A Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism

A Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious offense that can lead to expulsion from college. This is because plagiarism is a fraudulent act wherein the offender tries to pass off another person’s ideas and words as his or her own. It is important to avoid plagiarism at all costs, to avoid the repercussions of the act and to maintain your academic honesty. Here are some tips on how to avoid plagiarism:

Know your enemy

The first step to avoiding plagiarism is to know what plagiarism is and why people do it. As mentioned above, plagiarism has to do with stealing one’s intellectual property. There are basically two types of plagiarism: intentional and unintentional. Intentional plagiarism is self-explanatory; many academicians see this as type as an unpardonable offense. Unintentional plagiarism occurs when citations are not done properly. Research well on plagiarism and you are already on your way to avoiding it.

Know the rules

Next, you have to understand the rules for citation, your assignment, and writing in general. Avoiding plagiarism, writing effectively, and making citations properly will all require you to know the rules. Begin with your assignment. Understand what your teacher is asking from you by asking questions, asking for guidelines, and taking notes of specific rules the teacher may have (especially those on format and citation). Next, do some research on how to make proper citations throughout your paper. Consider what sections need citations, when citations are needed, where to put them, and how to enter them properly.

Know why you should follow the rules

It is hard to follow the rules if you are not sure why they are there in the first place. Rules against plagiarism are not only meant to protect the author’s whose words and thoughts have aided academic and intellectual progress. The rules are also there to help you arrive at new knowledge, to help you express your own ideas and feelings, and to help you become a more effective writer. Challenge yourself to go beyond the confines of what has already been said and thought. Not only will you avoid plagiarism in doing so, but you may even become a quotable source yourself.

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How to Get Along with Others in College

How to Get Along with Others in College

When you make the transition from high school to college, you will probably have to deal with leaving your home, your family, and your friends. Now, you are left to fend for yourself in this new environment with people from all around the nation and, perhaps, from all around the world. Still, fitting in and getting along with others in college can be a rather fun and fulfilling experience. Here are some tips on getting along, fitting in, and making friends with others in college:

1. Allot time for college activities

Perhaps the most helpful tip for getting along with others in college is to make some time for it. Whether it is for work, study, play, or personal reasons, everyone needs time for themselves. Still, you should try to strike a balance between the time you spend alone and the time you spend with others. Try to schedule some time to have lunch or go out with other people. The idea is to make yourself available in meeting new friends and acquaintances.

2. Do your part

Another important tip for getting along with other students and classmates in college is to make an effort. Spare some time for going to a school sports game, for attending parties, or for joining an organization that you are interested in. Simply making the effort to come to class early and talk to classmates is a good way to meet people and make friends. Just make sure that neither your academic life nor your professional life suffers from neglect.

3. Take a chance

Making friends and getting along with others often requires you to try new things and create new memories. The next time someone invites you to do something you normally would not do on your own, take a chance and say yes. Friendship is filled with excitement and fun, if you will only allow the excitement and fun to come your way.

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How To Take Effective Class Notes

How To Take Effective Class Notes

One daily task that students have to deal with is taking down notes. Your class notes do not only leave you with something to study, but they also help your mind in processing, analyzing, and interpreting information. This means that taking effective notes can lead to better performance in school. Here is how you can start taking more effective class notes.

Before class

Enhancing your note-taking skills begins well before you enter the classroom. As in any other endeavor that you want to succeed in, preparation is key toward taking effective class notes. Begin by preparing the materials you need. Put together the books, papers, notebooks, pens, pencils, and highlighters that you commonly use for taking notes. Make sure you are prepared for your next lesson by doing some advanced reading. Familiarizing yourself with the words, topics, and concepts that are likely to come up is the first step toward taking better notes. If you are already familiar with these terms, chances are you will be using your own shortcuts in writing them down. This lets you note down more information about these terms.

During class

Now that you have a good idea of what you will encounter in the next lesson, you are prepared to listen. Listening is one of the most important factors in learning and note-taking. Instead of eagerly waiting to write down each and every word your teacher says, you should listen to what he or she is saying. This is when your studying and preparation will pay off. Also take note of your teacher’s tone, body language, and teaching strategies, which can all help you comprehend the lesson better.

