Archive for August, 2016

Surviving the Comprehensive Exam

Aug. 31st 2016

We all go through that time when it comes down to surviving comprehensive writing exams. Once the studies for comprehensive exams are over, it gets worse. A lot of us fear writing so it seems like a terrifying idea. Here are a few tips that will help you in surviving comprehensive writing exam.

gh_notebooks

So there are things you must do before the exam and some during the exam. We have break down of the things you should do before and after the exam.

 Before the Exam

  • Organize the notes

Organize the notes in a manner that explain everything to you. It should make sense and should be organized in the correct order. You can use color tags to relate the concepts, authors and themes together. Always make sure that the notes are on your finger tips to find the information quickly. The color tags will help you remember where the notes were written or stored. Let’s say you wrote a couple of concepts in the red color section. Think of all the key points that you remember jotting down in the red section. The label will help you find the information.

  • Keep everything you need with you

When you sit for the exam, make sure you have everything. Keep all the writing tools, notes, water and snacks with you. These are some standard things that will be required to write the comprehensive exam. However, if you are writing from the comfort of your own home, create a comfortable spot in your room. Minimize the distractions as much as possible to keep your focus on writing only. If you work with music then update the playlist with your favorite songs. Keep tea, coffee or water at arm’s length to keep you alive.

During the exam

  • Write down the Basic Terms, Dates, Concepts and Authors

This step is really important when you are writing without any notes. Before you look at the question, write all the relevant information to keep it at the top of your mind.

  • Read the Exam Carefully

This particular step is crucial if you have to choose the question. Underline the terms as you read the paper and make sure you understand all the things asked in the question. The key question usually lies in the end so read the whole thing.

As you read the question, think of a rough idea to answer each question. Take mental notes about the sources you will use, what theories and concepts would answer the question. It will help you fill gaps. You will be able to tell if you are missing something or all the concepts are allocated accordingly and how long can you spend in giving a response.

  • Draft your Answers

Before you actually start writing, take some time to plan how you will answer the question. Sketch out an answer with arguments and thesis statements.

  • Meta-Cognitive and Sign Posting

Now it’s time to draft your answers and the 5 paragraph structure will help you out. Start with an introduction paragraph and then write the rest of your answer. Use a lot of sign posting and try to be meta-cognitive in your answer. Take each paragraph to tell what every section will do and why. If your thoughts change slightly, go back and change it.

Use the first sentence as a mini introduction for each paragraph and tie it with the thesis statement and highlight what you are going to do in each paragraph. This entire plan acts as a road map to help you focus on a topic if you are running out of time.

 

Ways for students to recharge in summer

Aug. 25th 2016

Summer vacations are practically over for most of the college students. So what now? How will you recharge yourself during the summer? Well, summer is the best time to start re-energizing for the year ahead in college. It’s the perfect time to reflect on what you learned the in the past academic year. Here are a few things you can consider to recharge your body, spirit and mind in summer.

summer-vacation-hd-1

Move more

A college student like you has to spend a lot of time in front of the computer screen, looking through spreadsheets and completing all the assignments. All that will not go away even when it’s really hot outside. The best way to deal with the stress and work that comes along with assignments is to move your body. Sitting all day is not good for the body. It needs you to move in order to improve the health and make your mind alert. Have a small dance party every now and then. Walk to the nearest bus stop or schedule small breaks after 40 to 60 minutes. Go outside for a run and enjoy the warm weather. Early studies and movement will increase your brain power.

Read a book for Pleasure

Clear your mind with a book that is outside your field of study. It will help you gain a fresh perspective to start the new semester at college. You will be able to tackle work in a different way. Also, knowing what is going on around the world, outside college is also good. It will make you well aware and a decent professional. Take a break and go to the nearest bookstore and enjoy a good book.

Do something new in your life

New experiences make us happy. It is even more satisfying than buying new things. The memory of a new experience remains with us for a long time. So, shake up your routine a little bit and take a break from college papers. Appreciate the beauty of new adventures to get out of the rut. Take a drive to someplace you have never been before or eat lunch at some place new. It’s even better if you are spontaneous, take a day trip and you will be amazed about what you will experience.

