How to Write a Position Paper

A position paper is like a debate presenting one side of an argument related to an issue. The main idea of the position paper is to convey to the audience that your opinion is correct and defendable. The idea that you select must be meticulously analyzed while choosing a topic, then develop the argument and organize the paper.

A position paper is about taking a stand on an issue and making it justifiable with your argument, thus you have to ensure that you are addressing each and every side of the issue in a way that your audience is able to understand your point of view clearly. You have to take one side on an issue and convince your audience that you have a clear perception of the topic you are presenting to them. It is important to support your topic with evidence to ensure that it stands the validity of your claim. To show that you are well informed, you need to refute the counter claims.  You need to do a thorough research on your paper from all angles, so that you can cumulate every necessary evidence to support your argument to withstand the counter attack from the opposition. Organize and outline your viewpoint in such a way so that the position you present is unique though biased and establishes your credibility and passion on the issue. 

Here are a few steps that will guide you in writing a position paper:

To take a stand on an issue, you need to establish that it is arguable and of interest to you.  You need to see whether the topic is genuine; whether there can be two different opinions and whether you can manage it. Most importantly, you should be able to evaluate whether you can advocate one of its positions. 

Once you have narrowed down on the subject, start with the research work.  While you already have an opinion on the topic and have selected the side that you want to debate, make sure you provide a strong base to your arguments. List each and every side of the debate, which will help you examine your ability to support your counter claims with supporting evidence from each side. 

-It may include evidence that has been verified and authenticated by most.

- Overviews and information.

-Analyzing of books and government reports. 

-Scholarly articles like academic journals. 

-You should also try to incorporate personal experiences if any.

After you have completed your list, it’s important to compare pieces of information one by one keeping your audience in mind and the point you want to establish. To do this convincingly, you can frame a questionnaire for yourself on your viewpoint and ask the following questions: 

- Whom are you going to present? 

- What is their viewpoint on the issue? 

- What are probable evidences that can convince them? 

- Have you asserted something and provided a plan of action? 

- Have you provided enough material to support your claim?

Next, you need to outline your topic first by introducing it, providing a suitable background, and then presenting your views on the topic. The introduction should solve the dual purpose of introducing the topic as well as establish your approach to it. You can do this by providing a suitable backdrop. Then you need to establish an area in which your topic fits and slowly move on to the specific field of discussion. Keep in mind the counterclaims; they need to be supported with proper information; refute them adequately and provide evidences for your arguments. Anticipate the counter arguments and prepare your response to them thoroughly from all angles so that the reader or the audience understands that you have a more valid explanation than your opponent. Present the arguments fairly and objectively considering all sides of the issue but do not provide a superficial list of all counter arguments, and be consistent with your prior argument. That means you should not divert from the original argument. 

Afterwards, you need to frame a procedure to present your arguments by asserting each point one by one so that you keep the audience or the reader interested in your subject. By presenting your educated and informed opinion, provide evidence that fits your argument. There can be more than three or four arguments but not less.

Finally, you should conclude by restating your argument and provide a plan of action; simply highlighting an issue is not enough and you should have a proper remedy to it, otherwise, your arguments will remain incomplete. You should not introduce any new information in the argument in the conclusion. The best conclusion will restate the topic in various ways and then present its implication. 

The points discussed in this article will help you frame a better position paper. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to write a position paper, writing a position paper

How to Write a Good College Application Essay

The thought of going to college is overwhelming. Just imagine student discounts on electronics, entertainment (movie tickets the most), restaurants, gym membership (which is included in your tuition fee), cafeteria food, parties and many more. Other than meeting new friends, surviving a day with a deadly professor and probably daydreaming about either being a spy, the next president, the next Bill Gates, the boss, owner of a new social networking site, an agent in CIA and the list goes on and on. However, getting into college could be a head-scratching challenge. It is indeed a great challenge to get a good score on your SATs and a great transcript since it requires a lot of hard work. Other than that the ability to stand out among the rest of the applicants takes a lot of work too. But how can you stand out? How can you be the one admitted among many?

