Tag Archives: Writing

Tips for Writing College Essays: Literary Analysis

Writers block. Talk about the number one time waster when it comes to studying and assignment completion in college. And let’s be realistic here, it isn’t just WRITER’S block, it is really PROJECT CREATOR’S block. Whether we are writing a paper, creating a PowerPoint presentation, a short video production, a website, or any time of major project in an English course, we eventually hit that brick wall of saying “what do I do next?”

Well, if you are participating in any sort of English class, whether it is literature, critical theory… etc. there is a good chance that you will run out of the creative juices at some point. The problem is that it can sometimes take FOREVER to get back in track, when you really just want to get the project done fast. So here’s a quick set of steps you can take to get the creative ideas flowing again.

Consider the Big Picture

Just ask yourself the following question about the (literary analysis) topic you chose to write about.

What are the primary themes or big ideas that are represented in the text(s) I’m concerned with?

Simple, right? If you have narrowed the focus of your paper well enough, you hopefully don’t have more than three of these. And those three should honestly be bridging up to an even bigger, singular idea. Anyway, take those ideas or that idea and take the next simple step.

Symbol Identification

English classes, and especially literature courses, are largely representing philosophy and world views (culture) through metaphor. This means that you can have a lot of creativity in your interpretation of a text. And you really can’t be wrong, as long as you make a compelling argument for it. But here’s the key to overcoming that writer’s block…

Symbols are a KEY metaphorical tool of authors!

So, simply pick out some symbol – whether it is a character, a description, an item… etc. – that helps explain the text’s or texts’ attitude toward that big idea. Now you can get into an elaboration of a particular symbol and big idea within your writing. At this point, find a few quotes surrounding that symbol that help back up your position, and you’ve just crunched out another 250+ words in your paper. Also, add your own elaborations after each quote to explain how the quotes prove your argument.

Not only is this a great way to add some more description and elements to your paper, this same process can be used as a way to create your thesis statement:

– Just look for the big ideas,

-Find a symbol (or a few) that make a statement about that big idea,

-Then argue that the symbol represents your author’s viewpoint on the big idea.

-Or maybe the author is satirizing that viewpoint. Use your own discretion here.

Tips For Writing a University-Level Essay

When you take the bold step to commence a university undergraduate course you are moving into a new realm of education, which in turn requires you to deliver a new level of academic work. This will involve giving presentations, completing research and writing university level essays. In order to meet the requirements of these essays there are a number of tips that you should follow which should set you on the track to academic success.

Firstly, remember that university essays should be well researched and contain lots of supporting evidence in terms of other people’s previous findings. This supporting evidence could be in the form of a literature review or just quoting others’ work throughout your essay. Any references to other resources must be credited appropriately. Be sure to follow your university’s specific guidelines in this respect as valuable marks can potentially be lost just by not applying the correct referencing method, or by applying the right method incorrectly. It may pay to familiarise yourself with whichever style your university uses, before you even begin writing. A common referencing style is the Harvard system of referencing which has very strict rules about crediting authors, research papers and journals etcetera but your University should be able to provide you with tailored guidance.

Secondly, a university level essay should try to delve deeper than a college level essay necessarily would. It should stretch and question theories and allow you to add your own knowledge and opinions in order to draw conclusions, some of which may never have been drawn before. This means you can’t just recite your lecture notes, there must be some individual application of knowledge, and this is a challenge that many new undergraduates struggle with.

As with all essays a university level essay should have a sound introduction, a thorough research and analysis section and sound conclusions. This should then be followed by a full reference list and a bibliography. Within all of these elements you should make sure that you format your work according to your university guidelines, this is good practice for when you come to writing your dissertation, as correct formatting and adherence to style guidelines could mean the difference between a first and a 2:1, in the same way, any essay, whether written at university or college should be proofread, preferably by a third party, to ensure that it is free from any spelling or grammar mistakes. Following all of these tips will allow your university level essays to achieve the grades you deserve and give you a good foundation for when it comes to writing your dissertation.

Resume Writing – 12 Tips

A resume is like a short story that grabs the reader and keeps him or her engaged. This article presents 12 sure-fire tips that have benefited hundreds (college students, clients, colleagues, family, and friends) regardless of the career field or level. They’re certain to help you too.

12 Tips

· (Tip – 1) Prepare a brief profile

Start strong with a brief profile not an objective. Listing an objective is a thing of the past. What should your profile contain? Two or three short snappy phrases that summarize your experience, skills, and personality traits. Regarding the latter, avoid writing a laundry list.

So, what three words best describe you? Your dominant personality traits surface in your professional and personal life. In other words, wherever you go you’re there.

· (Tip – 2) Don’t sound like your job description.

Do not turn your resume into a document that reads like a boring job description. Instead, discuss accomplishments. How did you make a difference? What skills or unique abilities were utilized to make things better. Pick one or two accomplishments from your current position. Provide a brief summary.

· (Tip – 3) Select the right format.

All in all, two types of resume formats exist- chronological and functional. While the former begins with your most current position and works backward, the latter builds the resume around your dominant skills.

· (Tip – 4) Include special training/professional development.

For more than a few years, I advised a friend to include a professional development section on her resume. Why? Employers like to see what you’ve been doing since graduating from college. As a result of working in the corporate arena, she racked up a lot of training. Well, to make a long story short, it made her standout and receive even better offers.

· (Tip – 5) List education and credentials last.

You are not selling your education; degrees are a dime a dozen. You are promoting your unique skills that help potential employers solve problems. Hence, list your credentials last, not first.

· (Tip – 6) Determine the appropriate length.

A recent college graduate, high school student, or person entering the workforce for the first time will not have as nearly much to say as someone more experienced.

· (Tip – 7) Omit references.

Create a special file for references. By the way, your references should be people who know you in a professional capacity. And, make sure each person has good written and verbal communication skills.

· (Tip – 8) Create a tagline.

Imagine this. You work in human resources as a recruiter. Every day you receive tons of resumes when you open your email; no one stands out because the subject lines say things like Resume or the resume of. Be creative! Use a tagline. When you save the document, use the tagline not your name.

· (Tip – 9) Always send a cover letter.

The letter should state what you’re applying for, how you can contribute, and most important, it should refer the reader to the resume. Cut and paste or copy the letter into the body of your email.

· (Tip – 10) Use present tense.

Instead of writing in the past tense, use the present. It adds punch and lets a potential employer know that you still make a positive impact.

· (Tip – 11) Be creative.

Why not include a testimonial? Select a comment or two from a performance review.

· (Tip – 12) Develop a resume website.

If you really want to standout, develop a professional resume website. It’s free and a template is provided. Checkout Wix.