The System: How I Wish I'd Taken Notes as an Undergraduate (Guest Post)

The System: How I Wish I'd Taken Notes as an Undergraduate (Guest Post)

Good notes can make or break your finals prep and essay writing. In today's guest post, Miles shares his excellent multi-tiered system for taking notes on books--starting with writing in the margins, then moving on to dictating thoughts and copying out passages.

I'm really impressed and inspired by the idea, and hope to integrate it into my reading as well!

Read More

What Chronic Fatigue Taught Me About Owning My Student Experience (Guest Post)

What Chronic Fatigue Taught Me About Owning My Student Experience (Guest Post)

Jenna was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome during her sophomore year in high school. She struggled with energy, concentration, and being perceived as 'lazy' instead of sick. She shares her experience finishing high school and going on to school at Rutgers, and the study and health strategies she developed to eventually own her student experience and take control of her health. 

Read More

Making the Most of Your Thesis: From Classroom to the 'Real World' (Guest Post)

Making the Most of Your Thesis: From Classroom to the 'Real World' (Guest Post)

Korrin Bishop launched her post-graduate life from the network and experience gained through writing an undergraduate thesis. She shares her thesis writing advice, as well as her perspective on leveraging research into 'real world' publication and opportunities. 

This is a fabulous post for all those out there who have a thesis looming on the horizon and are wondering how to make it happen an if it really matters. Here's how to do it, and why it's worth the work. 

Read More

Study Tips: Taking Notes on Books

Study Tips: Taking Notes on Books

It's easy to get overwhelmed by assigned readings for college classes, and to feel like you'll never remember all of it anyway... so why bother? 

Detailed note taking can save enormous amounts of work later on. If you know an assigned book in depth, and can quickly find quotes to support your ideas or arguments, you will be well on your way to having a useful source document both for your current class and for future assignments. 

This is my process for taking notes in assigned books. It's made a huge difference in my studies, and I bet it works for you too! 

Read More

Write Your Own Essays (No Excuses)

Write Your Own Essays (No Excuses)

It’s finals season. It’s stressful. Students are stressed about essays and exams and grades and all the studying they’ve put off for the semester. This makes it a good moment to write about something I’ve had on my mind for a long while now—something that has probably crossed the radar of most students and has hopefully never been utilized by readers here. I have a bit of a rant for you today—essay writing services.

Do not use them. Ever. 

Write your own essays. 

Read More

Study Tips: Co-Writing An Essay

Study Tips: Co-Writing An Essay

Co-writing, if done right, means that both parties play to their strengths and ultimately do less work. It's also something that is a common exercise in the non-academic "real world." Most group projects in school do not resemble a work setting in the slightest—you will rarely be called upon to join a group of four colleagues in presenting on something you know very little about. However, you will often have to turn in a final product, written or otherwise, resulting from collaboration and compromise. In fact, many jobs rely almost completely on this model.

Read More

Thesis Writing Basics: Choosing an Undergraduate Thesis Topic

Thesis Writing Basics: Choosing an Undergraduate Thesis Topic

An undergraduate thesis is the culmination of a college experience, and if you have the opportunity (or obligation) to write one, you will probably approach it with a mix of anxiety and anticipation. It is your chance to write something that is almost entirely self-directed: it will bring together the information and skills that you have learned thus far on your academic journey and set you free to pursue a specific research topic of your choice.

Read More

7 Coping Strategies While Doing Depressing Research

7 Coping Strategies While Doing Depressing Research

To do this kind of work, we have to be able to look after ourselves and our emotions. Every person will have a different way of coping, and a different set of triggers, challenges, and specific responses to what they learn. This is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a starting place: how to cope with doing depressing research as an academic.

Read More

Thesis Writing: The Basics

Thesis Writing: The Basics

Each person’s thesis experience is unique, and depends on their area of focus and the style of their research. A lab-based chemistry thesis project will look vastly different than a thesis based on the translation of a body of foreign-language poetry. While the details, methodology, and timeline are unique to the individual, however, there are some broad steps that have to happen in the process, and that’s what I outline here.

Read More

Essay writing tips: the five-paragraph essay

The five-paragraph essay is the foundational structure for all academic writing in the US tradition. I learned this structure in high school, but didn’t appreciate it until well into college, when I was using the same approach to tackle 20+ page essays. It’s simple, effective, and makes the point you’re trying to convey.

Read More

Learning a language: My journey in Spanish

Learning a language: My journey in Spanish

I struggled mightily to learn Spanish. I truly believe that it’s a worthwhile effort for everyone. I think that everyone can honestly benefit from learning to communicate in a second language, and that the world opens up in a new way once you can manage it.

But language learning, for most of us, is a long and difficult slog.

Read More