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Top 10 Tips For Writing A Good Press Release

(category: Misc, Word count: 652)
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Writing a press release doesn't need to be difficult. Here are 10 tips for writing a successful press release.

1 - You are writing for journalists

Press releases aren't for customers or consumers they are for reporters, journalists who will use them as a starting point for a larger story or feature. Write your story as you would like to have it told. Press releases written as sales pieces will be completely ignored. The points you make in your press release and the order in which you make them may direct the journalist in how to develop the story.

2 - Start with a strong "lead"

The first paragraph of the press release is known as the "lead". The lead needs to be strong, communicating your message quickly and concisely. You need to use your headline and first paragraph effectively so that they standalone and that if only those portions were to be read, there would be enough information to understand what the release is about. The rest of your press release should provide the detail. Journalists see maybe thousands of press releases a day, you have a few seconds to grab your their attention.

3 - What is your angle?

The media are always on the look out for a good story. Your press release needs to be more than just. fact, it needs to be newsworthy. Understanding why journalists would find your story interesting is the key to success. Think about the release from the journalist's point of view, put yourself in their shoes. It is best to make your press release timely and to tie it to current events or social issues if possible. Find a good angle, a good news hook and you have the start of a good press release.

4 - Who, what, where, when and why

A good press release needs to answer all of the "W" questions (who, what, where, when and why), providing the journalist with useful information about your organization, product, service or event. If your press release reads like an advertisement or sales pitch, dump it.

5 - Why should anyone care?

Company launches, new websites and changes of management happen all the time and so aren't interesting. You need to concentrate on what makes your new company, web site, CEO or product unique. Ask yourself the question, "Why should anyone care?" Concentrate on the aspects of your press release that makes it different.

6 - Add the human touch

Always use real life stories about how your organization identified a problem and solved it. How did your service or product fulfil a need or help the community. Real life examples communicate the benefits of using your product or service in a powerful way.

7 - Keep to the point

Use enough words to tell your story, no more and no less. Don't pad your release with unnecessary adjectives or flowery language. But at the same time make each word count.

8 - Limit the jargon

The best way to communicate your news is to speak plainly. You may need to use some jargon or industry specific lingo, but limit it to the minimum. Industry specific terms are only understood by people in the same industry where as your press release is aimed at a general readership.

9 - Add an "About" section

Make sure you add an "About" section where you describe your company and services. This will be useful for setting the press release in a context. Don't forget to add the URL of your website.

10 - Add good contact information

If a journalist picks up on your press release they will want to talk with you. Just adding your website URL isn't enough. As a minimum you need to add a contact name and an email address. Even better add a phone number where you can be contacted.

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Freelance Writing A Career From Anywhere

(category: Misc, Word count: 1145)
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An island in the Mediterranean. A beach in Africa. The east coast of New Zealand. What do these locations have in common? A recent call for assistance from freelance writers elicited replies from every one of these locations. In each of these and in many other remote places, I know of writers who are freelancing with a fair degree of success.

Indeed it is possible for freelance writers to work from anywhere.

Consider my own recent experience. As the editor of the Worldwide Freelance Writer web site, I publish a newsletter that goes out to thousands of freelance writers around the world. I can recall one particular issue in the middle of 2002. I started planning the newsletter in the heat and humidity of Hong Kong. When the first draft came together I was in Indianapolis, in the United States. And by the time I completed the final copy and pushed the send button I was at a lakeside cottage in Ontario, Canada, with snow lightly falling outside.

Maybe you are interested in a freelance writing career but you worry about whether you live in a suitable location. Well, think again. Freelance writing is a job you can do from anywhere. It is true that if your home is near New York's editorial offices you may be able to use your proximity to some advantage. But many, many freelance writers are working successfully from more distant locations, and in many cases enjoying a better lifestyle in the places where they live.

