Nov 23rd 2018

Know Your Course: How English and Creative Writing Differ

Guest post written by Ammie Jackson.


For those of you who loved to play around with words as a child, picking a favorite class in high school was a cakewalk, right? While all of you may have picked English as your favorite subject in high school, things shake up a bit when it is time for college. Sure, you may have enjoyed those literary appreciation classes in school. But would you take it up as a full-time course in college? Or would a course that focused more on enhancing your writing skills be more of your cup of tea?

That’s where creative writing courses figure in. While plenty of writing courses have a bit of English literature in their course modules, they mainly focus on the writing aspects and usage of the language in their curriculum. If you are puzzled about which course to pick for college, then read this post to gain a bit of insight into the primary differences between English and creative writing.

Creative writing courses sometimes include literature to encourage students to write better. Similarly, English majors also have courses on creative writing that unravels the practical aspects of the language for them. The following are the most significant aspects of English and creative writing courses. This post thus endeavors to shed light on the differences between the two.

 Structure of the courses

If you study English in college, you are more likely to have a semester style class with lessons taking place in large classrooms. The professors usually adopt a seminar teaching style and lectures are an integral part of your study routine. In the case of creative writing, however, classes focus more on two-way interaction between the students and the teacher. They centre around developing writing skills and fluency in the language, and encourage students’ to participate in group writing projects. Usually, they have shorter course durations than the ones taking up English. Creative writing courses also put emphasis on peer editing whereas English courses have fewer of those types of assignments.

Reading Lists

Naturally, reading lists also differs in these two disciplines. While English deals purely with the literary works of renowned writers and a compelling narrative of each, creative writing courses are a bit different. It is thus no wonder that both courses have students seeking assignment help from time to time simply because of the immense pressure of studies.

While students of English have high piles of readings that they need to finish by the end of the term, creative writing students have mounds of odd writing assignments they need to turn in by submission deadlines. English reading lists may consist of a few works of fiction, plays and prose pieces whereas creative writing consists of reading about proofreading practices and using the narrative development in a story.

 Research areas and focus

Those with a penchant for academics often venture into research after college. For the ones looking for such opportunities, here’s a heads up on both subjects so you can make a wise decision. You will find that most traditional English courses are rigid when it comes to research areas and presentation of your research paper. When delving deep into the academic nuances in English, you will be required to follow specific guidelines and use your intuitions to unearth novel aspects about the subject. In case of creative writing, you can venture a bit into the unconventional area and choose from a broader range of topics such as the use of rhetoric or the journey of a screenwriter for your research.

 Related disciplines

English, of course, has plenty of related disciplines such as linguistics and cultural studies. One can always take up any one of the aspects within the broad spectrum of literature and specialize on the same. It is more of an academia-driven course and has been a separate area of study from the 19th century itself. Creative writing is a more modern course, and offers plenty of options if you want to move to related disciplines later on. From journalism, editing and proofreading to fun courses like screenwriting, creative writing opens up a whole world to explore in terms of closely related subjects.

 Jobs and careers

The popular adage “the fruit did not fall too far from the tree” is what comes to mind the moment we talk about jobs and prospects in English and creative writing. Students of English who have a flair for writing can switch to lucrative and fun careers related to creative writing after graduation. Apart from that, in the future, they can pursue higher academics and take up the role of an educator or researcher.

Students of creative writing, on the other hand, have a slew of jobs to pick from after graduation in almost every industry. Starting from marketing and sales to creative industries, writers, having deft skills, are one of the most in-demand professions globally. From freelance writing jobs to lyricists for renowned music labels, creative writing students have more options to explore when it comes to the job market after graduating from college.

 Summing up

Pick carefully now that you know the main differences between English and creative writing. The pointers above will help you make an informed choice on what to study in the future. Choose the course that speaks to the inner language lover in you, and work towards achieving all your dreams and aspirations every day. While there are no shortcuts to success, having a roadmap to guide you along the way comes with immense help at times. Good luck with college!

About author:  Ammie Jackson, a senior web developer at a Melbourne-based software firm, offers customized assignment assistance through MyAssignmenthelp for students struggling with their academic tasks. She provides swift technical solutions for web designing and enjoys developing technical requirements for his international clients.