If you’ve read the reference materials beforehand, you know the pieces of information your teacher is stating which are not found in the textbook or the handouts. These are the items that you should be jotting down in your notebook.

Here are tips on writing notes:

* Use lists – Bullet points, numbered lists, or any type of list is a great way to take down information quickly and effectively
* Use signs and symbols – Arrows, stars, lines, underlining, letter size – all of these signs and symbols can be used to help you understand your notes better
* Leave extra space – Leaving some space in your notebook will allow you to make extra notes the next time you read through your notebook.

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Four reasons NOT to attend Harvard University


Harvard University is one of the most reputable and well-known educational institutions in the world.  Year after year, students apply to Harvard, hoping to get into the prestigious and historical university.  While a minority of the applicants get accepted into the school, there is a large number of Harvard applicants who get rejected.  All is not lost if you are one of the people who did not get into Harvard.  Aside from the fact that you can still go to one of the many other great schools around the world, here are some other reasons why you shouldn’t go to Harvard University:

Infamous Harvard graduates

Harvard has produced some of the most influential people in the world, including numerous Nobel  laureates, a range of Pulitzer Prize winners, and no less than eight US Presidents.(1)  Aside from some of these role model figures, however, some Harvard alumni have gained fame through their not-so-admirable feats.  Theodore Kaczynski, for example, received his Harvard undergraduate degree only to go on and become the world-famous Unabomber.  Kaczynski’s neo-Luddite philosophy ultimately resulted in him carrying out numerous bombings on airliners and universities around the country.(2)  Isoroku Yamamoto, who studied in Harvard from 1919 to 1921, later became the commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.  Yamamoto played a crucial role in planning and executing the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.(3)  Some other infamous Harvard alumni include Charles K. Lee, who embezzled over $100,000 from a charity for children with leukemia, and Ernst Hanfstaengl, who became a close friend and confidant of Adolf Hitler.(4,5)

A Harvard education in exchange for an arm and a leg

Another reason you may not want to attend Harvard is because the school’s tuition cost too much.  Sure you’re getting premium education, but does that mean you have to sell off your arm, leg, and both kidneys to pay for tuition?  In 2007, the school had a tuition increase of about 3.9%, bringing the tuition to over $31,000.(6)  In February, 2009, the school announced a 3.5% increase on tuition for the 2009-2010 school year, which means that the tuition would cost over $33,500.(7)  Before you break your bank, you may want to look into other, more affordable academic institutions.

Snobbish student body

Harvard is full of snobbish and spoiled rich kids who can be quite arrogant.  Aside from the annoying name-dropping, you will probably also have to deal with a bunch of high-brow peers who act as though something is stuck up their behinds.  You can probably find a few friends you can get along with, but, for the most part, you’ll probably be dealing with a bunch of brats who are used to getting their way – even if it means having to step over you.

Just want to graduate

Yes, we all know that Harvard has produced a bunch of graduates who have helped to change the world, inspire world peace, or make some great change that has affected the lives of many.  Not everyone is planning to be on the list of the 100 most influential people though.  If all you want is an education, then you may want to settle for a different school.  All of the hype about making the world a better place may just not be your thing.  Next time you feel bad about not studying in Harvard University, take a quick peek back at this list and rest assured in the fact that Harvard has its downsides too.

(1)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Harvard_University_people
(2)  http://edition.cnn.com/US/9604/03/unabomber/index.html
(3)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isoroku_Yamamoto
(4)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chas_Lee
(5)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Hanfstaengl
(6)  http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/03.22/03-tuition.html
(7)  http://www.news.harvard.edu/r/tuition.html

Admissions Interviews: Making the Right Impression

Whether you are entering into college, graduate school, or a job position, you will probably have to go through an admissions interview. Aside from your personal statement, the interview is one of the few components of your application that will show your personal side to the admissions committee. Here are some tips on how to have a successful admissions interview.

Gathering pertinent information

The first step to having a successful admissions interview is to gather all of the information you need. Begin by taking note of your interview schedule and do what you can to free up that time slot. Next, gather some information on the background of the place and program you are applying to. This will help you answer and ask questions competently and completely.

Getting a head start

Like using examples of personal statements to prepare for writing your essay, you should also make use of example interview questions and answers to prepare for your interview. Many websites offer applicants help by providing some of the common questions that are asked during interviews. Also, use example interview answers to get ideas of the tone, quality, and style of answers that are expected from you as the applicant. This is just like using examples of personal statements to get ideas on the theme or topic for your essay. Preparation and practice is key for success.

