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A College Student Guide to Improving Your Time Management Skills

As a college student, it is critical to develop effective time management skills for your academic and social success. Your college success is greatly affected by the effective use of time. As a college student, it is a time consuming job, therefore, it is important to develop good time management skills to help you achieve academic success, as well as help you on the road to professional success. The points in this blog post will help you effectively manage your time, improve your time management habits and practice effective time management skills.

Plan an adequate amount of time for study. At least study two to four hours daily to complete your writing assignments, create notes, prepare for quiz and more.

Create the habit of studying daily and try to revise the lecture at the same day of class. This will help you memorize the concepts in the long run.

It is advisable to get a weekly planner and note all due dates for research paper writing assignments, tests and quiz dates. Weekly reminders will help you complete your particular assignment before the actual deadline. In short, you will stay on top of your college assignments by weekly reminders.

Whenever you get free time in college, copy your notes and review the course material. Study for at least 20 to 25 minute intervals as research shows that studying in shorter intervals and then taking a small break to refresh your mind is more beneficial than studying constantly for long hours. Therefore, it is better to review the material in smaller intervals of time.

Be flexible and have some unscheduled time for things that you actually want to do. Participate in extracurricular activities. Hang out with friends and plan some fun activities with them. Keeping a balance of both academic and social life is essential to become a well-rounded individual and achieve success in both professional and academic life.

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Sharpening Your College Writing Skills

Students should practice their writing skills in order to create an effective, grammatically correct and well-planned research piece. Creating an outline before you start writing will definitely help you ensure your ideas are easily understood and logical. For college students, it is important to develop writing skills so as to effectively communicate the complex ideas.

Sharpening your writing skills is extremely important for every college student. Many new college students continue to make syntax and spelling errors that are simply not acceptable at higher education level. Below mentioned are a few important skills that must be developed for quality writing:

Clarity

The key to write effectively is conciseness, clarity, proper sentence structure and grammar. Students are advised to practice writing skills in high school in order to get academic success.

Grammar

One of the most important technical skills is grammar that is critically essential to come up with a well-written piece. Learning proper grammar is a matter of reiteration and understanding. The easiest way to employ proper grammar is to keep your sentences concise and explicative. Keep in mind to use the same verb tense throughout the paper and avoid any ambiguity.

Conciseness

Conciseness and clarity are other important elements of quality writing. Unlike grammar, there are no clear guidelines govern their execution. Conciseness and clarity both complement each other. Therefore, prior to start writing, it is important to consider the arguments that strongly support the topic. Being concise is a key to an effective paper. One of the most effective techniques to make your writing clear is dividing your writing into well-constructed paragraphs. Every paragraph must explain a well-defined, clear idea.

Strong Reasoning

The significance of strong reasoning in effective writing can never be denied. Strong reasoning means an argument that is clear, persuasive and convinces the readers. Creating an outline before start writing is the best formula to ensure your final draft is well reasoned. An outline is a crucial tool of effective writing that includes a sum up of ideas. It prepares readers that you are going to explain the topic in detail and clearly states the thesis statement and a few supporting arguments. It must be clear enough that it supports greatly reinforces the main theme of the paper.

Mastering these important skills will certainly help you produce a clear, grammatically correct and persuasive paper, essential for success in the real world after you graduate high school.

Revision Techniques: The Secret to Exam Success

For a generation who updates their Facebook statuses every minute, it seems that preparing for exams has always been a pain. The question remains for many students, what are the techniques for exam success? As per Ed Coke, 31 year old “ memory champion” says that the key to exam success is to learn and revise in short bursts, testing yourself in intervals and taking breaks when you are revising.

Below are some revision techniques that can be followed during your exams preparation:

1-       Make notes of what is taught in class

To save yourself from cramming at the last minute, make sure you make notes of the lectures that your teacher has taught you in class. It is generally a good idea to make notes the very same day. This way you do not have to make notes when your exams are near, and all you will have to do is revise the concepts taught in class.

2-      Use flash cards

Using flash cards can really help you remember things. Note down pointers, which can help you for your exams.

3-       Do it in small chunks

Even for your exams, do not “overstress” yourself; revising in small chunks is usually a good idea. If you revise for 5-6 hours straight, you will end up muddling all the concepts for all subjects that you have been revising for.

 

4-      Write everything that you have learned so far

When you are revising for your exams, once you have revised for this topic, it is usually a good idea to write down everything that you know of the topic. In this way, you would know how much you know and how much more you have to prepare for.

 

5-     Relax!

On the day of your exam, take a deep breath and answer all the questions!

Dissertation Writing Block

Nothing seems worse than having your cursor flashing on the screen, and you are blank as you do not have a clue on how to start writing for your essay or dissertation.! For students who are in school or college would know what I am talking about; when in school you are given an essay or assignment to write, the difficult part is how you will get started and get into the flow of writing.

