Are you ambitious enough to take AP English class? If so, get ready for a couple of surprises. After all, the logical outcome of the class is an AP English exam; and, the essential part of AP English test is essay writing. More precisely, you will have to complete three different essay types, and chances are — one of these types will be a rhetorical analysis paper. And this is exactly the part where you get frustrated because most students have never worked with this particular assignment type before. If this is the case with you, read on — we’ll guide you through the entire process.
Rhetorical Analysis: the Basics
Have you seen the Inception movie? The one that deals with the concept of a dream within a dream, within a dream? Well, a rhetorical analysis essay is quite similar to that — with a little exception, of course. In a nutshell, a rhetorical analysis paper is writing about writing. Still confused? Let’s dig into more detail. For a rhetorical analysis, you take separate phrases from an already written work (most often, by some prominent author) and analyze them to see which persuasion techniques the writer uses and which effect is he/she trying to achieve. The most commonly analyzed works are famous speech. Think I Have a Dream famous.
How to prepare for a rhetorical analysis
Any exam is a time-limited procedure, so if you really want to ace it, preparation is the key to success. Remember that the time you have for writing will also involve reading and analyzing (even before you lift a pen). So, the best you can do is read, analyze, and even take notes at the same time. Here are just some things to focus on here:
The author: who is he?
The audience: why them?
The purpose of the speech: what is the author trying to achieve?
The setting: why this setting exactly?
Finding answers to all of these questions as you read the speech will make the writing process way easier. More importantly, it will save you a lot of time, which is precious during the exam. These simple questions alone give you a great start for the analysis — not to mention, they help you understand the three methods of persuasion (ethos, logos, and pathos defined by Aristotle eons ago).
What are these three methods exactly? There is a simple way to tag them: ethos deals with ethics; logos — with logic; and pathos — with emotions. In other words, each of the persuasion techniques appeals to a different side of human reasoning: the sense of decency and overall credibility in case of ethos; the emotions in case of pathos (which is the most effective, but also the most sneaky way to prove your ideas); and the logical reasoning in case of logos.
Take a look at the following example of the three:
Ethos: Scientists have proven this treatment effective.
Pathos: Make a right decision — you know what it is in your heart.
Logos: History has shown us that war is a permanent state for the mankind.
Also, note that speeches chosen as prompts for an AP exam usually involve all three of these persuasion techniques; so, try to make a note of them and — more importantly — practice writing rhetorical essays before the actual exam. Take some time to draft at least a couple before the actual exam day.
Outlining a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Remember the part about analyzing and taking notes as you read? This tip should help you mark the techniques used in the speech. After you’ve finished with that, you will have a lot of scattered, chaotic notes. Take a couple of minutes to put them to order. Aim for the 5-6 paragraph essay — that’s going to be your best bet. Two of those paragraphs will be introduction and conclusion, which leaves you 3-4 body paragraphs — that is, just 3-4 statements (persuasion techniques) to focus on. In fact, you can even include 3 body paragraphs, dedicated to ethos, logos, and pathos consequently. In that case, make sure you choose the most convincing, vivid quotes to support each of the analyzed methods.
Now, let’s take a quick look at each essay section in greater detail.
Even though the intro is important (after all, it sets the tone for the whole paper), the primary analysis will happen in the body paragraphs. So, make sure your intro short and to the point. The best way to achieve this effect is to summarize the main message of the speaker. Then, focus on what exactly the speaker is saying to interpret it and present your thesis. This will show that you do understand the essence of the speech, and more importantly, are ready to analyze it in detail. Finally, make sure the thesis is not too obvious and can be argued with — this will intrigue the reader.
The body is the most important section of your rhetorical essay — the part your teacher will pay most attention to. So, make sure it is informative and logical. Here, you are to explain how exactly the author uses persuasion methods. The best way to do it is to dedicate a separate paragraph for each new technique. You can choose 3-4 quotes (see above) and craft a separate paragraph on each. After stating the quote you choose, you will have to analyze it, in-depth. A solid analysis answers the following questions:
What kind of strategy is it?
How does it work?
Why does the author use this technique in the context?
How does the technique affect the audience?
Another thing to focus on in the body paragraph is the shifts in the author’s tone, voice, and even the length of the sentences (if any, of course). Sure, these details might seem minor in understanding the purpose of the speaker, but they do show your grasp on the overall style and usage of rhetorical techniques. Finally, make the most of the citations and remember the reference them correctly.
Once you’re done with the main part, wrap your findings up in the conclusion. The conclusion is similar to the introduction, but not quite the same. A great conclusion explains how the speech affects the audience. Focus on the result here — did the speech change anything in the society? Did it have an effect on its listeners? Did it help shape history as we know it today? This is the best way to highlight the significance of the analyzed work. Then, quickly summarize what you have already described in the body, and restate your thesis. That’s it!
Extra Writing Tips
Have a couple more minutes before the time runs out? Do not forget to proofread your essay. Even five minutes of polishing up can make a huge difference to your paper, so make sure to double-check the following:
Grammar and spelling: as we write, we often make stupid errors, which seriously affect the quality of our papers. Take a close look at the essay to see if there are any grammar and spelling inconsistencies — or, simple typos in that matter.
Word usage: when writing quickly, we subconsciously stick to the simple words. But, if you have the time to replace some of them with synonyms, it will highlight your vocabulary and make the paper more engaging to read. And, of course, a vast vocabulary range is one more factor the teacher will pay extra attention to.
Logic and coherence: make sure you do not just jump from one idea to another. Include logical transitions — this will make your writing style smooth, and your paper — coherent. Also, try to take a critical look at your essay. Are you sure your reasoning is easy to follow? Do you make yourself clear in each of the paragraphs?
Tense usage: it is common practice to write academic papers in present tense. The problem is, when we write, we often switch tenses. So, one more thing to double check before handing in your paper is your tense flow. Sure, working with quotations might sometimes involve including past tense in your paper. Still, your own words should better be written in the present.
Analysis, not summary: this is the key point when writing an essay. Summarizing the plot and simply listing the rhetoric devices will not get you anywhere. Instead, analyze how each of the devices is used in text and provide evidence on how it impacts the readers.
Still Worried about your rhetorical essay analysis?
Yes, we do understand that writing your first rhetorical essay analysis is confusing. Fortunately, Elite Essay Writers is the leading team of academic experts on the web. Of course, we won’t be able to enter the exam room with you. But, you can always talk to us directly if you need more help with wrapping your head around persuasion techniques. And, if you are given a rhetorical essay as homework, you can even order it here! We can provide you with a perfect, polished up paper that will serve you a great example of what a solid rhetorical essay should look like!
Have you ever wondered what makes a paragraph interesting to read? Has it ever occurred to you that some sentences immediately draw you in, while some others bore you to death? When writing an essay, the best way is to start with an engaging sentence, a sentence that makes the reader want more. Such sentences are also called hooks – meaning, they hook the readers and make them interested in whatever comes next.
Creating a hook sentence, however, is not always an easy task. Still, the following tips should help you master the essentials.
Draw the reader in with a question. Asking a question can be a very helpful stylistic tool, because it makes the reader think, and, as it does, it makes him/her want to find out what you have to say on the subject.
Make the most of descriptive language. The main goal of descriptive vocabulary is to create a certain image in the reader’s mind. By doing so, you’re creating a kind of connection between you and the reader, which is always good for the engagement. Here, the trick is not to describe facts or events, but rather the feelings they convey. Here’s an example: “sprawling in a hammock and sipping iced orange juice is definitely one of my most favorite things to do in summer’.
Keep the readers intrigued. Keeping a mystery is not a bad thing – especially if you want your readers to read the paper until the very end. If you include no more than a couple of details in your description, the rest will be left to the reader’s imagination. Once again, they’ll have a chance to create an image of their own, establishing a stronger connection to your writing.
Does it still sound tough? No worries, you can always get professional help with essay writing. Here, by the way, is the best place to start!
Whether you’re writing an essay for an assignment or you’re publishing the latest scientific research, there will always be a minimum you have to write. We’re sure that there are topics that you’ll be able to write about endlessly with ease, but often, there will be a limit to the amount of ideas and sentences you can note down. Have you ever sat down with dread and marveled at the thought “I’m never going to finish this essay”? What do you do when you’ve squeezed out every drop of creativity and every last word from your mind? How are you going to make sure your piece of writing is complete? Falling short of your goal is not an option.
You’re obviously not going to fill up remaining space with irrelevant nonsense – you’ve got to maintain your integrity as a writer. If you think you’ll never be able to finish it, then think again. Fortunately, help is at hand with many tools and ideas that you can use to finish your essay and put the word count at a respectable length without compromising any of its content.
Planning is your friend, in fact, your best friend. If you think an essay can be written on the fly without any planning, then you’re going to find it hard to make it a good piece of text. Moreover, you’re going to find it hard to make it a LENGTHY piece of text. A good plan is the key to a decent essay. Before you even start writing, you’ll need to set yourself up for maximum success.
The more research you have on your topic, the easier you’ll find it to make points and express ideas. You’re unlikely to suffer from writer’s block if you’re not short of ideas, so from the get-go, have everything you want to write about planned out meticulously, and then once you’ve finished, add more ideas to your plan.
As you plan for the essay ahead, you’ll notice your creative thought processes moving. Planning not only allows to organize ideas so that you’re not short of anything to write, but the process will get your mind working so that you can think of other ideas to elaborate on!
So after you’ve got a good idea of what you’d like to write, consider broadening the horizons of your essay. You won’t have to include these things per se, but why not gather more and more ideas just in case. If you’re writing a critical essay, you could include a wider range of perspectives from other people. If you’re talking about pollution problems, examine a larger population or even a larger geographic region. Let’s say you’re writing about societal change over time, here, you could consider lengthening the time span. You’ll be surprised by how much more you can think of just by changing scale and time.
So, you’ve gathered a lengthy set of ideas and your plan is watertight – what about if you still can’t make the word count? Fortunately, the help is at hand.
Add More Examples
Have a skim over what you’ve written and look for an instance where you’ve discussed a particular example. Is it possible to add another one? In the majority of cases, you should be able to give further examples or relate an idea to something additional. This won’t necessarily read badly either. Providing extra points could provide added value for the reader and will allow you to further demonstrate an understanding of your topic. In a similar way, you could seek out statements in your essay that lack examples and then add some. This will add to your statements and your word count.
Let’s suppose that you really can’t add additional examples, you can back up the validity of your points to the reader using specific statements of clarification. Further statements can be used. Consider the two following statements:
1. Egypt’s slaves were horrifically mistreated.
Now let’s try and clarify that.
2. Egypt’s slaves were horrifically mistreated, in other words, slaves were being made to work all day every day.
Use phrases such as “in other words…”, “especially because…” and “particularly because…” to provide further clarity to your statements and further words to your essay. However, don’t go overboard and clarify everything because this will make your writing disjointed and messy. Phrases such as these are best used sporadically to increase reader comprehension.
If you’re writing an essay where you’ve given your opinions and views, can you think of any other important people who had different views and ideas? It might be a good idea to include some alternative viewpoints to your own. These different viewpoints will add variety to the piece and you’ll have even more opportunities to discuss these viewpoints in concluding statements. Analysing various views in an essay will give you more to write about whilst also demonstrating that you have good understanding and evaluative skills. Take the time to compare and contrast different views and explain your reasons behind doing so.
While you’re reading about other people’s opinions, you can add direct quotes about what they’ve said to back up points and give examples. If you back up an argument based on what someone has said, put a direct quote of what was said in your work. The addition of quotations can provide clarity and additional words.
In order to improve on your word count and essay quality, looking around for other sources is a great way to support statements that you’ve made. You can even write about each source and go into some in-depth discussion about which source is more valid and for what reason. The more sources you have to back up ideas, the stronger your essay will be. In the same way that you can consider alternative points of view, you can consider different sources of information. Look around on Google Scholar where you can search key phrases to find sources of information related to them. If you’re writing an academic essay with citations, try to include a few more citations in your work but not too many as you could flood the text and leave it sounding broken up. A great way of doing this is to look at the reference list of a paper you’re currently reading and find some similar sources there.
Rework and Repeat
So your essay is nearly there, but you just can’t seem to reach the conclusion. Read over what you’ve made and see if you’ve left something out. Chances are that 9/10 times, there will be something missing, allowing you to provide additional text. Adding some tactical filler may be difficult to do in the main body of the text, but the introduction and conclusion are usually places where you can afford to put a little extra in so as to give more body to your text. The concluding remarks are the ones where discussion is key and so you’ll have more space to make this wordier than it has to be.
Things to Avoid
Fill up your text by all means but try not to compromise the text itself. To anybody, poor use of cluttering and verbal diarrhea looks like you’re obviously running out of things to say. In order to make your essay longer, add honest text and write about things that make perfect sense. It’s important to be aware of what NOT to do, so here are some common things that people might try which don’t work:
Stating the obvious – this may get you more words but really just sounds horrible. It shows a lack of style in writing and doesn’t add any information.
Repeating yourself – why would you need to repeat what you’ve already said? It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense. …is this getting annoying now?
The use of certain adjectives – “really”, “very”, “extremely” and other adjectives are often overused and are dull.
Overuse of adjectives – over the top verbal gibberish is not pleasant to read. It’s easy to tell when someone is using too many adjectives in a sentence to make things seem longer than they need to be.
Using very complex words and sentences – punctuation and grammar are there to serve a purpose, to make things easy to understand. Using complex words and sentences will leave your readers feeling frustrated and confused.
Just like a painter has a stylish painting, a writer has stylish writing, but don’t go over the top. Remember who you are and who you’re writing for. Any attempt to change your style to include additional words will be obvious. To sum up the points above, let’s look at this statement where mistakes have been highlighted in bold:
“In William Golding’s book which he wrote called the ‘Lord of the Flies’, a group of children are in a plane which crashes down from the sky onto an island to find themselves alone without any adults because their plane has crashed and there is no escape. The children have to work together and cooperate in order to survive. The book makes a really great point about various cultural themes such as our humanity and explores concepts that the writer wished for us to discuss such as tragedy and savage behaviour in the most beautiful literature that graced the shelves of bookstores throughout at that particular time.”
