Archive | Academic Life

College-Age Questions: Should You Get Car Insurance After Moving Out?

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If you had a car in high school, there is a good chance you were on your parent’s insurance policy. However, if you are moving away to college or moving out after graduation, you may need to find your own insurance policy. Here are key points to keep in mind when determining whether or not you need car insurance after leaving your parents’ house.

Will You Be Driving Your Own Car?

There is no need to have insurance on your vehicle if you aren’t planning on driving it. This may be the case if you live on campus or move to a city that has a good public transportation system. If anyone else wants to drive your car while you are away, that person should insure the vehicle in their name.

Are You Moving Out of State?

If you are planning on driving your vehicle in another state, you will need to get your own car insurance policy. This is because insurance companies only provide policies within the state they operate in. In most cases, you have several days or weeks after you move to complete your switch to a new policy.

Can You Get Better Rates on Your Own?

Drivers under the age of 25 tend to pay higher rates compared to other drivers with similar records. However, there may be ways to show insurance companies that you are responsible and deserving of a lower rate despite your age. Getting married or having a good credit score may help you get a better rate on your own than you do on your parents’ policy.

The Consequences are Severe If You Don’t Have Insurance

Whether you choose to stay on your parents’ policy or buy your own, make sure you have adequate coverage. Failure to carry valid insurance is a crime in all 50 U.S. states. You may also be liable for any damages incurred in an accident if you don’t have auto insurance. If you are involved in an accident caused by a driver with inadequate coverage, it may be worthwhile to talk with a lawyer.

Moving out of your parents’ house can be both exciting and liberating. However, it also means you are now responsible for buying car insurance and other things on your own. Taking the time to compare policies from multiple companies may help you find auto insurance that fits your needs and your budget at the same time.

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.

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The Benefits of Military Service for College and After

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Many think that, after high school, they have to choose between going to college or joining the military, and that there is no overlap between the two. Yet, here are just a few ways joining the military can benefit both your college experience and your life afterwards.

Helps Pay for Your Schooling

A very well-known benefit for military service is getting help with paying for college. There are a few different ways this is done, and understanding your options can inform you on which colleges you can attend and how much the military will cover.

There are four major ways the military helps with college. Each of these approaches has its own benefits and conditions, so it’s important to plan ahead with the approach you want before joining the military.

  1. Montgomery G.I. Bill: With this bill, and depending how long a person is enlisted, an individual can get over $50,000 to help pay for college. A major condition to qualify for this bill, though, is you must give $100 a month for the first year of service.
  2. Post 9-11 G.I. Bill: This is a newer education bill available to people who have served actively in the military after September 11, 2009. With this bill, instead of getting just a flat amount of money, you get an amount of money matching the most expensive in-state tuition and some extra money for things like housing and books.
  3. College Fund Programs: These programs are commonly known as a “kicker,” where you are awarded extra funds for college. These programs are typically given to specialist occupations in the military and are not available to every member of the military.
  4. Loan Repayment Programs: This program is where the military will pay back a portion of a person’s student loan after they finish college. This acts as an incentive for college graduates to join the military after graduating.

Depending on where you go to school, it is possible that the military won’t cover all of your expenses, but every bit helps. There are other ways to pay for college that can help fill the gaps left by the military, like grants, scholarships and getting a job.

Discipline and Skills to Do Well

College is hard, and many students struggle to focus on school. One major benefit from serving in the military is being able to focus and dedicate to a task for a long time.

That means being able to balance school work with other time factors, like a personal life and a job, without letting your grades suffer. If you struggled doing this in high school, college can be much harder to balance. The military can teach skills like prioritizing tasks and time management.

This level of discipline can also help a lot if you decide to pursue going to college online. One of the many myths of online learning is that it is easier and has less deadlines, but it actually requires much more dedication and discipline. This is because there is often not a time set aside in the day for you to attend classes, forcing students to set their own schedule and plan ahead.

Housing Options

It’s likely that after you are done serving in the military, you might be further along in your life than the typical college student. That includes considering a serious relationship, having a child, and looking to purchase a home.