Nov 15th 2018

No More Boring English Classes: 5 Ways to Make Studying Fun

Guest post written by Mary Ivanova.



Learning a foreign language can feel like a mountain that you have been climbing for far too long with far too little progress to show for all that effort. Yet most of us realize that mastering a foreign language isn’t (and shouldn’t be) a Sisyphean task. Let’s see how we can turn our sweaty climb into a leisurely hike with a few simple tips that will definitely make studying fun again!

Remember kindergarten and all the fun we had spilling paint all over the paper, creating elaborate sand castles on the playground sandbox or building a lego tower that we didn’t care being tipped all the time? The reason that was so much fun was because we felt no pressure to learn and were given the freedom to explore.

The same process happens when, as adults, we pick up a hobby. We sort of aimlessly browse through the riches of knowledge in these new fields and pick and choose where we want to go. Since we are exploring and learning at our own pace, we are focusing on solving problems at hand and that helps tie in the knowledge we obtain with the actual activity. Our brain, which takes note of how useful these actiosn turned out to be, records these lessons more thoroughly.

Edutainment is not a new weird thing only your hip college professor is trying to make happen anymore. The word is now a firmly established notion, backed up by a number of studies. Here are some of the tips I picked up along the way both when learning English myself and while getting my psychology degree at a pedagogy-minded college.

  1. Turn it into a game

Gamification is all the rage right now. With the wide success of reward-based social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) and companies implementing internal gamified reward systems, left and right, for their employees, it’s no surprise that my first suggestion to make learning a foreign language fun is to turn it into a game.

You don’t even have to make up your own games. Buy and download cool lesson plans from the edupreneur portal Teachers Pay Teachers or just google something. If you feel like creating your own materials, use visual templates from Crello to create colorful cards or posters.

Speaking of templates, use them to do some classroom blogging. Turns out that’s an actual thing. Students get to apply their writing skills, learn, and, with all the gamification tools, followers, and shares built right in, you don’t even have to break a sweat setting the whole thing up.If you have any doubts about how motivating blogging for a handful of readers can truly be, take it from someone who blogged her way out of a pixie cut and into an almost waist-long mane (which, alas, is no more, but that’s beside the point) – it IS.

  1. Choose relevant and/or exciting topics

Most of us aren’t the biggest fans of using public transportation during rush hours, but have you noticed that when you absolutely have to be somewhere you don’t really notice how crowded or uncomfortable (or, let’s be honest, unsanitary) your ride is. You are so consumed by the result you are working towards, that all the little hardships along the way begin to feel way smaller than normal.

This works for language learning (or any type of learning, for that matter) as well. It’s pretty boring to repeat the same thing over and over again, just for the sake of, hopefully and eventually, getting it ingrained somewhere in your mind. However, not only does repetition become exciting when you are doing it for an exciting or important for you purpose, your brain is fast to realize that it needs to store this information, as it has proven to be useful.

Into celeb news? Read a gossip blog in English! Subscribe to your favorite English-speaking singers, actors or creators on Instagram or other social media. Find professional publications that publish materials from English speakers and cover all of your favorite topics. Look for communities and media that excite you and you won’t even notice how fast you’ll feel that much more confident in using the vocabulary you have acquired so far.

  1. Talk to people online

This one is sort of similar to the previous point. When you need to talk to someone, you are forced to use the language the two of you have in common. Reddit is a great place to start since it has a subreddit for nearly any topic imaginable, and you’ll be able to find a community that shares common interests with you and is very active. In most large subreddits you’ll get a few meaningful responses to most posts and questions within an hour.

A lot of people have voiced their fear of picking up mistakes from such unedited interactions. Not everyone, using English online, is a native speaker and even when they are, such messages can still be riddled with mistakes, lack of punctuation and slang. My answer is, invariably, that these messages reflect real language in its natural habitat, and helps a student get a ‘feel’ of how communication happens using all sets of rules and assists in utilizing vocabulary.

Furthermore, such informal settings help you relax and pay less attention to the embarrassing mistakes you are making. As long as you are bringing your point across, the other party, in the conversation, is generally just happy to have someone nice and interesting to talk to.