It’s likely that this statement is a bit repetitive, annoying and unreadable. It’s a drag to read and so much could be condensed. Why make your readers suffer? If your essay is being marked, you might even lose more marks writing like that than if you don’t reach your word count. Let’s take out some of the bad stuff and write in a more succinct style:
“In William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’, a plane crash leaves a group of children trapped on an island to find themselves alone without any adults. The children have to work together and cooperate in order to survive. The book makes a great point about our humanity and explores concepts such as tragedy and savage behaviour in beautiful prose.”
Sure, the first statement had more words, but is that really the style you aspire to write in? Never let the quality of your writing slip unnecessarily!
Formatting Tricks and Tips
If you’re concerned about the page count of your essay rather than the word count, there are a few tricks and tips that you could use to give your essay the appearance of length and grandeur. The problem with this is that it could be obvious, so use your best judgement in all cases and think how you’d feel as the teacher or reader.
Increase the page margins – doing this makes the space for your text a bit more narrow and allows you to fill up a page with fewer words
Increase the font size so that your text has a larger appearance and takes up more space
Some fonts are larger in size than others, so choose the largest if you’re looking to fill up room on a page
Separate paragraphs by adding a line space in between instead of a small indent at the start of the paragraph. You could also widen this indent if you’d like to – you’ll be able to see quite an obvious difference.
Let’s Try and Finish Typing Now
So if you’re looking to increase your essay both in length and visual size, you’re now complete with the tools you need to write as many words as you want in an interesting way. This article isn’t going to make you read on and on, because what’s said has hopefully been said, and in a way that wasn’t relentless. Keep your essays high quality and have fun in the writing process.
Writing essays is a struggle for many students, and it doesn’t matter what level you are as you will often encounter aproblem while writing. There are many issues that students face when writing, such as writer’s block, spelling mistakes, punctuation errors but one of the biggest problems and most annoying one has to be falling short of words to write.
You may start off an essay with much zeal and excitement but this is short lived when you realize that you didn’t reach the expected number of words for the essay. Here, we teach you how to make an essay longer. Normally, when given an essay assignment, you are given a number of paragraphs or words that you should attain and this is usually one difficult feat for students.
This article will help you find ways of correctly making your essay longer without using any of the mischievous ways that will also be discussed.
How To Prepare To Write A Long Essay
The saying goes that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. This applies to almost everything people do and writing is no different. You need to come up with the correct strategy to write an essay, especially if you know that it is considerably longer than you would normally handle. You want to do this without using fluff and silly tactics that will get you caught.
Research. There are some topics that you already have some information about, on account of them being in a topic that you have tackled before or it is an area of interest. In such cases, you may be tempted not to research further, which will expose you to falling short of words. So whether you have information about your topic or not, research widely on it to get more information which will lead to more words to write.
Outline your work. This is the easiest way of knowing whether you have enough content to write about. You should clearly outline your ideas from the start to finish as this will help you to better organize your essay and identify any areas that you need to work on. In case you didn’t know, outlining also helps you write faster which gives you more time to evaluate your work and find out what is missing.
Think outside the box (topic). Please note that this does not mean you should deviate from your topic. Sometimes thinking outside the box will give you more ideas of how to handle the topic. This works well if your topic just doesn’t have enough points.
The best way to do this is by:
Looking at more perspectives.
Studying more people that are not necessary covered by the topic.
Broadening your geographic location.
Increasing the time frame you are studying.
However, this only works properly if you factor in your deadline, so always start preparing and writing early so as to avoid getting caught up with time.
How NOT To Make An Essay Longer
Truth be told, there are a lot of ways to make your essay look longer without necessarily adding more content that makes it actually longer. These are everywhere on the internet. What they do not tell you is that if you are required to write a specified number of words and you do not reach it then these ways will not help much. This is because one can easily see the number of words when they open the document, or manually count them, in the case of a hardcopy essay.
There are a number of ways that students typically try to make an essay longer than it really is such as:
Increasing the margins.
Increasing the font size.
Using a font that appears larger than the usual ones.
More spacing after paragraphs or punctuation marks.
You may think that these changes are not obvious but what you may not be taking into account is that your instructor will not only be handing your essay alone. There will be quite a number and if they were to look at a normally formatted essay them have a look at yours that has been edited to appear longer, it will be very obvious and they may end up not even grading your paper.
This gets even worse when you are submitting your paper in soft copy since the instructor can easily format your paper to his or her default settings which will expose your work. So basically there is no way that you will be able to get away with this even if your instructor is not keen since most of these edits are usually very obvious to the eye.
So you now know what not to do, you need to learn and understand how to make an essay longer in the correct way.
How Not To Ruin Your Essay With Fluff
Crazy formatting your essay is not the only way to incorrectly make your essay longer. There are more ways such as using fluff words and purple pros.
Fluff is by far the way most people make their essays longer. It is not easy to notice, especially if you are not used to it making it the ultimate answer. However, your tutors have plenty of experience in this so you might not get away with it. Remember that less is always more and you don’t need to add useless content.
A simple definition of fluff is using more words than is necessary when stating something. This is usually done by adding more words such as: like, very, so and very among others.
It can also be defined as:
Making obvious statements.
Unnecessarily explaining easy statements.
Using complex sentences and words that you later on define.
Purple prose is another form of fluff that is even more difficult to notice. A lot of people confuse purple prose with vivid descriptions hence most do not know when they are making this mistake.
In simple terms purple pros can be defined as using heavy and over the top words to explain something that can be stated easily in few words. Most people use excessive adjectives and adverbs to do this which ultimately makes your essay longer.
When writing it is important to go back and read your work and ask yourself if there is a simpler way of saying a point, statement or putting across an idea then do it. This will help your tutor to easily read through your work and identify your points which will be awarded.
The next discussion is aimed at helping you correctly bulk up your essays so that you are able to achieve the required number of words.
How To Correctly Make An Essay Longer
You want to correctly elongate your essay without losing the reader or confusing your ideas. This can only be done by having adequate content and being smart about the way you write. Having already written down your outline and identified your weak points you can start writing using the following strategies to give you more words the correct way.
Have someone else read your work. If you are a confident writer, it will be very difficult for you to see your mistakes that someone else may easily identify. So get a fresh pair of eyes to make the corrections you need to make your essay better. This can either be a colleague or one of our essay editors. Have them make suggestions of points that you may have left out in your discussion then make the necessary corrections.
View your subject from a different perspective. When you are given a topic to write about, there is always that idea that will instantly come to mind and most of the time, it is the direction you take. However, if you want to get more ideas to discuss you should look at it from a different angle. For example in an argumentative essay, you may start thinking in the opposite stand that you took, then come up with counter points which will give you more to discuss.
Think beyond the topic. There are some other topics that you can think about that may help you build more content for your essays. Explore more related topics to the one you are writing about to get inspiration on what to write about.
References. Providing support for your essay is another great way of making it longer. It may depend on the type of essay you are handling such as an argumentative essay; you can reference or quote what someone says to support your argument. If you do it wisely, this can provide a very easy way of increasing your word count in the end. Remember not to overdo it since your work will then have a high number of plagiarized words.
Do not limit yourself. It is better to have more than less since when you have more of it, you can always reduce it if need be. This is why you should not limit the information you include in your essay, as long as it is relevant to the topic that you’re discussing. If you end up with more points than needed you will be at liberty to choose the best making your essay longer with great content.
Take some time off. Writing is a process so you may need some breaks some times. If you sit down researching and writing for a long period of time, you are bound to get tired which may lead to writers block. It is good to take some time off writing and do something else allowing your brain to reboot and get fresh ideas.
Start reading your essay with a loud voice. Our minds are always chattering so all you have to do is start reading your piece again. You will see that your brain will seek alternatives and will inevitably give you ideas on how to fill certain paragraphs. Just try it, it’s hard to explain this in words.
You can also choose to “write my essay” in segments. Purpose to write a paragraph or two daily and by the time the essay is due, you will find that it is complete and very informational. However, this is only possible when you start early enough so do not procrastinate till it is too late. This will expose you to speedy writing without giving much thought to what you are writing about sacrificing the quality of your content.
Reading widely also helps a lot in making an essay longer. It equips you with the skills needed to execute any kind of writing without breaking a sweat. Check out useful articles about writing online and these will help you build the confidence and tact that will come in handy when you are writing.
It is important to have an open mind when you are writing. Do not restrict your thoughts and ideas since this will enable you to modify them to fit the discussion you are writing. You can also get professional help from our editors who will assist you in achieving fluff free content that will be within the number of words required. Remember that information is power so read in plenty and when you are done, read some more. This is it – you have learned how to make an essay longer and you should be able to start applying these techniques in no time!
Since 2009 we have asked students every day to respond to a question drawn from an article in the New York Times.
Seven years later on the occasion of the Oct. 20 (National Day of writing), we have assembled 670 of these which encourage narrative and personal writing. Below we have listed them by category. This should be seen as an update of a prior post, as well as a companion to argumentative writing prompts previously published in 2017.
Our list of writing prompts covers a wide variety of topics, from education to recreation, popular culture and social media.
Below is a list that touches on everything from sports to travel, gender roles, education, video games, pop culture, fashion, family, social media and more. So jump into this exhaustive list and select the prompts which fuel your creativity, give you the opportunity to relate a memorable event, or encourage self-reflection.
What Difficulties Have You Overcome?
Do You Have Survival Strategies That You Have Not Told Anyone?
How Do You Negotiate Potential Hindrances To Success?
When Have You Not Been Successful? Did You Learn Anything From It?
When Have You Had Success That You Were Not Expecting?
Has Adversity Taught You Anything About Life?
How Did You Work Towards Your Most Difficult Goals?
Do You Frequently Leave Your ‘comfort Zone’?
When Did You Most Recently Do Something That Frightened Or Challenged You?
Is There Anything That You Are Afraid Of?
Can You Articulate Any Fears Or Phobias That You Might Have?
Do You Have Any Personal Superstitions?
Are You Comfortable Being Alone?
How Frequently Do You Cry?
Have You Ever Felt Underappreciated Or Overlooked?
What Strategies Did You Develop To Negotiate Being The ‘new Kid’?
How Do You Handle Haters?
What Reactions Do You Give When Someone Provokes You?
Is Stress An Influence On Your Life?
Does Stress Have An Impact On Your Decision-making Process?
Do You Have Strategies To Alleviate Stress?
How Do You Achieve Tranquility In Your Life?
Does Your Lifestyle Provide You With Sufficient Time To Relax?
Do You Set A Schedule For Yourself Regarding How You Use Your Time?
Do You Consider ‘doing Nothing’ To Be A Sufficient Use Of Your Time?
Is There Anything That You Used To Dislike But Now Like?
Is There A Specific Type Of Feedback That Helps You To Improve?
Are Excessive Attempts To Be Happy Making You Sad Instead?
Are There Instances Where Adults Who Are Trying To Help You Make Things Worse Instead?
Do You Have A Personal Credo?
What Inspires You?
What Makes You Content Or Joyful?
What Are Your Best Skills?
Are There Instances In Your Life When You Have Had A Leadership Role?
Do You Perform Well Under Pressure?
Are You Receptive To Criticism?
Are You Negative Or Positive Towards Yourself?
Is Your Glass Half Full Or Half Empty?
Do You Have Difficulties With Decision Making?
Do You Have A Significant Amount Of Self-control?
Are You Able To Be Patient Regarding Something You Really Want?
How Does Procrastination Impact Your Life?
Do You Have Good Time Management Skills?
Are You A Productive And Organized Person?
What Conditions Allow You To Do Your Best Work?
What Means Do You Use To Express Yourself In A Creative Manner?
Do You Have Good Listening Skills?
Do You Consider Yourself A Competitive Person?
Do You Perform Better In A Competitive Or Collaborative Role?
Do You Consider Yourself To Be Emotionally Intelligent?
Does Being Around Your Friends Affect Your Risk-taking Activities?
Do You Think You Subconsciously Give In To Peer Pressure?
Do You Consider Yourself To Be Brave?
Do You Consider Yourself To Be A Daredevil?
What Pranks, Jokes, Hoaxes Or Tricks Have You Ever Undertaken Or Been Taken In By?
Do You Hold Yourself As An Impulsive Person?
Do You Seek Things That Are Considered Novelties?
How Do You Cope With Being Bored?
What Annoys You The Most?
Are You Too Apologetic?
Are You Well Mannered?
Are You A Materialistic Person?
Do You Hold On To Possessions Or Throw Them Out?
Do You Hoard Things Or Have A Minimalist Lifestyle?
Do You Consider Yourself To Be An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
Are You Popular, Unique Or Tend To Conform To The Ideals Of Others?
Do You Consider Yourself To Be Nerd Or A Geek?
If You Had A Personal Mascot, What Would It Be?
Do People Make Assumptions About You, And If So What Are They?
Are You Able To Say Goodbye Without Reservations?
Who Would You Consider To Be Your Role Model?
What Person Inspires You And Why?
Which People, Famous Or Otherwise, Do You Most Admire?
What Figures Would You Consider To Be Your Heroes?
Have You Performed Or Observed A Heroic Action?
What Do You Consider To Be The Best Piece Of Advice You Have Received?
Do You Have Any ‘words Of Wisdom’ That Influence Your Life?
What Person Beyond Your Own Family Members Have Had An Impact On Your Life?
Who Would You Most Wish To Interview If You Had Your Own Talk Show?
If You Were To Write A Thank You Note, To Whom Or What Would It Be Addressed?
Is There A Leader That You Would Want To Speak At Your School?
Which Six People, Alive Or Dead, Would You Want To Invite To Dinner?
Who Do You Consider To Be Your External Role Model?
Which People Constitute Your Family?
How Would You Define “Family”?
What Accomplishments Have You Achieved With Your Family?
Have There Been Any Events Which Brought You Closer To Your Family?
How Would You Define Your Role In Your Family?
Have You Ever Persuaded A Family Member To Change His Or Her Mind?
Do You Have A Positive Relationship With Your Siblings?
Are There Any Stories Of Sacrifice In Your Family’s History?
Does Your Family Have Any Particular Possessions Which Are Highly Valued?
Are There Any Hobbies Which Have Been Passed Down In Your Family?
What Is The History Behind Your Family’s Name?
Do You Have Any Favorite Names?
How Have You Honored Persons You Love?
How Much Do You Know About The History Of Your Family?
What Was Your Parents’ Life Like Before They Had Children?
What Family Traditions Do You Want To Maintain As You Get Older?
Parents & Parenting
Do You Have A Close Relationship With Your Parents?
What Are The Similarities And Differences Between You And Your Parents?
