Author Archives: Steve Aedy

Tips and Tricks on How to Focus on Homework

someone's hands open a poetry book

Being tired and annoyed after a long day in school or college is absolutely normal. In such a mood, it’s hard to motivate and force yourself to start working on your assignments for the next day. Many students can’t cope with procrastination looking for the answer to the question “How to focus better?” and end up using study drugs which is not recommended.

Fortunately, we have a few tips that will help you to stop procrastinating, increase your productivity and get to work. Keep reading our article to know more.

Find a Comfortable Place

It’s easy to feel distracted and unfocused when your setting doesn’t match the task that you have to complete. That’s why setting the right atmosphere is the first thing you should do when starting working on your assignments.

Here are a few things that you need to take care of before you actually start doing your homework:

  1. Your working place has to be a desk (or a table) with a comfortable chair. Now, many of you would say “What’s wrong with doing your homework while lying in bed?” Actually, everything. When you sit or lay on the couch or bed, it relaxes you too much and makes you sleepy. A comfortable table and a chair will be the best option for sitting straight and keeping yourself toned.
  2. Open your window to get fresh air. When your brain lacks oxygen, it can’t work correctly, so it makes you a slower thinker. Fresh air and deep breathing will help you to keep your mind sharp and avoid headaches.
  3. Bring some snacks to your working place. You will probably want to have a snack during this study session, so grab them beforehand. Otherwise, you will have to walk outside the room to grab something to eat, and it will negatively impact your concentration. Staying in the room where you are studying is the best tip on how to concentrate on study continuously for long hours.
  4. Find a place where the rest of your family or your mates won’t bother you to study. The best option would be a separate room with a door closed. If you have someone at home, ask for privacy and silence. Try to avoid doing your homework in the living room, because it will be much harder to focus with a talk show on TV or chatting family members in the background.

The atmosphere and the place you are studying at are very important for setting up the right mood for a cram session and keeping yourself focused.

Eliminate Distractions

This is the most important and the hardest step. When you need to focus on your assignments – which can be quite boring, let’s face it – it’s hard to keep away from the temptation of using your phone, checking social media and watching TV shows. But you can do that, you just need to follow easy steps:

  1. Block your phone or give it to someone while you are learning. It is a simple rule for anyone who wants to succeed in studying – not using your cell phone. To make it easier for you, you can log out of your social media accounts, to turn off the Wi-Fi on your phone or to switch to the airplane mode. This way you won’t receive messages, calls or annoying notifications and will be able to stay focused. If you know that you won’t be able to keep yourself away from your phone, give it to a parent, a friend or use an app that blocks your screen for a preset time – Flipd, Offtime, etc.
  2. Avoid listening to music with lyrics. When you are trying to understand information that you are reading or to formulate a thought that you need to write down, the side noises can hinder. Especially when someone is talking or singing. It happens because your brain is trying to process the information it receives by hearing. If you need some background music, choose some tracks without lyrics. Classical music will do the best.
  3. Don’t watch TV. It distracts you just like music. Avoid watching it; otherwise, your productivity will severely decrease.

All of these tips are great for school and college students who get distracted easily. The less you interrupt your studying process, the more focused you will be while completing homework.

Organize Your Time

Time management is one of the most essential college skills. If you can productively organize the time you spend on doing your homework, you can change your studying routine and spend less time every day working on another assignment.

What does it mean? Time management in studying means that you need to create an action plan first and then follow it without messing the time limits you established.

For example, your plan for the evening might be:

3.00 PM – 4.00 PM – Math assignment
4.00 PM – 4.30 PM – Rest
4.30 PM – 5.30 PM – Science assignment
5.30 PM – 6.00 PM – Rest
6.00 PM – 7.00 PM – Literature assignment
7.00 PM – 8.00 PM – Dinner
8.00 PM – 9.00 PM – Art assignment

As you can see this plan implies an alteration of studying and small 30 minutes breaks to help your brain rest and get ready for the next assignment. You can have snacks, use your phone, listen to music or do some exercises during these breaks. Just give yourself some reward for the amount of work that you completed. You would also be surprised how easily you can manage your time in college.

