Posts by erins:

The Stress-Free Guide to MLA Essay Format (8th Edition)

“Ding dong, the witch is dead … the wicked witch is dead!” The new 8th edition MLA Handbook (MLA 8) makes creating references on a Works Cited page so much easier than the 7th edition guidelines. You’ll be singing, too—once I walk you through it, that is! The 7th edition MLA Handbook (MLA 7) was …

The Opinion Essay: Everything You Need to Know to Make Yours Good

You’ve just been assigned to write an opinion essay. “Opinions?!” You think, “I’ve got plenty of those!” But slow down, cowboy, you’re going to have to narrow it down to a single opinion. More than that, you must be able to support that opinion with facts, figures, or examples from the real world. “You are …

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How Comedians Teach You to Write Good Transition Sentences
Think back to the last time you saw a really great stand-up comedy show. The jokes were funny. The comedian was a good story teller, transitioning effortlessly between segments, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Now think about a time when you saw a really terrible comedian. It may have been the …
10 ½ Writing Strategies to Make English Class Easier This Semester
Every student has to take English classes at some time or another. In all of these classes, you’ll have to write stuff (cue theme from “Jaws”). Given a choice between two classes, “Writing 101” and “Breaking Rocks with Your Head,” most students would pick the latter. Why is that? What is it about writing an …
How to Write Good Essay Titles That Are… Good
Can you imagine a world where everything was named as blandly as possible? “Come here, Pet.” “Hey, Maternal Grandmother, could I get your recipe for Casserole?” “Book about a Long Journey is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever read.” “I love shopping at Clothing Store at Mall—its Regular Jeans are to die for.” Meh. …
How to Analyze Imagery in Literature the Smart Way
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” right? But does it really take 1,000 words to create a vivid picture? Check out this short paragraph from Charlotte’s Web: Fern came slowly down the stairs. Her eyes were red from crying. As she approached her chair, the carton wobbled, and …
How to Write a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide
True or false? Writing a research paper is time-consuming. True:  Writing a research paper is very time consuming. You can’t just grab a few random sources and try to make them work. You certainly can’t start writing a research paper a few hours before it’s due and expect to write an “A” paper. True or false? Writing …
How to Write an Essay on Just about Anything
“Man, this essay is going to be impossible.” We’ve all been in this boat before, confronted with an essay assignment that is beyond difficult. What if I told you that I can teach you how to write an essay about pretty much anything under the sun? Even … hmm …wombats. “What? Why wombats?” you wonder. …
Breaking Out of the 5-Paragraph Essay Structure
Are you feeling frustrated by another 5-paragraph essay assignment? Do you feel as though your creative freedom has been stymied once again by the powers that be? Do you want to be free to explore essay organization like the effervescent honey blossom butterfly that you are? Well, you must break free from the 5-paragraph essay …
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography That Works
Once upon a time there was a hard-working student who paid close attention to lectures, studied hard, and learned how to cite properly in both MLA and APA format. The sun shone brightly. Then one day a dark cloud overshadowed the world. A professor asked the student to write an annotated bibliography. The student grew …
When to Use First-Person Writing in Your Essays
The dreaded “I” word. How can one letter be so malignant when it comes to academic writing? It’s likely that many of your teachers and professors have drilled it into your head that using first-person writing in your essays will immediately result in another unrelenting letter of the alphabet: “F.” As a curious student, you …