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Time Management Toolkit

10 Tools for Time Management

If you find that a planner just doesn't work well for you, you can try one of these other tools for time management.

Time Management Tips
Homework / Study Tips Spotlight10

How Many Pages Should You Write?

Saturday April 19, 2014

Teachers often give students essay assignments that include a certain page length requirement. For the most part, they really do this to encourage students to dig deep and cover all angles of a topic. Although they may tell you that they require five pages or so, teachers really tend to prefer quality over quantity.

But just to give you something to shoot for, a typical page that is double-spaced can hold about 300 words in twelve-point font. That means a 1000-word essay should be at least three pages long.

The next time you receive an assignment with a certain page minimum, ask your teacher if you'll lose points for being a page short. This way, you'll be less inclined to water down a good essay or research paper with extra fluff.

But if you plan to go short, you should pack your paper with great quality writing!

But what if you have no idea how long an assignment should be? If you have absolutely no idea how much to write in a certain assignment or about a certain topic, you could follow some very basic guidelines I've provided.

Messy First Draft?

Wednesday April 16, 2014

I have been searching around for famous quotes about first drafts, but I've found that first drafts are so unloved by writers that I can't repeat most of the quotes on a site dedicated to students!

That should tell you a thing or two about first drafts. Everybody struggles to write a first draft, and most everybody agrees that their written words are pretty ugly and disorganized the first time around. But the important thing (and every writer agrees with this message) is just start writing.

If you find that your essays are not earning the grades you'd like, you should consider whether you're giving yourself enough time to edit and rewrite sufficiently. Every writer has to do this.

You can find additional help from this list of resources.

As always, I'd love to hear from you if you have any tips to share with others.

Framing Your Class Notes

Thursday April 10, 2014

Do you become frustrated reading your own notes sometimes? If you do, don't feel bad.

Many students fall into the trap of attempting to write down every word the teacher speaks. This is not only unnecessary--it's also pretty confusing. You can improve your note-taking skills by learning to start each day with a framework or theme in mind. When you do this, you are able to identify the most important things to write down and then organize them effectively.

And those themes you see in your notes? They become essay questions!

Photo © Gary Woodard and iStockphoto.com

Are You Really Ready for College?

Saturday April 5, 2014

We're barely approaching spring, but I know that plenty of students are getting pretty excited about fall right now. That's because they'll be moving onto campus (or commuting) for the start of a new and exciting chapter in their lives as they head for college!

This is an exciting time for you for lots of reasons: because you will be living on your own (or with a roommate) for the first time ever; because you'll be setting your own curfew and planning your own schedule (maybe planning your day to start late so you can sleep in!); because you'll be meeting new friends and discovering many new activities and opportunities for fun; and because you'll be pretty free to come and go as you please. It all sounds like so much fun!

College is fun. It may be the most fun you've ever had. That is why I don't want to see you blow it in the first semester. You can be sent packing before the year is out! Did you know this can happen? In fact, it happens a lot, every single year!

You should definitely have fun in your first year of college, but you have to be prepared to have fun and be successful. If you're not successful in classes, you can lose all the fun stuff! How?

  • If you withdraw from classes in your first semester, you can lose your financial aid. For many students, that means pack your bags and head home! (Read why.)
  • If you skip too many classes, you can fail. That can lead to academic suspension. Pay close attention to the syllabus.

You can also get into academic trouble and risk your college career if you don't understand some of the differences between high school and college. Think about this difference in lectures and teaching:

  • In college, history is taught by historians, while in high school, history is taught by history teachers.
  • In college, biology is taught by scientists, while in high school, biology is taught by science teachers.
  • In high school, it is the job of the teacher to teach, but in college, it is the job of the student to learn.
  • College professors are professionals in their fields, and they are there to share their expertise with you. They may be hard to understand at first, but you will find it easier as they semester progresses.

I want you to be very excited about college and have the best time of your life. But I want you to know who to be successful in college, so you can stay there!

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