Writing an essay like a boss

Top 10 Tools to Help You Write Papers Like a Boss

Are you struggling with essay writing? You are not alone. Everyone who has made an attempt in creating academic content knows how overwhelming this challenge is. Don’t worry; the Internet has a solution to every problem you face. In the continuation, you will discover the top 10 tools that will help you become a better essay writer.

WRITINGDEN

You don’t need to follow many guides for essay writing; you just need one that will explain all rules you need to be aware of. With the help of this website, you will understand what each part of the essay is supposed to cover. Then, you can explore the tips for prewriting, writing, editing, and publishing academic content. In addition, you will learn to make a distinction between the different types of essays.

WRITE MY ESSAY

First of all, this website has a great blog that features educational news, infographics, and essay writing tips. However, it’s much more useful than that: you can hire real writers to assist you with any academic project you are struggling with. The talented experts will share their wisdom, so you’ll finally realize how awesome essays get written.

DAILY GRAMMAR

You cannot master grammar in a day. If you don’t make efforts to improve your knowledge of the English language, all your writing efforts will go in vain. At this website, you can access brief grammar lessons and quizzes that simplify the most complex aspects of grammar.

LANGUAGE FOUNDRY

Creative writing doesn’t seem like a great challenge before you get in front of the computer and face the blank page. Sometimes you cannot think of any cool idea for the essay. This is the website that will help you reveal your inner wordsmith.

WRITE IT NOW

This free software will support you on the writing journey. With its help, you can easily rearrange sentences and paragraphs of your work. Write It Now supports thesaurus, spelling checker, cliche finder, readability checker and a storyline editor. In addition, it will enable you to set writing targets that will boost your motivation.

THE PURDUE ONLINE WRITING LAB

This is the most resourceful website that will help you understand the process of essay writing through all its stages. In addition, it features guides on several citation formats, so that aspect of your work will become much easier.

ESSAY PUNCH

This website offers interactive online exercises that will guide you through the essay writing process. If you don’t want to bother reading tips on how to cover the pre-writing, writing, organizing, proofreading, and editing stages, start using this tool and you’ll get in-depth support on the go.

THE EASY ESSAY

This is one of the most effective planning tools you can use before you get to the writing stage. It will help you come up with a thesis statement, arguments that will support it, and a structure that will result with focused content. Your professor will love the outcome!

WRITING. COM

This platform supports an online community of writers, who are always willing to discuss each other’s work. You don’t have to be an actual writer to join the website. You can join contests and activities, access different writing tools, or simply use your membership to share your work and benefit from the feedback of the other members.

This is a visual brainstorming tool that will inspire your mind to approach the essay writing task in a creative mode. You only need to choose a word, and WordStorm will create a map that links related words. This visual presentation of the concept will enable you to think of new ideas, so the brainstorming session will start without any effort.

When you put these tools to use, you’ll realize that essay writing is not as boring and difficult as you thought it was.

Robert Morris is an online tutor, educator and writer from NYC.

7 Tips for Writing Killer Emails to Your Boss

If you really want to get your message across, make sure you understand the mindset of the person you’re emailing.

Amazon (amzn) lists close to 6,000 book titles on “business writing.” You might wonder why you need to read anything else on the subject. Well, once you start practicing what you’ve learnt from many of these books, you might find that an email of yours still fails to achieve its ultimate purpose: to evoke the response you want. A good email persuades its reader to take a specific action, such as: approve an investment proposal, provide information, agree to provide a testimonial, or accept an invitation. So, if your text doesn’t get your reader to act as you intended, you have wasted both your and her time.

Below you’ll find seven tips to help you be a better email writer, which I have drawn from my 25 years’ experience as a strategy consultant. What these seven tips have in common is that they focus on the psychology of the reader. Why is that important? As soon as a reader receives a text, he mentally pigeonholes it into one of several, possibly damning categories: “ignore and ditch,” “read later,” “read now, but no action.” Obviously you want your reader to pigeonhole your text in the “read and act now” slot.

