5 Reasons The Future of Education is Project Based

Project Based Learning also referred to Project Learning is a dynamic teaching approach currently being applied in university and colleges where the students study real world challenges and problems instead of concentrating on past theories and histories. It involves combining academics to real world problems. This learning mechanism is filled with engaged and active learning that inspires the learners to source for deeper knowledge and skills regarding the subject being studied. Research have shown that project learning enables the students to retain expertise and knowledge gained during the survey as compared to learning traditional history and textbooks. As students move through independent to team-based work, they develop self-direction and confidence. Besides, in the process of completing some of their education projects, students hones their research and organizational skills. They also develop more enhanced communication skills with both the peers and the adults. By seeing the impacts of their work, they can work with other people in a social manner. The best part of Project Based Learning is that it integrates technology into the curriculum. This is paramount in learning. Besides the benefits of project learning highlighted and discussed above, the following are the five reasons why the future of education is project based.


Profound change of our work

When we go back to traditional schools, learning was designed in a way to train the students some of the industrial revolution skills so that they could become factory workers after school. Various learning principles were taught including standardization and mass production, which offered skills, required at those times. The education itself was not impactive enough since it was oriented towards making it available to more students. Since the 19th century, the working environment has changed. It requires skills, knowledge, creativity and innovation. The coming of the internet has changed everything and even its making is project oriented. In the current information age, collaborating in projects is essential at the workplace.

We do what we learn

Can you imagine how education could be when a given game such as Hockey is taken as one of an important subject at school in that the students are taught about the rules, strategies, and movements required in becoming a successful hockey player? This is something a student can test whether he/she is perfect or not. All the human beings learn by doing things. Learning facts is vital to becoming an expert in any given field. For us to create an expertise oriented curriculum, we need to come up with engaging and fun connections between the different academic concepts and the world challenges. Project Based Learning makes the students better prepared for the real life especially when the get into the field after school.

Introducing a system in the current curriculum that offers revision and feedback makes the actual learning more meaningful. This system emphasizes performance and creating high-quality products concepts that are critical in the working environment. When the students know that when building a project, failures are there, they become more patient and critical thinker in dealing with some of the limitations that arise from projects. Students endeavor to be successful in what they do. Competition occurs and these results to quality, original and well-researched work.


Preparation for uncertain future

Research and scholars have proved that most of the today’s jobs will be automated shortly. For this reason, the students should be well prepared for the jobs even if the do not exist for now. The current theoretical and history-based education does not encourage creativity and innovation as some of the skills required in the future. Due to the rapidly changing and advancing technological culture as well as information-oriented economy, projected-oriented learning is the best learning process to implement since it encourages creative ideas as one of the vital resources to students.

The students learn as a team to come up with unique projects that will bring a solution to some of the real world problems. By coming up with projects, students will master essential skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. These 21st century skills are hard to instill in students through traditional tests, lectures, and worksheets. In the case, current generation can identify challenges and go ahead to form teams to solve the problems, we will be creating a generation full of innovative and problem solver professionals. Project based learning is the only education system that can equip the students for what unforeseen future holds.

Accessible computing

In the past decades, talking about computing was a technical term among the students. Only students from elite and wealthy families had access to computers and computer-related devices such as smartphones. In the today’s information age, nearly every student have access to digital devices. Teaching has been digitalized in that the students have plenty of information to do research and projects from. Now computers are accessible to everyone, satisfying everyone’s needs. Students can easily make projects such as podcasts, robots, TED talks, 3D printed projects, applications, movies, and blogs. Besides having a laptop, a student can edit and design a photo from his/her smartphone. The moment students are taught to combine technology alongside with creative projects through project-based learning things will not be the same again. Some of the issues disturbing the current generation will be a walk on a pack in the future.


