Sunday, February 24, 2013

Top Three Ways an Essay Writing Coach Can Help Students Write Better Essays

If you are a university, college or high school student, you have probably benefited at some point in your life from having a coach - either as a member of a sports team, or as a participant in an individual sport.

No one questions the value of coaching in the world of sports, whether it is at the peewee level, or in the professional ranks. Athletic skills are developed and refined through coaching.

But what about writing skills? How are writing skills developed and refined?

If you are a student at the university, college or high school level, you may be asking yourself the same question.

How do you develop essay writing skills?

Just as with athletic skills, having an Essay Writing Coach can accelerate your development.

Here are three key ways in which an Essay Writing Coach can help you write good essays:

1) 1) Choosing an Essay Topic

Choosing an interesting, original and manageable essay topic is one of the most crucial steps in writing a successful essay. Choosing a topic that is either too broad to be covered within the parameters of your essay, or too narrow, resulting in the need to "pad" your content to achieve the required length, will doom your essay project before you have even begun. Your essay topic should not only be of interest to a reader (and your teacher or instructor) but also sufficiently focused to allow you to cover the topic adequately. An Essay Writing Coach can help you refine your essay topic so that it can be managed effectively.

2) Structuring Your Essay

One of the reasons that teachers and instructors continue to assign essays is to challenge students to think their way through a sustained presentation or argument in a logical way. Learning how to "structure" an essay is one of the most important skills that you can acquire, and also one of the most difficult. If you get your structure right, your essay will almost write itself, whereas if you get it wrong, you are almost certain to struggle. Before you begin to "write" your essay, your Essay Writing Coach can help you create a structure for your essay, which is very much like having a road map before you embark upon a journey. Knowing your destination before you begin is one of the best ways to ensure that you will arrive there.

3) Voice

Many students who don't have trouble expressing themselves aloud, freeze when it comes to writing an essay, and, as a result, their writing appears tentative and unnatural. The ability to write in a natural, confident "voice" is one of the most important skills that you can develop as a student, and one which will pay huge dividends throughout your academic career and beyond. A good Essay Writing Coach can help you develop a comfortable, consistent and natural writing style or "voice", which can be applied to any topic or subject matter. Just as in life, a confident writing style can go a long way towards achieving success.

Having an Essay Writing Coach can help you develop and refine your writing skills, which will be of enormous value, regardless of your chosen career path.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How To Deal With Essay Writing Rejections

IF YOU want to become an essay writing expert, you must learn how to accept rejections.
Who says that seeing your teacher grade your essay with "D" is totally a bad thing? It may sound silly, but if you always get negative comments about the essays you write, you are on your way to becoming an essay writing whiz!
But there are ways to switch this negativity into positive things.

Take a break from your essay writing routines first. If the human body gets exhausted after doing strenuous physical activities, the human mind is not exempted. Writing essays is an arduous task, so it's important to take a break once in a while to "recharge batteries:" Take a walk in the woods, fill your lungs with fresh air, binge with your favorite food, talk to your family or friends, and so on.

Ask yourself some questions. Your teacher is just grading all outputs of the essay writing tasks that he or she assigns to you. So do not blame him or her if your recently-submitted essay didn't pass his or her standards. Ask yourself, "Did I really do my assignment well?," "What went wrong with my work?," etc.

Improve on the worst. If your essays are always getting rejected or your writing style doesn't make the grade, think of the worst thing that would happen: You'll get lower grades in school. Try to improve on the worst by listing possible solutions-such as "I will read a lot," "I will strive harder," "I will seek the help of an essay writing service," etc.-and then pick out the best possible solution.

Try to laugh at your essay writing mistakes. Remember that nobody's perfect, so admit the hurtful truth that you write crap, but that's only for the meantime. Laughing at your mistakes means that you can bravely recognize one of your weaknesses. But you can also be up for the challenge of doing things better. Humor is a wonderful weapon that any writer can use to his or her benefit.

"Next essay please!" The only way to flee from rejection is to do other things which are of value to you. This may have something to do with improving yourself, such as reading more books, picking up on the styles of other great writers or writing about things that you like.

