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The Art of Networking: Podcast Episode Live!

Robert Braathe Podcast Post1 300x300 The Art of Networking: Podcast Episode Live!

 

This week’s episode is about the art of networking. We thought this topic would be helpful to students who have recently graduated and are working on finding their first full-time job. While job searching can be very stressful, having the right tools and strategy can make success easy.

 

We interview Robert Braathe, the founder of Braathe Enterprises, serves as a business trainer and leader of The Career Service Station, BEYourStart and TEMPO Business Training. Mr. Braathe received his MBA from Western Connecticut State University and his Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality from UMass. In addition, he has taken PhD level courses from The University at Albany and Northcentral University. After working in management positions with Walt Disney World, Gap and Apple, Mr. Braathe founded his company in October 2005. Mr. Braathe teaches at The College of St. Rose and several community colleges and private colleges in courses that include hospitality, management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Why should we network?

How to effectively network.

Networking as a mutually beneficial activity.

Effective networking tips and tricks for success.

 

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Pregnant Podcast Pause
Pregnant Pause 300x300 Pregnant Podcast Pause

 

Due to several events in podcast world around censorship vs hate speech, as well as, recent COVID-related protests, we have decide to sit back and consider our intentions around this podcast and how it aligns with out values. We are committed to creating quality content to help young adults, writers, students, and creators to feel supported and inspired, but given these recent events we want to really make sure we are doing this in a way that is ethical and in-line with our organizational values.

 

We have had the good fortune of being able to experiment with many things online during COVID, such as this podcast, our YouTube channel, blog posts, newsletter, and posts on social media. Originally, many of these things started off as a way to support individuals who were isolated during COVID. However, as we move out of COVID (fingers crossed!), we need to pivot and think about how we can continue to support and nurture a critically thinking and creative online community with quality guests, topics, tips, and content in a way that works for us well into the future.

 

We’d love to hear from the community. Feel free to send Lisa an email with your comments about what you like or find helpful about our website, podcast, YouTube, newsletter, and/or social media content. Do you have any suggestions for the future to help you to reach your full potential on the page?

 

Meanwhile, we will continue to publish our newsletter and there are lots of wonderful past blog posts and past podcast episodes with loads of solid advice and writing tips. Of course, you can always reach out to us on all and any platforms with questions or comments. We look forward to coming back refreshed in the spring.

Thanks for sharing in our journey and letting us be part of yours!

 

Sincerely,

Lisa Pfau

 

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

 

Conducting Research in Sociology: Interview with Jemimah Amos

This week’s episode is about the study of Sociology. Sociology is the study of human interaction or individuals as members of a group. Many students take a first-year Sociology course unsure what it is about and may even leave the course confused or overwhelmed by the breadth of information and topics that can be researched in the field of Sociology.

 

 

Jemimah Amos 300x300 Conducting Research in Sociology: Interview with Jemimah Amos

 

This week’s guest is Jemimah Amos, PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Windsor and PFAU Academic Writing coach and editor. Her academic and research interests include migration, race and ethnicity, feminism, and qualitative methodologies. She is also an academic tutor and graduate assistant in the department of Sociology at the University of Windsor working closely with students to improve their understanding of course materials, assignments delivery, and essay writing.

 

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For new Sociology students, who are the main theorists that they might encounter?

 

There are three main theorists: Karl Marx, Max Webber, and Emile Durkheim. 

 

Karl Marx is a conflict theorist. Conflict theory posits that there are fundamental differences of interest between social groups. These differences result in conflicts being common and persists in society. It is not something temporary as the functionalists suggest. 

 

Max Webber and Emile Durkhein are considered functionalists. From a functionalist perspective, society is analogous to an organism – it has various parts and all parts function independently, but together for the survival of the organism. For example, institutions, such as, education, family, religion, and the economy, perform individual functions that when in equilibrium create a stable society.

 

 

What are some tips you would give students to write a solid Sociology paper?

 

  • Create a literature review: pay attention to theories, methods, and information on your topic of interest.

 

  • Get out the high school mindset that there’s a right answer. Find the best answer and support it with evidence.

 

  • Understand assignment and exam expectations: type of assignment, topic, word count, grading distribution.
    • For instance, if a question asks for three aspects of a theory, but is 6 marks. You would probably get a mark for each point, plus an additional mark for an explanation or example for each point.

