at least one fact per paragraph.  Facts can take a variety of different forms, but basically a fact is some concrete detail that provides evidence for a point you are trying to make in your essay.

An essay that lacks facts will never be complete because facts demonstrate the conclusions and opinions that you are trying to make.  Without facts, essays lack substance and your opinion does not sway people to believe what you think, but opinions with facts that support it can sway people to your side of the story.

In order to write a persuasive essay well, you must use facts to support your opinions.  Use facts and become a stronger writer.

Jul 162011
 

One of the biggest problems that beginning writers have is developing strong, consistent body paragraphs.  A body paragraph needs to address a specific topic.  Many young writers will put many different ideas in the same paragraph, or will stray from writing about what the paragraph is intended to be about.

To correct this common error in writing, go back when you’re done and break each paragraph down.  Does your paragraph address the same topic throughout?  If it doesn’t try adding another paragraph to separate you ideas into separate paragraphs.

Jul 092011
 

As I mentioned in a previous tip, a great way to improve your essay writing is to read your assignment aloud to yourself.  To go a step further, another great idea would be to have a friend or a parent read your assignment aloud.  Sometimes, when you’re reading your assignment out loud some errors may not stand out to you because you are the one who wrote the assignment and therefore tend to skim over grammatical errors because you know what you were trying to say.

By having a friend read the assignment out loud, they will not know your intentions beforehand and will read your essay as is.  If you listen intently, you will be able to pick up on mistakes and can make changes to your writing before you submit an assignment.

To improve your writing, have a friend or parent read your assignment out loud so that you can catch errors and revise your essay.

Jun 232011
 

Many student’s who are beginning to learn to write essay like to use the personal pronouns, “I, we, you.”  In the case of I or we, writing it is typically redundant.  Many students feel the need to write I believe or I think, but this is not necessary to state as it is obvious to the reader that the author of that particular piece is the one who is stating his or her thoughts and beliefs.

You is not good to use because every time you say, “you.” You are speaking directly to the reader.  How do you know what the reader is thinking or what the reader knows . . . the fact is you don’t.  So, you better not use “you” when you are writing serious essays for school.

There are always exceptions to these rules, but generally speaking, when talking writing about topics that are other than yourself or a group of people you are involved with, do not use, “I, we, or you.”

Jun 202011
 

When writing your essays you need to be very clear what each paragraph is about.  A big problem that students make is that they are unclear about the point they are trying to make when writing an essay.  Before you write an essay you should develop a clear understanding of what you want the essay to be about and what each paragraph is about.  Your opinions should be very strong and highly developed.

While your opinions need to be strong that does not mean that you can’t argue both sides of an issue when writing an essay.  I can remember when I was younger and my teacher’s always told me that I needed to develop an opinion one way or the other and I found that very difficult because I could always see both sides of the issue.  What I failed to realize and what my teachers failed to explain was that it wasn’t poor essay writing because I argued on both sides of an issue, it was poor because I blended both sides of the issue into the same paragraphs, thus mixing my message.

Each paragraph needs to argue a point in your essay.  If you can develop a strong opinion about why you think the way you do then your essay writing will surely improve as you will have a clearly defined idea of what your essay is about.  Your reader will then have a better understanding of the points you are trying to make and your essay writing will be better.

When writing an essay be sure to have conviction and develop strong opinions.

Jun 132011
 

This goes along with our Summer Creative Online Essay Writing Tip #14.  The paragraph’s in any essay must have clearly defined ideas.  Each paragraph needs to focus on a different idea.  If you jumble up ideas in your body paragraphs, the meaning of your essay and your paragraphs are lost.

Typically, the reason why many students fail at writing clear paragraphs is a result of having a poor thesis. If you can focus on a great thesis then it will be much easier to write the body paragraphs for an essay. The thesis is a guide and the body paragraphs are used to support that guide.  If each paragraph contributes to supporting your thesis and each paragraph covers a different idea then your essay will be much better for it.

When writing an essay, be sure to make sure that your body paragraphs cover different topics that address your thesis.

Jun 112011
 

One of the biggest problems that I have found in evaluating essays from Jr. High and High School students is that they often write phrases like: “In this essay,” “I am going to tell you,” or “I am writing this because.”  Why should you avoid using phrases like this in your writing?

The reason we should avoid using phrases like that is because they are redundant.  Typically, students feel that they need to make it look like they write more than they actually do and will add phrases that are not essential to the meaning of the writing sample in order to add length to their writing.  These phrases are nothing but “space filler.”  It is obvious what you are trying to say it is an essay.  It is obvious what you are going to try to tell us.  And it is obvious why you are writing something.

A good rule of thumb when writing an essay is to show the reader what you’re trying to do, and don’t tell them.  If you can imagine taking a friend on a tour of your home, when you take them on the tour you don’t tell them what they are seeing, you show them.  You must do the same thing in your writing. Show the reader what you want them to see.  Don’t tell them.