Top grammar errors to avoid

Posted by Tess M. on 3/10/21 12:00 PM

Throughout the years I’ve spent reading and writing, I’ve seen my fair share of grammar errors. But few are peskier, or more pervasive, than the two I’ll discuss in this post. So common are these two grammar errors that I regularly encounter them in professional writing—sometimes even in articles by full blown professors! These two errors often mark a crucial difference: between merely intelligible and actually correct English prose. Eliminate them from your writing, and you’ll improve it by more than you realize. 

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Tags: English, expository writing

Sentence structure tips from William Shakespeare

Posted by Musa on 2/1/21 12:00 PM

Good writers always plant important words in strong positions. 

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Tags: creative writing, English, expository writing

How to revise your work

Posted by Shara F on 12/18/20 12:00 PM

Before anything else, congratulate yourself. You wrote something! That’s huge! Writing is hard. Having something is so much better than having nothing. Something can be revised. And revising can be a lot of fun, as long as you have the right support. Here are some tools to help you navigate the revision process:

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Tags: creative writing, English, expository writing, high school

Up close and personal: how to prepare for a close reading paper

Posted by Sylvie T. on 12/16/20 12:00 PM

Close reading? Shouldn’t we already be reading “closely” for class? Correct! But the term “close reading” also describes a very specific type of literary inquiry in which one pays careful, prolonged attention to a small chunk of text (or art object) in order to produce an argument about that text and how it works. Close reading is the bread-and-butter of many fields in the humanities and beyond. English majors close read poems and novels, art history majors close “read” paintings and sculptures, law majors close read legal documents, history majors close read primary sources, politics majors close read policy briefs—the list goes on!

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Tags: English, expository writing, college, high school

How to “find your voice”

Posted by Alix on 12/9/20 12:00 PM

You will often hear writers talk about “finding their voice.” It sounds like a simple task, but honing one’s voice can take years of practice, study, and trial and error. When you are putting together your applications for college or graduate school, you are likely facing a fast-approaching deadline—so time is a luxury you don’t have.

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Tags: college admissions, graduate admissions, English, expository writing

Start anywhere: overcoming your fear of beginning to write

Posted by Miles P. on 11/25/20 10:29 AM

I have a friend working in journalism who keeps a Post-it stuck to his laptop that says: “START ANYWHERE.” For him, and for a lot of us who write, the scariest part of writing is staring down the blank page and blinking cursor, wondering how exactly you’re going to get to a finished product. If you’re like me, this is where you slip into procrastination: suddenly I want to do the dishes stacked in the sink, or organize all the sheafs of mail coupons gathering on my coffee table—anything to defer the moment when I have to actually put words on the page. This fear often stems from a flawed idea of what writing should feel like: a glorious and triumphant frenzy of typing, at the end of which you print out your pages, staple them together, and move on, aglow in a sense of accomplishment. If this is how writing goes for you, you have my deepest respect and envy! But for me, writing with this kind of automatic ease and fluidity is more a myth than a reality. Here are three easy tricks to break out of those fearsome shackles and start writing:

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Tags: expository writing

What I learned about the writing process from bread baking

Posted by Lucina S. on 11/17/20 12:15 PM

Working from home means I can adapt myself to the capricious schedule of bread making. Dough waits for no one (and it will not rise more quickly if prodded!). I’ve loved baking since childhood, but I discovered bread more recently.

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Tags: expository writing

Why vulnerable writing is good writing

Posted by Joseph F. on 11/9/20 12:30 PM

Writing Should Be Messy

Writing is hard. Believe it or not, this statement holds true for even the most experienced writers. When readers see an example of ‘good writing,’ they tend to think about the finished product in front of them instead of the process that went into making it. This engagement with writing speaks to a common, but misguided assumption: that writing is the mere expression of already-formed thoughts. Most veteran writers will admit that this assumption is wrong.

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Tags: expository writing

Using theory to think about history

Posted by Laura R. on 10/23/20 9:33 AM

When writing a history essay, applying a theoretical lens can help you make a sophisticated argument and earn high marks. You always want to be mindful of your essay structure and the substance of any original documents, but, particularly for advanced classes and seminars, bringing in different historical theories can elevate your paper to the next level.

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Tags: history, expository writing

Choosing a paper topic: 3 foolproof techniques to go from indecision to a great essay

Posted by Julia P. on 10/14/20 8:57 AM

We’ve all been there - you get an essay assignment and you’re just…not inspired. Stuck finding something to write about? I’ve got your back! First things first, read the book. I’m serious. If you’re low on time, read a thorough summary, and then actually read the important passages. Writing an essay on a text you haven’t read will only hurt your grade and your pride (believe me, I’ve tried it). Once you’ve read the book, try these three easy options to get you started on your essay!

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Tags: expository writing