Be Grateful for the things around you

Recharge yourself during the summer by reflecting on the things you are grateful for. It generally reminds us what’s important in life. Take it a step further and tell the people around you how grateful you are to have them in your life.  Even the business journals like Harvard Review also suggest college students to do this.

 

 

Posted by Janele Frederick | in Admission Essays, College Education, College Papers, Education, Essays, High School, Study Tips, Term Paper | Comments Off on Ways for students to recharge in summer

Tips to hack your Literature Research

Aug. 20th 2016

Don’t lose hope on the amount of information out there on your topic. Literature research may seem like a lot of information that will make you drown in quicksand. Getting through this chunk of information is indeed a huge task but if you plan it, you can get rid of that problem, one bit at a time.

To help you get through all that information in small sizes, we have compiled an easy plan for you to follow.

Step 1: What do you want to find out?

Do you have a research question ready or are you looking for information to make your research question strong? Before you start reading all the relevant information, make up your mind about what you are researching for. If you are at the stage of exploring a topic or a subject, then state the purpose of your research as “understanding the basic ideas of topic ABC”. If you are looking for opposing theories on the effect of event A on event B, then write it down clearly.

Having a clear perspective and goal will help you find the right information at this step of the research. You will begin to notice that reading for different goals for your research will help you focus on various aspects of publication.

Step 2: How much time do you have on your hands?

You can spend the whole day or just 20 minutes on the entire paper. If you really want to manage your time in the best possible way, then give you work a structure. Plan the work by giving yourself deadlines.

Once you are aware how much time do you have on your hands, start planning. If you have a month for the entire research, take 1.5 weeks to go through the essentials, 1 week to explore the sidelines of your research and 1 week to write a literature review.

Step 3: Study the essentials

Identify the key publications of your study. A good way to start is to find an authentic and a detailed review paper or a report. Start the topic by chewing on the references on that paper or report.

To understand the basics of the new subject, you need to spend some time on it. Understand the basic equations and principles of that study. All this will require sitting down, noting down important points and slowly working your way through all the relevant material. The process will be similar to a student going through a difficult chapter of a textbook. You may find yourself spending too much time on the some papers. However, they will build the foundation of your research along with further readings.

Step 4: Speed through the Sidelines

Separate all the papers that you find interesting, give additional insights but are not relevant to the field of study. Note that these papers are not of lesser importance, you can’t skip the side information. You have to understand all the concepts spend less time in order to understand all the elements.

The key is to go through everything in a quick manner. It will be like speed-reading through everything. Train the eyes to look at a group of words rather than looking at a single word at a time.

Step 5: Archive what you read

Reading is important but finding that paper and looking for more information is a vital aspect in controlling the large chunk of information over the time.

You can keep a digital archive or archive hard copies. Arrange your document in such a way that you are able to find those papers even after three years.

Step 6: Keep an eye on the outcome

Don’t rely on information and results available when you first researching on a topic. What appeared to be the truth yesterday may not remain the same with today’s results. Develop a strategy to keep your research updated in order to maintain the best outcome. Subscribe to the publication updates of the relevant journals and set up RSS feed on relevant keywords.

 

 

Wrap up your dissertation with a solid writing plan

Aug. 20th 2016

Every graduate student experiences the feeling of a project going on forever. There is no end date to get a graduate degree but going there requires a dissertation. It is the biggest undertaking that many graduate students experience. Literature, grant applications and manuscripts are nothing as compared to the size of an average dissertation.

If you approach it correctly, writing a dissertation will not seem too intimidating. A writing plan for your own dissertation will help you. Stick to it and use this approach to make consistent progress on your dissertation. Now you can wrap up your dissertation with a solid writing plan to avoid stress.

 

Know the format

Before you start anything, you should know what you are expected to write in the dissertation. A lot of programs arrange seminars on writing dissertations. It is highly recommended that you attend such seminars to understand the writing formats and their requirements.

