Free Writing Resources Time4Writing. However, the website is also a great source of free resources in seven categories: teaching writing, writing skills, writing sentences, writing paragraphs, writing mechanics, writing essays and standardized-test writing.
Guide to Grammar and Writing This website offers comprehensive lessons on all aspects of English grammar and writing. You will easily locate all materials you need in the Index, which includes links to all resources of the Guide to Grammar and Writing, as well as Principles of Composition. This online source is like the grammar textbook you always wished to have.
Now you can use it to make the lectures more accessible for your students. Essay Punch Essay Punch is an interactive, online, essay-writing tutorial that takes students through all stages of the academic writing process.
The guidance it offers is based on pre-set writing prompts and interactive exercises for the pre-writing, organizing, writing, editing and publishing stages. Teen Ink This well-established magazine publishes high-quality essays and other written forms created by students.
The categories at the website include nonfiction, poetry and fiction. There is no need to subscribe to the monthly print magazine; all you need to do is recommend the website as a source of inspiration. You can select some of the featured essays and read them in class in order to show great samples of academic content. Thesis Builder Your students will love this tool!
Since they are always struggling to come up with a believable thesis statement, you can recommend the Thesis Builder, an automatic engine that launches a statement based upon the topic, opinions and supporting arguments the users provide in the form.
Once they get the thesis, your students can proceed with the creation of an outline without looking for another online tool. Hemingway Editor There is a rule about long, complex sentences: You can only use them if you know how. K students rarely manage to handle complex sentence structure, but they still want to impress you with big words and endless arguments. When you want to emphasize the importance of clarity, use Hemingway as an example.
This tool will highlight the common errors and long sentences that need corrections. The Readability Test Tool This tool tests the readability of a piece of writing according to a set of commonly used indicators. Feedback Good, constructively critical feedback can give you excellent guidance on how to improve your essay writing. It is worth attending to all of the suggestions and comments you receive, and trying to act on them.
Common criticism given to students is that their essay: does not keep to the title that was set; has a poor structure; does not have enough critical writing. These criticisms highlight the three basic elements of good essay writing: attending closely to the title; establishing a relevant structure that will help you show the development of your argument; and using critical writing as much as possible; with descriptive writing being used where necessary, but kept to a minimum.
These elements will be used to give a broad overall structure to this Study Guide. Attending closely to the title The most important starting point is to listen carefully to what the essay title is telling you.
You need to read every single word of it, and to squeeze out as much guidance you can from the title. Then you need to plan how you will respond to every single element of the title. The guidance given to you by the title is freely available, and is your best clue to what is required in your essay. One, answer the question. Two, answer the question. Three, answer the question. The Mini Guide: Essay terms explained , and Questions to ask about interpreting essay titles may be useful.
It can be a way of making a lot of progress quite quickly. It can be stressful and very difficult trying to work out solely in your mind how to tackle an essay title; asking yourself questions such as: What structure should I use? What are my main points? What reading do I need to do?
Have I got enough evidence? It can be much less stressful to throw all your thoughts down on paper, before you start trying to find answers to these questions.
In these early stages of your thinking you may not be sure which of your ideas you want to follow up and which you will be discarding. Instead, you can catch all of your ideas, in no particular order, on a sheet or two of A4. Once they are down there it will be easier for you to start to review them critically and to see where you need to focus your reading and note taking. Breaking it down then building it up Essentially, this is what you are doing within the essay process: breaking ideas down, then building them up again.
You need to: break down the essay title into its component parts, and consider possible ways of addressing them; work with these component parts, as you select your reading and make relevant notes; build up the essay using the material you have collected; ordering it; presenting and discussing it; and forming it into a coherent argument.
Throughout this process, the essay title is the single immovable feature. You begin there; you end there; and everything in between needs to be placed in relation to that title. Efficient reading All three of the processes described above will inform your decisions about what you need to read for a particular essay.
If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time. While a certain level of efficiency is desirable, it is also important to remain flexible enough to identify relevant and interesting ideas that you had not anticipated. As with teaching, it is often not until you try to communicate an argument and its evidence that you find where the gaps are in your knowledge or argument.
Writing is an active and constructive process; it is not merely a neutral recording of your thoughts. It is therefore useful to go into the writing process expecting to make revisions. The first words you write do not have to be part of the final version. Editing your writing as you develop your ideas is a positive not a negative process: the more you cross out, re-write, and re-order, the better your essay should become. Establishing a relevant structure to support your argument All essays need structure.
