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66 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

You can and should answer these prompts in your own style and voice. I do have my doubts and concerns about these kinds of tests, but if there is any legitimacy to the grading at all, it won't be ...
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23 votes

Do writers write philosophical essays?

I don't think philosophy and fiction are really opposites. The difference is that in fiction, you don't describe the philosophy, you show its consequences. For example, if your philosophy includes ...
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  • 4,007
23 votes

Do academic papers have to be necessarily grammatically correct?

An important purpose of writing is to organize thoughts and communicate them to an audience. You would not write in French if the audience was fluent in only English. If the goal is to communicate, ...
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16 votes
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Is using first person in academic/technical essays always bad?

This depends on your style guide and potentially your teacher/school/boss/etc.'s guidelines. If your teacher (for example) says to avoid using the first person you may be able to negotiate to change ...
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  • 3,463
14 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

Answer: To answer these sorts of prompts, particularly in the case where example answers trigger a negative response in you, I recommend the following. 1. Look for the structure of the 'perfect ...
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11 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

As a teacher, I never look at the examples given as 'correct answers' when we're talking about personal writing topics. Let me elaborate with two examples: a) Write an essay about Romeo and Juliet. ...
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11 votes

Do academic papers have to be necessarily grammatically correct?

The primary criterion for academic writing is that the meaning must be clear and unambiguous. You seek to avoid misinterpretation of your message by all your readers, irrespective of their ...
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  • 1,246
10 votes

Do writers write philosophical essays?

Fiction writers (like me) portray a problem and a resolution (good or bad), usually for a main character (MC). In the process, we strive to create emotions in the reader ABOUT that character; so the ...
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  • 91k
9 votes

Can I use "I" in an essay?

It's often seen as too casual Consider the following phrase: As I stated earlier, Romeo & Juliet is a tragedy. The use of "I" in this statement implies that the author has a connection ...
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9 votes
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How to respond to overenthusiastic copy-editing

I think you have to decide what lines you're willing to cross and which ones you aren't. It's your piece; it belongs to you. Unless you have a contract for Work for Hire or something else saying it's ...
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8 votes

Do writers write philosophical essays?

I am going to start by disagreeing with @Amadeus. The first job of a writer is not to entertain. At least, not necessarily. I don't think anyone reads All Quiet on the Western Front, or The Old Man ...
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8 votes

How do I keep an essay about "feeling flat" from feeling flat?

I used to write movie reviews for my University News Paper and always felt that, if I'm about to give a bad score, I would point to how I would have improved the movie, if I was given the ability to ...
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  • 10.7k
7 votes

Do academic papers have to be necessarily grammatically correct?

Academic writing intends to be clear and authoritative. You are writing to convince others that some particular claim is valid, and while most of the work of convincing will be carried by your ...
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  • 1,335
6 votes
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Referring to fictional version of an author in essay

I would suggest referring to the author as "O'Brien" and his fictional self as "the narrator." That way, you can speak to his fictional self with sentences like "When the narrator describes Rat ...
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  • 681
6 votes
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Many quotations of a black British novel which used creolized English language. When to use sic?

Definitely - not just a phrase but at least a paragraph discussing the language, possibly detailing some characteristic points of it, early on. Also note - they aren't necessarily errors. That's a ...
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  • 15.3k
6 votes
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What is the guide for writing essay for a people who cannot even write a paragraph?

I think you're selling yourself short with your writing skills. You used all the skills you need to write an essay when you wrote your question. You took a topic--your difficulty writing essays--and ...
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6 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

I used to do exactly the same thing. In jr. high school, I would routinely turn in blank sheets when faced with this kind of assignment. My solution was to get over myself. It took a long time. I can ...
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  • 230
6 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

Good writing isn't good because of the specific words or style used. Good writing is good because it communicates an idea clearly, in a well-organized structure, and with a style that is pleasant to ...
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  • 2,129
5 votes

Beginning an article/essay with a one word sentence, cliché?

A one-word sentence in the beginning of an essay isn't cliche. I think you'd be in a different ballpark if we were talking about a one-word sentence beginning a piece of creative writing. But as far ...
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  • 943
5 votes
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How To Write Concisely

You will probably come to find that different writing styles suit different purposes. This is taught in most writing classes, usually with discussion of "audience" or "target" or "purpose". So you've ...
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  • 12.8k
5 votes

Do writers write philosophical essays?

My answer basically agrees with @Amadeus, but I want to emphasize the relation between fiction, nonfiction, and philosophy. Nonfiction (science) writing is the farthest from fiction (obviously). ...
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  • 150
5 votes

Is using first person in academic/technical essays always bad?

My recommendation is to use first-person pronouns only for attribution. If you do something original, such as a thesis or other research, it makes sense to use "we" for things you did with your ...
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  • 9,527
5 votes

How do I keep an essay about "feeling flat" from feeling flat?

I would go analytical on this one. Talk about the missed opportunities, the lack of conflict, what makes you not give a crap about the characters, or the issues being presented, or in fact the ...
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  • 91k
5 votes

What is a self expression article called?

They're usually just called essays. Though in our modern age we often use names related to the platform. So on a blog, they're posts or blog posts. As Zeiss Ikon points out, in a newspaper, they'...
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5 votes

How can I shorten a piece of writing without losing its original essence?

Eliminate superfluous words; you are saying things with too many words. To demonstrate such a transformation, I will take your first line through stages: I strongly believe that such type of dieting ...
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  • 91k
5 votes
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Structure to follow while writing very short essays

I would take the standard 5 paragraph Essay format but modified for brevity. Your thesis or introduction answer should be your immediate answer to a writing prompt and should be no more than one ...
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