Struggling with the beginning of an essay may sound like a very elementary problem – but it’s a very real one.
Oftentimes, it’s much easier to keep writing about a certain topic, develop ideas and bring these to a conclusion, than it is to actually introduce them.
Yet, the introduction – the first segment of all essay types and formats – is an integral aspect of the essay. Not only will examiners discard your writing if it lacks a clear beginning, but even informal readers will have trouble following your thoughts.
Luckily, there are a few very clear strategies as to how a good beginning to an essay should be formulated and written.
Focusing both on the actual things that you need to say, as well as on how to approach the task in front of you, these tips will help you master essay beginnings once and for all.
Of course, like all things, essay writing requires practice, but for now, we’ll help you by showing you exactly how to start your essay – regardless of the topic, or purpose of writing.
The first thing that you will need to understand is that introductions of essays are highly functional if done right. So much so, that every sentence they are composed of is functional as well.
Depending on your particular assignment, your essay can vary in length. This means that shorter essays will need to have very short introductions – sometimes less than 3 or 4 sentences. Thus, every word needs to count and needs to hold weight.
In that sense, there are, essentially, three things that every introduction needs to do:
- Introduce the topic that your essay is on
- Provide some background for it, before narrowing things down
- Catch – and maintain – the reader’s attention
Therefore, you need to start with a bang. As always, nothing works better than making the first sentence count. Start off with a short and punchy statement, preferably a playful or quirky one, so that every reader will be begging to read more.
Understandable, that sentence needs to be on-topic as well. This is what will allow the following sentences to expand on the background a bit more – and in mode detail.
What was the history of that particular situation? Is it a pop-cultural phenomenon? Is it a well-known fact?
Start broad, and quickly narrow it down to the most important aspects.
Preferably, you want to clearly state the topic of your essay by the end of your introduction, leading directly into the main body of your piece of writing.
Planning, Sketching, Proofreading
It’s true that this may sound daunting at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll be writing essay beginnings automatically, without even thinking twice about all aspects that need to be encompassed in them.
For the time being, however, you might want to take things slow and careful. For that reason, it is best if you actually make a preliminary plan or a sketch, before you actually start writing.
Pick a topic and try to think of the following:
- Ways to make it engaging for an audience
- Contextual aspects which you can use as the background
Once you have these, try to incorporate them and compare the efforts. If you’re happy with the result, finish the first draft of your essay introduction and go over it several times. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes as well as possible plagiarism.
Do this self-editing as many times as it is necessary. In time, you’ll learn to spot the striking flaws in your text more naturally and genuinely.
Revision and Final Remarks
And that pretty much covers our guide on how to begin an essay. As for the rest of it – it all boils down to practice. Keep writing, and, if possible, consult potential tutors who will be able to give you feedback.
Are your beginnings a bit too playful? Are they off-topic? Or are they too heavy-handed and theoretical? Any slight difference or newness counts when you want to kick off your essay the right way.
Any beginner may face some of these essay writing issues. But, those who need a helping hand to create the right opening for their essay, can always get essay help online, which may prove to be incredibly useful.
This way, you’ll be able to see what the final product should look like, while also getting feedback for your writing. Your essay assignment is waiting to happen – now go nail that intro like a pro!
Things to Know about Continuing Education for Engineers
Any post-secondary training or courses people seek after completing their formal education are considered continuing education. Seminars, one-time classes, webinars, online courses, and full-degree programs to earn credits might fall under this category. For instance, continuing education for engineers will enable them to stay current with advances in the engineering field. Advanced degrees and courses prepare them for new responsibilities and are necessary for continuing education in engineering and other professions.
Here are the essential details about the CEU requirements for professional engineers.
Achieving 30 PDH hours per renewal term is a continuing education provision for engineers. They are required to complete two PDHs in engineering ethics per renewal. For instance, if one resides in Nevada, they must acquire one that deals with the Nevada Revised Statutes and Nevada Administrative Code for each renewal.
Based on the engineer’s last name, license renewal happens on odd-numbered or even-numbered years. Here is the complete list of renewal dates.
