A case study is one of the many kinds of written assignments that you have to face throughout your college years. It is your report about a person, a group of people, a situation or a phenomenon that you are studying. What differs a case study from other kinds of written assignments is its practical nature and narrow focus. For instance, if you are studying the behavior of a group of people in a certain situation, you disregard their behavior in other situations, as well as the behavior of separate individuals within the group.
Same as with any other written task, writing a case study can be divided into several stages to make the process easier and more effective. You should put all these stages into the timetable and follow it strictly. However, you will probably have to revisit some stages in the course of writing your report as new findings show up, writing is a somewhat cyclical process. These stages are as follows:
1. CLARIFY YOUR TASK
Carefully read the case and the instructions that you have received. Every point that leaves any ambiguity is a reason for doubt. Anything that can be understood in different ways is better to be discussed with your fellow students or even with your professor. It is a good idea to take a large sheet of paper and draw mind maps to visualize your findings, ideas, and the connections between them. Answering the following questions should also help you to define your task:
Do we have the background or context of the case? What is it?
Are there any problems with the case? What are they?
Has your professor given you any guidelines for your study?
Are you using any other tools for analyzing your case, besides mind maps? Matrix, template, SWOT, any specific software, etc.?
Do what do you know about the situation that you are studying besides the case background?
What do you not know? What is yet to be researched and found out?
What are the details of your case study’s presentation (date, volume, structure, auxiliary materials, presentation)?
Answers to these questions can be integrated into your mind map. Alternatively, you can print this list of questions with large amounts of space left for answers and comments, and use it as a checklist.
2. THINK ABOUT THE THEORIES AND THE TOOLS FOR ANALYZING THE SITUATION
All the necessary methodology can be found in your course notes and textbooks. You can also find books, articles and other resources with detailed descriptions of relevant analysis tools for case study both online and offline; many schools provide comprehensive guides for that.
Detect the problems
At the initial stage of analyzing the case, you should understand which problems and risks are bound with the case. For example, if you are analyzing a company, read its history to see what has led it to its success or failure and translate them to the companies’ current activities and ongoing processes. Pay attention to the points relevant to the questions provided by your professor who has assigned you this task.
Remember to put all your findings onto your mind map – this includes both problems and the possible solutions; that is, both questions and answers to them. Prioritize the problems and questions by marking them with different colors on your mind map.
Remember to note the causes and effects of each problem, as well as all possible solutions that you think of or come across, even though at this stage they will be only preliminary. So, keep it in mind that you may discover more problems, as well as solutions, as you go on with writing your case study.
Use your tools to analyze the problem
Check out the available tools that you have at your disposal and see which ones can best be applied in your case. To make the best choices, carefully read and brainstorm the possible applications of each tool and discuss it with your fellow students and your professor.
Write down your findings
Remember to put down everything that you find out in notes. It is critical that you have everything documented, should you need to return to some point of your study. Also, write down what you think about those findings and how you have come to them. If you used calculations or testings for finding a possible solution to a problem, they also need to be thoroughly documented in detail.
3. WORK OUT YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
This is your advice on what can be done to eliminate, solve, or at least minimize a problem in the case. There should be recommendations for each problem that you have found out. They can be shaped in the form of plain text or put in a table. They must be detailed and include not only the solution but also a plan of actions that need to be done to achieve positive results. Each solution should answer the following questions:
Why should this solution work?
What can possibly prevent it from working?
Who will be responsible for implementing the solution?
Who may be blocking it from being executed?
How much time is needed for each action?
What will be the pay-off and/or savings in detail?
Here you summarize your analysis of the case from the perspective of the objectives – both compulsory and desired ones. Remember to follow the recommendations from your professor regarding your conclusions to the letter, especially when it comes to your original assumptions.
4. MOVE ON TO WRITING YOUR REPORT
Make up a plan
Same as with any other academic writing, a case study report needs to be carefully planned before writing. The plan or the structure of your report will most probably start taking shape in your head as early as the beginning of your investigation.
First, make up your preliminary outline with all the sections and subsections. Since this outline is for your use only, it does not necessarily have to be in the format of a list, like with most academic papers that you have to submit. You can make it in any format that you find convenient – for example, a mind map.
Then, just sort your notes by adding them to the corresponding sections and subsections. Creating the outline will help you visualize the order in which you will put the bits of information that you have in your notes. Mind that this outline does not need to be final, and you are free to change it as your ideas develop. Only when you see that it is finalized, you can translate your outline into the contents page of your case study report.
Create a schedule for your writing and follow it strictly. Meticulously plan how much time you can spare on writing and editing your report. Exceed the time limits for each portion of work in case you find some section harder to write than others and need some extra time for them. It is recommended to begin with the sections about which you feel most confident. Naturally, these will be the sections that are your won to the biggest extent: the methodology and the conclusions, – because at this point these ideas are fresh in your mind. The auxiliary and secondary sections are the ones to finish with. These are the introduction, reference list, appendices, etc.
Consider your readership. Your case study report is meant for someone to read it. Therefore, you should always imagine this person or group of people when writing your report. Your (at this point, imaginary) readership should have the decisive vote over your choice of style, language, and, of course, content. Clearly, you use different language when speaking, for example, to one person versus when you are talking before an audience of people. So, try your best to think about what the people in your readership need to know, what they want to hear and in what form, etc. Answering the following questions will help you understand your readership better.
For whom is your report written? As we have mentioned before, a case study report is a practical piece of work, meaning that it has practical application. Therefore, your potential readership should be not only your professor but also your fellow-students, as well as other people working in the given field(s). For example, a case study in human psychology can be applied in a wide variety of fields – from marketing to psychiatry.
What does your readership expect from reading your case study report? As we have discussed, a case study report is a work of a practical nature. Therefore, the findings from your report can potentially be used by specialists working in a certain field. You are expected to visualize their professional interest if you want your writing to look convincing. For example, a practicing psychotherapist will be interested in innovative approaches to psychology in regards to his or her practice, whereas a marketing manager will most probably rather favor old patterns which have already proven to be successful on many occasions.
How to communicate my ideas clearly? Unlike with other writings, here your writing must be exact, simple, and laconic. Think of your readership as busy people who value their precious time and will to have it wasted by an overly wordy writer. They only want useful information. This should influence not only your choice of words but the very structure of your case study report. Ideally, to reach out to your audience most effectively, don’t use too much specific terminology or slang; the amount of background and subsidiary information should be limited but sufficient. Also, remember to make sure that the sections and paragraphs flow into one another smoothly and logically.
Which parts of your report might your audience object against and what might they favor? Clearly, you should be ready that not every reader will like the solutions that you offer in your case study report. Therefore, you should adopt such point of view and address it in your report. This will not only reveal your multi-angled understanding of the problem and your empathy toward people who have different views from yours, but will also add to your authority in the eyes of the reader, which will make your report more convincing in general.
Write your first draft
It is wrong to assume that you will write your case study report perfectly from scratch. A properly written report can only be achieved through an accurate planning of work and meticulous editing. So, same as with any other writing, it is necessary to put one or several drafts before you can finalize your paper. Here are a few tips for this stage:
Re-read your assignment whenever you have questions. When gathering the information, it is easy to get carried away and spend your precious time studying something irrelevant to your case. Therefore, return to the task given to you by your professor, so that you always keep your objectives in mind.
Be scrupulous about your choice of materials. Upon reviewing the notes that you have taken while gathering the information, don’t think twice to leave out something that you think is irrelevant to your report. Only essential information should stay.
Stay logical. Create a comprehensive outline, follow it strictly, and use it as your contents page. Add as many subsections as you deem necessary, but take care that you put them in the correct logical order. Every subsection should be devoted to a certain idea. All ideas should not only be supported by substantial arguments and/or evidence, but every subsequent idea/subsection must flow into the consequent one organically. If you use any visual aid, make sure that it is well integrated into the paper and that the reader can easily follow why it is put there and what it tells. If necessary, show it to someone who may represent your target audience to see how well it works.
Proofread and edit. Even if you estimate your writing skills as good or expert, there will be no harm in running your draft through a grammar- and spelling-checking software (or online service). It will be even better to run it through several of those. Although, you should not rely on them solely. There are possible errors that such programs are bound to overlook. So, it is good to find someone who is expert in writing to edit and proofread
When people talk about high school or college prep courses and classes, they often misunderstand each other, because they may talk about entirely different things that are all known by this same term. Sometimes, people refer to prep classes offered by the colleges themselves. Other times, a prep course may mean a private or state-run program to aid the less fortunate social groups to enter colleges. Also, people tend to call this way a specific group of high schools that are heavily focused on preparing their students for entering particular colleges.
So, we have put together this article to clarify the differences between various understandings of college and high school prep courses, as well as to explain in detail what they are and how they work. We are going to illustrate the activities and functions of high school preps classes, programs to facilitate the admission to college, and the private and public high schools which aim at ultimately preparing their students for being admitted to college.
#1 Standard high school curriculum as a preparation for college
We need to remember that preparing students for entering college is the primary goal of high school, the very reason for its existence. The education system suggests that what you learn in high school should get you ready to enter college. This is why the basic high school classes are often referred to as college prep classes.
This is why the standard high school education is arguably the most valid definition of “college prep classes.” These classes may vary in different schools, but normally they include math, science, and social studies – three years each, plus four years of English.
These are the disciplines that comprise the state exam in the states and districts where it is practiced. For example, if you want to graduate from high school in Massachusetts, you will have to pass three MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) exams – in math, English, and in one of the science- or technology-related disciplines.
The essential idea is that college prep classes (in this understanding) are using the standard curriculum, not the Honors or AP and, of course, not the remedial ones. They are the core of the high school education program. Therefore – technically, you cannot say that you are taking a college prep class if you are in an Honor / AP class.
College Preps vs. Honors / AP
As soon as you find yourself enrolling into high school, it is up to you to decide whether to take standard college prep classes or to go with the Honors / AP. On the one hand, Honors / AP programs give you more knowledge, but on the other hand, they are more challenging, and it is harder to get good grades there than with the standard curriculum.
