Using a thesaurus to improve word choice

November 10, 2011
thesaurus

A thesaurus—a collection of synonyms and antonyms—can be an excellent way of improving word choice in your document. The thesaurus provides a variety of word choices as suggested replacements that may help you better describe a feeling, a landscape or an event. This can be particularly useful if you have a tendency to overuse the same adjectives, verbs and nouns or are simply stuck for a word. Here are some examples: Sad – morose, gloomy, .....

How to Use Chicago Style in English Writing

November 4, 2011
chicago style

As most non-fiction authors know, there are many citation styles available. Many of them are discipline specific (e.g., Modern Language Association for the humanities, American Psychological Association for the social sciences, etc.), and they vary in many different ways. Sometimes, however, you don’t know what citation style you should follow in your writing. For example, if you’re writing a casual article to publish online, there might not be a specific citation style required. For the .....

How to conduct research using primary resource methods?

October 28, 2011
conduct research

Primary research involves obtaining first-hand information about a phenomenon in the real world. This can produce either quantitative or qualitative data, and the means whereby it can be conducted are interviews, experiments, surveys, and ethnographic research. Almost all papers and theses in the sciences and social sciences center on primary research, and it is also much in demand in the business world. When conducting primary research, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, .....

Assure, Ensure, or Insure?

October 23, 2011
Editing

The English language has so many fun aspects, whether it’s sorting out homonyms (acts or ax) or figuring out which synonym is most appropriate (good or righteous). Even native English speakers can have difficulties with some nuances, so don’t feel too bad if you mix up Assure, Ensure, and Insure. Given that they all sound similar and all mean “to make certain,” it can be quite task sorting out which word to use in which .....

How Can I Protect My Document Using Microsoft Word?

October 19, 2011
Protect document using microsoft word

In this technology-driven day and age, piracy and plagiarism are an enormous problem for writers. However, another problem that no one speaks about is when someone tampers with a document you’ve worked so hard on and for so long. The worst is that the culprit usually is a friend or family member, and to be fair, said person usually believes he is “helping” you.  Please allow this blog to show you a way to protect .....

Lay or Lie

October 15, 2011
lay or lie

When to use “Lay” versus “Lie”: difference between lay and lie Lay means “to place something down.” It is something you do to something else. It is a transitive verb. Incorrect: Lie the book on the seat. Correct: Lay the book on the seat. (It is being done to something else.) Lie means “to recline” or “be placed.” It does not act on anything or anyone else. It is an intransitive verb. Incorrect: Lay down .....

Good Vs Well

October 9, 2011
editing

It’s such a simple little question: How are you? But I’ve heard from people who feel a twinge of apprehension or even full-blown frustration every time they have to decide whether to say they’re good or they’re well. “I’m good” is what you’re likely to hear in general conversation, but there are grammar nitpickers out there who will chide you if you say it. The wonderful news is that those said nitpickers are wrong: it’s .....

What makes a great academic paper?

October 7, 2011
academic

The first rule concerning how students should set about writing academic essays is that there are no universal rules, since what works well for one writer may not suit another person. You may have been told in school that ‘you should always begin with a plan’ or that ‘you should develop your essay through successive drafts’, but even such general guidelines suit only some people, some of the time, and may even be counter-productive for .....

Writing is a process, not an event

October 2, 2011
Writing process

Writing is more than just tapping words onto the page. There are several steps to writing: thinking, planning, researching, drafting and reviewing. What’s more, often all the stages in the writing process have to happen before a deadline. There can be a lot to do in a limited amount of time. In this blog we shall look at each of these steps in turn. Thinking First we need to reflect on the purpose of our .....

How to do research using primary source methods

September 25, 2011

A primary source is basically source material that is closest to the person, information, time period, or idea that is being studied, such as surveys, interviews, and observations.  It is contrary to secondary sources, which is information that has been passed through another person, medium, or agent.  A primary source typically includes any sort of data that you collect yourself.  Researchers often include both primary and secondary sources, weaving them in a coherent manner into .....