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Writing Prompts

Writing Stages

Writing
Process

Definition

Description

Prewriting

Creating and developing new ideas and generating/researching preliminary information for the given topic.

Prewriting is an essential part of every writing process. It always takes place before the first draft is created. The prewriting elements always include the following: outlining and discussion, talk-write, prewriting as well as literary devices.

Planning

Planning and reflecting upon the material which is generated at the prewriting stage. The goal of the planning stage is to create a plan to complete a perfect paper.

At the planning stage, the rhetorical stance and purpose are considered. The goal of writing and its impact on the quality of writing are evaluated. This information is further re-evaluated against the findings at the prewriting process. The planning stage also entails the development of at least rough paper structure.

Drafting

Developing the first draft (either manually or on a computer) and making up a further plan to complete the work.

Writing is never easy, and professional writers would never even try to complete the entire paper in one day.

Pausing

These are the instances, when the writer does not write the paper. It is the moments when the writer is analyzing what has already been done and whether it meets the initial requirements at all. This stage usually includes reading.

Pausing is essential. However, good and bad writers will use pausing in entirely different ways. Professional writers will have to consider the text a global entity and see whether it meets the requirements and responds to the needs of the target audience.

Reading

These are the instances that take place during pausing. Here, writers have to read what has been already written and try to match it to the initial plan.

Reading is impossible without writing and vice versa. Those, who are good at reading, are always good at writing. Reading should always take place during writing because it is through reading that writers can reflect on what they have already accomplished.

Revising

Revising is not the same as reviewing, but it is almost the same as "re-seeing." The goal of this stage is to incorporate broad changes into the text in order to make it fit the initial plan.

The first attempt to revise a paper is usually made after the first draft is ready. The goal of this stage is to ensure that the text meets the initial plan criteria. However, the main factors the writer will have to consider during this stage are almost the same as the ones he/she had to consider while developing the rhetorical stance and the initial plan for writing. Revising always involves a third party because the writer should hear what his/her colleagues or friends think about the text and what should be done to improve it.

Editing

Editing must be thorough - the writer will focus on the major and minor grammatical and stylistic concerns, including spelling errors, punctuation, style, and lexical use of words.

Editing always follows the revising stage. Its goal is to make the paper look professional.

Publishing

Presenting the finished paper to the target audience.

The process of publishing is not only about having your paper printed in a newspaper, journal, or any other source. You will also have to turn your paper in to your boss, teacher, instructor, etc.

Vocabulary Writing Tips

A good essay is always based on the standard formal vocabulary. However, even in the presence of excellent vocabulary forms and sophisticated stylistic structures, you cannot be sure that your text is perfect.

Please, follow the checklist below to discover the most common vocabulary errors and avoid them while writing and proofreading your text.

  • When you are writing a paper, please, avoid the most common mistakes involving homographs, homonyms, and homophones. The most common errors made by writers include the following: knew/new, hole/whole, here/hear, and others.

  • Please, monitor the use of adjective endings, namely, -ed and -ing (e.g. interesting vs. interested). Also, make sure you avoid this common mistake by noting whether your adjective denotes a state (-ed) or a quality (-ing).

  • The English language is full of homonyms, which also have considerable similarities in spelling and sound. Computer spell checkers cannot identify these errors. Among others, the most common mistakes include: accept vs. except, effect vs. affect, then vs. than, and others. In order to avoid these mistakes, make up the list of these homonyms and be particularly attentive while using them in writing.

Vocabulary errors are not uncommon, and, sometimes, they are not very easy to find. However, if you are aware of these risks you can improve the quality of your writing. Please, use our checklist and a dictionary to improve the writing process and make it easier for you!

Stylistics Essay Writing Tips

Essay writing involves formal language and formal stylistics. Actually, the problem of style in essay writing is one of the most important. If you want to get the highest grade, then keeping to a good style is a must. We will help you improve the style of your writing and explain the fundamentals of a good writing style.

Please, take a look at the most essential stylistic aspects described below:

  • Do not use contractions and avoid using non-standard words: please, remember that the way we speak in our daily life is entirely different from the way we write. We try to be brief and effective while delivering our oral message but, in writing, the use of contractions will look unprofessional and even abusive to the reader.