Have Your Parents Given You A Sufficient Amount Of Freedom?
Do You Consider Your Parents To Be Permissive?
Do You Consider Your Parents To Be Helicopter Parents?
What Behavioral Instructions Do You Parents Give You?
What Challenges Do You Present To Your Parents As Parents?
Do You Frequently Argue With Your Parents?
What Suggestions Might You Provide Your Parent Or Guardian To Improve Their Parenting Skills?
Do You Consider Your Family To Be Stressed, Fatigued And Rushed?
Do You Think Your Parents Try Too Hard To Be Relatable To You And Your Friends?
Do Your Parents Ever Cause You To Feel Embarrassed?
Are Your Parents Supportive Of Your Education?
Do Your Report Cards Ever Get Discussed Between You And Your Parents?
Do You Wish Your Parents Would Stop Asking You How Your Day At School Was?
To What Degree Do Your Parents Assist You With Your Homework?
In Transitioning To A New School, Was Your Family A Help Or A Hindrance?
Do Your Parents And Teachers Allow You Space To Be Creative?
To What Degree Does Your Neighborhood Contribute To The Person You Are?
What Do You Consider To Be Unique About Your Hometown?
What Would A Marketing Slogan For Your Town Or City Say?
If You Were To Give Your Neighborhood A Name, What Would It Be?
Are There Any Local Individuals Who Make Your Town Particularly Interesting?
Who Would You Consider To Be The Informal ‘mayor’ Of Your School Or Neighborhood?
What Aspect Of Your Home Town Would Be Spoofed By A Tv Show On It?
Are There Any ‘urban Legends’ Regarding Places In Your Area?
Are You Able To Navigate Your Way Around Your City Or Town?
Do You Know Your Neighbors Well?
What Place Do You Believe To Be Your Favorite?
Do You Have A Favorite Neighborhood Joint?
Do You Have A Favorite Street?
Do You Spend Time In The Park?
How Often Do You Spend Time In Nature?
Are There Any Small Things That Have Captured Your Attention Today?
Do You Have Any Buildings That You Love Or Hate?
How Would You Identify The Sounds That Constitute The Background Noise In Your Life?
Are There Any Sounds That Annoy You?
Are There Any Public Behaviors That Annoy You?
Have You Ever Had Any Interactions With The Police?
What Local Issues Do You Think The Mayor Should Attempt To Address?
Do You Have Any Ideas For Enhancing The Quality Of Life In Your Community?
Where Do You Expect You Will Be Living When You Are An Adult?
Would You Prefer To Live In A City, A Suburb Or The Country?
Do You Keep Your Bedroom Clean And Well-organized?
Do You Have A Favorite Place Inside Your House?
Do You Think It Is Important To Keep A House Clean?
Do You Think You Could Get Rid Of A Significant Amount Of Clutter In Your Life?
Are You Planning On Keeping Any Of Your Possessions For The Future?
If Your Home Was In Danger, What You Most Want To Preserve?
What Item Would You Prioritize The Safety Of If Your House Was On Fire?
If You Had An Emergency “Go-bag,” What Would Be In It??
Are There Any Historical Figures Who Lived In Your Town Or City?
How Would You Describe Your Ideal Home?
What Possession Did You Value The Most As A Child?
Are There Any Objects That Relate The Story Of Your Life?
Do You Have Any Collections?
What Shows And Characters Were Your Favorite When You Were A Child?
Do You Remember Being Read Aloud To When You Were A Child?
Did You Have Favorite Picture Books When You Were A Child?
As A Child, What Things Did You Create?
Are There Places That You Remember Fondly From When You Were A Child?
What Is Your Earliest Memory Of Tasting A Good Or Flavor For The First Time?
Is There Anything That You Want To Could Have Experienced For The First Time All Over Again?
Do You Feel Any Embarrassment About Things You Liked When You Were Younger?
Do You Wish You Could Revisit Particular Aspects Of Your Past?
Is There A Toy You Wished For As A Child But Never Received?
What Is The Most Treasured Gift You Have Given Or Received?
What Is The Most Memorable Thing You Have Received Through The Mail?
What Is The Most Valuable Item You Have Ever Lost Or Found?
Have You Given Or Been Given Any Nicknames?
What Memories From Sleepovers Are Your Best Ones?
Do You Have Any Possession That Is Old And Worn Out, But You Can’t Seem To Give It Away Or Throw It Out?
Which Of Your Possessions Do You Value The Most?
What Knowledge Have You Gained During Your Teenage Years?
What Do You Remember The Most About Being 12 Years Old?
Which Personal Achievements Are You Most Proud Of?
What Has Recently Made You Happy?
Have You Experienced Any Rites Of Passage?
What Would You Say You Are Most Grateful For?
What Tips For Success Would You Give Younger Students Regarding Middle Or High School?
What Important Things Have Your Elders Taught You?
What Can Your Generation Teach Older People?
What Misconceptions Do Older Generations Have About Your Generation?
Do You Think The Characteristics Applied To “Generation Z” Accurately Describe You?
Have You Encountered Any Ethical Dilemmas?
Have You Ever Made A Sacrifice To Aid Someone You Love?
Have You Ever Done Anything That Might Be Considered Volunteer Or Charity Work?
What Is The Most Recent Kind Thing You Have Done For A Stranger?
Do You Make A Point To ‘pay It Forward’?
Do You Think Yourself To Be A Trustworthy Individual?
Does Lying Cause You Discomfort?
On What Occasions Do You Tell Lies?
Have You Ever Deceived Your Parents Or Done Something Without Their Knowledge?
If You Drink Or Use Drugs, Are Your Parents Aware Of It?
Have You Ever Stolen?
Do You Ever Listen To Other People’s Talks?
How Frequently Do You Engage With Gossip?
Religion & Spirituality
Does Religion Or Spirituality Have An Impact On Your Life?
How Significant Do You Consider Your Spiritual Life To Be?
Do You Subscribe To The View That All Things Happen For A Reason?
How Much Influence Do You Think You Have Over Your Own Destiny?
Is It Possible To Be A Good Person Without Believing In God?
Do You Think You Are Less Religious Than Your Parents Are?
Do You Think You Would Pass A General Religion Test?
What Insights Can Be Gained From Other Religions?
Gender & Sexuality
Are There Different Gender Roles For Males And Females Within Your Family?
Do Parents Have Different Expectations For Their Sons Than They Do For Their Daughters?
How Is The Responsibility Of Parenting Distributed Between Your Parents?
Are Females Too Pressured To Live Up To Idealized Body Images?
Do Make Experience Pressure Regarding Idealized Body Forms?
How Was The Topic Of Sex Introduced To You?
Have You Had Any Experiences That Were Likely The Result Of Gender Bias In Your School?
Have You Had Any Experiences With On-street Harassment?
What Constitutes ‘a Real Man’?
Are You A Feminist?
How Would You Describe Feminism?
Race & Ethnicity
How Do You Self-identify About Race And Ethnicity?
Have You Ever Attempted To Mask Your Race Or Ethnicity?
What Interactions Do You Have With Persons Of Different Race And Ethnicity?
Do You And Your Friends Ever Discuss Race And Class Issues?
Do You Think Your Generation Is Truly ‘postracial’?
What’s The Racial Composition Of Your School?
Do You Think Your School Is Integrated?
In School Have You Ever Been Subject To Racism Or Other Discrimination?
Money & Social Class
What Is Your Perspective On Money?
Are You More Inclined To Save Money Or Spend It?
Have Your Parents Taught You Anything About Finances?
Do You Have Expectations That Your Parents Will Provide You With An Income?
Has Money, Employment, Or Social Class Played A Role In Your Life?
Are Their Financial Imbalances In Your Community?
Do You Think That You Can Purchase Happiness?
What Do You Consider To Be The Best Things In Life And What Do They Cost?
Do You Find Technology A Distraction?
Does Your Phone Distract You?
Do You Text Too Much?
Is Your Phone Or Tablet Always Within Reach?
Do Screens Interfere With Other Aspects Of Your Life?
Do You Have A Fear Of Missing Out When You Are Not Connected By Technology?
Does Your Digital Life Have An Impact On Your “Real” Life?
Do You Invest Too Much Time On Your Phone Playing ‘stupid Games’?
Are Apps A Helpful Resource Or Merely Waste Your Time?
What Technological Tools Do You Use The Most?
What Emerging Technologies Or Gadgets Are You Most Enthused About?
If You Were To Write A Love Letter To A Piece Of Technology, What Would It Be?
What Are The Benefits Of Youtube?
Has Youtube Taught You Anything?
Do You Have Favorite Videos That Have Gone Viral?
Do You Have A Favorite Internet Spoof?
If You Were To Post An Online Video, What Would You Teach In It?
Have You Ever Sought Advice On The Internet?
Would You Ever Post An Embarrassing Story Online?
How Do You Determine If What You Have Read On The Internet Is Actually True?
Have You Had Experience With Urban Legends That Pertained To The Internet?
Do You Trust Online Reviews?
Do You Use Wikipedia?
How Precautious Are You Online?
Does Your Personal Data Tell A Story?
Are You Concerned About The Lack Of Anonymity In The Digital Age?
Would You Care If Your Parents Blogged About You?
Is Lack Of Privacy Online A Concern For You?
Has Anyone Scammed You Over The Internet?
Do You Share Your Passwords With Anyone?
What Are Your Uses For Facebook?
Do You Have A Facebook Persona?
Are You Your Authentic Self On Social Media?
Have You Had Any Noteworthy Experiences On Facebook?
Does Facebook Ever Have A Negative Impact On Your Mood?
Have You Ever Thought About Deleting Your Facebook Account?
Do You Ever Experience ‘instagram Envy’?
Are You On Twitter?
What Are Your Motivations For Sharing Pictures?
In What Ways Do You Archive Your Life?
Have You Ever Had Regrets About Something You Have Emailed Or Texted?
Has Auto-correct Ever Resulted In You Sending A Bizarre Message?
Would You Be Happy If Your Photo Or Video Went Viral?
Are You Concerned That Subsequent Colleges Or Employers Might Read Your Social Media Posts?
What Tips Would You Give To Younger Students About Engaging In Social Media?
What Music Do You Currently Listen To?
What Are The Tops Songs On Your Favorite Playlist?
What Musicians Or Bands Do You Connect The Most With?
What Music Motivates You?
Who Tells You About New Music?
To What Degree Is Your Musical Taste Influenced By Your Friends?
Does Hip-hop Have An Influence In Your Life?
Which Music Celebrities Intrigue You The Most?
Which Pop Diva Is Your Favorite?
Do You Have A Default Karaoke Song?
Which Musicians Would You Like To See On A Common Project?
How Much Attention To You Pay To Song Lyrics?
What Is Your Earliest Memory Of Music?
What Is The Best Thing On Tv That You Have Watched This Year?
How Would You Describe Your Tv Viewing Habits?
Do You Frequently Engage With ‘binge-watching’?
How Does Tv Influence Your Life And That Of Your Family As A Whole?
What Tv Shows You Strongly Cared About?
Do You Frequently Watch A Show During Its Original Air Time?
Have You Gotten Engaged With ‘friends’ Or Other Older Tv Shows?
Which Of The Old Tv Shows Would You Like To See Brought Back To Life?
What Is The Appeal Of Reality Shows?
What Would You Suggest As A Topic For A Reality Show?
If You Could Guest Star On A Reality Show, Which One Would It Be?
Do You Have Any Favorite Cartoons?
Do You Have Any Favorite Commercials?
To What Degree Does Advertising Influence You?
Movies & Theater
What Are Your Favorite Movies Of All Time?
In The Past Year, What Were Your Favorite Movies Of Those That You Watched?
Is There A Movie That You Repeatedly Watch Or Make Reference To?
Which Movies, Shows Or Books Would You Like To See Expanded?
Do You Enjoy Movies From The Horror Genre?
Do You Have A Favorite Comedy?
Which Movie Stars Are Your Favorite?
Do You Consider It Worthwhile To Pay Extra For A 3-d Movie?
In What Location Or Manner Do You Watch Movies?
Which Live Theatrical Performances Do You Like The Best Of The Ones You Have Seen?
Have You Ever Accidentally Encountered A Great Public Performance?
Which Video Games Do You Most Like To Play?
Have You Gained Any Knowledge Through Playing Video Games?
Do You Play Video Games That Have Violence In Them?
Is There An Occasion When One Should Feel Remorse About Killing Zombies?
Who Do You Compete With When Playing Online Gaming?
Do You Find It Enjoyable To Be A Spectator To Others Playing Video Games?
Do The Possibilities Of Virtual Reality Excite You?
Books & Reading
Have You Read Any Good Books Lately?
This Year, What Were The Best Books That You Read?
Do You Have Favorite Books And Authors?
Do You Have A Favorite Novel From The Young Adult Genre?
Do You Read For Fun?
Have You Heard Or Read Any Memorable Poetry?
Do You Have Specific Magazines That You Favor, And How Do You Read Them?
How Do You Feel About Reading Gossip In Tabloids?
Have You Ever Seen Yourself And Experiences Mirrored In A Book Or Other Media?
Have You Ever Been Inspired To Do Anything Unexplored Based On A Book, Movie, Or Other Forms Of Entertainment?
Obedient Or A Trouble Maker – How Do You Prefer Characters In Children’s Stories To Be?
Do You Read Electronic Books?
Would You Exchange Hard Copy Books For Digital Ones?
If You Could Give Out A Prize, Which Author Would You Give It To?
What Are The Occasions On Which You Write?
Are You An Engaging Story Teller?
Do You Have A Favorite Joke?
Have You Ever Kept A Journal Or A Diary?
Do You Compose Your Own Blog?
Do You Have Aspirations To Write A Book?
On What Occasions Do You Write By Hand?
Do You Employ Cursive Handwriting?
Do You Make Notes Or Comments In Your Books?
What Innocuous Moments Of Your Life Might Make Engaging Essay Material?
Which Writing Assignment Do You Remember The Best?
Do You Ever Put Into Writing Challenges That You Encounter?
What Is The Most Interesting Thing You Have Seen In A Museum?
Which Works Of Visual Art That You Have Seen Do You Remember The Best?
Do You Have A Favorite Work Of Art?
Do You Think Education In The Arts Is Important?
How Have You Benefited From Arts Education Done?
Language & Speech
Are There Any Words That You Hate?
Do Any Words Or Phrases Get Used Too Frequently?
Do You Use Slang? What Is Your Favorite Word?
