Conquer Essay Phobia: The Perfect Formula for a Good Grade





By GetGoodGrade.com

Copyright 2016 by GetGoodGrade

First Edition

Author: Natalie Andersen

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Chapter 1: Understanding the Essay Assignment

Chapter 2: Doing the Right Research

Chapter 3: Organizing the Research

Chapter 4: Writing the Rough Draft – Yes, It’s Necessary

Chapter 5: Editing, Revising, and Getting That Good Grade

Appendix I: Sample Essay

Appendix II: Samples of Works Cited Formats


Here’s the thing: Every course you take has a hidden course underneath – English composition.

The problem is this: You hate to write; you really never learned how to do it well. But all your course grades depend on your ability to write essays – how crazy is that?

You’ve also heard it all before. If you would just get organized, plan ahead, and be more serious about those essay assignments, you’d get some decent grades. Here is how you want to respond to people who say this:

p<>{color:#000;}. “Look, dude, I have never been a good writer. I hate English classes. And now every class I take is an English class. Don’t you think if I could write well that I would whip this stuff out?”

p<>{color:#000;}. “How about you get more organized, and then you would have the time to write my essay too.”

p<>{color:#000;}. “You don’t understand that I’d rather have a root canal than write an essay.”

When you hate to write, you act like all other humans when they face a task they really don’t want to do. You procrastinate; you check your bank account to see if there is enough money to pay someone else to do it; you try to find an essay online that you can somehow re-write. None of these work, and you face the frightening prospect of having to do this yourself. What you have is “essayphobia.”

This book is going to cure you of “essayphobia.” You’re going to learn that writing essays is not rocket science; you’re going to learn that there is a basic 5-step process; and you’re going to learn some tips and tricks along the way that will be your little “secrets” for making the process much easier.

This book is divided into 5 chapters:

Chapter 1: Understanding the Essay Assignment

Chapter 2: Doing the Right Research

Chapter 3: Organizing the Research

Chapter 4: Writing the Rough Draft – Yes, It’s Necessary

Chapter 5: Editing, Revising, and Getting That Good Grade

Some chapters are longer than others, but they are all written in simple language that anyone can understand. Bonus tips and tricks will be inserted along the way.

There are two appendices. One will include a sample essay; the other will be sample citation formats.

Let’s get you those good grades!

Chapter 1: Understanding the Essay Assignment

This is the first big hurdle. If you don’t have an exact understanding of what your teacher/professors wants, you can write the best essay ever, but it will not meet the requirements. Your grade will be terrible. So, let’s look at how you figure this out.

Four Types of Essays

Your teacher may not name the type of essay to write. But the keywords that are used in the assignment will tell you:

p<>{color:#000;}. The Expository Essay: The word “exposition” means to describe or explain. Sometimes, it will also mean “discuss.” This type of essay, despite its name, is one of the easiest to write. You are being asked to give only factual information about the topic. You don’t have to come up with arguments or opinions or draw some tough conclusions. If your assignment is for this type of essay, simply look for the words “describe” or “explain.” Will you have to do some research? Yes. Here are some example expository assignments:

p<>{color:#000;}. Explain the steps of mitosis

p<>{color:#000;}. Describe the electoral process for selecting a President

p<>{color:#000;}. Describe the main elements of impressionistic art

p<>{color:#000;}. Explain and discuss the anti-climate change arguments

The one “gray” area in expository essay writing is this word “discuss.” You may think that you are being asked for your opinion. No, you are not. You may be asked to dig into something a bit deeper, but you are not being asked for your own opinion.

p<>{color:#000;}. The Persuasive Essay: O.K. Now you do have to have an opinion. And it’s not like the opinions you read on Facebook. Your opinion has to be logical; it has to be backed up with facts; and it has to be written to persuade others to accept your viewpoint on the subject. You know you will be writing this kind of essay when you read words such as “justify,” “take a stand,” “state your opinion.”

Everyone has an opinion on major issues – energy, the environment, abortion, LGBT rights, global trade, 2nd amendment issues, scientific research ethics, and so on. You have a right to your opinion, but in academic study, you don’t have a right to that opinion unless you can support it with actual facts and data.

p<>{color:#000;}. Comparison/Contrast: You will have no problem knowing when you are asked to write this kind of essay. The words “compare” or “contrast” will definitely be in the instructions. You will either be providing the similarities or differences or both between two objects, people, ideas, events, etc. This type of essay will have a special type of organization, which will be covered in another chapter, and will probably involve research. Personal opinions area usually not a part of this essay type.

p<>{color:#000;}. Narrative: You will love this one, because there is no research involved. Basically, you will be telling a story. Do not get this confused with a biographical essay – the life of someone. That type of essay would be expository. Narratives are usually assigned in English classes and might involve a topic such as, “What was the happiest (saddest, scariest, etc.) of your life? College application essays are often narratives.

