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Phrases For Essay Writing

Thomas Said:

What is a better phrase for "white man" in this essay that I am writing?

We Answered:

Honest/Nice terms: Immigrants, European settlers
Honest/Real terms: Foreigners, Invaders, Squatters

Danielle Said:

In writing essays, does the use of prepositional phrases hinder the essay, or give greater sentence variation?

We Answered:

To be or not to be--that is the question. Using prepositional phrases at the beginning of a sentence is a good way to give your paper variety, but using it too often confuses most readers and teachers. Teachers like the standard form of written English, which is Subject + Verb.

Jackie Said:

Useful French Essay writing phrases?

We Answered:

One on hand - do you mean 'on the one hand... on the other hand'? If so, then: "de l'un côté...[fact/opinion]... de l'autre côté ... [other fact/opinion]

Otherwise - as a conjunction, "sinon", also "autrement"

In contrast - "par contraste" ("par contraste avec.." = in contrast to)

It may be the case that - "il se peut que..." is probably the closest equivalent

On the contrary - "au contraire" or "contrairement"

Doris Said:

Replacement phrase? WRITING HELP - COLLEGE ESSAY?

We Answered:

instead of try write something like "doing the best musical performance in front of a live audience". You don't have to copy this verbatim but I hope this helps in some way. Also instead of so many commas use semi colons; it makes you look more intelligent on paper so to speak.

Earl Said:

Writing powerful essays?

We Answered:

Phrases like "secondly," "first and foremost" and similar will NOT strengthen your essays. They're just useless clutter that detracts from the meaning and the impact of your phrases. Do you know how many teachers read essays chock full of sentences like this?
"First of all, in my opinion, dogs are better than domesticated felines."
'In my opinion' is classic clutter. Your reader KNOWS that it's your opinion: it's your essay! 'First of all' may be necessary as a lead, but more likely than not, the essay can be reworded so that it isn't needed. It's far too obvious a lead. Also, don't try to inflate your language to make yourself sound intelligent. Use the words that best get your point accross. The simplest word that gets your whole meaning across is always best. So use "cats," instead of "domesticated felines." That's not to say that you should never use big words. One of the keys to being a good writer is the realization that there are no true synonyms. Each word has its own connotations and associations, and a sound that will change the lyrical flow, and thus the impact a sentence has on your reader. Take this famous phrase:
"These are the times that try men's souls." Try substituting words that are, ostensibly, synonyms. For this excercise, I used a thesaurus to come up with new word choices.
"These are the ages that test men's souls."
"This is the juncture that appraises men's souls."
Neither sounds as good as the first, does it? First of all, there is no word that can really be subsituted for "try." No other word has that dual connotation of "test" and "weary." Similarly, "times" is irreplacable: no other word gives that same sense of immediacy and urgency (men's souls are being tried right NOW!), while also implying that the condition is not one to pass quickly. Paine had a simple message - he gave it, simply, directly, straight to the point. He used the right words for the right audience and to convey his meaning.
I'm not trying to accuse you of making these mistakes, I'm just pointing out some common mistakes that student writers make. God knows I've made them time enough times.
So, to summarize, make your statements as simple as possible, avoiding unnecessary clutter, and using the right words for your purpose and audience.
Another very important thing to remember when writing essays is to BE ORIGINAL. Originality separates the good essays from the great ones. Stick in some personality. Let your reader know that a PERSON is writing, not a machine. Allow the personal pronoun to reenter your vocabulary. Don't say "many people find Wuthering Heights to be overblown." Say "I found Wuthering heights boring." Not to say that you should use cliches like "in my opinion." Just don't be afraid of your own voice. Most schools spend years of effort teaching students to write badly. Remember the five paragraph essay? Scrap it. Show you can think for yourself and still get the point across. That's what will impress your teachers.

If you're interested in learning how to write well, read William Zinsser's "On Writing Well." He says most of what I've just said, and more.

Alberto Said:

Does anybody know any useful Dutch essay phrases?

We Answered:

"En tot besluit, ...", "Om samen te vatten; ...", "Om af te ronden, ..."

"Dit leidt ons tot de conclusie dat ..."

"Dit bewijst nog eens dat ...", "Een bijkomend bewijs dat ..."

"Dit bewijs(stuk)/feit/ schijnt aan te geven dat ..."

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