Tag Archives: tips

5 Tips To Improve Your Writing

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Essays are a huge part of college. No matter what you’re studying, there is bound to be at least one class in which the instructor assigns an essay (sometimes several). If you don’t mind writing, then it may be a piece of cake to crank out a five page paper. However, if you aren’t a big fan of writing and put it off until the last minute, it can be a nightmare. Either way, there are several important tips every college student should know to make your writing the best it can possibly be.

1. Find A Quiet Space

It is more difficult to study, do homework, prepare for exams, or write if you are sitting in a crowded, buzzing Starbucks. I used to bring my laptop there, thinking all of the other writers and readers would inspire me, but I only ended up distracted by the sound of steaming milk, coffee orders, and not-so-quiet conversations. When you’re in a quiet environment, such as the library or a study lounge, you’ll focus better. I also recommend to leave your living space to minimize typical distractions (roommates, television, etc.). If you tell yourself you are physically going somewhere to write, you will take it more seriously and be much more focused when you are in that environment.

College Library Writing Computer

Photo © College Library Services

2. Review, Review, Review

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen friends and fellow students make, is that they don’t take the time to re-read what they wrote when they have finished. However, reviewing your writing is so important! Avoid yourself the embarrassment of turning in a paper with simple mistakes (spelling, punctuation, and grammar). A lot of professors actually dock points for simple mistakes such as these. Reviewing it can also ensure that you have covered everything you wanted to in your paper and that it all makes sense. This is also the chance to read it aloud to hear how it will sound to your reader. Keep in mind who your reader is (your professor), and write it for them.

College Paper Essay Writing Editing Review

Photo © Go College

3. Remove Unnecessary Words

People sometimes add filler words to their writing to make it longer, which is clever (and I’ve done it too), but it’ll only make your writing sound immature. When you edit, delete these filler words, including “that,” “so,” “and,” etc. Sometimes you may not even realize these writing habits until you review your writing. Also, search your paper for repetitive words. Trying replacing words used often in your paper with synonyms to still explain your point without sounding redundant.

Word Filler Writing Editing

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4. Add Detail

Depending on what class and topic your essay is for, it might be a good idea to spice it up a bit with some added detail. It’s good to be informative in your writing, but to really grab a reader’s attention, add some adjectives to make your writing descriptive and easy to visualize.  Write everything as if you’re really seeing it in front of you as it happens. J.K. Rowling and Tolkien had great success because their visions translated so well to paper with their descriptions.

College Student Writing Laptop

Photo © Instructional Tech Talk

5. Use Another Pair Of Eyes

Whether it’s a friend, classmate, or your instructor, have someone else read your writing. If they’re confused about something, that’s cue that revisions need to be made. Ask them for their honest feedback and to get out their pen to provide editing suggestions. You could even take it one step further and have them write down what they think the main idea of each paragraph is. If they have a different idea of what you were going for, it’s your chance to fix it.

Worst Thing I've Ever Read New Girl Writing Paper Editing GIF

Photo © Miss Bizz

Look for inspiration by taking a closer look at some of your favorite author’s writing. What in particular do you like about it? When you find the answer, learn to incorporate that into your own writing. The more you practice and try to improve your writing, the easier it will become to write. This skill will be helpful not just for college, but for any career as well.

How have you improved your writing skills? Share with us in a comment below!

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Preparing For A New Semester

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

Winter break for most college students marks the epitome of vacation. Winter break also marks the half-way point of the school year. You most likely have already chosen your classes for this upcoming semester, so now all you have to do is prepare for them.

Here are a few ways to prepare for the upcoming semester:

1. Check The Readings

The first thing I do to prepare for the new semester is check to see what the readings will be like. I do a lot of reading and writing for my communication major, so I like to get an idea of which classes will have the heaviest work load. Doing this will help you learn where to allocate the most of your time and resources. Also, some professors assign readings even before the first day of class. It is good to be aware of this so you are not the only one not hanging in an essay on the first day of class.

College Student Reading Course Syllabus Class Description For New Semester

Photo © QACPS

2. Pre-Order Materials In Advance

The second thing I do is pre-order all books and supplies I might need. This assures me that I will have everything ready to go when the first day back to classes comes. I would rather have what I could need and not need them, than need them and not have them. You can always return something if it is not needed. Also take stock of your class supplies. If you need more notebooks, then go buy some more. Or you could take the high-tech, tree-saving route, and get a tablet to take all your notes on. Pens are also nice, as well as pencils for when the professor breaks out a surprise Scantron. Want to gain popularity among your peers? Be the only one in class with pencils during a pop quiz.

BookRenter College Textbook Rental

Photo © BookRenter

 3. Learn Your New Schedule

Thirdly, it might be sensible to memorize your new schedule. You should print/draw your schedule on a piece of paper or put it all in a day planner. Do whatever you have to do to learn what your new schedule will be, so adjusting to it will be a lot easier. I had a roommate who wrote where he had to be every day for a whole month on a calendar on the first of each month. It took him maybe twenty minutes at the most and kept him well organized and on time for the whole month. Meanwhile, I lounged on our snack littered couch playing Skyrim and was late to class about 80% of the time because I didn’t do the same.

College Class Schedule Planner Organization

Photo © Sam’s Noggin

Don’t be that student that gets back to campus and realizes they are not ready. Do not wait last minute to scramble for supplies, be unprepared for your first assignment, or have no idea where your class is. Get a head start now to avoid any potential embarrassment!

What is the one thing you make sure to prepare for to start a new semester?

