Writing an Essay

Writing is a process. No one, not even published writers feel accomplished until they have had time to revise, revise, and revise. Some of the essays will require a lot of time on your part to develop your ideas and use evidence correctly to support your argument. However, a majority of the essay you write will require you to feel comfortable and confident to express your ideas in short one-two page essays. Identify your audience and the purpose of the essay you are writing. Do not stress! I hope to help you work through your ideas and make you a better writer.

The following web site provides helpful suggestions to improve your writing.

Tips-O-Matic: Writing Essays

One important issue I wanted to mention was the question of plagiarism (the copying of someone else's work and claiming it to be your own). This is not allowed. Please read the following to understand the meaning of plagiarism.


“I didn’t do it, oh yes you did!”

What is plagiarism?

From a young age we all learned from our parents, “Do not steal or take what is not yours.” This is a simple concept to understand, and if you keep this in mind you will be less likely to plagiarize. I know none of you would ever do it intentionally, right?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the exact definition of plagiarism is “to present the ideas or words of another as one’s own.” If you do any of the following you will be committing plagiarism:

-Turn in another student’s work and claim it is your own, without their permission

(In this case, even if you have their permission, I will not accept the assignment. You

need to develop your own writing skills in this class, and not copy someone else’s work.)

-Turn in an assignment you copied from a newspaper, magazine, encyclopedia,

the Internet, or any other media source. Even copying the title or one sentence

will get you caught for plagiarism.

-Turn in an assignment someone else has written for you.

How to avoid plagiarizing?

In high school, your research material will come from Secondary Sources (research someone else has completed and written), and I expect you to find the information that interests you the most. You have many resources available to you, but you must remember to provide proper citation. These are a couple of tips to keep you from plagiarizing:

-When copying exactly from another text, make sure to provide proper citation –

author, title of book/article, publication date, etc. – and always use quotations.

-In your writing, emphasize what YOU THINK about the subject you are

researching, do not just write down what someone else thinks. Remember, I want to know what you find interesting and how you understand the subject at hand.

Bottom line, if you didn’t think it up or write it down, you have to give the author credit by using proper citation (please refer to the other handout).

Reference Material :

If you would like to learn more information on plagiarism, please refer to the following website. http://alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/~janicke/plagiary.htm