Inquiry and Innovation

According to student reviews, nearly every student finds project work and tests meaningful especially when conducted in a real inquiry. By the term “real inquiry”, we mean finding information in the field as a person and not relying on websites, books or history. In this kind of inquiry, the students follow certain trails that start with their questions and then leads to searching for resources and discovering the answers to questions. It further leads to the generation of testing ideas and getting a conclusion from them. This forms the basis of inquiry and innovation. With a well-phrased and real research, innovation comes. A tutor does not request the students to reproduce what they say or what the textbook states. They are required to come up with their basis in proving what they believe in the study they are doing. In this scenario, students synthesize information gathered and use it to address some of the world problems in a professional and informed manner.

It is better to have informed students that have overqualified graduates who cannot be able to fix anything at home or place of work. This is the case with the current education that makes more emphasis on grades rather than the quality of learning. It could be even better if the theories and history the students are forced to cram and memorize are made into practical. You do not expect a student to innovate while teaching him/her the bibliography and history of the innovator. We expect move creativity and innovation in project-based learning.

With the project based learning, learning feels meaningful and engaging. It represents the voice of the students and there more accommodative. Students work on their interests and hobbies. It is obvious that when students are directed to a list of practical questions, they get into the real inquiry. Brainstorming and sharp criticism emerge leading to more skills and knowledge. Effectiveness in development, creativity and innovative requires information, content and new insights about an individual field. To buy essay papers can be helpful for your project based learning.

Robert Everett: I am a freelance writer currently based in Chicago. Solving students career and university problems. Having an interest in marketing and business.

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Getting a DUI Can Ruin Your College Life


College students unwind and relax by hanging out with friends and partying after classes and on weekends. Alcohol is inevitably part of the college lifestyle. Although students are aware that drinking and driving is a violation of the law, their rational mind is clouded by the ingestion of alcohol. And before they know it, they have been apprehended by the police and booked for DUI.

Being charged with a DUI while in college has negative consequences that extend way beyond graduation. College freshmen who enroll right after high school graduation are usually 18 – 19 years old. And if you’re not yet 21, the penalties for minor DUI are harsher depending on the state where you are caught.

An example is Arizona, where the legal drinking age is 21 and minor DUI has a zero tolerance policy, which means that your blood alcohol level must be absolutely zero. Thus, if you’re studying for your college degree in a school or university in Arizona, and you’re charged with a DUI, on- or off-campus, the first thing you should do is to get a DUI defense attorney who will make sure you’ll avoid a conviction.

Aside from the possible jail time, stiff penalties and suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, here are other ways in which a DUI can ruin your college life.

You may be denied admission.

Many universities and colleges require applicants to list your criminal conviction or arrest, if you have them. Multiple DUIs, even if they are only arrests, may be grounds for denying you admission into the school. If you withhold such information and are found out, the denial of admission may be for falsification of your application. A DUI can ruin your college life before it can even start.

You may lose your scholarship or financial aid.

The authorities usually report a DUI to the college. Most colleges and universities require reporting of criminal convictions, including DUI, to the organization in charge of the program for your financial aid or scholarship. If you are the recipient of such, you could lose your funding or it could be suspended for a year.

If you reside in campus housing, you could lose that, too.

In a worst case scenario, like a felony DUI or multiple offenses, you may face expulsion.

You may not be able to pursue your chosen career path.

Certain college degrees or graduate programs need government licensing, such as nursing, medical and law degrees. If you have a felony DUI conviction or several DUI misdemeanors, the college may deny you admission because your criminal record makes you ineligible for the license to practice your career. Before applying for a program that needs a government license, check with the licensing agency prior to enrolling so you will know if your DUI conviction will matter in your application.

Your employment opportunities will be limited.

After graduation from college, you begin applying for jobs. Jobs that require operating machinery or driving a company vehicle will automatically be off limits to you since companies cannot hire employees with DUI records for such positions. The employer runs the risk of you hurting other people in the course of your work and the employer will be liable for the damages incurred. They may also be sued for hiring a person with a DUI offense for certain jobs. The insurance companies may not pay and the premiums for the company will increase.