To get your reader to respond positively, it helps to understand a little about social psychology and behavioral economics. Specifically, two great books serve as a good intellectual foundation to these fields. The first is Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which addresses the psychology of compliance, i. e. the factors that cause one person to say yes to another person. The second is Richard Thaler’s and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge, which examines systems that help people improve their ability to select options that will make them better off. While these books don’t deal with business writing per se, they contain relevant and applicable insights. They lead to tips that you will find complementary to the often technical tips about business writing that you find elsewhere, such as “avoid the passive voice,” “avoid jargon and acronyms,” and “vary the length and structure of your sentences.”

Let’s move on to the tips.

Tip 1. Take into account where and when your boss reads your text. In today’s fast-paced world of instant, omnipresent and byte-size hypercommunication, it is easy and tempting to fire off a text to your targeted reader as soon as you have finished writing it. But think about when and where he will receive your text. For example, it may not be a great idea to mail a request for a two-months leave of absence to your boss on a Friday evening when he is waiting at an overcrowded airport for a delayed return flight home after three days of intense and unsuccessful negotiations with union delegates. Your request may be perfectly reasonable and eloquently worked out, but you’d better wait for a more auspicious time and place for it to land in your boss’s inbox.

Tip 2. Stand out in a crowded inbox by using clues. Busy as businesspeople are, they cannot afford to think too long about every decision they have to make. They often make fairly automatic decisions based on past experience or just one written clue that is presented to them. It starts with simple things like the subject header of your mail: it should convey opportunity and benefit to the reader rather than effort and goodwill from him. For example, when you write an email to solicit participation in a benchmarking exercise, the heading “Study” may evoke more dreadful associations than “How to improve performance.” More profoundly, make yourself likeable to your reader, for example, by referring to shared interests or flattering him. Of course you’re walking a fine line: you don’t want to mislead, deceive or manipulate your readers; you simply want to convince, persuade and facilitate.

Tip 3. Personalize your message. There are occasions when you have to send essentially the same text to several readers, such as when you need data from several colleagues to build a business case. You can either broadcast a standard request or send personalized requests separately. While the broadcast initially may appear more efficient to you, you risk running into the so-called bystander effect. First, each person reasons that others will respond, and therefore will do nothing. Second, each person waits for a response from the others to find out whether the request is really that serious or important. You will probably get a higher response rate if you take some time to personalize your messages. Of course, be a bit more sophisticated and less lazy than simply replacing “Dear Team” by “Dear Suzy”.

Tip 4. Beware of the mystery readers in your audience. Every guide on business writing worth its salt will tell you that you have to take into account the various reader segments that your text is addressing. For example, if you’re writing an assessment of an acquisition target, you know that both your CEO, your company’s Board and their investment banker, each with different needs, may read it. Much more tricky to deal with are the mystery readers — that is those you don’t know about. For example, one of your targeted readers may (inadvertently) forward your text to a person who in your mind should be the last to read it. Remember the cyberversion of Murphy’s infamous law that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Another example is the personal assistant who stands as a sentinel between you and your targeted executive, scanning and filtering all incoming mail, in which case you might write a cover email designed to make her act first. And don’t forget that a document can have a long shelf life and be read a few years later by people who have no clue about its original context, and thus may misinterpret it. So think through the mystery readers and how you could cope with them.

Tip 5. Kill the mosquitos. Of course most of your readers are no fools. They know that content is more important than form, and that an attractive form (clear building blocks, an appealing lay-out, page numbering, etc.) is no guarantee of the quality of the content. Nevertheless they often reason unconsciously that, if the author didn’t even bother about formal quality, in all likelihood he didn’t bother about the quality of the content either. Form quality also neutralizes the so-called mosquitos. We are all familiar with them: the people who attend a presentation and immediately turn to the pages with a pie chart to check that the percentages add up to exactly one hundred. While these nitpickers are neither lethal nor value-adding, don’t make it easy for them to criticize your email presentation and distract your audience from your real message.