Take Ron Irwin, for example. An American, Ron freelances from a small house on the beach in Cape Town, South Africa. The majority of his work is still for North American markets. Consider Vella Corinne, a native of Malta in the center of the Mediterranean Sea. From this island steeped in history - the Order of St John was based here and the temples are thought to be older than the pyramids - she writes travel and lifestyle features.

Writers in locations such as these, far from being at a serious disadvantage, can actually enjoy a number of benefits. For a start, these writers are in an excellent position to write about their own locations, the people and the culture. Also, the living costs are often less expensive than for writers in major cities. And if that is not enough, how about fresh, clean air?

Writers working from remote locations usually live in a cleaner, more peaceful environment, and may live closer to outdoor and recreational activities. Vella reveals how she enjoys the warmer days: "Once I pack up my computer, I just head to the beach. Distances are short and, the island being small, I'm always close to the center of whatever's happening here. I can control my own time in a way that I could not if I lived in a busy city."

Twenty years ago writers in remote locations were often frustrated by the slowness of communicating with editors on the other side of the world. It would always take months to receive a reply from an editor. Waiting for a response to a query was about as exciting as watching grass grow!

In recent years the availability of the Internet has made it easier than ever before for freelancers to communicate almost instantly with anyone, anywhere in the world. In my own example above I traveled through a few countries over a three-week period and managed to conduct my freelance work at the same time. Many of my clients didn't even know I was 'on the move'. Little did they know that between receiving and replying to their messages, I was fishing in the lake and hiking through the woods. I could easily keep in touch with important contacts, as well as write and send out my newsletter.

But do you know what was even more exciting? While I was traveling my web site was hard at work, the entire time, 'day and night'. Even while I was flying at thirty thousand feet, taking a nap, I was effectively selling a bunch of writing-related books and products. Now if that isn't a freelancer's dream becoming reality, I don't know what is! Such accomplishments were definitely not so attainable before the advent of email and the World Wide Web.

Kathy Crockett freelances from Gisborne, New Zealand, on the east coast of the North Island. She commented to me on the difference technology makes when working from such a location. "It's a city of 35,000?, she explains, "the closest to the international dateline, and the first city in the world to see the sun each day. Its closest city-size neighbors are three hours drive on windy roads...the internet, mobile lets me be wherever I want to be... and fool others into thinking I'm where they'd like me to be!"

Of course working remotely is not always easy and there are a number of challenges that writers typically face. Isolation is a common issue. Vella explained to me she has a way of dealing with it. "At times it feels like I have a totally atomized existence. I balance that by scheduling some 'face time' each day", she explains. I agree with her. Sometimes you must make a conscious effort to spend time with family, friends, or other writers.

Another challenge may be difficulties with technology. Finding a PC repair shop may be next to impossible. Internet access may be unavailable or unreliable. There are many, many places in the world that don't even have telephone lines yet, not to mention email access. You can still work as a freelance writer from these locations, but it will not be as convenient. If you have any choice where you live, always try to choose a town that has telephone lines with reliable Internet access.

And that goes for working while you are on holiday too. Check the available technology in advance. In the example of my trip above, I received a surprise. There was no telephone line or email access in the cottage. My initial panic subsided when I discovered a telephone not too far away. In freezing temperatures, I trudged up the road. When I pushed the button to send out my newsletter my notebook computer was plugged into a payphone.

Are writers in remote locations at a serious disadvantage? No way! I am sold on the concept that you can work as a freelance writer from anywhere. And while you will face some challenges, none of them will be insurmountable.

So if you're looking for a career you can do from anywhere, look no further. The writers I referred to and many others are working successfully right where they are. And so can you. Open up your notebook. Start writing. You can begin to build a rewarding career as a freelance writer today.

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Reading Writing English Words Ending In D

(category: Misc, Word count: 1363)
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The different sounds that the letter"d" takes at the end of a verb in the past tense

An extract from the book: Word Power by the author of this article.

