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Writing Tips

How to Write a Literature Essay

The literature essay prompt usually appears on advanced composition and writing skills tests, and asks students to explain and respond to one or more pieces of writing, often an essay and a poem side-by-side. Since the literature essay is a broad category that describes the thing being studied (literature) more than it describes a particular method of composition, it often requires knowledge of other essay types, especially the critical, comparison, and analytical essay. If you're studying to take an in-class literature or composition test, you'll definitely need to become comfortable with the basic five paragraph essay structure. Since literature essays are assigned to test how well...

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How to Write a Critical Essay

Writing a critical essay, to some degree, is the most difficult undergraduate composition task a student is likely to face. Critical thinking, after all, is the whole goal of higher education, and the critical essay calls on students to demonstrate an ability to use all the critical tools available to them within their field of study. Briefly defined, the critical essay may be considered any writing that utilizes the intellectual tools of a particular academic major for the purpose of critiquing another idea or point of view. The operative word, then, for the critical essay is "critique." It's important, therefore,...

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How to Write an Expository Essay

The root of the word "expository" is "expose," which means to uncover, reveal, or show. More narrowly, the word can be taken to mean "prove." In other words, the goal of an expository essay is to show something that the writer holds to be true through a well-ordered argument that offers proof for the truth or idea being expressed. Investigative newspaper and magazine articles are the most popular non-academic models for the expository essay. Perhaps a simpler name for an expository essay could be "exploratory essay," emphasizing the fact that expository essays are basically explorations of a topic.Unlike the descriptive...

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Planning a Research Paper

There is simply no better way to write a paper than to begin researching and contemplating the paper's topic as early in the semester as possible. Getting a jumpstart on assignments is not only essential to reducing college stress but, perhaps more importantly, contributes to clarity of thought and leads to higher grades. Writing should be thought of as a process of gathering, considering, selecting, and presenting the most relevant possible information, and this process takes time. Professors who realize this fact will usually make assignment topics clear fairly early in the semester, so if you're working with an organized...

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