Starting a research paper, like any art form, begins with simple strokes. And much like painting or sculpting, the first steps are often the hardest. The trick to getting past this proverbial road block is to just get your ideas down on paper, even if they are not fully formed. Perfecting and refining your ideas can come later. It is much more difficult to work on ideas if they remained bottled in your head. Here are some helpful hints for getting started on your research papers this semester. Read more
When my professor proposed a research project, I panicked. One student actually dropped the course, so great was her fear. We were told to utilize Chicago Manual. What was that! It is often used by historians and built into MSWord. (Make sure you have a version of MSWord the professor can read. Anything less than 2000 may need to be upgraded). I remember trying to precisely place footnotes with a manual typewriter. One tiny error and your whole paper was ruined. Now MSWord lets you create footnotes, and bibliographies using any style. Another feature I like is being able to cross-reference with a single keystroke. Read more
Looking to unleash your inner artist? Putting pen to paper, or who are we kidding, fingers to keyboard, can be rewarding. But discovering the untapped poet or novelist inside of you can also be hard work. If you truly want to develop your talent with words, try these creative writing tips.
Start with the basics
If you are searching for a bit of creative fulfillment, writing can certainly fit the bill. But most professional wordsmiths will tell you that getting started can be the hardest part of the process. Read more
For some the writing process is cathartic, while for others it’s more like torture. As a college student, having good writing skills is more critical for certain majors than others. However, once college is over, to compete in today’s job market, good writing skills aren’t an elective — they are a MUST. We could all use a lesson or two on how to brush up on our writing. Here are some useful tips on how to become a better writer. Read more
The odds are pretty slim that you will make it through four years of college without having to write a research paper. But don’t be frightened by the prospect. Planning a research paper doesn’t have to be scary; in fact, we often make it more difficult than it needs to be. Questia, the Internet’s top research and paper-writing tool for students, is a great place to find writing help. Read more
It is easy to get overwhelmed with reading, research and homework assignments to the point where you hardly know what day it is. No wonder you find that you have a term paper or research project due next week and you haven’t even chosen your topic yet. Yikes! What do you do? Here are a few writing tips to help you get started on your next term paper or research project. Read more
Religious studies are not just for those who want to focus on a particular religious tradition. The topic easily integrates with liberal arts, philosophy and sociology. When faced with the prospect of completing a term paper or research project for your religious studies course, you will be able to take the project in any number of directions, all of which will allow you to explore the beliefs and passions that have been inspired by religion. Here are a few writing tips to get you started. Read more
How to write a good book review
A book review is “not a retelling,” emphasizes Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC), nor is it “a book report or a summary.” Instead, they explain in How to Write a Book Review, it is “a description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling. It should focus on the book’s purpose, content, and authority. Read more
David R. Williams calls sentences and paragraphs “the tools of the writing trade.” In his book Sin Boldly! Dr Dave’s Guide to Writing the College Paper (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 2000) 31, he says, “The sentence is the hammer you use to drive your points home. Each blow must hit a nail. Each sentence must communicate a thought clearly from your mind to that of your reader. Disorganized jumbles of words and phrases cannot do this. Only when the words are arranged in a logical order with a subject and a verb is a complete thought expressed.” Read more
“Getting started,” say Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman, “may be the most difficult task when you sit down to write.” Luckily for us, their book Yes, You Can! 1,200 Inspiring Ideas for Work, Home, and Happiness (Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1996), 101, includes nine ideas to kickstart the process.