Essay Topics

Assigned Topics

There are times when a teacher/professor will want the entire class to write on the same topic. In this case, both topic and type will be the same.


Most often, however, they will allow some options within a broader topic. For example, in an American history course, a unit on the Civil War might have several options for essays, and you will get to choose.

English courses may have the greatest flexibility for topics. An instructor might simply assign a type of essay and let you choose any topic of your liking.

Choosing Topics When You Have Options

First and foremost, choose a topic you like. It is much easier to write about something that holds your interest, and you won’t mind reading about it if you have to do research.

If you are not sure about topics, there are several sources to use:

p<>{color:#000;}. Go through the related chapters of your textbook and see which ones might interest you

p<>{color:#000;}. Google the general topic area, asking for essay topic ideas. There is also an educational sub-site of Google, http://scholar.google.com/, where you can find topics and short summaries. This might help you decide if a topic would interest you.

p<>{color:#000;}. Look through your lecture notes from the class

p<>{color:#000;}. Do a search on Quora – chances are, others have asked the same thing

p<>{color:#000;}. Throw the question out to your friends on social media – you might be surprised to get some pretty good results.

Bonus Tip: If your teacher or professor has spent a lot of time on a specific topic in class, you might want to choose something that is related. It doesn’t hurt to show an interest in what s/he finds important. Just sayin’.

Chapter 2: Doing the Right Research

Finding Sources

The resources you use have to be right for your academic level. Under no circumstances are encyclopedias allowed, so dump any thought of that right away.

High school students can use secondary sources. The best way to describe these are authors who write about what other people have written about a topic. An example of a secondary source is your textbook (but don’t use it of course).

College students should use primary sources – authors who have actually done their own research on a topic and who are considered “experts” in their fields. When you look at possible source materials, be certain to read the bio on the author. You can also find primary resources at the Google Scholar site.

You Can Begin with Wikipedia – What?

Yes, it’s true. While Wikipedia is not a resource to be used for any type of essay or paper you write, you will find that it is a great place to find resources. Try this for yourself. Look up The American Civil War on Wikipedia and scroll down to the very end of the entry. You will find over 100 resources, covering every aspect of the War, that contributors to this entry have used. Many of them are from foremost scholars on the topic.

The other thing about Wikipedia is this: If you have very little knowledge about your essay topic, you can read a quick synopsis. Don’t consider it “gospel truth,” however, because many people contribute to the articles and not all facts are good, and never rely on it for any data.

Use Your Own Library

Most library catalogues are online now. Search for your topic and you’ll locate resource materials that are very “close to home.” And college library resource materials will be a “cut above” those in public libraries for sure.

Use Sources Named in Your Textbook

Most textbooks list source materials. These are all appropriate for your level, so “have at them.”

Bonus Tip: Another good source for resources is this: if you can find a scholarly essay or paper online written on your topic, check out the resources used. Just be certain that the piece is very recent, so you have the most up-to-date resources on the subject. And no cheating – as tempting as it might be to download the essay and just try to re-write it, don’t give in. This never works out, and you will still probably get caught.

Taking Notes

Yes, it’s tedious and no fun. And the worst part? The best way to do this is to actually buy some 3 × 5 cards and get out that pen or pencil. The reason you want to use physical cards is that you will be shuffling them around when you have to organize the sub-topics (more on that later).

One Card for Each Source

You need a master card for each source you use. This contains all of the bibliographical information – author, title, publisher, year of publication, and such things as volume and issue numbers if using journals or URL and dates if using Internet sources.

Bonus Tip: Number your resources. Then when you are taking notes from each one of them you only have to put the number of the resource at the top of the card. You’ll thank me later for this.

Only One Piece of Information/Data per Card

This is really important. When your start organizing those cards, you will understand why. If you have more than one piece of information on a card, organizing can be a nightmare, and you don’t want any of those.

Each note that is on a card must have the number of the resource and the page number of that resource from which the information came.

