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College Essays Helping Others

Students are required by instructors to present some academicassignments as essays, which are continuous pieces of writingwith different propositions, ideas, and justifications outforward and analyzed in a few paragraphs. When writing yourhelping others essay, it’s important to plan its structure to letevery paragraph flow logically and be wrapped up with aconclusion. After reading your paper, other people shouldunderstand clearly:

  • What it says;
  • How you justify it.

Follow effective guidelines that will help you submit anexcellent writing assignment about helping others.

Read and understand essay prompts

First, read assignment prompts and questions and answer a fewbasic questions:

  • Do you understand them clearly?
  • What is the hypothesis put forward for its further analysisor discussion?
  • Can you rephrase these questions for yourself?

An essay outline is a must because it determines its futurestructure, what you will say, and what evidence you will bring tosupport your words.

When researching, use only reliable sources or texts. Be sure tofind out acknowledgeable experts on the chosen topic. Otherwise,readers won’t be convinced by your ideas because you aren’t awareof key facts. The research process also provides you with manyuseful materials, but you should choose only the best ones tosupport your response to a given essay question.

Beware of generalizations

Generalizations should be avoided if you want to come up with agood essay. For example, if you’re too general and offer thebroad evidence in your writing, which is not asked by assignmentprompts, you will fail to earn high marks. You also need to avoidbeing too imaginative and talking about irrelevant things.

Basic question terminology

Next, analyze key verbs in your essay prompts, such as:

  • Explain;
  • Assess;
  • Describe;
  • Analyze;
  • Narrate and others.

These verbs provide you with a better idea of the right approachto understanding and addressing your assignment. You should lookat them carefully because they determine your approach to essaywriting. Besides, other words in prompts can give you the mainkey to the subject matter that must be included in your response.

How to get started

There are different methods that can be used to get started ifyou’re stuck when writing a paper about helping others.

  • Use available tools to generate interesting ideas;
  • Take a blank sheet and write everything that comes to yourmind when considering your assignment prompts;
  • List fresh and unique ideas as they occur;
  • Draw a special diagram with the chosen topic in its centralcircle;
  • Use a mind map to write down interesting ideas and determinehow they’re related to each other.

Ask yourself what you should find out after this idea-generatingsession because it will provide with great areas or patterns tofollow. Use all available sources of information, includingonline resources, other people, books, journals, etc.

The importance of making notes

Some topics require students to conduct more research, whileothers require more thinking and analysis. Gather only usefulinformation and avoid wasting your time on unnecessary orirrelevant facts. Analyze a given question and determine what youshould do based on it. Rewrite this question in the form that youcan easily understand. Your notes may vary based on the chosenwriting style, and producing originality is the main goal toachieve.

Effective essay planning

At this stage, think about the targeted audience of your essay onthis subject. Everything that you write should be easy-to-followand clear to readers instead of being just unrelated points. Ofcourse, facts are significant for any academic paper, but youneed to use them in an organized fashion. Start grouping all thematerials you gather through different ways, such as:

  • Grouping all headings;
  • Forming pattern diagrams or using a tree diagram;
  • Single cards for single points allocated to group allheadings later one.

Once you group everything, organize the sequence of your ideas orchoose the right order for useful information to flow in youressay.

Choose the right type of essay

When instructors ask you to write about helping others, determinethe right type of essay that you must write. There are differenttypes, and they all have their differences and similarities. Lookfor a key in your assignment prompts.

Expository essay writing

The basic purpose of this paper is to explain or acquaint readerswith something. You can use an expository essay to explain,describe, or present your interesting information. This type ofwriting requires students to define or explain a particulartopic, using good examples, facts, and stats. It’s always basedon facts instead of personal emotions, and that’s why you shouldneither reveal your feelings nor write in the first person.

To write a great expository paper, planning and detailed researchare required to provide you with enough facts and relevantinformation that you will convey to the audience. This essay typealso requires students to show their understanding of a givensubject. That’s why teachers often assign it to check how welltheir students know a particular topic. In most cases, expositorypapers consist of 5 standard paragraphs, but you may be asked tosubmit a longer essay.

Evaluations or reviews

A review can be either informal or formal, and everything dependson its context. Its main purpose is to evaluate a given piece,such as a movie or a novel. In this type of writing, yourpersonal opinion plays a big role. Although reviews involve acertain degree of subjectivity, it’s still necessary to maintainsome objective standards because any assertion that you make mustbe proved.

Research essays

This assignment leads you into other people’s works and asks youto compare their ideas with yours. Writing a research essayinvolves reading source materials and synthesizing everythingthat you learn from them with your own thoughts. Find interestingtexts on a given subject and use them to back up the topic youexplore. It’s simple for many students to get lost in availablematerials, so you should be quite careful when narrowing yourtopic.