  • Do not use elliptical sentences - these sentences are very convenient and popular when used in colloquial speech. However, they are heavily context-dependent. You can exploit them in your daily communications, but you cannot use them in formal writing. Otherwise, they will make it difficult for the reader to grasp the meaning of your work.

  • Avoid making sentences too long - at times, the formal style of writing welcomes the use of long sentences, but when these sentences are too long and too numerous, the whole idea may sound too vague to the reader. Moreover, readers usually get tired of reading sentences that are too long.

  • Avoid sentences that are too short - they can be effective in terms of grabbing the reader's attention, but when your formal paper is full of short sentence structures, it starts to look too simple and even boring.

  • Avoid outdated sentence structures and words - it is quite popular among students to apply to archaic words and meanings with the goal of formalizing their style of writing. Please, do not go to the extremes and do not make your text sound too outdated and epic.

  • Be realistic - review the topic and implications of your paper against the real-life context in which it is written. Choose the language and style, which is the most appropriate in this situation. Do not make it sound as if a four-year-old child was writing it.

  • Avoid and eliminate all unnecessary repetitions - use synonyms, when describing one and the same problem in more than one sentence.

Punctuation Essay Writing Tips

Many students believe that punctuation is a matter of secondary importance. However, try to imagine a text without a single comma or semicolon - most probably, you will hardly understand a single sentence in it.

You cannot create a powerful paper unless you follow the basic punctuation rules. Please, check the list below to avoid the most common punctuation errors.

  • Question marks are to be used only when you have a direct question. In case of an indirect question, use a period.

  • Pay particular attention to exclamation points. At times, they may help emphasize the emotional nature of your sentence and make it stand out. However, too many exclamation marks may create an impression that you have been shouting while writing your formal paper.

  • Hyphen can be used to link the different elements of compound words. However, you should know that hyphen is not used in all compound words. The modern English language does not welcome excessive use of hyphens in writing. Please, check hyphenation with a recent dictionary.

  • Apostrophes should be used for contractions, but their placement is a matter of writers' continuous concern. Make sure the apostrophe is used instead and in place of the omitted vowel.

  • Commas should be used in compound sentences to join their clauses. Commas are to be used in a list of more than two items. Parenthetic words and sentences, appositions and words/structures used in an unusual position should also be separated by comma.

  • Commas are to be used with non-defining relative clauses; in these instances, you can remove a comma without compromising the meaning.

  • Commas are to be used to separate days, months, years, when you use a date, and numbers when four or more digits are included.

  • Commas and inverted commas are to be used to separate the quoted material from the original sentence.

Grammar Essay Writing Tips

The secret of excellent grammar in formal essay writing is quite simple: use the grammar structures, which you know are 100% correct. Formal essay writing has nothing to do with academic school tests, when you have a chance to guess the correct answer. Rather, it is a forum that welcomes the open expression of your ideas in ways that are the most convenient for you.

Still, students often apply to unfamiliar structures, which lead them to an unsatisfactory academic and writing result.

Use the following checklist to avoid the most common grammar mistakes while working on your essay:

  • Use simple sentences and make sure each sentence has the subject and the predicate. Simple sentences should have no subordinate clause connector.

  • In complex sentences, when the adjective clause follows the subject, avoid using any additional subject in the same sentence. For example, "The paper he has submitted today it is extremely interesting."

  • Do not forget that the subject must agree with the predicate in number. Compound subjects are always used with a verb in plural.

  • Avoid countable-uncountable confusions. Do not confuse determiners with countable singular nouns. Check and use the correct form for uncountable nouns.

  • Do not replace adjectives with adverbs and vice versa. Note that the presence of the -ly suffix does not always indicate that it is an adverb.

  • Monitor the way you use capitalization. The names of people, events, days and months, institutions and holidays should have their first letter capitalized. The words "father", "mother", "son" and others should be capitalized only when a proper name is included.

  • Do not confuse comparative and superlative forms. Do not use double forms. The word combination "you are more bigger now" is incorrect.

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