How to Write Great Topic Sentences (with Examples)

In an academic essay, the first sentence of each new paragraph is called the topic sentence. Topic sentences are often considered “mini-thesis statements,” offering a subsection of the paper’s main argument. In fact, if you read the thesis statement and topic sentences alone, you should have an outline detailing exactly what the paper is about and the relationships between paragraphs and supporting evidence.

How to Avoid Comma Splices

When you have a complete sentence, you have an independent clause. Generally, each independent clause must stand on its own and have its own punctuation. So while there are many rules about using commas, there is a hard-and-fast rule for when you should never use a comma: You can never combine two independent clauses with a comma alone.

Drawing Readers In: Writing Attention-Grabbing Introductions

How many times have you started to read something and quit before finishing the first paragraph?

The primary goal of any piece of writing you do is to get your reader to read and be engaged with your ideas, questions, and insights! If you make your reader move past the first paragraph, you’re already doing a great job. So how do you accomplish this when you’re writing an academic paper?

The key to developing reader engagement lies in a strong, attention-grabbing, hook to snag your reader’s attention.

Can Writing Close the Achievement Gap?

In education, the “achievement gap” refers to consistent differences in academic performance between various groups of students. In the United States, the most significant achievement gaps occur between African American and Hispanic students and their white counterparts, as well as between students from low-income families and students who are better off financially.

How can writing help close the achievement gap?

7 Proofreading Tips for Student Writers

Young writers often believe that revising and proofreading mean the same thing, but they are two different parts of the writing process that accomplish different goals. Revising means iteratively changing a paper’s content to improve the cogency of an argument, bolster the supporting evidence, or adjust the overall organization. Proofreading means checking a paper for surface-level errors (grammar, spelling, and usage) prior to handing it in. Proofreading is usually the last step in the writing process and is often neglected as a deadline rapidly approaches. So let's look at some very important steps to take to improve the proofreading process. 

3 Tips for Responding to Teacher Feedback

As a student, there are few things more daunting (and honestly, more frustrating) than receiving a graded essay filled with edits and instructor comments. After all, you probably spent a good amount of time crafting an essay that now requires more work. It may be tempting to ignore comments altogether or make the easiest, superficial grammar changes—but learning to effectively respond to your instructor’s comments enhances your writing skills and adds another layer to your learning experience. Think about the following tips for considering instructor feedback.

Why Use Creative Writing In Freshman Composition?

The world of academic writing revolves around research, presenting facts, and drawing conclusions. While the purpose of an academic paper may be cut and dry, the language used to get a point across doesn’t have to be. Consider some of the most well-known examples of non-fiction—from Malcolm Gladwell’s statistic-driven work to history and culture giant Guns, Germs and Steel. Despite their educational value, the books manage to capture the attention of academics and laymen alike. While creative writing strategies are more often associated with fiction, their mechanics can be applied to craft more engaging academic compositions.