Introduction to Introductions

Writing the introduction paragraph is always my favorite part of any essay. A good introduction sets the tone and structure of the entire paper. Writing a strong, solid introduction sets your paper up for success. Different styles of papers (i.e., analysis, narrative, research) call for different kinds of introductions. In general, the “funnel” introduction is the most common for papers involving literary analysis. As the … Continue reading Introduction to Introductions

The Poetic Fallacy: On Why Anyone Can Write Poetry

Though it may not come as a shocker to many, I am an English major. What this means is that my classes often involve me reading hundreds of pages of texts each quarter, arguing in class about whether the color blue in a poem represents sadness or the sky, and writing papers about how the characters in “Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself” and “Albert Nobbs” are … Continue reading The Poetic Fallacy: On Why Anyone Can Write Poetry

Some Helpful College Essay Writing Rules in the U.S. to Follow

Write an outline, mind map, or rough draft of what you want to write. This will help you develop your idea in a more coherent way, rather than a random stream of your thoughts. Double space if you type. Write on every other line if your paper is handwritten. Leaving space between the lines allows room for comments. Book titles are underlined or italicized; the … Continue reading Some Helpful College Essay Writing Rules in the U.S. to Follow

Abbreviations and Milk Tea: Differences in Chinese and English

Pearl milk tea, or 珍珠奶茶 (zhen’zhu nai cha), is the staple, most iconic dessert drink of the Bay and Taiwan. Often abbreviated in English to PMT, the delicious concoction is never referred to as ZZNC in Chinese. Rather, its name is shortened from four characters to two: 珍奶 (zhen nai). So what are the differences in abbreviating English words versus Chinese words? In English, phrases … Continue reading Abbreviations and Milk Tea: Differences in Chinese and English

The Epistolary Genre

I have enjoyed writing handwritten letters ever since I was kid, but I never knew that there was a genre for letter writing called the epistolary genre. This quarter I am taking English M138 – Topics in Creative Writing: Letters and Letter Writing where we discuss epistolary fiction in different works and our own. I conducted the following interview with Professor Hollander to briefly discuss … Continue reading The Epistolary Genre

Hangul: The Democratic Alphabet

We see writing everywhere in our daily lives, but we rarely stop to think about where these squiggly lines came from and how they came to represent words. Some written languages came about thousands of years ago when they were developed from simplified drawings. Others combined writing systems that existed before them in a mix-and-match style to create their own unique writing. Still others sprung … Continue reading Hangul: The Democratic Alphabet

Subjecting Yourself to Subjunctive Mood

In the eleventh grade, I took AP English Language and Composition with Miss Voss. She was one of the coolest high school teachers at Silver Creek High School, if not the entire district, city, state, or country. She often started the class with a small grammar lesson, a component of the English language that high school curriculums often neglect. For example, we’d learn about things … Continue reading Subjecting Yourself to Subjunctive Mood

A Cello for Your Thoughts

Writing doesn’t come easily to me. Thinking about writing is a piece of pie, but when it comes to sitting down in front of the computer and trying to hash out my thoughts, I have a hard time. I get distracted first, and then I have trouble staying focus, and then I lose my direction and drive. My writing gets interrupted time and time again by sporadic thoughts, passing … Continue reading A Cello for Your Thoughts

How Do You Approach Getting Out of Writer’s Block?

We’ve all heard of the dreaded writer’s block: the figurative cement wall that blocks our ability to surround ourselves with creative and thoughtful ideas. And like a cement wall, it feels impossible to break through it when we see our mind as something much weaker than it. We groan, we curse, we become frustrated. “Why me?” Is the first question that comes to mind when … Continue reading How Do You Approach Getting Out of Writer’s Block?

“I Work Best Under Pressure” Part 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post where I wondered whether giving myself ample time to write an essay would result in better quality of my writing. Instead of my usual scramble to write my papers a few hours before the deadline, I would force myself to pace things out and take my sweet old time with my paper. Originally, I had planned … Continue reading “I Work Best Under Pressure” Part 2

Crossing the Bridge – How to Write Effective Transition Sentence

In comparison to the sentences of evidence, commentary, and analysis that make up the bulk of any academic essay, transition sentences make up a slim proportion. If an essay is five paragraphs long, then there may be as little as five transitory sentences overall. Because of their seemingly inconsequential role, these sentences are often regarded as unimportant and tend to be neglected throughout the writing … Continue reading Crossing the Bridge – How to Write Effective Transition Sentence

The Toxic Belief That Writing Well Is a ‘Natural Gift’

How do I become a better writer? Is becoming a great writer even possible? Why can’t I write as beautifully as others? These were some of the thoughts that went through my head almost everyday when it came to thinking about my writing ability. Throughout most of my life, I sincerely believed that writing—just like drawing—was an innate talent: you either have it or you … Continue reading The Toxic Belief That Writing Well Is a ‘Natural Gift’

Do you really, truly need that adverb?

Ever heard of Stephen King? He’s an author – a really good one. His memoir, On Writing, is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Though On Writing is filled to the brim with hundreds of memorable quotes on writing, on the writing process, etc., one quote in particular happened to stand out to readers, eventually becoming the most well-known quote from the book … Continue reading Do you really, truly need that adverb?

The Power of Perspective: Understanding Point of View in Creative Writing

One of the first things you need to ask before writing a piece of fiction is: who is telling the story? Or, in other words, which point of view will you choose? The point of view in fiction determines whose eyes the reader experiences the story through. Thus, choosing the appropriate point of view for your story is crucial, since different points of view have different … Continue reading The Power of Perspective: Understanding Point of View in Creative Writing