  • If you set up the schedule for studying at home, it will be easier for you to get to work faster. The mind gets used to certain actions that repeat from day to day. So, just like you are used to going to school in the morning, you will be used to getting to work when the homework time comes. Not everyone can establish such a schedule. But you surely ought to try it.
  • Start with the most time-consuming and challenging assignments. As soon as you get to work, your concentration is much stronger than at the end of studying session. Dedicate the time when you are focused the most to the assignments that require more time and effort.
  • Establish the priority of each assignment that you have to complete. Give the main priority to the assignments that are urgent or value more and start with these tasks. If all of your tasks are important and you don’t have enough time to finish all of them, consider turning to a professional service for help.
  • Cross out finished assignments from the plan – you will see your progress and feel more satisfied with your productivity. Moreover, such a tactic helps boost your motivation to do homework.
  • Don’t try to be multitasking. When you try to complete a few assignments at the same time, your concentration gets worse due to the variety of information that your brain needs to process. Focus on one assignment at a time. After finishing it, you can have a break and then start a new assignment.

As you can see, the time that you spend on your assignments is as important as the time you give yourself to relax between your study sessions. Such breaks not only help your brain to keep concentration for a long time but also provide you with an opportunity to avoid the temptation as you know that after completing another assignment you can enjoy the things you like – music, social networks, etc.

We hope that you found our pieces of advice useful and will feel more focused the next time you have to start your homework assignment.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Critical Response Essay

colored papers anchored to the whiteboard with magnets

Students have to write different types of essays all the time. However, they face many problems when it comes to writing a critical response essay. Why is it so hard to manage? What are the main components of it? We will answer all these questions in our complete guide to help you learn how you can write this type of essays quickly and easily.

What Is a Critical Response Essay?

First things first – let’s find out what a critical response essay is and what components it includes.

It is an assignment that is based on your analytical skills. It implies the understanding of the primary source, such as literary work, movie or painting (its problematic, content, and significance), and the ability to perform critical thinking and reflect your opinion on the given subject.

The aim of critical response essay is to get familiarised with the subject, form your opinion (the agreement or disagreement with the author), reveal the problematic of the piece and support your claims with evidence from the primary source.

For example, your task might be to analyze the social structure in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

How Is It Different From Other Essay Types?

Every essay you write has a very similar structure that consists of an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. While this type is not an exception and is quite similar to an analytical essay, it still has differences. One of those is the fact that it contains two parts. The first part includes a quick summary of the analyzed work. The second part is a critique – a response to the author’s opinion, facts, examples, etc.

What Should You Pay Attention To?

Before we dive into the guide and the steps of crafting your critical essay, let’s take a look at some of the most common pitfalls that often occur during the writing process of a piece like this.

Not knowing what you are writing about.

This makes no sense, right? So, be sure to read the piece that your topic is based on and make sure you understand what it is about.

Not understanding what your task is.

Be attentive to the task and make sure you understand what is required from you. You would be surprised if you knew how many essays are written without even touching the main question or problematic.

Being in a hurry.

A lot of students start working on their essays at the very last moment and do it in haste. You can avoid a lot of mistakes if you are attentive, focused, and organized. If you have too little time to write a strong response essay yourself, you can always get the assistance of a professional writing service. This will help you to be on time with your assignment without sacrificing its quality.

And now let’s begin your journey of writing an essay.

Step 1. Examine the Primary Source

Before starting actually writing your critical essay, you need to get acquainted with the subject of your analysis. It might be an article, a book or any other type of text. Sometimes, this task is given for pieces of art, such as a painting or a movie.

So, the first step would be to gain as much information about the subject as possible. You might also search for some reviews or research papers on the subject. Be sure to examine the primary source thoroughly and read the complete text if it is a piece of writing.

Advice: make notes while you are working with your primary source. Highlight the main points that will build a basis for your analysis and which you can use to form your opinion on. Notes will also help you to structure your essay.

Checklist:

  • Did you read the whole text or examined your primary source thoroughly?
  • Did you find information on the topic of your assignment?
  • Did you write down the key points that you are going to use for your essay?

