Saturday, January 29, 2011

Special Guest: Michelle McLean of Homework Helpers: Essays & Term Papers

It is my great pleasure today to introduce versatile author Michelle McLean as my guest! I met Michelle when she joined Operation Awesome as my critique partner and fellow bloggista. I've been constantly impressed by her writing and her spot-on critiques ever since. 

This month we're celebrating the release of her non-fiction debut, Homework Helpers: Essays & Term Papers! It's an amazing resource I'll use to teach my own kids essay when the time comes. For now, it sits patiently on my shelf awaiting Michelle's fiction debut. If you've had the good luck to read her work, you'll know why I'm expecting that to come sooner rather than later. As a pro in both fiction and non-fiction, Michelle is specially equipped to help us fiction-only writers look at story in a whole new way. 

Take it away, Michelle!  

Non-fiction and Fiction seem like two completely separate worlds. But there are a lot of things that apply for both genres. Whether you are writing non-fiction or fiction, there is one thing you should always ask yourself....what's your point?

No matter what you are writing, you should have some sort of goal in mind - what are you really trying to get across to your reader? For non-fiction, most narrative essays will have some sort of moral to the story, some reason for telling the tale. And for non-fiction works such as term papers and other types of essays, there is always a thesis, the main point to the paper. When choosing arguments, evidence, and examples for your project, keep your main point in mind...make sure everything you are writing supports that point.

For fiction, what is the main point of your story? What are you leading up to? When writing your scenes, make sure they are leading somewhere...there shouldn't be anything in your story unless there is a reason for it to be there. It needs to move the plot along, there needs to be a reason you are spending time depicting what you are depicting.

Just remember your point :)

Michelle McLean is a writer and the Chief Editorial Consultant for PixelMags, LLC. In addition to her non-fiction work, Michelle writes YA historical novels and other children’s books. If she's not editing, reading or chasing her kids, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book.

Keep tabs on her here:

Michelle's blog (highly recommended are Tip Tuesdays/Thursdays and Friday Funnies!)

Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers is a fun, user-friendly book that guides the reader, step by step, through writing a dozen different types of essays, including the dreaded SAT essay. Using straightforward, plain English, this book shows the reader exactly what they need to do, from start to finish, and includes rough draft, edited, and final draft versions of every type of essay discussed. This book also provides chapters that include tips and instruction on researching, proofreading, and citations.

Get the book here:


Only 3 more blog tour days left to gain more entries into the Grand Prize Giveaway!! Comment on these posts to enter!


  1. Great post! I'm thinking I need to buy a copy of this book for our high school library! What a great resource!

  2. This book is going to help so many students of all ages!

  3. Very nice meeting you Ms. Mclean and congratulations on your new book! I look forward to buying a copy of your book! Thank you for the great post!


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