 

 

Recommended Books and Resources

 

 

 

Thank you, Jemimah, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

 

Missed Podcast? Watch Video Here:

 

 

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For more advice about writing, check out our weekly, podcast, videos, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

_

To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Conducting Research in Sociology: Podcast Episode Live!
Jemimah Amos Podcast Sociology cover 1 300x300 Conducting Research in Sociology: Podcast Episode Live!

This week we interviewed Jemimah Amos, PFAU Academic Writing coach and editor, about the study of Sociology. Sociology is the study of human interaction or individuals as members of a group. Many students take a first-year Sociology course unsure what it is about and may even leave the course confused or overwhelmed by the breadth of information and topics that can be researched in the field of Sociology. In particular, students coming out of high school may be unfamiliar with the use of theories and methodologies to conduct research and write papers.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

What is Sociology?

Common Sociological Theories & Frameworks

What to expect from a Sociology degree

How to conduct Sociological research

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Feeling through Creativity: Interview with Phoebe Taylor

 

 

This week’s episode is about the connection between mental health and creativity. Oftentimes students are so caught up with getting good grades or a prestigious job that they forget to have fun. They forget that learning is supposed to bring joy. They don’t realize that writing a research paper is actually a creative process, and it is possible to inject their own personality in the process. Most of all, they can easily buy into the idea that being successful means suppressing one’s emotions. But, feelings are not our enemy, they are our friend.

 

Phoebe Taylor 200x300 Feeling through Creativity: Interview with Phoebe Taylor

 

This week’s guest is Phoebe Taylor, artist, mindful mover, community maker and creative director of Okay Shoe. Her work explores the intersection of art, mindfulness, intuition and movement. Okay Shoe works collaboratively with artists to create stuff + space for feeling okay. My work as a visual artist utilizes zines and other modes of public art and installations. She believes one good rock show can change the world, art is for everyone to make and enjoy, and everyone deserves to feel good in their body, even you.

 

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How do you think creativity plays a role in self-care and mental wellness?

 

Yeah. Oh man. I don’t really feel like we live in a world that really allows any space for creativity and when it does, it’s like it looks a very specific way. You know, like art goes in a gallery and you know, who’s creating art and who’s who’s in control of those things. I think we have a very narrow idea of and I think you would read that in my intro I really do believe like all humans are creative beings. And there’s just every everything in the whole world that tell us not to be creative. And I asked a lot of people kind of like, you know, talking about how I work as an artist and when I’m working with individuals as well. I asked people it’s like, well, who told you that you can’t be creative? Because I think like when we talk when we talk a lot about you know, kind of core beliefs and and all those things. It’s like, oh, wait a second, like Who put this here? Who put the seed in me like who watered it? And I think a lot of the time it’s like well, meaning, you know, whether it’s a parents teachers a real life person or not, you know, maybe on the television. I mean, I could make a list of kajillion systems to be creative. So yeah, I when I think about that, I grew up as a pretty creative child. I feel very lucky

 

I don’t feel like we live in a world that really allows any space for creativity, and when it does, it looks a very specific way. Like art goes in a gallery and who’s controlling that idea of art is very narrow. There’s also a lot in the world that tells us not to be creative. I work with a lot of individuals and one of the main questions I ask them is – “Who told you that you can’t be creative?” It comes down to core beliefs and how they impact us. Who put this belief here? We put the seed in me and watered it? A lot of time it is well-meaning parents and teachers, or even television.

 

Fortunately, I grew up as a pretty creative kid. My parents were artists and I feel very lucky to have had that outlet. Creativity is really a tribute to children. As children, we need care and play. Being creative links to our ability to play and connect with our emotional selves. If we had our first grade teacher following us around everyday reminding us of important life lessons like share, take a break, have a nap, eat a snack. It’s all very basic self-care techniques. 

 

The best way to tap into my needs that I’ve found is medication. I love that. I would say take a breath, I would say pause to my clients. They know it’s hard. I’m also a meditation teacher. I think our effort is in trying and paying attention. Pay attention to what you pay attention to and pause and check in with your feelings like – Do I do I need a glass of water? Do I need to have a nap? Do I need to go and doodle? We stay connected to our creativity by staying connected to ourselves.