The English language indicates that the action of the verb is in the past by having some form of the "d" or "t" sound end the word. We say some kind of "d" or "t" sound although the word is almost always written with a "d".

Many people who learn English are so confused by the irregular forms of the verbs that they give up and invent their own ways of referring to the past. Some say: "Yesterday I walk to work" or other ways to avoid using the past tense that they have never learned.

Sure, there are irregular words in English. The past of teach is taught; the past of buy is bought; the past of think is thought. But even these irregular words end in some kind of a "t" sound to indicate that the verb refers to the past. Luckily, there aren't too many of these irregular verbs. You just have to learn them. The good thing is that they behave more or less the same way.

But let's look at the regular verbs. Most English verbs are regular. To indicate the past, they put some kind of a sound made with the tongue touching the back of the upper teeth. Almost always it is the sound of a "d" or of a "t".

The ending of the verb "love" in the past: "I loved the movie" is very different from the ending of the verb "walk": "I walked to work." When it sounds like the letter "d", it is a voiced sound, that is the vocal cords vibrate. When it sounds like a "t", it is a voiceless or an unvoiced sound.

But how do you know when it should end with a voiced "d" sound and when with a voiceless "t" sound? Although you may not believe it, there is a "rule" that will help you to form the past of most English verbs. You may still make some mistakes but little by little you will feel the mistakes and will correct them. The structure of your mouth will force you to make the right sound.

The "rule" for the formation of the past is similar to the "rule" for the "s" at the end of plural nouns and verbs in the third person singlular of the present tense.

The rule of the "d" in three parts:

There is a one simple "rule" that covers the pronunciation of the "d" and "t" sounds.

The sound that indicates the past of the verb is the voiceless "t" sound when the verb ends in a voiceless consonant. On the other hand, the indication of the past is the voiced "d" sound when the verb ends in a voiced consonant.

The three parts of the rule are:

1. the voiceless "t" sound,

2. the voiced "d" sound,

3. the added syllable.

1. The voiceless (unvoiced) "t":

The "rule" tells us when the last sound of a verb is is like that of the words talk, cap, mess, etc (that is, a voiceless sound), the past of the verb ends with a voiceless (or unvoiced) sound like that of the word walked. The past of these verbs is talked, capped, messed and the "d" is unvoiced.

For example the letter "d" that represents the past in the written word is pronounced like the "t" of Tom (a voiceless sound) when the verb ends in a voiceless sound. So when the verb ends in voiceless sounds such as the letters k in the word looked, p in the word stopped, f in the word cuffed (or gh in the word laughed) the past is indicated by the voiceless "t" sound. This always happens so don't be fooled by the written letter "d".

The past tense of the verb is also indicated by a voiceless sound when the verb ends in any "hissing" sound such as the words: face, wash, crunch. All these sounds are voiceless so the verbs that end with them will always have the "d" of their past form sounded voicelessly and therefore become the forms faced, washed, crunched.

It is important to note that although the voiceless "d" is written "ed", you do NOT add a syllable to the original word.

2. The voiced "d":

The "d" is voiced in two situations:

a. when the word ends in a vowel sound such as, played, teed, owed, cued.

The "strange" vowels are also followed by a voiced "d" such as in the words: furred, papered, pawed. The past of verbs ending in a diphthong sound also end in a voiced "d" sound, for example in the words: plowed, paid, toyed .

b. when the word ends in a voiced consonant.

Some examples of the second case are: b as in the word robbed, n in the word drowned, l in the word mailed, g in the word logged, v in the word heaved, m n the word farmed, n as in the word panned, thesoundof the letters ng as in the word ring, r as in the word cars, v as in the word stoves, and thin the word bathed.

Remember that that the voiced "d" sound forms the past of verbs that end in a voiced consonant, for example, burned is the past of the verb burn and lovedis the past of love.

It is important to note that although the voiced "d" in these words is written with "ed", you do NOT add an extra syllable.