  1. Watch something

All the games, relevant topics and online conversations will only get you so far. To really perfect your English, watch movies, TV shows and programs created by native speakers. I religiously watch YouTube snippets released by late night hosts Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and Trevor Noah. Samantha Bee is another favorite.

Search YouTube for day time and late night shows that post videos online, subscribe to Netflix or Hulu, and definitely check out the free content Facebook Watch has been putting out lately. This year’s premiere Sorry for Your Loss is a very engaging half-hour drama starring Elizabeth Olsen, who is doing a great job with her role of a slowly unravelling grieving widow.

And don’t bother turning on the subtitles. Reading the text on the screen is not only extremely distracting, it just feels like work. Hit the play button, sit back and chill (only works if you are interested in the plot though, so don’t hope to just magically absorb the knowledge without even paying attention, if you know what I mean;)).

You can even host a movie night for your study group and make a cool poster for it.

  1. Read great English

This one is for all of you advanced students out there. Once you have a strong enough base to appreciate all the cool linguistic twists and turns masterfully written pieces have to offer, it’s time to start reading. I recommend The Guardian for news lovers, Celebitchy for gossip lovers, and The New Yorker for sharper think pieces.

Final thoughts

After you’ve considered and/or tried out all the learning solutions listed above, see which ones stick and, most importantly, don’t stop learning (and trying to make it fun) even if none of the tricks work for you.


About author: Mary Ivanova is a writer with degrees in psychology and political science. She writes copy for Crello.




Leave a comment

Nov 1st 2018

5 Ways Freelance Writers Benefit from Journaling

Guest post written by Jennifer Lockman.


Journaling is for everyone. Some, use it is as a safe place to express themselves, while other, like writers ,keep journals to keep track of their projects. I keep it for a mixture of both. It’s nice to get off the computer and to physically write something. This alone brings me a lot of benefits.
Whether you’re just launching a freelance writing career or you have already been working for a few years, starting a journal is the right choice. If you use this powerful tool regularly, you will reap the following advantages.

Stress relief and improved health
Writers have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing. Now, this issue is a focus of research for scientists. Several studies have shown that patients who engaged in expressive writing felt appreciably better, both mentally and physically, as compared with patients who didn’t. I’m not a medical expert. But from personal experience, journal keeping reduced my stress level by half. While the effects may differ, the positive impact of writing on overall health is beyond doubt.

Your own Idea Bank
Pitching ideas to editors of print and online media is part of a freelance writing career. A journal is a starting point. It’s the soil where you plant those seeds. An idea that you dropped a few months ago, because you weren’t ready to develop it then, maybe perfect for you to work on tomorrow. You’ll never suffer from writer’s block. I often use my journal for an article or academic paper. If your creativity is temporarily gone, you can look through the entries and discover an idea you’d love to employ.

Extra motivation
A freelance career requires hard work and patience. Journaling gives you an opportunity to keep track of your progress. That will push you to keep going. My journal keeps me motivated. I write down things that inspire me. I also maintain records of the happy moments in life. Create a log of inspirational sources tailored to you. The more motivation you get, the more you grow personally, mentally and professionally.

Organizing your work schedule (especially if you are working on multiple orders at once) is a challenging task. A journal helps to prioritize time more efficiently. You can see patterns and notice things that keep popping up and need your attention. Journaling helps me to plan what I’m actually going to write. This way, I complete the non-writing activity sooner and carve out more time for my actual writing. Every time I take a writing course, submit a magazine article or work on a long-term project, I jot everything down in my journal. The act of recording these things makes me feel great. I know that I can manage my workload.

Higher qualification
The freelance job involves more than one may think. What can be more appealing than working in the comfort of your home? Qualification matters when it comes to success in freelance writing. However, it doesn’t mean that this job is only for someone with a degree in a related field. As a freelancer, I must take into consideration the expectations and satisfaction of my clients. This forms the driving force to produce the best quality of work possible. And meeting the deadlines is always an achievement. If you’re not qualified, but you have the necessary knowledge, training can be enough to get you going. A journal is a place for exercising your writing skills, developing your own approach to work, and defining your career goals. You already know what journaling can do for you and why you might need to take it up. The question that remains unanswered is how to start practicing it on a regular basis.