Chapter 3: Organizing the Research

This is a three-part job – establishing a list of sub-topics, organizing your note cards, and setting up a graphic organizer for writing.

List Your Sub-Topics

Based on your research, you should now have a general idea of the sub-topics you will including in your essay. You now need to list those sub-topics in the order you think you will be covering them in your essay. Sometimes, this is called a “working outline” and won’t include any detail. Here are a couple of examples of working outlines:

Topic: Aftermath of the Civil War

Essay Type: Expository


p<>{color:#000;}. Costs – $ and Human Casualties

p<>{color:#000;}. Emancipation

p<>{color:#000;}. Reconstruction

p<>{color:#000;}. Technology

So, you have four sub-topics. Each of these will be a section of your essay.

Topic: The Electoral College

Essay Type: Persuasive


p<>{color:#000;}. Person without majority of votes can win

p<>{color:#000;}. Complicated

p<>{color:#000;}. Winner takes all

p<>{color:#000;}. Electors can renege

p<>{color:#000;}. Not necessary anymore

Five sub-topics for your essay – argument to end the Electoral College

Bonus Tip: If you are struggling with determining your sub-topics, go online and access an essay or paper on the same topic. It is not plagiarism to study how someone else has organized a topic into sub-topics. You can waste a lot of time on this task needlessly.

Organizing Those Cards

Here’s where you thank me for numbering those cards with the resources. Your task now is to put all of the cards together that relate to the specific sub-topics you have listed. You will be combining cards from different resources in stacks, but because they are numbered, you will have no problem citing the source for the information, if you should use it in your essay.

You will end up with stacks of cards for each sub-topic. Some of the information on cards from different sources will be duplicated. If so, pick the one you want to use and throw away the duplicate. But, because you want to use all of your sources in your essay, watch that you do not throw away all of the cards from one of your sources.

Crafting Your “Graphic Organizer”

Graphic organizers are nothing more than the “skeleton” you will be using to write your essay. In most instances this is an outline, because that lends itself best to sub-topics for expository and persuasive essays. But you are certainly not tied to this organizer. Use one that works for you.

If you are writing a narrative, for example, an outline might be fine. Since narratives will be chronological, though, you might be more comfortable with some type of a timeline.

And if you are writing a comparison/contrast essay, a Venn diagram may work better than an outline.

In the end, you have to put together an organizer that works for you. The goal of creating an organizer is to get all of the detail down in writing, so you don’t leave out anything that should be included and so that you have a logical order for your rough draft.

Example Outline

Title: The Electoral College – A Dinosaur of American Democracy

p<>{color:#000;}. Introduction – Thesis Statement

p<>{color:#000;}. Body – Arguments

p<>{color:#000;}. Person Without Majority of Votes Can Win

p<>{color:#000;}. Has happened 4 times, latest in 2000

p<>{color:#000;}. Candidate wins narrowly in a large state but loses big in small states

p<>{color:#000;}. Will of people is thwarted

p<>{color:#000;}. It’s a Complicated Process

p<>{color:#000;}. Most people do not understand it

p<>{color:#000;}. It can throw elections into the House of Representatives

p<>{color:#000;}. Winner Takes All

p<>{color:#000;}. Even a tiny win gives all electoral votes of a state to the winner

p<>{color:#000;}. Exceptions – Maine and Nebraska

p<>{color:#000;}. States have different rules for a federal election process

p<>{color:#000;}. Electors Can Renege

p<>{color:#000;}. Not legally bound to vote for their party’s candidate

p<>{color:#000;}. 5 times in our history

p<>{color:#000;}. Conclusion:

p<>{color:#000;}. Re-state Thesis

p<>{color:#000;}. Proposed Solution

Chapter 4: Writing the Rough Draft – Yes, It’s Necessary

Lots of students go straight from the outline to a final draft that they just turn in. Big mistake. Any writer will tell you that, no matter how good you think you are, a first draft is never satisfactory. Even Stephen King re-writes many times before even turning his draft into his editor. That editor revises even more.

If you really want a good grade, you will see your first draft as one that will definitely be just that – a rough piece that has to be reviewed and edited. This process involves two steps.

p<>{color:#000;}. Developing your thesis

p<>{color:#000;}. Following your organizer to craft your essay

Developing Your Thesis

There is a lot of “common knowledge” out there that says a thesis statement should be written much earlier than in preparation for the rough draft. The opinion of this writer, though, is that this is a mistake. Why? Because until the research is completed, and until that organizer is developed, it will be very difficult to write a thesis statement that will take in all that you are going to be stating.