"Trade" your essays. The essay writing preference of your professor is different from the taste of let's say an editor of a daily or glossy. Your essay might be horrible in the eyes of your teacher, but it might be a handsome piece of writing to others. Cliché as it may seem, but there's an opportunity for every difficulty.

Move on! Past is past. If your professor thumped the essays you recently wrote, do not dare to ask him or her why your essay didn't pass his or her standards. "Knowing the truth" behind your recently rejected work will not help.

Above all, believe in the truism that brilliant ideas surface from rejections: Instead of crying over torn-out or thrown-out essay that you previously submitted in school, take rebuffs as a wake-up call, a driving force that will get you going!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Creative Writing Prompts

Every writer must write and write daily. To write is the writer's main job. Though this goal can sometimes be a hard to achieve since most writers normally hold a day job unrelated to their creative writing life and aspirations. And the hassle and bustle of the everyday workday can sometime be so overwhelming that being creative at the end of it is just too much to hope for. And this is where creative writing prompts come in. They help stir the creativeness and allow the writer to just concentrate on the writing.

One of the most common forms of prompts for writers is being given a set of random words that should be used in a story from which a story must spring. The second common form of writing prompts is being given a random sentence, which can either become a part of the story somehow or it can be the so-called story starter sentence. In other words, it can either be a first sentence or a sentence that must become a part of a story somehow. And the third most common form of writing prompts are picture prompts, where a story is inspired by a photo or picture of a person, a scene, an object, etc.

Every writer should spend a part of each day writing. Even if just for a little bit. Like writing for 15 minutes or writing something small like 500 words, but it should be done and creative writing prompts are, by far, the best way to achieve this goal. Because the old saying, "Practice makes perfect" holds true for writers as well.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Polish Your Writing - Avoid Redundancy

Once you have the basics down, its time to focus on polishing your writing. Neglecting the smaller details, can make one's writing seem amateurish. One important thing to watch out for is redundancy. You'll see it all the time in newspapers and student essays, especially when using quotes.

Example:

The chair of the fundraising committee says she's excited about next week's event.

"I'm super excited about next week's event," said Stacey Stoked.

The sentence introducing the quote should have something to say about what's in the quote, but shouldn't just be a paraphrase.

Example:

The chair of the fundraising committee says she's excited about next week's event.

"Everything is going to be fantastic - the music, the dancing the comedy act. I can't wait," said Stacey Stoked.

Redundancy often shows up when similar words with the same meaning show up in the same sentence.

Example:

This cleaning feature allows the mechanic to reuse the filter again.

Sometimes, as in a list, a writer will deliberately reuse words with similar meaning for emphasis.

Example:

The criminal was callous, cold-hearted and unfeeling.

However, you have to a pretty good writer to avoid the pitfalls of this technique. The reader might assume you don't have much else to say on the subject, that you're being hyperbolic or that you just haven't figured out that the words you are using all mean the same thing.

One final problem, which is surprisingly common despite how easily it can be spotted, is using the exact same word over and over in a paragraph.

Example:

The burglar quietly entered the house through the back door. He quietly crept up the stairs. He quietly opened the door to the room where the man was sleeping.

You get the picture. Most instances aren't that obvious, but you can clear up repetition by giving your writing a quick read over.

Although many people would suggest reading your work aloud, this is rarely practical. Pronounce each word in your head as you read your final draft. You'll catch the errors you miss by scanning.

Pay particular attention to the quotes and paraphrases of your interview subjects. Avoid using repetition simply to pad a weak story. If your story doesn't quite reach the minimum word count, check your notes. Perhaps there was another angle you could have explored. Maybe there's another issue you avoided raising due to the complexity, but could be worth a second look. Or, it's possible that there just isn't enough meat in this story for the reader.

While most writers have competent editors to help them revise their work, in this era of internet self-publishing, it pays to develop the skills to become your own editor.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Creative Writing Prompts - The Secret To Exploding Your Creative Writing Potential

It's easy for us as writers to get into a rut with our writing. Even if we're still writing fairly prolifically, sometimes it feels like we've become some kind of factory line conveyor belt, churning out near identical copies of the same pieces of writing.