Writing a Good College Application Essay

Below, we will provide you with tips on how to create a compelling personal statement or college essay that will surely give your reader a glimpse of what you are and what difference you could make or achieve once admitted. Then, how do you write a good college application essay? The idea behind writing a college application essay is to make sure that you would be able to present yourself in your most convenient way - express your personality, your dedication to the people in the admissions office, etc. Doing it right is the key.

When your professor requires you to submit a ten-page report, he/she is not expecting to read a fifteen-page paper. When he/she advises you to use a black ink in writing a report, you cannot submit a paper with its content written in blue. The point is, for a successful college essay following the instruction is best for starters. Editing and cutting unnecessary details on your essay would be a skill that is required - a college essay should not be less than 250 words but not more than 650 words. After all, this is not a documentation of your life since day one.  

Here are what you have to consider in writing your essay. 

  • Have a catchy title. Who does not get interested in interesting titles? A catchy title makes a reading material compelling. It allows your reader to show some interest to get through the page(s). The challenge is to make sure that the content should be equally promising as the title.  
  • Make your essay fun to read. Who doesn't enjoy a good paper? Dab a bit of sense of humor. Along your existence there is always one or two experiences that is funny and at the same time, brings out the best in you.   
  • Be different. Being different is not bad at all. Being able to flaunt what your capabilities are, acknowledging your weaknesses and your willingness to overcome it paves a way for you to show your potential as an individual. If you need help, interview a few people who know you and ask how they see you as a person. 

Being yourself is very important. The essay you are writing is about you after all. Nobody knows you better than yourself. So, if you are applying for college, think wisely to see which experiences would suit your essay; think with courage to determine what needs to be admitted, remember you are not perfect but always make sure you want to work it out; and think with spirit, you are writing a college application essay about yourself so nothing can go wrong.  

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to write a good college application essay, writing a good college application essay

How to Write a Theme-Based Essay

Writing a theme-based essay can be an interesting exercise as it allows you to prepare to write by structuring your essay in an organized manner. Theme-based essay writing is used in a variety of disciplines and it is a skill you should acquire if you are intent on higher education, as inevitably, this is something that you are going to have to do, that could make a difference to the grades that you achieve.

While theme-based essays tend to be open-ended, meaning that you have the opportunity to reach any number of conclusions based on the slant of your writing, the key to doing well in writing such essays is to have a structure that you are going to follow.

This will require you to organize your thoughts on the particular topic. You can start by asking yourself the simple question of whether you agree with the theme or not. Use this platform to then as why. Based on your responses to this, it will be possible to identify the slant that you are going to use when you write the essay.

Depending on the length of the essay that is required, you should then select between three to five key points that you would like to raise in your essay. To make the decision of which points should be raised, it is always useful to do a little research in order to determine the content that will be used for each of these points.

Once you have this basic outline in place, plan your introduction. Basically, this should entail considerations about what the topic is about and even include definitions if you feel that this will help the reader understand the topic better. The focus of the introduction is broad and not intended to allow the reader to make any decisions at this point.

In order to craft a professional theme-based essay, a basic rule of thumb is to never refer to yourself in the essay. If indeed there are views and opinions that you may want to demonstrate, present these as, “it is suggested that …”, for example.

Once the introduction is done, then decide the sequence in which you are going to present your main points. There are many ways to do this and there is no set rule. The tendency is of course to present them in sequence of priority – whether these are informative or argumentative. If the key points will tend to be argumentative or have alternative views, it is always better to present both sides of the argument so that your theme-based essay comes across as balanced.

Where possible, try to use examples to illustrate what you are explaining, and it is always useful to never assume that the reader already has knowledge about the particular topic of your theme-based essay. The appeal of writing in this format is that anyone reading your work will then be able to grasp even the most complex ideas as you have taken the time and trouble to lay the foundation for the discussion.

