06
Apr

Five Ways to Keep an Essay Paper Organized

Proper organization is the difference between a good essay and a weak one. An essay that is well organized is easier for the reader to understand and enjoy, while poorly organized essays force the reader to do extra work. Readers aren’t the only ones who benefit from a well organized essay; using simple organization techniques while writing will make the process easier for you as well.

Make a Plan

Before you begin writing, take some time to make a master plan fro your essay. Decide what information you want to cover and the method you will use to accomplish this. If your paper is a narrative, you might use pre-writing activities like brainstorming to come up with ideas. If you are writing a research paper, clustering to find a focus might work better for you. Though your plan may change as you research and write your paper, making a plan will help streamline the writing process by helping you focus on a final goal for your paper. Write your plan down and keep it near you as you write your paper to make certain that you are headed in the right direction.

Take Good Notes

Organized notes are essential for an organized essay paper. While conducting research for your paper, use your master plan to identify the topics you need to research and the questions you must answer in your paper. Write your notes on index cards; not only will they help you stay organized, but their small size forces you to condense information and keep your notes brief, which will reduce the risk of unintentional plagiarism. Carefully label each card with a topic and reference information.

Create an Outline

An outline is a kind of road map for your essay and is more detailed than your essay plan. The method you use to outline your paper will depend upon your style of writing and the type of paper you are writing; an outline for a personal narrative will probably be less detailed than the outline for a research paper. Use roman numerals or letters to organize main ideas, and then break those main ideas into smaller chunks of information.

Topic Sentences

Use topic sentences to organize ideas within your paper. These topic sentences can be used in your outline as main ideas. Begin each new paragraph or section of your paper with a topic sentence that outlines the main idea of that section. Then, use supporting sentences to expand upon or explain that topic sentence.

Revision

After you have written a rough draft, create a reverse outline, recommends the University of Toronto Writing Centre. To make a reverse outline, go through your paper and write down each main idea on a separate sheet of paper in the order in which they appear, leaving plenty of space between each topic. When you have finished, read through the main ideas to make sure that they make sense. Make sure that you have not left out key points or repeated topics. Make changes to your draft if needed. Next, go through your paper to find sentences that support your main topics, and jot these down below each topic on your reverse outline. This will ensure that you fully explain each main topic.

27
Mar

Scholarships for Writers

For those are planning to enter college in the near future, scholarships are of vital importance. For many prospective students, scholarships play a pivotal role in which school they ultimately choose to attend.  By doing a little bit of research, online resources can point people in the right direction for scholarships that encompass pretty much every profession, family situation, or hobby known to man.  This also includes those who are writers.

There are quite a few institutions that offer scholarships for writers, although they might require a little bit of searching on the applicant’s part.  Here, for instance, is a great scholarship given to aspiring college students from 21st Century Insurance. The grand place winner in their scholarship contest has the potential to put ten thousand dollars toward their expenses.

The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers is the foundation behind the awards given out by Scholastic for art and writing.  Their scholarship program allows kids from seventh grade to twelfth grade to send them a piece of art or a work of writing and the alliance will then choose the winners able to receive a scholarship.  The money that is given to the kids comes from the alliance as well as some of their educational partners and the best part is that there are more than thirty categories to choose from so anyone can enter.

For those college applicants looking to further their career in the world of journalism, there exists a very prestigious and well-known scholarship that is available specifically for journalism majors.  The National Press Club offers the Richard G. Zimmerman Award each year to one scholarship applicant who is planning on going into journalism.  Applicants will need to submit three examples of journalistic writing before they’re eligible for the five thousand dollar scholarship.

Journalism students will also be able to take advantage of the Free Spirit Scholarship, which is an award given one journalism major in each of the fifty continental United States.  This scholarship only accepts applications from journalism students who are juniors in high school with at least three pieces of journalistic examples and possess what the judges would call a free spirit.  Each winner will go to Washing D.C. to accept their scholarship.

Creative writers aren’t left out of the scholarship awards either.  There is also the Unpublished Author Award, which accepts applications until March of every year and will award the winner whose short story wowed them the most a scholarship for five hundred dollars.  Though the competition for this one might be a little tougher, it’s really a good idea for fiction writers, especially since some of the past writers have gone on to publish novels after receiving the award.

The Aspiring Writer award from the Go on Girl Book Club is available to any sophomore or junior studying in a historically black university and majoring in English, Journalism, or any other type of literary field.  This will award them five hundred dollars if the book club likes their essay on the power of the written word.

There are plenty of great scholarships available for writers if one knows where to look and not only do many of them offer a great deal of money, but some of them also have the benefits of helping publish work or get jobs later down the road.

23
Mar

How do I Write a Praxis Essay?

The Praxis essay section is 30 minutes long and contains only one question. It asks you to reflect on your personal experience and observations and to use them for information, examples, and even generalizations throughout the writing process. The essay question generates a raw score that ranges from 2 to 12. This section of the exam tests your ability to read through the topic carefully, organize your argument before drafting the essay and then write it lucidly and concisely. The essay requires basic knowledge of college-level writing. Papers are scored on the writer’s ability to achieve a good level of organization and the development of ideas with supporting evidence of specific examples; identifying the essay’s intended audience; understanding of the assignment; masterful use of language; and accuracy of usage, mechanics and paragraphing.

  • Carefully read through and examine the prompt. The Praxis essay topics ask you to discuss your stance on a given statement. This implies that you may either completely agree or disagree with a statement. In addition, you may use a middle-ground approach to your essay if that works best for you.
  • Plan your essay for at least eight minutes. The planning is essential, because it will actually enhance the quality of the essay. Before you start writing, be sure to make a list of all your supporting details. Then select two or three of your finest arguments and organize them logically. Organizing the arguments in advance is critical, especially if you are taking the paper-based Praxis exam, as you would not be able to reorder huge chunks of the text once you have begun writing. Analyze and discuss your points in an interesting way.
  • Draft the essay. Try to finish your draft in 15 minutes so you can have at least a few minutes to reread the essay at the end.
  • Include a concise and clear introduction to your topic, but don’t spend too much time on it.
  • Add an effective conclusion to the essay that accurately sums up the main points and evaluates the benefits.
  • Use the remaining time to revise the essay. Read your draft carefully, looking for omitted words, awkward phrasing, problematic transitions and similar issues. Pay close attention to errors in sentence structure and subject-verb agreement. In addition, be sure to avoid the use of the second-person pronoun “you” in your writing.
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