Choose a journal that feels right for you
While it’s tempting to opt for the journal with the cutest cover or the fanciest embossing on it, select the one that will be easy to use in different settings. Will you always have a surface to put your notebook on while you write? Will you be able to document your observations while standing in line and your creative juices are flowing uncontrollably? Some writers jot their ideas down on index cards and keep them in a file box. Others have a large notebook stashed in handy locations at home and take a small spiral notebook when they go out. The latter can be tucked inside a purse or in the pocket. While a pen and paper give your brain a break from computer screens, why not use an app that you can open when you have a few spare minutes during the day? Various software packages designed for journal keeping are readily available. Their advantage is that you can tag entries, and then quickly find the necessary abstract. And if you want to include some sentences in your article, it is a matter of a few clicks.


How to make journaling a habit
Want to write in your journal every day? Connect it to something you already perform daily. If you take medication, supplement, or vitamin tie your writing practice to when you do it. This is why many daily journal-keepers write in the morning while having a cup of coffee or right before bedtime to declutter the brain and avoid insomnia.
Want to write in your journal once a week? Choose a day, book that chunk of time (I suggest from ten minutes to an hour) in your calendar as a recurring event and set a reminder.

Good luck becoming a journal keeper!

About author: Jennifer Lockman, I am graduated from UCLA majoring in Journalism and blogger. My expertise includes general education, e-learning, business, writing and lifestyle.




Oct 25th 2018

Computer Languages: A Guide For Students to Choose

Guest post written by Jennifer Sanders.



We all know that in-demand talents in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, collectively known as STEM, are becoming more and more popular over time. Listings online, of vacant positions in software, have been growing almost exponentially.

With that information, it is understandable that anyone would like to learn to code in order to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. The problem is that there are so many languages available out there, that the sheer number can be overwhelming. Like so many others you’ve probably faced the dilemma of where to start, and are wondering how to go about it. Hopefully, you’ll get some important pointers in this article to help you on your journey.

Programming Languages

To be sure, there are hundreds of programming languages out there. However, they mainly fall into two categories. Once you understand these categories, it will be much easier to pick what works for you.

Dynamic Programming Languages

These are the easiest languages to learn for beginners as they’re highly flexible and the learning process is lots of fun. You can build with less code and you can build things from scratch without having to go through too much hustle. There also aren’t too many rules about how to write this code. You have the flexibility to put it all together however you want as long as the end result works. Dynamic languages are typically higher level languages where more of your time is spent mastering basic programming concepts than focusing on the little details. Below are some examples of dynamic programming languages:

  • JavaScript – It’s fairly common for beginners to confuse JavaScript with Java. However, the two aren’t related. JavaScript is a scripting language used to build the front end of websites. It works with all browsers and, through libraries like jQuery and frameworks like React.js and Angular.js, is used to build interactive web apps. With recent developments, it has also become possible to use JavaScript to build things on the server-side through Node.js, a special runtime environment. While the Node.js community is still young, it is growing rapidly and is full of resources. New developments like Facebook’s React Native also allow you to build native apps for smartphones using JavaScript. The greatest disadvantage with JavaScript is the difficulty in debugging it due to its untyped nature. Due to this, typed versions of JavaScript have been developed, such as TypeScript and JSX.
  • Python – This is a very popular language and is highly recommended for beginners. In fact, it is the most popular introductory programming language that is learned at universities in the US. It has a wide variety of applications, including web apps, desktop apps, cryptocurrency mining, data analysis, bioinformatics, ethical hacking, and scientific computing, among others. Some popular apps and services have been built using python, including Google, Dropbox, Pinterest, Reddit, Instagram, Civilization IV, and YouTube, among others.
  • Ruby – The main aim of Ruby is for developers to be productive and have fun at the same time. The Ruby on Rails framework is by far the most popular implementation of the Ruby language. The language reads just like English and is highly recommended as a first programming language. It’s a popular language for backend development and has been used to build some popular sites like Slideshare, Hulu, Bloomberg, Shopify, and Airbnb.
  • PHP – PHP is a scripting language commonly used on the server-side. It is commonly considered friendly for beginners because it is so easy to conceptualize how the code gets executed and so it’s easy to build stuff with it. This language is heavily specialized for building websites and so a lot of popular websites have been built using PHP, including Facebook, WordPress, Yahoo!, Wikipedia and Tumblr.

