July 28, 2009

Writing classification essays

A classification essay uses one of the key skills required not only for writing other essay types but for living life generally: the ability to sort ideas and things into categories. Fortunately, most students already have the skills required to write a classification essay, since almost all students are studying in a field that requires them to sort out concepts. For this reason, a classification essay, once a student has some control of academic writing, should come fairly easily.

Useful strategy for writing classification essays

There are two steps involved in planning a classification essay. The first step is to decide what kind of thing you want to classify. If you have an open-ended assignment (such as "Write a classification essay about something you encounter every day"), it's best to pick a topic that you know something about. If you are into computers, write about computers. If you are into art, write about different styles of painting.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a classification essay topic is that it should be representative of a distinct category. For example, computers are types of things that belong in a category of their own. A classification essay about types of technology, meanwhile, would probably be too broad for a typical English class essay.

July 24, 2009

Turabian citation style

Turabian citation style can be used with any college subject. Arrange each item alphabetically by author's name. In case no author is given, start with the title and then the date.

Citing a book in Turabian bibliography

Author last name, first name, and Last2 First2. (Year). Title of the book. Place of publication: publisher.

Citing a journal article in Turabian citation style

Last name, first name. Year. Title of the article. Title of periodical volume (Month): page-page.

Citing a web-site in Turabian citation style

Last name, first name. Year. Title of article [online]. Name of website; available from http://www.website.info/directory/page.ext; Internet; accessed Month day, Year.

Sample Turabian citation style

Priestley, Sean and Neely, Adaline. 2008. Turabian Bibliography Sample. [online]. New Wave Essays custom essay writing service; available from http://newavessays.com/tutorials/bibliography-formats/turabian/; Internet; accessed September 13, 2008.

July 22, 2009

Argumentative and persuasive essays

In argumentative essays we try to convince others to agree with our facts, share our values, accept our argument and conclusions, and adopt our way of thinking. To strengthen your argumentative essays, you can turn to AIDA method of persuasion.

Helpful strategy for writing argumentative essays

  • establishing facts to support an argument
  • clarifying relevant values for your audience
  • prioritizing, editing, and/or sequencing the facts and values in importance to build the argument
  • forming and stating conclusions
  • "persuading" your audience that your conclusions are based upon the agreed-upon facts and shared values
  • having the confidence to communicate your "argument" in writing
  • showing awareness of counter-arguments and defend your argument

Steps for developing your own argumentative essay

  • Read all materials available that are relevant to the topic.
  • Identify the main topics covered by the arguments that you have read about your issue. This is so that you have a list of different topics for your paragraphs.
  • Use the topics that you have identified in step 2 as your group headings for organizing your research notes.
  • Make a decision about what your main conclusion will be.
  • Look back at the paragraph structure and apply it to your own essay.
  • Draft a detailed plan for your essay. In this plan note down the information that you will put in each paragraph. Use note form, not complete sentences.
  • Begin writing a draft of the body of your argumentative essay. Turn to words & paragraphs page again.
  • Check your writing for the following things:
    • do your paragraphs present arguments which support your main conclusion as non-debatable or as facts?
    • do your paragraphs present arguments which oppose your main conclusion as debatable and possibly not true?
    • have you clearly marked the place where you shift from the opposing arguments to the supporting arguments with a contrasting connective?
    • have you used connectives, pronouns, and referencing words to make your paragraph cohesive?
  • Draft your introduction.
  • Draft your conclusion.
  • Check your draft introduction and conclusion. Redraft if necessary.
  • Now that you have a complete draft of your argumentative essay check it again for the following things:
    • Does it provide strong support for your main conclusion?
    • Can you make the text more cohesive?
    • Are your verbs, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure correct?
  • Check the final draft and write a cover sheet.

July 19, 2009

Magic formula for professional essay writing

A how-to video tutorial on effective writing, offered by NeWavEssays, offers viewers detailed information about how to improve essay writing in an interesting and entertaining form.

One of the videos is dedicated to the so-called magic formula for professional academic essay writing, which consists of several stages, which the academic essays must undergo.