Step 2. Analyze the Source and Your Notes

After you finished with your primary source, try to analyze and summarize all of your findings. Identify the problematic of the piece and find the appropriate notes that you have made to structure your future essay.

Formulate your opinion – are you agree or disagree with the author? Can you support your statements with evidence?

Checklist:

  • Did you examine all the notes you have?
  • Did you form your opinion on the subject?
  • Did you find the arguments to support your main point?
  • Did you succeed to define the strengths and weaknesses of the work?

Step 3. Write Your Essay

After you have all of the needed materials next to you, you can start working on the text of your essay.

  1. First of all, write a critical response essay rough draft.
  2. Reread your draft and make your edits.
  3. Proofread and edit your final version.
  4. Check for plagiarism, grammatical and punctuation errors.
  5. Write a Works Cited page or bibliography page (if required).

Now, we will look at each part of your essay in detail. Keep in mind that you have to follow the guidelines provided by your teacher or professor. Some critical response essay examples will come in handy at this step.

How to Write a Critical Response Introduction

Your introduction is the part where you have to provide your thesis statement. Once you have your opinion and your thoughts organized, it’s pretty easy to make them transform into a statement that all your essay will be built on. Express your agreement or disagreement with the author.

For example, your thesis statement might be:

“Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare is a masterpiece that raises the problem of social inequality and classes differentiation which aggravates the drama culmination.

Advice: make sure you have evidence to support your thesis statement later in the text.
Make your introduction in the form of a brief summary of the text and your statement. You need to introduce your reader to the topic and express your opinion on it.

Checklist:

  • Did you embed your thesis statement?
  • Is your thesis statement complete and suitable for the topic?
  • Can you support your thesis statement with evidence?
  • Did you summarize the analyzed subject?
  • Did you start your introduction with a catchy sentence – a powerful statement, fact, quote or intriguing content?
  • Did you include a transition sentence at the end of your introduction?

How to Write Critical Response Paragraphs

Explain each of your main points in separate body paragraphs. Structure your text so that the most strong statement with the following supporting evidence is placed first. Afterward, explain your other points and provide examples and evidence from the original text.

Remember that each of your statements should support your main idea – your thesis statement. Provide a claim at the beginning of the paragraph and then develop your idea in the following text. Support each of your claims with at least one quote from the primary source.

For example:

To distinguish the division between classes and express the contribution of each social class Shakespeare used different literary methods. For example, when a person from a lower class speaks, Shakespeare uses prose:

NURSE
I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes
(God save the mark!) here on his manly breast—
A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse,
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed in blood,
All in gore blood. I swoonèd at the sight. (3.2.58-62)

At the same time upper-class characters speak in rhymed verse:

MONTAGUE
But I can give thee more,
For I will raise her statue in pure gold,
That while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet. (5.3.309-313)

Checklist:

  • Did you support your thesis statement with claims?
  • Do your claims appeal to critical response questions?
  • Did you provide evidence for each claim?

How to Write Critical Response Conclusion

The best way to conclude your essay is to restate your thesis statement in different phrasing. Summarize all of your findings and repeat your opinion on the subject. A one- or two-paragraph conclusion is usually enough if not requested more.

We’ve also prepared some critical response essay topics for you:

  1. Explain the changes of the character throughout the novel: Frodo from Lord of the Rings/Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  2. Examine a setting and the atmosphere in the novel Gone with the Wind/Jane Eyre.
  3. Investigate the cultural or historical background in Romeo and Juliet/Macbeth.
  4. Describe the impact of the supporting character: Horatio in Hamlet/Renfield in Dracula.
  5. Describe the genre of the work and its influence on the mood of the piece: To Build a Fire/ For Whom the Bell Tolls.

This was our step-by-step guide to writing your perfect critical response essay. We hope our tips will be useful to you!

How to End a Personal Statement to Impress the Admissions Committee

a young girl is writing in a notebook with the mountains in the background

Every personal statement is a hard, long-term, and painstaking work. Every student would agree that when it comes to writing a piece like that, it’s hard to start and it’s hard to finish as well.

A conclusion is a significant part because it gives that aftertaste that stays after reading it and affects the final impression about your personality. That’s why many students are looking for the answer to the question “How to conclude a personal statement for graduate school?”