To make the right decision, you should evaluate your abilities and be aware of them. If you feel like you can easily get straight A’s in a standard prep class, then it makes sense to go to an Honor / AP class instead. You will feel more challenged indeed, and you might even get your straight A’s somewhat diluted with B’s. But, you will end up more qualified, and – more importantly, a B earned at an Honor or AP class is usually more regarded by the admission officers than an A from a standard prep class. Moreover, a set of straight A’s from a standard class will picture you like someone who likes to avoid any challenge and would rather prefer a non-competitive environment, and nobody likes that, including college admission officers. It is a much better idea to demonstrate yourself as a self-challenging type, hungry for more knowledge and eager to master their skills.
However, if you do not feel so confident and you feel like you are more likely to get C’s or even D’s at an Honors or AP class, then you obviously better take an standard college prep class and have higher grades. Understanding your potential without overestimating it is a very mature thing which is also taken into account by the admission officers at colleges.
So, it is best to take Honors / AP classes only in subjects that you feel particularly comfortable with and take a more relaxed pace with the rest. Of course, if you want to make the right decision, you need to be well-informed. So, you try and take a look at the actual curriculum of both standard college prep classes and Honors / AP classes before you decide which classes to take.
College Prep Courses as Programs to Aid College Admission for Certain Social Groups
As we have mentioned, by “college prep courses” people often mean certain programs – both private and state-run – that aid the admission to college for applicants who would otherwise be not very likely to get enrolled. For this purpose, the programs focus on various aspects of the admission process: from conducting additional training to increase the applicants’ academic skills to straightforward financial aid to pay the applicants’ tuition partially or in its entirety.
These college prep programs can be community-, university-, state-, and federal-based. Here are some examples:
Federal-based programs (TRIO)
Contrary to what one may think, TRIO is not an acronym. It used to stand for the number of such programs which was three. Today, there are eight. The aforementioned social groups of students for whom these programs are intended are physically and financially challenged people, as well as first-generation Americans. TRIO programs include:
Upward Bound. This program is aimed at helping financially challenged students who have no access to higher quality secondary education due to their financial state. It works by placing the applicants into a simulated college environment that includes counseling, tutoring, and other instruction. Through the years of its existence, Upward Bound has proved to be effective in providing both academic and motivational support to these applicants.
Talent Search. This program offers a wide range of counseling services to help students from financially challenged backgrounds or first-generation Americans to earn proper high school grades as they graduate so they could get admitted to college same as their more fortunate fellows.
SSS (Students Support Services). This program employs a full range of instruments to assist all of the aforementioned groups of applicants, including those with special needs. The assistance that the SSS offers includes all forms of instruction – from individual mentoring and tutoring to academic advising and career counseling, as well as financial aid guidance and even additional funding.
GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). This program is mostly aimed at raising awareness among the financially challenged and other minority applicants about what higher education is actually about. This includes informing these groups of students about academic and career planning, as well as individual mentoring and tutoring. GEAR UP also has its own scholarships.
The States of New York, California, and New Jersey offer the so-called Educational Opportunity Programs to applicants who happened to fail to complete the standard high school prep class for economic, health-related or personal reasons but demonstrate a pronounced potential for a successful academic and professional future.
The State of New York has also worked out Pre-Collegiate Preparation Programs to enforce effective communication and cooperation between all organizations, people, and other bodies that may be involved in the enrollment process. It is aimed at providing every applicant with all the available opportunities to be admitted and get a college education.
The State of California offers the so-called Cal-SOAP (California Student Opportunity and Access Program) to financially challenged students and first-generation Americans to ensure their opportunities for college education. The program runs through all the applicant’s pre-college years, from kindergarten and up to the end of high school.
The State of Florida has CROP – College Reach-Out Program. It works with sixth- through twelfth-grade school students providing them with all sorts of assistance and mentorship to get successfully admitted to college and graduate. CROP is targeted at students from financially and otherwise challenged backgrounds.
The University of California has an EOAP – Early Academic Outreach Program. These are basically special courses for high school students who want to enrich their knowledge in particular disciplines and to prepare them specifically for the entrance exams. It is also good for obtaining general information about the university life.
The University of Colorado also has a Pre-Collegiate Program. While providing all kinds of instruction, this program is primarily aimed at motivating and raising awareness about higher education among all the underrepresented social groups of students, including first-generation Americans.
Community-based and NGO Programs
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). This program is focused on academic assistance for fifth- through twelfth-grade school students who show potential for success in higher education and career but are financially or otherwise challenged.
“I Have a Dream” is a program that works in areas notorious for challenging financial state to help children from these areas to pursue higher education of their choosing. It offers long-term mentoring and tutoring.
College Prep Classes as Schools Specifically Designed for Preparing to Apply for College
Last but not least, there are these high schools specifically aimed at preparing their students for further education. They also get referred to as high school prep classes. This is the only thing by which these schools are grouped together. Otherwise, they can be public or private, they can be boarding or charter schools, they can even be parochial.
Schools like these include:
Gateway High School. It is located in San Francisco, and it is a charter school. The students get to visit college from the first day of 9th grade.
Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School. This school is to be found in St. Louis. The students have the opportunity to graduate with up to 18 hours of college credit before they even start college.
A reflective essay is a very personal writing. An author can create such a paper after analyzing an aspect from the outside world, after acquiring new information that needs to be shared in a subjective way. Often times, a reflective essay is a portrait of the author himself, describing his own beliefs through writing.
To really get to craft such a paper, you have to explore changing in all its levels. In other words, there has to be a certain intimacy between you and the audience. A reflective essay has multiple facets, for beyond the rules, there are the personal stories that matter. Each piece of work is unique, shaped by a different experience.
Despite being so personal, there are some rules of drafting a reflective essay. Not every confession fits into this type of writing, so here is some guidance to help you out.
Do some research
To find the inspiration you need, maybe you could do some research before starting to write. Read the “personal comment” column from any newspaper you find or browse the Internet for a personal multimedia storytelling, just so you can make an idea about what it really means. You may find a good topic in every moment that left its mark on who you are today. It can be a fear you overcame, a life-changing event, an unforgettable episode or a time your convictions gained a new meaning.
Many professors ask for a personal reflective essay without explaining what it implies, so students often find themselves puzzled by the task. But writing a reflective essay is actually enjoyable once you got wind of the technique.
Take your time to look back
The power to reflect is the foundation of a genuine reflective essay. Being able to look back into the past and accurately describe how a specific event impacted you, is an elementary factor. So there is no room for rushing and writing in a hurry. Just have a good cup of coffee, enjoy the silence and reassemble the pieces of the scene you’re trying to write about. How did you feel before, how did your perspective change afterward? Sometimes the memories are bustling out, but sometimes they seem to be locked up in your deepest thoughts like a dearest treasure. That is why you need time to hindsight.
Be honest when describing your feelings
Imagine that you are trying to describe an episode of racism that you have witnessed and how you felt about someone being discriminated. Note down any detail you recall and then try to build the scene from a personal perspective. Did you stand up for the victim or, on the contrary, you just walked by, ignoring the action? Being honest is key. Hold off the instinct of writing how things should have happened, but describe how they exactly occurred. However, remember that you are not re-telling the story, but you are putting down your own memories, filtered through your personal thoughts.
Write as you recall facts
Pen everything you remember as you remember. Raw, with no revision. You might forget parts of the story which can prove to be essential. Any flashback can be useful, so even if you’re waiting for the bus on your way home, take a pen and write down your new idea. It might turn out to be valuable when you put everything together. It might even be the leitmotif of your essay. Some professors ask for a specific structure of an essay, and they even state their personal predilection towards a specific recurrent idea. This somehow discourages creativity, but if you don’t have such holdbacks, feel free to explore your memories.
Create an engaging introduction
Some experts suggest that writing the introduction last works better, especially when drafting a reflective essay. That is because many ideas can change in the process and you will need to adjust the introduction accordingly so that you won’t overlook essential information.
However, regardless of when you decide to create an introduction, make sure it catches the eye. Make it attention grabber either by using an anecdote, a flashback, or a rhetorical question. The introduction is your paper’s first contact with its readers, so make it count, make them want to know more. Here are some useful tips on writing a great introduction for your reflective essay:
Make a great first sentence to keep the audience’s interest;
Pay attention to the length – it doesn’t have to be too long. About three short paragraphs should be enough to embrace the most relevant issues of your paper.
Place a rhetorical question right at the beginning. Your readers will be intrigued by it, and you will give them a good reason to follow you through the rest of the essay.
Write down as many details as you can
Yes, you can afford to use many adjectives and a simple vocabulary to describe any detail you find important. A reflective essay is not a rigid writing. Actually, it is so flexible that it becomes a pleasure to commit to such a task. Be as specific as you can, for the story you are putting down reflects your own view, your personal beliefs. For example, instead of saying that a certain thing made you sad, you can make a gentle suggestion, so that you create a connection with your audience.
For example: “The view made me feel sad” can turn into “the view made me feel like there was no color left to fill my eyes, like all I could see was grey”. Look at the reflective essay as if it were a painting. Your personal experience paints unique features, that only your mind can tell.
Also, don’t forget to engage your reader by using scenes of action – a wide rage of strong verbs stands for a successful personal writing. Always try to be original and avoid using commonplace verbs, such as “cried” or “went”. But remember that you have to be constant when choosing the right tense. And avoid juggling the verb forms at all cost.
Express one idea at a time
The tricky part when writing a reflective essay is how to get organized. Being so personal, you might feel the need to let words pour like a raving rain. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but imagine that your readers should always open the umbrella when reading your writing. So it is preferable to express one idea per sentence. A compelling story is first and foremost, readable.
Look for any errors
Grammatical and spelling errors can compromise a beautiful story, and no matter how well written an essay might be, this is disturbing. Make sure your work is flawless and let your readers enjoy the writing, instead of being annoyed by typos. The easiest way to do it is by properly editing your text. Sure, you might have many other tasks to complete and time is constantly a problem. But if you organize your day wisely, you can make room for proofreading, for sure.