3. The added syllable

In both cases, when the verb ends in either the sound of the voiced "d" or the sound of the voiceless "t", the English language adds a syllable to the verb.

For example, the verbs in the present tense visit, vote, side, need, plant, adopt, add "ed" to make the past tense and become visited, voted, sided, needed, planted, adopted.

The "ed" is pronounced with a special vowel followed by a voiced "d". The special vowel is the "short i" which has the IPA symbol of the small capital "i". We treat this sound in the book in the chapter on the short vowels. Remember a ship is not a sheep. You have to be able to hear the difference to be able to use this vowel in the added syllable.

It is only in this special case that you pronounce the second syllable of the past of a verb. Not all verbs have two syllables in the past. It is important that you realize that most common English verbs have only one syllable. Do not think that you have to pronounce the "ed" of the words such as walked, talked, played, tuned, tooled. Do not read these words as they were written in your language.

Although many verbs have "ed" in their past, it is just a strange note of English spelling. You often only pronounce one syllable with the past indicated by a voiced "d" or an unvoiced "t" according to which sound preceded the ending.

You only pronounce the "ed" when the root form of the verb ends with your tongue touching the back of your teeth, either with a voiced "d" sound or with an unvoiced "t" sound. For example, "Today, I heat the coffee but yesterday I heated it" (2 syllables because the last consonant is a "t"). But, "Today I talk to my friend but yesterday I talked on the phone." (one syllable because the last consonant is not a "t" or a "d")

The extra syllable: Listen to this as often as necessary for you to be able to distinguish the unvoiced "t" from the voiced "d".

Review and practice all parts of the "RULE"!

The first part of the "rule": the voiceless "t";

The second part of the "rule": the voiced "d" :

The third part of the "rule": the added syllable

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Business Proposal Writing Don T Fall Into The Trap

(category: Misc, Word count: 160)
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In business, there is a question that no sane person wants to hear: "Could you write me a proposal?"

Proposals are traps, ways to build up and break down dreams. Sound dramatic? It's not. In many cases, writing a proposal is a waste of your time and effort. According to Tom Ranseen, of NoSpin Marketing, there are three reasons why proposals are known as traps:

1. They waste precious time that could be used looking for other prospects or providing other productive work to current clients.

2. They give pricing/packaging information to mere tire-kickers and then to the competition. You just become a number standing in line without a dance partner.

3. They give you a false sense of security that you're doing something positive and productive in your sales process-that you're busy and making progress-and maybe that's worst of all.

Does this mean that all proposal requests are useless? No

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Tips For Efficient Travel Writing

(category: Misc, Word count: 449)
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Travel stories should be simple, crisp and to the point with clarity of thought. Witty and vividly written accounts with an author's personal experiences, anecdotes and quotations can be especially interesting. One can experience travel through words only. Practical and accurate information in grammatically correct language makes reading a pleasure. Some tips on writing accounts of travel are given below.

Think like a Reader

Before starting an article, put your self in the reader's boots. Ask what he/she wants. Who are the targeted readers of the particular publication, what are their travel aspirations, what information will be useful to them and how they enjoy the written articles. Once you are clear about that, then commence the work.

Travel Writing: The Big Picture

Now you have to get across the main point to the reader. Identify the central theme of your article, whether it is the location, people or activity oriented place. Work your impressions and facts around this 'big picture'. Now structure your article around, sieve non-essentials, include important aspects and build the story sensibly.

Travel Writing: Be Personal

To make the story interesting, convey your personal experiences and point of view. That place must have been visited or written about countless times before. Write of your own personal approach, personal adventure that thrilled you, some new aspect of the place that inspired you, some new useful discovery of the place. This makes for an interesting insight into the writing.

Travel Writing: Be Funny

Travel to unfamiliar locale is often rich in comedy and comical events. Incorporate these funny incidents, mishaps or any such feeling into the article. Don't be afraid to make your readers laugh. Have a light, lively tone in your article.