After painting such a dire picture of the consequences of a DUI arrest or conviction, rest assured that there are still recourses open to you. First, in your application for college or employment, tell the truth about your DUI record. Then, show the actions you have taken to improve your behavior, such as attending AA or counseling, and having a clean record for the recent past few years.

7 Tips To Improve Your Vocabulary

Excellent vocabulary comes with whopping benefits for an individual.

Whether you are a kid or a grown up, good vocabulary always gives you an edge. Vast vocabulary is an add-on for our personality in endless ways.

Such as-

  • you feel more confident.
  • asserts greater command over language
  • makes your expression more effectual and clear.
  • enhances your IQ.
  • makes you an effective speaker
  • Improves your writing skills

So whether you are pursuing a job, management, engineering student or anything else, focus on your vocabulary. Like if you are management student in India, check out for the top MBA colleges in India. And if you wish pursue any other course, you can easily check online for the list of top colleges in India.

Haaving a vast vocabulary enhances your personality as a whole.

Considering the immense impact of good vocabulary on one’s personal and professional life, it’s pivotal to lay considerable emphasis on its improvement.

But how can we do that?

Read on and find out how you can improve your vocabulary and uplift yourself.

  1. Read Vigorously

If you wish to enhance your vocabulary, it is mandatory to read more. Yes, read as much as possible. The more you’ll read, you’ll come across more words. So, reading is the vital and foremost step towards improving your vocabulary.

It doesn’t matter what you read but, make sure that you should have a reading regime. Also, focus on the quality of your reading content. It should be worth reading.

You can start with something that interests you and gradually move towards some high literature books. Explore and find out the genre that interests you.

  1. Maintain a Journal

Many of us skip this part.

We decide to soup up our vocabulary but skip this important step. Recall your school days, when we use to frame sentences for every difficult word in our chapters.

Wasn’t that helpful in remembering, understanding, and using the word?

It was for sure.

Then why can’t we follow this old-school tip now?

Adopt this habit and cling to it as it’s highly rewarding.

So from now, whenever you come across a word understand it and keep a record of it. Create your own journal and note down the words that you have learned.

To make it more fruitful, write the meaning of every word and try framing a sentence with it.

  1. Understand the Meaning

Knowing the meaning of a word is as important as learning it. Unless you don’t know the meaning of the word, you won’t be able to use it and if you can’t use it then what’s the point of learning it.

Never skip an unknown word, instead, try figuring out its meaning in the context of the sentence and then confirm its meaning by using the dictionary.

So, keep a dictionary handy and whenever you come across a new word hunt for its meaning.

  1. Frequent Use of New Words

Learning and understanding the meaning is just the beginning, the real challenge lies in making it a part of your routine.

Your vocabulary grows when you bring new words to the use.

  1. Work On Your Grammar

Using heavy and fancy words is not the only indicator of having a good vocabulary.  It is something more. It’s about using the right word at the right place. Accurate and precise use of adjectives, adverbs, and nouns truly enhances your vocabulary. So, work on your grammar and enrich your vocabulary.

For instance-

John is very happy to meet you guys.

Now see this one,

John is delighted to meet you guys.

Instead of using very happy, a stronger word has been used and, i.e., delighted. Try doing the same with your sentences and elevate your vocabulary.

  1. Go For a Word a Day

Set a goal for yourself and make a constructive approach towards building your vocabulary. Make it a daily goal to add one new word per day to your vocabulary. Secondly, aim to remember each day’s word and try using it somewhere in your day.

  1. Play Word Games

Word puzzles are an excellent source to increase the word knowledge. There are ample of vocabulary puzzles, like Crosswords, Scrabble, and Boggle. They all help in strengthening your word knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Most of the word games are available online, so you can easily have access to them. Word games are a fun tool to expand your vocabulary.


5 College Expenses You Can Cut Back On

There’s no denying that getting a college education these days is expensive. The truth is, college students most often encounter more expenses as they start the schoolyear. The reason is that they need to spend for other things in addition to the basics that they have to pay upfront such as tuition and accommodation.