- From letter A to E: The odd year for candidates with their last name starting with letters between A and E, the renewal date is January 1.
- From letter F to K: The odd year for candidates with their last name starting with letters between F and K, the renewal date is July 1.
- From letter L to R: The even year for candidates who have their last name starting with letters between L and R, the renewal date is January 1.
- From letter S to Z: The even year for candidates who have their last name starting with letters between S and Z, the renewal date is July 1.
The most professional development hours that can be carried over to the following renewal term are limited to 15. Ethics-related continuing education classes must be pertinent to an engineer’s field to boost competency. Law and regulation-related courses should be completed during the renewal duration.
How to Pursue Continuing Education?
Every state retains a minimum requirement for CE credits for professional engineers. It can range from zero to 15 or 30 credit hours of coursework. Communities have a minimum credit requirement to remain a member.
It is necessary for each license holder by the ASCE and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying to finish 15 professional development hours annually. There is a massive availability of online courses and programs available to assist in continuing education for engineers and earning these credits.
To advance skills and proficiency for licensing, engineering candidates must take particular ethical, management, and technical courses related to their engineering fields. They can attend free online classes and seminars. It is because they will contribute toward your required professional development hours.
To obtain all the permitted PDHs, it is essential to retain document proof from the organization that creates the classes or videos. These activities will be considered self-study when any supporting evidence is absent. For professional engineers, the ultimate self-study is 5 PDHs.
To revive their license, it is vital for PEs to complete continuing education requirements. This training is incredibly beneficial because it assists them in expanding their technical knowledge and keeps them current with new developments. In addition, it upholds the engineering community’s general competency. Continuing education is beneficial for engineers and even employers. There are plenty of CE course types, allowing you to pick the ideal course.
15 Must-Read Academic Blogs for Researchers and Ph.D. Students
When searching the internet for information on a variety of subjects, blogs have rapidly become one of the most common resources. There is a wide variety of content available to read online, ranging from specialized content written by professionals to hobbyist content such as mom blogs and cuisine blogs. The question is, how do you choose which blogs to read when you’re going to write a research paper and seek scholarly and educational information for your research rather than just browsing for ‘write my papers for me’ services?
It is easy to get overwhelmed and lost when searching for academic blogs to read, especially when you are a doctoral student or a researcher. To help make the process easier, here is a list of some must-read academic blogs that will keep you updated on current research, new discoveries, and emerging topics.
DoctoralWritingSIG is a useful forum for anyone interested in doctorate writing to “exchange knowledge, resources, ideas, and dreams,” regardless of where they are in their academic careers. The blog covers subjects such as grant writing, instructions on writing the various components of a thesis or dissertation, grammatical advice, and academic publishing advice in order to establish a foundation of knowledge and abilities surrounding research writing.
Academics Write is a blog run by academics for academics. It engages post-secondary teachers, academic writing specialists, and students to evaluate the significance of writing, self-efficacy, academic writing misunderstandings, and instances in which students can be granted an extension for their projects. The posts are short and concise, making them easy to read at work or on a study break. Thanks to the variety of topics covered and the range of academics writing the posts, this blog can be a valuable resource for doctoral students conducting research, as well as instructors and teachers.
3. The Research Whisperer
The Research Whisperer is dedicated to the topic of doing research in academia. The blog aims to let readers know “what it’s like to do a Ph.D. at the moment when so many voices are shouting that we’re doing it wrong.” The blog features personal stories from researchers and Ph.D. students, as well as reviews of books and films relevant to the research community.
4. The Professor is In
From book summaries to book reviews and recommendations, this blog is a great source for finding the best books to read on a variety of academic topics. This blog is a source of academic advice for students everywhere. From general advice to topics such as grammar and writing, this blog will help any researcher improve their studies.
Dr. Eva Lantsoght, Researcher at Delft University of Technology, manages the blog PhD Talk. PhD Talk publishes blog postings about the “process of doing a Ph.D., the non-scientific skills you need during your PhD,” as well as Dr. Lantsoght’s experiences living and traveling abroad. She also blogs on structural concrete, which is her current research topic. Her blog entries contain research and academic writing techniques, as well as other themes including presenting at academic conferences, life as a Ph.D., being productive, and efficiently managing time. Dr. Lantsoght also welcomes submissions from guest contributors, with a special invitation to individuals who want to try their hand at academic blogging before launching their own website.