Travel Writing: Be surprising

Be an open-minded traveler yourself. Try unusual activities, meeting new people, tasting exotic cuisines and getting involved with native activities in a new place. This will give you a different perspective of the place. Surprise your reader with this out of the ordinary, personally experienced information.

Travel Writing: Quote

Let the people express their thoughts, ideas and feelings about the place, work or activity. Quote extensively in their words. Quote real life stories and experiences for that personal touch to your article.

Travel Writing: Be balanced

Have a balanced approach. Blend your personal observations, descriptions and commentary with practical and useful information to the readers to make it a good travel piece. Two-third colorful description to one-third facts is a reasonable guideline to start with.

Travel writing is not only lucrative but lot of fun too. Keep your eyes open for interesting story line. Research well; write a well-constructed, focused, well-crafted and unique article on travel.

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How To Read When You Re Writing

(category: Misc, Word count: 821)
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Many writers say it: "I don't read when I'm writing". They think it will contaminate their voice, that whatever style they're reading will somehow seep into their work and it really won't be theirs. That's only a problem if you're writing a 21st-century urban romance and last night's reading of Pride and Prejudice has you making your characters sound like they're in an English drawing room and not a Miami nightclub!

In fact, if you're not reading while you're working on your book, you're missing out on the many ways you can learn from authors past and present who have dealt with the very same issues you're struggling with. I once heard that if a writer is stuck or has writer's block, it's because he or she hasn't done their homework, and for a writer homework is reading. But how do you know what to read and how to make use of it? Here are 4 easy tips to getting the most out of your reading.

Identify the Strategies/Techniques You're Using in Your Book

Take out your book's outline (or notes or whatever pages you have written so far) and highlight the writer's tools you are using. Now you may not see them as tools. For instance, your character is sitting in a car and she's having a memory of a car accident that happened when she was little and you tell the story of the accident. That's a flashback. Maybe you used internal dialogue, maybe you're telling your novel in the 2nd person voice or your whole book is historical fiction so getting the setting right is crucial. Once you've identified your main tools, ask yourself, "What tool do I want help with the most?" Then...

Find Books in Which the Author Has Used a Similar Technique

Sometimes the right book will come to you automatically. Writing in the 2nd person voice? Then Jay Mcinerney's Bright Lights, Big City comes to mind. It's a great example of a strategy that's very tricky to pull off. I would definitely want to read it if I wanted to be as effective as he was with his novel. Great examples of historical fiction include The Known World by Edward P. Jones and anything by Toni Morrison. When I was learning how to use flashbacks effectively in my novel I re-read Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides and The Mourner's Bench by Susan Dodd. Ideally as a writer you are reading extensively and the books that come to mind for you will be ones you have already enjoyed and know well. If you need a few ideas you can try referring to a compilation such as Book Lust by Nancy Pearl where you can find books listed and discussed by their characteristics.

What's the Best Way for You to Learn From What You're Reading?

Ask yourself this question to help you develop a way to work with what you're learning from the book you're reading. It may be a matter of taking a few notes on the types of words the author uses or the kinds of details he or she uses to create an effective scene setter. Or it could be more complicated. When I was learning about flashbacks, I was trying to figure out how long you could keep the reader in the past without losing the tension in the present day storyline. So I took The Prince of Tides and did a rough outline of it, counting out how many chapters and how many pages Mr. Conroy devoted to his past and present day story lines. I also noted what the reader learned or what was revealed in each chapter so I could get a sense of how he paced the book. That's just what made sense to me-to create a visual that could help me grasp the whole book. What would help you best understand what a writer has done? This is important because it will help you with the last tip...

No Beating Yourself Up!