In conclusion, take your stand, but again without reference to yourself. Where possible, this should be done in broad terms but if you have a firm view or opinion that you want to share, this is the best place to do it. And of course, without fail, always proofread, spell and grammar check your essay before submitting it.

Have you written theme-based essays in the past? Did you find it difficult? Go ahead and share your both positive as well as negative experience, and even tips on how to do this. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to Write a theme based essay

6 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the process of copying the words and even ideas of someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. So it is more likely the same as cheating, or worse, stealing. Whether it is from a published book or an article on the Internet, it is still considered as plagiarism. And it could only bring you to a terrible situation. If you’re a student, you can either be suspended or expelled from school. So why take the risk? But there are also times when you don’t intend to copy but are already plagiarizing. So to avoid the risk, here are ways to avoid plagiarism.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  1. Using a synonym for someone else’s word as a substitute is a big NO. You are also not allowed to copy the sentence structure of other writers. So instead, write it using your own words based on what you have understood. And it is referred to as paraphrasing.
  2. If there is really a need to use the exact phrase or sentence from others, just use quotation marks. But if you have to omit certain words, you can put an apostrophe (‘) in between. And if you need to incorporate certain words, just enclose it in brackets.
  3. You can also mention the author from whom you have borrowed the words, or just provide the link or site of your references, or just simply cite the sources after your article.
  4. If you are meeting  a deadline, start doing your work as early as possible so you will have enough time to do the research and the writing. In this way, you will not be tempted to plagiarize. And if you really don’t have any intention to copy, you will have time to recheck your work. Failure to manage your time is the main reason why you are prone to plagiarism, whether intentionally or not.
  5. There is also a lot of plagiarism checkers available on the Internet. You can purchase one or just avail free online tools. Thus, you will be more confident that you haven’t plagiarized anything.
  6. Professors should also keep their students from plagiarizing by not allowing last-minute changes of their topics. They should also teach students how to cite sources and paraphrase in a proper way. Requiring students to submit copies of their research notes is also a good start to stop plagiarism.

Procrastination is said to be the main cause of plagiarism. So when you are tasked to do something, do it right away so you don’t rush into things. And do it not just because you are not allowed to do so or you are afraid of being caught by your professor. Instead, do it because you know that it is the right thing to do. Whether you are aware or not, take the ways to avoid plagiarism seriously.

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to avoid plagiarism, avoiding plagiarism

5 Key Steps to Writing a Discursive Essay

While most people are able to argue the merits and demerits about a particular point verbally, when it comes to putting these arguments down in writing, this tends to be more difficult. Writing a discursive essay is essentially the ability to do this. To be able to select a controversial area or topic, and to be able to lay down the arguments for both sides on an informal platform, and ultimately to be able to choose which perspective to take, this is the task at hand when writing a discursive essay.

There are some key steps that will allow you to prepare and write a discursive essay without much difficulty, although it is strongly advised that the topic chosen must be one in which you are somewhat well versed, and not in a lopsided way. 

1. The first step is to introduce the topic in the first paragraph and to highlight your thoughts about it. Once you have done this, the rest of your discursive essay will be about building the arguments both to and against the particular topic. You can choose to write this either by dealing with all the positive points first collectively and then moving to the negative ones, or by doing a comparative analysis point for point.

2. Before you start writing the essay, you should put these positive and negative points down briefly in a separate sheet and decide which key points you want to discuss. Most commonly, your focus will be on discussing at least the three main points for each argument in some detail. Once you have decided on the sequence by which you are going to discuss the points, then start writing. It would be ideal if you could support the discussions in your discursive essay with reference to examples and even statistics, if these are available. If you can cite specific references, this too will give greater weight to your essay.

3. Remember not to write long paragraphs. Each paragraph should be used for one key argument and its supporting evidence. The trick to writing a balanced discursive essay is to ensure that while you may have your own opinion, that you present the arguments in an equitable fashion. It is perfectly acceptable for you to counter the arguments that you disagree with, but do so with cogent evidence. Your reasoning in a discursive essay should be based on the practical and the logical outcomes for each argument.

