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Grey Literature or Academic Writing?

September 3rd, 2015 No comments

academic writingWhat is grey literature? According to some of the available definitions on the web, grey literature is the one that is generated on each of the levels of business, government, industry and academic segments in both – electronic and print formats, but that is not kept under control of commercial publishers.

In addition to the definition provided above, grey literature has also been called the one that includes everything with an exception for peer-viewed journals and books that are accepted by Medline. It is important to mention that grey literature has not been published in the conventional way, and what is more, it is pretty hard to identify and obtain by means of the usual routes. Exactly for this very reason this issue is called “grey literature”.

This kind of literature includes a great variety of material including statistical and government publications, fact sheets, reports, working papers, newsletters, policy documents, technical reports and bibliographies.

Papers are usually provided to inform various funding bodies regarding the research projects results or to show up preliminary results during conferences. This kind of material is quickly disseminated, usually in limited numbers, and typically it does not undergo any process of formal publication. Even in case it hasn’t been checked by the peer, the content it includes is still pretty useful and the creators of the regular literature searches need to do their best in order to identify this literature type.

Nonetheless, the process of both – identifying and tracing this kind of literature makes us face with the several challenges. Basic details like the date of publication, the author, the publishing body may be difficult to discern, making it not easy to locate and then cite various documents.  As for the low print runs, it may be quite hard to locate. This has not much to do with internet publishing, but with organizational and government reports. The lack of control from the editorial side may cause the raising of a bunch of questions regarding the uniqueness and trustworthiness of documents.

When the question is about the producers of the grey literature, a great number of organizations generate a wide range of grey literature that is relevant to health policy, public health and epidemiology. These typically include not-for-profit organizations, government health agencies (the National Institutes for Health in the USA; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Department of Health in United Kingdom), universities, health institutes, research centers, international agencies (UNAIDS and WHO (World Health Organization), special interest groups, etc.

There are debates about what place the web search engines take in the literature searching, and the experts tend to have strong disputes and some of them state that it is not a trustworthy source of information. But the thing is that in reality, the World Wide Web provides multiple opportunities to get an instant access to the grey literature. Search engines like Google have turned into significant resource of grey literature that is available for a great audience all over the globe.

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Logical Assumptions with Modal Verbs in Academic Writing

August 28th, 2015 No comments

queue in data structureMore often than not, logical assumptions are used in academic writing. This article is dedicated to the using of modal verbs for deduction, certainty and probability. When the question is about “deduction”, it means using all information that is available to draw certain conclusions on these or that facts.

Depending on what kind of information you have, you may be more assured that all of your conclusions are related to real life, or less assured that your conclusions are valid – and we make use of various modal verbs in order to define the degree of your certainty.

Deductions about the present

When you are going to make some deductions about the present, make sure to use “must” if you’re 100% sure that something is true and “can’t” in case you’re absolutely sure that something is impossible. For instance, if you see a guy, you may say “He must be a policeman” if you’re very certain about that because of his uniform. And “He can’t be a painter” since we’re certain he is NOT a painter.

Certainty about the days that have gone

When we take into account some present evidence and provide reasonably certain conclusions about the events that took place in the past, it is required to use “must have” and “couldn’t have” together with the verb in the past participle form. The “must have + past participle” example regarding the conclusions about something that did happen: “Ronda got a tan. She must have spent a lot of time on the beach”. As for the “must not have + past participle” construction (when we give the conclusions that something didn’t happen, the example will sound as:  “The mail box is still empty. James must not have sent the letter yet”.  And finally, the construction “couldn’t have + past participle” example: “George couldn’t have taken your purse; he wasn’t even in a room yesterday”.

Certainty about the days to come

When we are making deductions on the future, it’s the same as when we made predictions. Just like you have been told about the future tenses during the school lessons, one can use “going to” or “will” in order to say what we believe is going to happen in the future.  When an individual is 100% sure that his predictions are correct, he can add the word “definitely” in order to put emphasis on his certainty. For instance, “Mike’s definitely going to love this movie – it’s with his favourite Hollywood actor”.

Make sure to take into consideration the following slightly more formal expressions that one can make use of in order to talk about the future with certainty. This is what we use to state that something “is certain to” happen or when something “is sure to” happen. For example, “Sociology experts are certain to provide the results of the surveys even faster than before” or “The country is sure to take part in this global arrangement”.

