Writing for your Audience (Rhetoric)

Hi all! Today’s post will cover writing for your audience. To most–if not all–of you, this will seemingly be no big deal. “I’m a student. My professor has to read my paper. Who cares about writing specifically for him/her?” I bet your professor does, even if he or she doesn’t explicitly say so. You know […]

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“I have to Write HOW Many Pages?!” Or, Writing a Master’s Thesis

Well, I’m in my final semester of my MA; I’ve completed all my coursework and am just working on my final thesis. Depending on your MA program (or in some cases, BA program), you will most likely need to write a final culminating essay to illustrate some sense of mastery in a specific area in […]

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Close-Reading and How it Can Help You

Since I’m now teaching a college composition course, I thought (well, really my husband thought) it would be a good idea to incorporate some of the methods and topics I am teaching to my students to (un)E. So today’s post will reflect the first thing I’ve been teaching to my students—close reading. Close reading is […]

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How to Improve your Vocabulary

How to Improve your Vocabulary The phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword” has many interpretations. The correct usage of words in communication can help you get your point across more effectively and improve your communication skills dramatically. In this article, I will discuss ways that you can improve your vocabulary and its affect […]

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Plagiarism 101: Common Problems

Since school is starting up again for so  many of you, I had a suggestion to write a post about plagiarism. As technology advances, it’s becoming increasingly easy to plagiarize–and increasingly easy to get caught. Today I’m going to cover the basics of plagiarism so that YOU don’t accidentally do this! What is plagiarism? Essentially, […]

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Sonnet Forms

I’m finally back from vacation and am recuperated enough to start posting regularly again. As I’m preparing to take my GREs (both the general and the subject test in literature), I’m brushing up on my literary terminology. Sonnets are a very important thing to know–whether for the GRE subject exam, poetry courses, basic English courses, […]

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What is Middle English?

It’s hard to find a concise yet definitive account of “Middle English” online. The Wikipedia entry has glaring gaps, omitting sections such as the Great Vowel Shift and not illustrating what the “thorn” is. This post will help you get a better grasp of your Chaucer through your Malory (whom I’ll be studying shortly), and […]

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Thou, Thee, Thy, Thine & Ye: Shakespearean English

Almost everyone reads at least one work of Shakespeare in his or her life. Heck, you might be even be studying one of his works now! Shakespeare used a form of archaic English in his works that can be at times confusing, irritating, and downright silly. The words that I will discuss today are the […]

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MLA Paper Formatting

Even if you’re not an English major, you’re going to need to take composition courses, humanities courses, and various other courses that require you to format your paper in a very specific way. While some professors have their own requirements and while other associations may have different formatting options, I have found MLA formatting to […]

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How to Expand your Paper: Garbage and Fluff Excluded

It’s happened to the best of us. You think you say every possible thing there is to say about a subject–yet you only have four pages for your five to seven page paper (or whatever page limit is imposed on you). You have a minimum, you’re not at that minimum, and so you’ll probably end […]

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