4. If in the course of writing the essay you find that there are valid points to both sides of the argument, admit this and move on. The conclusion for such an essay will require you to acknowledge the weight of both sides of the argument and explain how you reach your conclusion about which side to take.

5. Always remember to give equal weight to the points in the essay at least until you write the conclusion. It is in the conclusion that you will be able to present your specific preference and why. Always ensure that you conclude practically and logically.

Have you written discursive essays before? Did you find this difficult to do? Go ahead and share your both positive as well as negative experience, and even tips on how to do this better. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: writing a discursive essay

Tips on How to Write a Synthesis Essay

A synthesis essay is basically about combining ideas from different sources with your own and presenting this in an essay format. What is important when crafting a synthesis essay is that you must be able to take a series of ideas from different sources and then prepare an accurate analysis of these ideas in your own words. You should do this without referring to the original text of these ideas and ultimately, the content of the synthesis essay should be your own.

Your objective is to be able to take a set of related ideas, explain them and link them together with your own idea about a specific topic, and use this platform so that the reader will be able to understand the particular area in some detail.

A great way to start a synthesis essay is to determine the different ideas that you will be looking at, and to take out the main points or arguments of each of these ideas. You should be able to link this different content based on a common thread or theme, and only raise those parts of the idea that are connected to each other. This will allow the reader of a synthesis essay to get a broad sense of the topic and the direction in which the essay is written.

In terms of the structure of such an essay, you will need to make a thesis statement in your introduction. This is basically one sentence that sums up the focus and direction of your synthesis essay. The introduction should also be used to highlight your sources for the essay and must of course follow specific citation guidelines. This will include the background information about the authors and their texts as well.

In the body of your analysis, always ensure that each paragraph deals with one specific aspect of the synthesis essay. You can therefore use each paragraph to discuss one specific aspect of the different ideas, but you must remember to clearly indicate your source by using lead-in phrases or in-text citations. Do this carefully in order to avoid being accused of plagiarism.

Use the content of each paragraph to evaluate different aspects of each idea presented. Ideally, while you may have your own views about a better perspective, in discussing and analyzing different aspects of the idea, always ensure that you look at both sides of the argument. Try to avoid being too biased in your writings.

You must be able to evaluate different ideas from different sources without copying the ideas down literally. It is your interpretation of the idea and your explanation of how it links with other ideas of a similar or contrasting nature that will define the quality of your synthesis essay.

When writing your conclusion, summarize the main ideas and don’t forget to restate your original statement or thesis statement; connect this back to all discussions that you have presented. While it may be possible for you to reach a conclusive statement about the outcome that you desire, it is sometimes good to recommend that further research needs to be conducted in order for the reader to get a better grasp of other perspectives that are also available.

What’s your opinion about writing a synthesis essay? Did you find it difficult to do? Are there ways to better research or to structure the writing of a synthesis essay that you would like to share? What are the problems you have faced in trying to do this? Go ahead and share both your positive as well as negative experiences. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to write a synthesis essay

How to Write a Critical Lens Essay

Writing a critical lens essay requires students to be able to show their reading, writing and critical thinking skills as part of the requirements. Basically, you will be required to evaluate a specific quotation that is given as part of the essay question. The reading component of the critical lens essay requires that you not only read and understand the specific quotation, but also evaluate and rewrite it in your own words.

In order to do this effectively, it is important to understand the quotation. This is usually derived from a controversial literary reference that you should already be familiar with. Always read the quotation in detail, so that you are familiar not only with what the quotation says, but also with any underlying meanings that are associated with the quotation.

You will be required to form an opinion about the quotation and make a decision to either agree or disagree with it. Before you do this, write the original quotation down, and then rewrite the critical lens quotations in your own words. Together with this, provide your own perspective and interpretation of the meaning and significance of the particular critical lens quotation.

In order to enhance the points that you will discuss in your essay, you will need to select two works of classic literature that will support your perspective of the quotation. These must be works that you have detailed knowledge about, and that you should be able to cite factually and argumentatively to support your arguments in the critical lens essay. You will be required to provide examples and scenarios from these other works that are in line with your arguments.