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Hedging: a Tool to Make Your Essay Academic

August 14th, 2015 No comments

academic writingAcademic writing has a variety of linguistic means and today we are going to examine one of them in detail. There are times when the writer has to use a so called tentative language which is per se an unassertive way of making claims and interpreting ideas so to say. This way the author sounds less categorical regarding borrowed opinions and general facts. This linguistic tool is called hedging and is applied in academic writing in order to distance oneself from stating uncorroborated facts. As a result, besides its formality, hedging is an impersonal construction devoid of pronouns “you”, “we”, “I” etc. It is rather significant for it has several types and can be widely used.

Hedging with verbs

The verbs “to appear” and “to seem” are put to use whenever it is necessary to relieve oneself of responsibility for the stated words.

It seems that people finally understand the problem of global pollution and start to take action.
It appears that the news reports are talking about the same thing today.

The profit of the company seems to be growing.

The cyclone appears to be changing.

This way the assumptions sound quite dependable because they create the impression of being based on trustworthy sources. However, they don’t seem too absolute in case they turn up to be wrong.

You could also use the modal verb “would” to make everything even more distant.

It would seem that his siblings also claim an interest in property.

It would appear that officials haven’t made a decision yet.

The joint-stock company would seem to be preparing for selling its shares.

They would appear to have troubles with paying taxes.

Hedging with noun phrases

It is natural that noun phrases with a tentative meaning are applied in this kind of hedging because they have the same purpose as the previous type of the academic writing tool..

There is little chance that this candidate will win this year elections.

There is some doubt on the subject of educational reforms as it is a very serious step.

There is no evidence that this politician has committed a crime.

There is a substantial percentage of people who take medication without prescription.

Hedging with the passive

The passive voice is a well-known means of reporting with a distinct pragmatic meaning. It is the perfect construction to hedge in academic papers.

It is widely recognized that the future depends on the Net generation.

It is believed that the cause of the fire wasn’t accidental.

It is not known if the judge has made his decision in favour of the accused.

It has been shown that the findings of the research are very crucial for the science world.

Obviously, all the above mentioned ways of hedging make writing academically “decorated” and they are to be used when it is essential to render facts in an ambiguous perspective.

The Big Brother Is Watching You or Essay on Anti-Utopia

August 14th, 2015 No comments

big brotherIn the broad sense the concept of anti-utopia the key word that defines the roots of this notion is “utopia” because the appearance of the former is directly dependable upon the existence of the latter. Under these circumstances it is not relevant to discuss one without the reference to the other.

Utopia emerged in the nineteenth century as the result of people’s fierce strive for a perfect society and men could not help but succumb to these lofty ideas of social improvement. Consequently, through this period of time there appeared a number of literary works where an in-depth depiction of a non-existent “heaven” impelled and inspired human nature to wait and hope. However, wise and shrewd leaders of socialistic ideology did not miss the opportunity to gain advantage of human natural credulity and created a kind of “religion”, the ultimate purpose of which was the accomplishment of this ephemeral utopia. Nevertheless, there have always been the titans of thought throughout the history and that period of formation and development was not an exception. That is how a new genre of literature and a new type of contemplation broke out by means of words and books.

Anti-Utopia was a furious answer to the attempts of the government to produce a collective consciousness and frame it according to the benefits of policy changes and state governance. It denied all the principles and values previously stated in the utopia and affirmed that “perfect” was permanently surrounded by hidden reefs and consequences. I consider this genre of literature as one of the most controversial and thought-provoking in the whole literary process and in my view it should be regarded only through the prism of the best illustrations which can demonstrate the full range of its existential meaning.

“1984” by George Orwell is one of the representative novels, which resolutely display the paradigm of anti-utopian characteristic features. This book is the prediction of undesirable future with the main character, Winston, who seeks the way to oppose the acting power. The main peculiarities of anti-utopia are the representation of certain society and government organization in the future and the conflict between the authority and its opponent. Winston lives in Oceania, the superstate which is at permanent war either with Eastasia or Eurasia. The residents of this country are raised in the environment where people do not think. They are “programmed” to unquestionably follow the statute of the Party. The book draws a distinct picture of negative occurrences in the life of socialistic society and class ideology, strong depiction of human degradation and identity annihilation. In addition, the image of a totalitarian regime finalizes the anti-utopian concept of the “perfect” world , thus, brightly exposes the main features of this literary genre.