Reading is NOT helpful if you spend your time marveling at how good an author is and how you "could never do that." Focusing on reading critically and understanding the craft will keep you in the mindset of being a writer trying to learn from another writer. You'll soon see that reading the book of a great author is kind of like examining a designer gown. If you look closely you'll see the gown has seams just like any other dress-it's just that the stitches are smaller and the workmanship impeccable so the seams aren't as evident. As you read you too will see the workmanship behind the art and allow yourself the opportunity to improve your workmanship likewise. And while it's still possible you "could never do that", I can tell you for certain you will "never do that" if you don't practice and keep writing!

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How To Find Paying Telecommuting Writing Jobs Online

(category: Misc, Word count: 589)
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As a freelance writer, you probably spend hours scanning free job boards looking for telecommuting writing jobs - in other words, freelance writing jobs you can do from home. With so many websites listing non-paying gigs amongst their paying job postings, it can take an hour or more each day to wade through the mess. Not to mention, just because a job is listed as a freelance job doesn't necessarily mean you can do the work from home. Many job posters are looking for freelance writers who will come to their place of business and do the writing work on-site. For those of us freelance writers who telecommute, this only complicates our job search.

My daily freelance writing job search on free job boards consists of the following: I pull up Indeed dot com and enter in several groups of search terms, such as "freelance writer" and "writer" "telecommute" - there are at least a dozen keyword groups I search after these, but you get the idea. Then, I move on to the JournalismJobs dot com, WriteJobsdot com, and even Online-Writing-Jobs dot com. Then comes Craigslist, with its dreaded wade through the pools of non-paying gigs, gigs that pay in ad revenue only, and gigs that list "TBD" in the payment line. After much practice, I've honed my job searching system down to a half-hour process. Of course, this is just search time and doesn't include the time spent responding to ads, attaching resumes/writing samples, etc.

As seems to be the trend in the freelance writing world, most job posters never reply back. The few that do seem interested might ask for follow-up details and then disappear from the face of the earth, frequently because they find my rates not within their $3 per article budget. Let's face it - the process of searching for telecommuting writing jobs on free job boards can be infuriating.

So, what are the alternatives to searching for telecommuting writing jobs on free job boards? Pay a membership fee to sites like GoFreelance dot comor JustMarkets dot com. Or, go with the job bidding sites like Elance dot com or Writerlance dot com. But, what about people who can't afford the fees? Chances are, if you're just starting out, your budget won't allow you the cost of such luxuries. Although membership sites may be considered legitimate business deductions for tax purposes (depending on where you live), the bottom line is that the money will come out of your pocket initially, even if you do deduct the cost on your taxes later.

Of course, there are the traditional methods for finding telecommuting writing jobs, like creating a website to advertise your freelance writing services, and visiting job sites that allow you to post your freelance writing resume free. Posting in freelance writing forums and networking with other writers can help you get clients. Starting a blog is another route many freelance writers take to get noticed. Paying for pay-per-click advertisements and even writing articles to submit to free directories can also help. Still, for the bulk of freelance writers, most jobs still come from taking the time to search for telecommuting writing jobs online.

Unfortunately, there is no path to finding telecommuting writing jobs that won't take some time or money. However, by getting into a regular job-search routine and using bookmarks and job feeds to your advantage, you can speed up the process and make things a little less frustrating for yourself.

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Geek Yourself Up And Out Of The Bozone

(category: Misc, Word count: 464)
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"What's that," you say? If you're not quite sure what a "bozone" is, just keep reading. This Information-Aged world is spinning fast, and so is its vocabulary. Geek is no longer a euphemism for nerd or freak. It's taking on the much more fashionable definition of a hi-tech-savvy person who speaks in the latest technical terms about the latest technical gadgets. If you want to understand what they have to say, you're going to need to learn some new terms. If not, you might find yourself clueless when your colleagues have so much fun nicknaming your boss "a noisy seagull", and you just stand there forcing a smile. So make friends with some new words even if they are just street terms, and spare yourself the rare occasion that ruins your day. Here are some terms with less than 10,000 hits from major search engines; you can expect them to catch on very soon:

(1) Bozone: The persistent atmosphere around an intellectually challenged person, which prevents any technological information from penetrating and educating them.

