Monthly Archives: October 2019

5 Tips to Stay Productive During Holidays and Breaks

a girl in a scarf with a cup of coffee

Every student looks forward to taking it easy during the holiday break. After a fast-paced and challenging semester, it is always nice to have some time off to relax, spend time with family and friends, and not worry about the next test or assignment due. However, while school breaks don’t need to be work-intensive, you should still try to accomplish some things while you are away from your studies. After all, as soon as the break is over, you’ll be heading back to school, and you definitely want to be ready for that. Here are 5 great tips to help you stay productive during holidays and breaks.

Have a Holiday Break Plan

While it is nice to get away from the rigors of an academic schedule, you should still make a plan for how you’ll spend your break; otherwise, the time will pass quickly, and you’ll have missed opportunities. Prior to starting your break, look at a calendar and plot out how you’ll use the time. While you’ll want to have blank space on your schedule to simply rest and relax, you should also make sure that you allocate time to get together with friends and family; if you need to do any studying over the holiday, you should mark that on your calendar as well. Overall, having a holiday break plan will help you stay productive and get the most out of your holiday break time as well.

Stick to a Schedule

Don’t pick up any bad time management or sleep schedule habits while you’re away on your holiday break. If you party late into the night and sleep into the early afternoon every single day during your break, you’re going to be in for a big shock when you return to school.  Instead, stick to a more moderate schedule over the holiday where you might stay up a bit later, but still, get up at a reasonable time each morning. You should also try to eat your meals at normal times as well. Following a reasonable schedule during the break will allow you to have fun over the holidays, but still make it relatively easy to snap back into your school schedule when the break ends. Of course, if you face troubles when going back to classes after a long break, you can always get help from a professional team.

Make a Task List

One of the best ways to stay productive during holidays and breaks is to plan to accomplish things with the extra time you have.  Make a list of the things you need to get done, or that you would like to do over the holiday break. Your tasks could include mundane things, such as mailing a tuition payment or getting the oil changed in your car. It could also include fun events you’d like to do, such as go to a museum, or personal challenges to accomplish, like a 10K road race. Keep your written task list with you and mark off each task as it is accomplished. Doing so will help you stay more productive during your break, so you make the most of your time off.

Don’t Let Your Brain Rust

While you want to enjoy some much-needed time off during your break, you should also try to keep your mind sharp. Otherwise, you’ll be in for a bit of a shock when your classes start up again.  Here are a few activities you should consider to keep your mental edge over the holiday break:

  • Watch documentaries and educational shows
  • Read articles, books, or scholarly journals related to your course of study
  • Attempt to learn a new skill
  • Visit local museums, art galleries, or go see a play
  • Maintain your writing skills – keep a journal, try various writing exercises or write real letters to friends or family
  • Take a short online course in a topic that interests you
  • Solve the daily newspaper crossword puzzle
  • Pick up a hobby, such as knitting, gardening, jigsaw puzzles,

While this is by no means an all-inclusive list, any of these activities are fun to do and could help you keep your mind sharp during the holiday break. Consider trying one of them, or some other activity, so your mind stays active and engaged while you’re away from your studies; you’ll be thankful you did when your classes start up again. Also, check out some useful tips on how you can improve your writing skills.

Stay in Shape

Don’t turn into a couch potato over your holiday break, or you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you head back to school. If you’re an athlete, failing to work out and stay in shape over break could cost you a starting position on a team. Even if you don’t participate in sports, you don’t want to be out of shape and tired as you start the new semester. Take the time to exercise on a regular basis while you are home on break. Additionally, try not to overindulge at big family or holiday meals either. Putting a little effort in to work out and stay in shape will help you feel better and enjoy your holiday break even more; you’ll also be more prepared to head back to school and tackle your classes when the break comes to an end.

You can have fun, relax and enjoy your holiday break, and still remain productive. Just consider all of the tips offered here; if you do, you’ll have a terrific holiday break and be better prepared to start your next semester as well.

How to Polish Your Essay

the girl is writing

When your draft is complete, all you can think about is finishing your work as quickly as possible, right? But there is so much left to do! Well, with the help of our tips, you can polish and finalize your paper without spending too much time. How? Read this article!

1. Have a Little Break

When working on your assignment for a long time, it’s easy to become tired and heedless. It’s not surprising, as your brain is overloaded with all the wording, creativity, and analysis. It’s hard to switch to another task, so your brain needs some time to rest.

Even if you don’t have much time, a five-minute break will work. Watch a video, listen to music, have a snack, etc. Meanwhile, your brain will have a little time to relax too. After that, you will see that it’s easier to continue working on your essay. Check out what other tricks on how to become a more productive student we were writing about.

2. Check if Your Paper Meets the Requirements

This step is not only about checking the word count (although you should) but also other qualities of your essay. For example, check the assignment to find out if you did everything that was required. Did you answer the question posed? Did you explain, analyze, or compare what you were supposed to?

Then, check the word count and formatting guides (we also have a great article about differnet citation styles that you might find very helpful). These requirements are crucial to meet in order to get a high grade, as these are the first things that your professor or teacher will pay attention to. Not meeting them can badly affect your grade even if the content of your essay is pretty good.

3. Pay Attention to the Style and Content Quality

Even if you have reached the minimum word count (check the article on how to lengthen your essay if you haven’t), it doesn’t mean that the content of your essay is good enough. Read through your text and pay attention to the structure of your sentences and paragraphs. Edit sentences that seem unclear or have any style errors. For example, there are general rules applied to any academic work, such as:

  • Using the active voice instead of passive
  • Avoiding slang, contractions, and exaggerations
  • Avoiding repetition and complicated wording
  • Explaining terms used in your essay
  • Keeping the number of quotes used reasonable
  • Using transitions between paragraphs to avoid making sharp jumps
  • Avoiding facts and data that don’t have a reliable source.