 

 

I know that you run a workshop Finding Play in Creativity. Tell us what this workshop is about.

 

“Finding Play and Creativity” is an approach that I use in the individual workshops that we host through Okay Shoe. Specifically, every month we host Okay Hang online. I usually start with an opening question to start the process of reflection as people are logging into the Zoom room. Instead of asking people – “How are you?” – where we expect an answer of “good” or “okay” – I ask something deeper and more meaningful. 

 

I also create a space where people can create whatever they want or be who they are feeling that day. There is no pressure to create. It’s about finding playfulness and supporting each other through our creative processes.

 

How do you think students who are struggling with the pressure and stress of assignments could benefit from some of the things you teach in this workshop?

 

We actually do often have students drop into our workshops who are stuck on projects, like grant applications or school applications. They need a space where they can just say – “I don’t know what I’m doing right now with this.” I don’t know what I’m writing. I just need an external infusion of inspiration of some kind. Sometimes, the workshop helps the person to kickstart their writing process. Other times, they are just sitting there doodling on the back of a card for an hour.


Doodling is so amazing for our brains. Again, I’m not a scientist. However, I have read a lot of interesting science around it. It gives our brain a space to just kind of wander around. It is in this space where ideas come from. My favorite director, David Lynch, talks about his process of develoing ideas as “going fishing”. He calls ideas “fish”. He says you have to go out on a dock, sit, and quietly go fishing. Doodling or Okay Hang or morning pages is my fishing process. I can go back and evaluate my process and ask myself questions like: What keeps coming up? What’s the idea here? What am I actually thinking about? What is the threat here? Am I just interested in oceanic life? Maybe I need to go write my dissertation on this? Elizabeth Gilbert talks about going back to her morning pages and seeing that she continually talks about learning Italian and decides that she’d better go to Italy. A whole book – Eat, Pray, Love – came out of that process of self-reflection and evaluation. So you never know where these seeds are going to come from. You need to give yourself and your brain space to wander around and go fishing.

 

What tips or strategies would you have for someone staring down writer’s block/creative block?

 

From my experience, when you’re just so deep in the weeds of what’s going on, it can be hard to know what to write. When I am stuck, it’s hard to dig into what I am trying to accomplish. Walking away and coming back to it can help me to reset. It reminds me of what the nugget of thing is. I, then, try to write towards that nugget. Taking a mental break and using the other side of the brain makes it easier to come back to the task.

 

 

 

Recommended Books and Resources

 

 

 

Thank you, Phoebe, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

 

Missed Podcast? Watch Video Here:

 

 

_

 

For more advice about writing, check out our weekly, podcast, videos, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

_

To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Feeling through Creativity: Podcast Episode Live!
Phoebe Taylor Podcast Post  300x300 Feeling through Creativity: Podcast Episode Live!

This week’s episode is about the connection between mental health and creativity. Oftentimes students are so caught up with getting good grades or a prestigious job that they forget to have fun. They forget that learning is supposed to bring joy. They don’t realize that writing a research paper is actually a creative process, and it is possible to inject their own personality in the process. Most of all, they can easily buy into the idea that being successful means suppressing one’s emotions. But, feelings are not our enemy, they are our friend. This week’s guest is Phoebe Taylor, artist, mindful mover, community maker and creative director of Okay Shoe.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Finding joy in creation

Building a creative business

Sustainable creation and collaborative practices

Link between our emotions and art

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Playful Prose: Interview with Davood Gozli

 

 

This week’s episode is about overcoming the tortures of writer’s block. So often students avoid starting a paper because of the pain associated with writing that first sentence, but writing doesn’t have to be so terrible. In fact, in many cases, it can be fun. It is an artform after all. Today we’ll be talking about how to make writing enjoyable, and even playful. 

 

Davood Gozli 300x300 Playful Prose: Interview with Davood Gozli

 

This week’s guest is Davood Gozli, PFAU Academic Writing editor and coach, specializing in Psychology. Davood has over seven years of university-level teaching experience, a BSc from Trent University, and PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto. He has published a book and dozens of peer-reviewed academic articles—including several articles co-authored with students—and has helped hundreds of students feel more comfortable about writing. Most notably, he believes in the power of writing as a personal practice that can excite, enliven, and empower us.