However, when the deadline is so close that you can almost see it right on the corner, it might be time to delegate. We strongly recommend you use a proofreading online service, with spectacular results. It is my all means a time-saving option, but it can bring certain costs, so plan ahead and make sure it is the best alternative for you.
What are the “dont’s”?
When writing a reflective essay, there are some things you should avoid. Always keep in mind that you are working at a personal paper, so throw away the tendency to generalize, and the rigid, academical structure of other kind of essays that you were used to write.
Moreover, try to demonstrate the lesson you have learned from the entire experience. One common mistake students make is avoiding to write down memorable details that have shaped their thinking. On the contrary, reflection demonstrates a personal perspective, which means that you should not draw back from stating your own vision. Incoherency is another shortcoming that appears to be omnipresent in most reflective essays. Although it is hard to keep your thoughts on track once the pen touches the paper, try to maintain a logical sequence of your memories. A good idea is to revise the raw version of your paper. This way you won’t hold back the thoughts once they come and you won’t miss important details. Either way, keep in mind that regardless of the topic, a reflective essay must reflect your particular style, your personal vision. It is the only way you can achieve a great reflective writing.
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The importance of a conclusion in the dissertation paper cannot be stressed more. The dissertation conclusion manages to provide a summary for all the research work that has been done and the results obtained from the research in one roof. All the views expressed about the topic will be summarised in the conclusion chapter. A powerful and professional conclusion chapter is certainly a great way to achieve high grades.
It is one of the reasons why we are one of the sought-after dissertation content providers. All our writing services are undertaken by highly qualified academic personnel, who are experts in the specific field.
Importance of Dissertation Conclusion
Since it acts as the conclusion to the paper, it should be presented in the perfect manner and with 100% accuracy. It is possible to score a great only when the errors in the conclusion part are at a minimal level. Yet, many fail to realise the importance or they are just incapable of coming up with the perfect conclusion. It is cases like these where we come into play with our field experts providing plenty of quality and professional work – especially when it comes to the conclusion part.
We only have the expert in a specific field taking care of the academic integrity. As a result, the sources that are being used for coming up with the dissertation are properly verified and acknowledged. Even though all are dissertation papers are 100% plagiarism free, we still go through the painstaking process of ensuring that each part of the paper is 100% free of plagiarism using dedicated software.
How Conclusion Glorifies the Dissertation
The final stage and last chapter of the dissertation paper happens to be the conclusion. Here, the information does not just include the summary for the topic but also any recommendations that would enhance the quality of the content. It is also imperative to include any limitations and significance that may have been apparent over the course of the study. This includes even the academic factor and other areas. As a result, the conclusion happens to be quite different from the rest of the chapters.
The first area of impact is in the examination process, as the conclusion can be quite helpful in this regard. It is quite possible that the examiners place a lot of importance on the conclusion aspect and look at this area of the dissertation paper more clearly than in other parts.
They look for aspects like the summary and the key inference from the research. However, they may also come up with plenty of interruptions during the portion of reading the dissertation. In short, the examiners tend to read out the introduction and conclusion aspect of the paper. This explains the reason behind the importance being placed towards a top-notch conclusion.
Apart from being helpful in the dissertation paper becoming successful and an individual getting high grades, the conclusion aspect can also lay the foundation to a great research career. It is possible to publish a thesis with the help of a top conclusion. It also makes an individual realise about the importance and the value of the work that we have performed throughout the course of the research. Since this conclusion gives a way to relive the findings over the other areas of work, it can provide a self-realisation too. Beyond the thesis, it will help an individual find the perfect line of research going forward.
The dissertation conclusion primarily consists of the summary. It also can possess the ingredients like main argument, the nature of the argument, the path taken for research, the preconceived notion that was in place before the research, and the findings from the research. All these facts being presented in a neat little summary takes a lot of expertise, and this is where we really step into the plate. The years of experience for our academic writers make it possible for us to provide the highest level of professionalism and quality with regard to creating the conclusion.
The overview of information and knowledge provided by the research is about to be presented in the form of a conclusion. The dissertation may have a few limitations with regard to the likes of contribution and research, but these are also indicated in the conclusion.
More importantly, it is important for the conclusion to also talk about the speculation that exists around that limitation and the implications of the same. Apart from summarising all the elements presented in the research, the conclusion also focuses on the course of future development in the area of research.
The availability of alternate data can be a significant boost to the dissertation writing. This alternate data could be in the form of elaborate findings or the inclusion of any links in other fields. Furthermore, it is possible to place additional data into the piece.
Getting Professional Assistance is Key
The assistance with regard to writing the best possible dissertation conclusion is of paramount importance. Even if the individual has taken plenty of painstaking work in order to do the research and analyse various data, a poor conclusion can end all the hard work in a jiffy. We have years of experience in coming up with professional and top quality conclusion dissertation paper that you would simply not go wrong by choosing us. We help overcome any mistakes that are likely to be committed owing to tiredness after the end of a long and hard dissertation paper.
Your dissertation is unlike any other assignment you will do at university. Make sure you give it your full attention and don’t settle for less since there is no chance to improve once completed, and there is no opportunity for a practice run. Follow our tips to write a killer conclusion since your dissertation is probably one of the highest marked pieces you will complete throughout your degree. Boost you way to the top with quality material.
Yes, yes — who needs an essay outline when you know the subject? After all, it’s all just a waste of time, made up by nerds who have no other things to do. Well, yes and no. In some cases, an outline may be indeed excessive. But, when writing an argumentative essay, even the best students need one. It’s not about the writing block or not knowing the subject. It’s about writing a logical, coherent, and impressive argumentative paper that gets you an A+.
You should already know by now — there is nothing worse than staring at a blank essay page, especially when the deadline is approaching. And you should also know that even the best students sometimes experience a writer’s block. This is exactly when an outline for an argumentative essay comes in.
Think of this outline as a plan for your paper. Yes, researching and structuring it will take some time. But, it can save your hours on writing. After all, an argumentative paper is should be a properly structured and well-researched piece of work. So, you cannot just fill the blanks in with some random ramblings — not unless you are ready to settle for a C+.
So, cutting a long story short, let’s find out what makes a good outline for an argumentative essay, why you need it, and how to structure this document to save you hours of writing.
Structuring an argumentative essay outline
Just like the essay itself, an outline for your paper should follow a certain structure. In case of a standard, five-paragraph argumentative essay, this structure goes as follows:
Giving your supporting arguments
Refuting opponents’ arguments
Yes, as simple as that! Sounds like nothing scary — so far. Now, let’s take a look at each of these essential sections to find out how we can nail them and get you that A+ you deserve!
Argumentative Essay Introduction: Your Outline
Introduction should make it pretty clear what your paper is going to be about. In case of an argumentative essay, it should also lay down a solid foundation for the main argument you are about to make. Traditionally, an intro of an argumentative essay will include a hook, background info about the topic, and a thesis.
Hook. What is a hook, exactly? Simply put, it is a sentence that grabs your readers’ attention and urges them to read further. Sure, writing a truly compelling hook is not always easy, but since an argumentative essay usually argues a certain perspective (one of many), it should not be too difficult.
Let’s say, you are writing an essay about marijuana legalization and are trying to convince your audience that cannabis should, in fact, be legalized. You can start off like this:
“Those interested in improving their mood and overall well-being should forget about shrinks and spirits and move on to smoking pot instead.”
A hook like this may sound bold and not very academic, but since your goal here is to catch the readers’ attention, it serves its purpose just fine.
Background info. Next, you move on to introducing some background info about the topic. In case of our marijuana legalization essay, it could go like this:
“Even though many states in the US have already legalized marijuana for medical purposes, plenty of them still shun away from the idea. However, medical and relaxation qualities of the plant have been extensively proven by multiple researches on the subject. And, despite opponents’ arguments that marijuana is a gateway drug, there is no scientific proof of cannabis causing addiction — or, forcing users to move on to heavier drugs.”
Thesis statement. It appears at the end of your introductory paragraph. By the time you make a thesis statement, your position on the subject should be made pretty clear. If you managed to write a compelling hook and give some background info, making a thesis statement should not be much of a problem. Our example could go something like this:
“The use of cannabis can alleviate stress, relieve pain from chemotherapy treatment and help patients with clinical depression, which is exactly why the United States should consider legalizing marijuana on a national level.”
Pay attention to ‘should’ in this example. Even though our position on the topic has already been made clear with a hook and background info, ‘should’ in a thesis statement makes the impression truly complete.
Also, notice how we mention alleviating stress, relieving pain from chemotherapy treatment and helping patients with clinical depression. This information lays down a foundation for our body paragraphs and makes it clear for the readers what we are going to talk about further.
Ok, so now that our foundations have been laid, what next?
Developing your arguments in the body paragraphs
Now, it’s time for the main work on your argumentative essay outline — that is, developing your argument.
Our thesis statement has three claims (alleviating stress, relieving pain from chemotherapy treatment, and helping patients with clinical depression); each of them should be backed up by some factual evidence. This will give your paper a well-informed look and make it credible for the readers.
Note, however, that even though each claim needs backing up, the actual number of claims may differ. Here, a lot will depend on the length of your essay, as well as your topic. You can have two claims, or four, or even five — as many as you need to develop your argument.
Now, what is a claim, exactly? This is a point you make to support your argument (thesis).
So, our first claim was stress alleviation. Now, we have to dwell on it in the first body paragraph. For example:
“Regular use of cannabis can help alleviate stress, which is a huge benefit for our hectic lifestyles.”
This is your claim (aka topic sentence of the first paragraph). It’s been made pretty clear, but who is going to believe us? So, our next step is to provide some factual evidence.
Evidence. Every claim you make should be supported by factual, properly researched evidence. You cannot use your opinions or personal anecdotes here. For example:
“Recent research by (source) proves that people who occasionally use cannabis report stressful experiences 20% less often than people who do smoke marijuana.”