A report on Trends in College Pricing from the College Board revealed that tuition and fees make up only 38 percent of the total expenses for in-state students enrolled in public institutions offering four-year courses. For full-time students in community colleges, the expenses is lower by 19 percent even if the student lives away from home. Extra expenses that add up to a college student’s budget normally include books and media, class fees, parking fees for those who drive their own cars, electronics, social activities, fraternities and sororities, food and drinks, mobile phone service, clothing, cable TV, furnishings and travel.

But do not be discouraged because any college student focused on obtaining his degree can take steps to save money. What’s needed are discipline and the commitment to live within one’s means.

Plan Your Meals

Many college students are fond of eating at restaurants or treating their friends without thinking of its impact on their budget. Some are also subscribed to college meal plans which can cost a lot. To lessen your food expense, you can opt for other options including nutritional meals that don’t even involve cooking.

Rent Books

Being in college does not necessarily mean you have to buy all the books required for your subjects. Take note that textbooks are usually sold at a high price but when it’s time to resell them, you’ll only gain a little. So why not use the ones available in your school library or rent books instead? Online, you can find some good resources such as Amazon and TextbookRentals.com. Check out those sites for options that fit your budget.

For college scholars, supplies including books are covered in addition to the tuition fees. If you are eligible for a scholarship (academic or athletic) in your chosen school, find out more about it or ask your academic adviser for options available.

Make a Budget Plan

College students should also learn to make their own budget and not rely on their parents on this matter. Most often, many forget about this important part when they are having fun with friends going out and dining out or are eager to buy the latest trends in fashion and gadgets.

But you need to be aware of your expenses and set limits if possible. This applies to all students, whether enrolled as part-time or full-time. If you’re the type of person who has the habit of buying personal items every now and then, it would be a good idea to find a part-time job that can provide you extra income.

Don’t Use a Car

Driving a car can entail add up to your school expenses as you need to spend for your gas on a regular basis. But this is really not necessary if you’re a student, according to Kelly Decsy, among Los Angeles’ best car accident attorney. This is because most campuses are only within walking distance from dorms and apartments. Some universities also have their own buses to service their students who live outside of the campus.

Avoid Data Plans

Those who are subscribed to mobile data plans can actually do away with it as most college and university campuses offer Wi-Fi as a complimentary service to students. Hence with internet access available in school, there’s no need to pay monthly bills for your cell phone data plans.

What are the work options like for US exchange students?

If you are an international student currently in the United States, maybe you’re thinking to yourself how to get additional income while studying? Is it legal to work or get a job while in the US on a student visa? Let’s find out if this is possible by taking a look at US rules and regulations concerning this, as well as the any restrictions and requirements of the student visa.

Many foreigners studying in the US hold an F-1 visa, which is the official term for a US non-immigrant student visa. The simple answer to the second question posed above is, yes, it is legal to work while on a student visa (F-1) as long as you meet the conditions and guidelines issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

On campus employment

This is the easiest work option for foreign students as it does not require prior USCIS approval. Most institutions require you to coordinate with the International Student department prior to being employed on campus. On campus employment means that the work must be directly for the school, or those which provide direct student services.

The following are rules that have to be met:

  • student must maintain valid status
  • while school is in session, the student can only work up to 20 hours a week
  • during vacation season, the student can work full time as long as he/she plans to register for the following semester
  • the employment must not displace a US citizen

Off campus employment

A student with an F-1 visa is not allowed to work off campus unless there is authorization from the International Student office. This authorization is somewhat difficult to obtain – there must be proof of financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances. Examples of these are, exchange rate severely devalued, a considerable increase in tuition costs, or medical bills that have to be paid, among others. The student must also show that on campus employment is either not available, or insufficient for him/her to be able to overcome the financial hardship. The student can work 20 hours a week during school session, and full time during breaks if:

  • the student has had an F-1 status for at least 9 months or one school year
  • the student has good academic standing
  • proof of financial hardship is presented
  • proof that on-campus employment is insufficient (or unavailable) is presented