Do You Think Any Of The Current Slang Will Still Be Used In Subsequent Times?
Why Are “Like” And “Totally” Used So Often?
Do You Unintentionally Say “Kind Of, Sort Of” More Than You Are Aware Of?
How Often Do You Swear?
Are You Able To Retort With Witty Comebacks?
When Was The Last Terrific Conversation You Had?
Do You Frequently Engage In Weighty Discussions?
Do You Wish Your Conversations Went More In Depth, Beyond Small Talk?
What Makes You Chose To Phone A Person Rather Than Sending A Text?
How Do You Determine What Constitutes “Too Much Information”?
Do You Ever Mask Your Real Feelings By Being Ironic?
Do You Think Your Grammar Could Use Improvement?
Are You Bilingual?
Do You Have A Memory Of Learning A New Word?
What Do You Think Your Body Language Conveys About You?
Do You Enjoy School?
Does School Cause You Stress?
Is The Workload For High School Students Too High?
What Is School Actually Teaching You?
What Do You Dread Or Anticipate About This School Year?
Would You Consider Being Home Schooled?
Would An Online Class Appeal To You?
Would You Prefer To Go To A Public Or Private High School?
Does Which High School You Go To Have A Significant Impact?
Would You Rate Your School Positively Or Negatively?
What Strengths Does Your School Have That Should Be Emulated By Others?
If You Left Your School Is There Anything You Would Miss About It?
Is Your School Day An Appropriate Length?
What Do You Hope To Achieve Through High School?
Learning & Studying
Is Your Homework Load Overwhelming?
Does Doing Homework Enhance One’s Learning Potential?
Are You Actively Engaged In Class?
In What Subject Do You Produce Your Strongest Work?
Which Assignment Proved To Be The Most Challenging To You?
Have You Had Any Interesting Experiences While Taking Science Or Math Classes?
Does Math Intimidate You?
Do We Need A New Strategy For Teaching Math?
What Are The Most Effective Ways Of Learning History?
Would You Do Well Or Poorly On A Civics Test?
Are There Sufficient Opportunities For Learning Computer Programming At Your School?
Are Digital Skills In Students Valued By Your School?
Are You Able To Code, Or Would You Like To Learn?
Is There Any Career Or Technical Course That You Wish Your School Provided?
Do You Have A Favorite Field Trip?
What Are Your Most Effective Ways To Study?
Do You Employ Study Guides?
Is What You Have Been Taught About Effective Study Habits Incorrect?
Is There Anything You Wish You Had Committed To Memory?
Do You Think Standardized Tests Accurately Reflect Your Abilities?
Do Your Test Scores Reflect The Competency Of Your Teachers?
What Would You Like Your Teachers To Know About You?
On What Occasion Have You Been Motivated By A Teacher?
Which Teacher Are You Most Indebted To?
What Qualities Does A Good Teacher Have?
Has A Teacher Ever Embarrassed You, And What Impact Did That Have?
Have You Ever Discovered Errors In Your Textbooks Or Instruction From Your Teachers?
Are Your Teachers Adept At Using Technology In A Productive Way?
Have You Ever Worked With A Tutor?
What Is Your Opinion Regarding Proms?
Would You Like To Be ‘promposed’ To?
Is Prom Worth The Financial And Emotional Investment?
Do You Participate In Any School Clubs Or Teams?
Is Bullying Or Cyber-bullying A Significant Issue In Your School Or Community?
Would You Submit To Being Hazed In Order To Be A Member Of A Group?
Is Your School More Focused On Socialization?
Have You Attended A Party That Has Gotten Out Of Control?
Is Drug Use A Common Practice In Your School?
Are Students Free To Openly Express Issues Pertaining To Their Mental Health At Your School?
How Are Misbehaving Students Dealt With At Your School?
Are You Aware Of Persons Who Cheat On Important Tests?
To What Extent Does Your Outside Life Interact With Your School Life?
Do You Ever Socialize With Different People At Your School?
What Current Fad Or Trend Are You And Your Friends Participating In?
What College Would You Like To Attend?
How Do You Find Out Information About Colleges And Universities?
Has Community College Impacted Your Life Or That Of Someone You Know?
Is It Worthwhile To Attend College?
Do You Have Anxieties About Taking The Sat Or Act?
Is There A Personal Essay Topic That You Think Would Be A Good Fit For College Applicants?
Are There Particular Qualities You Would Look For In A College Roommate?
After High School, Would You Consider Taking A Gap Year?
What Would Constitute A Memorable Graduation Ceremony?
Work & Careers
What Profession Would You Like To Have?
Do You Think You Have A Particular Calling?
What Would Your Ideal Job Be?
Do You Have Passions Or Interests That You Have Maintained Over A Long Period Of Time?
Do You Anticipate Enjoyment In Your Career?
Do You Think Happiness Or Wealth Is The Most Important Thing Derived From A Career?
Which Actions Are You Willing To Make To Achieve Your Ideal Job?
Would You Be Open To Working In A Non-traditional Occupation?
Would You Prefer To Work In An Office Environment Or From Home?
Does Being A Teacher Appeal To You?
What Talents Might You Have That You Are Not Currently Aware Of?
Which Rustic And Self-sufficient Skills Do You Have Or Wish You Had?
What Talent Could You Teach In Two Minutes?
Have You Made Anything On Your Own?
Do You Have Any Innovative Ideas For A Business Or An App?
If You Received Funding, What Would You Create With It?
How Did You First Encounter An Activity That You Love To Do?
Have You Ever Put On Hiatus Doing Something You Loved?
What Activities Have You Undertaken To Earn Money?
Are You Employed?
If Your Values Were Not The Same As Your Employer’s Would You Quit A Job?
Where Do You See Yourself In One Year After You Graduate College?
What Do You Think You’ll Be Doing In 10 Years?
Who Is Your Best Friend?
How Frequently Do You Spend Time Alone With Your Closest Friends?
Are You Comfortable With Friends From Different Aspects Of Your Life Meeting?
Is It Easier For You To Make New Friends On The Internet Or In Person?
Do You Hold Yourself To Be A Good Friend?
In What Way Have You Helped A Friend When He Or She Needs It?
Do You Think Your Friends Are Likable?
Can Being Competitive Be A Hindrance To Making And Keeping Friends?
What Is The Best Way To Deal With The End Of A Friendship?
Have You Ever Felt Excluded?
Have You Ever Fallen In Love?
Which Relationships Are The Most Significant To You?
What Tips Do You Have For A Person Who Has Just Started To Date?
Do Your Parents Give You Permission To Date?
Is Dating An Old-fashioned Concept?
Do You Think Hookup Culture Is Making Your Generation Dissatisfied And Unprepared For A Lasting Relationship?
What Are The Essential Guidelines For Dealing With Breakups?
What Is The Most Effective Way To Move Past A Breakup?
What Do You Think About Marriage?
Sports & Games
Can You Recall The Most Impressive Moment In Sports That You Have Seen?
Do You Have Any Sports Heroes?
Are There Particular Sports Teams That You Cheer For?
Does Being A Fan Have An Impact On Your Identity?
To What Extent Would You Go To Demonstrate Your Loyalty To A Favorite Team?
Are You A Fickle Fan?
Has There Been An Occasion When You Were Disappointed By A Sports Team?
Do You Make A Point Of Watching The Super Bowl?
Is There Any Fan Memorabilia That You Would Be Willing To Spend A Lot Of Money On?
Which Extreme Sport Are You Most Interested In?
What Is Your Motivation To Engage In Sports?
Are There Any Rules You Think Should Be Altered In Your Favorite Sports Game?
Do You Like To Play Games Or Solve Puzzles?
Do You Have A Favorite Board Game?
What Games Do You Enjoy The Most?
Is There A Game That You Would Like To Redesign?
Where Would You Most Like To Travel To?
Do You Have A Dream Vacation?
What Would Your Ideal Trip Consist Of?
Is There A Wild Adventure You Would Like To Embark On?
Are There Any Local Mini Trips You Would Like To Take?
Do You Have An Ideal Family Vacation?
Has Travel Had An Impact On Your Life?
How Would You Describe Yourself As A Tourist?
Do You Have Any Favorite Mementoes Or Souvenirs From Your Travels?
Have You Been To Any Famous Landmarks?
What Is The Most Amazing Thing In Nature That You Have Seen??
Are You Knowledgeable About The Rest Of The World?
Would You Consider Living In A Different Country?
Would You Like To Visit Space?
Where Would You Go If You Had The Ability To Time-travel?
Looks & Fashion
Do You Have A Favorite Piece Of Clothing?
Are There Any Signature Clothing Items In Your Wardrobe?
Do You Have A Favorite T-shirt?
Is What You Wear Important To You?
Does Your Clothing Indicate Anything About You As An Individual?
Does Your Hairstyle Indicate Anything About Your Personality?
What Fashion Items Do You Intend To Buy?
To What Extent Are You Committed To Fashion?
How Would You Describe Current Fashion Trends In Your High School?
Are There Any Current Trends That You Dislike?
Have You Ever Seriously Considered Getting A Tattoo?
Do You Have An Opinion On Cosmetic Surgery?
Do Photoshopped Pictures Make You Feel Worse About Your Own Appearance?
Have Your Parents’ Attitudes Towards Their Own Appearances Influenced You?
Has Anyone Told You That You Look Like Someone Famous?
Exercise, Health & Sleep
Do You Enjoy Exercising?
Do You Exercise As Much As You Should?
Has Exercise Made An Impact On Your Health, Body, Or Life?
Do You Think About Your Weight And If So, How Often?
Do You Frequently Participate In “Fat Talk”?
Do You Count Calories?
Do You Place Importance On Nutrition Label Information?
Are You Concerned About The Origins Of Your Food?
Do You Have Healthy Eating Habits?
Do You Eat In A Rushed Fashion?
Do You Have Any Rules About Food?
What Are Habits You Have That Are Healthy?
Have You Had Any Success With Any Health Tips?
What Practices Do You Follow To Stay Healthy?
Do You Take Precautions Regarding Sun Exposure?
Do You Have Any Sleep Habits?
Do You Make Sleep A Priority?
Do You Think You Get A Sufficient Amount Of Sleep?
Meals & Food
What Is Your Most Memorable Meal?
Have You Got A Favorite Food Memory From A Holiday?
Do You Have A Comfort Food?
Do You Have A Favorite Junk Food?
Have You Got A Favorite Type Of Candy?
Do You Have A Favorite Type Of Sandwich?
Are Authentic Or Appropriated Tacos Better?
In A Taste Competition, Which Food Would You Most Like To Judge?
Do You Have Cooking Skills?
What Would Prefer To Learn How To Bake Or Cook?
Has Your Family Taught You Anything About Food And Eating?
Does Your Family Frequently Eat Together?
Do You Have Favorite Restaurants?
Is There A Restaurant That You Would Like To Review?
During The School Day, What Do You Typically Eat?
Do You Ever Eat Food From The Cafeteria?
Is Cafeteria Food Really That Bad?
Holidays & Seasons
What Do You Do To Celebrate Your Birthday?
Will You Be Dressing Up For Halloween This Year?
Do You Enjoy Scary Movies Or Books?
Do You Believe That Ghosts Exist?
Do You Have Any Thanksgiving Traditions?
What Do You Like And Dislike About The Holiday Season?
Do You Have Any Advice For Enjoying The Holiday Season?
What Are You Doing On The Holiday Break?
How Do You Feel About Santa Claus?
Do You Get Excited About New Year’s Eve?
Do You Make Resolutions For The New Year?
How Do You Combat Feelings Of Sadness In The Winter?
How Would You Spend A Snow Day?
Do You Have Any Experience With Severe Weather?
What Are Your Opinions Regarding Valentine’s Day?
Do You Do Anything To Celebrate The Arrival Of Spring?
How Would You Describe Your Ideal Spring?
Are You Excited About Anything For The Next Summer?
How Would You Describe Your Dream Summer Camp?
Do You Have A Favorite Summer Haunt?
Do You Have A Favorite Summer Food?
Do You Have A Favorite Summer Movie?
Do You Have A Summer Reading List?
Do You Have Employment For The Summer?
Do Applications Influence How You Choose Your Summer Activities?
What Were The Most Positive Things You Did This Summer?
How Do You Get Ready To Return To School?
What Is The Best Way To Savor A Long Holiday Weekend?
Do You Have A Sunday Routine?
Do You Have A Favorite Store?
Is There A Company That You Would Write A Letter Of Complaint Or Admiration To?
Which Business Would Profit From Advice From You?
How Often Do You Hang Out At A Mall?
How Would You Renovate Your Mall?
Do You Patronize Locally Owned Businesses?
Which Second-hand Things You Have Acquired Are Your Favorite?
Cars & Driving
Is It Important To Have A Driver’s License?
Do You Consider Yourself To Be A Good Driver?
What Is Your Ideal Car?
Would You Feel Comfortable In A Self-driving Car?
Animals & Pets
Are There Any Animals That Play A Role In Your Life?
How Would You Describe Your Relationship With Your Pet?
Do You Think You Know Your Pet Well?
Do Have An Opinion On Cats?
Does The Idea Of Spending Time In A Cat Café Appeal To You?
What Is The Appeal Of Watching Animal Videos?
Do You Have Any Memorable Anecdotes About Wildlife?
What Is Your Opinion On Zoos?
Are You Environmentally Friendly?
In What Ways Do You Attempt To Reduce Your Environmental Impact?
Does Throwing Things Out Ever Make You Feel Guilty?
Does Your Family Waste Food?
What Item Would You Be Able To Live Without?
Do You Celebrate Earth Day?
Politics & Beliefs
In What Way Would You Like To Improve The World?
Is There A Cause That Would Motivate You To Take Action?
Have You Ever Participated In A Protest?
Is There Anything That You Would Be Willing To Risk Your Life For?
Is There An Occasion When You Have Felt Compelled To Speak In Order To Create Change?
What Invention Would Help To Improve The World?
Is There A Scientific Or Medical Issue You Would Investigate If You Had The Resources To Do So?
What Charities Do You Think People Should Donate To Over The Holiday Season?
Do You Think Your Government Is Trustworthy?
Will You Vote Once You Reach The Legal Age To Do So?
Which Political Party Aligns Most Closely With Your Own Values?
History & Current Events
Are There Any Past Events That You Wish You Had Been Present For?
In The Last Ten Years, What Have Been The Most Significant Changes In Your Life And In The World?