Write, Publish, Thrive is a writing, publishing, and intellectual life blog. Dr. Rich Furman, a professor at the University of Washington, manages it. Dr. Furman’s goal is to assist academics in “maximizing their skills and transcending their psychosocial hurdles in order to construct successful careers and prosper.” In light of this, among other resources, Write, Publish, Thrive provides practical strategies for publishing scientific publications and strengths-based counseling for academics.
7. The Skeptical Scientist (Timvanderzee)
Tim van der Zee, a Ph.D. student at Leiden University, manages the blog The Skeptical Scientist. Tim explains the name of his blog: skeptical scientists are individuals who are skeptical about their own research, what they read, and strive to increase evidential value. He discusses research methods, study design, evidence, (statistical) inference, and how we might better science in this site. The Skeptical Scientist discusses issues including how to apply for a position in academia and how to assess confidence intervals.
Athene Donald has been a professor of physics at the University of Cambridge for almost 20 years. Unlike some of the other blogs on this list that take a coaching-oriented approach, Professor Donald’s blog appears to present the ideas and viewpoints of researchers. Her blog entries address issues such as what to do and what not to do during academic conferences, gender disparities in academia, and so on. She also tries to strike a balance by posting a few blog entries about her own life and interests.
9. Dan Cohen
Dr. Dan Cohen is a Vice Provost, Dean, and Professor at Northeastern University and writes articles on current trends in the IT industry, digital libraries, eBooks writing, web cultures, digital humanities, communication trends, science of publishing, and the impact of digital media in our daily life.
10. Happy Academic
The topics range from posts about mental health in academia, lessons learned from teaching, teaching tips, and scholarly articles to helpful study tips, career advice, and work-life balance hints.
11. The Thesis Whisperer
This blog is committed to helping Ph.D. students to complete their thesis. This blog has useful material, therefore if you are working on a thesis, this could be the site for you.
12. Ph.D. Life
While this blog is British, there are loads of advice, tricks, insights, and some humor about the Ph.D. process, postdoctoral work, and life in academia. The author presents articles that are helpful for those starting their doctoral journey, as well as those in the middle of it.
The blog covers topics such as the application of blockchain technology in the writing field, the common grammar mistakes that students make when they write, and the most effective writing styles.
Dr. Jennifer Polk, a history PhD turned academic, life, and career coach for graduate students and PhDs, runs the blog From PhD to Life. Dr. Polk summarizes her work by stating that she assists “PhDs in launching meaningful careers” by assisting them in delving further into their own interests, exploring their possibilities, and dealing with academic pressure. From PhD to Life provides a wide range of tools for PhDs, all of which are targeted at assisting them in navigating their academic careers and living a better life. Dr. Polk considers her Transition Q&A series to be a must-read! This section features inspiring stories from PhDs about their rewarding post-PhD journeys.
15. Inside Higher Ed
Inside Higher Ed is a website that compiles blogs on a variety of scholarly issues and presents them in blog format. There is something for everyone here, from adaptability in educational settings to growth opportunities in the military. In addition to that, it consists of online technologies and digital learning resources that can aid support remote and online learning.
As a researcher or Ph.D. student, you always want to be on the cutting edge of your field. To do that, you need to be reading the latest and greatest academic research. But with so many blogs out there, it can be tough to know which ones are worth your time. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best academic blogs that you should be reading. From blogs about the latest research findings to ones that offer advice on writing and publishing, these blogs have something for everyone. So, take a look and start reading!
There are many thousands of academic blogs out there, so we haven’t been able to try them all nor can we vouch for the accuracy of every post on these blogs. The caliber of writing and the accuracy of any given blog can vary over time so please do not consider this list an absolute ranking of these blogs.
How to Come up with Creative Ideas for Your Research
Sometimes there are not enough ideas for scientific research. It seems like everything has already been studied. Actually it is not. Where to get research topics or how to come up with one – read the article.
