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Research Writer Interview With Michelle

Sharing What I Have Learned


Why do you spend your time writing model academic essays?

Well, believe it or not, I write academic essays for the love of it. I've always loved to write, and I'm one of those people who constantly tries to learn something new, and to improve; you could say it's an addiction. For years, I was on the professional ballet track with the Pacific Northwest Ballet; every day, for hours, it was about working harder than I ever had before, with teachers pointing out, day in and day out, subtle ways that I could become faster, lighter, stronger. For most people, ballet is a short career. It's really hard on the body! Fortunately, I also had enormously generous teachers in high school. They knew when to tell me I was doing well, but at the same time, they always pushed me to work harder. They showed me the distance I needed to cross, in order to become a great writer. So when I got to college, and my teachers weren't so generous, it was quite a shock. I was still getting A+, as I always have, but I wasn't getting the feedback that pushed me to improve the way I had in high school. I had to start relying upon published authors in order to learn what I could do to continue my learning curve, and that fountain, I am happy to report, is inexhaustible.

Who are some of the published authors you consider to be your mentors?

For years, I've passionately loved Jeanette Winterson, Margaret Atwood, Donna Tartt, Angela Carter, Galileo Galilei, Charles Johnson, John Gardner, Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry David Thoreau, Annie Dillard, Madeleine L'Engle, Alice Walker, George Orwell, A. S. Byatt, T. H. White... Some of these are writers who have written wonderful stories, but they are all captivating nonfiction writers. They've taught me that it is always possible to explain an idea well, and clearly, with creativity. They don't talk down to their readers. Their writing is honest: they know that the people they're writing for are intelligent, and they treat their audience as if they know that their readers are meeting them halfway, making an effort to hear what they have to say.

Do you feel that writing essays and custom term papers for students is ethical?

Absolutely. This goes back to what I was saying earlier. I think I was extremely lucky to have had the teachers growing up who cared enough, had the energy, and were given the liberty to show me the way toward great writing. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. There's a lot of administrative pressure placed upon teachers today, and that takes away from the energy and creativity they can bring to their students. The end result is that teachers don't have the time to spend with each student. This is where I come in. In writing an excellent model term paper, I'm sharing what I've learned with students who are not getting the feedback they deserve from their teachers. I'm always open to discussing my writing process and strategies with students. There's always something new to learn; the learning process never stops.

What advice would you give when writing an essay?

I would say, from experience, that you don't have to know what you're going to say when you start out. I usually discover what I think only at the end! Seriously - it's in almost exactly the same moment that I figure out what I think about something that I realize I've reached my conclusion. I admit this has to do with being able to trust the writing process, and also in having had the experience of writing many papers, and discovering new ideas, one page at a time.

How do you feel when writing a research paper on a subject you know little about?

Aha! Well, in the case of Custom Student Essay, I choose papers with subjects I've studied and written about extensively. My M.A. is in Italian Literature, and my B.A. is in Theater, but over the years I've found I'm drawn to gender studies, civil rights, and political philosophies. But as far as advising a student, I would say that you always know more than you realize! It's easy to get paralyzed by the sight of an essay question and a blank piece of paper. I find that the first thing to do is not to go to a library and do research, but instead, sit down for ten minutes, with a pen and paper. Write down, without stopping to censor your thinking, as many things as you know about the essay topic. Next, write down what interests you about your topic, and what you would like to know. This will give you some specific jumping-off points to guide you, and you'll see that a good part of filling a piece of paper is explaining and connecting facts and ideas. So you'll have to fill less of that space with new information and ideas than you expected.



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