 

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What is it like writing a book? Were there moments you were stuck? How did you overcome them?

 

My book started out as a journal article that was rejected by several journals. I was passionate about the idea, but I still got stuck. I found that being separated from the writing project for a couple weeks would throw me off and make it harder to go back. Rhythm is very important. Showing up everyday in small ways is key. Touchbase with your writing project in a consistent and predictable way everyday. By maintaining this rhythm, even my body would start to feel like writing.

I also realized that writing is a way of living. Once you start setting up a writing routine, you notice that other parts of your life need to change as well. For instance, I realized that I needed to go to bed early enough to get enough sleep to get up and write. I also needed to become more organized by setting a timer and only letting myself write for an hour before getting onto other things.

 

Why do you think we struggle with writer’s block?

 

There are several reasons why someone would struggle with writer’s block. As I said, straying from one’s routine can cause a blockage, and of course, not taking care of one’s self and being unwell. However, I think the biggest blockage is expectations. Putting too much pressure on one’s self and worrying can block the creative flow. It is important to set manageable goals and stick to them.

For students who struggle with writing the first sentence of the paper, what tips would you give them?

 

There are a few things that can help one get over the anxiety of writing that first sentence:

  1. Take breaks when you can’t focus

  2. Set a minimum daily achievement (ie. 300 words)

  3. Set realistic expectations. Focus on writing clearly and concisely. Imagine you are writing to a friend. 

  4. Write what you can. Don’t worry about making it perfect. You now have some raw material. Then, ask yourself what makes it bad and use it to improve upon it. 

  5. Write about what you want to write about. You want to write about memory, so you write about what you want to write about later. It is like a plan/list of ideas. It creates a useful distance that can ease you into the writing process.

 

 

Recommended Books and Resources

 

 

 

Thank you, Davood, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

 

Missed Podcast? Watch Video Here:

 

 

_

 

For more advice about writing, check out our weekly, podcast, videos, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

_

To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Davood Gozli
Playful Prose: Podcast Episode Live!
Davood Gozli Podcast Post 1 1 300x300 Playful Prose: Podcast Episode Live!

We interviewed Davood Gozli, Pfau Academic editor and writing coach, with a BSc from Trent University, and PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto, about overcoming the tortures of writer’s block. So often students avoid starting a paper because of the pain associated with writing that first sentence, but writing doesn’t have to be so terrible. In fact, in many cases, it can be fun. It is an artform after all. Today we’ll be talking about how to make writing enjoyable, and even playful.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

What it’s like writing a book

Tips for overcoming writer’s block

Overcoming doubt when writing 

Making writing playful 

Starting a paper when you feel stuck

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

English Literature Podcast
The Art of Writing a Literary Essay: Interview with Natalia Hunter

 

 

We interviewed Natalia Hunter, PFAU Academic Writing Coach, about the art of writing a literary essay. For students accustomed to essays that require a lot of research, citations, and arguments on a specific topic, writing an essay for English 101 or Grade 12 English can be a real puzzle. This type of essay necessitates a more in-depth analysis of a particular text, or oftentimes only an excerpt of text. At first glance, it may seem easy, but it actually takes a high level of skill to write a strong literary essay. We thought this topic would be helpful to our listeners who are attempting their first literary essay or trying to improve upon a poor grade. Remember that writing is a practice that takes time and effort to improve upon.

 

Copy of Natalia Hunter Photo 2 300x300 The Art of Writing a Literary Essay: Interview with Natalia Hunter

 

Natalia has a Master’s in English from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelors of English in Medieval Studies. While pursuing graduate studies, Natalia was a teaching assistant for the Laurier English department, leading weekly tutorial groups and working closely with students to assist with their understanding of the course material and help with their essay writing and critical thinking skills. Her own academic experience and work as a teaching assistant have given Natalia a keen eye for what it takes to do excellent literary analysis.

 

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What would you say is the difference between a research paper and an English paper? How is research conducted in English compared to say the Social Sciences?