Statically Typed Programming Languages

Statically typed programming languages are known for having the capability to build the most scalable applications. They also tend to be very robust and make the applications easy to maintain. These languages have very strict rules about the writing and are strict with errors, thus making it easier to catch them quickly and early on in the process. One of the downsides of statically typed programming languages is that, because of all their rules, it typically takes a lot more lines of code to build something. Consequently, they are not the best languages for prototyping. They are commonly used to build enterprise back-ends, robust mobile applications, and game engines. Below are some examples of these languages:

  • Java – Java is one of the most ubiquitous statically typed languages and is used as a general purpose language. It works with the Java Virtual Machine and is used to build just about anything, from games to desktop apps, to embedded apps for devices. Billions of devices around the world actually run on Java and 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Java for their enterprise level back-end development. It’s also used for big data storage and processing through the framework Hadoop, which is implemented by companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Yahoo!.
  • C – This programming language is one of the older ones and is primarily used today to develop operating systems and program system software. It has influenced the development of just about every modern programming language, especially C++ and Objective-C. If you master C and its principles, it will be much easier for you to learn any other programming language. It takes a lot of lines of code to do anything in C, and the code is typically more complex, even for the simplest of tasks. As a result, beginners may find it difficult to learn. However, learning it and mastering it will undoubtedly make you a first-rate programmer.
  • C++ – C++ is based on C and is a very powerful language. It was originally designed to add higher level programming capabilities to C while maintaining its lower level capabilities. It can be used for just about anything, including web apps, mobile apps, desktop apps, games and game engines, and also general programming system software. It is very powerful and very fast, and has been used to build many softwares, including Amazon, Chrome, PayPal, and a lot more.
  • C# – This language was developed for use with Microsoft’s .NET framework and mainly runs on the Windows operating system. It is used to develop websites, games, and applications in the Microsoft ecosystem.


SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is colloquially referred to as “Sequel”. This isn’t a traditional programming language but is instead used for communicating with databases. You can’t use it to build applications but you can use it to manage app data for apps that use relational database management systems.

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. This isn’t a programming language but is instead a markup language used to build webpages. It basically helps you tell the browser where to place website elements like headers, paragraphs, and so on.

Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, is the language used to change and enhance the appearance of a webpage. It is very powerful and can be used to do a lot of things, ranging from changing the colors in a website to creating animations.

Where to begin
There are plenty of resources online where you can begin to learn programming. Programming languages themselves are free and can be downloaded from the respective websites. As for online courses, they are a mix of free courses on sites like, and paid courses elsewhere. The best way to start is with a Google search of “programming beginner courses”. You will be overwhelmed by the number of resources available. Before you get there, however, make sure you have a genuine interest in learning programming, research the languages that you like and find out if they are good for what you want to do, and then look for online courses where you can learn them. Keep your head down, trust the learning process, and you’ll get out the other side a fully-fledged programmer.

About author: Jennifer Sanders is a writer and an editor from London. She loves sport,  listening to music, and to communicate with different people.
Find Jennifer on Twitter.

Leave a comment

Oct 18th 2018

How to Learn a Foreign Language to Fluency


Guest post written by Juan Koss.

If you’re anything like me, you have a fierce, constantly expanding desire to learn multiple languages, yet consistently fail to deliver on the promise you’ve made yourself. Perhaps this is due to lack of motivation, or simply because each time you undertake the task you’re reminded why you gave it up in the first place: It’s extremely difficult. However, I wholeheartedly believe that the average person can commit themselves to learning a language to fluency and deliver on this commitment, so here are my tips for completing a challenging task of which you can not only remain proud, but hopefully reap the employment and travel benefits from also.