Overall, it is necessary to point out that nowadays anti-utopia is a strong tool of exposure of the absurd utopian dream and the reality of inevitable government control. It is becoming more and more popular among authors and, subsequently, among readers. The most vivid and best-selling books of this genre are “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, “The Divergent” by Veronica Roth, “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner and others. They are filmed and broadcasted throughout the world gaining unimaginable popularity and the only question that appears is “Why?”. People are likely to project everything they perceive and comprehend on themselves. So, perhaps the modern world is living in its own Oceania and the Big Brother is definitely watching you.

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Why Do I Write an Essay?

August 14th, 2015 No comments

writing“Why do I have to write an essay? Why is it an essay? Why me?
sounds familiar, does it? Essay writing has always been a kind of challenging and tiresome assignment for the students of all academic levels. Taking into account the fact that usually the essays are used as an easy-to-apply method to test students’ analytical and writing skills, fluency with the written language, as well as literacy, the task usually causes unrest in the college masses. Moreover, for the students, who are having difficulties with just a simple constructing of a small paragraph, the essay writing turns into a real disaster. As a rule, these students don’t have the slightest idea of what they are actually doing. They consider an essay as a part of the academic torture that the tutor has invented for them personally. In other words, they write with zero purpose.

The Essay Purpose – What Is it for?

When the focus is on the essay purpose, it is usually defined as a solid reason why you’re writing the paper. Discovering the essay purpose is one of the basic challenges you will have to handle. Most often, there is one or more of the following essay purposes: to entertain, to inform, to analyze, to call the target audience to action, to argue, to recommend, to change certain attitudes, to persuade, etc. Knowing the right purpose of your essay is a tricky thing. However, you may be lucky enough if your instructor specifies what kind of project she’s expecting from you. But when you’re facing the freedom to work on the essay of any type, you may have difficulties while identifying the right purpose. The tips listed below will guide you through the process and help you to come up with the essay purpose.

Purpose #1: to Inform

When your essay must inform you readers on a certain matter, you have to provide your readers with information that they do not have. Thus, your number one task is to name the facts, not provide your personal viewpoints on the subject. As an example of the informative essay, one may name the paper that is focused on how to buy a house. If you’re going to perform an essay research, make sure to take information from the trustworthy resources only.

Purpose #2: to Persuade

Are you writing to persuade? In such case your aim is to make your readers take an action (or have a strong desire to take it) – based exclusively on what you have written. For instance, you may persuade your readers to vote for your campaign in your essay.

Purpose #3: to Explain

When you are required to write in order to explain, your task is to help your target audience get an idea of a situation or a process. As an example of the essay of this type one can name the essay on how to organize a birthday party for a kid. However, if you’re asked to provide explanations on any issue, make sure to choose the one that you’re well aware of.

Purpose #4: to Entertain

This is a great chance to give your reader a stunning emotional experience. Among the most successful essays written for an entertaining purpose the ones dedicated to the most embarrassing moment in your life or the most unusual journey you have ever had. Knowing the purpose of the essay will make your path less rough.

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Racism Essay: The Key Causes of Racism

June 30th, 2015 No comments

There’s no need to state that racism is unacceptable and that it may have a lot of effects on a human being. Everyone knows that racism can not only destroy the self-esteem of a person, but also make him want to take revenge. Victims of racism get angry and face with the whole range of consequences of improper treatment. And while the consequences of racism can be seen here and there, one should take into account the basic causes of this phenomenon in order to avoid conflicts that sometimes can be dreadful.

The first cause can be related to the instinctive reaction for the protection of species. It’s not a secret that we tend to get closer to the people, who are similar to us in appearance and behavior. It’s natural for us to feel the danger when our culture, family or territory may be harmed by something or someone. That is why racism is a natural reaction of a human being when he is eager to protect everything mentioned above. Any element that happens to be completely strange for a particular group of individuals is automatically considered as inferior.

Fear… It’s natural for us to have a strong desire to keep our kind under protection. This, in turn, means that we are afraid of losing anything that makes us who we are (status, job, possession, territory, etc.). We have a strong fear of being simply replaced by anyone who is considered more significant than our own identity. The very moment we are replaced by someone, who is seen more appealing, we get a strong feeling of unworthiness. Fear is one of the most significant causes of racism today, especially when the question is about threatening of what is called the human rights.

One of the factors that may cause racism is ignorance. If a human being grows up constantly doing the same thing as everyone around, it is considered absolutely right even when it is seen to be morally wrong by the other individual, who does not have the same viewpoints. A group of people will never consider their actions as wrong for the reason that they see their actions and morally appropriate. In order to prevent the ignorance of this kind, one should be aware of his actions and what kind of consequences they may bring. As long as our ignorance continues to grow, racism won’t disappear.