A lot of programs also post their dissertation style on the websites. Find out yours and read it to avoid future hassles.

Break the dissertation into chapters

Determine how much time you will spend on writing. Outline the major sections such as introduction, methods, material, discussion, chapters etc. so you have an exact picture of what you have to write. Spend plenty of time on writing drafts of all the major sections in the dissertation. Don’t write and edit it at the same time. You will be waste a lot of time making one part right and fall behind on your overall writing progress. Adjust with the ugly draft first and move on and leave the rest to deal with it later.

Map your work with dates

Once you have determined the content for all the major sections and chapters, set the dates for completing each section. Make a calendar and set these dates into that calendar to make your life easier. This calendar will give you concrete dates to work on. It will act as your visual outline in order to accomplish all the tasks and requirements of the dissertation.

Establish dissertation progress meetings with your instructor and submit one chapter every week. Get the instructor’s comments and reviews on each chapter and work on the previous week’s chapter and start editing.  In this way, you will be able to write new content and edit the previous work without getting stuck anywhere.

Write down the due dates of all the chapters on a piece of paper that acts as your calendar. You will be able to track your progress till the final submission. It is easier to meet small deadlines with consistent progress rather than stressing about the whole dissertation at once.

Taking some time out to plan a proper outline for the dissertation progress may sound stupid, but, it will definitely help you. This method will preserve your sanity and you will enjoy the writing process.

 

 

Posted by Janele Frederick | in academic writers, Admission Essays, College Papers, Education, Essays, Grammar, High School, Literature Reviews, Study Tips, Term Papers, Thesis Statement, Writing Styles, Writing Tips | Comments Off on Wrap up your dissertation with a solid writing plan

Reasons Why Blogging can make you a Better Academic Writer

Aug. 2nd 2016

Scholarly blogging is usually centered on the need of attracting new audiences through academics. Academic writers are told that they can do a better research and enhance the impact.

Blogs are a strong medium for public engagement. People argue that blogging is a part of academic writing. It is definitely not an add-on. Blogging is the landscape of academic writing. It has the same value as any other form of writing. Here are a few strong points that can improve your academics as well as your writing style.

 

shutterstock_197308901-e1416540010771

Blogs help in establishing a strong writing routine

The wisdom of creative and academic writing is helpful for making it a habit. Blogs can be finished in just one sitting as they are small. You can easily draft them in single self-contained pieces. Most book enthusiasts suggest that one should write every day. A blog can be written in a couple of days and gets published. Then comes the feedback and the cycle goes on. This cycle is a great motivation for continuing writing and making it an everyday routine.

Experiment with your writing voice

The academics write blogs in a very casual tone as compared to other publications. The blogs gives you the flexibility to try various approaches in different posts. You can use a different vocabulary, syntax and a different genre each time. The textual experiments will help you determine the kind of voice you want to adopt. It will support you developing a light style of writing to a more complex writing style.

Get to the Point with Blogs

A blog is a small piece of writing, not an essay. It is impossible to include a lot of ideas into one blog post. You can include multiple ideas into as much as 1000 words. A blog is the best platform to talk solely about one thing. Even if you are journal writer, blogging will teach you how to focus on one point only rather than firing up different ideas. Regardless of the fact that the academic writing style is quite professional than blogging, it is still a recipe for success.

Experiment with various writing styles

A blog can have more than one style of writing in every post. Some bloggers maintain the same writing style throughout their blog while others take a varied writing approach. There are no such rules in a blog so you are free to experiment with various forms of writing. A blogger can do anything with the blog, keeping the target audience in mind. You can include a description, instructions or a short review in the blog. It can also take a more literary form of writing such as a letter. You can also include images, slides and videos to make it even more interesting.

 

 

Posted by Janele Frederick | in academic writers, Custom Term Papers, Dissertations, Essays, Free Term Papers, Literature Reviews, Research Papers, Study Tips, Term Papers, Thesis Statement, Writing Tips | Comments Off on Reasons Why Blogging can make you a Better Academic Writer