Failing Student to Straight-A Student
Recently I received a Quora question.Is it possible for an unsuccessful or failing student to become a straight-A student? The very short answer is yes.The road to becoming that so-called straight-A student, however, is more complex. If you are said student who is failing, the first step is to stand back and look objectively at why you are not doing better. This can be a challenge. We often do not like to look closely at ourselves or critique ourselves without hedging. Excuses or justificat...
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Change Lanes
Listening to 21 Pilots the other day, I thought of a blog idea based on their song Lane Boy.A lot of us tend to get into a lane – or rut if you like. Not only do we get into one, but we seem to like staying there forever! To some extent, this is understandable. It is comforting to stick with what you know.The problem is that if you always do that, you never get to know what you don’t know.You need to escape your lane to experience things outside of your comfort zone. It is important ...
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Supporting Sentences
Whether you are writing a stand-alone paragraph, an essay, a book report, or a speech, you will need supporting sentences to flesh out your ideas.Once you have decided on your topic sentence or thesis – or should I say “working” topic sentence or thesis – you will need to support it.Recall that the topic sentence acts as a kind of umbrella for everything that follows in a paragraph. For an essay, the thesis is the primary argument and should be supported by each topic sen...
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Speed Reading – No!
I am not a big fan of speed reading. Now, this might sound a little hypocritical since I have an online course entitled Reading for Speed and Comprehension, but let me explain.There is nothing wrong with trying to increase your reading speed. The problem with most so-called speed reading programs is that you read quickly at the expense of comprehension. For all intents and purposes, you lose the whole reason for reading. The fact that your eyes can scan pages more quickly or that you can go...
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Beginnings and Endings
Whenever you write an essay, book report, speech, or any academic article, give the beginning and the ending some special consideration.Readers and listeners often pay more attention to the beginning and endings of presentations whether this is in print, audio, visual, or some combination. For this reason alone, you will want to bring them in and then end on a strong note to help them remember your primary points. People tend to remember the beginnings and endings the best. Having a strong ...
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Notetaking and Abbreviations
I know you have not forgotten the importance of taking notes.Taking notes is essential to fully learning the material you are studying; however, many students have difficulty because notetaking can be time-consuming.Also, trying to take notes during a lecture is a challenge when a lot of material is being covered. In fact, taking notes from reading texts can pose the same problem. There just seems to be too much to do, and the task is overwhelming.Don’t forget to check out some of my other...
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Stress and Marks
This blog is based on a couple of questions I have received lately.How can I stop stressing about exam results day?Why are my marks never good enough for myself? I often get A’s and B’s but I’m never satisfied.There are many ways to address these two questions separately; however, these questions are closely related.  The first question isn’t about doing the exam, but the results which is the same thing as saying that they are stressing about the marks. First of...
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Will Music Help You Study?
Will music help me study?If I listen to music, can I concentrate better?I get asked these questions from time to time.More often, I am told by students that it does help them but that is because they want music during our tutoring session.  Strangely, when I offer the kind of music that might actually be helpful, they are not so keen!In my opinion, music rarely helps you study or concentrate – unless you are studying music. I say “my opinion” because the studies are a...
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Appositive: A Positive Tool for Your Writing
Forgive the little play on words, but this blog is about using appositives.
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Your Schedule is Not Your Enemy!
Sometimes students, or anyone really, think that their schedule is their enemy.  They feel like a schedule is a prison or authoritarian dictator.If this is the case for you, then you are doing it wrong!Your schedule is not your enemy.In fact, it can become your friend and a lifesaver in some cases.  Okay, it is rarely literally a lifesaver, but still.When you set up your schedule – and remember it is yours, so unless you are a dictator, it can’t be one - make sure you leave...
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