Posted: Elen in: Freelance Writing
22. 07. 2014
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Credible/Non-credible sources

Unreliable sources don’t always contain true, accurate, and up-to-date information.

Using these sources in academic writing can result in discrediting writers’ status.

That’s why it is extremely important to use credible and reliable sources only.

This guide will help you in evaluating whether a source is relevant or not.

 

 

What sources can be considered as credible?

  • materials published within last 10 years;
  • research articles written by respected and well-known authors;
  • websites registered by government and educational institutions (.gov, .edu, .ac);
  • academic databases (i.e. Academic Search Premier or JSTOR);
  • materials from Google Scholar.

What sources should be avoided?

  • out-of-date materials (published over 10 years ago);
  • posts from social networks (i.e. facebook);
  • blogs;
  • research articles without citations;
  • websites ending in .com, .org, .net etc.

NB! Wikipedia can never be considered as a reliable source of information since it can be edited by anyone. However, it can be used when you are first trying to understand the topic. Moreover, there are lots of further links and references that can be useful when doing a research or writing academic papers.

How do I know if a source is reliable or not?

Always ask yourself the following questions in order to determine if a source is trustworthy or not.

1. Who is the author?

Reliable sources are always written by well-known and respected authors. These sources are always properly and accurately referenced. Therefore, when checking the source’s credibility you can find more information for your own research.

2. When was the material published?

Generally, books published in 1990s contain outdated information. Hence, you are expected to use materials published not later than 10 years ago.

3. What is the purpose of a source?

Always try to evaluate if the source presents clear and unbiased information or if its aim is to alter and persuade one’s views. A source written from a specific point of view may still be credible, but it can limit the coverage of a topic to a particular side of a debate.

4. How is this source proved?

Try to avoid sources that don’t have references or evidence to prove its point of view. Always make sure, if the source provides support to the given claims.

5. What type of audience is this source aimed at?

Always take into account what type of sources your audience will value. For example, if you are writing for an academic audience, they will definitely prefer peer-reviewed journals and scholarly papers.

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Posted: Katrin in: Freelance Writing
10. 07. 2014
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Plagiarism Checkers Review

Plagiarism is the intentional appropriation of authorship. If considered from the viewpoint of academic writing, it is borrowing the works of others, completely or partially and presenting it under your own name or without specifying the name of the real author. We can distinguish the following types of plagiarism: deliberate plagiarism, paraphrasing, patchwork paraphrasing, bluffing, stitching sources, and using a copy of your own work.

With flourishing of digital technology, plagiarism becomes a global problem throughout the world. To avoid similarities, various software and online plagiarism detection services were developed and implemented. Today, we will describe the most popular and useful checkers, which are available for everyone.

Turnitin

Turnitin is a global leader when it comes to dealing with plagiarism. It is very popular among University students. Turnitin cooperates with leading universities in order to provide an effective tool to determine the similarities in students’ papers. One of its many features, for example, allows determining papers which have been translated from English into other languages. Turnitin is very widespread software and it is available for users in more than 100 countries around the world.

Database of this detection system includes:

• more than 1.6 million active teachers

• more than 45 billion web pages

• more than 10,000 educational institutions

• more than 24 million licensed students

iThenticate

It is the professional plagiarism software widely used by research constitutions, scholarly publishers and professional writers. It is possible to check the paper written in over different 30 languages, for example: Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Italian, Arabic, Russian and Turkish. It supports the following types of files: XML, DOC, PDF, HTML, HWP, RTF etc. It contains various types of document in its database: articles from different publications, research papers, manuscripts, business reports, financial analysis, PhD and Masters dissertations.

Database of this detection system includes:

• more than 38 million (STM) publishers

• more than 45 billion web pages

• more than 130 million content items

CopyScape

It is a free online checker. However, it also includes the paid version (Premium search). It offers expanded search possibilities and contains more options. The users can check an unlimited number of papers per day. There is an option to save the uploaded text in the Private Index, so that it can search for similarities between the papers checked in the future and the ones that have been uploaded in the database.

