Thursday, November 10, 2011

Topic Terror!

Choosing a paper topic can be a difficult and confusing task.While a professor giving you control over the subject matter of your paper should make selecting a topic easier,the multitude of topic possibilities can actually be overwhelming.Luckily,there are methods available to simplify your search.
Select a topic you are interested in and feel comfortable writing about.If you write about subjects you hate or do not understand,the writing process will be very painful.
After finding some potential topics,attempt to write basic thesis statements for each one.This exercise can help you decide which topics are viable choices for a paper.If you struggle to create a thesis for a particular topic,rule it out.
Once you have found a potential topic,ask your professor if it will fit the assignment.Since they created the assignment,they know what will work and what won't.Listen to their advice,and search for another topic if they think the one you have will give you trouble.
Using any,or especially all, of these methods can be very beneficial.If you like your topic,you already have a basic thesis statement,and your professor approves of your choice,you are well on your way to writing a great paper.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dress Up Your Writing for Halloween

I will begin by admitting that I am a day late, but if you're like me, Halloween keeps you excited for more than one day. Something about dressing up like any person, monster, or character in the world, regardless of your age, is just simply fun. Indeed, young children, to college students, to middle-aged adults dress up in costumes to celebrate this fun and spooky holiday.

Just as you may have dressed up in an outrageous costume this weekend, Halloween is also a perfect time to dress up your writing. That is, add a little style to your papers. Basically, style is the writing component that allows a writer to show his personality in his text. This is not only done by what is said, but by how it is said. Incorporating your own unique style in your writing is not only a great way to distinguish yourself from other writers, but it can also make your text much more enjoyable for the reader.

It takes a wide variety of factors to be successful in the world today, but one character trait that the world's most successful individuals seem to share is charisma. They seem to have a special zest that distinguishes them from the rest of society. A writer can achieve her own success by incorporating charisma in her discourse. One way she can do this is to replace overused, bland words with more vivid, colorful words. For example, when trying to describe the way a dancer moves, a writer might say, "The dancer danced across the floor." Although this does give the reader some kind of picture of the scene, it is vague and boring. Perhaps a more interesting sentence would be, "The dancer glided across the floor." Now, the reader might imagine the dancer dancing with flawless elegance and grace. Simply choosing a more invigorating verb has added clarity and excitement to the scene.

Another strategy a writer can use to enhance his style is to incorporate a variety of sentence structures in his writing. Reading sentences with the same sentence structure and format over and over again can be repetitive and boring. For example, in an argumentative essay for saving the environment, one might write, "The federal government should enact stricter laws to reduce businesses' emission of greenhouse gases because these gases are destroying the o-zone layer. This is an imminent problem because the o-zone blocks the sun's harmful UV rays. These two sentences first make a claim, and then support that claim, thus using the same sentence structure. Simply using a different structure in each sentence can convey the same message with more style; "The federal government should enact stricter laws to reduce businesses' emission of greenhouse gases because these gases are destroying the o-zone layer. Because the o-zone blocks the sun's harmful UV rays, this is an imminent problem." Now, the writer is alerting the reader of a problem that he feels is important while also demonstrating that he can write with style.

If you feel like you've been using the same basic words and sentence structure in all of your writing, use this Halloween as an excuse to try something new. Replace those bland words with more exciting, descriptive ones, and use a variety of sentence structures throughout your paragraphs. Doing so will give your writing the same character and charisma that that spooky costume probably gave you this Halloween.

Mick Snyder