As a rule, you will have three claims in a typical argumentative essay. Each of those claims should be ideally supported by at least three pieces of evidence. However, you can adjust the number of supporting evidence, just like you can adjust the number of claims you make. Once again, here everything will depend on the arguments you are making and the points you are trying to prove. So, unless your teacher has given you precise instructions about the number of claims and evidence to support them, you are free to decide for yourself.
Ok, so now you know how to present and support your claims. Is that it? Are we are ready to conclude? Not quite. First, we’ll have to refute opponents’ arguments.
Refuting opponents’ arguments
This is traditionally the last part of your argumentative essay outline. It helps to acknowledge the fact that there are other opinions on the subject and that you respect them. However, your goal is to convince the audience in your point of view. So, while acknowledging other opinions, you are to prove these opinions unjustified.
Remember that you are to stay polite and reasonable. You cannot resort to offenses. Your goal is to prove your opponents wrong, but you are to stay civilized.
In our intro examples, we have already laid a foundation for opponents’ opinion. Remember? “Despite opponents’ arguments that marijuana is a gateway drug, there is no scientific proof of cannabis causing addiction — or, forcing users to move on to heavier drugs.”
Now, it’s time to go back to this statement once again and give evidence that proves it wrong. For example:
“While opponents argue that marijuana can be a gateway drug, leading to potential drug abuse in the future, there is no scientific proof that links cannabis use to further transition to heavier substances. In fact, research by (source) shows that 65% of cannabis users do not use any other substances at all.”
Here goes — we’ve acknowledged our opponents’ opinion and proven it untrue. By the way, the stats on cannabis use are totally made up here — so do not refer to them in your own paper. Just FYI.
Ok, we’re almost done here. Now, it’s time to wrap up.
Concluding your argumentative essay outline
Basically, a solid conclusion for an argumentative paper will accomplish two goals.
1. Highlight the importance of your subject. Just in case readers got lost in your reasoning, you are to remind them why the subject in question is important. Usually, this goal is achieved by restating (not retyping!) your thesis statement. For example:
“Cannabis legalization on a national level can help people with clinical depression, cancer patients, and people suffering from stress on a regular basis.”
2. Draw a picture of the world that does not accept your opinion on the subject. Here, your goal is to impress the readers and make them think. Giving a (sometimes emotional) prediction for the future serves this purpose perfectly. For example:
“Unless we want our citizens depressed, moody, and in pain, we are to take more action.”
By the way, this statement can be expanded further, into giving suggestions on the kind of action we need to take. However, you should also remember that conclusions should not feature any new information. So, unless you’ve spoken about the action (raising awareness on the issue, petitioning the government, educating children) in your body paragraphs, you should leave a call to action out. That’s pretty much all you need to know about drafting an argumentative essay outline.
A nursing essay is one of the documents that you need to present in order to be admitted to a nursing school. It is often considered the most important part of the admission process since this essay is meant to demonstrate your good command of the given field of knowledge, as well as your ability to apply this knowledge in your daily practice. Therefore, if you want to be admitted to a nursing school, it is critical that you perform your best when writing your admission essay. Here are some tips:
BE AWARE OF THE POSSIBLE TOPICS
At some nursing schools, the applicants are allowed to pick the topics for their admission essays themselves. More often, however, this is not the case, and candidates will be handed out topics to write about. Therefore, it only makes sense to be aware of as many of the potential essay topics as possible. You would like to be as prepared as you can be, so you need to be able to show sufficient level of expertise in every topic that you may need to cope with.
You can try and brainstorm all these possible topics yourself, you are also welcome to try and find such sample lists online. Here are a few examples of such topics for you to get the idea:
Pros and cons of legalizing euthanasia;
Diagnosing dementia at earliest stages;
Possible dangers of nursing at home;
Would you refuse to nurse an offensive patient?
If you get to choose the subject yourself, take care that this is the kind of topic where you can provide an insightful view that you will later be able to implement in your practice. You should mind that your essay’s reader – the committee – are experts in the subject.
Therefore, it is not such a good idea to bombard your reader with facts that they are quite aware of. This will merely reveal you as someone who wants to get a good impression of themselves at any cost. Such impression is hardly ever appealing. Instead, you should focus on your individual approach to the topic and reveal how you relate to it. This is the only sure way to make your application essay truly stand out.
CONDUCT AN EFFECTIVE RESEARCH
Only by performing a quality research can you gather the sufficient basis for writing an excellent admission essay. While researching on a topic, not only do you become more aware of the subject, but you also develop a better understanding thereof, as well as an individual view of the issue.
Online resources are a great source of information – they are accessible and up to date. However, be careful to double-check the facts that you come across online, since – sadly – they are not always trustworthy. Also, they tend to cover specific cases, so they are more helpful when we talk about more narrow and precise topics. When the topic in question is more general, on the other hand, it is extremely useful to refer to more traditional textbook where the information is given in a more generalized way.
As a part of your research, you are also welcome to look through the examples of nursing school admission essays written by successful applicants. These can be found in abundance online. Apart from examples of how nursing essays should be written, it can also be a good idea to look at some of the worse examples – how such essays should not be written. This will give you the idea of which mistakes are the most common and how you can avoid making them.
Mind that nursing school essays are normally required to comply with the MLA format. Therefore, you can sort out the samples that do and discard those that don’t. This will get you more used to the MLA format and save your precious time when you will be finalizing your essay.
CONSIDER THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR ESSAY
When you need to write an essay, just as with other activities, it is quite useful to know beforehand where to begin and what to do next. This is why it is good to structurize your writing process. It will help you stay more focused and avoid writer’s blocks.
Normally, an essay consists of an introduction, main body, and conclusion. This, however, does not mean that you should necessarily begin writing your nursing essay with the introduction. It is a better idea first to organize your the facts and ideas that you have gathered during your research in a comprehensive manner to shape the main body of your essay. In the original draft, remember to list them together with the sources (textbooks, magazine articles, websites, etc.) from which you got them, in case you should need some extra information on this bit. Your task here is to organize the pieces of information into a steady flow so that it was easy for your reader to follow. Avoid being tempted to overload your text with information as an attempt to impress your reader, because instead, you will only make your writing less dynamic and harder to follow, which will have a bad effect on your reader’s final impression upon finishing your essay.
The paragraphs must represent finished small ideas, but at the same time, every previous paragraph should set up a question to be answered in the consequent paragraph. Practical examples are a good way to liven up the text and make it sound more personal. Substantiate your every conclusion and every solution you offer with practical evidence. This is meant to increase your credibility as an expert on the issue, to reveal that you are not just throwing fancy words at the reader, but actually know what you are talking about and know how to apply this knowledge in practice. It is crucial to eliminate any ungrounded opinions, because they are a sign of an amateur, and you don’t want to present yourself as one.
Then you proceed to the introduction. This section is where you set up your research question and present your readership with the expected outcomes. You can also specify the terminology that you are going to use in your essay. The main objective of this section is to prepare your audience for the information that they are about to receive. Therefore, when you are writing your introduction, you should imagine your reader – someone who is aware of the topic but is not quite in line with what you are about to say. Basically, your task here is to bring your reader in line.
Finally, the conclusion of your essay is where you summarize all the data and evidence that you have given in the main body by presenting your reader with the conclusions to which your research has lead you. These should be briefly summarized in the same order in which your thought was flowing as you were on your way to your main conclusion. Make sure not to miss any significant pieces, and, of course, remember to keep it individual – reveal how exactly you have come from your research data to your conclusions.
PERFECT YOUR DRAFT
Once your first draft is complete, you should not immediately jump to editing it into the final version. At this point, you need a break – some time to settle your thoughts in your mind. The recommended interval is one to three days. After that, you will be able to give your draft a fresh look that it desperately needs. Whether you want it or not, you will keep thinking about your topic, and upon returning to you draft, you may come up with new approaches to some details, things you haven’t thought of before.
Your essay will be required to be of a certain amount. You do not need to think about it when preparing the first draft. First, you include all the information that you have gathered, and then you slice off the less relevant and meaningful pieces until you reach the required volume, thus refining the end result. While doing this, make sure that every question that you have put forward in your essay is answered. If a question is not answered (or it get you confused, you are not positive about your expertise on the issue, etc.), consider avoiding such a question altogether.
Use reliable online services or software to check the spelling and grammar. Try to read the text out loud to see how it flows, mark the areas where the flow of the text seems somewhat sloppy and give those areas some serious consideration.
Since the author’s view on his or her work is always biased (we are always our own fiercest critic), it can also be useful to share your essay with someone reliable to get some quality feedback – in terms of both essence and style. Such people should meet two requirements: first, they should be trustworthy – because your essay is your intellectual property, and second, they should have the upper level of expertise in writing. Also, remember that you are not obliged to implement all of their suggestions, feedback should be treated with a healthy dose of criticism.
Very importantly, take care that you begin early so that you had enough time to refine your nursing essay properly. The process of perfecting your essay can last forever, so stick strictly to the timeframe that you have allocated for refining your draft.
PUT THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Once you feel like your nursing essay is what it should be, it is the high time to put it in the required shape. Take care that you follow the formatting instructions from your nursing school. It would be a crying shame to let such small details get in your way. The important details here are the font, spacing, margins, etc. Normally, the required font is Times New Roman 12, the spacing is 1.5 or double, and the margins can be up to 2 cm.
As mentioned before, it is a good idea to use online tools, but they do not necessarily need to be limited to grammar and spellcheck. You can use a keyword density tool to see if some words or phrases repeat too often. If they do – replace them with synonyms to make your text more colorful and pleasant to read.
Consider finding and employing online plagiarism-checking tools to avoid any incidental plagiarism. Because even if plagiarism is not intended, it still counts as such. If you happen to have found some pieces of such unintended plagiarism, it is no reason to get disappointed. It does not mean that you have to start your essay from scratch. You can turn it into your benefit by referencing the works that your plagiarism-checker has found and thus expand your bibliography.
