Category: General Strategies

What Makes an ‘A’ Paper?

“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.”

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How do I get from the ‘C’ range to a ‘B’ (or Better)?

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.

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How to Move from the ‘B’ Range to an ‘A’

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.

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Syntax: Active Causative Verbs

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.

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Assignment Expectations: Reflection Writing

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.

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Blasting Through Writers’ Block

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.

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Brainstorm a Topic and Finish a First Draft

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?

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