Navigating the First Essay of the Year

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are starting to change colour, the weather is getting cooler, and you’re settling into your new school year routine.

As September speeds along, school work picks up again and, in the back of your head, you know that sooner or later you’re going to be asked to write a dreaded… dun dun dun… ESSAY! Don’t sweat. Even if essays are totally not your thing, we’re here to help with some helpful strategies to get you through the first essay of the year.

#1 Create Soft Due Dates

Soft Due Dates

As soon as you get the assignment, start planning out when you will work on it and what you need to do to complete the task. Give yourself lots of time. Do not write it the night before. Use a calendar or an agenda and give yourself ‘soft due dates.’ For example, you could make sure that you complete the outline two weeks before the hard due date (when you will need to submit it to your teacher).

 #2 Check Your Thesis

If this is your first essay of the year, or if this is your first essay ever, make sure that you have a thesis! We recommend asking your teacher before you finish your essay outline if he/she approves of your thesis. That way if your teacher thinks you should change it, you won’t have to rewrite everything! The thesis is the heart of your essay, so it is crucial for your success. Remember: ‘thesis’ is just a fancy word for argument, and most teachers want to find your thesis statement in the last sentence of your introduction.

#3 Ask Questions

Asking Questions

Your teacher is new to you, and you are new to your teacher. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! From an educator’s perspective, we LOVE when students come to us and ask questions. It shows that you are motivated, trying, and engaged!  Teachers are a wealth of knowledge and are always there to help.

#4 Proofread

Spelling error correction in writing

Give yourself lots of time by setting soft due dates and, whatever you do, don’t forget to proofread!  It’s so incredibly important and you’ll be amazed at the silly mistakes you’ll find. We always suggest reading your essay out loud while you proofread because it’ll be easier to catch awkward sentences, omitted words, and repeated ideas or words.

Here at RRLS we offer incredibly thorough programs that teach the essay writing process so that students not only leave with a finished product, but they also leave with pertinent writing skills they will use for the rest of their lives. We offer three different Essay Coach Programs: opinion essays, literary essays, and research essays. 

5 Strategies to Help Prepare for University

The change between high school and university is dramatic, no matter where you go to school. Many high school students feel a mix of excitement, stress, and fear in the months leading up to post-secondary.

Ease your anxiety by preparing for university with these five strategies:


Organize

Agenda
Agendas help to keep you organized!

Get a calendar or an agenda and start using it, daily. Incorporate it into your daily routine. Check your calendar when you wake up and when you hit the hay. Add appointments, dates with friends, and upcoming trips or events.  That way, when you get your syllabuses for your classes you can easily enter that information into an existing calendar.

If you don’t like using the antiquated method of paper and pen, look into calendar apps for your  smart phone. The teachers at RRLS are fond of iCal and Google Calendar.


Read 

Read with a buddy!
Read with a buddy!

Keep your thought-box in tip-top condition by reading a lot – all summer. Definitely pick books that pique your interest, but remember to challenge yourself by reading books with some unfamiliar vocabulary — it’s good exercise for that brain!

If you are taking classes in the humanities, try to find last year’s reading list. Professors usually choose a lot of the same books from year to year, so check it out and get a head start! It’ll save you a lot of time during the school year and your future self will definitely thank you.


Write 

Don’t let those writing skills of yours wane over the summer break — you will need them when September comes, no matter what your discipline of study is. We encourage you to journal about anything that interests you, blog about new movies, apps, or games, or write short annotations or opinion pieces about articles you’ve read recently. If you’re feeling really ambitious, write essays!


Goal-set

Take a day and honestly reflect on what you want to get out of your university experience. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Attainable,  Relevant, Time-bound) and that you set a plan for how to achieve them. A good goal might be to improve your study habits, but unless you know how to do that, it’ll be frustratingly unattainable.


Strengthen Skills 

Tutoring
Foster the necessary skills over the summer

Taking the summer to fine-tune and foster important academic skills is smart. When you get to university, professors will expect you to already know how to research and write papers without being provided with scaffolding or graphic organizers. If you feel your skills aren’t up to snuff, or if you feel instant anxiety when you hear the phrase, 2000 word essay, find a program that will help you foster your writing skills before the school year begins!

The Essay Coach is a fantastic, online essay writing course designed to strengthen your essay-writing skills.  You work with a certified teacher one-on-one and leave with new strategies, skills, resources to use in the future, and a finished, polished essay! We are also offering group classes this summer. Contact us for more information. 

New Online Essay Coach Program From Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space Teaches College, High-School and Junior High Students How to Leverage Critical Thinking to Create Superior Essays

Taught by Certified and Experienced English Teachers, Students Receive Professional Online Coaching on How to Think About and Write College Common Application, Literary, Opinion, and Research Essays

By Ruth Rumack

Toronto, Ontario – For parents, teachers and school guidance counselors seeking professional essay counseling services for their students, Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space (RRLS) is now providing a seasoned team of experienced educators to coach students through the essay-writing process. Students learn how to write superior college common apps, literary, opinion and research essays. Click here to sign up.

The Essay Coach is a face-to-face, online teaching program designed to develop critical thinking skills and a thorough understanding of the essay-writing process for students in Grades 7 through 12, and those attending leading universities and community colleges.

Ruth Rumack Learning Space Essay Coach
Ruth Rumack Learning Space Essay Coach

Ruth Rumack’s Essay Coaches are experienced, certified teachers who instill students with the strategic thinking, research, and writing skills they need, not only to succeed on individual assignments, but also to become confident, capable writers in all areas of their lives. During the online coaching sessions, personal Essay Coaches encourage students to become discerning researchers; demonstrate how to structure ideas and research notes into well-thought out, organized theses or persuasive arguments; and teach them how to use APA, MLA or Chicago style citations to deliver written essays with impeccable grammar and formatting.

“Our Essay Coach program is a life-changer for kids who want to be the best students they can be, but need precise instruction in order to blaze a path toward successful writing,” says Ruth Rumack, RRLS’ Director of Education. “Parents also enjoy using our service as a buffer to have someone from outside of the family circle who can establish a structured and systematic approach to writing, which inspires self-discipline in the student, and relieves stress within the family. Our program is not a quick-fix; we are not an essay-writing service. Rather, we build a student’s writing skills for a lifetime of success.”

More information on Ruth Rumack’s Essay Coaching Services:

All lessons are delivered via Adobe Connect web conferencing service, which does not require any software downloads! It is as easy as clicking on a single link! Students can see, hear, and collaborate with their RRLS Essay Coaches in real time.

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