Comparison and contrast papers

The main function of compare and contrast papers is to find bothdifferences and similarities between 2 or more things or objects.This assignment requires you to be an attentive observer. Mostteachers don’t ask their students to conduct any scholarlyresearch or include specific referencing. This type of writing isvery subjective in its nature, and you need to come up with thedifferences and similarities that you can analyze and point out.

Narrative essays

Writing narrative essays is all about telling readers a vividstory about any important or interesting real-life experience orevent. This assignment requires you to write and think aboutyourself, and you should involve readers by making your story ascatchy as possible. It’s written in the first person, which helpsyou engage others and provide them with a feeling of beinginvolved in your story. A well-written narrative always buildstoward making a personal statement and drawing a logicalconclusion.

Descriptive essays

This type of writing is about painting a bright picture withwords. You need to describe a certain place, person, object, ormemory. However, a descriptive essay isn’t written for adescription’s sake, unlike you may think. It should strive tocommunicate a deep meaning through a description. It’s necessaryto show readers instead of telling them, using only sensorydetails and bright words. Appeal to their emotions to achieve ahighly evocative result.

Persuasive and argumentative papers

Their basic goal is to convince other people to accept yourstance or point of view. You need to build a strong case, usingyour reasoning and facts, logic and examples, expert opinion andquotes. Be sure to present all sides of the main argument whileproving why a particular position is correct clearly and withoutany equivocation. When choosing a topic, avoid writing about suchsubjects that can’t be won, no matter how strong you feel aboutthem.

Rhetorical analyses

This essay should explore the following:

  • Goals of a rhetorician;
  • Used tools or techniques;
  • Their good examples;
  • Their effectiveness.

When writing any rhetorical analysis, you should discuss how arhetorician makes a particular argument and if this approach iseffective. Don’t try to say if you agree with it or not becauseyou will fail.

Cause and effect papers

A cause and effect essay explains to readers the reasons of aspecific event or interprets its outcomes. This assignment isalso concerned with why the chosen event happen (causes) and whatit brings as a result (effects). It’s a popular method ofdiscussing and organizing ideas.

Classification essays

They are written to rank specific objects or groups based to acommon standard. To write a good classification paper, you needto sort or organize different things into special categories.It’s a convenient and effective method to simplify complexnotions and arrange important data.

Structuring your essay

As you can see, there are different essay types that serve manypurposes, but their basic structure is similar. When writing yourpaper about helping others, follow a basic format to impressinstructors.

The introduction

An introductory paragraph set the right tone for the entire essaywhile helping you engage the audience by outlining a given topic,your position on it, and major arguments. This section serves animportant role because it tells readers what to expect in otherparagraphs, including:

  • How you will prove your point of view;
  • How you will support it through relevant examples fromcredible sources.

The essay introduction is where you tell others what you’re goingto say. It should start with a catchy sentence to gain theattention of readers and set up the context for your paper. Forexample:

  • If your paper about helping others is expository, you argueonly from one point of view, and the first sentence eitherstrongly opposes or supports ideas in a given question;
  • When giving a response to any discussion question, you arguefrom a few points of view, and the first sentence shows thatthere are many valid positions to take about it.

State your ideas and response to a given essay question in theintroduction. It’s your statement of the chosen position and itshows readers if you agree with it or not. An introductoryparagraph also outlines why you choose this stance with a briefsummary of strong evidence from updated sources to support it.

The main body

The main body of your essay is where you expand on the main ideasor points outlined in its introductory paragraph. Convincereaders of your stance and answer assignment prompts in thissection. It should include a few linked and strong paragraphswith references to reliable sources to support your point ofview. In general, this is where you say what you need to say.Don’t forget to put linking words or phrases to connect allparagraphs and ideas. Start every paragraph with a lead or topicsentence to explain its key idea. Feel free to write more thanone paragraph for one idea if you have enough space. Support youropinion with great examples taken from other sources, includingexpert quotes and references.

The conclusion

Your essay conclusion is one paragraph that answers the keypoints or questions outlined in its introduction. It also givesyou a great chance to restate your stance and persuade readerswith references to strong evidence in the main body. A concludingparagraph of your paper about helping others is where you saywhat you’ve said. Remind the audience of your stance withoutintroducing any new facts. You can clinch all arguments with anevaluation statement, a fresh expression, or a reference to themain points. Your conclusion should end with a strong note toreinforce the entire essay.