Fresh Essays is here to help you write a suitable and convincing conclusion that will make a good impression on the admissions committee.

1. Make Reference to Your Opening

It is a widely known literary method – to end in the same manner as you started. Many students say that this simple trick helped them write a perfect personal statement.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that you should copy and paste your introduction part, but you can emphasize your point of view by making reference to your opening. So, you can briefly touch the points that you were talking at the beginning of your personal statement.

For example, if you started your personal statement with speaking about your passion for studying environmental sciences, you can end your statement with words like:

“As I am highly concerned about declining species, I am determined to fight against poachers and other human impacts which ruins the planet. Therefore, I want to study environmental sciences in [the name of the university], as I know that I will meet many allies here, and together we will work hard to protect the environment.”

2. Write About Aspirations and Plans for the Future

Every piece of writing has its logical evolution. The best way to make through the personal statement is to make it logically flow step by step, developing a theme:

  • What do you want to study and why?
  • What is your motivation?
  • What are your qualities and achievements?
  • What are your plans for the future?

Every step leads to another one and helps to build your text in the logical and intelligible way. If you end your statement with plans for the future, you give an impression of a purposeful and positive person.

Speak about what you want from your life, future, and education in particular. You can include in your conclusion something like:

“I admire how the principles of democracy are valued in your country. My goal is to fight for democracy in my country, and I need to be aware of tools and techniques which can help build a democratic society.”

3. Pull Together Your Key Points

Admissions committee members have tons of personal statements to look through. Sometimes they lack time to read the whole text you wrote, so they try to catch the main points such as:

  • Your experience
  • Your study accomplishments
  • Your knowledge of the particular course and learning institution
  • Your motivation

That’s why your conclusion can be the part of the whole text that will briefly tell about all of these points of your personal statement. By the time you need to start writing a conclusion for your personal statement for a university, you have probably looked up for the criteria the learning institution is looking for in applicants. This is a perfect place to remind them that you are a total match.

So you might use the following tip to end your personal statement which is to summarize all the previous information. Don’t be afraid to restate your ideas. For example, you can speak again about your positive qualities and your work experience or significant study achievements. Put it together in a few lines and make it brief but informative.

For example:

“Many journalists who I highly respect for their unbiased materials and deep analysis of the issues, such as [name], [name] and [name], have graduated from [the university]. As far as I know, in [the university] objectiveness is a high value which corresponds with my personal views on which principals journalists should follow. This is the reason why I long to study here and why I will be able to work regarding all the values [the university] supports.”

4. Keep It Simple And Honest

Many admission officers confirm that honesty is the most essential characteristic of a personal statement with a strong conclusion. The experienced committee members can clearly see if your statement is too embellished in order to impress. Being truthful is much more important for them than polished statements with stolen phrases.

Sometimes it’s just enough to give a positive ending, like:

“I like the educational program of [the university], as it contains the most interesting aspects of [the subject] for me. At this point in my life, I am fond of studying [the subject] and, as you can see from my scores, I am doing well with it. So, I am excited to enter [the university] and learn [the subject] deeper.”

or

“I know that [the university] provides students with much opportunities to get practical skills. I think it’s more important today than theoretical knowledge. Therefore, I am eager to study here and hope that you will deem my skills and aspirations are good enough to get a chance to study in [the university] .”

You can also talk not only about subject areas but also about extracurricular activities that this institution holds and which you will love to take participation in. This will show that you are interested in the university and have read about it a lot.

Quick Tips:

  1. Do not use slang.
  2. Do not use the same personal statements to apply to different learning institutions.
  3. Check your personal statement for plagiarism using specific software.
  4. Do not include irrelevant information or abstruse words.
  5. Please proofread your personal statement.
  6. Know the exact name of the program you’re applying to and include it in your statement.
  7. Address your best qualities but try to incorporate them into the story, rather than just giving it in a list.

So, these were our tips for your perfect personal statement. Give yourself some time to write and don’t rush. Remember that this piece can be your winning ticket and might get you into the college or university of your dreams even if your grades are not that great. Hope, you liked these personal statement ending examples and found them useful. Good luck!