The military can help if owning a home is one of your goals, either during or after college. For veterans, there are VA loans available that offer unique benefits in buying a home. This includes features like: no down payment, lower closing costs, no mortgage insurance, and lower credit requirements. That final one can become very useful as joining the military can have a major impact on your credit.

If you aren’t looking to buy a home, there are some apartments that give preferential treatment to veterans. That can be extremely helpful in smaller college towns with competitive apartment markets.

Succeeding at School

The military gives and teaches people useful skills and habits that can directly translate to doing well at school. The financial help is also very powerful, which can allow students to graduate from college with little or no student debt. If this sounds like something you want, serving in the military could be a viable option.

This article was contributed by guest author Devin Morrissey.

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12 Little-Known Ways To Save During Your First Semester of College

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You’re on your own now (sort of) and every dollar counts, so Offers.com made a tell-all guide on all the best ways to save, whether you’re heading off to college for the first time, or coming back for your final semester. Check out these 12 little-known money-saving tips below, and watch your savings grow.

1. Take an Inventory of What You Have

The first thing on your path to saving the most when heading to college is to take a thorough inventory of items you already have. Check your house for clothes, school supplies, electronics, and home products to gauge what you own. This will give you a clear view in your mind of the items you need and help you prioritize the bigger ticket items with the smaller purchases you need to make.

2. Never Pay Full Price for Textbooks

Most people know about the increasingly ridiculous prices of textbooks, yet they are absolutely necessary to succeed in your coursework. Dodge the overpriced textbooks from your local university bookstore, and use sites like Chegg to get up to 90% off the original price of your textbooks. And if your textbook order is over $50, they throw in FREE shipping. Money saved + convenience? Sounds good to us.

Plus, Chegg offers 30 minutes of free online tutoring through their trial package, so take advantage and get ahead of your studies while you can!

3. Get FREE FOOD (at places better than your dining hall)

Many students would be surprised to learn how many different fast food stops and restaurants offer FREE food if you know how to look for the deals. Offers.com has a comprehensive category section for the best fast food & restaurant deals. We also have a guide of all 100+ places you can get a free meal or perk on your birthday, so celebrate by cashing in on your special day!

Also, to maximize even more savings, check out Offers list of 100+ of the best student discounts and deals, covering everything from pizza to personal insurance.

You can also download apps like Hooked, a free mobile app for college students to discover exclusive, short-term offers from restaurants around campus – often offering freebies and great deals for food.

4. Stream Music for Half the Cost

Being a student has a lot of perks, including deals on many music streaming services. Spotify offers a deal for 50% off their Premium service for students – making it just $4.99 a month – with a valid university email address. Additionally, Apple Music also offers college students a discounted membership to its unlimited music streaming service for $4.99, a 50% cut from its regular monthly rate of $9.99. TIDAL, the newer streaming service with exclusive content & high-definition music, offers a half off discount for students too.

5. Always, Always Look for Local Student Discounts

Most cities and towns with colleges in them have a variety of merchants offering student discounts on items and services. You can find discounts for movie tickets, beauty and salon services, car services and much more. Just do a quick Google search on “college discounts in ____”, and you are sure to find at least one thing you can save on! You can also find great savings on experience, entertainment and restaurant deals through Groupon.

Offers.com has a list of 125 of the best student discounts, organized by category and savings rate. You can find deep discounts on food, entertainment, housing services and more.

6. Take Advantage of Online Coupons

Most people don’t know that there are hundreds of thousands of coupons online for almost every store and item under the sun. An important factor in saving money when going to college is checking online databases like Offers.com to see if there are any deals on the item you need (there most likely will be). There are online coupons for every category imaginable – like tech, clothing, dorm essentials, and more – so be sure to be thorough before making your purchase.

7. Shopping for New Clothes? Check Overstock Stores

If you want to buy brand name clothes for when you head to college, always make sure to check out overstock stores, such as TJ MaxxMarshalls, and Ross. These stores have amazing prices on quality clothing, shoes, and accessories, oftentimes with deals as high as 90% off. (!!)