(2) A Seagull Manager: a manager who makes quick visits around the office, flusters everybody, makes a lot of noise, and then leaves just as suddenly.

(3) Open-Collar Worker: or telecommuter, a person who works from home with his wireless computer.

(4) Square-Headed Girlfriend or Square-Headed Boyfriend (less frequent): another term for a computer, especially when talking about computer addiction.

(5) Computer Widow/Widower: the victim of a square-headed girlfriend, or a square-headed boyfriend.

(6) The Elvis Year: the most successful year, or the peak of somebody or something.

(7) Nickvoice and Nickface: coined by the media morphing Avnex, Inc. and widely used by the media morphing industry and community to refer to the anonymous vocal or visual identities provided by morphing programs (morphers), for the sake of their user's safety.

(8) Lullabouy: an idea that keeps floating in your head, and prevents you from falling sleep.

(9) Blamestorming: a session in which a group discusses how to decide who gets blamed for a failure.

(10) Xerox Subsidy: humorous term for using company photocopy machines for personal purposes.

My last geek term for you: Search Engines. Don't laugh. You might master bug, backdoor, phishing, messengers, blogging, and lifestreaming. You might also have already heard some of the above ten words, as well as many other geeky terms listed in countless articles everywhere. But what the old friends Search Engines give you is far more valuable than just the words and their meanings. It's the initiative they provide for the smart users that keeps you on the forefront of the geek language, and turns you into a pro at water cooler jokes and company parties, always ready to throw out the very latest terms.

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The Dreaded Research Paper

(category: Misc, Word count: 600)
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Not many people like to write a research paper. Just the thought makes some students want to run and hide. Hearing your professor assign a research paper as part of the requirements of a class is dreaded by most students. They begin looking for ways to avoid the assignment. Perhaps some of this dread comes from not having been taught well how to write an excellent research paper. It does not have to be as hard as it seems.

Writing a research paper does take careful thought and planning. The first thing to consider is what topic you hope to write about. If your professor or teacher has assigned you a specific topic then you can skip this step. If you get to choose your own topic you must be sure to choose it well. Starting with a poor topic is a bad way to begin a research paper. In choosing a topic it is important to think about the required length of the paper. If the requirement for the research paper is five pages or if it is twenty pages you will probably want different topics. Choose a topic that you can cover in the length you must reach. Be careful that you do not choose to narrow of a topic or too broad of a topic.

Once your topic is chosen, it is time to do just what the name of your paper suggests: research. Begin to think about places to gather reliable information for your topic. You can spend an afternoon at a local library and probably find enough sources to get you going. Or begin your search online and discover the wide range of search engines and research databases that are available for public use.

It may be overwhelming when you first begin to gather information because you may find more information than you need. Just gather it and worry about narrowing the information down to only what you need later. You may begin to realize as you research that you can narrow your topic even further to become more specific. If you are having trouble finding enough information for your research paper you will have to consider making your topic broader or perhaps even changing it to something else.

Once you have researched for your paper it is time to begin the writing process. A great way to begin the process of writing is to form an outline. Starting with an outline for your research paper will allow you to organize all of the information you have researched and see what areas you may need to gather more information for. An outline gives a roadmap of sorts to guide you as you begin to write.

It is often normal to begin your research paper by writing a thesis statement. Form a solid thesis and then just begin to write. Do not worry to much right now, just get something down on paper. You will have plenty of time as you revise and write another draft to make changes to your work. Write, write, write. Writing will take the majority of your time. It is very normal to write two, three or even four drafts of a research paper before it is ready to turn in. So persevere and stick with it.

Writing an effective research paper does not have to be stressful. Following simple and structured steps can make it easy to fulfill an assignment well. The best way to start a great paper is just to begin. So what are you waiting for? Start writing a great research paper today.

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