Category Archives: Tips

How To Write The Perfect Paper

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

Every college student writes papers and assignments. What is surprising though is how poorly written some college papers can be. I am a writing fellow at the University of Iowa, where we boast our writing program as being number one in the country.  After reading, reviewing, and editing many papers on many different topics, I have noticed some common mistakes students make when writing a paper.

I’ve put together a quick list of tips to avoid these errors and write the perfect paper:

1. Outline

When I first learned how to outline a paper, I thought it was an enormous waste of my time and that I didn’t need to make outline because I could think my paper through while writing it out. Well, after writing my thesis, a paper that required more work than anything I’ve ever had to do before, I learned the true value in an outline. I got to the second half of my thesis paper and found it extremely difficult to know where the paper was going. Outlining all my ideas gave me the opportunity to see what would work well and what would not. Take the extra hour or so to make the outline. This will allow you to clearly layout your thoughts and keep organized. It’s a lot easier to move thoughts on an outline around than it is to re-write a whole section of your paper!

2. Read It Out Loud

I know this sounds silly, but reading your paper aloud to yourself is by far the easiest and most simple way to find errors in your writing. Things like inappropriate commas and run-on sentences are overwhelmingly common in papers, from the junior high level all the way up to the graduating college seniors.  By reading it out loud, you can hear all these simple mistakes.

3. Writing Centers and Tutors

Your college writing center is an obvious way to improve your writing. After surveying students on multiple campuses, I learned that most students avoid the writing center for a few reasons: they don’t want to hear bad things about their writing, they don’t want to take the time to make or attend the appointment, or they may not even know about it. I understand the busy schedule of a college student. However, the writing center is designed to help you, so make time. Plus, you already pay for this service in your tuition. So, you should use what you’re paying for!

I am shocked every time I read college-level papers. It’s okay for some students to not be natural writers – but they should be taking full advantage of every resource possible to improve their skills, that’s part of what college is about.

Keep on writing! Share your writing tips with us in a comment below!

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Steps To Stop Pulling All-Nights

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Christine Henson BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

It’s the night before an exam and you realize you haven’t studied yet. We’ve all been there. So what other choice do you have but to pull an all-nighter and study?

Well, if you’re sick of staying up all night, here are a few things you can do to get some extra sleep before your big exam!

1. Schedule Your Time

As soon as you get your class syllabus, go ahead and schedule yourself some study time a week before each exam. If you plan out your studying ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to have to cram it in at the last minute.

2. Study During The Day

If you work during the day finding time to study can be difficult, but if you have the free time during the day, get your studying done before nightfall. Even if the studying sessions are broken up between classes or activities, it can be out of the way come night time.

3. Get Up Early

If you do have a job and you’re unable to study during the day, you can try getting up earlier in the morning and getting some studying done before you have to be at work or class. I know, who wants to get up an earlier than they have to? Trust me, just one hour can do a lot of difference!

4. Study During TV Commercials

A good way to moderate your study breaks is to study during commercials and then take a break when your show comes back on. This will keep you from taking a break that’s too long and causing you to study longer at night. Just be aware if this is affective for you or not. If the TV is too much of a distraction, then find another method that works for you to enjoy studying while not consuming too much of your time!

Everyone studies differently, but we definitely all need sleep! If you’re tired of being tired during your exams because you stayed up all night, try a few of these methods out. Or, share what works for you in a comment below!

Happy studying!

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How To Make The Perfect Study Guide

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

Making the perfect study guide is the key to being successful in college. I have tried many different tricks over the years discovering what kind of learner I am and what sort of study techniques are best for me. Now, I am getting ready to pass this knowledge on to you. Get your pen and paper ready, you’re going to want to take notes!

1. Gather The Information

Starting with the obvious, attend class! You are going to learn more by actually being in the classroom than reading out of a textbook. Sometimes there is material covered in class that doesn’t even appear in the book, so don’t skip out on any classes! I suggest recording the lecture if you can. By doing this, you can go back and listen to find information to ensure more concrete notes later. Put all of the information you have together into a handwritten study guide (writing it helps your memory).

2. Group Up

The saying “two heads are better than one” is completely true. Five is even better. Gather up a group of people in your class, but be wise to who you select. The most valuable students are the ones who sit in the front, participates in discussion, and arrive early; all traits of successful students and smart planners.  You can either share notes, or divide up the class material between each person so each person is creating a section of the study guide. Asking one person to solely focus on a specific section means they can put in more effort to detail and the facts. Set a timeline for completion and piece together what everyone’s created to create the ultimate study guide. Be sure to share the information in a timely manner so that everyone has enough time to study. Then get together after the study guide has been created to review it, share notes, and quiz each other. This was by far the best study guide creating method I’ve ever learned.

3. Details, Details, Details

Go through your lecture or discussion notes and look for specific things that can be expanded upon in your study guide, such as vocabulary word definitions, theories, life examples, and anything that was mentioned more than once during lecture. Make your study guide as concrete as possible so that nothing is missed when you’re studying! The point of the study guide is to solidify everything you have on the topic so that you only need this guide to ace your exam, making it easier to study anywhere!

Once you think you have mastered something from your study guide, explain it aloud without the assistance of your study guide. Try teaching the material to someone to see if you really do understand the topic. If you’re struggling, study more on that topic.