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Sticking To Your New Year’s Resolutions

Filed under: College Life, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia Baran

The New Year is upon us and everyone is abuzz with their resolutions for 2015. The tricky part every year is actually sticking to the resolutions past the first week of the new year.

Here are a few tips to help you accomplish your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Set Achievable Goals

Most of the time, when we don’t follow through with our New Year’s resolutions, it’s because we set unrealistic goals for ourselves. Challenge yourself with your resolution, but make sure it’s something that you can actually complete. The more likely you can reach your goal, the more likely you will achieve it.

New Year's Resolutions Goal List

Photo © dani wallpapers

2. Start Slow

Going cold turkey on January 1st is probably not the best way to start off your resolution. Whatever your resolution is, start with small goals and gradually work up from there. Set check points along the way to see yourself making progress. This will also allow you to realistically maintain your goal and allow it to work into your new lifestyle.

 

January Start Goal New Year's Resolution

Photo © Health

3. Reminders

It’s easy to remember your resolutions in the beginning of January when everyone is still talking about them, but as the talk dies down, so does the daily reminders. Thankfully, there are a ton of apps out there that can do just that for you every day. It also doesn’t help to get a friend to help you keep you on track!

Don't Forget Goal Reminder Sticky Notes

Photo © Fitness for Weight Loss

4. Don’t Dwell on Slip-Ups

Don’t beat yourself up whenever you don’t accomplish the goals you set for yourself or you’re deterring from the plan you had set. We are bound to slip up in the process from time to time, but don’t let that stop you from working on your resolutions.

New Year's Resolution to Keep New Year's Resolution Joke

Photo © Swatch Pop

5. Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself for the small accomplishments during the process is just as important as not beating yourself up for the small slip-ups. Each time you’ve made progress toward your goals, or even at the end of each week of working towards your resolution, treat yourself to something special that will encourage you to continue your progress in the upcoming week.

New Year's Resolution Goal Reward

Photo © dairygoodness

What is your resolution this year? How are you planning on making sure you accomplish it? Tell us in a comment below!

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Test Taking Tips

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia Baran

Tests are a dreaded, but necessary part of college. They are the cause of countless sleepless nights and stressful breakouts, but they don’t have to be. Feeling fully prepared for a test can take a lot of that stress away. Here are a few ways to make the process a bit more bearable:

1. Use Your Notes

The notes you take in class are probably your best tool when it comes to studying. Simply re-reading your notes may not be enough though – instead, rewrite your notes. This may seem too time consuming, however I’ve found it to be much more effective when trying to remember the material. It may also allow you to re-organize the material in a way that may make more sense. I’ve also found that rewriting them by hand is more effective than typing the notes out, but you have to find what works best for you.

Studying Notes For College Test Exam

Photo © Cardigans & Chai

2. Explain The Material To Someone Else

This is a trick I’ve used for years. After studying the material, do your best of discussing it with another person, or try to teach them the material. Sometimes just saying the words out loud and hearing the material can help you soak it up. If you can’t teach it, you don’t know it. During this process, you can realize which material you need to study more.

College Tutoring Teaching Studying For Exam

Photo © My Guru

3. Eat Before Your Test

Nothing is more distracting than trying to silence the growls coming from your stomach in a silent room. Never go into a test hungry! Instead of focusing on your test, you’ll be thinking about the embarrassing noises coming from your stomach that are causing your classmates to give you funny looks. Keep a granola bar in your bag for such emergencies so as to avoid this unnecessary distraction. Also, fueling your stomach fuels your brain!

Breakfast Before College Exam

Photo © Her Campus

4. It’s Just A Test

Tell yourself those four words. After all, it IS just a test. This may seem like the easiest thing to do but actually letting go of the stress and pressure of a test is very difficult for most of us. No matter how important the test is, once you’ve already sat down to take it it’s time to relax and just do the best you can.

Taking Test In College

Photo © Frank Walton

Do you have any tips for improving test-taking? Share with us in a comment below. Good luck and remember, it’s just a test!

 

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Getting Fit On A Budget

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Looking to get healthy but don’t know how? Or are you looking to get a good workout in to lose a couple of pounds before the holidays without spending money on DVDs and gym memberships? If you’re looking to shed some weight and tone up, here are some fun, easy, and free workouts you can do!

1. YouTube Videos

Who needs workout DVDs when you can get a great workout from videos on YouTube? Whatever your fitness level is, there are videos that can help you get into shape. Whether you’re looking to shed weight or tone up, the variety of videos are nearly endless.

2. The Prison Workout

These workouts can be done in small spaces such as a dorm room or apartment. Like the conditions of a prison, you have don’t need much room and you only need to use your body to tone up. The workouts are based on repetition and your body’s weight. If you follow this workout, you will definitely get stronger and more toned!

Man Doing Crunches

Photo © Eights and Weights

3. Running Apps

Running is one of the best ways to get into shape! If you’re a beginner and need a push to start running, there are many apps (most are free) that you can download to your phone to help push you. It has set running schedules made to push you into running harder and faster. These apps are like having your own personal trainer. It will tell you when to run, rest, and even push you to run faster. There is a variety of apps ranging from beginner runners to more advanced runners. Whichever level you are at, these apps can definitely give you a great workout.

Runkeeper Running App

Photo © Toms Guide

These are great ways to kick-start getting towards a healthier you! If these workouts aren’t enough, many colleges have gyms included in their student fees and tuitions. If you’re looking to get fit, you can definitely take advantage of working out at your school’s gym. If you need more help or tips in getting fit, you can also inquire about personal training sessions. A great tip I can give is, ask friends who are into fitness for tips on how to get fit. Most times, they’re willing to help whip you into shape for free!

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