The steps are:

  • specific assignment
  • thorough research
  • know the topic
  • organized ideas
  • information flow
  • revision
  • and revision

Magic formula for professional writing

More videos available at http://newavessays.com/tutorials/video/

July 13, 2009

Writer-based purposes for writing

Because writing is, or should be, for yourself first of all, everything you write involves at least some purpose that benefits you. Of course, expressing yourself is a fundamental purpose of all writing. Without the satisfaction of expressing your thoughts, feelings, reactions, knowledge, or questions, you might not make the effort to write in the first place.

A closely related purpose is learning: Writing helps you discover what you think or feel, simply by using language to identify and compose your thoughts. Writing not only helps you form ideas, but actually to promote observing and remembering. If you write down what you observe about people, places, or things, you can actually "see" them more dearly. Similarly, if you write down facts, ideas, experiences, or reactions to your readings, you will remember them longer. Writing and rewriting facts, dates, definitions, impressions, or personal experiences will improve your powers of recall on important occasions such as examinations and job interviews.

July 12, 2009

Investigation paper writing techniques

Investigative writing begins with asking questions and finding informed, sources: published material, knowledgeable people, or both. In most cases, collecting information in an investigation requires the ability to use a library and then to summarize, paraphrase, and quote key ideas accurately from other people's writing. In addition, personal interviews are often helpful or necessary. For an investigation, you might talk to an expert or an authority, an eyewitness or participant in an event, or even the subject of a personality profile. Finally, you may wish to survey the general public to determine opinions, trends, or reactions. Once you have collected your information, you must then present your findings in a written form suitable for your audience, with clear references in the text to the sources of your information.

Investigative writing uses the following techniques:

  • Beginning with an interesting title and a catchy lead sentence or paragraph. The first few sentences arouse your readers' interest and focus their attention on the subject.
  • Giving background information by answering relevant who, what, when, where, and why questions. Answering the reporter's "Wh" questions ensures that readers have sufficient information to understand your report.
  • Stating the main idea, question, or focus of the investigation. The purpose of a report is to convey information as clearly as possible. Readers shouldn't have to guess the main idea.
  • Summarizing or quoting information from written or oral sources; citing sources in the text. Quote accurately any statistics, data, or sentences from your sources. Cite authors and titles.
  • Writing in a readable and interesting style appropriate for the intended audience. Clear, direct, and readable language is essential in a report. Use graphs and charts as appropriate.

Reports within this section (see subsection links) illustrate three common types of investigative writing: the summary of a single book or article, the investigation of a controversial issue (using multiple sources), and the profile of a person. The three types may overlap (an investigation of a controversial issue may contain a personality profile, for instance), and all three types may use summaries of written material, questionnaires, and interviews. Some investigative reports are brief, intended to be only short news items, while others are full-length features.

The intended audience for each report is often determined by the publication in which the report appears: Psychology Today assumes that its readers are interested in personality and behavior; Discover magazine is for readers interested in popular science; and readers of Ms. magazine expect coverage of contemporary issues concerning women.

July 09, 2009

Evaluation essay writing: shaping strategies

The shaping strategies you have used in previous essays may be helpful, but the strategies that follow are particularly appropriate for shaping evaluations.

Analysis by Criteria

Often, evaluations are organized by criteria. You decide which criteria are appropriate for the subject and audience, and then you use those criteria to outline the essay. Your first few paragraphs of introduction establish your thesis or overall claim and then give background information: what the subject is, why you are evaluating it, what the competition is, and how you gathered your data. Then you order the criteria according to some plan: chronological order, spatial order, order of importance, or another logical sequence. Phyllis Richman's evaluation of the Hunan Dynasty restaurant follows the criteria pattern:

  • Introductory paragraphs: information about the restaurant (location, hours, prices), general description of Chinese restaurants today, and overall claim: The Hunan Dynasty is reliable, a good value, and versatile.
  • Criterion #1/Judgment: Good restaurants should have an attractive setting and atmosphere / Hunan Dynasty is attractive.
  • Criterion #2/Judgment: Good restaurants should give strong priority to service / Hunan Dynasty has, despite an occasional glitch, expert service.
  • Criterion #3/Judgment: Restaurants that serve moderately priced food should have quality main dishes / Main dishes at Hunan Dynasty are generally good but not often memorable. [Most important criterion, the quality of the main dishes, is saved for last.]
  • Concluding paragraphs: Hunan Dynasty is a top-flight neighborhood restaurant.