Now you know the ways to prepare a study guide and the details to look for in your notes. As long as your study guide is solid and you spend enough time reviewing the material, you should do just fine!

Share your study guide strategies in a comment below!

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College Exam Mistakes To Avoid

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

As most college students should know by now, taking an exam can be a nerve wracking experience. Even if you have spent hours studying to prepare yourself, it can be easy to make simple mistakes.

There are some pretty common exam mistakes students make and that can be avoided:

1. Rushing To Finish

It’s pretty standard to be constrained to a time limit when taking a test, but you shouldn’t get too caught up on the time. If you spend a few seconds every minute or so to check the clock, all you are doing is wasting valuable time and possibly stressing yourself out. And when you are stressed about time it causes you to rush and miss things. You will read questions less carefully and could miss important instructions detailing how to answer the question. Additional instructions could ask you to explain your answer, or answer by drawing a diagram rather than explaining. It won’t matter what you write if you don’t follow the directions.

2. Not Moving On

Conversely, it’s also easy to spend too much time on a question. If you are stuck on a question that you just don’t know the answer to, it’s best to move on to answer the ones you do know so you can get those out of the way and return to the ones you don’t later.

3. Not Planning Ahead

When writing an essay, make sure you take the time to outline it before you write it. This is a situation where taking the time to prepare beforehand really pays off. Because if you really know what you are talking about it shouldn’t take anymore than 15-20 minutes for you to write a page-long essay.

4. Leaving Questions Unanswered

Even if you don’t know the answer to something, it’s always better to guess and fill in something than to leave it blank. You would lose the points for not answering anyways, so you might as well try for it. Who knows, maybe you could get partial credit? Especially if the question is multiple choice and you don’t know the answer, just circle one and maybe you’ll get lucky!

5. Cheating

I know plenty of people who have cheated and have gotten away with it, but that doesn’t mean you will be better off if you cheat. For starters, if you are cheating off of someone else’s information or answers, you better pray they have the right answers. If they don’t then you will get a reduced grade and similar incorrect answers may raise some red flags. And getting caught usually means you will receive a 0 and possibly further disciplinary actions like getting kicked out of the class or even the school! Cheating is considered immoral, but the biggest reason not to cheat is because you’re just cheating yourself in the long run. Putting in the work to succeed on your own is not only character building, but feels great when it pays off. Plus, the point of your class is to learn the material, not just pass the class.

6. Not Reviewing Your Answers

If you still have at least 5 minutes left, you should go back and check all of your answers. This is the best way to ensure that you haven’t made any mistakes and followed all the instructions.

As long as you pace yourself, read through the questions carefully, and study – you should do just fine!

What are some of the biggest exam mistakes you’ve made? Share with us in a comment below!

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6 Ways To Kick Your Cold

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness, Living, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

No matter what time of year it is, a cold can somehow hit you at any moment. A cold can come out of nowhere, but usually comes right before you have a lot of plans and things to do, and it hangs around making you miserable and takes its sweet time to pass on to someone else.

If you do end up with a cold, fortunately there are several ways to make sure the worst of it only sticks with you a few days rather than a week or longer.

1. Take Vitamin

College students are notorious for not taking great care of our bodies. Whether it’s not getting enough sleep, drinking too much caffeine, or a bad diet in general – having a weak immune system is one of the easiest ways to get a cold. Vitamin C, Echinacea, and calcium are three of the body’s best allies. Make them your best friend when you have a cold, and try to work them into your daily regimen even when you are feeling well to prevent any sickness. It’ll give your body the boost it needs the next time you feel a cold coming on.

2. Drink Tea

If you’re not a fan of tea, take this as a sign to be one! There are many varieties out there that offer tons of health benefits. Ginger, mint, and chamomile are my favorite when I have a cold. The warm liquid – combined with honey if you add it – is a great soother for a sore throat. I prefer it to those so-called “cherry flavored” cough syrups.

3. Get Your Rest

Like I said previously, college students are notorious for not getting enough sleep. If you are not feeling well, this is the time to be selfish and rest. Go to bed early, sleep in, and take plenty of naps! Also, try not to stress yourself too much. Don’t force yourself to go to class if you aren’t feeling well, cancel dinner plans with friends, and make best friends with your couch or bed. It’s okay to take care of yourself!

4. Drink More Water

Aside from drinking hot or cold tea when you’re sick, chugging water is prudent to helping your body fight off sickness. The more water you get, the better. In my opinion, water doesn’t taste very good, so when I have a sore throat, I usually prefer tea or watered down juice to make sure I stay hydrated.

5. Honey and Cinnamon

This is a lesser-known form of fighting off colds, but very effective. In fact, there have been studies done which prove this method can shorten a cold by up to two days! All you do is combine half a tablespoon of organic honey with half a tablespoon of cinnamon and swallow. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?

6. Practice Good Hygiene

Above all, remember to wash your hands with lots of soap and warm water, and don’t share utensils or food if you or anyone you know is sick. Yes, that applies even to your significant other. No one wants to catch a cold, so don’t feel bad about missing a class or two either. Whoever you grab notes from later will thank you!

It’s not fun getting sick. Try these methods to kick your cold to the curb and share your wellness tips with us in a comment below!

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