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a work option provided for foreign students, which is similar to off-campus employment. Students can choose the OPT while they are completing their degree, or even after they graduate. The USCIS governs this area, and a student can only begin working as soon as he/she receives an employment authorization document. Several rules must be followed, such as:

  • employment must be directly related to the student’s major or degree
  • lawful F-1 status
  • OPT is only permitted for a total of 12 months
  • must be full time, if choosing OPT after getting a degree; part-time when school is in session

The common denominator regarding the different work options is maintaining legal student visa status for the entirety of its validity. Any offense against this could lead to being deported and future immigration and visa problems. If there is an area that you wish to clarify regarding your visa status, it is best to consult experts such as green card lawyers, rather than risk doing something illegal and being punished as a result of that decision.

Who Pays For The Tuition? Things Divorcing Parents With College Kids Need To Consider

Kids entering college can be a happy but stressful event for parents. But the stress is compounded when the parents are divorced and paying for the tuition becomes a thorny issue especially if it was not included in the divorce proceedings. This can frequently arise because college-age children are already considered adults at the age of 18 – 21, depending on the state’s definition of adult. And divorce settlements take into consideration only minor and incapacitated children.

But it doesn’t mean that college tuition cannot be included in the stipulations that the couple enter into. Their lawyers can draw up an agreement towards payment for college education, detailing many features, such as what percentage of the amount each spouse will contribute, where the school is located (in state or out of state) and what type of school the child will attend.

States differ in their laws on parents paying for their kids’ college. In most states, parents are not under any obligation to shoulder the expenses for a child’s college education. But the court may step in, as in Washington and Utah, where the judge can order a non-custodial parent to contribute to the college tuition of a child. Aside from tuition, books, room and board, transportation and miscellaneous living expenses are included in the calculation of the cost. Some courts may require the child to maintain a certain grade point average for the parents to continue paying tuition.

In California, there is no mandated support for adult children, unless said child is incapacitated. Support ends when the child reaches 18 years of age, including payment for education. But an agreement can be drawn up to take care of a child’s college studies. This agreement is as good as a contract. It is legally binding and, until recently, non-modifiable.

On April 11, 2014, the Drescher vs. Gross case changed the non-modifiable element on the Marital Settlement Agreement. Lenore Drescher and Mark Gross had divorced in 2001 after 14 years of marriage. They were both lawyers earning six-figure incomes. The agreement stated each spouse would shoulder half of the expenses for the college education of their three children in a school in California. Drescher sought to modify the college education support on the grounds that she was already permanently disabled and was earning only $23,000 a year and Gross had earnings of more than $400,000 a year.

In conclusion, the Court of Appeals decided that the contract of support between spouses for their adult child is modifiable, if present circumstances so warrant. It will be treated like child support for minor children, which is open to modification. The court further added that for a Marital Settlement Agreement to be non-modifiable, both parties must explicitly state such in a court order. Since this is a relatively new law, a divorcing spouse must hire a skilled family attorney who keeps abreast of the law and knows how to negotiate issues in a divorce case that will not compromise his client and the children.

Under the law prior to the Drescher decision, it was not a wise move to agree to any financial conditions regarding support for children under a marital agreement. Unforeseen circumstances may arise and change a present situation, making it disadvantageous for the affected spouse.

In Pennsylvania, divorced parents are not under obligation to provide college education to their children, citing the equal protection clause where married parents have no duty to provide for their children’s college education. It does have a statute where divorced parents may share in the expenses for the college studies of the kid but the statute may be modified or terminated if the financial status of either parent is significantly changed.

A quick glance on the course of medical auditor

At present, people have become very conscious about their career and that’s why they learn varieties courses that help them to achieve their desired goal. You must know that medical auditing is one of the very highly demanded job and many people in these days want to become a professional medical auditor. If you also want to be a certified professional medical auditor then you must learn some special course from a reputable institute. At present, a number of institutes are available and many of these institutes offer varieties courses to the willing people. Before joining this special course you should know about this course properly.