 

There’s a big difference. Especially with the Social Sciences, like you said, English qualitative versus quantitative. The main difference is in the research methods. In the social science, you’re focusing on experimental studies, while in English you’re looking for the answers within the text itself. So when you’re researching for a Social Sciences paper, you’re going to look out for other evidence to include in your argument. In an English paper, you’re looking at other scholarly opinions about the text. The main reason why you do that in English is to ground your argument within everybody else’s opinions. You want to make sure that you have a full scope of what the topic entails and that you can shape your argument. You can either disagree or agree with what the scholarly opinion that is out there. There’s definitely a massive difference between a regular research paper for the Social sciences and a research paper for English. In addition, there’s definitely techniques and skills that you have to develop to know how to research English papers that dependent upon how popular or how old the book is.

For example, a Victorian novel is going to have a lot more out there compared to a book published in the last few years. The amount of previous research on the book that you want to write about is another kind of difficulty that you have to face when researching for an English paper. I think a good example is if you’re looking into Jane Eyre. As a classic Victorian novel, there’s so much out there about this literary era as well as the book itself. There are several opinions, books, and journal articles written about Jane Eyre. Although there is a lot of preexisting on Jane Eyre, this in itself can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is important to narrow your topic down. You can do this by choosing a character, like Bertha. However, even in that case, you need to have an angle or perspective that you want to discuss about Bertha. For instance, if you’re going to do a gendered reading of Jane Eyre and you’re going to focus on feminist theories, then you would start looking at the key words when you search up articles about Jane Eyre. You would want to look at the things that include feminist theory and things about how the female characters are treated. You want to make sure that you’re focusing on a specific angle rather than just really looking taking a broad summative approach.

 

How can high school students in Grade 11 and 12 prepare themselves for the rigors of university English?

 

First off, the difference between high school and university is that you’re going to be reading so much more. This can be a massive shock to the system because you’ll have multiple readings a week. You could be reading a whole novel a week (300-400 pages) and just have one or two lectures on it before moving on. So it is very fast paced, and I think that that could be something that you could gradually get used to by increasing your reading capacity in advance of attending university. I recommend planning out and scheduling your reading times. This structuring can can especially helpful if you kind of have a numerical mind. If you like to think in numbers, breaking down  the novel into small goals of reading a certain number of pages (ie. 25 pages) a day can help you to feel less overwhelmed with the amount of reading that you need to complete.

What would you say is your biggest takeaway from your English degree in terms of becoming a confident writer?

 

I think my main takeaway with writing was that there’s so many ways to phrase things and put things in a sentence and everybody’s going to have a different way of doing it. I think that’s amazing that everyone can have a different voice and style. Everyone can be tasked with the same thing and not say it in the same way. It’s okay to not write something in the same way that someone else does. There’s definitely ways of improving your writing style. Obviously, being more concise and using appropriate language are useful skills. But at the end of the day, I think it’s really amazing that everyone can have their own style. In the beginning, developing your own style can be overwhelming because you’re thinking – “is everyone so much smarter than me?”; “what’s that person saying?”; “how are they saying it”; and so forth. You end up comparing yourself to someone else. I think at the end of the day, you’re never going to write something the same way as someone else, and that is a really good thing.

 

Recommended Books and Resources

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Thank you, Natalia, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

 

Missed Podcast? Watch Video Here:

 

_

_

 

For more advice about writing, check out our weekly, podcast, videos, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

_

To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

The Art of Writing a Literary Essay: Podcast Episode Live!
image 2 300x300 The Art of Writing a Literary Essay: Podcast Episode Live!

We interviewed Natalia Hunter, PFAU Academic Writing Coach, with a Master’s in English from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelors of English in medieval studies about the art of writing a literary essay. For students accustomed to essays that require a lot of research, citations, and arguments on a specific topic, writing an essay for English 101 or Grade 12 English can be a real puzzle. This type of essay necessitates a more in-depth analysis of a particular text, or oftentimes only an excerpt of text. At first glance, it may seem easy, but it actually takes a high level of skill to write a strong literary essay. We thought this topic would be helpful to our listeners who are attempting their first literary essay or trying to improve upon a poor grade. Remember that writing is a practice that takes time and effort to improve upon.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Finding a topic for a literary essay

The best journals and databases to use

Tips for first year and high school students when writing a literary essay

The value of an English degree

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.