Tip 6. Make it easy to respond to your text. If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the proof of your writing is in your reader’s response. But remember that not responding is often a more convenient alternative. While it is hard to force a response, at least you can prod. To start with, make it clear, almost from the very first sentence, why you are writing to the reader and what you expect from her – business texts should not be mystery novels. And when you come to the end, make it easy for the reader to respond by providing her with a default option. For example, you might include in your email: “Unless I hear from you by Monday, I will assume that you agree with my recommendation.” (This might be difficult if your reader is your boss.) Defaults are powerful because people often are not willing to spend much effort coming up with other options. The choice for the default option is especially hard to resist if you suggest that yours is the normal or even recommended choice. If there is no easy default option, you can explicitly tell your readers that you expect a response, and you can ask them to let you know what they intend to do, by when, and how. The mere fact of asking people what they intend to do acts as a nudge.

Tip 7. Work and work again on your text. There is no escape. Writing a high-quality text takes effort and consequently time. Consider Thomas Edison’s most endearing maxims: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” The opportunity relates to the return you might get from spending a bit more time on raising the quality of your text. Chances are your audience will then notice, read, understand, and act upon your message after only hitting the send button once.

In summary, a writer should behave like a designer. A good business writer is neither an artist nor an engineer. He is a designer who envisions what people need or are thinking and then crafts an appropriate email. Follow that approach and, chances are, you’ll get the response you want.

Herman Vantrappen is the Managing Director of Akordeon, a strategic advisory firm based in Brussels, and author of The Executive Action Writer.

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How to Write a Proposal Essay/Paper

What is a Proposal Essay?

A proposal essay is exactly what it sounds like: it proposes an idea and provides evidence intended to convince the reader why that idea is a good or bad one.

Although proposals are generally a significant part of business and economic transactions, they are not limited to those two areas. Proposals may be written for any college classes, scientific fields, as well as personal and other professional areas.

This article will go over how to write an effective proposal essay and provide a sample one that was actually submitted and implemented.

Before You Start: Pre-Writing Strategies

Much of the work is done before you type a single sentence. Before sitting down to write your proposal you’ll want to spend some time on each of the following.

  1. Get to Know Your Audience. Remember, a proposal essay is an effort to convince a reader that your idea is worth pursuing — or that another idea is not worth pursuing. To that end, you have to know who you’ll be writing for. Are they business people? Academics? Government officials? If your audience is primarily business people you’ll want to justify your proposal by pointing to possible financial benefits. If they’re government officials, you may want to emphasize how popular a certain proposal is.
  2. Do Your Research. Having secondary sources who can support your claims will go a long way to persuading others of your proposal. Spend some time talking to experts or reading their research.
  3. Pre-Write. Before starting the actual essay, spend some time brainstorming excellent ideas. Once you have a bunch of good ideas, spend some time thinking about how you’d like to organize them.
  4. Revise, Revise, Revise. Never turn in a first draft! Have a trusted peer or colleague read your paper and give you feedback. Then take some time to incorporate that feedback into a second draft.

Main Parts of a Proposal Essay

The main parts of a proposal essay are summarized here. It is important to keep in mind that depending on your proposal parts may need to be added or taken out. The parts below (with the exception of the introduction and conclusion) may be rearranged to suit individual proposals.

  • Introduction
  • Proposal
  • Plan of action
  • Desired outcomes
  • Resources needed
  • Conclusion

1. Introduction

The introduction serves to inform your reader of the history of the proposal (if applicable) or to introduce a subject to an informed/uninformed audience.

This is the most important part of your paper in some respects. You need to both introduce the topic and show the audience why they should care about this topic. It’s often helpful to begin with an interesting fact, statistic, or anecdote to grab the reader’s attention.

Typically, people only make proposal to solve a problem. As such, you’ll want to highlight a particular problem that you think your proposal would solve. Know your audience so that you can emphasize the benefits your proposal would bring.

2. Proposal

This is a statement of purpose. This section should be brief and only discuss what your actual proposition is. It is okay for this section to be only a few sentences long if the proposal is short. Do not include details about how you will carry out the proposal in this section.