Speaking of your bibliography, make sure that it lists your sources in the required format. The needed format for bibliography should be mentioned in your nursing school’s requirements. There are online tools where you simply input your literature, and it processes the list into the required format.
Some of the online tools are free, others are available by paid subscription. Do not discard the paid ones by default, but consider them also. Their price may be well worth it to make your nursing application essay truly shine.
NEED SOME HELP?
While writing is always a useful skill, it is clearly not essential to the job of a nurse. In other words, writing is not what makes a good nurse. Therefore, if nursing essay requirements and instructions seem somewhat confusing to you, don’t get discouraged. It is always possible to get professional writing help at a reasonable price.
So, if you don’t feel confident about your writing skills or have no time to write your own nursing essay properly, you can always go online and look for some custom essay writing services. If you find and address the right one, you can be sure that your essay will be to the point, well-written, and delivered on time.
In general, the 5-paragraph essay is regarded as the typical essay writing task. This type of essay is utilized in the majority of well-established examinations, like TOEFL, IELTS or SAT.
Seeing as in the majority of such examinations you need to stick to a time limit when it comes to finishing the “Writing” part, it’s advisable to learn the structure of the 5-paragraph essay by heart. This way, you’ll be able to complete the exam swiftly and efficiently. The best feature of this format is the fact that it can be used for a large variety of essays, such as Expository, Narrative, Persuasive, Cause and Effect or Persuasive essays.
5-Paragraph Essay Subject Examples
Here are a few of the most recurrent subjects on which students write 5-paragraph essays:
Is an individual able to memorize a life lesson from an event they weren’t part of?
Is one able to learn from the errors of other individuals?
Is it moral to conduct experiments on animals?
Should homosexual matrimony be legalized?
Should the legislation on firearms become harsher?
Should the capital punishment be fully eliminated?
Should cannabis become legal?
Should all students benefit from free-of-charge education?
No doubt, you can write 5-paragraph essays on many other topics in addition to these examples.
The Structure of a 5-Paragraph Essay
Introduction: 3 to 5 Phrases
The introduction is the section which lays down the outline of the entire essay. The initial phase represents the HOOK sentence.
The Hook Sentence has the purpose of catching the reader’s interest.
In general, the Hook Sentence is a rhetorical one. Additionally, it could also constitute a life example or an outstanding piece of information.
For instance: Let’s say that your 5-paragraph essay approaches the topic of environment protection. In that case, you can come up with a sentence like: “Is it normal to live in a world of barren lands and waste?”
The question above is a rhetorical one. This means that no one expects a response, as the answer is evident.
Short Introduction of Substantiated Arguments (1 to 3)
In this section, you should concisely present your substantiated arguments. The key is to avoid disclosing an excessive amount of information.
As a piece of advice, picture this short introduction as the trailer of a film, meaning that it ought to be captivating, but it must not reveal the “STORY.”
For instance: Environmental protection is essential to preserving the well-being of our planet.
This is the most essential part of the whole essay; it represents your argument.
The argument will serve as the premise of the entire paper.
Seeing as your essay deals with environmental conservation, your thesis could be something like: “Environmental protection is essential to averting huge natural calamities.”
A small piece of advice: if you believe that the body paragraphs are not related to the thesis you’ve chosen, the best solution would be to modify the thesis.
The Three Body Paragraphs: 5 to 7 Phrases
This represents the “bulk” of your paper. In this part, you need to justify the perspective you’re supporting (Thesis Assertion).
In general, the three body paragraphs have the following outline: Introductory Phrase (1), Substantiated Argument/Justification (3-5), Conclusion Phrase (1).
The Introductory Phrase must concisely present your argument. It shouldn’t disclose too much. For instance, you could say something like: “Disforestation and atmosphere contamination affect the characteristics of the atmosphere and intensify the probability of illness in addition to damaging our planet!”
Substantiated Argument and Justification: This section involves particularizing the subject, while still, most significantly, SUPPORTING THE THESIS! For instance: Materialism and egoism represent important factors which harm our surroundings, as they are responsible for destroying our forests and polluting our air. While initially a couple of people may benefit from this, in the long run, these factors are dangerous to the entire population. For instance, in Beijing, the atmosphere quality is so low that people are obliged to use masks to be allowed to move around the city.
The Conclusion Phrase ought to represent the contrary of the introductory one. Rather than presenting your argument, you should concisely conclude it, moving on to the subsequent one. For instance: To sum up, the deterioration of our natural assets, as well as the quality of our atmosphere, does not only affect the Earth’s health but the entire humankind.
KEEP IN MIND THAT ALL 3 BODY PARAGRAPHS MUST HAVE THE SAME STRUCTURE!
The arguments you offer ought to be presented in the following order:
The first body paragraph ought to include your second most powerful argument
The second body paragraph ought to describe your poorest argument
The third body paragraph ought to present your most powerful argument
To have a better idea of the structure of a 5-paragraph essay, take a look at the following table:
Present and sustain your first substantiated notion using 3 proofs.
Present and sustain your second substantiated notion using 3 proofs.
Present and sustain your third substantiated notion using 3 proofs.
Reiterate Thesis AssertionProvide a summary of the 3 fundamental substantiated notions (A, B, D)General Conclusion Phrase
Conclusion (3 to 5 Phrases): This must reflect your introduction
Reiterate Your Thesis (Phrase 1): You must reiterate your primary argument (thesis) in a straightforward manner. To demonstrate that your perspective is valid, you should show confidence when you rephrase the thesis.
For instance: The security and endurance of our planet are highly reliant on the manner in which we choose to behave towards it, and the more attentively we stimulate the procedure, the more we will profit from it.
Providing conclusions for your substantiated arguments (1 to 3 Phrases): This part involves paraphrasing the central ideas of your arguments in a single phrase per paragraph.
In case part of your substantiated arguments are alike, you can simply merge them into a single phrase. This way, you’ll preserve an adequate organization. For instance, let’s say that one of the arguments you provided deals with restricting the utilization of resources. In that case, you can write something like “Restricting the utilization of our natural assets and enhancing their performance represent essential methods of strengthening the health of the Earth.”
Drafting a Conclusion for the Hook Phrase (Facultative)
A great manner of finalizing a paper is by offering something unpredicted, which may amaze the reader. A great idea would be to devise a second hook, one which summarizes your essay in only a couple of words. Ideally, create a rhetorical question.
For instance: “The soundness of the Earth is highly significant, and in the end, we don’t want to turn our planet into a desert, don’t we?”
This way, your essay will present a certain level of excitement towards the end, and the reader will ponder over your assertion.
Traditional Grading Criteria
Different educational establishments from all over the globe utilize different rules. Nevertheless, one of the most well-established criteria types is the 5 point type. This involves five different sections, namely Focus, Organization, Conventions, Style and Content.
Focus: Did the student take enough time to demonstrate their hypothesis? Did they meet this target?
Organization: Did the essay have a fluent style? Did the student move from one paragraph to the other in a steady manner? Did they stick to the adequate structure without deviating from it?
Conventions: Was the paper written using good grammar? Were the phrases too long?
Style: Did the student utilize high-quality lexicon? Did they repeat words too often? Were the phrase structures original enough?
Content: Did the student succeed in demonstrating their argument? Did they include coherent and accurate assertions? Did they come up with powerful arguments?
How Do I Proceed If I Have No Idea How to Write the Paper?
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If you have written at least one essay in your life, you should already know that a thesis statement is one of its essential components. Just like a speech, an argument, an ad — anything that conveys a message — an essay should have a strong, solid thesis, which acts as the foundation of your paper.
It really does not matter if you are writing a personal, narrative, argumentative, or compare-contrast essay. All of these need a thesis. Without it, the whole paper falls apart and fails to convey its message. And, now that we have determined how important a thesis is, how about we discuss some tips on writing one? So, here goes.
What is a thesis, in a nutshell?
Let’s make one thing clear right from the start — the thesis we are referring to here is actually a ‘thesis statement,’ not a Master’s thesis students are supposed to write before they graduate from university. The first one is a short, condensed sentence that summarizes the gist of your essay. The second one is a voluminous work that may take years to complete.
So, a thesis is the gist of your paper. Also, it should make your position on the subject very clear. And finally, a thesis should be compelling enough to make your reader (whoever he is) proceed with your paper.
Informative and Persuasive Thesis Statements
Essays can be very different, so the approaches to formulating thesis statements are different as well. On the whole, you can roughly subdivide all thesis statements into informative and persuasive. Let’s discuss them in greater detail.
It may seem that an informative essay calls for an informative statement. It is, of course, so but informative papers are not the only ones that can be based on an informative thesis. Basically, any paper where you are conveying facts and data should be based on an informative thesis.
To get a Master’s degrees, you must enter university, comply with the curriculum, and pass the exams.
Simply put, your essay goal is to convey information, and you make that goal clear in your thesis statement.
However, most essays (including argumentative, compare/contrast, and narrative) will have a purpose of persuading the reader in the author’s opinion. That is why these essays will be based on persuasive statements.
Getting a Master’s degree is an atavism, as most successful entrepreneurs today did not even finish high school.
As you can see, this example makes author’s position on the subject pretty clear, and it gives a reason why readers should agree with this stance. Once again, such an approach to formulating a thesis is perfect for argumentative, persuasive, and any other kind of opinion essays.
Thesis Statements Styles
Apart from approaches to formulating, thesis statements differ in styles. And, once again, it possible to roughly subdivide all thesis statements styles in two.
The first example uses evidence (at least two points) to support its reasoning. This style is usually used for short essays that have only a couple of body paragraphs. Why? Because it is a perfect way to convey the whole gist of your paper.
Take a look at this example:
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is one of the best epic fantasy novels of the twentieth century because it takes readers to a realistic yet imaginary setting, promotes courage in the face of difficulties, and teaches the value of friendship.
The example above is a persuasive thesis because it makes the author’s position pretty clear — Lord of the Rings is the greatest epic of the twentieth century. Further on, it conveys three major points (each of them will be discussed in a separate body paragraph): realistic setting, courage, and friendship. So, it lays out a perfect foundation for a five-paragraph essay (intro, three body paragraphs, and conclusion).