We’re going to spend a bit of time on this thesis-writing business, because it is one of the most important parts of your essay.

Steps to Devising a Thesis Statement

The point of a thesis statement is to give your reader the one controlling idea of your essay. There are two big rules for thesis statements:

p<>{color:#000;}. A fact that cannot be disputed should never be a thesis statement. For example, “Oklahoma had 145 earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or higher in 2015.” This is a fact that can be found anywhere.

Here is a better thesis statement: “Environmental scientists believe that the huge increase in both numbers and magnitude of earthquakes in Oklahoma is a result of fracking.” Now you have a fact but also something that is disputable, but interesting and important.

p<>{color:#000;}. An opinion that cannot be supported should not be a thesis statement. For example, “Humphrey Bogart was the finest actor the world has ever seen.” This is certainly disputable, but you can’t really prove it.

A better thesis sentence: “Many critics believe that Humphrey Bogart was the finest actor the world has yet to see.”

Your thesis statement should state your main idea, of course, but it should give the reader more to “chew on” than just that. For example, “The aftermath of the Civil War did little to re-unite the country and changed politics for over 100 years.” Your reader knows that you are going to speak to 1) what happened after the War ended, and 2) the long-term effect it had on politics. This type of thesis statement tells your reader why this is a worthy topic for an essay.

Here are some mistakes that students commonly make when writing thesis statements:

p<>{color:#000;}. A thesis statement must be a full sentence.

p<>{color:#000;}. Never put a thesis statement in question form.

Wrong: “Should the drinking age be lowered to 18?”

Better: Anyone who can put on a military uniform and fight for his/her country should be allowed a beer.”

p<>{color:#000;}. Thesis statements should never include the words, “I believe,” “I think,” or “In my opinion.”

Wrong: “I believe we can curb the current rise in teen suicide.”

Better: “There are several things we could be doing to help prevent teen suicide.”

p<>{color:#000;}. Thesis statements should not be vague.

Wrong: “Religion is not always good.”

Better: “Throughout history, people have done bad things in the name of religion.”

p<>{color:#000;}. Thesis statements should not include types of figurative language other than similes.

Wrong: “Road rage rears its ugly head too often and is the product of poor anger management.”

Better: “People who exhibit road rage need anger management help.”

You may have to play with your thesis statement a bit before you get one that is solid and informs you reader of both the topic and the point you wish to make about that topic. If you can answer the question, “Why is this topic interesting or important,” you will have your thesis statement.

Now…About That Rough Draft

Begin with the Body Paragraphs(Sections)

Now that you have your organizer in front of your, begin on the body portion of your essay. Do not write the introduction now. Why? Because as you work through the body, your mind will be working too, and you will be able to clarify for yourself how you may want to construct that opening part. Just get the body written now.

Don’t Worry About Grammar or Punctuation Now

The goal for your rough draft is to get your thoughts on paper in a logical order. You want to focus right now on following your organizer and developing each point. Obviously, you will use your note cards for this development. Make sure that as you make each of your points, you put in the source – the author’s name and the page number in parentheses. This is how that in-text citation will appear in the most common formats anyway.

The other thing you will want to try to work into this rough draft is your transitions between paragraphs. You want to lead your reader into your next point at the end of each previous point.

Write Your Introduction

Once the body paragraphs are finished, you will want to go back to the introduction. By writing the body first, you have been focusing on the content of your essay, and your mind will be in the right place to create your introduction.

Purpose of the Introduction

There are always three purposes for an introduction:

p<>{color:#000;}. Introduce your topic

p<>{color:#000;}. Present your thesis statement

p<>{color:#000;}. Get your reader engaged – this is a key factor in impressing your teacher or professor

How You Capture the Reader

Think about the books or stories you have read. All of them have had a beginning that captured your interest. It is the same thing with an essay. You have to do something that makes your reader want to move forward. There are a couple of ways to do this.

p<>{color:#000;}. Shock the reader: Do you have any shocking statistics that can provide an opening? If, for example, you were writing an essay on hunger in America, you could begin with the statistic that 14 million kids go to bed hungry every night in this country. That’s a huge number, considering that America is the wealthiest nation on the planet.

p<>{color:#000;}. Tell an Anecdote: An anecdote is a very short story that relates to your thesis in some way. It personalizes your thesis and gives it “reality.” These are usually great openings to essays written on social issues.