A brief essay writing checklist

  • Read assignment prompts attentively;
  • Underline all key words and choose the right essay type towrite;
  • Use only relevant and updates sources;
  • Take notes;
  • Reference all quotes correctly;
  • Brainstorm interesting ideas;
  • Develop the main idea or argument;
  • Organize all notes into an effective essay plan;
  • Ensure that all points are relevant;
  • Write the introduction to engage readers and open yourdiscussion;
  • Write the main body with strong points and their supportingevidence;
  • Write the conclusion to summarize your ideas, demonstrate howyou prove them, and reaffirm the introduction;
  • Edit your essay and check for its grammar, spelling, andpunctuation;
  • Ensure that a final copy is 100% perfect.

The year 2009 was a year of big changes for me. I graduated with my MA in Professional Writing. My husband and I moved across the country from Georgia to California. And the economy fell off a cliff.

I know what you’re thinking. Someone with a degree in “Professional Writing” should probably expect to have a hard time finding a job regardless of what’s happening in the economy, but I swear I thought this out.

Graduate school gave me tangible skills with classes in document design and editing. I had a great experience and you should all shake your heads sadly and learn from my choices.

I wasn't worried because I have had a job since I was 15. So what if nobody’s hiring? Convenience store, call center, restaurant, doesn’t matter. I’ve worked them all and I have no shame.

After a few weeks I realized just how competitive the job market actually is in Los Angeles. Restaurants asked for headshots with my application. My master’s degree made every retail store give me the side eye. I was suddenly unqualified and overqualified for everything.

Aside from being underemployed, I quickly learned that LA is a super expensive city. Like $7 for a domestic draft beer expensive. My part-time job and unpaid internship kept me firmly at home watching television and eating Ramen noodles every night while interest added up on my student loans.

My husband suggested that maybe I could make some money offering college students help with their college essays. Sure! After 19 years of school, I was definitely qualified to help someone with their homework.

I put together a Craigslist ad detailing my credentials and the responses started rolling in. But instead of “Could you edit my paper?” I was getting “Hey, just do my assignment” or “Could you take my online class?” Well, beggars can’t be choosers, so from 2009 to 2013 I wrote dozens of papers and took several online classes. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1. People who buy papers come from every walk of life.

It’s easy to assume that all students who buy papers are 20-somethings using mom and dad’s money so they can spend more time being hungover. Sure, there are plenty of those, and those are the ones who were the most demanding and difficult to work with. Twenty pages by tomorrow? I’m not a wizard, kid.

But aside from the ne’er do wells, there were non-traditional students who were having a rough time balancing work, family, and a full class load. These students often expressed a lot of guilt, and I have a lot of sympathy for the pressure they were under.

Finally, there were those who were simply overwhelmed and unable to do college level work. Students who bought papers from me went to community college, online programs, USC, and UCLA.

2. I didn’t charge enough.

I loved school, and I even had fun doing a lot of the assignments. Who has two thumbs and had a great time researching a paper about the religious symbolism in the movie Groundhog Day? This gal.

But I also cared too much. I got the same worried knot in the pit of my stomach every time an assignment was due, and I stressed over the work as if I were the one getting the grade. If I had to do it over again I would realize that $75 for a four-page paper that required research and MLA formatting was practically giving it away.

3. You probably won’t get caught.

In the beginning, I would tell students that it would be a good idea to take the paper I wrote and put it in their own words. You’d think it would be a glaring issue for a student who’s had trouble the entire semester to turn in an “A” paper that doesn’t sound like anything else they’ve written. You’d be wrong.

I know a handful of adjunct professors, and as long as the paper is original (meaning chunks of the writing isn’t being recycled from other papers or online sources) they often don’t have the time or support of the administration to accuse someone of plagiarism. I would also add that they don’t get paid enough to weed out people buying papers, but that’s another essay.

4. You really are only cheating yourself.

Do I feel guilty? A little, but mostly for the other students who are working hard and giving it “the old college try” and getting lumped in with people who are buying assignments. It’s not fair, but life isn’t fair.

People who avoid work in college will find other ways to half-ass their way through life and it will either catch up with them, or they will have to spend the rest of their lives trying to find people to do their work.

5. We should really stop herding people into college.

I can’t tell you how many students couldn’t compose a simple email that told me what their assignment was and when it was due. Red flag right? Not for “for profit” colleges it isn’t. You got a pulse and qualify for student loans? You’re in! You know the type I’m talking about -- rhymes with the University of Shmee-nix?

These students lack basic skills and aren’t ready for college, but that doesn’t stop schools from signing them up for thousands of dollars in student debt. These institutions have much lower graduation rates than the national average and students from for-profit colleges are much more likely to default on their student loans. It’s still a tough economy out there and most of these folks will end up in the same position I was in 2009 -- but without the skills to do other people’s homework for cash.

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