The structure of your essay should be to separate the paragraphs so that each paragraph will only have one key argument that supports your analysis. This argument should contain not only your perspective but also provide reference to the supporting scenarios or quotations that you can provide from the other two essays. Be analytical when you write this part of your essay. Evaluate the content of each discussion as completely as you can. Your primary objective here is to convince the reader about each of your arguments completely, using the other two works of literature to support you.

Your conclusion should be a summary of the key points that you have raised. Restate the critical lens quotation so that you can link all the arguments together as part of your conclusion. Do not forget to stand firm on the perspective that you have taken in your essay. This will give the reader something to think about in terms of your perspective.

The idea is that the reader must be convinced that based on the arguments that you have presented, that they too are inclined to support your analysis.

What’s your opinion about writing a critical lens essay? Did you find it difficult to do, and did you have a lot of practice sessions before the actual assessment? Are there ways to practice for or write a critical lens essay that you would like to share? What are the problems you have faced in trying to do this? Go ahead and share both your positive as well as negative experiences. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to write a critical lens essay, writing a critical lens essay

How to Write a Photo Essay

Writing essays can be difficult regardless of what the topic may be. There are however many means by which writing essays can be made more interesting and one of the ways is by the creation of what is known as photo essays.

If you have the opportunity to write such an essay, you must always bear in mind that the photo is the key feature of this writing. All the text that you write and the content of that text must be focused on and revolve around the photo.

The perspective of the photo essay

Let’s start with the basic idea that “a picture paints a thousand words” which is an ancient Chinese proverb. Now look at the picture or photo that will form a part of your essay and explore a few angles. Amongst the considerations include whether you want to write the essay based on:

1. The perspective of the photo

The objective here is to use the picture to provoke a specific thought process or reaction from the viewer. If this is the case, then the text must focus on achieving this goal;

2. The quality or content of the photo.

This is more evaluative and explores the actual photo and its content. You can opt to take a critical or analytical perspective using the photo as the core of your writing;

3. The story behind the photo.

For example to provide a chronology of events that have taken place that form the essence of the photo.

The foundation of what you write

There are occasions when the photo may form a series in which case consideration must be given to the sequence of the photos and the text must support this.

The best way to write a photo essay is to keep in mind that it is a combination of both the picture and the text that will have the greatest impact. These two elements will combine to tell a story that will draw the viewer in.

We all know the impact that a photo can have just by reference to the cover pages of a variety of magazines. In some instances the photo speaks volumes about what the incident is, or who the person is who is featured, or the visuals can send a message that apparently does not require any text. However, if we were to then support this with text, whether it is in a simple caption or one paragraph or use the text as a storyline for the photo, the picture (forgive the pun) is then complete.

The secret to successful photo essay writing is to never lose sight of the visual. If you have the opportunity to write a full text to support a photo, in terms of format, this must not vary from the traditional requirements of an introduction, the main body of your story and of course, the conclusion.

You can either choose to use the photo as the launch pad for your story or alternatively, to use the photo as the central theme of your story.

Have you written photo essays in the past? What was the perspective and did you get a good response to it? Go ahead and share your both positive as well as negative experience, and even tips on how to do this. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to write a photo essay

How to Make an Outline for an Essay

An essay is a dialogue. An imaginary dialogue between worlds where there is communication with the writer's body of knowledge that is working, readers and himself, it is then its most important research questions. Developments and surprises that always have reserved an author in a randomized, awaken this infinity we all are part of. Thanks to an essay outline, we can recover dialogically living ideas of human beings through time and space. 

When it comes to writing an essay outline, you should remember important points. Obviously, there are different ways to approach the development of a research paper. A dialogue is established who has devoted a lifetime to a conversation, another is a learner who is in a stage of initiation. In both cases, the spirit that should prevail is the communication of knowledge in an open and participatory exercise is crucial. 