Using Study Drugs to Earn an “A”: Why You Should Think Twice

In pursuit of academic excellence, it has become a common practice among college students to take study drugs. Between classes, clubs meetings, games and summer internships, students have little time to study. And to get a boost of energy for those all-nighters, many decide to take stimulant drugs.

“Smart drugs” like Adderall or Ritalin are prescription stimulants that are often used inappropriately to enhance the mental performance while studying. They are usually prescribed to treat ADHD, but in fact, about 1 in 5 college students use them without prescription to increase productivity. On many college campuses, they are easily attainable, that’s why they are so appealing to the overwhelmed students.

Risks Versus Rewards

Study drugs help to focus on the tasks and improve motivation to study, but the short-term benefits come along with the risks.

For people who suffer from ADD or ADHD, these drugs may have a calming effect. However, for those without the symptoms of a mental disorder, they are more likely to cause nervousness and euphoria.

Study drugs have different short-time risks like increased heart rate, blood pressure, irritability and insomnia. Sometimes they can cause paranoia and even hallucinations. After all, the misuse of such drugs can be really dangerous, especially when combined with alcohol and other drugs.

In addition to the health risks, a student who uses study drugs may face the legal consequences, such as fines and suspension from college. Misusing the prescription drugs is against the law and increases the chances of committing a crime when you are under the influence of substances. However, the most disturbing risk of using the study drugs is an addiction. Apart from the serious health problems, it may even lead to death.

Healthier Alternatives to Study Drugs

Despite the serious consequences, the use of “smart drugs” is alive on campuses. The highly competitive academic environment increases the risk of drug abuse. However, the study drugs shouldn’t be an answer to the students’ stressful life. There are many healthy alternatives that will help you manage your academic and social life.

To beat the stress, it is important to rest each day, without your phone, Facebook or friends. Eat the healthy food, get plenty of sleep and practice some relaxation techniques. Yoga, for instance, has been proven to reduce stress and promote a healthy lifestyle.

The key to productivity is also having fun. That’s why don’t forget to take breaks and spend time with friends. It’s extremely important to re-energize for the next study session. You may also consider drinking coffee, Red Bull or Mountain Dew instead of taking pills. These are not the healthiest strategies, but at least they are legal and not dangerous.

Surely, college is competitive and you want to excel in academics. But it’s not worth becoming dependent on a drug and experiencing all side effects, especially when there are great alternatives.

Prepare a Persuasive Speech in 5 Easy Steps

Prepare a speech in 5 stepsTalking comes naturally to us and we don’t even give our conversations the second thought. But when faced with the prospect of speaking in front of the audience, this seems a burden. By far, the best way to learn how to write persuasive speeches is to read the great ones. But if you are looking for some quick tips, here are a few steps to follow.

1. Learn about a Topic

A major part of the difficulty about writing a persuasive speech is choosing a topic and learning about it. You need to know as much as possible about the subject you need to speak on. Spend some time doing a research and learn all the sides of the issue. You may read academic books in a library or find relevant articles online but make sure to use only reliable sources. To find out what other people think about a topic, use radio talks or editorials, but don’t rely on them as your only source of information as they may be biased.

2. Define Your Goal

You have to understand what you need to achieve with your speech. Do you want to present your own opinion on the issue? Make a sale? Persuade your audience to vote? Or perform some other action? Once you define what you expect from the audience, you’ll be able to easily craft your message. It is also important to understand the views and knowledge of your audience about a topic. People who know little about the subject need some background information and simpler language. However, the experts on the topic may find this kind of speech boring.

3. Write a Strong Opening

Before you can start persuading your audience, you have to attract their attention. A strong and effective opening has the following elements:

  • An attention grabber – this can be a little startling or dramatic statement that will get your audience’s attention instantly.
  • A link to the audience – you need to emphasize that you have something in common with the audience.
  • Your goal – explain what you hope the speech will accomplish.
  • A road map – present the main points of your speech.

4. Offer Persuasive Evidence

The main body of your speech should include several convincing reasons to support your point of view. Arrange these points logically. Make sure to use credible sources from your research to back up these points. You may use the real life examples that the audience can relate to. Even the argument based on facts and logic should relate to the audience’s interests and lives.

