Research Writer Interview With Angela
Graduate Essay Writing and Research Skills
What events led you to this point, the point of becoming a self-employed graduate writer?
Starting in Elementary school, I couldn't fathom why I would need to learn sentence structure and grammar so concisely. The endless repetitive exercises were both monotonous and redundant. I thought, "What's the point of my participation in this?" and “Why do I need to learn all these things?” At the time, I had only a microscopic image of what my education was and did not realize until later what the macroscopic view would be. As I look back on all that I was taught, I do now realize how every step of my education has prepared me for the next level. Grammar and sentence structure led to the construction of paragraphs, which led into writing poetry and then later to composing fictional works. From there I learned to write book reports and essays.
There was so much writing that at times I found it difficult to apply pen to paper. As time went on, my writing ability grew and my techniques became more and more polished. Each time I had to structure a new report, compose an essay or write another research paper, I was in fact building my essay writing skills in preparation to become a graduate writer.
Is there any part of your basic educational foundation that you have watched improve over the years that you feel has impacted your writing ability?
My writing vocabulary has expanded greatly by reading, researching, and writing. The use of repetition can eventually lead to the mastery of the skill you are developing. A continuous increase of my vocabulary has given me the ability to diversify my word usage and add flavor to my work.
Are there any tools that you have found useful in the coordination of your writing experience?
One very useful tool I have used since middle school is the thesaurus. I find that when I need a similar word or want to add spice to a paper this tool is necessary for me to have available. The internet has also become a vast resource for me. I can allocate journal articles, and books there that my local library may not have or carry. However, the most important tool I use is education. Writing about a variety of subjects exposes me to a balance of various topics. This in itself gives my writing an advantage as I typically have some idea of where to begin due to previously acquired knowledge.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being a graduate writer?
For me formatting is the most difficult task in the development of a graduate level paper. There are several formats that are most popular and these include Harvard, APA and MLA styles. Each of these styles varies in accordance with the other. Variations can be found with citing, referencing, headings, and even structure (including margin settings and title page). One must remember how to cite an author's work, how to reference it, use the proper headings and know how to structure tables as well as how to insert them within an essay, research paper, thesis, or dissertation. It is important to note that format standards are subject to change each year, so it is crucial that a graduate writer continue to stay apprised of any changes in order to achieve the highest quality in their work.
If you could change anything within the path of instruction you have followed to reach the level of graduate writer, what would it be?
Throughout my K-12 education I was taught to write using MLA format. It wasn't until I was enrolled in college that I was asked to use other styles. I think it would have been easier to adapt to other formats if I had been exposed to them at an earlier age. Other than that the road to becoming a graduate writer was a consistent and well-adjusted journey.
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