Whatever you choose to use for your opening, the first sentence should be short and simple. Remember Charles Dickens’ opening for A Tale of Two Cities? “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

Your thesis statement may come anywhere in the introduction; however, it usually comes at the end.

Write Your Conclusion

Most essay conclusions re-state the thesis statement in different words. However, there are variations, dependent upon the type of essay you have written. Sometimes, a persuasive essay will lend itself to a call to action, for example. You may want readers to contact their Congressmen or commit to re-cycling. For other essays, you may have a personal response, such as, “This information provides an entirely new perspective on the impact of the Civil War on today’s politics.”

Chapter 5: Editing, Revising, and Getting that Good Grade

The worst is over – really it is. Now for the revising and polishing.

If you were using a spell and grammar check program as you wrote, some of your work has been done for you. But not all. These checkers will not catch everything, so do not rely solely on them. There is work you need to do too. So here goes.

p<>{color:#000;}. Read the entire piece from beginning to end.

How does it sound to you? This time through, you are looking for the overall flow of the essay. Are there good transitions from paragraph to paragraph? Does each paragraph have a topic sentence? Does the whole essay make sense?

p<>{color:#000;}. Read the essay out loud to yourself

This may sound silly, but here’s the thing: Most of us speak well. When you hear poor English, you recognize it. Your job this time through is to catch any sentences that don’t sound right.

p<>{color:#000;}. You will be surprised how you will catch those fragments (pieces of sentences that you tried to write as complete sentences) or run-ons (those sentences that are long, too complex or do not have connecting words between two thoughts).

p<>{color:#000;}. You will also catch the wrong use of verb tenses

p<>{color:#000;}. You may find that you have used the same word too much and need to replace some of those duplicates.

p<>{color:#000;}. You may notice that you have too many long and complex sentences in a row. This is tiring for a reader. Break some of them up into shorter simpler sentences.

p<>{color:#000;}. Ask someone else to read it

We are emotionally tied to what we write sometimes. And we have worked with the essay so much, we cannot see what others will see. Even if your fellow students are busy, email it to a family member and ask for feedback. An “uninvolved” person will pick up on things you have not.

p<>{color:#000;}. Proof for mechanical errors

Mechanical errors refer to spelling and punctuation. Your checker may have caught some but they are infamous for not catching different versions of words (e.g. to, two, too), and of course they will not catch numerical error. If you have used numbers and/or percentages, check to see that they are correct.

Bonus Tip[*:*] In formal writing, don’t use contractions. This will cut down on errors. For example, instead of “you’re,” use “you are;” instead of “they’re,” use “they are.”

Bonus Tip: There are some pretty good tools you can also use that will shorten your editing and revision time. If you have a bit of expendable money, you might want to sign up for Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor. You can cut and paste your final copy into these apps and get some great feedback that will point out any grammar or usage problems, as well as suggestions for improvement. Grammarly will also run a plagiarism check, which is important if you don’t have one you can use.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

This sounds like a lot of work when it all written out in this e-book. You will find, though, that if you take this guide step by step, you will end up with a great essay and a good grade.

The other thing is this: As you use this process over and over again, you will become an “expert” on it. Each time you use it, it will go faster. Pretty soon you’ll be whipping those essays out quickly. And you’ll decide that you prefer writing essays to root canals.

Now, check out the two Appendices that follow – you’ll find a sample essay and a reference sheet you can use for citing your resources, both in your text and on a works cited page.

Appendix I: Sample Essay

Title: The Electoral College: A Dinosaur in Democracy

Essay Type: Persuasive


The presidential election of 2000 was a mess. The contenders were Al Gore (Democrat) and George W. Bush (Republican). In the end, Gore got more votes than Bush, but Bush won the election, because of a system we call the Electoral College. The other piece of this mess was that, because some states still use paper ballots that voters have to punch, votes from Florida had to be re-counted by hand. The election results ended up in the Supreme Court, and for weeks we did not know who our next President was. This is not the first time there have been problems with our presidential elections. What all of them point out is that our Electoral College system is antiquated, can result in a President who has not received the majority vote of the people, and is totally unnecessary in today’s age of technology. It must be changed.