  • Practise consistently: This seems outrageously obvious and I’m a little ashamed for reiterating it so blatantly, but anyone who has struggled to learn a language before knows how easy it is to forget this fundamental step. For those of us who can write my essay or learn a language in our spare time, guided only by books, the Internet, and occasional classes, consistent revision needs to be slotted in between work and other studies, and often seems unnecessary and burdensome. Anyone who has fallen prey to this idea, however, knows how quickly language skills are lost, and how much effort and revision is required in order to solidify them. If you want to learn a language to fluency, you have to accept that you’re in for an uphill battle, and put in the hours. Even watching a film or reading a short book or magazine in your chosen language, or revising over grammar notes once a week, will be immensely useful in your quest towards fluency.
  • Take classes: Whether you want to learn quickly and seriously via school or university, or opt for the more relaxed environment of a language school, community house, or private tutor, classes are, in my mind, a necessity. There is only so much that books and the Internet can teach you, and enrolling in a class forces you to practice and revise, whilst also allowing you to engage with others who are struggling to find the motivation and time to study. If possible, find a tutor who is a native speaker and immerse yourself in their classes and conversation. The more you surround yourself by the foreign language you’re attempting to learn, the quicker you will learn it.
  • Avoid word lists: This is a point that, in my mission to learn French, I still struggle with. Word lists continue to feel like a good idea. You learn a new word, you write it down, you memorize its spelling and meaning … it’s what I’d do if I came across an unfamiliar word in English, so what could possibly go wrong? The answer to this is simply that, in an unfamiliar language, there are too many words to learn by this process. Whilst I recognize the differences, I must use English as an example. Growing up, you didn’t learn English by making word lists, you learned it through immersion and constant exposure. This is the same way in which a foreign language, difficult though it is, ought to be learned. Whilst word lists can be helpful before tests, in familiarization with verbs, or in order to learn a certain category of words, such as those pertaining to body parts or colors, ultimately it’s going to confuse you more, as you spend your time memorizing the wrong things. The semantics and mechanics of a language must be learned before it can be understood. After this, the meaning of individual words will begin to come easily. This leads me to another key idea: Don’t directly translate between languages, as each language is unique and must be treated as such.
  • Read as much as possible: Again, this seems obvious, but due to the challenge it poses, I feel that many who are endeavoring to learn a language often overlook it. When I reflect on how I learned English (an almost impossible task given that I am a native speaker of the language) I realize that the process of learning it was greatly simplified by my constant exposure to it in both written and spoken form. Children learn words by reading and then asking for the meaning or by contextualizing. When we read books or magazines in another language, we build up these same skills, contextualizing words, learning how they’re used, and familiarizing ourselves with foreign grammar and sentence structure. An extremely arduous task at first, the more we read in the language of our choice, the sooner we will become familiar with the meaning, spelling, and grammar rules of individual words and sentences.
  • Visit the place(s) where your language is spoken: Immersion is the best, and really the only way, to learn a language to fluency, as, whilst the classroom is essential for written skills, the nuances of the spoken word and the pace in which it is colloquially spoken and amalgamated with street slang and innumerable dialects, can only truly be learned through conversation with native speakers. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversation with native speakers, who, contrary to judging you, will likely be only too happy to correct your pronunciation and to help you out. You’ll make a good impression by trying to speak their language, and likely have fun whilst doing so. If possible, travel extensively or take a job and work for a year or so in an area where your language is spoken as, though perhaps daunting at first, you’ll be amazed how quickly you pick up the language when you’re surrounded by it everyday.

As difficult as learning a language is, the employment and travel benefits – not to mention one’s own sense of personal pride – that are received by doing so, are unparalleled. Learning foreign languages enables us to familiarize ourselves with similarities and differences across dialects, revealing the depth of our own mother tongue through loanwords, and broadening our overall sense of culture and the infinite evolution of linguistics. Although I remain a speaker only of English, still battling with the threads of incomprehension currently restraining me from the world of French fluency, I am yet to lose the motivation and focus required for completing the challenge. A difficult task and one that must be crammed into an exceptionally busy schedule, I shall continue to learn French, and would encourage all those out there currently learning or considering learning a language to take the necessary steps towards fluency.

About author: Juan Koss – I am a school teacher with 23 years’ experience, PhD writer at and writing articles has become my hobby.  Most of my articles are related to education and parenting ideas.

Leave a comment