Racism may be caused by lack of self-love. As a rule, people, who have a strongly pronounced racism treatment towards the others, appear to have no self-esteem and self-love. That is why he makes sure to throw all of his bitterness onto the other people, who seem to be weaker. When you truly love yourself and appreciate who you are as an individual, you appreciate everyone around. Racism grows from the strong feeling of being deprived of certain opportunities, being worthless and victimized. As a result, the person is looking for some scapegoat in order to get a quick feeling of superior. It’s not a surprise that usually the racist turns to be far weaker that his victim.

A cause of racism cannot be called a social act. It’s nothing but an individual act, which means it can be eliminated only by changing individual actions towards the other human beings.

Emphatic Structures in Argumentative Essay

June 30th, 2015 No comments

machina logoWorking on an argumentative essay for the college or university task? Or, perhaps, you know that an argumentative essay will be the part of the exam? In any case, you, as the author of the project, would probably like to add some emphasis to the essay content. There are various ways of how one can add emphasis to the argumentative essay. For instance, you can make use of the forms described below in order to emphasize your statements while expressing your viewpoints on the subject, making some well reasoned suggestions, disagreeing, expressing frustration and so on.

“It was” or “It is” construction…

As a rule, when we see the sentences that are introduced by the constructions “It was” or “It is”, it is usually because the author wants to put emphasis on a certain object or subject. Then the relative pronoun goes, right after the clause that is called introductory. For instance: “It was she who broke the window. It is the cold rainy weather that calms her down.”

“What” sentence introduction…

When there’s a clause starting with “What”, it is also used by the writers in order to put emphasis on a certain object or subject. The clause that is introduced with the help of “What” is applied at the sentence subject as is followed by “to be”. For instance: “What she says isn’t useful for kids. What they crave for is a skillful assistant.”

Strong emphasize with “Do” and “Did”…

You have surely dealt with the auxiliary verbs “Do” and “Did” that, as everyone tends to believe, do not have positive meaning. For instance: “She visited the museum. NOT She did visit the museum.” But the fact is that once you need to strongly emphasize some aspect these auxiliary verbs can be easily applied. For instance: “Alexander did meet Angelina. I do believe that we all can go to Paris next year.” Remember that this form is usually used in order to state that something is opposite to the beliefs of the other individual.


In general, inversion in English argumentative essays can be used in questions. In all the other cases, the use of inversion is usually optional. Besides, the writers must be careful when dealing with it in order to avoid overusing since in such case inversion can sound too strange. It is an obvious thing that the number one purpose of inverting verbs and subjects is to put the direct emphasis on what the author finds the most crucial segment of the sentence at a particular time. Typically, inversion takes place either after certain sentence patterns (for instance, no sooner than) or some lead words (for instance, nor, never).

Passive constructions…

In this case the author is about to emphasis not who did it, but what actually happened. For instance: “All words about the wedding have been said by the guests. This hotel room will be booked by a famous rock star.”


When the question is about using fronting in an argumentative essay, the author usually changes the order of the sentence words to start with a cause that typically never comes first. For instance: “Where he took this money from, I have no idea. Difficult as it may seem, it is not the hardest task to cope with.”

Irony as a Stylistic Device in Essay

June 8th, 2015 No comments

funny street signsIrony is one of various rhetoric devices and literary techniques that are used by the writers and artists in their professional activities. There are tons of various definitions regarding what irony actually is, but the most popular one states that irony is a speech figure that serves as a incongruity or contradiction between what is expected and what actually happens.

In general, there are three types of irony used within an academic essay. Let us explore the basic aspects of each irony type.

Verbal Irony

This is the case when irony is used through words to mean something that is completely different from what an individual says. The most recognizable type of verbal irony is called sarcasm that enables an individual to say exactly the opposite to what she means, usually for a comedic effect.

This kind of irony is used intentionally in the conversations, where an individual aims to be understood as meaning something that differs from what her words actually mean. For instance: “Oh, I can’t wait to read the five hundred page book for the literature lesson” This is the example of the verbal irony that is used in order to express someone’s frustration.

Dramatic Irony

The dramatic irony is usually used in various works of art such as books, films, plays and poems. As a rule, it occurs when the audience knows something that the characters have no idea of. In a narrative essay that tells a story about a detective trying to reveal who’s the criminal leader of the city, the readers already know that it’s his partner.