However, as you enter college, you will unlikely be assigned a lot of five-paragraph essays. As a rule, those are going to be longer works, so cramming up main points of each body paragraph into your thesis will not be reasonable. This leads us to the second style of writing a thesis statement — focusing on one larger point, traceable through your entire essay.
The opposition of good and evil is the central theme in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, which is vividly portrayed through the struggles of each separate character, as well as the general plot line.
Once again, this persuasive thesis makes a claim (that the opposition of good and evil is the central theme, not something else) and explains why it is so. And, even though the author’s reasoning becomes clear (the essay will discuss characters and plot line), the writer is no longer limited to a number of paragraphs. This kind of thesis statement works fine, no matter if the essay is three or ten pages long.
Strong Thesis Formula
Some students perceive visual information better than textual one, so let’s quickly turn all of the above paragraphs into just a couple of formulas.
So, shorter, 5-paragraph essays are based on thesis statements that go like this:
________ is because ________, ________, and ________.
Longer papers (above high school level) are based on thesis statements that go like this:
________ is because ________.
Of course, don’t use the exact ‘is because’ pattern — that level of writing is not acceptable even on a high school level. This quick figure is for your convenience only — so that you could structure a better-formulated thesis on this template.
What Features Make a Strong Thesis Statement?
So far, we have discussed all possible formats of structuring a thesis statement in great detail. Yet, format and structure alone do not always make up for a solid, convincing statement. What does then? There are three major qualities to look up to:
Length: of course, there is no such thing as a universal length of a thesis statement. Here, everything depends on the number of points it makes. Still, standard practice is to state your thesis in just one sentence. It is, however, subdivided into two parts (as we discussed above). First, you make a claim (that is, state your position) and then, you proceed to evidence (that is, enumerate your points). So, this sentence can run up to forty words, sometimes even longer. Note, though, that if you need more than 40 words for your thesis statement, you’d better break into two sentences — while not common, it is still acceptable for longer papers.
Placement: obviously, you cannot state your thesis in a concluding paragraph — what would be the point? Thesis belongs in the introduction; usually, in the final sentence; or, in some cases, somewhere by the end of your introduction.
Strength: still, one of the major features that make up a solid thesis is its strength. A strong thesis is a statement that can be argued; in other words, it cannot be a fact or general knowledge statement. Remember — you are to express your opinion on the subject. And, as you know, opinions differ, so make sure you choose something your reader might not agree with.
Here is how a weak thesis looks like:
Burgers are the most popular type of fast food in America.
While few people might want to refute this statement, the vast majority will agree with it. So, this sentence looks more like a fact, which makes it a poor thesis.
Here is a strong thesis looks like:
Burgers are of the most popular borrowed dishes in America.
This thesis is better because many people believe burgers to be national food.
Bottom line, coming up with a thesis statement does take some time — that is, if you are looking for a high grade and are not ready to settle for a C. The best tip here would be to decide what your paper is going to be about, what evidence you will be using in your work, and only then, proceed to formulating your thesis.
Common Application Essays: Writing the Perfect Essay
If you’re looking to apply to university, thankfully, technology has made it much easier – it’ll be most convenient for you to apply using the Common Application system. Almost 700 colleges are currently using the Common Application system, making it easy to apply to a multitude of colleges using only a single form. This system can even provide you with an adequate help, financial aid, and relevant information, while streamlining the college application process. Just this year, Common Application (CA) have provided a few different revised essay prompts and amendments to other prompts, with a total of three new prompts revisions and two completely new prompts. You can take these prompts on board and build your essays with them.
We understand that this may be one of the most important essays of your life and so this can be quite a daunting task – it’s as if you have one opportunity to make a difference to the rest of your career here, however, you shouldn’t worry! Fortunately for aspiring students, we’ve come up with some great tips, strategies, and advice to help you with the essay section of the application process. We’ll explore some of the prompts and give you ways in which you can tackle that critical essay. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, but we’ll certainly help walk and talk you through it.
Hopefully, after you’ve read this article, it’ll be smooth sailing to your respective college of choice! Let’s begin.
So what is the purpose of the CA essay? Colleges that you’re applying to will be able to get a good representation of your skills and personal attributes through the prose you’ll supply. Everything from your grades and past results will be available to colleges but the CA essay process is a bit different to this. Rather than a qualitative representation of what you’re about, the CA essay gives you an opportunity to showcase your personality and flare as a potential student. Through the essay, one is able to express their unique qualities and what matters most to them, so you should strive to do just this.
Through the online application system, your essay is going to be shown to various colleges so you won’t be able to tailor it towards different degree applications, making life a lot simpler. This is why you’ll need to write your essay so that it is accessible by a number of universities for a wide range of subjects.
Let’s Talk Strategy
The CA essay is not like an academic paper – it’s only 650 words, not 6500 words. We know that it can appear daunting because you’ll probably want to be shouting at your college with all the wonderful things about you, but soon you’ll find out that college writing is all about refinement and organising text in a clear and thought out manner, so this is what you’ll want to consider.
Before you can begin to approach some essay prompts, it’s important to brainstorm your core passions. Concentrate on something you’re passionate about and then think of the ways you connect with it. What makes you resonate with your core passion? If your core passion is creative writing, think about how you can make this come across. Perhaps you love the idea of expressing emotion, creative learning, discovery, portraying characters or bringing your life experiences to the table. Give your core passions scrutiny and a real think.
After you’ve taken a moment to determine your passion, you now have a strong purpose to write a CA essay. For every CA essay, there are four essential things that colleges will be looking to read about:
1. Who you are.
This goes a bit further than your name and contact details – readers are interested in your key personality elements that make you shine. This is above all, a personal showcase.
2. Why you are here.
This is not an indication to discuss existential philosophy. We’re not looking as to answer questions on the origins of life. Whoever is reading wants to know about your journey through high school and how you’ve developed, matured and grown as a person to want to attend college.
3. What makes you unique.
It is important for colleges to understand how you can fit in and how you’ll be able to bring value to a degree programme. Think about your tangible skills, soft skills, problem-solving skills, and any other personality traits that may distinguish you from others – you’ll need to show how you’re unique throughout.
4. What matters to you.
In the end, you’ll need to relate back to where your passions lie. This will help essay recipients understand more about your personality and if you’d fit in at a college.
Every individual is different and every college can be impressed by a multitude of things. The “one true passion” or “correct passion” don’t exist – whatever you’re into, you should express it. Use the four statements above to guide you through this process and through all of the essay prompts we’ll be looking at throughout this article.
Organizing Ideas and Writing
Besides the word count, there are really very limited guidelines for what’s expected of your CA essay, leaving you the freedom to exercise creativity in your approach, writing structure, and style. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should write a big splurge of text – you’ll need to be logical and the context must follow what the title asks. Ideas need to flow smoothly together to provide that perfect essay that’s going to make you stand out.
Now that you’re a prospective student, or a college graduate in the making, you’re going to need to impress them with a mature level of style in order to set your essay apart from the others. Needless to say, you’ll be expected to write with a good grammatical command and well thought out structure throughout, because the university level is set high. As for your use of language, don’t worry, we’re not talking Ernest Hemingway level here but rather a clear piece of text that’s logically set out and has some creative flair – this is what admissions officers will be looking for.
So how can you write with great style?
Show, don’t tell. This is a great stylistic move you can make to get the reader thinking about what you’re trying to tell them. You can use less adjectives and more poetry to guide the reader into trying to interpret ideas in the same way as you. To take an example, “the sun is shining” can be changed to “the enormous heated sphere is blaring in the sky”. A blatantly obvious description can lead to a pointless essay.
Avoid using cliches. Readers are hardly going to be impressed with statements such as “I woke up and it was all a dream”. This could have been written by anybody and it doesn’t showcase anything about you as a person. Look up some popular cliches online if you’re not familiar.
Avoid using vague statements. It’s time to become refined and demonstrate skill in writing. Plus, you don’t have the number of words to go on forever!
Write using the active voice. This is the grammatical rule whereby the subject acts upon a verb. It will bode well in essays rather than numerous passive sentences.
Write in a mature tone. You don’t want to come across like a spoilt child, someone who’s a cynic or a pessimist. A positive tone will bode well for an application. You don’t want to be arrogant either and flaunt that you have everything it takes, so if you’ve got a big ego, suppress it for the time being. Think about how to come across in a professional and dignified manner. Your CA essay reader is going to want to see a level of maturity so that you’ll be the best fit for their college.
Whatever you decide to do, do NOT resort to using your thesaurus to colour your language to provide a pointless overly complicated plethora of adjectives. Remember that this essay is not a test to show off an extensive range of vocabulary. An overuse of your thesaurus displays a lack of skill and is easily recognisable by the essay recipient, so if you’re going to use it, use it sparsely. Moreover, if your vocabulary appears to be at a higher level than what’s to be expected of a person of your age, essay recipients may not believe that it’s your work, therefore rejecting your essay outright!
The Prompt That Works for You
Let’s take a look at some of the most common CA essay prompts of 2018. Whilst doing this, you should think about what prompt best works for you and which would be the most interesting to write about. The greatest thing about the CA essay is that there isn’t just one singular topic for all applicants. Each prompt provides a number of new challenges, requiring a different way to think about each, so let’s get going and dive into some of them.
“Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”
What a great prompt! On the face of it, this prompt gives you a perfect opportunity for your passions and academic interests to come across, so there’s plenty of room to showcase yourself as best as you can. You can come up with a striking narrative that will show your personal development for whatever “incomplete” part you chose. The fact that this prompt is solely about YOU gives you a tall metaphorical platform for you to stand up and display yourself.
So what exactly is something “so meaningful”? It is up to the meaning that you associate with it. Prompt one allows you the chance to talk about something truly unique that you’re passionate about that will separate you. Perhaps you’re the only one who likes to blog about Nordic folk music? You’ll certainly stand out.
