Sunday April 20, 2014
Being the leader of a group project can be fun and challenging, but it is not always easy. As a leader you'll quickly discover that there are all types of personalities in any group, and some of those will be easier to work with than others.
You may also find that you face your own personal challenges as you try to lead the group. For example, some first-time leaders may come across as too bossy to their close friends, and some may come across as timid, because they don't want to make their friends angry. Are you likely to be too bossy or too soft? It's something to consider, but it's something you can control if you plan ahead.
Before you volunteer to lead a group, review some of the leadership styles and consider what qualities and organizational tools will be necessary during the completion of your project. As always, planning ahead will save you plenty of headaches.
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.
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.
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!
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