Which National Or International Events That Occurred During Your Lifetime Do You Remember Best?
Why Is It Important To Care About What Happens In Other Places In The World?
Are You Following Any Stories In The News?
What Avenues Do You Receive Your News From?
Do You Think Your Online Environment Is Merely A “Filter Bubble” Of Persons Share The Same Perspectives?
Are The Same Political Opinions Shared Among Your Friends On Social Media?
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What makes up for an excellent economic essay? When you study economics in college and get a task of writing an essay in your major, you are expected to present a clear argument and substantiate it with solid evidence that you reference properly. If you want to get an excellent grade for your economic essay, you will first have to conduct a thorough research, formulate the main thesis of your essay, and put together a detailed outline that you will follow throughout your work on the essay. A clear outline is of great help regardless of the discipline in which you are to write an essay. However, it is especially essential when we talk about economics, because an economic essay has to stick to facts and not be distracted from the main argument, leaving little room for creativity in the conventional understanding of the word. Here is a step-by-step guide on writing an economic essay to land yourself an A+.
STEP 1: MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT IS REQUIRED OF YOU
Economic essay topics often come in the form of questions. As soon as you have your topic, read it several times to make sure that you fully understand it. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to clarify them with your professor. Once you are positive that you understand the question, write it down on a piece of paper and put it somewhere in your room where you can always see it. It can be helpful to highlight the keywords or phrases you find in the prompt. It is necessary for ensuring that you stick to this question at all times throughout your writing and don’t get distracted.
Closer to your final college years, the questions to investigate in your economic essays will get more complicated. Such questions can be broken down into two or more ‘sub-questions’.
STEP 2: DO YOUR RESEARCH
Only when you have clarified the question that you are to investigate, can you start the research for your essay. For some essay topics, your textbooks will provide enough material for your research. So, they are your first most obvious source. If you find this material insufficient, you can always check out the textbooks’ references section and look up some potential sources there. Besides, your professor is always there for you, only waiting for you to ask for a piece of advice.
During your research, you may stumble upon some unfamiliar terms. Do not overlook them, be sure to clarify their meanings. Also, when reading your source materials, always keep in mind your main question and don’t hesitate to skip the sections that are not related to it.
STEP 3: PLAN YOUR WRITING
After having conducted a profound research and having sufficient amount of material at hand, you should start thinking about what exactly you are to write in your economic essay. It is worth repeating that in an economic essay, it is especially critical to stick to your essay’s main question at all times throughout the entirety of your writing. This is considerably easier when you have a concise plan. Please do not confuse an essay plan with an outline, writing an outline for your essay is a bit too early at this stage. Here, a plan is a rough enumeration of the most interesting points that you have stumbled upon in the course of your research and you would like to talk about in your essay. Putting them together in a list will help you to determine whether or not they directly relate to your topic.
STEP 4: ARRANGE YOUR MATERIAL
Now that you have determined what information you are going to put in your economic essay, it is time to put all these bits of information in a logical order to ensure smooth narration in your essay. As you know, any essay consists of an introduction, main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. You present the information from your research in the main body of your essay, so right now we are talking only about them.
When planning your main body paragraphs, be sure to take into account the volume of your essay. Don’t try to squeeze into it every single point that you find relevant and interesting, it is much better to focus on several issues and give them proper attention.
STEP 5: INTRODUCE YOUR ESSAY
Once you have all your research materials at hand and a clear understanding of what you are going to write about in mind, you can proceed to writing. Arguably the hardest part of any writing is the beginning, and economic essays are no exception. This is exactly why it is an excellent idea to begin writing your essay with the introduction and get it over with as soon as possible.
As one may suspect, the function of an introduction is to introduce the reader to your writing and to give them a brief overview of what they are about to read. In an economic essay, the introduction will represent an expanded version of your main argument that you have formulated back in step 1.
STEP 6: OUTLINE YOUR MAIN BODY PARAGRAPHS
Now that you have briefly expanded the main argument of your economic essay in its introduction, you have set the tone for the rest of your writing. It should make it considerably easier for you to stick to your topic.
What you should do now is put together a more detailed outline of your main body paragraphs. You already made up your mind as to what exactly you put in these paragraphs back in step 3. Now, having your main argument in the forefront of your mind, you should put all these bits of information in a logical order to ensure the smooth narration in your essay. Each point should be given its own paragraph (or a bigger section if you are writing a larger essay). In the outline, it should look like one main sentence of each paragraph, complemented with references to the materials that you are going to use in this particular section.
STEP 7: WRITE MAIN BODY PARAGRAPHS
Once you have a clear outline for the main body of your essay, writing your main body paragraphs should not pose any complications. All you need to do is expand upon the point from your main body outline and present evidence from your research materials to support it. In other words, each body paragraph will consist of its main sentence that you take from your essay outline and the evidence from your research materials to substantiate it.
We could not stress more that, once again, it is crucial to ensure that the narration in your essay flows smoothly and logically. To do that, feel free to use transition sentences at the end of each paragraph to connect it logically to the following paragraph in a way that this logical connection is evident to your reader.
STEP 8: MAKE SURE THAT YOUR EVIDENCE IS COMPELLING
The defining peculiarity of an economic essay is that it is much more about facts and data than essays in most other disciplines. This means that – unlike with most other disciplines – it will not be enough merely to quote another author that you are referencing. You should give some relevant and compelling statistics, facts and figures. One can say that the factual evidence is the ‘meat’ of any economic essay, the very reason why it is written and why anyone should read it. This is why it is imperative that you ensure that every single claim that you make in the main sentences of your body paragraphs is well substantiated with factual evidence.
STEP 9: CONCLUDE YOUR ESSAY
When you have written the main body paragraphs of your economic essay, you can consider that the main part of writing is done. It, however, does not mean that you should relax and expect any conclusion that you come up with to go well with your essay. It is difficult to underestimate the importance of a solid conclusion of any paper, including economic essays. A conclusion is the part of your essay that contributes most to your reader’s general impression of your writing, Likewise, a weak conclusion will leave your reader with the kind of impression that you don’t want.
You can think of a conclusion as a wrapped up version of your entire essay. This is what you leave your reader with when s/he has read your paper and moves on to whatever else s/he has to do. A fine and proven way to wrap up your essay is to restate your main argument that you have presented in the introduction.
STEP 10: REREAD YOUR DRAFT
It is quite naive to assume that if you have written your essay, your job is done and you are ready to submit it. Every student knows that at this stage it is only a draft which demands some polishing before you submit it – that is, if you want a grade higher than a C. On the other hand, it is also too early to proofread your draft for spelling, punctuation and other possible mistakes.
We suggest that right after your conclusion you reread your text to make sure that all your main body paragraphs and all the evidence that you present is in line with your essay’s topic and your main argument. If you spot any divergences, do not hesitate to trim off all the irrelevant information.
STEP 11: DOUBLE-CHECK THE CONSISTENCY OF YOUR WRITING
Once you have made sure that all the information you present in your essay is directly and evidently relevant to your main argument, another question arises and needs to be answered – is this information sufficient?
First of all, the main argument itself has to be clear to your reader. You should double-check that it can only be understood the way you intend it to. If there is any possible ambiguity of perception, it should be eliminated.
Secondly, the same principle applies to the rest of your essay, and not only in terms of vocabulary, phraseology, etc. You reader should not have any questions about why a particular piece of information is there or what does a particular piece of data prove.
STEP 12: CHECK THE SPELLING AND GRAMMAR
Only now, when you are completely satisfied with the content of your essay, you can move on to polishing its form. By that we mean, of course, making sure that your essay does not have any spelling, punctuation, and other seemingly minor mistakes that may or may not decrease your grade directly but will surely provide your reader with a dose of disappointment or even irritation.
Even if your major is far from language studies, you need to get used to understanding that such errors which many students, sadly, prefer to overlook are unacceptable in an academic paper. Otherwise, it will not be taken seriously, regardless of how insightful the content may be.
A process analysis essay is a paper which describes things like how an operation is performed, how an event takes place or how a device functions. In such a paper, the student is to explain phases of a procedure in a consecutive sequence. If a word or notion seems unusual, the writer needs to explain it.
Process Analysis Essay Subject Examples
A process analysis essay can approach subjects such as:
How to say your prayers
How to prepare tomatoes
How to cope with flu
How to overcome an illness
How to install a tent
In this article, we’ll show you on how to draft an excellent process analysis essay.
How to Write a Process Analysis Essay
A process analysis essay should have the following outline:
Introduction – describes the procedure itself and explains its pertinence or significance;
Body – lists the entirety of the utensils, instruments or resources, which are needed for performing a specific procedure;
Conclusion – summarizes the process in a consecutive sequence.
The introduction ought to describe the procedure itself and explain its pertinence or significance. Avoid adding any irrelevant facts like the backstory, chronology, or genesis. For example, if a culinary recipe requires the use of potatoes, simply say so. To put it shortly, get straight to the point and include nothing other than relevant facts. In the body section, you need to enumerate all of the utensils, instruments or resources which are needed for the procedure you wish to describe. For example, let’s say your essay talks about a recipe and certain ingredients are hard to find. If that is the case, you should let the reader know where those ingredients can be found. You should also talk about the possible dangers or undesirable effects which may originate in the procedure. This way, your audience will be well-informed. Moreover, your readers must be aware of any possible failures and what steps can be taken to avert errors.
In the last section of the essay, you should outline the process in a sequential order. In case the procedure demands certain actions which must be taken at specific moments, they ought to be presented and described intelligibly, at the right point in the order. You should always be very careful about everything that might seem uncertain. If a procedure seems intricate, the phases ought to be classified correspondingly. Moreover, you should diversify your utilization of transitional terms like ‘then,’ ‘afterward,’ or ‘following’ to avoid too many repetitions. In conclusion, you ought to provide a comprehensive analysis of the entire procedure. This way, you’ll be able to strengthen the fundamental ideas concisely, without trivialities.
Process Analysis Essay Structure
Present your subject and succinctly summarize what the procedure will accomplish.
Show where the procedure is applicable or how it can be of use.
It would be wise to illustrate a realistic end result of the process.
The procedures ought to be shown in paragraphs.
You should talk about each phase in a separate paragraph.
Suitable transitions have to be used for every phase.
When presenting the processes, use an expressive style.
The conclusion of your essay must outline the whole process. While you are not required to reiterate each and every one of the particular phases, it is mandatory to strengthen the essential ideas and highlights.
Explain the expected outcome.
Don’t Trouble Yourself with the Small Things
If you are granted the freedom of selecting your own subject, pick a process you’re passionate about. This way, writing the process analysis essay will be much easier. We hope you’ve found our article useful for completing your assignment. However, if you still need help, keep in mind that our expert essay writers are always ready to serve! You should do everything in your power to avoid ruining your grade. A lot of good students already buy essays from us to be able to channel their efforts on what they find more useful to their studies. Contact us, and we’ll relieve you of all stress!
A persuasive essay is intended to convince your reader that a particular idea is the absolute truth or that a specific point of view is the only one possible to take. Contrary to argumentative essays where you argue a point by presenting as many supporting facts as possible and refuting any evidence that could favor an opposing view, persuasive essays are not exclusively reliant on facts. In truth, facts are not even a mandatory requirement for writing this type of essay. They are helpful, as is everything that aids you in persuading your audience in the validity of your claims. Emotionally-loaded sentences, at least partially based on factual evidence are the best means to this particular aim.
You can write a persuasive essay on any topic about which you feel strongly or have a stand, which is either pro or con a specific issue. If you have a personal stake in the matter, you will be able to argue it more convincingly. There can be no middle ground in persuasive essays, you cannot acknowledge the possible benefits of the opposing view, and your goal is to show that your road is the only conceivable one to take. If in doubt, you can always try watching political campaigns from any previous elections, the politicians are the absolute masters of persuasion. They have perfected the skill of convincing their voters of practically anything. Is everything they claim the absolute truth? Not necessarily. Try taking some pointers from them when planning to write a persuasive essay.
As in any essay type, writing an outline precedes composing the actual essay and allows for your thoughts and ideas to be organized in a structured way. The outline envisions all elements your future essay will have and the way they will be systematized.
Organizational structure of a persuasive essay outline
It is the part where you “place a bait,” or compose a sentence or paragraph which serves as a hook intended to grab your reader’s attention. Don’t shy away from strong statements even if they feel just a bit too strong. Your objective is for your readers to continue reading and to take your side. Most of the time, it’s just as easy to convince someone to be in favor of a particular issue as it is to convince them against it. It’s all about being persuasive enough. The hook can be in the form of statement, a question or even exclamation. Everything goes as long as it can make your audience laugh or bring tears to their eyes. Anything short of that will probably not be enough.
The next element of a compelling introduction is determining your target group. Knowing who will read you can help you formulate your statements to suit your audience’s needs. Specific groups are especially sensitive towards particular issues. For example, you can be almost sure that young mothers would be in favor of constructing a new children’s playground or building another day-care center, whereas a middle-aged business executive will not be particularly touched by these issues. Knowing your target group helps you address them most suitably, appealing to their logic, emotions or sense of morality predominantly.
A thesis statement is the last element of a persuasive essay outline. It conveys the exact message on the matter for which you are trying to get support. Formulate it convincingly, without any hesitation or even a hint of any other possible solution to a problem. For example, “Children have the right to grow up in a safe environment that takes their developmental needs seriously. Building a playground with state of the art equipment to stimulate their cognitive and motor development is an investment in our future as humankind”. No one can argue with that, can they?
Body Paragraphs containing the reasoning for your thesis statement followed by facts or examples. Try to include reasoning that appeals to logic as well as to emotions and morality. This is how you can do it:
Paragraph No. 1 – Reason No.1: Children’s exposure to a stimulating environment is beneficial for their cognitive and motor development
Factual evidence: Scientific studies have shown that children reared in highly stimulating circumstances have an IQ score higher by 10 points compared to children brought up without enough stimulation.
Factual evidence: Children who have an opportunity to practice their motor skills are more physically apt as adults than those not exposed to physical practice at a young age.
Paragraph No. 2 – Reason No. 2: Children are unable to stand up for themselves and communicate their needs and wants, and necessitate adult intervention on their behalf.
Emotionally-loaded argument: As human beings, we all have a moral obligation to stand up for those unable to do it themselves.
Emotionally-loaded argument: Children are born helpless and require adult care and nurturing if they are expected to turn into healthy and productive individuals.
