Sunday, June 30, 2013

7 Essay Writing Tips To Ace Your Next Exam

7 Essay Writing Tips To Ace Your Next Exam
by Stephen Holliday

Despite students’ wildest hope of avoiding the dreaded essay exam—one that requires either short or long essay answers rather than multiple choice answers—most find themselves taking such an exam, particularly for subjects like history, philosophy, literature, sociology, political science and others. This type of exam, however, can be successfully managed if you follow a few guidelines outlined here:

1. After the initial panic passes, read through all the questions before you begin to answer any of them, underlining key words and phrases that will help guide you in your answer. In many cases, instructors will incorporate key words and phrases from their lectures in the exam question, so make sure that you focus on these elements in your answer.

2. Based on your comfort level (or lack thereof) with particular questions, after you have reviewed all questions, decide approximately how much time you have for questions that are relatively easy for you to answer and, conversely, which questions will require more time to answer correctly and thoroughly. This is a very important step because it will help you organize your time and effort.

3. Think of each essay answer as a mini-essay in itself, and approach each answer with a shortened version of the process that you’ve been taught to use when writing full essays. If you are used to brainstorming or clustering when preparing to write an essay, go through the same, but greatly shortened, process for an essay answer. The time spent in some form of outlining will save time and effort as you answer the questions.

4. Given the time constraints of most essay exams, you can’t afford to write and re-write answers. From an instructor’s perspective, if a student’s answer contains a great deal of cross outs and perhaps whole paragraph deletions, the instructor will probably conclude that the student is not well prepared. It is critical, therefore, to outline the answer before you begin writing and to follow the outline as you write. Marginal notes of an outline or brainstorming process will probably impress the instructor.

5. The “rhetorical mode” for an answer may be determined by your instructor. For example, you may be asked to analyze, define, compare/contrast, evaluate, illustrate, or synthesize the subject of the question, and you need to focus on answering the question with an analysis, a definition and so on in order to respond to the question appropriately.

6. Just as you do when you draft an essay, try to begin the answer with one or two sentences that answer the question directly and succinctly. In other words, think of the first two sentences as a thesis statement of an essay, and after you’ve stated the answer’s “thesis,” support that thesis with specific examples in the body of the answer.

7. Lastly, one of the most important steps you can take is to proofread your answers and make any necessary corrections neatly and legibly.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Cover Design - Part Two - Designing Your Books Back Cover, Parts Explained by Kareen Ross

The concept of the back cover design is to sell and present more information. Once your cover design has caught the attention of your perspective reader we figure they will turn the book around to the back. You now have the opportunity to give them more information about what's inside and who wrote it. The back cover will also benefit from breaking up the items on the back for easier reading, so be sure to allow for white space and short to the point paragraph statements.

Here are the expanded definitions of the eight points in the outline I mentioned in Part One.

1. Category and price. This is usually the first line on the back cover. The category designates where you want your book to end up in catalogs, libraries, book stores and in peoples minds. You'll need to determine where your audience will go looking for your book and/or what audience do you want to read your book and where will they look for it? There is a big difference between new age and self improvement and the audience that will be looking in those categories so be sure to go to a book store and check out the exact category that represents your subject matter.


Price: This has several places on the back where it can be positioned, I prefer the top right but have placed it on the bottom above the barcode as well. I feel it needs to be easily found. It's a good idea to have the price one other place be sides in the barcode.

2. Headline: Here is where you present the main benefit your readers will get out of your book. It can be in the form of a a question or a to-the-point statement? This usually is, but not always, a continuation of the cover title and sub-title, yet takes the reader one step further into their thoughts and relatedness to how they will benefit from the book.

3. First paragraph: is usually a descriptive short summary that pulls together the facts, stories, examples you wish the reader to connect to.

4. Sub heading and Bulleted list: the sub heading leads you into the features, the bullet points. The sub plays off either the headline or the first paragraph and usually states... In this book you'll find... or something along that line of inviting or making a point.

5. The closing paragraph: back covers don't hold a lot of copy so you need to be creative here, one or two sentences to sum it up and call to action.

6. Author Bio: if there is room a short intro to the author or their company helps the reader get into the know, like and trust factor and want to learn more.

7. Testimonial: if you can secure one, best from someone who is considered an expert in your field of study or prominent celebrity who can help bring a feeling of trust and value to what you are presenting.

8. Signature: company name and contact info, website and location if you want. Usually on the bottom left.

9. Barcode: usually positioned on the bottom right although there is no standard, however, check with your distributor or retailers to be sure they don't have a preference that would prevent them from picking your book up or cause need for a label down the road. The barcode is called EAN and it's made from your ISBN which can be purchased from I suggest when you purchase the ISBN numbers you don't get a barcode at the same time, that you hold off until you actually assign the ISBN to a project and know the price..

Now you see how the back cover design is full of content that will bring the prospective reader in to your world and help the to know, like and trust you and your subject matter. You being the author will relate to how this is as important in words as the front cover is visual.