In order to conduct internal or external reviews of coding accuracy, medical auditing is a necessary program which is a bit critical on its part for a profitable physician practice. You must know that a reputable health care depends on exact and proper clinical documentation record. For this reason, to improve the quality of the health care organization people should avail medical record records audit. Providing the better care and improving the financial condition are the prime goals of medical audit and many people avail this service for improving the condition of their health care organization. It is seen that people perform medical audits for various purposes like;

  • In order to prevent health care organization from fraud claim and fraud medical billing.
  • In order to recognize the issue and make them correct.
  • In order to verify health record etc.

How to become a certified professional medical Auditor?

Since it is a very lucrative job so many people in these days want to be a professional medical auditor. Auditors are responsible for auditing medical billing and coding so it is very necessary that the auditors should have knowledge in this respective field. In order to become a professional auditor people have to pass CPMA exam and that’s why willing people have to join a reputable CPMA institute that helps you to achieve your goal. In fact, willing people have to learn medical auditing course that includes many topics and those are;

  • The process of identifying fraud and abuse report in medical documentation.
  • Methods of statistical sampling
  • Coding quality assurance
  • advanced medical coding
  • Proper reporting and communication skills etc.

At present, many institutes are available in cities and these institutes’ offers varieties courses. But to learn this course properly people should join any reputable CPMA institute like Allied Prep Technical Institute.

Allied Prep Technical Institute is a renowned institute and this institute has many certified professional medical auditors. These professionals provide lots of information about this course and also help willing people to learn this course properly. Professionals of this institute prepare their every student very well so that they can pass CPMA exam and be a certified professional medical auditor. This institute offers their course at an affordable price so people can easily join this course. If you want to achieve further details about this company then you must visit their official site at alliedpreptech.com.


Edmonton Wedding Dancing Lessons

The best dance studio in Edmonton opened a long time ago, and since then it has done its best to produce top-ranked competitive dancers around the world. What is taught here is social dancing through dance classes that helps people to survive on the dance floor. Whether it’s for weddings, black tie or casual events or it’s for parties, the dance classes provided here in Edmonton help the students to excel in all the fields of dancing.

wedding dance lessons

The instructors here are certified and specialties of these dance classes are:
– Dance lessons for adults
– Dance lessons in private
– Modern dancing
– Lessons for couples

Wedding Dance Lessons

If your wedding date is arriving, then you need to learn to dance, as this can be the best special gift you can give to your fiance, and vice versa. Make your first dance as a couple a memorable dances that will live forever and that you can cherish forever.

Most people lack the experience with dancing and because of this; their memories of dancing on their wedding day fade away. You might want lessons so you can look better on camera, as it is known that most weddings are recorded and the main focus of attention is on the couple’s dance. Hence, there is a need to teach dancing to prospective brides and grooms that will be more polished and graceful. This is where the wedding dance lessons in Edmonton come into the picture.

If you make the best Edmonton dance studio your dance coach for the wedding, then it is promised that they will strive hard to make you fully ready for the big day. Apart from the Waltz and other traditional varieties, the dances that are more popular nowadays at weddings are Swing, Salsa, Mambo and even the Hustle.

Beginner’s Dance Lessons

For students who are joining for the very first time, the introductory lessons will be offered by the best studio providing wedding dance lessons in Edmonton. These lessons will consist of:
– 4 private dance lessons
– 2 group dance lessons, and
– 2 practice dance sessions

They provide a teaching method in a 3-system way that helps to recognize each and every individual. Therefore, with the help of 3 different windows available for learning, the dancing skills of every student can be maximized.
Private Instruction: This is the first step used as a part of the training. Through personalized instructions, you will achieve your goal at a faster rate. Your styling, technique and other general improvements in dance will be quite obvious.
Group Instructions: This is the second step in the training where you get a chance to dance with different partners, as this will help you to increase your style, techniques and various variations of patterns.
Practice Sessions: In this step, students get scheduled practices for dancing that enable them to carry out all the skills in a group and in this way they can find the right dancing partner before going out in public.