The topic often grows out of what excites and touches us to the core – not only at lectures and seminars, but also outside the academic environment: it can be a fact of your biography or a problem that worries.
You can use essay writing service to order the essay you need. To come up with a theme:
- think about what issues discussed in class are important to you;
- address disputes and conflicts between different researchers (classical and modern, in books and at conferences), try to understand different points of view and find your own approach;
- reflect on topics that hook you in the context of social issues and personal reflections.
Record your thoughts in the simplest possible way in a notepad or in a special application. The first idea can be very general and be expressed in one phrase – it is important to catch this blank for future work.
It is useful to have an electronic or paper notebook at hand during the entire course of work, depending on what you are used to. Our consciousness can throw a thought at any moment, and if it is not written down, it will be lost. At best, you will remember that you had some good idea; at worst, you won’t even remember that.
Do You Need to “Get Sick” with the Topic?
It’s good if the topic of an essay or dissertation arouses interest and emotions: love, passion, joyful excitement, or misunderstanding, irritation and anxiety. Such emotions are an invigorating driver that will not allow you to quit what you have started and will help you go through all the formal, routine and difficult stages of work: placing links, designing a bibliography, searching for sources, correct citation, etc.
There is another way to build relationships with text. The topic may not evoke any feelings – neither delight nor hatred. This means that you are rationally rather than emotionally building your path. Perhaps research on this topic will earn you a grant, or this paper needs to be written in order to complete a certain course. You have to live with your work for many hours, days, and sometimes months. If you are not indifferent to the topic, it will be easier for you to realize at every single moment why you are doing it. But there is a risk of entering into a “difficult (or even, as our interlocutors say, abusive) relationship with your own project both with a complete lack of interest and with excessive emotional involvement.
How to Choose a Topic according to Your Strength?
Think about it “lift”. A common mistake inexperienced researchers make is an optimistic view of time and opportunity. There will definitely be hitches, slowdowns, rewriting. Start from pessimistic forecasts. At best, you will have time, at worst, you will be mentally prepared.
You will need time to read and think about what you have read. If the research includes field work, it will take time to pilot and develop a draft (and, remember, to rewrite it). Allow time for all stages of research development, and not just for writing the final text.
Consult with the supervisor: ask if you have time to write a paper on the topic you are taking on. Teachers work a lot with texts, they will help to assess the amount of work, and, if necessary, narrow it down.
How to Make a Topic Unusual and Relevant?
This is necessary if you want to add an atypical field to your field, say something new, or go into interdisciplinarity. Try asking original questions. One of the scientists who started asking strange questions in sociology was Georg Simmel. For example: How does simple chatter happen and about what? How do people flirt? How do they have lunch? How do doors work in houses? Why does the picture have a frame? Such things simply could not come to the mind of serious researchers – but it turned out that this is possible.
Science fiction can serve as inspiration: it often describes what our world would look like if things went differently.
Relevance is the significance of a topic for your potential readership or for the general public, depending on the specialty. This is getting into the discussion that is being conducted around the issue of interest. You don’t write your paper in a vacuum: by writing you enter into a big conversation that takes place in your scientific field. The topic should be significant for someone – for 7 people, if you are dealing with an extremely exotic issue, for 50-300-500 people, if you write within the framework of some studies. Find conferences for researchers in your field or specialized journals. Look at the discussion going on there and think about what your topic might be of interest to your colleagues.
How to Combine Personal Interest and Relevance?
Yes, it sounds strange: on the one hand, you have to do what others do, because science is a team effort. On the other hand, you have to do something new, something new. On a field trampled down by thousands of researchers, you need to find a site where something valuable is hidden that others missed. Going and not repeating what others have already done is a creative task. To begin with, you can disagree with some of the researchers whose texts you read. You will need to find arguments to argue with these authors or offer something that they missed.
You do not know how your work will end? This is a big plus. You don’t have to pose a problem knowing how you’re going to end up solving it. The research task is precisely to discover the previously unobvious – for you, those around you and the discipline as a whole. Do not waste your time on everything that is understandable. You sit down to write a text to learn more and say something new, so cling to your questions.
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