Category: Writing

Creative Approaches for Developing Essay Writing Skills

The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘essay’ as”

a short piece of writing on a particular subject

Most students write their first essay by third grade, probably enjoy the process because of its non-threatening narrative exploration of their thoughts, but by Middle School, the rules and requirements that made essay writing fun change:

In a school test, an essay is a written answer that includes information and discussion, usually to test how well the student understands the subject.

The Ask a Tech Teacher team came up with fresh rules we think are less threatening and more geared to enabling students to enjoy this important writing style. I think you’ll find some of these helpful:

Creative Approaches for Developing Essay Writing Skills

As a college student, the ability to write well-written essays is an essential skill that transcends academic disciplines and serves as a vital tool for effective communication throughout one’s personal and professional life, yet the process of developing this aptitude often presents a formidable challenge that requires a multifaceted approach encompassing various creative techniques and methodologies. Exploring diverse writing exercises, experimenting with different perspectives, and seeking inspiration from various sources can cultivate creativity and enhance essay writing skills, with the option to have professionals write me an essay providing valuable insights and further honing one’s craft. Start small. (more…)

How to Automate an MLA Heading

How to Automate an MLA Heading in Word

This one is quick–how to create a macro that automatically inserts an MLA-appropriate heading:

  • Have students log in. Macros go with the profile of the user, not the local computer.
  • Open MS Word.
  • Decide what the keyboard shortcut will be for the macro. I use Ctrl+Alt+H. Test it to be sure it doesn’t bring up some other shortcut.
  • Go to View-macro-record macro
  • Call the macro ‘MLA Heading’ and select ‘Keyboard’
  • Add your selected keyboard shortcut to ‘Press new shortcut key’  and click ‘Assign’, then ‘Close’.
  • Your mouse becomes a cassette tape. Type the heading that will be part of your macro. Feel free to backspace and make corrections. Those are all recorded, but they’re so fast, you won’t notice when you invoke the macro.
  • Stop recording by clicking Macros – Stop Recording.
  • Test the shortkey

Clean and simple, and fun for students–a great lesson during Hour of Code or another coding lesson. The macro will impress anyone sitting by them when they are logged in.

Here’s a quick four-minute video on creating a macro (though this one, not specifically for an MLA heading): (more…)

National Handwriting Day

National Handwriting Day is celebrated on January 23rd each year. It is a day dedicated to promoting the importance of handwriting and encouraging people to embrace the art of writing by hand. This day was established to honor the birthday of John Hancock, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, known for his prominent and stylish signature on the Declaration of Independence. Handwriting is considered a personal and unique form of expression, and National Handwriting Day aims to celebrate and preserve this traditional skill.

Articles on handwriting from Ask a Tech Teacher:

Check these out:

When is Typing Faster Than Handwriting?

Is Handwriting So Last Generation

Is Handwriting So Last Generation–Redux

How to Create a Handwriting Workbook to Help Improve Penmanship

Handwriting vs. Keyboarding–from a Student’s Perspective

When is Typing Faster Than Handwriting? (more…)

Become a Master Essay Writer: 5 Innovative Approaches to Enhance Your Writing Skills

Writing an essay paper like a pro needs specific critical skills. Keep reading to enhance your ability to curate a unique essay paper.

Become a Master Essay Writer: 5 Innovative Approaches to Enhance Your Writing Skills


Thinking of some topic and putting that into academic words is a cumbersome transition that most students fail to complete. Yes! We are talking about essay writing, which you find a daunting task.

Writing an essay is mostly difficult for students as they need to rely on their research and writing abilities. Well, in the modern context with digital approaches, it is possible to research firmly on any particular subject matter. You can also get help from prominent writing services who have experts in dealing with your unique subject matters.

They can provide you with all the essentials and even write a paper for you. However, writing uniquely is critical for your future conditions. It’s time to unleash your writing skills and bring out the best version of yourself.

Well, writing an essay can be your best choice to deal with your writing abilities. Becoming a good writer is your choice, but it’s difficult to assess. You need all the hard work and skills to put on the table at once.