If you are energetic, self-motivating and hardworking, then the best wedding dance classes in Edmonton promise that they will provide you the best dancing lesson in Edmonton, period. If you have a love for music and dance, and you’re getting married soon, then you need to meet with them as soon as possible.

Theories surrounding our Universe

You must remember that science class lecture in which you were taught how the universe that we live in now, came into being with the Big Bang. Our solar system, our galaxies, the heavenly bodies that take up the vastness of our space are all results of that big bang. We were also taught that there are various such bangs and collisions, Etc. That is constantly taking place in our universe. However, it is impossible for the intellectuals and the philosophers as well as the cosmologists to not doubt these already formed theories and to not make discoveries and researches of their own. If people stop to explore and just start believing the existing theories and concepts about the world and the universe, then how are we to evolve and make theories and philosophies of our own. It isn’t the case that all these theories are made on just random ideas and thoughts, but these theories are backed up by strong facts and arguments. That is why there are so many blogs, journals and books that are made on quantum physics, the discoveries on  celestial and planetary studies etc.

There are many authors and physicists that have an obsession and like to study about mystical elements and celestial objects. The universe and the galaxies in our space along with numerous other things are something of an enigma to them. These people are always generating theories and concepts like the potential theory. The potential theory is remarkably described and explained in the Summa Metaphysica. The Summa Metaphysica is an amazing book series that has the elements of Metaphysics, cosmology, teleology and philosophy. It claims to explain the connection between man, God, the universe, along with many other ideas and scientific propositions. This is a great way to quench your thirst of planetary knowledge.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Paper Writing

Have you chosen the right topic? Will your grammar impress? To Oxford comma, or not to Oxford comma? If you’ll be doing any paper writing this terms, chances are, all of these essay-related worries have been plaguing you, but no worries. Here’s a quick run-down of a few of the most common paper writing mistakes, and how you can (and will!) avoid them.

The first potential paper writing pitfall is at the very start of your paper, in your thesis or topic. Choose a topic that’s too broad, and you’ll be overwhelmed with all of the information you’ll find in your research phase, and later, when you’re writing your paper, you’ll have difficulty focusing your thesis. Choose a topic that’s too narrow, and you’ll have the opposite problem: not enough research data, and no real argument to make. If you’re finding too much information to process, narrow your topic; if you’re struggling to find relevant information, broaden it a bit.

Now that you have your perfectly-focused topic, it’s time to decide whether or not you’ll be using that pesky (or delightful, depending on your stance) Oxford comma. While the grammarians debate the merits of it, all you really need to do is decide one way or the other, use it or not, and stick to that decision throughout your entire paper, for the sake of consistency.

Another common paper writing mistake happens in the body of the paper, when using abbreviations and acronyms. It’s a good idea to spell out the acronym or abbreviation the first time you use it – unless it’s quite common, like NFL or CEO – so your audience isn’t confused, and won’t have to interrupt the flow of your paper to look up an abbreviation you’ve used.

It’s also shocking how often we misspell tiny, commonly used words, like “it,” “is,” and “in.” They’re not interchangeable, but they’re so easy to accidentally swap for each other!

While you’re doing your paper proofing, make sure you don’t rush, and don’t forget to check your headers, footers, footnotes, table of contents, and sub-headings for errors – mistakes like to hide in these essay sections. If there’s someone you trust, ask them to review your draft to look for mistakes you might have missed. It’s worth the extra time this step will take to avoid losing points on silly grammar or punctuation errors.

Speaking of time, and this almost goes without saying, but it’s never a good idea to wait until the last minute to finish (or start) an essay. If you’re rushing to finish your paper, you’re much more inclined to make careless mistakes, and while you might be okay with losing a point or two, the deductions for each tiny error will quickly add up. To give yourself extra wiggle room, make your own hand-in date two or three days before the actual deadline. If something comes up – a last-minute coffee date, an illness, or (worse), another pressing assignment, you’ll still have the time to finish and even polish your paper.