Keep these tips in mind for a successful interview

* Try to have a conversation with interviewers, instead of merely answering their questions with a yes or no. You can do this by explaining your answers and asking your own questions.
* Do not be late or miss your interview schedule. If, for some reason, you have to postpone your interview or you think you may be late, try to contact the interviewer to let them know in advance.
* Be comfortable, but not casual. You should dress well, speak well, and act appropriately. Treat your interviewer with respect and always thank him or her after the interview.
* Just like you would not copy examples of personal statements, you also do not want to copy the example answers you find. Let your own personality, thoughts, knowledge, experience, and education shine through during your interview.

Using the right personal statement to get into the law school of your choice

Using the right personal statement to get into the law school of your choice


You may think that it is over when your GPA is lower than what is required by the top law schools.  But, do you know that your personal statement can save the day?  Your personal statement is a requirement for your admissions anyway.  For some schools, they are valued higher, giving you a chance to shine.  Even to schools that value personal statements less, there is no doubt that they also have an effect. Because law schools rarely conduct interviews, they are happy to learn about your more personal side. So, start browsing examples of personal statements and try to see what makes some excellent and what makes some forgettable.

Examples of personal statements’ features that can get you accepted

When writing your law school admissions essay, you have to talk about the things that you have gone through before law school.  Emphasize the facts that directly relate your values and skills to law school.  Although you may not have outstanding grades, you may be surprised that you can still be accepted to a top school.  Excellent examples of personal statements can make your targeted school see that your great personality, not your grades, will make you an ideal lawyer. For law schools that conduct interviews, you may be able to reach that far.  Then, you will be able to answer pertinent questions personally.  Writing an excellent personal statement is then effective in getting you accepted to law school because it gives you a second chance.  Admissions committees will not judge you based on past mistakes but will accept you based on your attitudes, and on what you are willing to do to improve.

Examples of personal statements’ mistakes that can ruin your chances

Just as an excellent essay can get your application accepted, a terrible personal statement can ruin your chances of getting into law school.  This is true whether you have good grades or not.  A person with a carelessly written or boring essay will get your essay ignored.  What will law schools like about a student who does have excellent grades but cannot present himself or herself well?  Being a lawyer is being able to exude confidence and competence.

Writing examples of personal statements your target law school will love

So, even if you think that your grades are not that high, do not give up your dreams of becoming a lawyer.  Once you have a passion for something, you can express that through writing.  Your genuine desire to become a lawyer will show through your personal statement.  Admissions committees will still be on the lookout for geniuses but will not ignore applicants with vibrant personalities.  Even if you have average grades, you will be noticed over all your peers.  If you can stand out without the help of a transcript, you must be a person worth knowing.

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A Guide to Financial Aid for Female Students


Making the transition between high school and college is a difficult time in one’s life, especially as a female student. Whether you are going to a university, a community college, or a graduate school, tuition fees are often hard to cope with. Fortunately, there are many organizations that provide scholarships, grants, awards, and fellowships just for women. Here are some of the notable organizations that offer financial aid for female students:

Financial aid for females with specialization

The HORIZONS Scholarship Foundation, established by Women In Defense, seek to aid women who go into national security. Different plans are available, starting with a minimum of $500. Women who apply for these scholarships must be US citizens and hold a GPA of 3.25. Some of the other fields with scholarships include Law, Mathematics, and International Relations.

Nationwide financial aid for females

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is an organization that seeks to help women and girls through the promotion of education and equity for females. Throughout the past years, the AAUW Educational Foundation has been giving out $3.5 to $4 million in financial aid for women. The types of financial aid offered by this organization include grants, awards, fellowships, and awards for community projects.

Other forms of financial aid for female students

Aside from these two organizations, there are many more that offer financial aid for women. Here are some other organizations that have similar financial aid plans:
* Business and Professional Women’s Foundation
* Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund
* P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund
* AEI Scholarship Fund

Before applying for scholarship or financial aid, do some research first. Check out the homepages of the organizations that you qualify for to get information on their background, their financial aid plans, and their operations in general. Whether you are seeking to specialize, take up graduate school, or enter into college, there are foundations that can provide you with financial aid.