Plagium

It is a free online checker, very similar to CopyScape. However, it is possible to check the paper no more than 10 times per day. It is slightly less reliable that other plagiarism checkers.

PlagiarismCheck

It is yet another free online plagiarism checker. PlagiarismCheck allows checking an unlimited number of papers. It is easy to use, smart, but not very fast. It works with a wide variety of document types. It is a possible choice for teacher, students, as well as freelance writers.  You need only to create a free account.

There are many others good checkers such us: Dupli Checker, Plagiarisma.net, PlagiarismChecker.com. All of them are simple to use and they are available for everyone. Using them is a matter of preferably. However, when choosing the software or an online service to check the document for plagiarism, one should take into account multiple factors, such as weather this paper will or won’t be stored in the database. Remember, that checking the paper in Turnitin will save the paper and if the customer then checks it there again, it will show 100% plagiarism. Factors like these are all that matters in business, such as Freelance writing. So, please, keep that in mind and don’t plagiarize!

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Posted: Andrew in: Freelance Writing
03. 07. 2014
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Application Essay

Writing an application essay can be no easy task. Just this small thing can be the very difference between the customer getting accepted into the college or not. Therefore, for you, as for the writer, it is vital to give it your best. And there is more to it than structuring your essay and having a perfect grammar.

Choosing a topic and having a fluent and coherent writing is the key to success, of course. With a little bit of planning you will be able to produce the application essay of the highest quality. Here are several tips you should keep in mind that might help you to accomplish this task:

  • First of all, the start. Be sure to have a great opening to your essay. You can choose to use the famous quote, saying, etc. The main point of this is to grab reader’s attention, so that the person would definitely be interested in reading it further.
  • Do not use any templates. Try to be as individual, as possible. Remember, that your goal is to distinguish yourself from many other applicants. Your essay has got to have a personality, a tone, and you should strive to keep it individual till the last full stop.
  • If you are confident in your writing skills, you should try to be as controversial as possible. It is completely alright to touch the topic of politics, religion, etc, as long as you are careful and thoughtful about it. Being able to clearly express your thoughts and state your arguments on certain topics may give you sizeable advantage in comparison to other applicants.
  • Do all you can to avoid clichés. To put it simply, it can ruin everything, however well you may have started. Things like these show that you were too lazy to look for any comparisons or metaphors and have spent most of the time using bland and predictable writing devices. Needles to say, this may send your whole essay down the drain.
  • Make every word count. Don’t forget that there is a limited amount of words you can work with, so you should never waste a single letter.
  • Not only should your every sentence be an integral part of your essay, but it should also be concise. The admission officer has to read hundreds of essays like yours and that is exactly why you do not want him to stop reading it midway.
  • Try to be as accurate, as possible. It means that you should check if your essay meets all criteria and is grammatically and stylistically correct. Also, you should always read it several times to make sure, everything makes sense and you didn’t misspell someone’s name by accident. Minor errors like these can make all the difference in the world.
  • And the last, but not least – time. Make sure to give yourself plenty of opportunity to produce the piece of work of high quality. It is a grave mistake to write an application essay overnight. Give your brain a chance not only to produce some great ideas, but also to revise them and to put everything on paper.

These are only few of many points that you should keep in mind when writing an application essay. Be individual, be smart, be creative and this piece of work will become something that may change customer’s life for the better.

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Posted: Rachel in: Career in Writing
20. 01. 2014
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Disputed Order

Silence in the courtroom! The order is disputed

How are the disputes usually resolved? This question is essential for every writer, because one can never foresee all the possible reasons for disputes. But we all want to prevent disputes; so, here we go.

A person who places an order always knows what he or she would like to get for the money paid. Therefore, they have to make sure that they have given clear initial instructions and requirements to the writer who attempts completing the paper. When something goes not the way it has been expected, a customer wants “justice”. Generally, there are two types of conflict situations depending on the outcome desired by the customer. They are the following:

  • A customer is not happy with the paper but the deadline allows for a revision. After customers read through the paper, they might consider the essay as the one not following their demands or not being up to their expectations. As a possible outcome, the customer asks to change the writer.
  • A customer is not happy with the paper but the submission time is already due. This suggests that your individual client might want some compensation for the mistakes made in the process of writing. The possible outcome is that the customer asks for reimbursement, refund of the money paid.

