Ten Ways to Improve Your Grades

  It is possible to improve your grades by self-editing your essay or assignment before you hand it in. Many students fail to look over their work once they have completed it, or they do not know what to look for. This means that students are handing in work that contains spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, unclear or clumsy writing, and referencing and formatting errors. Some students have even greater problems with issues such as the clarity and consistency of their argument or their essay organisation. These types of mistakes are costing you grades! You might be very surprised how much your grades can be improved through editing your own work before you hand it in. This article will explain ten ways you …

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What is a Thesis Statement?

  What Is a Thesis Statement? A thesis statement is a sentence or sentences that present the main idea or the central argument of your essay. It tells the reader what your position is on the topic discussed in your paper. Your thesis statement should be presented near the beginning of your paper, usually at the end of your first paragraph. A good thesis statement will answer your essay question and outline what you will write about, clearly and concisely. Why should your essay include a thesis statement? The thesis statement guides you to write your essay in a developed and organised way, allowing you to present your argument in a manner that is not too broad. In addition, it provides the …

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How to Use the Abbreviations i.e. and e.g.

i.e. and e.g. come from abbreviated Latin terms. i.e. comes from the Latin id est, which means ‘that is’, ‘namely’ or ‘in other words’. e.g. comes from the Latin exempli gratia, which means ‘for example’. Here are some examples of how to use e.g. correctly: ‘John had a large collection of classic cars, e.g. a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Phaeton and an MG, which he kept in a large warehouse.’ ‘Joan had errors in her essay, e.g. no commas.’ Bonus: Download our Quick Reference Guide for how to use i.e. and e.g.  Please note that when submitting essays or theses to universities in Australia, it is preferred that you only use e.g. within parentheses, such as in the following examples: …

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Apostrophes, Parentheses, Brackets and Ellipses

Apostrophes ’ Apostrophes are very handy indicators to use in sentences. They are used to indicate possession. Here are some examples: ‘John’s car was a different colour from my sister’s car.’ ‘I turned the corner to be confronted by my manager’s assistant.’ ‘The politician met his mother’s expectations but failed to meet his electors’ expectations.’ If the apostrophe is not used, then Johns and sisters become plural as if you are talking about more than one John or sister (as in electors, which is plural). Using the apostrophe makes a possessive. If you need to indicate possession at the end of a word that is a plural, like electors, you simply add it to the end. Parentheses and  Brackets (  ) [  ] Parentheses are used to enclose references or citations …

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Parentheses within Parentheses ( )

What do you do when you need to insert a set of parentheses within another set of parentheses? This is an issue that commonly arises in academic writing, particularly when inserting additional information about an in-text reference. For example, you have a parenthetical element, such as an in-text reference (e.g., Elite Editing, 2014). Now, you want to add an additional parenthetical element, such as an abbreviation (EE), into the parentheses. Keeping them as they are (identically curved), can lead to confusion about where the elements start and stop. This is called ‘nested parentheses’. One solution is to turn the interior parentheses into square brackets [ ], to distinguish them from the original curved parentheses ( ). For example: (e.g., Elite …

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Choosing between Similar Words

Often, when writing an essay, article or thesis, you will need to decide which particular word works best with your text. Sometimes this can be difficult when there are several words with the same or similar meaning; these groups of words are called ‘synonyms’. As an example, the word ‘particular’ (used in the first sentence of this blog) is a synonym for ‘specific’, ‘exact’ and ‘precise’. Your choice of word will depend upon the style, context and even the rhythm of your text. What, though, determines your choice between words that are not only synonyms for each other but also look and sound almost exactly the same? The words ‘minimal’ and ‘minimum’ and the words ‘optimal’ and ‘optimum’ are often used interchangeably. While the …

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