And if you’re a real fashionista, you need to stop through Nordstrom Rack or Last Call by Neiman Marcus to get the best savings on high-fashion items ranging anywhere from 20-75% off original market price! Shop the best Nordstrom Rack & Last Call by Neiman Marcus deals here.

8. Know Your Meal Plan Options Before You Commit

Meal plans can be a great way to save on food expenses, but every college and university differs, so it’s important to check your options to get a comprehensive understanding of what you are paying for. Use tools like the MyFico meal plan calculator to find out if your meal plan is worth buying or if it’s just costing you more money.

Many schools require freshmen living on campus to sign up for a meal plan but offer varying plans and budget-friendly options. However, some students say that they save more money by making their own meals so make sure you choose wisely when selecting the plan for you. Most meal plans can even be covered by financial aid.

9. Get Quick Cash in a Pinch

Every college student has had moments where money is tight, and you feel like you’re stuck with no funds. There are several ways to get cash to hold you over for a weekend when money is low. Start by selling your old clothes for cash at places like Plato’s Closet & Nordstrom Rack.

If you have any old textbooks or novels that you no longer need, sell them at a discount bookstore. Most college campuses will have multiple book buyer merchants nearby, and you can always sell them at places like Half Price Books or Barnes and Noble. You can also use sites like Book Scouter to enter a textbook’s ISBN # and automatically see how much 50+ online merchants will pay for your used textbook. Amazon also has a book buyback program, advertising that they pay up to 80% of the value of the used book.

You can also sell items like used cell phones, movies, and video games, so get creative and check that old pile of boxes in your closet to get some quick and easy cash!

10. Set up automatic withdrawals

For discipline, set up an automatic monthly deduction from your checking account and increase the amount you are contributing each year. Better yet, some employers offer the ability to contribute to a 529 savings plan through payroll deduction, so if you have a college job you can automatically start saving without thinking about it. The concept of “out of sight, out of mind” will serve you well when in a pinch for money, and will help you achieve a sizable savings account by the time you graduate. If you don’t plan on having a job through college, set aside a portion of the money from your student aid or parents each month, and you will be glad you did!

11. Apply for a student credit card

Student credit cards are a great way to start building your credit and gain rewards like travel points or cashback payments. Keep in mind, this is only a good idea if you are a responsible spender and never spend more on your credit card than you can actually pay back. A lot of students rack up debt they can’t pay back, so be very cautious when thinking about applying. But if you’re a responsible spender, student credit cards are an awesome money-saver. There are lots of options for student cards, and you can choose based on the different perks and restrictions. Some cards offer cash back on grocery purchases, gas and other daily necessities, and you can often score rewards for air travel and responsible spending. To find out the best card for your lifestyle, check out this handy blog on of a variety of student credit cards here.

12. Know the Right Times to Shop

You may be in a time crunch preparing for college, and luckily, many stores begin to offer sales in August for the back-to-school rush. But a lot of the real quality savings begin around October, when the back-to-school chaos has wound down. If you can, wait until October to buy your new wardrobe, and you will see tons of quality sales – oftentimes up to 50% off the market price in season.

You can find all the right times to shop your big-ticket items and everyday essentials on Offers here: What to Buy Every Month of 2017.

This article was contributed by guest author Carson Yarbrough.

 

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Why We Wear Graduation Gowns

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If you have attended a graduation ceremony, you are likely to notice a rainbow of colors on the caps and hoods of the students. These colors are not random but have academic and historical significance. Your university probably gave you your graduation gown specifications – but did you know that academic regalia design is governed by a voluntary inter-collegiate code?

Graduation Gown History
The tradition of academic gowns goes back to the 12th century when medieval clergy wore them while studying or teaching. These gowns were originally meant to keep the wearer warm, but over time became the symbol of an educated individual. By the 14th century, the gown design became more elaborate, representing the field, level of education and profession of the wearer. After the American Civil War, the attire became symbolic and has since been worn at ceremonies only.