The thing is that usually such situations are the result of misunderstandings or the failure to comply with the responsibilities of each respective party. The customer may complain about:

  • “Borrowed content”. This is a very serious issue that encompasses a number of consequences that you already know about. Hint: pay attention to every line you write, especially when you put a reference after the sentence. Make sure you used double quotation marks if it is a quote, i.e. direct, word-to-word rendering of any researcher’s intellectual property. Proper citing and referencing will guard you from being charged with plagiarism as a serious academic offense.
  • References. This happens quite often. The main claim can be lack of sources cited or incorrect referencing style. Another problem might be the fact that not all sources are listed or referenced respectively. Hint: always double-check the style your customer requires the paper to be written in (MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago, etc.). Do not forget to place a sufficient number of sources and cite all of them in the body of the paper.
  • Not following samples or instruction files. Hint: never ignore or neglect the files uploaded. If you have any shadow of doubt, feel free to ask any question you want to guarantee that your final writing meets the customer’s demands.
  • General instructions. This option includes insufficient or at times over-exceeding word count. Additionally, writers might skip some necessary tables, graphs, charts, steps of calculations, diagrams, or sketches etc. Hint: the only advice is to double-check all instructions to make sure you have not forgotten any essential detail.
  • Basic requirements. These include the use of academic style, proper terminology, and writing free of grammatical errors. Hint: working knowledge of English is a prerequisite skill of a freelance writer; therefore, you should have no problems because such a situation will not happen to you considering your expertise and professionalism.
  • Deadline. Hint: customers usually do need a paper if the time’s up and they cannot submit an essay anymore. It is one of your responsibilities to complete an order in a timely manner. So, if you’re being late with uploading an assignment, it is much better if you negotiate a deadline extension with your customer.

The paper may also be disputed by writer. DO NOT forget that in order to protect the efforts of our writers, Academia-Research allows for writers to raise a dispute.

Orders disputed by the writers. Remember you can always ask company’s admins to place an order on dispute for one of the following reasons:

  • The customer has uploaded new instruction files after you have delivered a completed paper.
  • Customer has introduced new readings to be used in the essay.
  • Revision instructions are drastically different from the original requirements.

In case when these situations take place, you are free to raise a dispute and let the competent departments decide on the matter at hand.

In conclusion, you might want to keep all these things in mind and always be very attentive to all the details that can lead to the undesired disputed order.

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Posted: Rachel in: Freelance Writing
28. 11. 2013
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Argumentative essay: when intelligence conquers

Brace yourself: your argumentative essay is coming

Have you ever seen two linguists arguing over a comma or the entire conference panel ready to explode because of some minor disagreement over the referencing style? Such academic disputes tend to grow into an epic war when the participants have not grasped the basics of argumentative writing. Don’t be like them and argue reasonably!

Take a stand

An argumentative essay aims to persuade a reader to support a certain position or activity. In such an essay, you take a stand. Your position is defined in the thesis statement of the introduction. All further steps are directed to support your position with arguments.
Selecting an arguable position. The easiest way is to get an already formulated arguable position for your essay. However, most often you need to develop a specific argument from a general topic yourself. Imagine that the general topic is global warming. The latter fact has already got more than enough interpretation in various types of literature and media. In this respect, “global warming” itself cannot constitute a proper arguable position because it is a common fact. Instead, you can refer the problem in such a way: Reducing the use of the deodorant sprays will contribute positively to the struggle against global warming.

Arrange the arguments

It is solely up to you what organizational pattern to choose for your essay. Generally, the text can be divided into three main parts, introduction, body, and conclusion. What we need is a general strategy of writing an argumentative essay.
When you pass to formulating the thesis statement, you should indicate a subject of your argument and your position: The use of deodorant sprays should be reduced. Where the use of deodorant sprays is a subject, and should be reduced is a stand.