3. Plan of Action

How will you go about achieving your proposal? What will you do to show your audience that you are prepared? This is where you go into detail about how your proposal will be implemented. A couple things to include:

  1. Convince: You need to convince your audience not only that your proposal is a good idea but also that you’re the person who needs to carry it out. Highlighting your qualifications about why you’re suited for the task is helpful if you’re the one to carry out the proposal.
  2. Detail: In discussing the implementation, you’ll want to give enough detail to show your audience that you’ve thought about how the process will work. That said, you don’t want to bore them with overly-technical or boring details.
  3. Anticipate: Anticipating potential implementation problems is both good practice and communicates to your audience that you’ve thought carefully about your proposal and about potential stumbling blocks.

4. Will it work?

Focus this area on why the proposal will work. Quite simply, is it a viable proposal? You can draw on similar past experiences to show why this proposal will work just like previous ones. If you do not have this «past experience» option, focus on what you think your audience wants to hear. For example, if your manager really likes getting things done on time, then perhaps you might mention how your proposal can speed up productivity. Think logically here.

*Tip: Do not structure this section the same way as your «Benefits of. » section.

5. Desired outcomes

Simple. State what the goals of your proposal are. It might seem repetitive with the sections where you mentioned the benefits, but it serves to really «drill» home the point.*

6. Necessary Resources

Another simple part. What is needed to complete your proposal? Include tangible (paper, money, computers, etc.)and intangible items such as time.

7. Preparations Made

Show the audience that you know what you are doing. The more prepared you look the better your chances are to get the proposal passed (or get a better grade if it is for a class).

8. Conclusion

Do NOT restate your introduction here if you choose to mention the «history» of a certain proposal. However if you did not introduce your proposal with some historical background information, here is the part where you can quickly restate each section above: Proposal, plan of action, all the «why’s» of the paper and so on.

9. Works Cited/Consulted

As in any essay or paper, cite your sources as appropriate. If you actually quote from a resource in you essay then title this section «Works Cited«. If you do not cite anything word for word, use «Works Consulted«.

Purdue Online Writing Lab

  • The Online Writing Lab (OWL)
    The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Writing Lab helps writers on Purdue’s campus. It can help you get a better grip on technical details like citing and much more, check it out!

Sample Proposal Paper

Collage Proposal

Introduction

In 1912, Pablo Picasso, an avid painter of nature and still life, tore part of a makeshift tablecloth and glued it to his painting, Still Life with Chair Caning, and thus, by adding different items to aid his painting, he began the art of collage making. (Pablo Picasso – Still Life with Chair Canning). A collage is simply a group of objects arranged together to create a complete image of an idea, theme, or memory. For example, David Modler created a collage called “Big Bug” to represent the irony that is the importance of insects to our natural world in comparison to their size. The bug in the image is the smallest feature of the collage yet it is to be viewed as the most important aspect (Modler, David). All these parts of a collage collaborate together to create a unifying theme or message and can be used as a helpful tool in education.

Statement of Purpose

I propose that each student make an artistic collage to be presented to the class that will symbolize the context, audience, setting, structure or any key ideas found in one of the readings this semester. Students who make a collage will be able to drop the lowest quiz grade.

Plan of Action

The students will have one week from the announcement of the project to complete the collage and prepare a presentation for it. Each student must choose one reading that we have done so far or will read in the future, and no two students may choose the same work. Conflict with students wanting to present the same work will be resolved by a first come first serve basis. The students will be given a rubric with the exact requirements of the project and what the purpose of the project is.

I will make the rubric myself and submit it for approval, or we can use the rubric that I have attached.

Benefits of Collage Proposal

  1. Making a collage would allow the students to think and inspect the readings and ideas visually (Rodrigo, “Collage”), thus giving them another perspective, or possibly clearing up any misconceptions and confusions they had about a work when we were just discussing it in class verbally.
  2. A collage provides the opportunity for revision of a certain work and would certainly help to clear up any topics in the readings that might come up on the final exam or a future test, via a visual and more creative method.
  3. If a student received a bad grade on a quiz because they did not understand the reading, the collage would give the student an opportunity to go back to the reading and understand it, or to read ahead and grasp concepts that might be useful to present to the class before the class does the reading. A collage would allow the student to become familiar with the work in a visual way and give them an opportunity to understand the main themes, topics, and ideas of a work, even one we might not have read yet.