The American Academic Costume Code was established at the end of the nineteenth century to set the standard for gown design. While some revisions have been made to the code, the basic design remains largely unaltered. The code is optional but has been adopted on a large scale by universities worldwide.

Gown Design Differences – Level of Study
There are subtle differences in gown cut and shape, based on your level of education. For example, Bachelor gowns are designed to be worn closed, with square-cut sleeves. The width of the hood trim is 2 inches, and its shape is typically the Wales simple shape with a partial white lining.

The Master gown’s sleeve is oblong with a slit at the wrist opening. The width of the hood trim is 3 inches and has a split salmon cut with a full lining of rich, blue silk.

Doctoral gowns tend to be most elaborate with bell sleeves that have three velvet bands on them. The color of the gown may also be different, to be decided by the university. The cap will have a golden tassel, worn to the left. The trim color of the gown will change, with Ph.D. holders permitted to wear a dark blue trim, and Th.D. holders a scarlet trim, irrespective of their field of study. The width of the hood trim is 5 inches with panels attached to the side and a full inner lining of crimson silk.

Similarly, accessories like stoles may be used to highlight the level of academic study. The stole colors will change – for example, diploma and associate diploma holders may have pearl white stoles, while graduate certificate and graduate diploma holders may have gold stoles. If you look through your university’s gown specifications, you will note the minor color differences to categorize a student’s academic level.

What to wear underneath your gown?
There is always some uncertainty around what to wear underneath your gown. The general rule of thumb is to stick to smart attire and avoid wearing anything flashy which could be visible underneath the gown or contradict the colors on the gown.

It is recommended that men wear dark trousers coupled with a lighter colored shirt while women wear a dark skirt or slacks with a light colored blouse. Women may also choose to wear a dark dress underneath their gown. Shoes and socks, too, should be dark and formal wear.

This article was contributed by guest author Shweta Shetty.

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How to Save Money as a College Commuter

Commuting to college can be a quick, cheap, and easy experience, or a relatively pricey and time-consuming challenge. Where you live and what your living conditions are can have a big impact on the costs associated with travel to and from school each day. Here are some tips on how you can save money while safely travelling to campus.

Consider Your Public Transportation Options
Your travel options depend heavily on the area you live in. If you live in a city, you likely have more types of public transportation available than you would in a rural location. If you have a bus stop near you, riding the bus can be a reliable and easy way to save money. Similarly, in some areas you can ride the train. Using a train to get to college can be useful for longer commutes and for avoiding the heavy traffic often typical on freeways in large cities.

Use of these options comes with the added benefit of saving you money on parking fees at school, and avoiding the hassle of hunting down a parking spot every day. You also eliminate the risk of getting into a car accident and potentially needing to hire an attorney.

Is Carpooling an Option for You?
Sharing a ride and dividing the cost of gas can be a great way to save money when you live in a dormitory with other students, or have students in your neighborhood looking to carpool with someone. Even if you live at home, you might be able to ride to school with a family member or friend who commutes to work near your college.

Walking or Riding a Bike
If you’re one of those people lucky enough to live near your campus, you can save a lot of money and get some exercise by walking or riding a bike to school. A dormitory located very close to school creates the ideal situation to walk.

If you have a bit more distance to cover to reach campus, but still not far enough for a drive, riding a bike is the cheapest and most efficient way to commute. Not only do you save money on gas and parking, you get exercise that can help wake you up for those early classes and you’ll be traveling in an environmentally friendly way. Be sure you have a bike lock and a place to lock up your bike as well.

As a college student, you likely have a limited budget and need to make the best of the funds you have available. Before you start school, make sure to consider your living situation and plan ahead to meet the costs associated with frequent travel to school. Knowing and investigating your travel options early can help keep your mind off the commute and focused on your classes.

This article was contributed by Eileen O’Shanassy.

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How Handwriting Can Make You Smarter

Innovations in technology continue to influence education and have a major impact on how students study and learn.

However, there are still some benefits to taking the “old school” approach. For instance, taking notes by hand can actually have a lot of positive effects.