From concentration to elaboration skills, all you need to work on immediately.

Well, don’t worry!

Writing a good essay paper requires some unique tricks to follow, and we have curated and listed those for you here.

Best Shots To Write A Unique Essay Paper

When you are required to come up with a unique and engaging piece, the essay becomes a comparatively more difficult task for you.

Well, we understand your concerns, and we know how most students suffer from their actions in writing an essay paper. Whether it’s your assignment or the home, your instructor will always try to focus on the quality of your writing.

Here comes the problems!

Not everyone is capable of writing well!

However, with the right approach, you can become a master essay writer and create compelling essays that stand out from the rest. In this article, we will share five innovative approaches that will help you enhance your writing skills and produce exceptional essays that captivate your readers.

From organizing your thoughts using a mind map to using evidence, reasoning, and scholarship to support your arguments, we have got you all covered. So, it’s time to read on to discover the best shots to write a unique essay paper.

Use A Mind Map To Organize Your Thoughts

Using a mind map might seem like an exasperated and exaggerated condition to follow. However, you will not understand the prominence of it until you try it.

Using a mind map is essential because it helps create the fortune for your writing.


Well, the moment you start using a mind map, you will understand that the topic of an essay has a lot of unexplored areas. Now, a mind map can help you organize your thoughts in a way that can curate the essay paper wholly.

Primarily, it’s not a big deal, but most students forget to follow it. Among many, you might get confused about what to go for and what not to do.

In the meantime, your mindmap can help you focus on particular areas that are especially relevant to the topic. With mind map processing, you can make decisions on your writing process and heading selection. Apart from that, it will also help you micro-manage things under the whole paper.

Organize A Coherent Essay

This is the most basic form of essay writing:

  • Introduction
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

We have seen people consider the dissertation writing style and form in essay writing. However, you need to understand that essay paper does not depend mostly on the headings. It is more about discussion and how you interpret the whole topic.

While the introduction considers a firm statement on the topic, people will be confused and curious about your writing steps. So, an introduction with statements can help you engage the reader in your essay paper.

In the body section, you will write it all! Consider the whole development of your statement in the discussion part. You will also elaborate and argue on your discussions likewise.

This might seem critical, but it is not! Now, you can follow and stage the significance in the conclusion part with all firm discussions.

Analyze The Question

Analyzing the question might seem hard, but the more you focus on your topic, the better you will understand what things you need to dig into in particular. Knowing the topic is not enough; but you need to find out which aspects you want to work on.

It is not possible to cover all the aspects of a particular topic in a single essay paper. While you are not alone in this mess, you will need to understand the importance of being specific with your writing process and maintaining the whole structure on your own.

Find out what you can discuss better, and depending on the questions, deliver your discussion gradually. Never hurry to the conclusion!

Be patient and deliverable to your writing process.

Use Evidence, Reasoning, And Scholarship

From citation to collaboration, you need to handle it all. In an essay paper, delivering the evidence is crucial.

The more you focus on your writing process, the better it will be for you to deliver proper reasoning of the evidence.

After that, use pre-existing scholarly articles to cite your evidence and collaborate with those in writing a new essay paper. If you want to establish something, you need to engage proper evidence from the previous scholars.

Write Clearly

There is nothing more effective than dealing with the right approaches to writing on a particular subject matter. If you are not clear with your word choices and topic-specific writing style, it may lead to a poor writing process altogether.

Here comes the importance of your writing style!

You cannot be efficient in all forms of writing, and you need to accept that. As a student, you hardly get time to nurture your particular skills. However, writing an essay is a good chance to nurture your writing skills.

Try to always focus on the subject matter and see examples of how to write on those topics. For instance, if you are writing on legal issues, you can add some special words that are firmly used in law-based articles.

In the same process, you will be able to separate different topics and related writing styles to engage clarity in your writing process. Consider those to ensure that you can put the best effort into your writing process.