5. Conclude with a Call to Action

The conclusion of your speech should remind your audience of what you have told them. But don’t just restate your point of view, instead, use this as a chance to present a clear call to action. Use concise and strong sentences that elicit confidence. You don’t want to sound as passive or timid. Don’t be afraid to use some humor in your speech. It will connect you to the audience and make your topic easier to hear about.

Write like you talk and remember that practice makes perfect!

IELTS Essay Writing Tips

IELTS essay writing tips

Without a doubt, essay writing is the most challenging section of IELTS. Writing 150 or 250 words in the time allowed is the biggest concern of many students. Indeed, it is quite hard for people from a different cultural background to get high scores on the exam because of the another thinking mode. But with the right preparation, you can make sure that your essay will be good enough to attract the score you really want.

There is a lot to remember: you have to manage your time, keep to the word limit, use great vocabulary, avoid mistakes and find solid points to make about the topic. It may look impossible but it is all attainable if you know the main tips and tricks.

1. Keep your introduction short

Remember that you have only 40 minutes to write an essay, and some of this time should be spent for planning. That’s why you need to write your introduction quickly so you can start developing the body paragraphs. You just have to do two things: state the essay topic using some basic facts and present what you are going to write about.

2. Choose a controlling idea for each body paragraph

Your IELTS essay should contain 2 or 3 body paragraphs. Each paragraph should present one main idea and include several sentences to support it. You need to give enough facts, examples and arguments to answer the essay question. Make sure to stay on topic because you will be penalized if you stray off subject matter.

3. Be clear and straightforward

You need to write clearly and get to the point. English essays reflect a straightforward way of thinking, so make sure you develop your ideas precisely. Choose your words deliberately, pay attention to the sentence length, avoid unnecessary explanations, rewrite or delete needless phrases, eliminate redundancies.

4. Be logical

Logic is one of the most important factors of a good IELTS essay. Your sentences and paragraphs should have a clear reasoning, which aims for supporting your point of view. To build logical connections in your essay, you need to use transitions. They are important tools that will help you connect your ideas properly.

5. Use rich vocabulary

IELTS exam is the time to show what you know. Stay away from the over-used adjectives, such as “good” or “bad.” Instead, use more expressive words, such as excellent, wonderful, or horrible. The more precise words will make your language alive and help you get higher points for your essay.

6. Avoid slang and contractions

Find the best way to express your thoughts without using the slang or colloquial expressions. You need to show off the best English you know. Also, make sure you don’t use contractions in your essay. Academic tasks demand formal writing, so don’t write in a style that is improper to use.

7. Add the personal touch

An essay should reveal your personal feelings and opinions. It has to show your individuality. If this personal touch is lost, the essay will be colorless. Therefore, don’t be afraid to express your own point of view.

These techniques are key to producing a powerful IELTS essay. Keep these tips in mind and try your best!

10 Awesome Tricks to Become a Super Productive Student

How to be a productive studentFull of enthusiasm and good intentions but have no idea how to get everything done? Even if you are one of those students who attends every class and spends hours in the library each day, this is all useless if you are unproductive.

Productivity is the most important skill you’ll acquire as a student. Being able to balance your academic, social and personal lives is what will help you perform better both at university and outside of academia.

Luckily, there are some tips and tricks to help you stay on track.

1. Set achievable goals

Setting goals is a perfect way to motivate yourself. However, make sure to set yourself only realistic and achievable goals. If you settle on too many aims, you’ll just decide that you won’t reach them and stop trying to. Instead, focus on smart, measurable and significant goals.

2. Plan everything

Planning everything in advance will make your life less stressful as you’ll be able to control all tasks and duties. Keep a diary and list all things to be accomplished. As a result, you’ll never experience the deadline panics and you’ll always know what’s around the corner.

3. Create a better study environment

A good study environment will keep you motivated at all times. Therefore, you need to choose a quite and comfortable place to study. Good lighting is important, so either use a desk lamp or pick a naturally bright room. Don’t work on your bed – let your sleep place be for sleeping.