Research shows that handwriting increases focus, improves critical thinking, and even inspires creativity. Also, getting off the computer and writing notes by hand will help limit and prevent distractions associated with being online.

GetVoIP has put together an infographic that explains these benefits and more. The infographic also features proven note-taking techniques, including linear and non-linear note-taking, Mind Mapping, and the Cornell method. While laptops and mobile devices offer convenient options for note-taking, consider taking notes by hand every so often to keep your mind sharp.

Benefits of Handwriting

Image by GetVoIP.com

This article was contributed by Andrew Dennis .

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Ultimate Feng Shui Guide For Your Dorm Room

Are you feeling unproductive and unmotivated when in your dorm room? Even for people who have never heard of feng shui, the idea that a person’s state of mind is reflected in their living space (or vice versa) seems pretty intuitive. So, studying in a clean and organized room will surely make you feel more competent. Wherever you live, you can improve your life and increase your happiness by rearranging the objects in your home and creating a warm, welcoming living space.

In Chinese, “feng” means wind and “shui” means water. These two elements are symbols for creating chi flow. Chi is the vital energy that inhabits and flows through all living things. Even though everyone and everything possesses chi, it’s possible for chi to become blocked or misdirected. This can cause distress, bad luck, and inner turmoil. Following the principles of feng shui allows you to harness good chi and avoid bad energy (sha). If your college dorm room and your life could use a burst of positive energy, follow these tips in order to make your everyday life more productive and happy:

The important aspects of feng shui

  • First and foremost, get rid of clutter in your living space. Keeping your room clean and organized promotes productivity, happiness, and improves chi flow. Get rid of anything you don’t need in your dorm, such as old books and clothes. When packing for college, only bring the essentials. Eliminating old, unused objects from your room will free your mind and open you up to new ideas and experiences.
  • In feng shui, there are nine areas of the room or house that are associated with growth in specific parts of your life. Focus on these areas with the right colors and decor to boost everything from creativity to romance.
  • Be careful with furniture placement. While a small dorm room can make it a little difficult to rearrange, try your best to make sure that your bed is facing the direction of the doorway, but is not directly in line with it. That way, energy from the outside world is let in, but will not come in so strong as to disrupt your chi flow.

Sleeping

Placing just the foot of the bed in the right direction isn’t enough, though. To have best rest energy and flow you will have to work a little harder. Keep your computer away from your bed, and if that’s not possible, at least turn it off and cover it when it’s time for sleeping. Place your bed so that it is not directly under or next to a window. If your bed must be in this position, keep a heavy curtain over the window at night or install blockout blinds. Books facing in the direction of your head while sleeping, mirrors near the bed and plants in the close vicinity to the bed are energy stealers, so try to keep them in other positions.

Desk

Your desk is your shrine. You need to focus your energy and intellect in order to prepare for exams, so it is an important aspect of your room and good placement according to feng shui can help you focus better. If possible, put it in a northeast corner, also known as the area of knowledge. Keep your desk organized to stay focused and relaxed as you study. When sitting at your desk, face the door, and if that’s not possible, put a mirror in front of you so you can see the door.

Decorations

While arranging your furniture for the best flow of chi is important, decoration can also help make most of the positive energy. Mirrors, flowers, and plants are all good for your energy. You can paint your room various colors that promote different aspirations, however if you aren’t allowed to do that, you can instead decorate it with posters. Pictures of nature or nature elements are soothing.

Conclusion

A good chi flow can increase your energy level and improve your overall life. However, keep in mind that feng shui is a very deep and complex philosophy and by reading this you’ve barely scraped the surface. Nonetheless, a simplified version of it can surely help for a simple dorm room.

This article was contributed by guest author Helen Bradford.

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Party Campus: Tips to Stay Smart and Safe

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Living on campus might fill new students with a sense of false security. Of course, you assume the campus is a safe and secure place, but even so, reports surface every year about students on campuses being subjected to robberies, burglaries, attacks, stalking, and drunk driving accidents. The threat of a dangerous situation might be just around the corner, especially for kids who are living on their own for the first time. Here are a few tips to stay smart and safe on campus.

