Gearing up for the Spring Semester

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So you had a nice winter break and now it’s time to head back to college for Spring Semester.  I know, you were probably getting used to being home for the past month, and being catered to by your parents.  Those days are over, now is the time where you need work your tail off, so you can give back to your family when you become a millionaire (we all have dreams).

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Complexity of Thinking

complexity of thinking for essays

Upon entering college, students are called upon to exhibit more complex levels of thinking and analysis in the papers they submit for grades. One helpful way of viewing this new challenge is through the lens of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. Bloom believed that there were successive levels of analysis when approaching any topic: gathering and presenting knowledge; understanding or comprehending the knowledge; applying the knowledge; analyzing the knowledge; synthesizing the information to form a new whole; and evaluating the knowledge (Scholastic, 2015).  Most college-level work demands that a student primarily use the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Students should not regurgitate facts from an encyclopedia article. Continue reading

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How to Write an Essay

how to write an essay

When writing an academic, college-level essay, the first and most important step—even before brainstorming topics—is to determine the audience. While the audience might seem obvious (the professor), this isn’t always necessarily the case. Sometimes the professor might want you to frame your paper as if you are addressing your fellow classmates; other times he or she may want you to write to a scholarly audience that already has knowledge of the subject matter. If you are unsure, ask first before you begin to brainstorm topics.

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Tips for Beginning Your College Research Paper

tips for research paper

 

One of the most intimidating assignments for any new college student is the prospect of doing a long research paper requiring extensive outside research. Few high school students are faced with the daunting task of completing a 15-20 page paper requiring a unique thesis and independent thought. However, there are a number of helpful tips to keep in mind to make the task easier, if not easy. First, allocate enough time for the project. This is not an assignment that you can complete overnight fueled by a few extra cups of coffee. Second, take advantage of the library staff at your school and ask them questions about how to more effectively use an academic library and library databases to conduct research for peer-reviewed sources. Thirdly, have a working thesis and outline. Even if you change both over the course of your research (and you probably will), having a sense of focus can make the process less overwhelming.

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Know Your Audience

know your audience

When writing or speaking to someone in real life outside of the classroom, most people naturally tailor their comments to suit the needs of a particular audience. You don’t write to your boss or your mother the way you write to your sister or best friend; you speak much more casually when you are hanging out with people at the mall versus speaking to people during a job interview. But some students still find the concept of writing an academic paper with a specific audience in mind very confusing. After all, aren’t you writing to your professor, since he is the person grading the paper?

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