What is a Topic Sentence?

  The body of an essay includes many paragraphs that each discuss a new topic to substantiate the essay’s thesis statement (i.e. answer the essay question). Before you start writing a paragraph, it is important to have a topic sentence to unify the paragraph’s content and to ensure the paragraph discusses the topic coherently. A topic sentence is a single sentence that states the main point of a paragraph. It acts like a thesis statement for just that paragraph. It must be presented at the beginning of a paragraph to tell the reader what the topic of the paragraph is and how the paragraph will discuss it. Another important function of a topic sentence is to prove the essay’s thesis statement. It can …

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Active or Passive—Which Voice Is Best?

In academic writing, students are often encouraged to use an ‘objective’ voice; to focus on methodologies, arguments, evidence and results in a way that keeps the author/researcher in the background. Passive sentence structures, which place emphasis on what is being done to the sentence’s subject, are especially common in science disciplines where researchers emphasise results over personal opinions. Here is an example of a passive construction: The ball was thrown into the air by one child and caught by another. In this sentence, the direct subject (or noun) is the ‘ball’, and it is being thrown and caught (verbs) by the children (indirect subjects). Here is the same sentence rewritten as an active construction: One child threw the ball, another caught it. In this sentence, …

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Introducing Relative Clauses: Who, Whose, Whom, Which or That?

A subordinate clause is part of a sentence that depends on a main clause for its meaning. Relative clauses, which you may encounter in both defining and non-defining form, are types of subordinate clauses that work in specific ways. You can normally recognise a relative clause within a sentence because it will begin with a word such as ‘which’, ‘that’, ‘who’, ‘whose or ‘whom’. First, we will focus on the uses of ‘that’ and ‘which’ in defining and non-defining clauses. The word ‘define’ gives you a clue to the purpose of the clause. A defining (relative) clause does just that: it defines the noun, or subject, of the sentence it is part of. The defining clause is an essential part of the …

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How to Write an Article Critique

An article critique is a genre of academic writing that provides critical evaluation through intensive analysis of an article, which involves giving a brief summary of the article. Reading an article critique helps an audience to understand the key points of the article, and the author’s ideas and intentions. It indicates the perceived success of an article and analyses its strengths and weaknesses. As with other types of academic writing, an article critique has to be written in formal language and using a structured format. It should consist of an introduction, several body paragraphs and a conclusion. Though the general pattern is similar, some formatting styles have certain specific guidelines for writing an article critique. It is important to study how to …

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SACE 2 – English Communications Task 2

This file is one of the most popular on our website. We originally took it down as we no longer offer academic editing for high school students but we decided to put it back up for anyone who’s still interested in the material. Enjoy. SACE 2 – English Communications Task 2 Novel: The Divine Wind By Gary Disher Gary Disher’s novel, The Divine Wind, is set in the typically Australian town of Broome, in the period prior to and during World War II (WWII). The central characters, Hart, Alice and Mitsy allow Disher to explore and establish themes regarding the numerous relationships in society. Friendship is the first type of relationship to be examined. Disher demonstrates that, as time goes …

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Undergraduate Resources

Welcome to the most comprehensive resource collection for undergraduate students from around the world. If it looks useful to you, please share it so your friends and classmates may benefit from it as well. Here are our main objectives with this resource: Help you to find useful and relevant resources Provide you with organised and categorised resources for easy browsingGive you something educational and productive to read when you’re procrastinating 😉 Do you want to maximise your academic potential? If so, you might want to consider hiring an academic editor to look over your work and help you to correct any problems with structure, spelling, grammar, formatting, references, etc.  ​   Find out more about our editing services for undergraduates by hitting …

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