The structure may be strong and clear, or it may be unobtrusive and minimal but, in a good essay, it will be there. Again this may be strong and obvious, or it may be almost invisible, but it needs to be there. However, even in those essays that appear to be highly creative, unscientific, or personal, an argument of some kind is being made.
It is the argument, and how you decide to present and back up your argument, that will influence your decision on how to structure your essay. The essay structure is not an end in itself, but a means to an end: the end is the quality of the argument. By creating a relevant structure, you make it much easier for yourself to present an effective argument. There are several generic structures that can help you start to think about your essay structure e.
These can be useful starting points, but you will probably decide to work with a more complicated structure e. In addition to these macro-structures you will probably need to establish a micro-structure relating to the particular elements you need to focus on e. Fluid structures You may feel that, for your particular essay, structures like these feel too rigid. You may wish to create a more flexible or fluid structure. An analogy could be that of symphony writing.
This set out a pattern for the numbers of movements within the symphony, and for the general structure of writing within each movement. The continued popularity of their work today shows that they clearly managed to achieve plenty of interest and variety within that basic structure. Later composers moved away from strict symphonic form. Some retained a loose link to it while others abandoned it completely, in favour of more fluid patterns.
It would be rare, however, to find a symphony that was without structure or pattern of any kind; it would probably not be satisfactory either to play or to listen to. Similarly, a structure of some kind is probably essential for every essay, however revolutionary.
Your decisions on structure will be based on a combination of: the requirements of your department; the potential of the essay title; and your own preferences and skills. An iterative, not necessarily a linear process The process of essay planning and writing does not need to be a linear process, where each stage is done only once. It is often an iterative process i. A possible iterative process is: analyse the title read around the title, making relevant notes prepare a first draft critically review your first draft in the light of this further analysis read further to fill in gaps prepare final draft critically edit the final draft submit the finished essay.
They will be reading and marking many, many student essays. If you make your argument hard to follow, so that they need to re-read a paragraph or more to try to make sense of what you have written, you will cause irritation, and make their job slower. Realistically, it is possible that they may even decide not to make that effort.
Your tutors will not necessarily be looking for the perfect, revolutionary, unique, special essay; they would be very happy to read a reasonably well-planned, well-argued and well-written essay. They will not want to pull your essay to pieces. They would much rather enjoy reading it, and be satisfied by the thread of your argument. It can engage your readers, and can give them confidence that you have thought carefully about the title, and about how you are going to address it.
A useful generic structure is to: begin with a general point about the central issue; show your understanding of the task that has been set; show how you plan to address the title in your essay structure; make a link to the first point.
However, you can also recommend them for individual learning at home.
Editing is a crucial part of the process not an optional extra. It is therefore useful to go into the writing process expecting to make revisions. It is often an iterative process i.
Once they are down there it will be easier for you to start to review them critically and to see where you need to focus your reading and note taking. Questions to ask about your level of critical writing may be useful. Your tutors will not necessarily be looking for the perfect, revolutionary, unique, special essay; they would be very happy to read a reasonably well-planned, well-argued and well-written essay. And inaccurate spelling and poor grammar can make for very irritating reading for the person marking it. Later composers moved away from strict symphonic form.
Throughout this process, the essay title is the single immovable feature. Editing is both difficult and important.
And over-long paragraphs tend to demonstrate that you are not clear about the specific points you are making.
Another useful tool to support critical writing is the paragraph! Upon entering the appropriate parameters, the students get a properly formatted reference without any fuss. A relevant and useful structure to support the presentation of your response to the title is vital.
The task ahead is nothing more and nothing less than is stated in the title. The process requires pre-writing stages, where these graphic organizers will be of great help. Your students can use them as a way of putting their ideas and notes in order. Three, answer the question. The guidance given to you by the title is freely available, and is your best clue to what is required in your essay.
Aim to present one idea per paragraph. Two, answer the question.
Your tutors will not necessarily be looking for the perfect, revolutionary, unique, special essay; they would be very happy to read a reasonably well-planned, well-argued and well-written essay. You need to read every single word of it, and to squeeze out as much guidance you can from the title. Have I got enough evidence? Summary of key points The title is the most important guidance you have. The guidance given to you by the title is freely available, and is your best clue to what is required in your essay. This can be surprisingly helpful.