Now because you're a highly creative and imaginative person and not a factory robot, you need more stimulation, more variation. Volume is not enough, it's also important to have the variety.

Also, as someone creative, you're keen to continually evolve and feel you're developing and moving forward. If you think you're destined to be simply rewriting the same poems, stories, songs or novels for the rest of your life, that's hardly an exciting incentive to continue, is it?

Creative writing prompts are a great tool to help you explore your creative writing potential.

In fact more than that, by using writing prompts regularly, you can explode your writing potential in all directions, many of which you never even considered trying before.

A creative writing prompt is simply a short phrase or idea that gives you a starting point for a new adventure in your writing.

Once you're off and running, the rest is up to you. The prompts provides you with that initial direction and little burst of energy to get going. Where you take it after that is completely up to you.

Without the kind of starting point a writing prompt provides, you could be sitting at a blank page for the rest of your life.

And I'm sure you know how painful and unpleasant an experience this kind of writer's block can be.

Some people have avoided using writing prompts because they don't want any help with their writing. They feel they should be creating every single part of the writing, every tiny fragment of idea, every word and syllable. Maybe this is a concern you've had too?

Creative writing prompts aren't the "cheat" that you might think they are. They're not giving you a finished piece of work served up on a platter. The creativity and the imagination comes from you.

For example, say a creative writing prompt says simply: "What passion means to me - ". Everything after those 5 words comes from your own creative mind. You may start writing about your passion for horses and end up with the outline for a new novel about a young girl's journey from riding horses bareback on her parents' farm to winning gold in a showjumping championship.

You might write about the passionate romantic memories you have from your teens, and realise that there are certain things you'd forgotten than you want to rediscover with your current partner.

Or you might write about writing itself, what it gives you that nothing else can, how it makes you feel.

Wherever you take it, it's your ideas, your memories, your creative talent and imagination that's producing the words.

Run with it, have fun and enjoy where it leads.

Start using creative writing prompts today, and you'll see too how a few words or a snatch of an idea can explode YOUR creative writing potential too...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Time Management for Article Writing - 5 Tips That Work

I've been writing a lot this year, mostly for my full time day job. Time management is essential to produce high quality content in a timely manner. Therefore a time management process is equally essential. I just finished a training manual with 17 chapters and some 39 thousand words. This project took two weeks to finish besides other projects and responsibilities. It dawned on me that the method I use to write manuals may be just what some of you need to write your articles more quickly. You can use any word processing, or slide deck program to organize your process.

I call this process my outline to output work flow. This is a 5 step process that can be used as a template to use over and over again. If you are publishing online and want to rank your article with search engines, make sure to target specific key words that readers are looking for.

The process goes like this:

  1. Plan Ahead - Keep a topic journal just for your article writing. Any time you think of a topic write it down. some people like paper journals or notebooks. Others prefer electronic tools like Evernote or Springpad. The really important thing is that you have access to your ideas at any time. The other tips will be helpful on their own but this is really the most important step to me. There are so many times when I am working on a project and an idea for and article comes to mind. Or, I may realize that just a portion of a manual or piece of training content would make a great article. I use Evernote on my iPad or smart phone to capture ideas and subject matter for my writing. However you decide to capture your ideas it needs to be immediate so that your ideas don't disappear before you have a chance to develop them. I think you will find that this method will generate more topics than you will be able to keep up with.

  2. Turn Your Ideas Into Outlines - It is so much easier to organize your thoughts into an outline format. I actually got this idea from Pat Flynn from The Smart Passive Income Blog. He explains on his blog how he writes his e-books by first creating an outline from a topic he wants to write about. I didn't realize that's what I've been doing for along time when I write training material. I like to use PowerPoint to create my outline because it makes it easy to use bullet points and numbering for my outlines.

  3. Expand the Points From Your Outline - Once you have your main points arranged into the bullet points of an outline, it becomes simple to turn those points into sentences and paragraphs. Research your topic and take unique notes from your source material. Rearrange your notes to create interesting content. Remember to use key words that those looking for your topic will naturally use in their searches. If you find a source that inspires you, use quotes to add credibility to your own opinions. If your publisher allows it, link to these sources for great outgoing links.

