Creative Writing

Creating an Effective Thesis Statement

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The thesis statement seems to be the most challenging sentence in any essay or research paper for my students to create. They don’t know whether to write it first—before the rest of their paper—or at the end. I tell them something they don’t want to hear: both.
 
When you start writing, you should have a pretty good idea of the angle you want your paper to take. However, your thesis statement may change as you write and research your subject. Depending on how much you change your mind about the topic, your thesis may change a little or a lot.
 

 
The thesis statement gives meaning to every other sentence in your essay. It presents your paper’s topic and controlling idea. It is the road map to the rest of your paper, and all roads should lead back to your thesis statement. Your thesis is located in your introduction paragraph and the remainder of your paper (and topic sentences) should support your thesis statement. If part of your paper does not support your thesis, it should not be part of your paper.
 
When drafting your thesis statement, keep these points in mind:
1. It should be a full sentence, not just the topic or title

2. It should provide some direction, an opinion, or a point of view
 
Let’s say your instructor has given you the topic of ‘American politics,’ and you would like to write about the seniority system in American politics. An incorrect thesis statement on this topic would be: “A seniority system exists in today’s American politics.”
 
This is insufficient because the writer’s point of view is not incorporated into the thesis. We can turn a flat or factual statement into a thesis statement by including a point of view or our own slant on the issue.
 
Look at these two examples of effective thesis statements:
1. “The seniority system in American politics contributes to unwarranted power being controlled by the old timers.” This statement has a negative slant or point of view about the American political system.

2. “The seniority system in American politics grants leadership positions to experienced politicians.” This statement has a positive slant or point of view about the American political system.
 
The key to creating an effective thesis is knowing what you want to say about your subject matter. If you have given yourself enough time to read and research your topic, you will have a better grasp of what you want to say, and you will be more likely to produce a thesis that is clear, organized, and fully developed. Good luck!
 
By: Dawn S., On Demand Editor for editorr
 

Business

Going Pro: When to Hire a Professional Content Editor

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Almost everyone can benefit from the services of a content editor. Having a skilled editor read over, correct, and improve your writing is especially important whenever you need to project an image of professionalism and competence. Error-free writing will also help you gain the respect and trust of your readers and communicate your message in the most effective way. While there is no shame in not being able to write perfect prose, there’s also no excuse for letting your words reflect poorly upon you or your business. Professional copyediting and proofreading services can make a huge difference.


So, when should you hire a content editor?

When Business Is Booming
Whether you’re an entrepreneur whose website serves as the online “face” of a burgeoning brick-and-mortar or a blogger with a rapidly increasing number of followers, your writing can either help take your business to the next level, or hold it hostage. Concise and compelling writing can turn window shoppers into paying customers and casual browsers into regular readers. It should be no surprise that poor writing, riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, will have the opposite effect.

When You’re Making Career Moves
When you’re seeking a new job, you need to impress a hiring manager with your resume, cover letter, and general email correspondence. This is a prime example of a situation in which your writing must be faultless. Proofreading to check for spelling and grammatical errors is key. A hiring manager often selects just a handful of candidates for formal interviews and is likely to dismiss any applicants whose writing isn’t up to snuff. Furthermore, professional copy editors can tweak and rework your writing to best highlight your skills and experience, helping you catch the attention of your reader in as few words as possible.

Whenever Your Writing Matters
The importance of copyediting for professional progression isn’t limited to sales pitches, resumes, and blog posts. Well-edited writing makes for better emails, reports, and social media posts, as well as any other correspondence that may be seen by people who are important to your business or career. Impressing a higher-up with a well-worded email could be enough to land you that promotion. Sharing a top-notch write-up of a project on LinkedIn might get you noticed by a headhunter or hiring manager.

Conclusion
In short, whenever your writing really matters, you can’t afford to take any chances. While skilled content editors make professional writing attainable, editorr outdoes the masses by making the proofreading process more convenient and affordable than ever before!

Business

Bad Grammar and Typos Cost Real Estate Agents Money

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Any good real estate agent knows the importance of writing not only correct, but compelling listings. Written errors do not only cause confusion between agents and potential buyers, they give a bad impression overall. While browsing listings, homebuyers expect to be able to get all the information they need at just a glance and will soon skip over any that are difficult to decipher. Furthermore, grammatical errors and dubious word choices give buyers the message that you as an agent either do not know how, or do not care enough, to write correctly.

Top professionals in real estate (and certainly all industries) care enough to hire editors to proofread and perfect their writing before displaying it for potential customers to see. The most compelling reason to do so? Their bottom line. According to a Wall Street Journal article, real estate listings written in full, error-free sentences result in faster sales as well as higher-than-average selling prices. That’s something every real estate agent can appreciate.

Typos Can Be Costly Mistakes
We all make typos from time to time, but failing to notice and correct them before publishing a listing (such as posting to social media or sending correspondence) is careless and also costly. The silliest typos might add a nonexistent extra bedroom to a home or a couple of hefty zeroes to an asking price. These errors are an instant deal killer. Rather than call to double-check such mistakes in major details, most buyers will simply move on to the next listing. You might think blooper-style typos, such as writing “poo in the backyard” instead of “pool” or “large panty” instead of “pantry,” give readers a harmless chuckle, but that’s not a good thing. You want house hunters to be smiling with excitement over the potential of your listing, not laughing at your errors.

