Posts published in May, 2017
By Melissa Burns
When it comes to studying for finals, it’s not uncommon to spend hours at a time hunched over textbooks and flipping through lecture notes. It can take hours to perfect a concept and days to fully prepare for everything that could be thrown your way on an exam. At some point, though, you need to take a break and let your brain relax.
Healthy and Productive Ways to Unwind
When most college students take a break from studying, they choose to go out and have a few (too many) drinks, binge-eat, play video games, or watch mindless movies. While these may serve as distractions from studying, they do little to recharge the brain. In fact, they ultimately end up causing more damage than good.
If you want to take a productive break, it needs to serve the purpose of recharging your brain without taking you totally out of sync. Keeping that in mind, here are some healthy ideas:
- Get Crafty
Studying is very rigorous and clinical. You learn the information you’ve been assigned and don’t have many other options. As such, this demanding setup can wear your brain out, so to speak.
When taking a break, it’s important that you bring some balance into the equation. It can be particularly advantageous to do something creative and artsy. One idea is to create a photo book of the school year in review. This is a nice way to reminisce and use some of your creative “juices.”
- Enjoy Afternoon Tea
If you’re feeling stressed from all the studying you’re doing, it can help to take a little afternoon tea break. Specifically, you should sip on some green tea and eat a bit of dark chocolate. The green tea contains lots of L-Theanine, an ingredient that’s supposed to relax your mind. Dark chocolate is known to regulate the stress hormone cortisol and stabilize your metabolism.
- Go For a Run Around the Block
You’ve probably heard people talk about going for a run to clear their mind. Well, this is more than just a hyperbole. There’s actually a lot of truth in this idea. As filmmaker Casey Neistat says, “Every major decision I’ve made in the last eight years has been prefaced by a run.” If you feel yourself losing focus or getting stressed, a quick 15- or 20-minute jog may be just what the doctor ordered.
- Spend Time in Nature
Have you ever gone on a walk or hike in the woods and felt the powerful feeling of relaxation and peace come over you?
“From your first steps into the forest, your entire body feels changed. You feel the gentle breeze on your skin and the trail under your feet,” environmental writer Jill Richardson notes. “You breathe in and notice the clean, crisp air with the familiar smell of the forest that is sometimes punctuated with the odors of specific plants you pass, like a fragrant flower or a pungent sage. After a long hike, you feel recharged, and not just because of the exercise.”
Study after study has shown that spending time in nature is good for your mental health, so why not go on a solo hike in between study sessions? It could do you a lot of good.
Recognize the Importance of Rest
You may think that 10-hour studying days are what you need during exam time, but your brain can’t handle such long and taxing schedules. It’s much better to spend six or seven quality hours studying than 10 semi-engaged hours. Recognize the importance of rest and step away for a healthy, productive break when you feel your attention start to wane.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.
BY AMANDA WILSON
When writing a research paper, your main responsibility is to discover something new on the basis of the already investigated knowledge. Basically, that’s the main purpose of an academic paper or essay. Although you can conduct a brand new research and have a scientific discovery, you still must present it in the right format. This implies that you must follow some academically accepted steps to write a research paper. Therefore, whether you are the next Nobel or Einstein, these steps will enable you to achieve the best results possible from your research paper.
Step 1: Select a Subject
You must be careful when selecting the subject or topic for your research paper because a topic will have a significant impact on your final grade. Ideally, choose a topic that suits your capability. To write a great research paper, choose a topic that you are interested in and make it as narrow as possible. While selecting a topic, state your objective clearly. What do you intend to achieve by conducting research and writing the paper? Choose a topic that enables you to find sufficient materials for research so that you can complete the paper with ease and accomplish your goals.
Step 2: Craft out an Initial Bibliography
Every research paper must be supported by information from credible and properly referenced sources. Therefore, come up with bibliography cards or even use a computer program to enter sources that you intend to use in your research. This makes referencing sources in the final paper easier. Use bibliography cards to store information about the books, internet sources and journals that you use to write your research paper.
Step 3: Prepare a Working Outline
An outline is a framework or a skeleton of the paper that you intend to write. A good outline makes writing a research paper easier and faster.
Here are some of the things that you should include in your outline:
- Issue: What does your paper revolves around or what does your paper intend to define?
- Thesis: What is the central idea of your paper? Your thesis may change as you conduct research and write the paper. However, it’s important that you have a thesis that conveys what you want to prove or propose.
- Main body: How many paragraphs or sections will your research paper have and what title/content will each paragraph or section have? Evidence, examples and main ideas of a research paper can be indicated using bullet points in the outline.
- Conclusion: This section gives you the final chance to convince readers of your paper to accept your argument or point of view.
Step 4: Start Taking Down Notes
Use books, journals and credible internet sources to conduct research on your topic and take down notes. Gather all the necessary information in your field. Focus on finding the main ideas, evidence and samples that you will use to support your thesis. Reference every note to make it easier to reference when writing the paper.
Step 5: Outline the Paper
Once you have taken notes, organize your information. Plan how you will use the information or notes to write your research paper. Decide what information will go where in your research paper. Organize your data in a way that maintains logical flow of information. Make sure that your organization makes ideas flow logically and smoothly. This includes where you place your supporting points, evidence and examples in the paper.
Step 6: Write the Rough Draft and Edit it
At this step, just write the paper without paying attention to grammatical and spelling errors. Focus on including the information that you gathered during research in the paper logically. Make sure you write a paper that meets the specified word count. The most important thing at this step is to have the writing done. Therefore, focus on including the topic sentence, elaboration, examples and evidence in the paper. Write a rough draft with the introduction, body and the conclusion.
After writing the rough draft, edit it carefully and thoroughly. Remove all spelling errors, sentence structure issues, typos, and factual errors. Check every sentence and paragraph of the paper to ensure that your message comes out succinctly and accurately.
Step 7: Write the Final Draft
Once you have written and edited the rough draft, compose the final draft of your research paper. Make sure that the final draft maintains a coherent structure and that one part flows to the next smoothly and logically. Make sure that your final draft maintains a clear linkage. Additionally, supporting evidence and examples must come out clearly in the final draft. Check the paper carefully to ensure that it addresses what you set out to address based on the title and thesis of the paper. References should be incorporated in the paper and the conclusion should wrap up your argument in a way that brings the paper to a logical end.
The above-listed steps will only guarantee you an extensively researched and successfully written paper if applied. However, you may not have time to write a research paper on your own. In that case, use a reliable research paper writing service to complete your paper.
Amy Wilson is a freelance writer at PaperWritten, her vocation is mentoring, which she does with pleasure. Thanks to Amy’s curiosity she finds everything in the world as a positive experience for a better future living.