Visit the Campus

To get familiar with your new home, every college campus provides new students with a tour of the college grounds. Make sure you take part in the tour. Familiarize yourself with all the buildings on the campus, and find out the location of the campus security office. Visit the office and request information about the services provided by campus security. For example, some campus security offices might provide escort services at night, security apps to download, special security hotline numbers, safety zone maps, or updates about crimes on campus.

Security Measures

Your college campus is not the place to forget about security. Remember to lock all your doors at night. Lock your dorm room while attending classes or going out with friends, and lock your windows to discourage spur of the moment break-ins. Don’t walk alone at night and don’t visit ATM machines at night. Having roommates and dorm buddies is usually part of the system for new freshmen and can help keep you safe. Don’t leave money or valuable possessions out in the open; lock them up in a drawer or room safe.

Social Media

Kids away at college like to jump on social media sites to keep in touch with friends and family at home. Your posts might seem innocent but remember they can convey important personal information to strangers or acquaintances viewing your social media profile. Don’t announce your plans on social media. For example, don’t announce you are spending the night alone in your room or are going home for the weekend, leaving your room unattended.

Avoid Getting Wasted

Don’t drink and drive. People tend to lose control of their inhibitions and get reckless at college parties. This includes getting in a car and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Stop, and think for a second before taking that drink or getting behind the wheel of a car, while drinking. Is it really worth the risk? Of course not. An auto accident attorney from Denver recommends you plan for a designated driver, take the bus, or stay close to campus.

Adjusting to your new life on campus takes time. Stay smart and safe with the tips provided here.

Sources:

Bachus & Schanker Law
Entrepreneur’s Organization
Safety Chick

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.

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5 Embarrassing Ways to Ruin Your Awesome Essay

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What’s your first thought when a professor asks you to write an essay?

With reactions of all kinds possible, only two perfectly reflect a student’s state at this moment: it’s either “Kill me, please!” or “Great! I’m gonna write my best essay ever!”

Academic writing often promotes anxiety in students. Some hate such tasks and stop at nothing to avoid them, while others consider essays a strong chance to get high grades and rise in their professors’ opinions. The latter are sure they know all ins and outs of college writing; however, a few pitfalls exist that can sink your essay ship regardless what an excellent student you are.

What are they?

1) You Don’t Have a Hook

Do not confuse hooks with introductions! An essay hook opens your introduction rather than substitutes it. It’s 1-2 opening sentences of your paper, and they serve to capture your reader’s attention and help them decide if they want to continue reading your text. Once you’ve hooked them, introduce your essay topic and thesis.

There are many types of hooks. You are welcome to use questions, common misconceptions, quotes, statistics, or even anecdotes if your essay type and instructions from your professor allow. Not sure what hook is the right one for a particular paper? Write it along with your introduction after you’ve finished the whole essay.

2) You Quote Instead of Paraphrasing

Sure, you can quote others in essays. But do it only if you couldn’t say it better or if it helps convey the tone of the story. Don’t turn your writing into a list of quotes from famous people: your professor wants to read your thoughts and arguments, not others’.

A stellar alternative to quotes in your essay – if they merely supplement your words – is paraphrasing. One of the most popular types of accidental plagiarism, it’s not evil when used right. Don’t copy, but understand the sense of information, formulate it in your own words, use synonyms, split sentences, change the structure of paragraphs and word order when appropriate – and you’ll avoid the issue forever.

3) You Summarize Instead of Analyzing

Leave summaries for your essay’s conclusion. When writing a paper on books, movies, or any other work with a plot, make sure not to retell it. Your professors know what happens there, and they want to read your analysis of the work, not its plot’s summary.

Yes, sometimes it’s necessary to recount some part to make a point, but you should always make analytical statements about passages. Show what you, not others, think on the assigned topics.

4) You Don’t Proofread and Edit an Essay

Once you’ve finished writing an essay, don’t hurry to submit it for review. It’s time to proofread and edit it to avoid the most common types of mistakes that students are making. That’s not about spelling and grammar mistakes only: re-read your essay, check if the structure is clear and the arguments are strong, improve the introduction and think on a stronger hook if necessary, and make sure your conclusion drives the main points of your essay and answers the question “So what?”