Formula for writing an essay outline

For an essay, we consider we are dealing with the written language of science, so it is necessary to use a coding system according to the rules of communication of scientific discourse. The development of an essay is a task that we face when we inform the community about the partial results of the research we are doing. In this sense, the research questions that guide this work are: what is a scientific research trial? What are its main features? What are the basic elements for its development?. These unresolved issues form the basic structure of this document, which presents a set of guiding criteria. 

You may come across with online samples of essays. Some platforms have specific goals; the main purpose is to present a basic methodological guide that allows the writer to analyze the key points which should contain an essay and the way you can perform a test. Therefore, this basic educational document allows the writer to evaluate the production of his essay’s scientific research, the fundamental rules that dictate the production of knowledge. The importance of these online options is that the interest is linked to the development of researches from the classroom, from training in communication tools of scientific knowledge to the practice of teaching with responsibility for research.  

Defining essay outline

Defining the meaning of the word “essay outline” may be easy; for this reason it is relevant in the first instance to generate paths on the meaning of the word. In this framework of ideas it should be noted that the analysis comprises two main parts: The first time we drive on the diachronic sense of the word and other times where we refer to the meaning of the term synchronic. This methodology gives us an overview for reflection on how we can conceive the word trial from the perspective of historical development. 

Synchronous Word Analysis Test 

Words such as humans are located in their history. Given this starting point should be noted that words cannot be understood in its fullness without reviewing their evolutionary step, the diachrony of words gives us a proper biography of its different uses. Following this line and applying the elements that give us character etymological research, we can say that the word “essay” comes from the verb that means trying to test. Although the term has full use in modern times, its meanings have already been considered among the Greeks and Romans who had used them as a way of expression. 

Do you believe an essay should be deep and profound? Do you struggle to write an essay outline? Are you familiar with an essay structure? 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to make an outline for an essay

Distinguishing a Report From an Essay

Do you know how to write comprehensive reports? What about essays? Do you know the difference between the two? Lots of people get confused with these two written works, especially students who are usually asked to write both kinds of papers during their academic years. Some workers and professionals are asked to submit them too. In order for you to write or produce complete, clear, and effective reports and essays, you need to know the mechanics or writing one. What are some important points that you need to take note of?

Reports Versus Essays

Reports are informative written works that may be produced or required of both workers and students. One of the main aims or objectives of reports is to examine, explore, analyze, and then show or present sets of data. They are usually done or accomplished in order to suggest or propose a solution to a particular problem. For example, you may have heard of annual or even quarterly financial reports that are presented by the finance team or department of a certain company. They draft these presentations in order to show the management their observations and recommendations about the latest trend in their group’s finance concerns. 

The writing style used in producing reports should be objective. Data gathered is presented in sections with headings or sometimes even sub-headings as deemed necessary. It is also advisable to place bullet points so as to properly and clearly present plans of actions or solutions. Graphs, charts, and other visual tools are also included as necessary. The audience or readers of reports are usually strictly targeted and specific which means either the supervisor or manager for workers and the teachers or instructors for students.

On the other hand, essays primarily are written works produced in response to a certain question, inquiry, or issue. The questions or topics used as basis for writing essays are usually of the practical or empirical kind. Essays are usually asked in college entrance exams, job applications, and the like. A well-written essay is composed of a clear and well-phrased or properly presented arguments or response to the topic to be discussed. 

Unlike that of reports’, the writing style for essay is more of subjective and free flow in nature. It is composed of short and long paragraphs without sections, headings, or sub-headings. Visual tools are not required. The readers of essays are usually the professor or instructor in the case of student essays or the evaluator or examiner in the case of job applicants. 

Now that you know the difference and main characteristics of reports and essays, you’ll be able to write comprehensive, clear, and substantial works from now on. The trick lies in the way you present, evaluate, and describe data or information that you have gathered. Apply the rules of clear and effective writing because this will greatly help you accomplish your writing task. Are you ready to be put to the report or essay-writing test?

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: essay