4. Limit distractions

Make sure to limit all distractions and you’ll be able to easily focus on your tasks. Consider what may lower your productivity – Facebook, cat videos, phone calls, online shopping, loud music – and do your best to stay away from these things.

5. Take study breaks

Schedule breaks in your study plan. The perfect productivity formula is 52 minutes of work and then 17 minutes of relaxation. Here are some great break ideas: have a healthy snack, go outside and get some fresh air, have a short walk. However, avoid watching TV or browsing social media – it’s not effective for your mind and body.

6. Keep a “done” list

Creating the “done” lists will help you keep track of what you’ve accomplished during a day. Every time you achieve something, add it to your list. It will motivate you to work on the new things faster.

7. Wake up early

If you want to become a super productive student, you have to get up early. Waking up at the same time each morning is essential for starting your day on the right foot. Form this useful habit and you’ll have enough time for accomplishing all goals and tasks.

8. Surround yourself with people who inspire you

The company you keep is very important for your productivity and motivation. Make sure you are surrounded by people who share your goals, this will keep your standards high. Consider to get a study buddy or join a study group and keep each other on track.

9. Wear headphones

This is slightly antisocial, but it’s something you can do to focus. Wearing headphones shows people that you cannot talk or do something right now. This is perfect for having that “do not disturb” working time.

10. Sleep and de-stress

Being well-rested will help you focus and be more efficient when it comes time to work. Therefore, make sure to get enough sleep and don’t forget to find time for fun. Fun is important, not just for your health, but for learning as well.

Writing an Analytical Essay: The Most Useful Hints

How to write an analytical essayOne of the most frequently assigned essays in English is an analytical essay. In can be a challenging task to complete, but mastering its technique is essential as most academic assignments have a strong requirement to write with an analytical focus.

So, what is an analytical essay?

The key to understanding the nature of this type of essay is a word “analyze.” Yes, your main task is to present a deep and well-structured evaluation of the topic or problem. An analytical essay is not a summary of the work. If you find yourself paraphrasing the information or simply retelling the story, you are not writing an analytical essay.

The Most Useful Writing Tips and Tricks

1. If you may choose a topic, investigate the subject that inspires or fascinates you. You don’t have to fully understand that, but if you are really interested, you will be more motivated to figure out the unknown things.

2. Your essay should follow the requirements. A lot of students receive the low grades because they fail to read the instructions attentively.

3. Make sure your essay has an arguable thesis at the end of your introduction, which you will then develop in the main body through an analysis of the chosen topic and explain with specific evidence.

4. The structure of an analytical essay should be the following: introduction + body + conclusion + works cited.

5. All paragraphs have to be fully worked out and contain transitions. Each paragraph in the main body of your essay should include a topic sentence that introduces the issue to be discussed.

6. Avoid phrases “As far as I am concerned,” “To my mind” – the reader already understands that everything you write is your opinion, unless you attribute to another author.

7. Don’t include unnecessary long descriptions or plot summaries (in a case of novels or movies). You don’t need to describe the topic in details, your job is to remind the reader of the information that provides evidence for your argument.

8. Make certain your essay follows a logical structure and organization.

9. It is better to avoid the generalizations, such as “all people think,” “since the beginning of times,” etc.

10. To develop your argument, you’ll need to include at least one academic source.

11. You need to fully develop your voice and ideas. Avoid using too many quotes or summaries of other people’s works to not let the secondary sources dominate your essay.

12. Never use the quotations to substitute your own thoughts. Quote only those sentences that would lose their power if you paraphrase them.

13. Cite the sources according to the citation style specified in the requirements.

14. Leave a reader with a clear picture in his or her head.

15. Thoroughly revise your essay for clarity and coherence. Make sure it is error-free.

Preparing the analytical essay is difficult, but it can be one of the most rewarding forms of writing to master. So, practice, practice, practice!

How to Write a Historiography: Step-By-Step Guide

How to write a historiographyA historiography or historiographical essay is an examination of different ways in which historians have approached a particular topic. Unlike a research paper, it is not a study of a historical issue, instead, it is an analysis of how the interpretation of historical events by different scholars has changed over time.

A historiographical paper has to present a detailed overview of the main works on a topic and summarize and evaluate the arguments of each of those works. For the development of a clear and well-structured essay, you need to follow some crucial steps.