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A Guide to Financial Aid for Hispanic Students


Hispanic students have numerous financial aid options available to help them deal with the costs of schooling. Some of these types of financial aid programs are referred to as financial aid for minority students. Many of the financial aid solutions for Hispanic students are intended specifically for Hispanics only. Here are some of financial aid programs for Hispanic students.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) This organization is the largest of its kind. Whether you are a Hispanic student attending a high school, a community college, or a university, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund may have the right financial aid program for you. Affiliated with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute (HSFI), the HSF has a variety of solutions to your financial needs.

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) As the oldest and one of the largest Hispanic organizations in the United States, the LULAC offers plans of varying amounts. Some of the plans offered by this organization require students to go into a particular field of study to be granted a loan.

Other options The organizations mentioned above are only two out of the many non-profit organizations that grant scholarships to Hispanic students. Some of the other institutions include:

* The Hispanic National Bar Association (for law)
* The National Society of Hispanic MBAs
* The Hispanic College Fund

You may also decide to apply for state-based scholarships, which are offered depending on a certain set of criteria as decided upon by the state. Also, companies and associations often offer scholarships or grants to employees who want to further specialize in their field. Companies know what an asset education and training is, so they sometimes offer financial aid plans. Before deciding upon a financial aid plan, be sure to read all of the information and know what you are signing up for.

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Things to Consider about Paying Off Student Loans


Student loans provide students all around the country with the financial help they need to get through college and graduate school. While student loans are a great help, once you are through with schooling you may be left with a hefty price to pay. Here are some tips on how you can deal with paying off student loans

Prepare by planning ahead

The first step toward dealing with student loan debt is to plan beforehand. When applying for student loans, try to calculate how much the costs will amount to in the end including interest rates. This can help you choose a plan that will help you deal with payment issues. For those who have applied and already gone through schooling, you still have time to prepare and plan. Make calculations on how much of your income you should allot for paying off your loans. Set realistic goals that can help you deal with your debt while still allowing you enough budget to maintain your lifestyle.

Take advantage of your options

Most of the institutions that offer student loans have flexible repayment plans. You can choose to repay your student loans through standard payment. This means that you will have to pay a fixed amount for a fixed period of time (usually 10 years). Extended repayment plans give you more time, normally between 12 30 years to pay off your student loan. In the end, though, interest costs will be higher on extended repayment plans. Income-contingment repayment is based on costs that are calculated depending on factors such as your income, tax return, and family size. Find a plan that fits your financial needs, so that you can repay your student loan in no time.

Ask for help

Another tip for dealing with student loans is to ask for help. Talk to your loan-holding institution about how you can deal with or even lower your repayment costs. Some companies are willing to offer you better deals considering you have good repayment records or if you agree to make payments through the Internet. Do not be afraid to ask for help from relatives or friends as needed.

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Different Types of Student Loans


Dealing with tuition fees, bills, and other expenses is one of the most difficult aspects of college and graduate school. This is why the government, educational institutions, and companies offer financial aid of different types to students. This article will cover some of the different types of student loans that can help you cope with the financial aspect of schooling.

Federal loans

The government offers three types of student loans. First are Stafford loans, which can be obtained from a financial institution such as a bank or credit union, or directly from the government. Stafford loans can be either subsidized or unsubsidized, depending on the financial need. Another type of federal loan is the federal Perkins loan. The Perkins loan is aimed at providing financial aid for students in extreme need, offering low interest rates. The third type of student loan is the federal Plus loan. These are offered to help parents whose children are entering into college. Plus loans are given based on the credit history of the parents.

Other forms of student loans

Private lenders also offer a number of financial aid options. Student loans often have lower interest rates than other types of loans. Oftentimes, though, the interest rates offered by private lenders are higher than those of federal loans. If you are currently employed, you may want to ask your company if they have any financial aid programs to help you out in school. Some companies offer to shoulder a percentage of the tuition fees for employees who want to expand their education and training in their field of work.

A reminder on student loans

Regardless of the type of financial aid you decide to apply for, be sure to read all of the information and details stipulated in the contracts and terms of agreement. Take note of important figures, such as the loan limitations and interest rates. Finally, try to get the contact information of those who can help you should financial aid issues arise.

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