  4. Turn Your Outline Into An Article - This point is a great time management tip. All you need to do is turn your your outline bullet points into article headings or numbers tips that your readers can easily follow. How to articles that teach an object lesson are very valuable and will build your audience quickly.

  5. Proof it and Read it Aloud - Most article submission sites have good quality standards in place to assure original content that readers will enjoy. Make sure to save time by proofing your work thoroughly. One of the most important time management principles is to remove actions that waste time. I have found that reading my work aloud helps me catch mistakes that I would otherwise miss. Another great way to proof your articles is to have someone act as editor.

I hope you have found this article helpful. I'm sure if you follow these simple tips your writing productivity will improve. Always partner with a quality article publisher like EzineArticles.

After you try these tips let our readers know how they worked. Come back and leave a comment with your suggestions for improvements.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How to Market Your Articles With Ease

Content drives the Internet, and consumers are constantly looking for information that solves a problem. The trust, credibility, and authority that content marketing creates knocks down sales resistance to the benefits of a particular product or service.

High quality content must fundamentally change a customer's direction, it does that by teaching and motivating the customer in specific ways.

So what kind of content does it take to change the customer's direction? Anything that is written and distributed for the purpose of attracting, acquiring, and/or engaging customers are considered part of content marketing.

Not every business is in the publishing business, but businesses that don't create content for marketing purposes are missing out on major opportunities.

Building Trust
Marketing is about building trust, and engaging with your customers. Anything that is written and distributed for the purpose of attracting, acquiring, and/or engaging customers are considered part of content marketing.

Storytelling is something we all do in our personal lives. It's a short leap to helping your company tell its story as part of your content marketing. The skill in writing comes from being able to tell a story well and writing in a tone and voice that resonates with the reader.

We create content to educate our customers or prospects about ways they can solve their problems and address challenges they face.

Quality comes from understanding that creating content isn't the same as PR, and it certainly isn't advertising. Seems like an obvious point, but wade through the deepening thicket of content programs and you get mixed results.

Content Marketing is Not Selling
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling.

I am a terrible salesman but I am a fairly good writer. I can describe a product and its benefits very accurately and if there is someone out there looking for that particular product I am confident they will find my content beneficial.

I don't go looking for customers exactly but I do present products in areas where those who are or maybe looking for a certain product hangs out. This maybe a social media site or a blog. So how do you know if your products is desired, if you are on a dog site you will not likely be promoting Kitty litter.

Many people think they need to be good writers or salesman to market content. If you can tell a story and relate benefits of a certain product or service that is basically all that is required.

There is money to be made with content marketing through article marketing. You don't have to be a prize winning author to receive a share of that income.

Friday, February 1, 2013

How to Write Distinction Essays Every Time - The Six Steps to Academic Essay Writing

There are six steps to writing an academic essay. If you follow each of these steps correctly, you will find that you can write university essays that will earn you a distinction (or high distinction) every time. It is simply a matter of understanding what steps to follow, and then completing each of them thoroughly.

This article provides an outline and brief description of each of these steps. It is an introduction to a series of articles that will examine each step in more depth. Reading just this article alone will provide you with assistance in learning how to plan, research and write your essays. However, reading all the articles in the series will allow you to gain a more sophisticated insight into essay writing, and to improve your grades even further.

These are the six steps you need to follow to write high quality university essays:

1. Analyse the Question

There are generally two types of essays: argumentative essays and explanatory essays. In an argumentative essay, you are expected to put forward an academic argument in answer to the essay question and support your argument with academic sources (references). In an explanatory essay, you are expected to explain or describe a process or topic in answer to an essay question and support your argument with academic sources (references). Regardless of the type of essay you are writing, it is very important that you understand what is being asked of you before you begin your research and writing your essay.

