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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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Jessica Millis

An experienced writer, editor and educator who shares about tips on effective learning.

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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