Situation Irony

When dealing with this type of irony, the author faces a certain discrepancy between the things that are expected to happen and that actually happen at the end. Situation irony is always there when the exact opposite of what you’re waiting for, happens.

However, situation irony is a great tool to bring tragedy into the essay. As readers, we usually expect that a man will feel grief once he finds out that his wife has died in a car accident. However, you, as the author, can create the situation, in which a widower feels sort of relief, when he gets to know his couple if dead. While his wife treated him right and was in love with him, he was confined by their relationship, and her death brought him a strong sense of freedom. This is exactly the opposite of what the readers usually expect – the situation irony as it is.

To Use or Not to Use?

If you’re faced with the question whether it is appropriate to use irony in your essay or not, make certain to ask yourself – “what is the purpose of my writing?” If you’re required to advocate for some common clauses, or to evaluate the subjects that are familiar to you, this is where judicious irony will come handy. Who knows, maybe your ironic points will be something that your reader will remember for years?

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Macbeth Essay: The Personality of Macbeth

May 8th, 2015 No comments

For the first time the reader sees Macbeth as a mature man, who has a solidly established character. He is absolutely successful in particular areas and enjoys his reputation. It’s impossible to say that every action of this man is of a predictable nature, but his character is definitely made of huge potentialities, and no one can tell all of Macbeth’s excessive self-love. The protagonist is simply determined by a strong desire for mutable good.

In his conduct this man is driven by a strong desire for multiple honors. He’s always there – buying golden honors and opinions from the others. It’s not a secret for a reader that Macbeth has a range of motives complexity. For instance, one can state that Macbeth’s fighting in Duncan’s service is absolutely brave and significant. The services of Macbeth are also there for his personal glory. While he destroys all enemies of Duncan, this motive however is obscured by more vigorous urges. By his very nature Macbeth demands awards. He values success for the reason that it brings royal favor, titles and also fame. As long as all of these honors satisfy his desires, Macbeth seems to be a noble gentleman. But when the moment comes and Macbeth cannot satisfy his self-love, he makes sure to turn to dishonorable tactics in order to reach what he’s in need of.

The very moment our protagonist returns from the battle, he realizes that his self-love requires open recognition of his greatness. Driven by demonic forces that are symbolized by the witches, he is longing for obtaining the whole kingdom. According to the witches’ prediction, Macbeth is going to be the king and this is the last point that makes Macbeth follow his evil intentions. Nonetheless, he has so much natural good that he still can keep his passions and desires under control and stay away from criminal actions.

The main hero of Shakespeare’s masterpiece never completely loses the freedom to make a reasonable and independent choice. Since a free act is strictly related to a reason, as Macbeth’s reason gets blinded, the actions of the protagonist get less and less free. It actually accounts for his actions getting more and more controlled along the play, and the very final feelings that the character completely lost free will. As we turn the pages of the play, we see how this man violates his natural law that results in the complete loss of the choice freedom.

The whole substance of the personality of Macbeth is the one that the tragic heroes are usually fashioned of. Under the constant impact of desires and endowed with potential, this dramatic person expands, grows as well as develops to the point, when he gets a better understanding of the world and of his own soul. Certainly, Macbeth is bound to his inner humanity and this strong connection actually determines his relationship with the natural law, which enables him to make free choices and distinguish good and bad.

Writing a Business Report

August 12th, 2013 No comments

Business reports are usually written in order to state the status of the business. The information provided by these business reports is timely and contains all the facts. This information helps the business in taking the right decisions at the right time for the betterment of the business. The following article is going to help you in getting some most relevant information regarding how to write a business report.

How to write an evaluation report is an important question. There are a few important considerations which must be kept in mind by the report writers. First of all, the report must contain all the facts and figures of the business. Plus, the language used in these reports must be likely and easy to be understood by the readers. All the facts and figures must be stated as accurately as possible to write a good report.

In addition, the writer must consider the people who are going to read the report. If the reader of the report are directors of the business, then report must contain the most accurate and important data. All the unnecessary things must be removed from the report. You must also know how to write a report on books as well.

Always place your concentration on the status quo of the business. When you will mention the current handling position of the business, the management will find it easy to take the right decision.

The desired goal of the business must also be stated along with the status quo in the report. It will help you in observing the working progress of your firm.

The entire above explained information will help you in getting information on how to write a report on books of accounts. When you will learn how to write an evaluation report of the business, it will become easy for the readers to know the current position of business.

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