Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bored? Here Is a 30 Day Writing Challenge to Get You Stirred Up!

Dear friends!

Probably it’s just fall time that causes some mood swings and occasional unwillingness to work. Lots of my friends tell me every day that they are bored because they don’t have anything interesting happening right now or they feel drained of strength and can’t finish anything they’ve started. Don’t know about you, but I just can’t stand this feeling when you don’t know what is wrong but can’t get yourself to do things. It means that it’s time to take action! And from now on I declare a 30 day writing challenge!

I think that’s a great opportunity to shake up when you don’t feel like doing anything. It has various perks that will boost your productivity:

  •              you improve your skills by writing something every day;
  •              you send away your fall moodiness;
  •              you form a useful habit that you will surely benefit from.

Doesn’t it sound great? I bet it does. So, I will certainly accept this challenge and we’ll see the results after a month. I will do reports every 5 days to show my daily writing (and to control myself a little bit too). My 30 day writing challenge starts on November 1 and ends on November 30, 2015. I am very excited and encourage you to do the same. I’ve heard a lot of writers’ warm feedback on such kind of challenges and want to have some of my own.

So, who’s in with me?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tips on Storing Work on Cloud

We all know by now that Cloud is not just a fancy name for uploading files to a server. It goes much further and provides a lot of flexibility especially for us, freelance academic writers. I experienced it myself once when my laptop passed away and took all of my work with him. It was disastrous for me so I decided to look for new solutions and I found them.

OneDrive and Google Drive offer 15GB free of charge, with 10GB from Box a little behind and Dropbox in the end, giving away only 2GB. Dropbox, however, can be upgraded to 16GB with special actions such as referrals. A growing stash of photos and videos will soon need more. In this case you may consider OneDrive and Dropbox 10$ per month for 1TB paid plans or 7$/1TB per month for Google Drive. But I would rather store photos and videos on external hard drive cause, you know, I’m not ready to pay for space in the Internet yet.

App of choice depends on which features are important for you, as some of them are able to greatly enhance your work. In Google Drive, for example, you can edit your documents right in the Cloud with built in-office suit and shared access for multiple users.
As far as special features go, OneDrive organizes the files by type and has an auto-upload feature for photos. It comes built-in with Windows 8 and 8.1.

Dropbox is one of two apps that support Blackberry (the other being Box) and the only one that works with Kindle Fire. It comes with auto-upload for photos as well. Box has an endless list of sharing and privacy features, including comments and notifications.

I strongly recommend storing your work on cloud because freelancing supposes that your tasks can catch up you anywhere. You can access your unfinished essay or research paper at your friend’s place, while traveling or visiting your parents. That’s very comfortable and much safer than relying on your laptop. Remember my case; you don’t want to feel that way as I did.
So, stay calm and back up your files.                

P.S. What cloud storage service do you use?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Clear, Specific, Precise and Exact: This Is All about Academic Writing

Academic writing is mostly the language of facts. I say “mostly” because there are various types of papers that sometimes require more than some scientists’ viewpoints and their analyses. But the most vivid peculiarity of academic writing is clarity. Professors and scientists overall do not speak with metaphors and proverbs. They are prone to use specific words and phrases that do not have double meanings. This is the feature number one that you have to take into account when writing academic papers, so, let’s make sure you are specific enough:

1.       Do you use facts?

The points given in the paper must be proven by commonly known facts or solid arguments that belong to respected and renowned people. But your facts must be clearly stated without extra words that can distract the reader from the main point.

2.       Do you include figures?

Statistics has always been a very useful tool that raises the reliability of the whole paper. For instance, instead of saying “over half of the population” you write “630 thousand of people”. You see, the style is changing right in front of your eyes.

3.       Do you avoid filler words?

Words like “so”, “well”, “you know” are unacceptable because you are stating facts, not speaking with your friend. In general, all words that do not bear semantically important information are reduced from the academic text because they avert readers from grabbing the essential viewpoint.

So, next time you are going to deliver an academic paper, ask yourself these 3 questions. If your answer is yes to all of them, then you’ve done a great job. But if there are some doubts, better revise to be sure whether your writing clear, specific, precise and exact. Be a professional freelance academic writer!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

How to Avoid Accidental Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a pressing issue today because of the abundance of information available to public on the Internet. And while lots of people deliberately attribute writings and sayings of others to themselves, sometimes it happens when they unconsciously produce texts with accidental plagiarism. There can be 3 cases when people unintentionally steal someone’s thoughts:
  1. They think that these are their personal conclusions (sometimes people forget that they have read some facts in external sources);
  2. They really come up with original conclusions but have no idea that someone has written about this before;
  3. They simply forget to credit the author.

I think it’s a familiar situation for you. You do a research, suddenly the thought pops up in your brain and you think that it is so natural to draw such a conclusion (maybe because you have read about it before) or you gather information on some topic and put it in one place but then can’t really figure out which is yours and which is just copied from the external source.
So, how to avoid such situations? It is an extremely important issue as accidental plagiarism is still plagiarism. There are several steps that can prevent you from submitting work that is not 100% original and I will talk about them just now.
  1. Check the most obvious deductions
When you’ve pulled a conclusion and it seems to be a very easy one because it’s logical, better check it up because the chances are that you’ve read about it before.
  1. Don’t jump to your “genius” conclusion
I know that there are times when you think that you’ve discovered America but America was discovered years ago, so be careful.
  1. Label everything you find for your topic
When you find the necessary information, ALWAYS highlight it and credit it to the real author, especially if it’s a draft. If you use MS Word, it’s very easy. With simple notebook just use highlighters.

  1. Credit even paraphrased
If you think that someone’s words become yours when paraphrased, that is not true. Even if you change the words with synonyms or reverse the word order, you still need to credit.

That’s practically it. Very simple but crucial steps to follow in order not to be accused of plagiarism. I do that all the time and it helps me greatly. Hope that it will do the same for you.