Having a writer’s block is more serious than having a bad day. The ability of you writing goes out of the window, where you are staring blank at the screen. Writer’s block is caused because of the lack of motivation and you not been able to produce an academic piece as you usually do.

Procrastination is a common problem that is seen amongst writers and students. Writers usually face writer’s block and this results you feeling helpless and angry with yourself for not being able to write. Do not give up, and these feelings will make things worse.

Things get worse for students, when your instructor tells you to write a dissertation. Higher levels of frustrations amongst students are seen when they are writing your final dissertation:

  • Read something

If you face a writer’s block while writing your dissertation, try reading up on something related to your topic. If that does not help, then start reading something that is not related to your dissertation. This will help you to think fresh.

  • Look at the  bigger picture

Look at how much you are left with when writing a dissertation. Do not look at the part where you are stuck; leave that part for a while and move on to another chapter.

  • Take a break

If you have had enough of writing, then take a break. Go out with friends, or do something that pleases you.

  • Research

Do some more research on the area of the topic that you are stuck, gather different sources and read up so you can write better.

  • Take out your frustration

As weird as it may sound, take out all your frustrations on paper, and write what you are feeling. It has worked for many people and has “cured” the dissertation block.

No Essay Writing? Then what?

Frustrated with writing and always doing assignments? No leisure time to yourself?  Teachers nagging for missing deadlines? All this is true, as students usually are faced with the dilemma of not meeting deadlines and submitting an ineffective essay that gets them a bad grade. Writing an essay is  a time-consuming and difficult activity as it leaves you with no choice but results you getting a bad grade! Take a deep breath! Writing can be fun and easy, if you follow the tips below!

Research properly: To get an “A” grade for your essay, extensive research is the key! Your first step is to research the topic that you have chosen. Utilize all resources that you can get your hands on: Internet, books will certainly help you with your research and give you a road map of how to write your essay!

Analyze: Once you have thoroughly researched the topic that you are going to write about, now is the time to analyze and implement! Jot down points and while writing pick the points that you have jotted down, and support it with reasoning!

Outline: When you have analyzed what points will be a part of your “perfect essay”, make an outline that will lead the way for your essay! Use one liners to describe what each paragraph will talk about! Map out the structure that you will follow in your essay!

Attention Grabbing Introduction: Your planning phase has come to an end! Sit down when you are relaxed, start jotting down the ideas that you have gathered in paragraph form! Your introduction for your essay should be written in such a way that it grabs the attention of the reader. An effective introduction will grab the attention of the reader! Your introduction for your essay should be a concise summary of your essay!

Note: Your introduction Title and the first paragraph are the key elements for your essay!

Start Writing: Every paragraph to your essay should be focused on a point and supported with evidence throughout! Focus on your points and expand your ideas in a creative way. Always create connections between your paragraphs!

 Conclusion: Gracefully conclude your essay by summarizing the main points of your essay! You can end on a quote or some call to action!

 Finally, structure your essay properly. Polish your essay by improving the overall tone of your essay and checking for grammatical errors. Get you essay re-checked by a friend or someone in the family, to ensure that you do get a grade that you do not deserve!

Dissertation Topic

Writing a dissertation is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks for students. Most students are usually expected to generate an interesting topic, plan and investigate it and present their findings. Some important stages in the dissertation writing process include:

  • Choosing an interesting topic
  • Building an effective research question
  • Planning and researching
  • Conducting surveys if required and reporting your results
  • Structuring your dissertation

While some students know exactly what their research question they need to address, a few find themselves struggling with the question of what topic to choose. With the pressure of meeting their deadline building up, they usually end up panicking. Following are a few tips to avoid such situations:

–   Discuss topics with other students. Get an idea of what factors they are considering when deciding on a topic. Welcome comments of other students on your topic as this will help you refine your focus. Question yourself if the topic that you have chosen sparks an interest in others? Is it something related to a current problem in time? Will the research that you conduct on it be an addition to the existing research available?

–  Study the work of other students via journals and periodicals. You can either get online access to them or visit your university library for this. Going through what others have done in the field that you have chosen for the past five years is going to be extremely helpful for you.

– When deciding on a topic, think about your interests. Working on a topic that you are most interested in is always going to help you stay motivated when writing your dissertation. You will be writing the next 20,000 – 40,000 on this same topic, hence it only makes sense to choose a topic you are really fond of.

–  While you are doing your topic research and skimming through the articles you find most interesting, try being critical of the topic. Ask the question “why does the author assumes so”, etc. this might give you help in deciding on your own research question.

– Always remember that your research should explore an under-researched area, be a source of addition in the existing literature and develop or test a methodology.

–  Last, but not least, discuss your topic with your supervisor and see if they will be able to assist with it.

Once you keep the above points in mind, you will certainly choose an interesting topic for your dissertation. Best of luck!