Transitional Statements

There are a few things that bring an “ok” paper to a “good” paper and a “good” paper to a “great” paper. Transitional statements are one of them. So many students know they need transitions but get caught up on the details and, as such, don’t make them at all. This post will help guide […]

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Researching a Paper

Usually your semester will culminate to a heavily weighted final paper–often times, that paper will involve research. Some papers require very little research, such as 1-2 sources. Other papers, like my final paper for a graduate course, end up having 16 (or more!) sources. When you’re facing the latter, the idea of piles and piles […]

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Thesis Statements

Sometimes, when I sit down with a student, I realize that I have no idea what his or her essay says. He or she has read it out loud to me as I’ve looked over it. It’s not that I wasn’t paying attention, it’s that the essay is flopping all over the place like a […]

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Why Can’t I Use Wikipedia in my Essay?!

As finals approach, so do term papers. And since most people take 4-5+ classes a semester, that means a LOT of term papers without a lot of time to work on them. Soooo sometimes you might skimp a bit on your research and use Wikipedia. At best, your professor doesn’t care. Usually though, your professor […]

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Using “I” in Essays

I actually had a few people suggest I do a post about using “I” in an essay. It’s a subject I talk about frequently as a tutor. There are many little nuances about using “I” that there is no singular rule to use it or not use it, but several different guidelines to let you […]

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Compare and Contrast Essays

I know several of you are either in Spring Break, approaching it, or just finished it. I found that Spring Break either meant every professor gave me an essay to do or every professor decided to give me a break. No happy mediums here. Unfortunately, since my experience leans towards the former, I thought discussing […]

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Outlining an Academic Paper

Listen. I know you may not actually “spend time” on your papers. I know you might just procrastinate, do it the night before it’s due, and get an A. I know this because I did the same thing. However, eventually you’ll get that one professor who KNOWS you did it the night before–and that C […]

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Getting the Most Out of Literary Quotations

Quotations are an invaluable tool for essay writing, particularly if you’re writing an argumentative paper, or a paper for (basically) any English class. But do you really know HOW to use quotes adequately?  I would guess that most students who are not avid writers do not. They stick a quote into a paper because they […]

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Introductions, Conclusions, and Shoelaces

One of the questions I hear frequently as a tutor is “What is an introduction, what is a conclusion, and what do I write in my conclusion?” This reminded me of a mechanism I use frequently, and thought I would share with you. To illustrate the essay and its introduction/conclusion, I use a common image […]

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