Reread your text several times to make sure you have covered all the facts that you intended and created a logical flow that leads your reader through the topic. There should be no ‘sharp edges’ that one can usually see in the works that have a bad structure. In such a case, the author jumps from one fact or subtopic to another, sometimes coming back and repeating themselves. Make sure to elaborate your thoughts in an easy-to-understand manner and use transition sentences when moving from one paragraph to another.

Also:

  • Check if your essay has words like ‘bad,’ ‘good,’ etc. It’s better to replace them will less widespread and banal words. You can use online synonym tools like Thesaurus to pick the most suitable words for your piece.
  • Avoid using too complicated and fancy words as they usually don’t add any value to your essay and may make you look less creative and genuine.
  • Make sure you keep your work easy to read – say ‘no’ to complicated constructions and long sentences because they make it easier to miss a punctuation error and harder to follow your point.

If you see that the content and style look fine, you can take the next step.

4. Check the Grammar

Flawless grammar is essential in order to get a high grade. Even if you conduct in-depth research and put much time into the analysis, poor grammar can ruin all your effort.

First of all, you can use the grammar checker that is embedded in your word processor. Of course, it’s not totally reliable, as it may not recognize errors due to its inability to work with the context in which the words are used. It might also miss typos or commas.

The next level of check is to put your essay through a grammar checker like Grammarly. They are highly popular and develop each year to let you check the flow and clarity of your pieces as well as grammar and punctuation. It is more context-oriented, so it will let you know about the mistakes that your software has missed.

The last step would be to run your essay through the plagiarism-checking software. Even if you didn’t copy any part of your text from other sources, your piece might contain similar parts to already existing pieces. Of course, your professor or teacher will not always check your essay for plagiarism, but it’s always good to be confident about the quality of your work.

If you want your essay to be checked by the team of real professionals, just send us your request. We can do editing, proofreading, and plagiarism checking just as well as we write essays from scratch.

How to Spend Less Time on Homework

a girl is checking her wrist watchWe all know how hard it is to manage your homework and your social life at the same time. Sometimes you can’t help thinking about the things that you would prefer doing rather than sitting with an unfinished essay in front of you. So, is it possible to spend less time doing your homework? We believe it is. This post will tell you about the most efficient tactics that you should use to be more productive while doing your homework.

1. Stay Focused

When talking about productivity, it’s hard not to mention how staying focused is essential. Having too many thoughts and things that distract while doing your homework is a surefire way to increase the amount of time you spend on your tasks.

Analyze your usual study routine. What is it usually like? You probably sit with your TV, music, or YouTube on and try to do your homework. That is too much information for your brain to process. As a result, you retain information way worse than you could without such noise in the background and have to spend more time dealing with your assignments.

If you try focusing on your homework without texting people or watching entertaining videos, you might notice that you don’t need as much time to finish your work.

You can try a method that usually works for people who tend to get bored, concentrating on one task quickly:

  1. Decide what task you are going to work on.
  2. Set the timer for 20 or 25 minutes.
  3. Concentrate on the chosen task until the alarm goes off.
  4. Take a five-minute break.
  5. Repeat all the steps.

You can alternate tasks if you have a few of them to be able to work on each of them with fresh eyes. For example, if you have to complete an essay and finish your science project, try working on the essay for 20 minutes, taking a quick break, and then working on your science project.

2. Take Notes in Class

Taking notes is essential for every student. They help to retain information and build a study system that will suit your needs and your learning type. But have you ever thought about the way you take notes in class?

There are a few note-taking systems that are widespread among students. Here are some of them:

  • The Outline Method. This is one of the most common methods for taking notes. It implies using bullet points and subtopics that help to structure information into subcategories.
  • The Cornell Method. The main difference of this method is the page layout: the page is divided into two columns or blocks with the small column used to write down questions, comments, etc., while all the notes go into the large column.
  • The Charting Method. When this method is applied, the notes are written down into a table with separate columns with separate categories that are relevant for the topic.

Your note-taking method can be a game-changer for you. If you find a method that works for you the best, you will notice how the effectiveness of your home study sessions grows.

Basically, all you need to do is to try different page layouts and find out which method works for you the best. It will be easier if you know your learning style. There are many different styles of learning, including auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.

Developing a system that is the most convenient for you will make studying information much more effective and will allow you to structure the data without losing critical aspects.

3. Set the Timer

It is known that strict deadlines make people work faster. If you want to spend less time on your homework, you might need some motivation to stop procrastinating and get back to work. That is when setting a deadline can come in handy.

Decide how much time you objectively need to complete the task and set the timer. You can even reward yourself if you are on time to stay motivated while on your breaks (and breaks are essential).

For example, you have a one-page essay that you know you can finish in two hours with time for proofreading and editing included. Set the timer for two and a half hours to have a few breaks through the working process. Be strict and do your best to finish the work on time.

After a few times of trying this method, you will notice that you procrastinate less and finish your homework faster.

4. Don’t Put Homework Aside

Every student knows that putting the homework off until the last moment isn’t a healthy habit. However, most students do so no matter what the consequences (like sleepless nights and low grades) might be.

Try managing your homework piece by piece. Divide the massive assignments into smaller pieces and do them one by one, day by day. For example, if you need to complete a 3000-word research paper, you can start slowly by completing a paragraph a day. It won’t take much time and will make the task much easier. If you can’t help missing your deadlines, turn to a professional service that will help you manage all of your assignments when it is needed.

Remember that it is always hard to start. But once you do, the rest will be much easier to deal with. Don’t procrastinate!