Choose a Topic

There are several useful strategies for coming up with a topic. The easiest way is to choose one of your assigned readings. Try to look for a topic that is really interesting for you – it will make the reading and the writing process much easier.

Alternatively, you may brainstorm a topic from scratch. If you take that approach, narrow down the topic to a specific area and focus on a particular historical event or person.

Once you have a topic, start looking for works on your subject. Take advantage of a mixture of various books, articles and publications. Generally, books tend to be more influential and relevant, especially for older topics. However, for modern issues, articles are more available.

Evaluate the Historians’ Viewpoints

Depending on the source you are using, there are some strategies you can apply to evaluate the scholars’ stances:

  • Books – You need to watch the structure of the book; how the author builds the argument and what he implies is the most important part.
  • Book reviews – The best way to find out the point of some work is to read a book review. This will provide you with an insight of how other historians respond to the author’s argument.
  • Periodicals – Look whether the article is often cited by other authors writing about the same subject.

Write Your Historiography

There are several possible ways to organize your historiographical paper:

  1. You can report writers in chronological order, monitoring changes over time.
  2. You may present the main schools of thought regarding your topic and discuss each one separately.
  3. If you need to prepare a large paper, you can address the works of the previous historians and describe how they relate to your own analysis.

All methods work for preparing a historiography.

Once you decide upon the organization, proceed with writing. You should begin your essay with a thesis that presents the issue and introduces your sources. In the main body of your paper, you have to develop the points of agreement or disagreement. You have to analyze why different historians have different opinions on the same subject. Is it due to the national affiliation, ideology or personal experience? These questions go to the heart of your historiographical essay. In a conclusion, briefly summarize the findings and access the credibility of the sources you’ve used.

Make sure your paper is consistent and well-structured. Revise it carefully to confirm that you’ve presented a cohesive picture of opinions and debate.

ACT Writing Tips: 5 Strategies to Raise Your Essay Score

ACT writing tipsThe written part of the ACT often strikes fear in the hearts of many students but there is no need to worry! A specific approach to the essay section and learning the main tips and tricks will help you prepare the most powerful piece of writing.

So, what do you need to accomplish in order to receive a high score? Here is all important information.

1. Write a Powerful Introduction and Conclusion

You need to know a little secret: your first and last paragraphs matter more than the middle. ACT graders need to read a lot of essays very quickly, so they pay more attention to the introduction and conclusion and simply scan the main part of your work. If the beginning and the end of your essay are well-written and logical, then most likely other paragraphs will be too. By reading these parts, the grader may tell with confidence what score you will get. However, it doesn’t mean that the middle part shouldn’t make sense. Just devote a bit more time to writing the introduction and conclusion of your essay.

2. Sell Your Examples with Details

A good essay should be persuasive. Interesting and specific details not only present the value of your point of view but also make an essay more interesting to read. Therefore, it is important to back up the statements you make with the fine points. You may even decide to support your position with a real-life story. It will only make your work more noticeable and memorable.

3. Organize Ideas in a Logical Manner

Your essay should be structured in a logical manner with distinctive paragraphs. Great ideas don’t make sense if they are not arranged well. Organization is important to effective writing because it makes easy for readers to follow your thoughts. To make your writing more consequent, use transitions between the paragraphs. Constructing effective paragraphs may be really challenging due to the effort involved in planning. However, the results can greatly improve your chances of getting the high score.

4. Use the Right Language

The use of language is very important, and voice, tone, word choice and grammar are always taken into account. Make sure to avoid slang, misspelling and grammatical mistakes. Your essay should be flawless and error-free. Also try to vary the sentence structure and use relatively sophisticated vocabulary. The ACT graders always pay much attention to the proper language use, so improve your mechanics of writing.

5. Carefully Review Your Essay

Once completed, read through your essay. Make sure it is on topic and persuasive enough. Check whether you don’t repeat the same ideas by using different words. Proofread the work for typos and mistakes as they may damage the most powerful essay.

The ACT test doesn’t have to be challenging or stressful. The tips mentioned above will give you the confidence and the ability to score well and bring you closer to the college of your choice.