Copyright ©2023 – All rights reserved.

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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Teacher’s Practice of Teaching Critical Thinking Through Essay Examples

Teaching Critical Thinking Through Essay Examples: Unlocking Minds

We’re exploring a fun classroom adventure where teachers teach us to think carefully and write good essays using examples. Get ready to go on an interesting trip through the world of education. We’ll see how these great teachers turn simple essays into smart thinking tools. Let’s get our learning hats on and explore the exciting landscape of teaching critical thinking through essay examples!

Why Essays? Unraveling the Mystery

Before we leap into the nitty-gritty, you might wonder, “Why essays?” Hold on to your hats because these innocent writing pieces are secret treasure chests filled with the spark of critical thinking. Essays are like intellectual playgrounds where students swing between ideas, bounce off different perspectives, and dive deep into topics. They’re the building blocks of academic exploration, and guess what? They’re not about getting good grades they’re about nurturing your brain into an analytical powerhouse.

Transforming Analysis into Action: Elevating Learning

But hold your horses. The beauty lies in applying analytical prowess beyond the classroom walls. Critical thinking isn’t a skill. It’s a way of life. When you dissect essay samples for college, you’re becoming a better student, a sharper problem solver, a more empathetic communicator, and a curious explorer of ideas. Here’s the deal: Imagine a treasure map leading you to a pot of gold. In our educational journey, that treasure map is a free essay example and the pot of gold? That’s the wisdom and insight waiting to be uncovered on a useful web site like These valuable websites are like the friendly wizards of the internet, giving you access to many essays spanning various topics and styles. It’s like having a library at your fingertips, ready to whisk you to new realms of thought and analysis.

1. Curricular Crossroads: Where Critical Thinking Meets the Curriculum

Picture this: you’re navigating through the intricate maze of your curriculum, and you stumble upon a hidden passage. This passage isn’t a shortcut, it’s a gateway to unlocking the full potential of your education. Welcome to the realm where critical thinking and curriculum shake hands in a glorious embrace.

Teachers, those educational wizards, know how to blend the essence of critical thinking into every subject. Whether it’s dissecting historical events, analyzing scientific experiments, or deconstructing literary masterpieces, the art of critical thinking is woven into the fabric of your curriculum.

2. Exams: The Ultimate Critical Thinking Challenge

Ah, exams – the inevitable rite of passage for students everywhere. But hold on a minute, let’s flip the script. Exams aren’t about regurgitating facts, they’re arenas for showcasing your critical thinking prowess. Remember those analytical skills you’ve honed by dissecting essays? Well, they’re your secret weapons against the exams!

When armed with the ability to analyze critically, you approach exam questions like a puzzle waiting to be solved. No longer are you memorizing? You’re synthesizing information, connecting dots, and crafting thoughtful responses demonstrating a deep understanding of the subject. The result? You’re not earning grades, you’re conquering the exam battlefield with the banner of critical thinking held high.

3. From Web Pages to Real-World Savvy

Let’s talk about how your adventures in critical thinking extend beyond the classroom walls. The real world is a complex tapestry of ideas, challenges, and opportunities. And guess what? Your trusty companions on your journey are the skills you’ve sharpened while dissecting essays and curricular content.

The Art of Unpacking Essays: Teacher’s Edition

So, what’s the secret sauce teachers use to sprinkle critical thinking magic onto those essay pages? Let’s unveil the mystery:

Question Everything: Teachers aren’t after the correct answers, they want to know how you got there. They’ll throw you questions like a master archer aiming for the bullseye of your brain. “Why did the author use this word? How does this argument hold up under scrutiny?” These questions unravel the threads of an essay, revealing the intricate web of thought behind it.

Play the Devil’s Advocate: Ever seen a teacher transform into a debate wizard? That’s them encouraging you to wear the hat of a critical thinker. They’ll prod you to analyze different sides of an argument, push your boundaries, and consider viewpoints you might have dismissed at first glance.