Readability Is Very Important
Abbreviations are common and accepted in real estate listings. They make skimming lots of listings quicker and easier for browsing homebuyers, and they save real estate agents money on pricey advertising space. Go too far with the convention, though, and you risk giving readers a headache as they try to decipher lines of all-caps code. Do not make the mistake of cutting every vowel from every word (“bdrm” is fine, “grt nghbrhd” is just annoying) or making up your own acronyms (no one knows that SSA stands for “stainless steel appliances”). An editor or another set of eyes can help you find the fine line between writing that’s summarized for the benefit of the reader and writing that’s crammed with so many abbreviations it becomes unintelligible.

Errors Undermine Your Professionalism
Most homebuyers who are reading listings can forgive minor typos and grammatical errors as long as they can understand the key points. They know that real estate is your expertise, not writing perfect prose. However, mistakes from the subtle to the glaring all undermine your professional appearance and cost you money in ways you can’t easily measure. If you are publishing listings or other materials with errors, is it because you are uneducated? Perhaps your agency cannot afford to pay someone to proofread. Or maybe you just don’t care. All of these possibilities mean buyers are doubting your professionalism, and such doubts inevitably have a negative effect on your profits. Smart, savvy real estate agents know that utilizing the services of an editor can undeniably boost your bottom line.

By: Heather R., Editor for editorr

Content Editing

How Content Editors Can Save You Time and Money

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In this social media driven world, communicating well with customers is key to the success of your business. However, not all business owners or employees have time to spend proofreading their digital communications to make sure everything is perfect. This is where editorr comes in. editorr is a service that provides content editing for all of your written communication needs.
 

Here are four ways editorr can save you time and money:
 
1. Polish a Newsletter
It’s important to keep your customers updated on your business and make sure they know what new products, promotions, and services you have available. Creating a flawless email newsletter can be a time-consuming task. Instead, you can write a rough draft of an email you’d like to send to your customers and ask a content editor to make it more polished and engaging.
 
2. Refresh Your Website Content
When you started your business, you probably created a website to promote your product or service to potential customers. Now you may be wondering whether your website could use a once-over. Rather than taking the time to do this yourself, hire an editor to review your content, make edits, and bring your web copy up to date.
 

However, not all business owners or employees have time to spend proofreading their digital communications to make sure everything is perfect. This is where editorr comes in.

3. Create More Engaging Blog Posts
You may have ideas for compelling blog posts, but you don’t have time to get those ideas from rough draft to publication. Instead, simply write a draft of the content and send it to an editor for polishing. This way, you are in charge of your blog’s personality and message, but you aren’t left with the taxing task of getting it ready to post.
 
4. Replace the Need for Full-Time Editorial Staff
Hiring a full-time editor can be expensive and you may not need an editor day-to-day. Perhaps you only require editorial oversight on a few particular projects. editorr is your solution! editorr offers on demand proofreading and content editing, without the overhead. With editorr, you have access to top-notch editors at a fraction of the cost of a full-time editorial team.
 

Content Editing

What Makes a Sentence Complete?

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Conveying Thoughts
Even though I’ve been writing for decades, I still like to remind myself why I write. People write to convey thoughts, i.e., to communicate.  So, we do our best to express ideas by using sentences.  But does a proper sentence always illustrate something well?  Does a complete sentence always capture a complete thought?  Let’s look at some examples.
 
Here is a complete sentence:
You can’t always get what you want.
 
Here is an incomplete sentence (a phrase):
If you walk away.
 
What do you think?  Do you think one sentence does a better job than the other?
 

Check out two more sentences:
Yikes!
She is falling.
 
“Yikes” expresses a complete thought, but it is not a complete sentence.  “She is falling” is a complete sentence, but it will leave most folks hanging (literally).
 
Decoupling Completeness – Back to Basics
We’ve seen that incomplete sentences can convey a complete thought while complete sentences may not. Instead of tackling the subjectivity of what is complete, it’s better to go back to the basics.
 
Whether or not it represents a clear thought, a proper sentence must always have two things:

  1. A subject (i.e., a noun or pronoun)
  2. A predicate (i.e., a verb)

To make a sentence complete, the subject and predicate must stand on their own— be independent.
 
Here are two proper sentences:
Here comes the sun.
I said, “It’s alright.”
 
Now, let’s take two incomplete sentences and turn them into complete sentences.
 
Incomplete:
If you walk away.
When the sun shines.
 
Complete:
If you walk away, I will follow.
When the sun shines, they slip into the shade.
 
Conclusion
Whether any collection of words complete a thought is subjective.  Therefore, using the idea of a complete thought to guide your sentence structure is risky.  Instead, loosely decouple (separate) the concept of completeness from the mechanics of a sentence.  Create proper sentences that are independent, have a subject, and a verb.  Then, you can spend your energy arranging your proper sentences to communicate your ideas.
 
By: Mark C., On Demand Editor for editorr
marklchaves.com