Be strong

The very next step is establishing credibility to the argument you’ve just presented. To do this, you need:
demonstrate a knowledge of the topic you are discussing;
consider the audience you are communicating with;
present fairly the opposing points of view (counterarguments).
NB! You should present at least two opposing points of view. You can give more counterarguments if you wish. However, it is very important to answer each one of them not to deter reader’s credit. Also, do not use emotionally colored vocabulary (‘corny environmentalists’, ‘parasites’, etc.) not to offend the feelings of the potential reader.

Your argument should have enough support in the text: personal experience; rhetorical colors; examples; precedents; experts’ comments etc. The structural pattern of your PROs and CONs within the body of the essay is left for your expert consideration.

With all this in mind, you can start defending your points in an intelligent and polite way. So, dear opponents, those who are about to win the argument salute you!

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Posted: Rachel in: Freelance Writing
20. 11. 2013
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What are Tautology and Redundancy?

This tasty taste of writing: what are tautology and redundancy and how to avoid them?

Have you ever come across “most recent new research”? Whoever your editor is, this person won’t miss such a construction, which in turn will lower the grade and your rating as a writer. So, it’s time to “specialize the case in details” and define redundancy to avoid it.

Here we deal with linguistic understanding both of redundancy and tautology, and only with it. Redundancy is unnecessary repetition of information both in speech and writing; another proper term for it is pleonasm. It’s also indicated as usage of predictable information or some superfluous words. Two most common types of pleonasm exist: syntactical (grammar) and semantic (word meanings and style).

Grammar redundancy is a kind of rather typical mistake in text

It usually isn’t highlighted with Microsoft Word program or other grammar checkers. It is seen as usage of similar constructions in sentences, same word patterns, repeating pronouns, propositions, and conjunctions. To understand the issue with grammar redundancy, compare two sentences:

“He stretched to the table because he wished to demonstrate that he still could move freely”.

“He stretched to the table to demonstrate he still could move freely”.

Both of them have similar meaning but the first one is overloaded with unnecessary constructions, while the second represents the same idea in a smoother way, following the main dogma of linguistics about “word economy”.

Contrary to grammar redundancy, semantic redundancy can be detected only by humans

People have got logic and imagination to detect contextual synonyms. For example, read this sentence and find two words with the same meaning:
“Scientists have got a general consensus of opinion concerning the solution of garbage recycle problem in the city”

Here, the words “consensus” and “opinion” convey almost the same meaning and usage of both is a kind of semantic redundancy. The same is with such expressions as “innocent and sinless child”, “most recent new research”, “sunset in the evening, “specialize the purpose in details” etc. Semantic redundancy is close to tautology and often is contaminated with it – as a kind of words with similar meaning that are used in the same word construction/sentence/passage.

Tautology is quite similar to semantic redundancy

However it also can also develop in repeating cognate words and simply repeating the same words through the text passage. “Horrible horror film”, “circulation of air circles”, “jump spots built for jumping” and so on give a clear idea of what tautology is.

Academic writing is already tough, and one doesn’t need to further complicate it by overloading texts with repeat constructions. Keep your style simple and re-read the text to eliminate the unnecessary expressions for your works to be clear and engaging to read.

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Posted: Rachel in: Freelance Writing
29. 10. 2013
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Strong Conclusion

Writing a strong conclusion

Every academic writer is well aware of the importance of conclusion. It is often more than enough to get the general picture of the dissertation or an essay by going through this usually laconic section. Writing one, however, is no small feat.

That is mostly because it is rather hard to find anything useful or interesting to say in conclusions. Here are only the few out of many points to keep in mind when writing the “epilogue” of your dissertation

Many people prefer sticking to the “formula”

When writing one, but it would often be better to go without clichés and phrases like “We can conclude that…”. It would make your conclusions section feel more alive and written, because you “care”.
Do not forget to bring up the main idea of the research, its significance. When writing a conclusion you should show how you answered the main research question and brought closure to the problem. Do not concentrate on something that you have written in a single paragraph of the paper, instead try shedding some light on the issues of the whole research, carried throughout the paper.

