Posted on Nov 29, 2014

Essay Writing Help and Resources

Career Exploration Essay

If you use and follow the materials and information in this post, there is no reason you should get anything less than an A on this essay!

First, here are the materials I gave you in class for writing your Career Exploration Essay, along with some very good resources for you to use in writing it. Remember, it’s due on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM. (I extended the time for those who might have a study hall during the day.)


Freshman Career Exploration – Informative Essay


Freshman Career Exploration Outline


I haven’t given you this one yet, but here is a sample of MLA (Modern Language Association) format: Sample MLA Formatted Paper.

Remember that I am NOT requiring you to include a Works Cited page. If you obtained some of your information online, cite the website right in the text, as noted below, from “ScholarSpace”:

Citing online sources with no author

If there is no author, use the title that begins the citation, either the article or website title. Be sure it also takes the same formatting, i.e. articles are in quotes and website titles are italicized. Shorten / abbreviate the name of the source but ensure that your reader can easily identify it in your bibliography (abbreviate the title starting with the same word in which it is alphabetized).


Elephants are thought to be one of the smartest mammals (“Smart Elephants”).
Nineteen men and women were convicted (Salem Witchcraft Trials).


Things NOT to do in an introductory paragraph:
  • Apologize. Never suggest that you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re not enough of an expert in this matter that your opinion would matter. Your reader will quickly turn to something else. Avoid phrases like the following:
        In my [humble] opinion . . .
           I’m not sure about this, but . . .
  • Announce your intentions. Do not flatly announce what you are about to do in an essay.
        In this paper I will . . .
        The purpose of this essay is to . . .

    Get into the topic and let your reader perceive your purpose in the topic sentence of your beginning paragraph.

  • Use a dictionary or encyclopedia definition.
        According to Merriam-Webster’s online Dictionary, a nurse is . . .

    Although definitions are extremely useful and it might serve your purpose to devise your own definition(s) later in the essay, you want to avoid using this hackneyed beginning to an essay.

  • Dilly-dally. Get to it. Move confidently into your essay. Many writers find it useful to write a warm-up paragraph (or two, even) to get them into the essay, to sharpen their own idea of what they want to say, and then they go back and delete the running start.
Things NOT to do in an concluding paragraph:
  • Don’t finish with a sentimental flourish that shows you’re trying to do too much.
    It’s probably enough that your essay on recycling will slow the growth of the landfill in Newark’s North Side. You don’t need to claim that recycling our soda bottles is going to save the world for our children’s children.
  • Don’t bring up a brand new idea.
    If a brilliant idea tries to sneak into our final paragraph, we must pluck it out and let it have its own paragraph earlier in the essay. If it doesn’t fit the structure or argument of the essay, we will leave it out altogether and let it have its own essay later on.
  • Just like in the introduction, don’t apologize.
    Finish strong. Leave your readers with the sense that they’ve been in the company of someone who knows what he or she is doing.

Links to resources for writing strong introductions and conclusions:


Tips for Creating Introductions and Conclusions


Writing a Strong Introduction and Conclusion Checklist


Concluding Paragraphs


We will go over the process of saving your document in the proper format and uploading it to EssayTagger in class on Monday. 


This – Career Exploration Essay rubric – is the rubric I will use to grade your essay.


Last, but certainly not least – here is the grading scale:


A 47 – 50
A- 45 – 46
B+ 44
B 42 – 43
B- 40 – 41
C+ 39
C 37 – 38
C- 35 – 36
D+ 34

32 – 33


30 – 31


  0 – 29