Paragraph No. 3 – Reason No. 3: The society as a whole will benefit from children getting raised in healthy and stimulating circumstances.
Fact: A society is composed of individuals: investing in individuals, brings prosperity to the whole community.
Fact: Children whose time is structured by meaningful physical and mental activity are less prone to behavioral problems, which is beneficial for the society as well.
All reasons drafted in the outline of the body paragraphs should have one or more of the following features: indisputable logic, strong moral grounds, and/or potential to elicit an emotional reaction. They can be either backed up by scientific or other evidence, ethical considerations or emotionally charged arguments. Be careful to include only one reason in a paragraph. Presenting multiple reasons simultaneously could confuse the readers and make them uncertain of the message you’re trying to get across. So take note: one reason per paragraph is the standard.
Recapitulation of the main arguments given in the previous part of the outline. This serves as a reminder of the significance of the issue in question. Also, by briefly reiterating the essence of what you had previously said, you reinforce your arguments and make them sound more convincing. That’s what a persuasive essay is all about – persuading the audience of the veracity of a particular claim. For example: “In modern society, children are increasingly brought up in front of television sets or computers. The lack of physical exercise is starting to take a toll on the new generation’s psychomotor development. Scientists have warned us about this phenomenon for years. Are we going to stand by peacefully while our children suffer?”
Stating the potential advantages the whole society, including the reader, could have from taking a stand in favor of the issue presented in a persuasive essay. For example: “Being able to rear your children in a stimulating and confidence boosting environment will benefit you as a parent too as you will be able to see your child live up to his/her full potential. By signing the petition to build new playgrounds, you will be certain that you did everything in your power to allow your kids to have the best possible conditions for healthy development.”
Call for action – explaining what you would like your readers to do if you had succeeded in persuading them in your point of view. For example: “Sign a petition to construct the new playground with modern equipment! It’s our duty as parents to speak up on behalf of our children! They rely on us to do so.”
The conclusion serves the purpose of solidifying your argument and making an impression on your readers. You should write it in a way that makes it extremely hard to say no to. Rejecting your initiative should be guilt-provoking, therefore making members of your audience prone to accept it just to feel good about themselves. As mentioned before, persuasive essays are not just about facts and evidence. They are emotionally loaded and based on sound ethical grounds. This often proves decisive in tipping the scale in the desired direction.
The goal of an outline for writing a persuasive essay is to organize your thoughts and feelings on the subject, to think of the best ways to address your audience, and to determine which arguments you could use with most effect. To be successful, you will not just pile up ideas and overwhelm your readers with unorganized material that is hard to follow. If you want them to support your claims or initiatives, these need to be presented in a structured and logical way, which is precisely what an outline is for.
Expository writing is unique as it forces the writer to have in-depth knowledge regarding the idea he wants to write about. The essay writer must explore all aspects of the idea, explain it and weigh all the arguments. Once this is done then and only then can he give two cents on the matter at hand.
Expository writing is most prominent when one is writing an expository essay, which may come in several forms. They can be written in the form of comparison and contrast, analysis of cause and effect, or they can be an explanation or an analysis of a process definition.
Depending on the reasoning behind the essay, each paragraph must be formulated in such a way that it reflects the very core reason in such a way that even readers with no prior knowledge of it can understand it easily.
To use expository paragraphs correctly, one must first know how to write an expository essay properly. To do that it is necessary to master the structure of expository essay first.
Expository essays follow the same rules as most essays. An expository essay needs a clearly stated and defined thesis statement in the beginning. All transitions between the paragraphs must be done in a logical and orderly manner with attention to the introduction and conclusion paragraphs. The main body needs to be filled with cold, hard facts which can be factual, statistical, logical or anecdotal. As with all other essays types, the conclusion must be strong and cannot simply be restating the thesis statement.
Informing or Explaining
When the purpose of an essay is to relate certain information to the reader or to explain the mechanics of something, it is usually required to inform the reader of the topic in the introduction. Furthermore, this kind of essays must adhere to strict chronological order when explaining a certain process.
One way of achieving this in essays that strive to inform the reader is to use topic sentences. Topic sentences can be used as building blocks; they gradually present more and more information. This is where topic sentences can be used to their full extent. They can be used as mini-thesis statements to define and explain body paragraphs or to guide the reader through a certain process.
Analyzing or Evaluating
Explanatory writing is commonly used when a specific analysis is conducted. It is convenient to use when there is a need to explain how and why an issue is of significance. When using explanatory writing, it is important to know your subject completely and to understand if your essay should focus more on analysis or explanation. This, in turn, allows you to use body paragraphs efficiently so that they communicate your argument to the reader.
When writing a comparison essay, it is possible to devote individual paragraphs to each subject you are comparing as well as to compare those issues by intermixing them in each paragraph. If you are, on the other hand, writing a cause-and-effect analysis essay, the introduction must contain all the necessary information regarding that very cause and effect as well as your approach to them.
If it’s a problem and solution type of essay, the problem must be immediately identified so that the proposed solution can follow right after it, leaving you with enough room to connect them. If you opt for this, you must also present the solution in your thesis statement.
Topic Sentences Guide the Way
Topic Sentences Guide the Way as they inform the reader about all the things you will write about in the following paragraph. With this logic in mind, it stands to reason that the supporting body paragraphs contain topic sentences that cover different points and thus lead towards the development of the argument.
Regardless of what kind of essay you are writing the topic sentences serve to make the transition from the thesis statement to each subsequent paragraph of the essay smooth and clear. This is why each and every paragraph should contain a one-sentence statement that embodies the main idea discussed in the body paragraphs.
This handout offers general guidelines for writing reports on the scientific research you have undertaken. We will describe the conventional rules regarding format and content of a lab report as well as try to explain why these rules exist so that you will have a better understanding of how to undertake this type of writing.
BACKGROUND AND PRE-WRITING
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF WRITING RESEARCH REPORTS?
In your science class you participated in an experiment, and now you must write it up to submit to your teacher. You think that you had sufficient understanding of the background, designed and finished the study well, were able to gain useful data, and could to apply the data to draw conclusions about a particular scientific process or principle. However, how do you go about writing all that? What expectations does your teacher have?
To avoid guesswork in trying to ascertain this, try to think beyond the context of a classroom. Indeed, you and your teacher are both members of a scientific community, and participants in this community often share the same values. As long as you appreciate and understand these values, it is likely that your writing will satisfy the expectations of your audience, which includes your teacher.
What is your motivation for writing this research report? The most immediate answer is “because it was assigned by the teacher,” but this is thinking inside the classroom context. Broadly speaking, individuals perusing a scientific hypothesis have an obligation to the rest of the scientific community to report the findings of their research, especially if these make a contribution to or contradict previous ideas.
People going through such reports have two primary goals:
They wish to collect the information that is presented.
They seek to establish that the findings are legitimate.
As a writer, your job is to enable these two goals.
HOW DO I DO THAT?
Great question. Here is the essential format that scientists adhere to for research reports:
Methods and Materials
This format, sometimes called “IMRAD,” may be slightly modified depending on the discipline or audience. Some require you to include an abstract or separate section for the hypothesis, or refer to the Discussion section as “Conclusions,” or change the order of the sections (some professional and academic journals stipulate that the Methods section must appear last). Ultimately, however, the IMRAD format was created to be a textual reflection of the scientific method.
As you will likely recall, the scientific method requires developing a hypothesis, putting it to the test, and then determining if your results support the hypothesis.
Essentially, the format for a research report in the sciences reflects the scientific method but adds to the process a little. Below you can see a table that demonstrates how each written section corresponds to the scientific method and what information it offers to the reader.
Scientific method step
As well as…
presents your hypothesis
Articulates how you arrived at this hypothesis and how it is
related to prior research; provides the reason for the purpose
of the study
relates how you tested your hypothesis
Explains why you undertook you study in that particular
provides the uninterpreted (raw) data collected
(potentially) presents the data in table form,
as an easy-to-read diagram, or as percentages/ratios
evaluates if the data you obtained supports the hypothesis
explores the implications of your findings
and evaluates the potential limitations
of your experimental design
Conceptualizing your research report as derived from the scientific method albeit fleshed out in the ways noted above. Our advice enables you to meet the expectations of your audience. We will continue by explicitly drawing connections between each component of a lab report to the scientific method, and then provide the rationale regarding how and why you must elaborate the respective section.
Although this handout addresses each component in the order, it should be presented in the final report, for practical reasons you may decide to write your sections in a different order. For instance, often writers find that writing the Methods and Results section before the others helps them to clarify their conception of the experiment or study as a whole. You might think about utilizing each assignment to try out different methods for drafting the report in order to determine which works best for you.
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE DRAFTING THE LAB REPORT?
The optimal way to prepare to compose the lab report is to ensure that you have full comprehension of everything you need to know about the experiment. Clearly, if you do not really understand what happened in the lab, you will find it hard to explain it to another person. To ensure that you have sufficient knowledge to compose the report, complete the following steps:
What knowledge are we hoping to gain from this experiment?
Read your lab manual extensively, and far ahead of when you begin the experiment. Consider the following questions:
What is the procedure going to be for this lab?
Why are we following this procedure?
What knowledge are we hoping to gain from this experiment?
How might this knowledge contribute positively to our work?
Providing answers to these questions will promote a more complete understanding of the experiment, and this knowledge of the larger picture will enable you to write a successful lab report.
Consult with your lab supervisor as you undertake the experiment. If you don’t know how to respond to one of the above questions, your lab supervisor will probably provide you with an explanation or guide you towards the proper response.
In collaboration with your lab partners, plan the steps of the experiment carefully. The less you are hurried, the more likely you are to do the experiment correctly and accurately document your findings. Also, invest some time to consider the best way to organize the data before you have to start recording it. If you can, create a table to account for the data; this will often work better than merely jotting down the results in a rushed fashion on a scrap of paper.
Record the data carefully to ensure that it is correct. You will be unable to trust your conclusions if you have erroneous data, and your readers will see you made an error if the other people in your group have “97 degrees, ” and you have “87.”
Do everything in consultation with your lab partners. Frequently lab groups make one of two mistakes: two people undertake all the work while two spend the time socializing, or everybody works together until the group finishes gathering the raw data, then makes a hasty exit. Collaborate with your group members, even when the experiment is finished. What trends did you observe? Was there evidence to support the hypothesis? Did all of you arrive at the same results? What kind of figure or image should you employ to represent your findings? The whole group can work collaboratively to provide answers to these questions.
Take your audience into consideration. You may think that audience is not important: it is just your lab TA. True, but again think beyond the classroom context. If you write only with the instructor in mind, material that is crucial to a full understanding of your experiment may be omitted as you assume the instructor was already familiar with it. Consequently, you might receive a lower grade as your TA will not be sure that you have adequately grasped all of the principles at work. Try to aim your writing towards a fellow student in a different lab section – he or she will have some degree of scientific knowledge but won’t have a full understanding of your experiment specifically. Or, write towards yourself five years later after the reading and lectures from this course are not so fresh in your mind. What aspects would you retain, and what would you require to be more fully explained as a refresher?
After you have finished these steps as you go through the experiment, you will be in a good position to draft a strong lab report.
HOW DO I WRITE A STRONG INTRODUCTION?
For present purposes, we will consider the Introduction to comprise four basic elements: the intent, the relevant scientific literature, the hypothesis, and the reasons why you held that your hypothesis was viable. We will begin by addressing each element of the Introduction to explain what it covers and why it is significant. Then we will be able to develop a logical organization method for the section.
Including the purpose (otherwise known as the objective) of the experiment frequently confuses the writers. The largest misunderstanding is that the purpose is identical to the hypothesis. This is not completely accurate. We will address hypotheses shortly, but essentially, they contain some indication of what you expect your experiment to demonstrate. The purpose goes beyond that and engages more with what you expect to achieve through the experiment. In a professional context, the hypothesis may pertain to how cells react to certain types of genetic manipulation, yet the purpose of the experiment is to gain knowledge about potential cancer treatments. Reports at the undergraduate level rarely have such a wide-ranging goal, yet you should still attempt to maintain a distinction between your hypothesis and your purpose. For example, in a solubility experiment, your hypothesis might address the relationship between temperature and the rate of solubility, yet the purpose is likely to gain knowledge regarding some specific scientific principle underlying the process of solubility.
To begin with, many individuals maintain that you should write down your working hypothesis before you begin the experiment or study. Frequently, beginning science students fail to do so and thus struggle to recall exactly which variables were involved or how the researches deemed them to be related. You will thank yourself later if you write down your hypothesis as you develop it.
Regarding the form a hypothesis should have, it is a good idea to try to avoid being fancy or overly complicated – here the clarity is what is important, not an inventive style. It is perfectly acceptable to begin your hypothesis with the phrase “It was hypothesized that . . .” Be as specific as possible regarding the relationship between different objects of your study. That is, explain that when term A alters, term B alters in this particular way. Audiences of scientific writing are seldom content with the notion that a relationship between two terms exists – rather, they wish to know what is entailed by that relationship.
Not a hypothesis: “It was hypothesized that there is a significant relationship between the temperature of a solvent and its solubility rate.”
Hypothesis: “It was hypothesized that when the temperature of a solvent increases, its solubility rate will likewise increase.”
A suitable hypotheses should have both an independent as well as a dependent variable. The independent variable is what you alter to test the reaction; the dependent variable is what changes as a result of your alterations. In the example above, the independent variable is the temperature; the dependent variable is the solubility rate. Both should be used in your hypothesis.
JUSTIFY YOUR HYPOTHESIS
You are required to contribute more than simply relating to your readers what your hypothesis is; you are also required to persuade them that this was a reasonable hypothesis, given the circumstances. That is, utilize the Introduction to make clear that you didn’t just randomly select a hypothesis (and if you did, problems with your report likely go far beyond using the appropriate format!). If you suggest that a particular relationship exists between the independent and the dependent variable, what made you believe your estimation might be supported by evidence?
This is often referred to by scientists as “motivating” the hypothesis, explaining why something encouraged them to make that prediction. Frequently, motivation includes what is generally accepted as true by scientists (see “Background/previous research” below). However, you can also motivate your hypothesis by incorporating logic or your own observations. If you are attempting to discern which solutes will dissolve more quickly, you might recall that some solids are meant to dissolve in hot water (e.g., sugar) and others – because they are unaffected by high temperatures (i.e., what saucepans are made out of). Alternatively, you can consider if you have noticed sugar dissolving more quickly in a glass of iced tea or a cup of coffee. Even such common, outside of the lab observations can help you establish your hypothesis as a reasonable one.
