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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 March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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