Resources and Tips

Most of the resources here are materials I use in my college literature and writing classes and some are based on my homeschooling experiences. Those used in my college classes are general enough to be tailored to younger students. I hope you find them helpful!

I will continue to update this page with new resources and tips, but if you need guidance with something that is not yet here, please contact me.

Creating Effective Questions 

Generative Paragraph Development

Pre-Reading Questionnaire

Post-Reading Questionnaire

Writing Introductions:
 Although the introduction is the first paragraph in an essay, it should be written last. Why?

Thesis Statements: The thesis statement is the controlling idea of your essay. This statement, typically articulated in 1 or 2 sentences, conveys your topic, purpose, and plan of development.

Here’s an example: The college experience can help a young person discover more about him- or herself because it allows one to create new relationships, discover hidden talents, and uncover unknown interests.

How was this focused and effective thesis statement constructed? Find out here!

Writing Conclusions: This paragraph is often much easier to write than the introductory paragraph–unless you’re settling for a vague and uninspired (aka blah) introduction. Also, because your conclusion has the potential to inspire the development of your introduction, you should write your conclusion even before you write your introduction.

Revising and Editing: These are separate processes that address different components of the essay and should, therefore, be done separately–preferably on different days (see “Tips for Tip” below).

  • Revising centers on content. When you revise, you focus on the ideas, development, and organization of the essay.
  • Editing addresses the technical aspects of your writing. When you edit, you focus on grammar, punctuation, and mechanics (spelling, word form, word usage, etc.).

Tips for the Tip
1. It’s always better to revise before editing. If you edit first and then revise, you might end up correcting errors in sentences that you decide to delete or rewrite during the revision process. It takes time to compose an essay, so you certainly don’t want to waste any.

2. Avoid trying to revise and edit simultaneously. You will be more effective with each if you focus on one process at a time. While you’re revising, if you immediately see technical errors (or things you think might be errors), mark them to correct later during the editing process. It’s inefficient and ineffective to shift your focus from one to the other.

3. Revise on one day and edit on another day. It’s vital to come to each step of the composition process with a rested mind and fresh eyes.

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