This component of the Introduction makes clear to your reader how you are building on the work of other scientists. If you imagine the scientific community are participating in a series of conversations addressing various topics, you will see that the relevant background information will indicate to your reader which conversation you want to engage with.
Broadly speaking, the reasons students employ the background differs to some degree from authors writing journal articles. Given that the audiences of academic journals are often professionals in the field, authors articulate the background so as to allow readers to determine the study’s relevance to their own work. Students, on the other hand, are writing with a much more narrow audience of peers in the course or their lab instructors. Consequently, it is necessary for students to make clear their understanding of the context for the experiment or study they have completed. For instance, if your instructor has been discussing polarity during class, and you are undertaking a solubility experiment, you might attempt to connect the polarity of a solid to its relative solubility in certain solvents. In any case, both undergraduates as well as professional researchers must make a clear connection between the background material and their own work.
ORGANIZATION OF THIS SECTION
Most of the time writers begin by articulating the purpose or objectives of their own work, which makes clear for the benefit of the reader the “nature and scope of the problem investigated” (Day 1994). After you have articulated your purpose, it should be easier to move from the general purpose to relevant material pertaining to the subject (to your hypothesis). In a condensed form an Introduction section might resemble this: “The goal of the experiment was to test previously held ideas pertaining to solubility in the experiment [purpose] . . . According to Whitecoat and Labrat (1999), the molecules increase speed when subjected to higher temperatures… Class material has informed us that molecules which move at faster rates bump into each other more frequently and consequently break down with greater ease … Thus it was hypothesized that when a solvent increases in temperature, the solubility rate also increases [hypothesis]”
Note, these are guidelines rather than firm exhortations. The example above simply provides an sample of a common way to organize the material.
METHODS AND MATERIALS
WRITING A STRONG MATERIALS AND METHODS SECTION
Your Methods section should fulfill the readers’ expectations; thus you must understand its purpose. We will review the purpose as we articulated it above: in this component, you will wish to describe in detail how you tested your hypothesis as well as make clear the rationale for your procedure. In the sciences, it is not enough to simply design and undertake an experiment. Others must be able to verify your findings, so the experiment must be reproducible so far as other researchers could follow the same methodology and arrive at the same (or similar) results.
Here is a concrete example which demonstrates how important reproducibility is. In 1989 physicists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman stated that they had discovered “cold fusion” which is a way of creating excess heat and power without the need for nuclear radiation that goes along with “hot fusion.” These reports generated a great deal of interest, as such a discovery could have significant implications for the industrial production of energy. Yet when other scientists attempted to duplicate the experiment, they arrived at different results, and consequently many dismissed the conclusion as unjustified (or ever worse, as a hoax). Even in the present day, the viability of cold fusion is still a subject of debate within the scientific community, although an increasing number of researchers admit that it is a possibility. Thus, when you compose your Methods section, bare in mind that you must describe your experiment thoroughly enough that others would be able to reduplicate it exactly.
Keeping these aims in mind, we will consider how to compose a strong Methods section regarding content, structure, and style.
Occasionally, the most difficult aspect of writing this component is not what you should discuss, but what you should not discuss. Writers frequently wish to include the results of their experiment as they have measured and recorded these throughout the experiment. Yet this data should be reserved for the Results section. In the Methods section you can note that you recorded the results, or how you documented the results (for example, in a table), but you should refrain from writing what the results were. In this part, you are simply articulating how you proceeded to test your hypothesis. As you work through a draft of this section, ask yourself the following questions:
How much detail should be included? Be exact in giving details, but make sure they are relevant. Ask yourself: “If this piece were a different size or made from a different material, would this have an impact?” If the answer is no, you likely don’t need to go too much into the detail. If that is a yes, report as many facts as necessary to ensure that other scientists can duplicate it. The most important detail is measurement, and you should always specify, for example, time elapsed, temperature, mass, volume, etc.
Rationale: Make sure that as you are conveying your actions during the experiment, you articulate your reasons for the protocol you developed. For example, if you capped a test tube immediately after adding a solute to a solvent, why did you do that? In a professional context, writers provide their reasons as a means to explain their thought process to potential detractors. On the one hand, naturally, that is your impetus for discussing protocol, as well. On the other hand, since pragmatically speaking you are also writing for your teacher (who is seeking to evaluate how well you understand the principles of the experiment), articulating the rationale demonstrates that you comprehend the reasons for conducting the experiment in that way and that you are not just following instructions. Critical thinking is vital, which is why robots do not make very good scientists.
Control: The majority of experiments will include some control, which is a way of comparing results of the experiment. (Sometimes you will require more than one control, depending on the number of hypotheses you wish to test.) The control is identical to the other items you are testing, except that you do not manipulate the independent variable, which is the condition you are altering to check the effect on the dependent variable. For instance, if you are testing solubility rates at increased temperatures, your control would be a solution that you did not heat at all; this way, you will see how quickly the solute dissolves “naturally.”
Describe the control in the Methods section. Two things are particularly crucial in writing about the control: identify the control as a control, and explain what you are controlling for.
STRUCTURE AND STYLE
The organization is particularly vital in the Methods section of a lab report as readers must fully comprehend your experimental procedure. Frequently writers are surprised by the challenges to convey what they did during the experiment, as after all, they are only reporting an event. There is a relatively standard structure you can employ as a guide, and following the stylistic conventions can aid in clarifying your points.
Subsections: Sometimes researchers employ subsections to report their procedure when the following circumstances apply: 1) if they have used a significant amount of materials; 2) if the procedure is unusually complicated; 3) if they have developed a procedure that their readers will unlikely be familiar with. Since these conditions rarely apply to the experiments you will perform in a classroom setting; most undergraduate lab reports will not require the use of subsections. Indeed, many guides on writing lab reports recommend that you attempt to limit the Methods component to a single paragraph.
Narrative structure: Envision this section as relating a story about a group of individuals and the experiment they performed. Articulate what you did in the order in which you did it. We are used to reading about events in a chronological way, and so your readers will likely comprehend what you did if you relate that information in the same way. Moreover, because the Methods component does generally appear as a narrative (story), you will wish to avoid the “recipe” approach: “First, do that; then, do that.” Your is informing the reader on what did happen, not instructing them how to perform the experiment. Hint: the majority of the time, the recipe approach is the product of copying down the steps of the procedure from the instructions given in class.
The use of Past tense: you are describing something that already happened, so the past tense is appropriate to refer to what you did during the experiment. Writers are often inclined to use the imperative voice (“Add 5 g of the solid to the solution”) given that that is how their lab manuals are phrased; less frequently, they use present tense (“5 g of the non-liquid are added to the solution”). The past tense is more appropriate in this section because the experiment already happened.
Passive vs. active: Previously, scientific journals discouraged their writers from using the first person (“I” or “we”), as it was thought that the researchers themselves were not personally significant to the procedure in the experiment. Recall that other researchers should be able to reproduce experiments exactly, based on the lab report; utilizing the first person implies (to some readers) that the experiment cannot be replicated without the original researchers present. To help curtail the use of personal references in lab reports, scientific conventions also stated that researchers should use passive voice. The majority of readers think that this style of writing conveys information more clearly and concisely. This rhetorical decision consequently brings two scientific values into conflict: objectivity versus clarity. Given that the scientific community has not yet arrived at a consensus about which style it prefers, you may want to consult with your lab instructor.
HOW DO I WRITE A STRONG RESULTS SECTION?
Here’s something of a paradox. The Results section is often both the briefest (yay!) as well as the most significant (uh-oh!) component of your report. Your Materials and Methods section demonstrates how you arrived at the results, and your Discussion component explores the relevance of the results, so clearly the Results section forms the backbone of the lab report. This component gives your readers the most vital information about your experiment: the data that allow you to articulate how your hypothesis was or wasn’t supported. However, it does not provide anything else, which accounts for why this section is most often shorter than the others.
Before you compose this section, examine all the data you collected to determine what relates significantly to your hypothesis. This is the material you will wish to highlight in the Results. Refrain from the desire to include every bit of data you collected, as not all have relevance. Also, this is not the place to draw conclusions regarding the results—save them for the Discussion section. In this section, you’re relating facts, so nothing your readers could argue with should appear in the Results component.
The majority of Results sections contain three distinct parts: text, tables, and figures. We will consider each part individually.
This should be a concise paragraph, generally speaking merely a few lines, which describes the results you derived from your experiment. In a relatively simple experiment, the text can comprise the whole Results component. Don’t think that you must compensate for a short (but effective) text with excessive amounts of detail; your readers appreciate conciseness more than your capacity to recite facts. In a more complex experiment, tables or figures could be included to help illustrate to your readers the most significant information you gathered. In this instance, you are required to address each table or figure directly, as appropriate: “Table 1: the rates of solubility for each substance”.
It is possible to note the trends that emerge when you go through the data. Although because identifying trends relies on your own judgement and thus may not feel like impartial reporting, it cannot be denied that these trends are important, and thus they do belong in the Results section. For example: “Heating the solution increased the rate of solubility of polar solids by 45% but had no impact on the rate of solubility in solutions containing solids that are non-polar.”
As is the case with the Materials and Methods section, you should refer to the data using the past tense as the events you recorded have already been completed. In the above example, the use of “increased” and “had,” rather than “increases” and “has.”
Avoid putting information on the table that also is contained in the text. Also, a table should not be used to present data that is irrelevant, just so you can demonstrate that you did collect these data throughout the experiment. Table are great for some purposes and in some instances, but not all, so if and how you will utilize tables is dependent on what you require them to accomplish.
Tables are a helpful means to show variation in data, but not to present a significant amount of unchanging measurements. For example, if you are engaged with a scientific phenomenon that only happens within a certain range of temperature, you do not need to employ a table to demonstrate that the phenomenon didn’t happen at any of the other temperatures. How useful is this table?
As you can likely discern, no solubility was noted until the trial temperature reached 50°C, the fact that the text part of the Results section could indicate. The table can show what occurred at 50°C and higher, which will better illustrate the differences in solubility rates when solubility did happen.
Try to abstain from using a table to articulate any aspect of the experiment that you can address in one sentence of text. Here is an example of an unnecessary table from How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, by Robert A. Day:
As Day observes, all the information in this table can be summarized in one sentence: “S. griseus, S. coelicolor, S. everycolor, and S. rainbowenski gain in size under aerobic conditions, whereas S. nocolor and S. greenicus depended on anaerobic conditions.” A table will not be any clearer to readers than that one sentence.
When you do have occasion to tabulate material, try to ensure the clarity and readability of the format you use. Here are some tips:
Number your table. So, when you refer to the table in the text, employ that number to indicate to your readers which table they can look at to clarify the material.
Give your table a title. The title should be sufficiently descriptive to communicate its contents, but no so long that it becomes unwieldy. The titles in the sample tables above are an appropriate length.
Organize your table so that readers read vertically, not horizontally. Generally speaking, this means that you should design your table so that similar elements read down, rather than across. Consider what you wish your readers to compare, and place this information in the column (up and down), rather than in the row (across). Often what is being compared is numerical data collected from the experiment, so take particular care to ensure that you have columns of numbers, not rows. Here is an example of how significantly this decision has an impact on the readability of your table. Consider the table, which presents the data in rows arranged horizontally.
It is a bit difficult to comprehend the trends that the author presumably wants to demonstrate in this table. Compare this table, where the data is arranged vertically:
The second table demonstrates how placing similar elements in a vertical column makes for easier reading. In this instance, the similar elements are the measurements of length and height, over five trials–not, as shown in the first table, the length and height measurements for each trial.
Ensure you include units of measurement in the tables. Readers might be able to discern that you measured something in millimeters, but don’t force them to do this.
Line up numbers on the right, such as this:
or on the decimal point. It may be helpful to imagine that you are going to add the numbers together and place them sequentially.
Do not employ vertical lines as a component of the format for your table. This convention is adhered to because journals prefer not to have to reproduce these lines as consequently the tables are more expensive to print. Although it is reasonably unlikely that you’ll be submitting your Biology 11 lab report to Science for publication, your readers nonetheless still retain this expectation. Thus, if you employ the table-drawing option in your word-processing software, select the option that doesn’t rely on a “grid” format (where there are vertical lines).
What is the best way to include Figures in my Lab report?
Even thought-through tables can be useful ways of demonstrating trends in your results, figures (i.e., illustrations) can be even more helpful to emphasize these trends. Lab report writers frequently employ graphic representations of the data they gathered to give their readers a literal picture of how the experiment proceeded.
WHEN SHOULD YOU EMPLOY A FIGURE?
Recall the circumstances when you do not need to use a table: when you do not have a significant amount of data, or when the data you have do not show many variations. Under the same circumstances, you would likely forgo the figure as well, as the figure would not likely contribute an additional perspective. Scientists prefer not to waste their time, so they rarely respond well to redundancy.
If you are attempting to decide between using a table and creating a figure to represent your material, keep in mind the following a rule of thumb. The merits of a table are in its ability to provide large amounts of exact data, whereas the strength of a figure is its illustration of important facts that occurred during the experiment. If you feel that your readers won’t grasp the full impact of your results solely by looking at the numbers, then a figure could well be a good addition.
Naturally, a class at the undergrad level may require you to create a figure for your lab experiment, if only for the reason to demonstrate that you are capable of doing so effectively. In this instance, do not stress about whether to employ figures or not—instead, focus on how best to accomplish your task.
Figures can include maps, photographs, pen-and-ink drawings, bar graphs, flow charts, and section graphs (“pie charts”). However, the most common figure, particularly for undergraduates, is the line graph, so this is what we will focus on here.
At the undergraduate level, it is often feasible to draw and label your graphs by hand, so long as the result is clear, legible, and drawn to scale. However, computer technology has made creating line graphs significantly easier. The majority of word-processing software has several functions for transferring data into graph form; many scientists have found Microsoft Excel, for instance, a helpful tool to graph their results. If you plan to pursue a career in the sciences, it would be a good idea to learn to use a similar program.