Viability of Collage Proposal

Since a collage would be like giving the student an opportunity to go back and review a subject and at the same time would resemble preparation for a presentation, the time and effort required to go back and re-read a work as well as prepare the collage creatively would be sufficient to justify replacing the lowest quiz grade.

Our course mentor said that this project would be a nice addition to the class because, just like any play is better seen than read, the collage will allow students to get the visual aspect behind a work and help them to grasp the ideas better.

Past visuals that we have used in class to describe scenes from our readings such as The Tempest and The Odyssey have greatly helped me to understand some of the ideas of the stories. For example, I always pictured the cyclops as a nasty, vile creature, but after some of the “fuzzy” drawings on the board done by some of my peers, I imagined and understood that he could in fact be a gentle creature that was just angered by Ulysses trespassing and blinding him. I could not have seen that perspective of the story had it not been for some of the more innocent visuals on the board.

Finally, I have discussed with the students in our class about the idea of a collage replacing the lowest quiz grade and the overwhelming majority approved of the idea. Since a collage will substitute for a quiz grade, the assignment will be optional. Just as a quiz is almost always optional based on class initiation of discussion, the collage will also be optional based on similar student effort parameters. The students who do not want to do a collage can choose “door number 2” and take a quiz that would be created by the teachers and/or myself. This quiz can be used to make the total number of assignments for each student in the class even, and may or may not be graded based on the professor’s discretion.

Desired Outcomes

The first goal of my collage proposal is to give students a chance to be creative and step outside the boundaries of classroom discussion. They can use their imaginations to find a way to creatively put together a collage that will help the class as well as themselves to better understand the course reading.

A second goal of my proposal is that the time and effort put into making the collage and presenting it in front of the class will equal the worth of dropping the lowest quiz grade. Because this collage requires the creator to examine the context, audience, setting, structure of any one of the readings, it is essentially like a quiz itself, which includes questions on similar topics.

Necessary Resources

The literary work that a student chooses to create a collage on will determine how much time is necessary to fully complete the project. One week to create a collage should give each student—no matter what reading they choose to do—ample time to create a presentable and educational collage for the class.

In terms of tangible resources, this project is not very demanding. A simple poster or a series of photographs or drawings assembled neatly together by the student will be about as resourcefully demanding as this project gets.

In addition, a few hours of class time will need to be allocated in order to present the collages. If each student takes at least five minutes to present the total time needed for the presentations will be 1 hour and 15 minutes. The presentation day(s) and time(s) can be decided by the class as a whole.

The rest of the resources needed are already available:

  • The readings are all published online if a student needs to refer back to them
  • Craft supplies are readily available

Skills for Successful Completion

  • As a good planner and organizer I made a rubric that is specific enough to give the students a good idea of what they should be doing for the collage. The rubric can be made available upon your request.
  • In addition I can also come up with a quiz if there are students who want to opt out of the collage project.
  • I can talk to the class and come up with a good presentation time and date for everybody.
  • I would volunteer myself to hold an early presentation session a few days before the due date so the others can get an idea of what their collage could look like and why they can benefit from the project.
  • I will make myself available to the class if they have any questions about the proposed project.

Conclusion

A collage will allow students to understand visually a reading or topic in a reading that they may have been confused about. The project is a fun and creative way to get students to think about a reading more in depth as well as review for future exams. As a result of the effort and time put into the collages, the students should be allowed to drop their lowest quiz grade in the semester.

Works Cited

Modler, David. Big Bug. Photograph.Kronos Art Gallery. Web. 12 Oct. 2011

«Pablo Picasso — Still Life with Chair Caning (1912).» Lenin Imports. Web. 12 Oct. 2011.

Rodrigo. «Collages.» Web 2.0 Toolkit. 11 Mar. 2009. Web. 2 Oct. 2011.