We no longer travel by horseback and stage coach. We no longer rely on a telegraph system to send and receive news and information. We no longer hold the belief of our founders that the “ignorant” populace cannot be trusted to make wise choices. And in this age of technology, we no longer need to use paper ballots. Citizens of the most highly developed nation of the world can reasonably be expected to listen to candidates, to make choices between two or more candidates, and to cast their votes in a technologically efficient manner. The popular votes can be tabulated instantly and the results made known almost as quickly. Doing away with the Electoral College allows a popular election, the results of which are the will of the people (Michener, p. 46). Our current system is a crisis in the making.

That crisis can begin with the electors. When voters go to the polls every four years, they see the presidential candidates listed, and they choose one. Most do not realize that they are really voting for electors that have been chosen by the political parties in their states. Those electors are pledged to vote for their parties’ candidates, but they are not legally bound to do this. The result is that any elector may decide to vote for another party’s candidate, with no consequences. In fact, this has happened in the elections of 1948, 1956, 1960, 1968, and 1988, during which electors either changed their pledged votes or did not vote at all (Gregg, p. 231). Because these changes did not impact the outcomes of those elections, most people didn’t even know they happened. But they will know when another potential crisis occurs.

The Constitution is very clear, if there is no winner of electoral votes. While it has only happened once in our history, it could at any time. When there is a tie in electoral votes, the election is sent to the House of Representatives. By majority vote, this body decides who the next President will be. The potential problem with this system should be obvious. Often in election years, especially during a presidential election year, there can be major upsets in the makeup of both houses of Congress. People who have just been thrown out of office will now be deciding who the next President will be, whether he actually won the election or not (Edwards, p. 125-6). This is not the only issue related to the concept of “majority wins.”

In four previous elections in our history, the candidate who has won the popular vote in fact lost the election, because of the Electoral College. Here is a simplified explanation. One state has a population of 100,000. Candidate A wins the election in that state with 51,000 votes. Candidate B receives 49,000 votes. Candidate A gets all electoral votes of that state – 15. Another state has a population of 75,000. Candidate A gets 10,000 votes; Candidate B gets 65,000 votes. Candidate B gets all electoral votes – 10. Candidate A has a total of 61,000 votes from these two states and 15 electoral votes. Candidate B has a total of 110,000 votes from these states but only 10 electoral votes. This can happen at any time, and the result is that a candidate who is not the choice of the people will in fact become President (Morris). The “winner takes all” practice, such as in this example, is not even uniform.

One of the things that the Constitution did not stipulate was a uniform practice on the part of states for assigning electoral votes. It became common practice for states to adopt the “winner takes all” approach to presidential elections. Thus, the winning candidate receives all of the electoral votes, no matter how close the election may be. Over the years, the states of Maine and Nebraska made changes. In those states, the electoral votes are divided proportionately, according to how many votes each candidate receives. All other forty-eight states keep the “old” method. This creates unequal treatment of voters and candidates and should perhaps be challenged through the federal court system (Michener, p. 79).

We understand the thinking behind the founders in setting up the Electoral College. It is also obvious that, in the 21st century, we need to re-think how we elect our Presidents. We continue to honor the democratic phrase, “one man, one vote,” and yet that is not being applied. We have actual examples to prove that candidates who do not win the majority popular vote nevertheless end up in the White House. Our technology now allows us to hold popular elections in which every vote actually counts. It’s time to pressure our Congress to begin the process of a Constitutional amendment to bring real democracy to America.

End-of-Text Citations (APA Style)

Edwards, G. (2011). Why the electoral College is Bad for America. New Haven, CT:

Yale University Press.

Gregg, G. L. (2008). Securing Democracy: Why We Have an Electoral College. New

York, NY: Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Michener, J. and Berry, S. (2016). Presidential Lottery: The Reckless Gamble in

Our Electoral System. New York: NY: Random House, LLC.

Morris, M. (2011). Electoral College Determined ‘Winner’ Could Lose Popular Vote by a

Landslide. Retrieved from website: http://www.fairvote.org/electoral-college-dictates-winner-could-lose-popular-vote-by-a-landslide.

Appendix II: Samples of Citation Formats

The most common citation styles are MLA and APA. Here are examples of the most common resources and how they are cited.


Newspaper Article with Author

Johns, A. (2013, August 24). Tackling the Problem of Student Drinking. The St. Louis Post-

Dispatch, p. B3.