The best strategy to edit your work is to leave it for a day or two after writing: it allows you to check it with a fresh perspective, see weak points, and change them. Also, you might ask someone to read the essay before submission and suggest if any more revisions are needed.

Consider proofreading and editing an integral part of writing, and that will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes in essays.

5) You Plagiarize (Even If Accidentally)

For most students, academic writing is hard because it requires following certain rules of structure, style, and references. Proper formatting is a must; otherwise, they consider your work cliched or plagiarized. That’s a serious offense with unpleasant consequences such as broken trust, poor grades, reputation loss, or even expulsion.

To avoid the issue, make sure to include proper references and format them accordingly: don’t paraphrase the direct quotes, use double quotation marks for them, and follow the prescribed style (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.) when formatting your list of references.

Your professors weren’t born yesterday, and a mere look at your writing is enough for them to understand if it’s original and worth reading. Moreover, they use tools such as PlagiarismCheck.org, Turnitin.com, Copyscape.com, and others to make sure your essay is not a poor mimicry of other authors. So you might want to try the above tools as well to prove the uniqueness of your work, and avoid accidental duplications able to ruin your essay.

This article was contributed by guest author Lesley Vos.

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Education Outside the Classroom: Will Coworking Spaces Be the Future?

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Education has been the driving force behind every progress ever made, but what drives education forward? Is it affected by the changes constantly happening in the world of tech, psychology, and other sciences? Of course it is. We often see how tech advancements are implemented in schools and colleges. Still, there is one question lingering in the air: Is the traditional way of studying future-proof? Everything can be a subject of evolution, and the ever-growing trend of coworking spaces might just be the next evolutionary step for the classic classroom or library studying approach. In the business world, they’ve already become that, and nearly 70 percent of the workers working in communal offices found that their focus is improved since they started working in such spaces. Can this approach bring similar benefits to students?

Reimagining education

In a typical education process, a teacher gets a curriculum consisting of a set of lessons. He/she teaches lessons, asks questions and give exams. In the meantime, students are studying in libraries or at their homes. It’s the way things are. It’s the way things always were. So, why change them now? Well, it turns out that working in a more collaborative environment could pose a better educational experience, not only for students, but for the teachers as well.

Benefits of “co-studying”

So, what does this way of studying actually bring to the table? Some students will find it very pleasant to study in a dynamic environment, where their colleagues are pushing them to work harder and better. The lessons that are unclear to one student, can be easily understood by another, and the conversation about them can set new ideas in motion. Besides the interaction between students, coworking environments can help them experience hands-on training from professionals. This makes coworking spaces an interesting alternative to libraries – a large number of resources are at their disposal, with the added benefit of communication with each other and various experts. Check out these shared office space perks.

The implementation of coworking principle

As an idea, a coworking approach to studying seems pretty great, but how can this be implemented in a more traditional setting, such as a classroom? The biggest obstacle here is the educational system. But first, let’s tackle the smaller beast – a student’s view of the classroom. Challenging the traditional student/teacher barrier is definitely hard, but if students could form studying teams and tear down the walls stopping them from being open to this principle, they could experience a tangible progress.

Preparation for the future

In a 2013 Forbes article “Coworking: Is It Just a Fad or the Future of Business?”, the author concluded that traditional offices are becoming “obsolete”, and those coworking settings are definitely a future to look forward to. What does that mean for students today? A large majority will probably end up in such a workplace when they finish their education, and they will eventually have to get used to such collaborative systems. If that process begins now, they can learn to work in a team efficiently, see differences and disagreements outside of a negative light, and respect individual boundaries.

Finally, it’s very easy to equate shared office space with a purely physical partition of a workplace, but we are actually talking about a movement that is taking the world by storm, and if students don’t jump on the bandwagon now, they will find themselves at a disadvantage the moment they step into the work arena.

This article was contributed by guest author Chloe Taylor.

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