Last chapter has several main purposes:

  • to summarise the results
  • to present your own suggestions and ideas about the research
  • to offer your advice and speculate on the future research in this area.

Check this list of most common tips useful to write a logical conclusion:

  1. Never underestimate the significance of the keywords. Use them and the phrases from the introduction wisely. Do not abuse this, however, as it may come to bite you in the end. But, putting the correct keywords and phrases in the correct places throughout the conclusion can greatly benefit you in the eyes of the person, researcher, etc. who is currently reviewing your paper.
  2. Do not lose “style”. Keep the same tone that you have used in the dissertation or essay. Try to refrain from using any ambiguity in your expressions, jokes and hard to understand contexts. The tone should be polite and formal. It will present you as the serious researcher, intent on having a serious and thoughtful discussion.
  3. Keep in mind that you are not to introduce any new ideas in your conclusion. This section in its entirety should signal the reader that you are trying to point out the significance of the paper and bring the whole dissertation to the definite and clear end. Disregarding this is not recommended, as it may be viewed as “disappointing” in the eyes of the reader, who wanted to see the answer to the question raised and not to be introduced to another unsolved problem.
  4. Always remember that a good researcher revises the conclusion along with the paper. If you are changing something in your essay or a dissertation, your conclusions section should become the mirror of the paper, accurately adjusting itself to whatever changes you have made. Rereading your own conclusions from time to time will do you no harm, but it may greatly benefit you in the long run.

These are only several points to keep in mind when writing a strong conclusion. Never hesitate to put some effort into this small section and your efforts will surely pay off.

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Posted: Rachel in: Freelance Writing
16. 10. 2013
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Plagiarism-Checking Software

Plagiarism Check Software: How Can I Use Them?

Every person involved in academic writing is well aware of the fact that plagiarism is quite a pressing topic. As far as the issue is on the agenda in our professional activity, we decided to shed some light on the commonly used plagiarism software. First of all, let’s start from what actually the term “plagiarism” means. Most of us consider “plagiarizing” as copying someone’s work or borrowing somebody’s ideas. In fact, “copying” and “borrowing” are only the masking notions for the serious violation.

According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary “to plagiarize” means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  • to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

All in all, plagiarism is nothing more than fraud and lies

The student can be excluded from the university if the issue of plagiarism has occurred during the learning process.

During the research, you use different sources: articles, on-line books, videos, etc. All these sources finally appear in the Works Cited page. In the body section every paragraph or sentence taken from the other source and is not your own conclusion must be referenced according to demanded academic style.

However, sometimes we neglect the rules of proper referencing or simply forget about in-text citations. Therefore, always better to double-check your paper for plagiarism in order to avoid further issues. For such purpose there are various software programs that will check your paper for plagiarism indicating if there is any matching text accessible in the web.

When choosing the software, it would be better to pay attention to the reputation of the particular company or its product

For example, a well-known company is more likely to sell the software, but not distribute it for free. Please keep in mind that the penalty for plagiarism is always heavier than the amount you are to pay for the program.

N.B. Not all of the plagiarism checking software products are 100% reliable. Some softs, for example, Turnitin, save the papers in their database after checking. What does the latter mean? Imagine the situation when you had written a good dissertation and put a lot of effort in it. Naturally, you will want to check it for instances of plagiarism. If it is Turnitin, the result will be 0% of matching text for the first time. With the happy smile on your face you pass this dissertation to the tutor. He checks the paper with Turnitin and it appears that the paper is 100% plagiarized! How it can be? The reason is the paper has been saved in the database. By the way, a lot of universities and colleges use Turnitin for plagiarism check. In this respect, Turitin not only processes the available data on the Internet, but also it scans its own database of academic papers that have been submitted by different students from all over the world.

In order to avoid such unpleasant situations, do not use Turnitin for plagiarism check. You can always decide in favor of a program which checks only on-line sources while processing your paper and what is more, it won’t add your paper to the base.

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