Comparison and contrast

Many evaluations compare two subjects in order to demonstrate why one is preferable to another. Books, films, restaurants, courses, music, writers, scientists, historical events, sports — all can be evaluated using comparison and contrast. In evaluating two oriental restaurants, for example, student writer Chris Cameron uses a comparison-and-contrast structure to shape her essay. In the following body paragraph from her essay, Cameron compares two restaurants, the Unicorn and the Yakitori, on the basis of her first criterion — an atmosphere that seemed authentically oriental.

Of the two restaurants, we preferred the authentic atmosphere of the Unicorn to the cultural confusion at the Yakitori. At first impression, the Yakitori looked like a converted truck-stop, sparsely decorated with a few bamboo slats and Japanese print fabric hanging in slices as Bruce Springsteen wailed loudly in the ears of the customers. The feeling at the Unicorn was quite the opposite as we entered a rcom that seemed transported from Chinatown. The whole room had a red tint from the light shining through the flowered curtains, and the place looked truly authentic from the Chinese patterned rug on the wall to the elaborate dragon on the ceiling. Soft oriental music played as the customers sipped tea from small porcelain cups and ate fortune cookies.

Cameron used the following alternating comparison-and-contrast shape for her whole essay:

  • Introductory paragraph(s)
  • Thesis: Although several friends recommended the Yakitori, we preferred the Unicorn for its more authentic atmosphere, courteous service, and well-prepared food.
  • Authentic atmosphere: Yakitori vs. Unicorn
  • Courteous service: Yakitori vs. Unicom
  • Well-prepared food: Yakitori vs. Unicorn
  • Concluding paragraph(s)

Cameron might have used a block comparison-and-contrast structure for her essay. In this organizational pattern, Cameron's outline would be as follows:

  • Introductory paragraph(s)
  • Thesis: Although several friends recommended the Yakitori, we preferred the Unicorn for its more authentic atmosphere, courteous service, and well-prepared food
  • The Yakitori: atmosphere, service, and food
  • The Unicorn: atmosphere, service, and food as compared to the Yakitori
  • Concluding paragraph(s)

Chronological order

Writers often use a chronological order to organize their claims and criteria. In her review of Star Wars, for example, Judith Crist shapes her evaluation by following a natural chronological order:

  1. Comments on Lucas's previous film, American Graffiti.
  2. Review of the plot.
  3. Evaluation of the climax of the film.
  4. Comment on the viewer's good feelings at the end of the film.

Causal analysis

Analyzing the causes or effects of a place, object, event, or policy can shape an entire evaluation. Works of art or performances, for example, oftenjneasure the effect on the viewers or audience. Mark Stevens claims that Goya'si painting has "severairctefmife" effects on the viewer; those specific effects become the evidence that supports the claim.

  • Criterion #1/Judgment: The iconography, or use of symbols, contributes to the powerful effect of this picture on the viewer.
    • Evidence: The church as a symbol of hopefulness contrasts with the cruelty of the execution. The spire on the church emphasizes for the viewer how powerless the Church is to save the victims.
  • Criterion #2/Judgment: The use of light contributes to the powerful effect of the picture on the viewer.
    • Evidence: The light casts an intense glow on the scene, and its glaring, lurid, and artificial qualities create the same effect on the viewer that modern art sometimes does.
  • Criterion #3/Judgment: The composition or use of formal devices contributes to the powerful effect of the picture on the viewer.
    • Evidence: The diagonal lines scissor the picture into spaces that give the viewer a claustrophobic feeling. The corpse is foreshortened, so that it looks as though the dead man is bidding the viewer welcome.

Title, Introduction, and Conclusion

Titles of evaluative writing tend to be short and succinct, stating what product, service, work of art, or performance you are evaluating ("The Gettysburg Address," "Goya's The Third of May, 1808") or suggesting a key question or conclusion in the evaluation ("How Much Car for $3990?" "'Feel Good' Film").

Introductory paragraphs provide background information and description and usually give an overall claim or thesis. In some cases, however, the overall claim comes last, in a concluding "Recommendations" section, or in a final summary paragraph. If the overall claim appears in the opening paragraphs, the concluding paragraph may simply review the strengths or weaknesses, or just advise the reader: This is or is not worth seeing, reading, watching, doing, or buying.