Article in a Book Edition

Conner, C. (2014). Listening as a Communication Technique. In H. Rogers & F. Smith

(Eds.), The Art and Science of Communication (pp. 308-323). New York, NY: Penguin



Jackson, J. (2001). Choosing the Right Dog. Retrieved from Pet Selection Web site:


Magazine Article

Kander, S. (2000, November 14). Recipes for the Diabetic. Prevention Magazine, 256,

320-361. doi:10.1226/prevention.290.5764.1226.


Johnson, K. (2013). Leadership Styles (3rd ed.), New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.



Gillespie, Harley. Controlled Chaos: Life in a College Dorm. Penguin, 2015.

Gillespie, Harley, and Hopkins, Sally. Controlled Chaos: Life in a College Dorm. Penguin, 2015.

Work in an Anthology

Harmon, Mark. “New Advances in Neuroscience.” The Brain: The Final Frontier, edited by Stan Tarjan, 2016, pp. 23-38.


Harper, Steve. “Is this the End of Television?” Time, 20 Nov. 2015, pp. 64-66.

Castello, Tom. “A Possible Solution for the Homeless.” Washington Post, 2 June 2013, p. LZ01.

Electronic Resources

Moreland, Patty. “How to Make Perfect Chili.” eHow, [+ www.ehow.com/how_10839_make-perfect-chili.html+]. Accessed 7 July 2012.

Pinkas, Brenden. “10 tips and Tricks for Essay Writing.” A List Apart: 14 Sept. 2016, alistapart.com/article/essaywriting. Accessed 12 Feb. 2010.

Note: These are not comprehensive listings of all of the resources you might use. For les common resource types, check the Internet through a Google search.

Bonus Tip: There are a huge number of apps that produce citations automatically. You enter the resource details (type of resource, author, title, pages, websites, etc.), check the style you need, and the app will generate a citation which you can then copy and paste onto your bibliography page. Save yourself a lot of hassle.

Conquer Essay Phobia: The Perfect Formula for a Good Grade

Author Natalie Anderson has a great analogy for those of us who hate to write essays. We would rather have a root canal. She “gets it” and sympathizes, even though she is obviously an expert and polished writer herself. Out of her empathy for the struggles of those of us who put our writing assignments off as long as possible, she has crafted an amazing e-book, titled “Conquering Essay Phobia.” It’s a great little guide to the essay writing process that every student ought to download and keep, especially those who struggle with the whole writing thing. Five chapters are neatly laid out and, in very simple terms, take an essay writer through each stage of the process. There are really only 4 types of essays, and once you figure out what the instructor is asking you to do, you will know exactly which type to write. Anderson makes choosing a topic a simple process of looking in some usual and unusual places. Finding the right resources is also pretty easy, and there are some great tips for locating them easily and quickly. While there is nothing new about taking notes, there are some solid tips about how to do it and understandable methods and options for organizing all of those notes that just makes sense. There’s also a “sneaky” way to get at the right sub-topics which others won’t tell you. According to Anderson, the first key to a great essay is developing that thesis statement. This section is so carefully and simply explained, you will know exactly what questions a thesis statement should answer and how to create one that answers those questions – finally, this part of essay writing makes sense. And there are several examples of right and wrong thesis statements that drive these points home. You may have never been one to write rough drafts, but the case is made, and, yes, these are necessary. However, Anderson takes away a lot of the pain of writing that draft and then revising it – probably a few simple tricks you haven’t thought of, too. And if you’ve never understood why the introduction should wait until the end, you will now. Speaking of introductions, you’ll get the three “rules” for introductions that will make yours engage your instructor right away. When you impress them with that introduction, you are actually halfway home to that good grade. They really are that important, but her method for crafting them makes it easy. At the end of this book, you’ll find a sample essay that incorporates all of the elements Anderson has covered, and it’s clear how it all fits together. As an added bonus, there are sample bibliographical entries of the most common style formats. Throughout this small treasure, you are going to find bonus tips and other tricks that will lower your anxiety, simplify the whole process, and literally take you by the hand and guide you through. No, you may never develop a love for writing. But you will be able to write essays that your instructors will like and that will raise those grades. The best part? The whole agonizing task will just become easier. Where to get your “essay writing bible?” Go to GetGoodGrade.com and simply download it. You’ll probably decide you prefer essay writing to a root canal.

  • ISBN: 9781370406661
  • Author: NatalieA
  • Published: 2017-01-30 15:20:13
  • Words: 5792
Conquer Essay Phobia: The Perfect Formula for a Good Grade Conquer Essay Phobia: The Perfect Formula for a Good Grade