Category: General Strategies
“Some students earn A’s effortlessly, while others labor away for a B+, or C+. What makes an A paper?
Obviously the definition of an ‘A’ varies from teacher to teacher. Most students know that some teachers give out only a few As, while others are quite generous. And most teachers don’t talk about what makes an A.
This may be because they feel the ingredients of an excellent paper can’t be captured in a simple list, or because they can’t really articulate what an A paper actually is – they just know it when they see it.”
If you’ve been getting C’s on your papers and you want to raise those grades to B’s or even higher, it’s good to remember first what those grades of B and C mean. Students sometimes assume (mistakenly) that B should be the default grade, or that if they routinely received B’s in high school they’re entitled to receive them in college too. But “B” is supposed to mean good, while “C” means average. There are some classes where B is the most common grade earned on papers, so sometimes B can also mean “average.” In both cases, consider what “average” and “good” mean according to the standards of the school you’re attending.Read More
Aug 8, 2017 | Improving Your Grades
If you want to really go after that big A, it’s good to remember what those grades of A and B mean. Students sometimes assume (mistakenly) that A should be a default grade, or that if they routinely received A’s in high school they’re entitled to receive them in college too. But “A” is supposed to mean excellent, while “B” means good. In both cases, consider what “good” and “excellent” mean according to the standards of the school you’re attending.Read More
Feb 9, 2018 | English Language Learners
Causative verbs are used to show that someone/something causes a second someone/something to do an action.
The most common causatives are make, have, let, get, and help. There are many others that are used less frequently. Choosing the correct causative for a situation may mean choosing the difference between two ways of looking at the same situation.
Specific skills to help you create an argumentative thesis and tie it into each paragraph you write, emphasizing your points.Read More
Longer is not always better! Limit your sentences to a few clauses, and alternate long sentences and short sentences. Academic writing in English tends to have long, sophisticated noun phrases, but it is not a requirement to include complex sentence structure and long strings of joined clauses.Read More
Mar 22, 2018 | Adjusting Expectations
Reflection writing assignments are common in many classes, especially as a response to reading assignments. It is distinctive from other types of academic writing because it encourages the writer to write in the first person, but usually it has the same expectations as other academic writing assignments in other ways.Read More
Think you’re the only one who stares at the blank screen with feat/anxiety/anger/boredom? Nope. Every writer who ever lived has felt the same way. This resource will walk you through the most common and suggest some ways to deal. There’s always cleaning the bathroom or doing your taxes – if you REALLY want to avoid writing.Read More
Mar 22, 2018 | Adjusting Expectations
It may be confusing, even annoying, but some of the structures you may have learned in test prep classes and English language classes, such as the five-paragraph essay, may not be appropriate for use in other classes. Be careful to follow assignment instructions.Read More
When you sit down to write, do you immediately think of 23 other things you’d rather be doing? Does your hand itch to grab your phone and start texting, or does Facebook suddenly seem more alluring than ever? Does your mind just seem filled with clouds instead of thoughts and words you can use?Read More
A typical writing class, at the college level, requires a couple of papers (“essays”)...Read More
Attempt to cultivate objectivity. Objectivity is an overall goal in academic writing, even if the goal is to convince the reader of something. It demonstrates that the emphasis is on the object – your writing, your research – not on you yourself.Read More
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