Not every passion has to be something completely unique, however. If you’re not into blogging about music, you can talk about anything that you’re passionate about. It’s not some sort of contest where the most outrageous and unique passion will win you a place at your favourite university – don’t lose sight of the meaning of the essay in the application process. Think about what’s made the most significant impact on your life so far.
If you’re writing about your background, you may want to talk about some training experiences you’ve had, your education, and any cultural insights. It’s possible to mention any experiences you’ve had when growing up whether it be interacting with your family or your brother or sister. How have your relationships made you the person you are today? Your background could include a multitude of things such as your interest in the arts, sciences, sport or any other important things. Your background is inclusive of your social environment from which you’ve come from. How has this environment influenced your thought processes, perceptions, and opinions? It’s even possible to talk about various backgrounds you’ve experienced and how they’ve become meaningful in your life.
If you choose to talk about your identity, this will allow you to discuss any questions about personal identity such as your race, gender, sexual orientation or any other parts that encompass you. What is true to the nature of yourself? Some of these ideas can pose as slightly controversial topics of discussion and writing, so always make sure that you approach them with the highest degree of caution. You won’t want to put anyone off by making any broad statements about stereotypes or any flippant comments. Think about the most dominant identity trait that you have. As an example, if you’re adventurous, you could talk about how this trait has allowed you to experience cultures and how this has made you deal with problems that needed to be solved.
If you’ve gone down the interest side of this prompt, this could pave a path for showcasing your passions – you may find that some of your passions won’t be applicable to talk about in other parts of CA application. As an example, if you’re applying for a mechanical engineering place, talking about your love for skateboarding could provide a nice touch. If you’re looking at a fashion course, writing about your keen interest in mathematics could demonstrate a whole new side of you to the admin officer. Where else would you write about these things? People should know of the great things about you!
“The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?”
This prompt is a true test to your personality. You won’t want to talk about an unequivocally dull failure, e.g. forgetting to bring your textbook to school, or a setback that isn’t really one. Don’t be afraid of talking about a true failure, because this prompt is not about making yourself look bad. It is clear that this prompt is a way for the reader to view your personality and see how you can overcome adversity. What a great way to illustrate how you have the personality and wisdom to rise above problems, think of solutions and grow as a person.
Your response to your chosen failure and the actions that you’ve employed to rid yourself of it are things to write about and make clear in this essay. If you’ve lost touch with a member of your closest friends group, analyse why this happened, where you went wrong and how you tried to improve. Even if your friend is still distant and the problem persists, you can always talk about how you haven’t let this ruin you and how this experience has helped you grow. Let the reader see that you’re able to analyse situations – perhaps you could have done something differently as not to have this problem. What solutions worked and what solutions would be better? How could you fix things here? If well written, your thought processes should soon become apparent to the reader, highlighting your critical thinking and reasoning faculties. Working on tackling obstacles is a way to talk about your approach to controversial issues, or even your understanding of ethics.
It’s still possible to talk about a series of smaller or disparate failures that you’ve experienced but have worked positively to overcome. If for example, you’ve always been very shy, you could talk about how you managed to seek help, read about how to overcome your issues and ultimately try and fix your social anxiety. This powerful and thought-provoking prompt could put you in the running in the application process.
“Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?”
It’s not typical of students to participate or march in protests, but one could still yield a first-class response from this prompt. Instead of challenging a belief in this sense, you could focus on a time when you took a different stance on some social conventions and questioned some societal norms. In doing so, perhaps you raised some salient points? It’s important that this doesn’t become a crusade against some social issue or a platform for moral superiority, but rather that you can reflect on your experiences and analyse your situations.
Perhaps you felt strongly about some situation and this piqued your curiosity, sparking your train of thought? Whatever you choose to write about, the most important thing is not to lose sight of the essay at hand. In a piece of reflective writing, you want to take the reader on a journey to explore your cognitive processes that lead to making decisions.
If you’re struggling for ideas but like the idea of a reflective essay, brainstorm some ideas by writing a problem down and then looking at different solutions you could use to address it, whilst including justifications for doing so. The more you explain and justify your solutions to the problem, the better your response can be.
In the end, you’ll want to demonstrate that you have some degree of logical thinking and an attitude to do what’s right. This could be a great prompt to showcase your morals and critical faculties. In describing the outcome, you could talk about why that outcome came about and what you could have done better. There is plenty of room for analysis and an intriguing essay here.
“Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.”
This prompt allows you to choose between three different ideas and gives you quite a broad scope to play with because you can talk about anything as long as it is of importance to you personally. We’re sure, after reading this, you could think of at least ten different problems straight away off the top of your head, but it’s essential that you pick one that is profoundly concerning to you personally so that you can make the reader aware of its personal impact.
There are many ways that you could approach this prompt. It’s possible to tell more of an origin type story about why the problem became interesting to you or you could explain the consequences of the problem at hand plus its resolutions. There’s leeway in writing this essay, depending on the nature of your problem, your solution, and your personal experience.
Describing a problem doesn’t mean you’ll have to shed some light on deep theories and present a detailed explanation involving lots of jargon. Sure, you’re describing the problem, but this will not showcase anything about you. You’ve got to remember that the main reason why you’re writing a CA essay in the first place is that you’re trying to make the reader aware of your personality, skills, and reasons as to why you should be considered. So if you’re going to pick an intellectual challenge, there’s no need to go into a verbal spew of quantum mechanics in order to detail your problem, leaving you with 15 words to spare, after all, what does this say about you?
Along with a description of the problem needs to come an explanation of the experience that led you to realise that it was personally important. Why was this a grave problem? Presumably, you’re going to talk about a grave problem, not forgetting to take the rubbish out in the morning for a month (this wouldn’t offer a very exciting solution). So how do you want to solve the problem after identifying a solution? This is the real showcase of your problem-solving abilities. Evaluate what you could have done better or perhaps your solution was just one of many? Maybe your problem was just a small piece of an even bigger problem that society should try and solve, for example, if you were trying to help your friend through their chronic drug addiction, maybe this raises other issues for other ordinary members of society. Perhaps tackling one case of drug addiction is just a part of an epidemic of drug addiction in the country and you can talk about some of the solutions for this.
The question allows you to expand into the hypothetical territory by considering a problem you’d like to solve. This is a great way to use your imagination, but think carefully about choosing a topic that will give you enough to talk about tangible solutions. Avoid any cliche problems, e.g. solving climate change or bringing about world peace because it will just look like you’ve been lazy in thinking of an idea. Try to avoid any problems that require vague solutions, e.g. to solve the problem of overpopulation, one could repopulate the human race on Mars – how and why? Let’s not get carried away here.
“Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.”
Much like the prompt on problem-solving, there is a really broad array of things to choose from and discuss. It seems that the sky’s the limit here! So what kind of things could you choose? Do any formal or informal events come to mind? Perhaps you’ve been a part of a religious event or some other sort of ritual whereby you “rose up in the ranks”, maybe in a spiritual way (e.g. in a Bar Mitzvah) or in a social sense (e.g. being elected the leader of your year). As a brainstorming exercise, consider any moments in your life describing a transgression and note them down – pick which had the most profound change and think about why it was so profound. Again, the essay recipient isn’t going to be interested in the detail of the accomplishment, realization or event in question, but rather in the way you’ve grown.
It isn’t necessarily the case that the particular realization, event or accomplishment needs to be one of enormous grandeur, there’s no need to resort to describing an excerpt of the latest Hollywood drama here. The severity of the situation needn’t be an issue here. Perhaps you have a simple event that really caused you to change your ways of thinking or inspired you in a unique way. For example, perhaps you’ve always followed in the footsteps of your family that have never been particularly enthusiastic about sport, but when you reluctantly accepted a late birthday present of a free kayaking lesson, this immediately sparked an interest and put into reality that you loved kayaking. Upon hitting the water in this kayak, you went out of your way and out of your comfort zone to realise that you need to try new things and open your mind to other experiences in the future.
What’s going to make your essay stand out here is a definition of what has really grown you as a person and then going into detail about the circumstances of this growth and the ways in which it related to an understanding of you and other people. It’s not as important to detail exactly how you grew, but rather why you grew and you’ll need to elaborate on the reasons. There is even room for a bit of analysis for the future – to what degree will you keep on growing as a result of the case you’ve described and are you likely to keep developing because of it for a lot longer in the future?
“Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?”
Let’s not take this literally, of course, you’ll never lose track of time! Here you can expand upon a small idea or concept in a large and profound way, giving you lots to write about. The key is in the words “all track of time”, indicating that you must, and we mean must, talk about something that is intensely meaningful to you.
One idea is to think about your passions and interests – narrow down from these and try and think of the most striking thing about one of your passions. Are you getting nearer to the topic you’ll be discussing? Or perhaps when you read the prompt, an idea came to you instantly. When brainstorming what to write about, put an idea under scrutiny and think about what engaging qualities it may have in order to engage with this idea on a deeper level. If you find many things to discuss, it could prove to be the idea for you to use.
The topic could be broad, for instance, “language”, with a discussion of how it’s evolved and adapted over time. Perhaps you find it so captivating because of the vast differences in languages over the world, from Asian characters, to the multitude of tenses in western languages. You can expand on your topic by finding areas within it that are of particular interest to you and then expanding on them. If it captivates you, it must be intriguing, so explain why it is.
Similarly, your topic could have a narrower focus, but you could really expand on it in a detailed way. If you like cycling, you could discuss the joy of physical movement and the feeling you get when you’re going at full tilt. A top tip is to make use of descriptive writing – use metaphors, paint a picture of the sound of the wind as you’re pedaling downhill or the feel of the road vibrating through your shins. Building up a picture will help you answer exactly why you’re captivated by something. It’s no use saying that you love cycling – you’ll need to put the contents of your thoughts on exhibition and show your true emotional connection. Following on, you could progress on to reveal your passion for the complexity of cycling, all the physics and mechanics of various parts – why do certain bolts and chain-rings trump others? Show off your geeky side and intelligence. There are many things that you could show off your personality and flare.
“Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.”
Wow, a topic of your choice! This prompt actually advocates that you can write your own question, which is a great bonus. If you already have a strong arsenal of previous essays, then you could easily drag one out to help inspire you.
However, this is not to say that you can just rehash a previous essay, because even if it’s the highest graded essay you’ve ever written, the CA essay is all about reaching beyond high grade scores and focusing on you. This prompt isn’t one to just be lazy towards – anyone could simply interpret the prompt to the meaning that you don’t have to think too hard about what’s going to be the best fit for an essay, but you’ll need to give the prompt some serious thought, otherwise, you’re unlikely to succeed.
Instead, as a brainstorming technique, gather up any past essays that you’ve completed. Two words need to be considered: how and why. How is your topic going to impress and why is it a worthy topic? Your writing style will need to be on point here, so that you can showcase a strong personality and voice. The essay needs to make a long-lasting impression. Designing a prompt completely on the fly could prove to be quite a daunting and time-consuming task – it’s best to have something that you can work with.
Avoid topics that can make you look bad and that have negative connotations – it’s a no-brainer. Even if you can write well about your drug use, colleges won’t want to have to deal with illegal activities and the consequences of substance abuse on campus. Equally, admins aren’t going to be thoroughly impressed by your active sex life – these things may seem interesting to your close circle of friends, but they won’t display much maturity and could provide a cringe-worthy piece of text. As previously mentioned, also avoid cliche topics that have been done time and time again, such as your travel journal or a dream sequence.
As a rule of thumb, put yourself in the readers’ shoes and consider how you’d feel if you were reading your essay. Writing can be therapeutic, but the CA essay needn’t be, so refrain from writing about uncomfortable topics that relate to traumatic times in your personal life as they’re likely to inspire discomfort in the reader. It will be difficult to write about such essay topics whilst also conveying a positive message.
Conclusion: Let Them See the Real You
So there you have it. Plenty of great examples and advice to get your CA essay on the move. It can’t be stressed enough that your essay needs to showcase YOU as a person. Meredith Lombardi, the Associate Director of the Common Application programme herself, has mentioned that the CA essay prompts are there to give all applicants the opportunity to share their ideas and voice with colleges all over, telling their unique story and helping bring it to life. You should take these words on board. The CA essay is certainly not a place to list your complex accomplishments, because the college application already gives you a space to do that, so don’t go on about it in the essay. In the same way, this is not the place to list excuses for your failing grades and any mishaps in your high school career!
Write with style and finesse, whilst also putting your identity, personality, interests, character, and aspirations out on display for all recipients to see. Make sure not to rush into it initially, spending plenty of time planning and formulating your ideas in order not to hit any sort of writer’s block. With the following examples and strategies, you’ll be at a key advantage and can be well on your way.
Even with a weak resume, having a smart cover letter might be all you need to get a job. We hope that with these guidelines we will assist you in writing the best of these documents. It’s quite a straightforward written outline, and by following it, you’ll quickly get more interviews. Also, with our free to download the checklist, you can quickly identify issues missing in your letter.
But what are cover letters? Well, they are documents of mostly one page. While applying for a job, you’re typically required to send them together with your resume. They perform four essential functions:
First, they introduce you to the hiring organization
They show why you are the best fit for the company
They talk about things that cannot be written on your resume
Provide additional explanation on your resume
If you can include just these four aspects, your cover letter will be compelling and convincing. Besides, it offers the best resume companion!
Let us now look at the critical steps you need to follow:
Include All Contact Information
To start off, it’s essential that you include both your contact information and that of your potential employer. Take a look at this example:
While the above example shows all the information to write in this part, you can format it in different ways. Go through some of the attractive cover letter layouts we have to learn about more fundamental ideas.
How to Write Your Introduction
It’s essential that you know the person that you’re writing to. Here, you should put yourself in the shoes of your hiring manager. Most people use “Dear Sir/Madam or “To whom it may concern” Although both are useful addresses they are not so popular nowadays.
“Dear Sir or Madam“portrays you as someone still living in the 1860’s. “To whom it may concern” is considered annoying to most hiring managers. Proper research is necessary if you are going to avoid this problem quickly. Do a thorough analysis of the company’s LinkedIn, website or even call the organization to get the recruiting managers name. Don’t worry if you get it wrong; it’s still good to show that you’ve made some effort.
How Do You Introduce Yourself?
Start by accurately describing the position you want to the employer. Also, show how you came across the opportunity. The entire paragraph should display all your necessary information. These are details such as your degree and expertise or area of study. Remember to write your career goals and show how they match with the goals and objectives of the organization.
The second paragraph of your cover letter should directly respond to the type of job written by the recruitment manager. Here, you should carefully describe your skills, previous job experiences, and abilities. Explain how these traits will help you to meet all the needs of the company. To make it easier, you should write phrases and words as found in the employer’s job description in your letter(s).
It’s also advisable that you take the extra mile and do enough research on the company. Try and find out what they do and why – considering the current situation of their organization. Have a third paragraph, where you’ll explain your role in that schema, and how you can help take the industry forward. Talk about how you plan to achieve any objectives you think they might have.
Writing a Strong Conclusion
The final piece of your cover letter is known as the “call to action.” Here, you should tell the recruitment managers that you’re ready to come in for an interview. Let them know that you’ll call them within a week if you don’t get a response. Remember to thank them for taking the time to go through your cover letter.
A Guide to Proper Page Formatting
Other than coming up with relevant page content, the real feel and look for the letter is also an essential factor of your document. Take care of things such as font and margin sizes, and style as well as alignment. These play a huge part in building a good impression with your hiring manager.
Below are some of the quick tips you need to follow:
To be on the safer side, use margins of around 1 to 1.5. If you experience trouble in putting everything on a single page, you can just adjust the measurements. However, take great care not to produce crammed up content.
Use a font size of 12-points and above. If specified, you can go below this number but keep in mind that those fonts of lower than 12 may strain the eyes of the hiring manager.
The font style depends on your preference. Here, try to pick one that matches what your potential employer uses or appears professional.
Maintain the same type of alignment all through – we advise that you left-align all the paragraphs in your cover letter.
The CV Proofreading Process
For cover letters, we’ve found that it’s best to use the applicant tracking system (ATS). The software ensures that you read up on your document before sending it to the recruitment manager. The program is mostly meant for reading through job application resumes. They go through key-phrases and keywords to accurately determine if you should move on to the next page. Interestingly, 70% percent of all jobs are filled using the applicant tracking software.
Other such software goes through letters, while others do not. So, it’s good to be always prepared. Luckily, with the instructions provided above, your cover letter should be in perfect shape. Still respond directly to the job requests of your potential manager, and remember to include some of the languages in the job description. Once you’ve done this, you already give yourself a higher likelihood of identifying key phrases and keywords.
Who Reads Your Cover Letters?
Eventually, someone will always read your letter. Will they go through it carefully? Well, this depends on the recruitment manager. There are those who use the letters to clear candidates from the large stack. Other hiring managers believe that it’s better to judge a candidates qualification from his or her interview skills. Whichever the case, you’ll need to come up with an impressive cover letter. It’s the only way to improve your chances of landing a job.
Best Cover Letter Templates
We have some of the most fantastic cover letter templates for you to choose from when the time comes. Pick the section that suits you, your present life situation and work experience in the best possible way. When it comes to the tone, choose the one that matches your unique personality.
Before you begin, here are some of the five tips on how to benefit from these templates:
Have various positive traits such as: Adaptable, detail-oriented, Diligent, hardworking, efficient and responsible among others
Include your soft skills like those in leadership, communication, management, research and problem solving, just to name a few.
Show the hiring manager your hard professional qualifications – Our amazing cover letter samples and resume by company pages will help you in coming up with the best language to use.
Include your GPA – Your GPA should be above 3.5 for you to insert it here!
Insert your degree and style it using this method – (BS Engineering) remember to include even the parenthesis
As you get started, we would love you to copy and paste your best template into these attractive and already arranged cover letter layouts. They include:
Models for high school students with no working experience
High school students with work experience
High school students who’ve just graduated but lack work experience
There are also templates for college students who’ve not held any job positions before
College students with working experience
Fresh college graduates with some level of expertise
College graduates with no work experience
Templates for non-students with no working experience
Lastly, professionals with enough working knowledge
Our Variety of CV Template Designs
Here are eight free easy to download cover letter designs. Choose the template that suits you best from the list below:
Elegant Brick Red
Harvard dark blue
Modern Brick Red
How to Address “Red Flags” In Your Cover Letter
“Red Flags” play a crucial role when it comes to writing a cover letter. So, what is a red flag? Well, it’s something in your personal or professional history that can negatively change the way a recruitment manager views your entire job application. While several red flags are quickly addressed in the document, you should leave others for your interview stage.
Here is a list of the eight most significant red flags found in different cover letters. If you find one that applies to you, make sure to learn how you can handle it. It should not be something that prevents you from getting a suitable job!
If you’ve post-hopped previously but still want a career change
To get the job, you’ll have to change your location
You may have gaps in employment on your resume
If you were dismissed from your previous post
You might be a self-employed individual looking to jump ship
Cases of disability or other medical issues
You may have a history of crime
Have you been previously laid off?
Some Important Questions
We’ve received several questions from our readers on how to come up with attractive cover letters. Principal among these queries was how you should address a company that does not include its name and that of the hiring manager. Good examples are those jobs posted on Craigslist. Here, instead of using phrases such as “To Whom it may concern” simply address the potential employer with something like, “Dear Recruitment Manager.”
Another important issue that we need to address is whether or not you need to include your salary requirements in your cover letter. For professionals, it may seem unfair applying for a job and then starting off in a beginner’s salary. However, unless specified in the job advertisement, do not include your salary or wage requirements.
With the above information, you’ll find that writing a cover letter is a pretty straightforward process. You’ll only need to identify the four critical issues to address, and then nail them down in a simple yet impressively written letter. Good luck as you try to land the job!