Computers cannot, however, determine how your graph really works; you have to understand how to design your graph so that it will meet the expectations of your readers. The following are some of these expectations:
Keep it as simplistic as you are able. You may be inclined to indicate the complexity of the information you gathered by attempting to design a graph that accounts for that complexity. However, remember why you are using a graph: to highlight your results in a fashion that is easy to see and understand. Do not force the reader to stare at the graph for an extended period of time to find the important line among the mass of other lines. Have three to five lines in a graph to achieve the best effect; if you have more data to demonstrate, utilize a set of graphs to present it, rather than attempting to force it all into a single figure.
Plot the independent variable on the horizontal (x) axis and the dependent variable on the vertical (y) axis. Keep in mind that the independent variable is component that you altered during the experiment and the dependent variable is the condition that you measured to see if it changed along with the independent variable. Placing the variables along their appropriate axes is really done because of convention, but given that your readers are used to viewing graphs in this way, it is better to not challenge the convention in your report.
Label each axis carefully, and be particularly diligent in including units of measure. You must ensure that your readers completely understand what your graph indicates.
Number and title your graphs. Similar to tables, the title of the graph should be informative yet concise, and you should refer to your graph by number in the text.
The majority of editors of academic journals in the science field prefer that writers distinguish the lines in their graphs by attaching a symbol to them which is often a geometric shape (triangle, square, etc.), and employing that symbol throughout the curve of the line. For the most part, readers have difficulty distinguishing between dotted lines and dot-dash lines from straight lines, so you may wish to avoid this system. Because colors are costly to produce, generally editors do not wish to see different-colored lines within a graph; however, colors may be a great choice to utilize for your purposes, so long as you do not intend to submit your paper to Nature. Use your discretion and try to use whichever technique most effectively dramatizes the results.
Try to gather data at regular intervals, so the plot points on your chart are not too distanced from one another. You cannot be sure of the line you should create between the plot points if these show up at the far corners of the graph; over the course of fifteen-minutes, the change may have occurred in the first or last thirty seconds of that period (and if so your straight-line connection between the points is misleading).
If you are concerned that you did not collect data at sufficiently regular times throughout your experiment, go ahead and connect the points with a straight line, but it may be advisable to address this in the Discussion section.
Make your graph big enough so that everything is legible and clearly demarcated, but not so big that it either overwhelms the rest of the Results section or provides a much greater scope than you require to illustrate your point. For example, if the seedlings of your plant grew only 15 mm during the experiment, you don’t need to create a graph that accounts for 100 mm of growth. The lines in your graph should essentially fill the space created by the axes; if you see that your data is confined to the lower left portion of the graph, you should likely re-adjust your scale.
If you design a series of graphs, ensure that they are of the same dimensions and formatting, and this includes things such as captions, symbols, scale, and so forth. It is best to be highly consistent with your visuals to allow your readers to readily grasp the comparisons you are trying to get them to see.
HOW DO I WRITE A STRONG DISCUSSION SECTION?
The discussion section is probably the most informal component of the report, as it is difficult to apply the same structure to every type of experiment. To state this simply, in this section you inform your readers how they should view the Results you arrived at. If you have completed the Results component well, your readers should already recognize the trends in the data and have a relatively clear understanding of whether your hypothesis was supported. Since the Results component can seem so self-explanatory, often students face difficulty in determining which material should be added in this final section.
Essentially, the Discussion is comprised of several parts, in no particular order, but generally moving from specific (i.e., related solely to your experiment) to more general (how your findings engage in the larger scientific community). As a rule, in this section you will be required to:
Articulate if the data support your hypothesis
Concede any anomalous data or deviations from what you were anticipating
State conclusions, predicated on your findings, about the process you’re studying
Draw connections between your findings and earlier work in the same area (if this is possible)
Explore what the theoretical and/or practical implications of your findings might be
Consider some dos and don’ts for each of these objectives.
EXPLAIN WHETHER THE DATA SUPPORT YOUR HYPOTHESIS
This statement is most often a great way to begin the Discussion, as you will not be able to speak about the larger scientific value of your study in an informed manner until you have grasped the specifics of this experiment. You can start this component of the Discussion by explicitly identifying the relationships or correlations your data indicate between the variables you altered and those that you kept controlled. Following this you can elaborate in a more transparent fashion why you believe your theory was or was not supported. For example, if you subjected solubility to differing temperatures, you might commence this component by noting that solubility rates increased in relation to those of temperature. If you began with the theory that altering the temperature would not have an affect on solubility, you would then say something a long the lines of “The hypothesis that temperature change would have an impact on solubility was not supported by the data.”
Note: Students often perceive labs as pragmatic tests of irrefutable scientific truths. Consequently, you may be inclined to claim that the hypothesis was “proved” or “disproved” or that it was “correct” or “incorrect.” However, these terms indicate a level of certainty that you as a scientist are not supposed to possess. Recall that you are testing a theory through a procedure that only lasts a small amount of time and utilizes only a small amount of trials, which significantly limits your capacity to be certain about the “truth” you observe. These terms, however, reflect a degree of certainty that you as a scientist should not claim possession of. Such word choices such as “suggest” or “imply” are more accurate ways to discuss your hypothesis.
Also, note that articulating whether the data supported your hypothesis or not includes issuing a claim that you must defend. Consequently, you must be able to demonstrate to your readers that this claim is supported by the evidence. Ensure that you are very explicit concerning the relationship between the evidence and your conclusions drawn from it. This is challenging for many writers because we infrequently justify conclusions in our normal lives. For example, you must whisper to a friend at a party that another guest is drunk, and when your friends observes the person you referred to she might quickly agree. By contrast, in a scientific paper you are required to defend your statement more concretely by noting data such as slurred speech, awkward gait, and a lampshade being worn as a hat. Additionally, you must also demonstrate how (according to previous studies) these outward behaviors are consistent with being intoxicated, particularly if they appear in conjunction with one another. To phrase this a different way, you must convey to your readers exactly how you moved from point A (was your hypothesis supported?) to point B (yes or no).
ACKNOWLEDGE ANY ANOMALOUS DATA, OR DEVIATIONS FROM WHAT YOU EXPECTED
You need to consider these exceptions and divergences so that you are able to sufficiently qualify your conclusions. For obvious reasons, your readers will question your reliability if you (deliberately or accidentally) overlook a significant piece of data that doesn’t cohere with your perspective on what transpired. In a more philosophical sense, once you have ignored evidence that contradicts your claims, you are no longer engaging in the scientific method. The inclination to “tidy up” an experiment is frequently compelling, but if you succumb to it, you are no longer doing good science.
Occasionally after you have performed a study or experiment, you become cognizant that some components of the methods you employed to test your hypothesis were flawed. In that case, it is acceptable to observe that if you had the opportunity to conduct your test again, you would potentially alter the design in this or that particular way to avoid such and such a problem. What is paramount in making this approach work, however, is to be extremely precise in identifying the weakness in your experiments, and to articulate why and how you believe that it might have had an impact on your data, as well as how you might change your procedure to eliminate or limit the effects of that weakness. Frequently researchers with limited experience feel a desire to explain “wrong” data (but recall that there is no such thing), and consequently, they broadly speculate regarding what might have thrown the experiment off. These speculations include factor such as the temperature of the room, or that their lab partners potentially read the meters incorrectly, or equipment which could have been defective. These attempts at explanations are called “cop-outs,” or “lame” by scientists; don’t indicate that the experiment had a weakness unless you are relatively certain that a) it really occurred and b) you can articulate fairly well how that weakness impacted your results.
DERIVE CONCLUSIONS, BASED ON YOUR FINDINGS, ABOUT THE PROCESS YOU ARE STUDYING
For example, if your hypothesis addressed changes in solubility at different temperatures, then attempt to determine what you can rationally say about the process of solubility. If you are an undergrad, the paper will probably be in some way related to the content you have been covering in class, so returning to theses resources may assist you in thinking more clearly about the process as a whole.
This component of the Discussion section is another location where you need to ensure that you are not overreaching. Again, nothing you have discovered in one study would permit you to claim that you now “know” something, or that something is not “accurate” or that the procedure “proved” a given scientific principle or rule. Be cautious before you embark on such stipulations, as they are often falsifiable. Instead, employ language that is more tentative, including vocabulary such as “imply” “point to” “correlation” “likely” “undermine,” and so forth.
Draw Correlations between your results and prior work in the field (if feasible)
So far we have talked about how to demonstrate that you belong in a given community (such as biologists or anthropologists) by utilizing the writing conventions they are familiar with and accept. Another means of doing so is to attempt to locate a conversation occurring between members of that community, and utilizing your work to advance that conversation. In a broader philosophical sense, scientists are unable to fully comprehend the full implications of their research unless they have a grasp of the context it which it was provoked and nourished.
That is, you must be able to identify what’s new about your project (potentially, anyway) and how it contributes to the wider body of scientific knowledge. Particularly for undergraduates, on a more pragmatic level, connecting previous research to your own will make clear to your TA that you are cognizant of the larger picture. The Discussion section affords you the opportunity to set yourself apart from other students in the class who are not thinking beyond the rudimental aspects of the study. Make the most of this opportunity by placing your own work in a broader context.
If you are a new comer to working in the natural sciences (for example, a first-year biology or chemistry student), it is highly likely that the work you will be completing has previously been performed and re-performed to an acceptable degree. Consequently, you could likely note a similar experiment or study and compare/contrast your results and conclusions with it. More advanced work may address an issue that is rather less “resolved,” and so previous research may consist of an ongoing debate, and you can employ your own research to contribute to that debate. For example, if researchers are engaged in a debate regarding the merits of herbal remedies to treat a cold, and the results from your study indicate that Echinacea reduces the symptoms of the cold though not its actual presence, then in the Discussion section you may wish to devote some time to summarize the specifics of the debate as it pertains to Echinacea as an herbal remedy. (Consider that you have likely already written about this dispute as background research in your Introduction).
EXPLORE THE THEORETICAL AND/OR PRACTICAL Potential Consequences OF YOUR RESULTS
Addressing this is frequently the optimal way to conclude your Discussion (and, essentially, the report). Generally speaking, in argumentative writing, you should aim to utilize your concluding remarks to make clear the main point of your writing. This main point can be mostly theoretical (“now that you have the comprehension of this information, you are better suited to understand the broader issue”), or mostly practical (“You can utilize this information to pursue such and such an action”). Either way, the concluding remarks aid your reader to understand the significance of your project and the why you chose to write about it.
Because a lab report is argumentative – in that you are examining a claim and determining the legitimacy of this claim by producing and gather evidence – it is frequently a wise decision to conclude your report with the same technique you utilized for establishing your main point. If you opt to pursue the theoretical route, you could discuss the implications your work has for the field or phenomenon you are examining. To again provide examples pertaining to solubility, you could conclude by considering what your work on solubility as a function of temperature tells us in general context. (Some think this type of discussion“pure” as opposed to “applied” science, although such labels can be problematic.) If you prefer to go the pragmatic route, you could conclude by considering the potential medical, institutional, or commercial implications of what you discovered—that is, respond to the question, “What can this study help people to do?” In either instance you will be making the experience of your readers more satisfying in providing them with reasons regarding why they invested their time in learning what you taught them.
One of the most common tasks students receive in their academic life, is a character analysis essay. Professors have always been fond of this type of writing since it proves the capacity to understand and analyze strong literary characters. Learning how to properly describe a protagonist or an antagonist in all its aspects, requires, above all, a solid literary background. Reading a literary work with a critical eye can improve the way you perceive the action, and the characters will reveal themselves easier. However, there are some ideas you can use to write a great character analysis essay, regardless of the time you’ve spent in the library, browsing complicated books. Keep them in mind when starting to work at your own essay, if you want to write a paper that is clear for anyone who might be reading it.
Choose a vibrant character
While some teachers will directly assign you which character to investigate, there are some who will give you the freedom to choose. Use this to your advantage and pick an influential, dynamic character, approachable, but still complex. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the protagonist, but a figure who has some potential, who is not flat, and seems to have something to hide.
For instance, Raskolnikov, the protagonist of “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is a great character to analyze. He has multiple facets and many inner mysteries to solve. There is a great storyline weaved around him, his intrinsic struggles are beyond intriguing, while the interaction he has with other characters reveals so many things about him. He is constantly involved in different events while experiencing many changes throughout the story – and this is what makes him perfect for a writing of this sort.
Explore the relations between characters
Once you have chosen the right character to analyze, read the story again. Surely your perspective will change once you restrain the action around your chosen personage. Observe the way he or she interacts with other characters and extract the traits revealed by such an interaction. Going back to Raskolnikov, one can tell that he is a good-hearted person by the way he takes care of his beloved sister, Dunechka, who sacrifices her happiness to save him, by marrying a man she doesn’t love. Raskolnikov remains faithful to his family despite his act of crime. This is a great feature to explore.
Moreover, pay attention to dialogues, because there could be many details about your characters hidden between the lines. Experienced essay writers often make subtle suggestions instead of clearly stating, so open your eyes.
We suggest you always have a notebook handy, to take notes while you’re reading. Note down any information you might find useful to draft the portrait of your character. Highlight important paragraphs, relevant for your essay, and then gather them all together. Is there a main idea, a powerful motivation that makes your character special? Make it the centerpiece of your essay. For instance, Raskolnikov’s spirit of justice is highly noticeable throughout the story. You can weave the entire analysis around this one feature, outlining its importance Dostoyevsky’s literary act.
Keep your thoughts in order
When writing a character analysis essay, it is easy to get lost on the way. Order is the key when displaying the main features of a character. Don’t go with the flow, you’ll risk writing chaotically, losing your character’s depth, while his or her importance can diminish significantly.
Draw a first painting: the physical appearance
How does your character look? What does it tell about him or her? The physical appearance can reveal many details about your character’s behavior. See how Dostoyevsky describes Raskolnikov’s aspect: “exceptionally handsome, above the average in height, slim, well-built, with beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair.” He looks like an exceptional young man, strong and attractive, maybe a little too confident. Compare the first impression with the latter, right before he finds himself in such a miserable state, that he barely eats. Explore this conflict and explain how it eventually got to shape the Raskolnikov’s character.
Complete the painting: the personality
Your character’s personality is strongly related to his or her background. This ultimately shapes one’s personality, so it is only natural to consider it when analyzing your character. There might be details hidden in an innocent childhood story, for instance, of only one or two paragraphs. Pay attention to them and draw out the essential.
Describing the character’s personality is the hardest part, especially if he or she plays an important role. Complex characters are amazing and examining them is a quest for your own understanding.
As a matter of fact, the entire process of writing a character analysis essay is revealing and self-proving. Another good reason to do your best.
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