You must be sure that you understand all parts of the question and what it is asking you to do. You must be able to recognise the 'task words' in the question, which tell you what you have to do (for example, 'discuss', 'compare', 'analyse' or 'argue') and the 'key words' in the question, which tell you what you are being asked to write about (for example, Critical Thinking, or the roles of registered nurses). (More information on this step will be provided in the article 'How to Write Distinction Essays Every Time: Step 1. Analyse the Question.')

2. Draft the Essay Plan

You must write the first draft of your essay plan before you start your research. This will give your research direction and ultimately make it easier for you to write your essay. Having a plan will let you know what you need to research and how much research you need on each topic or subject that you will be writing about.

You will base this first draft of your essay plan on your essay question, and your current knowledge of your subject. It will not happen very often that you are asked to write an essay on a topic you know nothing about, since you will already be studying the subject and will normally have had one or more lectures or tutorials on the topic.

It is acceptable if your essay plan is rough or vague at this point, or if you do not have a great deal of detail. You will develop your essay plan (expanding it and including more detail) and possibly even change it as you go through the research process.

3. Conduct the Research

Part One: Organising your Research using a Research Document

Your research should be organised so that the transition from doing your research to writing your essay is simple. The best way to do this is to organise your research so that it matches the organisation of the essay. In Step 2 of writing an academic essay, you would have written a rough essay plan before you began your research. This essay plan is the guide you need to use to organise your research.

Copy and paste this essay plan into a Word document. All your research for this essay will be recorded in this one document. Use each of the dot points from your essay plan (topics you are planning to discuss) as a heading in your research document. When you do your research, you will organise it in the order that the information will appear in your essay. Doing this means you will be organising your research by theme or topic, not by source.

Part Two: Research Skills and Academic Sources

Being able to tell the difference between an academic source and a non-academic source, knowing where to find academic sources and deciding what sources are relevant to your research are important skills that you will develop during your tertiary studies.

The first place you should go is the library, even if this means ordering in books from other libraries. For academics to have their books (and journal articles) published, they must go through a process called peer-reviewing. During this process, one or more other academics who are experts in the field will read and assess a book or article to decide if it is of publishable standard. This is why your research will be of the highest quality if you use books, monographs, textbooks and journal articles written by academics for your research, because the work had to meet academic standards. There is no such process for publishing on the internet; anyone can write whatever they like on any subject.

Your second stop after books, monographs and textbooks will be journal articles. Some of these will only be available in hardcopy from the library, but many will be available in their full-text versions through online electronic databases, such as JStore, ProQuest and Ingenta.

4. Finalise the Essay Plan

In Step 2, you would have drafted a rough essay plan before you began your research. During the research process (in Step 3), you would have developed this plan further as you learned more information on your topic. Once you have completed your research, and before you begin writing your first draft, you need to re-think your essay plan and write a final version based on what you discovered during your research. Your final essay plan will contain more detail than your first draft and be a very specific guide to how to write your essay. Once you have completed the final draft of your essay plan, you are ready to begin writing the first draft of your essay.

5. Write the First Draft of the Essay

Now that you have completed your research in an organised way and have written a final draft of your essay plan, writing the first draft of your essay will be easier than it ever has been. All of the following decisions about your essay have already been made:

* What your answer to the essay question is
* What main points you will discuss in order to back up your argument
* The order in which to discuss your main points
* How long to spend discussing each main point
* What information each paragraph will contain (i.e. what information you will use to discuss each of your main points)
* What references you will use to back up your argument

Thus, there is no reason for you to feel lost or stare at your computer screen not knowing what to write. If you do get stuck for any reason, the best thing to do is to just keep writing. You can always improve something once you have written something down. If you have not written anything, not much can be done until you do.

6. Professional Academic Editing

Once you have completed writing your essay, it is vital that you have it professionally edited by an academic editor. You have just spent a significant amount of time doing the best possible job on your essay or assignment, doing your research and writing up your results. After all this effort, it is critical that your work is presented in the best possible way. Using a professional academic editor will ensure that your work is polished, well written, and presented correctly.

If English is your second language, having your essay or assignment professionally edited is even more important. You do not want mistakes in your writing to confuse your markers or distract them from the important arguments you are making. This could lead to you receiving a grade lower than the grade you really deserve.