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How to Become an Essay Writing Guru Using These 15 Websites

How to Become an Essay Writing Guru Using These 15 Websites

It doesn’t matter whether you’re the most ambitious student in class or you simply want to get the degree and pass your classes as quickly as possible– you’ll have to improve your essay writing skills whether you like it or not.

The starting point is a shift in your attitude. You shouldn’t perceive essays as burdening assignments on boring topics. This type of project gives you a chance to explore, elevate your knowledge, think creatively, and present unique ideas. Once you realize how important it is for you to boost your writing skills, you’ll easily achieve that goal thanks to these 15 websites that can turn you into an essay writing guru.

1. AskPetersen

Julie Petersen, an English language teacher and freelance writer, has created a great website to support all students willing to learn how to write. You’ll find study guides, essay samples, educational articles, and helpful tools that will enable you to approach the assignment with ease.

In the blog section, you’ll find instructions on how to cover each stage of the writing process, as well as inspirational articles that will make you excited about writing something of your own.

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2. Harvard College Writing Center – Strategies for Essay Writing

You cannot develop great writing skills if you lack a solid foundation to build on. It’s always best to start from the basics. Harvard College Writing Center offers detailed instructions for proper academic writing. You’ll start by learning how to read an assignment, how to develop the essay’s structure, and how to cover all other stages of the process.

3. Essay Map

An academic essay requires diligent planning. An outline is necessary, since it keeps you focused on the essay question and enables you to develop strong thesis and arguments.

Essay Map is a free online tool that requires you to input the main details about the introduction, main ideas, supporting details, and conclusion of your paper. Then, you’ll get an appealing outline that will encourage you to follow the plan.

4. A Step-by-Step Guide: “How to Write My Essay Due Tomorrow

Essay writing can be really stressful when you’re limited by a looming deadline. You don’t have enough space to cover all stages properly, so you need to work faster and more effectively. EssayMama provides effective guidelines that will put you on the right track. If you follow the recommended steps, you’ll be able to complete a decent paper within few hours.

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5. Guide to Writing a Basic Essay

Before you can progress to more complex academic assignments, you need to become a master of the basic essay structure. At this website, you’ll find a sample essay that demonstrates all principles of basic academic writing. Instead of reading rules and recommendations, you see an actual paper tailored in accordance with the standards you need to meet.

6. College Essay Guy

Ethan Sawyer, better known as the College Essay Guy, helps students tell their stories. He remembers his college experience vividly, so he is willing to share his tips and experience in order to teach students how to write properly. You’ll find great sample essays, articles, and tutorials in the Blog section. Sawyer also offers a “Complete Guide to Writing the Personal Statement”, so you can rely on that resource when completing college or scholarship applications.

7. Persuasive Essay Thesis Builder

Take a moment to think: what stage of the essay development process is the most challenging one? It’s probably the thesis statement, which should be unique, believable, and authoritative. This statement will set the course of the entire paper. The Thesis Builder tool enables you to tailor a strong thesis statement, which you can then develop into a clean outline. The tool is automated, but the result will be based upon your own input.

8. University of Toronto: Some General Advice on Academic Essay-Writing

College and university teachers are not usually willing to explain how a student should develop an essay stage-by-stage. They just give you the essay question and expect you to complete the paper with excellence. The University of Toronto fills in that gap with a useful guide that teaches you how to come up with an argument, formulate questions and hypothesis, and compose the paper while keeping the overall purpose and form in mind.

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9. EssayPunch

When you need in-depth support on your way towards becoming an essay writing guru, this is the online resource you can count on. You’ll find preset writing prompts that will challenge you to practice more frequently. In addition, the program offers interactive online exercises that help you understand the pre-writing, writing, structuring, editing, and publishing phases.

10. Hemingway Editor

You do not want to complicate your style too much. You might think you would impress your teachers by using big words and writing complex sentences, but that won’t be the case. Hemingway Editor will help you get back to simplicity and clarity. Simply paste your text in the designated field, and try to get rid of the highlighted sections that feature complicated sentences, complex phrases, passive voice, and more.

11. PlagTracker

Plagiarism is a serious sin in academic writing. Even when you do your best to come up with your own ideas and arguments, it’s easy to forget referencing a particular source you used. That’s why you need to run every single essay through PlagTracker before submitting it. Thanks to this free tool, you can be confident that your papers are entirely unique.

12. 18 Simple Essay Hacks Every Student Needs to Know

The highest achievers in your class are able to learn and write more within a shorter period of time. They know how to make the writing process easier by relying on tricks that always work. Thanks to this online resource, you can start doing the same things. The 18 suggested essay hacks cover focusing techniques, research methods, effective typing, editing, and everything in between.

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13. 365 College Essay Writing Tips and Life Hacks

You need a huge collection of tips and tricks to get yourself into writing mode? This is the right online destination for you! You’ll find great tips, tricks and hacks that are easy to understand and implement into practice. Julia Reed, the creator of this list, does not waste your time with abstract explanations about the essay’s type and structure. You’ll get practical tips regarding the proper font, format, persuasive style, and much more.

14. Infographic: What Makes a Strong College Essay

You need to start with the research stage ASAP? Then you don’t want to get tired before you even start going through resources relevant for your paper. That’s why you need to shorten the process and read this guide, which won’t take a lot of your time.

15. Revision Checklist for Essays

The revision stage involves much more than proofreading and fixing basic mistakes. This checklist will guide you through all steps you need to cover in order to make your essay ready for submission.

Remember: you have to do your best to surpass all obstacles you face during the essay writing process. You can always rely on appropriate online resources to help you get the work done!

Featured photo credit: Green Chameleon via stocksnap.io

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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