Spot the Big Ideas: Essays are like puzzles, and teachers are the ultimate puzzle masters. They’ll guide you in dissecting an essay to identify the central themes, arguments, and underlying messages. It’s like being a detective in your mind!

In Conclusion: Your Critical Thinking Odyssey

So, my fellow adventurers in learning, remember this: essays aren’t words on paper. They’re the keys to unlocking your mind’s potential. By diving into the world of essay samples, you’re embarking on a journey that will shape your grades and outlook on the planet. Embrace the challenge, the questions, and the magic of critical thinking. And if you ever need a trusty sidekick in your quest, don’t forget to visit for inspiration and enlightenment! Now go forth, armed with the power of critical thinking, and conquer the academic universe, one essay at a time. 

–Photo credit by Nick Morrison on Unsplash and Super Snapper on Unsplash

Copyright ©2023 – All rights reserved.

Here’s the sign-up link if the image above doesn’t work:

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Tips to Writing a Comprehensive Review

Writing a comprehensive review is harder than it sounds! Authors must be sensitive to the particulars of the tasks, who the audience will be, and their overall purpose in sharing ideas. The Ask a Tech Teacher crew put together a basic guide for accomplishing this in a balanced, clear manner:

Tips and Tricks to Write a Comprehensive Review

Students working on research papers are well aware of the significance of a review. But evaluating a piece of work can be quite tough for those new to the field. ‘What is a review?’ is the first question that comes to your mind. Simply put, a review is an assessment of an article’s worth.

That being said, it is clear that writing such pieces will not be a cakewalk. Websites like have samples that can help you learn how to write one. However, students generally skip such samples and leave after availing of their cheap essay writing services.

What does one imply when they say ‘write a comprehensive review’? Cambridge University defines a comprehensive review as “a systematic, scientifically designed review of a defined literature base that employs the rigor of original research in an effort to limit outcome bias.”

This post aims to take a deep dive into the concept along with some expert tips to write a remarkable comprehensive review.


7–no 10–OK, 13 Skills I Teach With Blogging

Blogging has become de rigeur in the Grade 3-8 classroom. It is flexible, scalable, and encourages diversity in both learning and teaching. Handled right, blogs can be used for pretty much any need that arises in the classroom. It has the added benefit of being an activity that students want to do. They like that it’s online, with lots of multimedia options, and a focus not on writing but communication.

I decided to track the skills I teach through blogging. When I started, I had seven, but as I continued, it exploded to this long list that I’m adding to even as I write this post. Read through these, tell me other ways you use it in your class:


Students collaborate on blogs when they comment on the ideas of others. They can also take it a step further by collaborating on the blog itself. Be co-owners of the blog, themed to a particular topic, and work together to fulfill goals.

Developing a profile

Blog profiles must be pithy, concise, and clear. What a great way for students to think through what makes them who they are and share it in as few words as possible. I am constantly reworking my own as I figure out a better way to communicate the gist of who I am.



IB Extended Essay Tips

Many students dread IB essays. But with the right approach, you can make the procedure exciting. Read how to draft an IB extended essay below

Writing Strategies for an Extended Essay in the International Baccalaureate Program

IB is a rigorous two-year project for personal and academic development. In the end, you receive a globally recognized IB diploma. But like all educational qualifications, it involves various intricate processes. One of them is the extended essay. It is mandatory for all students and is an independent piece of research that culminates into a 4,000-word paper. The paper provides an opportunity to investigate a topic of interest. However, more importantly, it contributes to the overall diploma grade. Let us show you some tips to help you draft a well-written piece.

Understanding the Requirements as a Key to Success in IB Extended Essay Writing

One of the mistakes university students make is ignoring the extended essay brief or paying little attention to the requirement. It is worse for distance learning since no one is around to offer guidance. But even the pros and cons of remote learning are intertwined. So, right off the bat, avoid this pitfall. The IB sets criteria and guidelines for the write-up. The requirements guide discussions to ensure the article meets the standards for successful research. Some of them include citation guidelines, research question formulation, word count, etc.