Reaching for That A in School? Focus Like a Laser

What separates an A performance in class from a C? Often, the A student is not any smarter than the C student. It is more likely that he or she has better focus and study habits. What is meant by better focus? It is the ability to direct our energy effectively toward a purpose. In this case that purpose is to master the course material and to produce A results.
How do you harness energy to produce higher marks? Here are some thoughts:
o Dedicate enough time to your studies. A good rule of thumb is to dedicate 2.5 to 3 hours of study time per course for each hour in class. If you spend 15 hours per week in class, that works out to around 35 to 45 hours per week— the equivalent of a full time job! How do you find that time? Set aside 1 to 3 hour time-blocks and make use of your time between classes.
o Hone your study skills. How you study makes a big difference. Some techniques work better than others. Some are proven to get great results and are worth perfecting. Here are some skills worth mastering:
1. Effective reading – make sure you are pre-reading or skimming the material; then, deep-read for important concepts and information; finally, review what you have read.
2. Quality note taking – are you taking good notes in class and during your deep-reading? Notes should succinctly reflect key ideas, relationships, important developments, key people, key dates, etc.
3. Writing essays – are you identifying engaging topics, preparing useful essay outlines? Are you then staying on point, giving great insights, and following with persuasive conclusions?
4. Problem solving – are you quickly identify the problem? Try starting by evaluating the information/situation at hand, then formulate alternative solutions and choose the best one.
5. Prioritizing assignments: are you prioritizing your assignments? More difficult assignments should be given more time. Large assignments should be broken into smaller parts, then completed over time. You should schedule assignments such that all are completed ahead of time, then reviewed.
6. Studying for tests: do you review your notes, develop and answer key questions, make a hit-list of important concepts, people, developments, dates, and use pre-test visualization to perform well?
o Manage your time wisely. Put another way, manage yourself wisely so that you can do more in less time. A good time management plan will allow you to prioritize your assignments. Start by reviewing the requirements of each course. Ask yourself what it will take to master the course material and to get an A. Let the answer to that question guide you in prioritizing assignments and activities.
Allocate priority time to difficult or long assignments. Naturally, time-sensitive assignments must also be given high priority. Learn to shut down distractions – phone calls, text messaging, TV, drop-ins and other time-wasters. Get a weekly planner or calendar. Block out time slots to work on specific assignments. If you have the ability to delegate non-academic chores (trips to the store, pizza runs, etc) do so.
o Use visualization as a power study tool. Take a few minutes out before starting a new school assignment to imagine yourself doing an excellent job. See yourself working hard on the assignment and working with a high level of skill and ability. By consciously using your imagination to practice performing tasks successfully, you significantly increase your chance of performing well in the physical world. Stay very positive and practice each imaginary performance a few times before starting the assignment. Follow your visualization with your maximum effort to duplicate in the physical world what you just imagined.
o Make use of all resources. Studying is only one way to learn. We learn more when we use our other senses and when we experience things in a variety of ways. There are other great ways to master information. If you have questions or need clarification regarding the material, call or visit your instructor. Attend lectures or presentations covering topics that you are studying. Discuss material with classmates. They may understand a point or a concept better than you. Use the Internet. You can Google almost any topic and get useful information. Sometimes others have published material online that explains a concept or subject in clearer terms. Also, make use of the library to get additional information.
o Lastly, eat well, get plenty of rest and exercise daily. Staying focused and maintaining a high level of energy require a strong body. Eat several light but balanced meals daily. Take a daily multi-vitamin. Drink plenty of fluids. Exercise at least 30 – 60 minutes a day. Some find it helpful to schedule two or three short exercise sessions that add up to 60 minutes. Get at least eight hours of rest each day.
As you approach your studies, make sure to build in some time to relax between assignments and to get away from it all periodically.
Naturally, you should attend all of your classes and participate actively. Finally, when you are studying, put in your maximum effort. Use these techniques to channel your energy like a laser and to grab that A.

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Successful Steps to Good Essay Writing

Often students try to avoid essay writing in their normal study course. However, they forget that essay writing is the most important part of the curriculum. Today due to competition there is a high expectation from students. With the burden of academic subjects, students often become careless about essay writing. They do not get enough time to think about developing a good essay writing skill.
However, with the advent of technology, things have become quite easy for students. The online essay writing services educate the students how to write a good essay.
Consider these simple steps and become a professional essay writer:
1. Consider essay as a process and not a task bounded with deadlines. You have to consider reading, thinking, planning and organizing your thoughts. You have to understand the topic and study about the topic. Primary research is very important before drafting your thoughts. Once you are finished with research process, start thinking creatively about the topic and make notes or pointers, which will help you during documentation process.
2. The blank screen or paper in front of you while drafting essay is the most difficult part of the process. You must sketch out a plan before writing. Once you have written down your points, start assembling these points. Give each point a logical heading; this will help you to elaborate your points. These will later develop into paragraphs of your essay.
The most important subheads will include:
An introduction, which will explain the sources of your study
Main body, which is an analysis of your topic. It will include the opinions, comments and findings. You can quote about some scientific research or media studies.
Conclusion is where you force the reader to accept your points. You can conclude with quotes or even end with a question that will boggle reader’s mind.
All these points will give you an outline to your essay writing. Do not stick to one point. This makes the reader disinterested in your writing.
3. Your correct English is the most compelling part of essay writing. Use simple but correct English. Your essay may not be flowery in writing but must have substance in the subject. If it is argumentative, you must collect enough data to make it genuine. To improve on these points you must read many editorial sections from magazines or newspapers.
4. Try to make a rough draft of your essay before submission. You must read it aloud and look for any changes if required. If your essay is long or it is a dissertation, you must prepare small drafts of paragraphs and then try to focus on each paragraph. Try to make pointers on these paragraphs, which will help you during the assembly of all paragraphs. Do not lose track of your point or argument. In case if you are lost, refer to points.
5. Essays are small samples of knowledge. You cannot elaborate on an endless discussion. You must give it a strong voice and back up with supportive arguments and discussions. The essay must invoke reader’s thought process. Keep everything in moderation. Do not lose your focus.
Essay is an array of thoughts and ideas. Right alignment of thought process with strong command over English develops a person from good essay writer to professional essay writer.

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10 Tips to Effectively Sell Your Online Professional Writing Services

The number of online professional writing services has grown tremendously in the past years. The niche is already a fast-growing business in the online industry. Because of that, competition between and among freelance writers and writing companies have become fierce. How a service provider can effectively sell its services can now be as tough as writing about a specific product within a very competitive market. Taking this into account, the following tips would no doubt help a professional writing services provider to effectively sell its services online:
  • Be creative. The articles that one service provides should be interesting, not boring. Clients definitely want to have creative articles regarding their products to attract potential buyers. You should be able to create informative and persuasive articles that fit the client’s standard.
  • Be credible. Build a credibility of your own by showing to the customers that you have the skill to write compelling, persuasive articles. Samples of your best works should be shown to your potential clients. It is also better if you have testimonials from past clients posted in your website.
  • Be flexible. Offer as many kinds of services as you can. Try to specialize in some areas and topics. This way, you can have an edge over the other online professional writing services.
  • Be unique. Make sure that each article you make is unique, plagiarism-free and not copied from other works. In academic writing, most especially, articles should not have a slight similarity with other persons’ works. Most professional writing services offer this kind of work, so make sure that your work are not copied from others.
  • Be quick. Time efficiency is what most clients demand. They want to have an article quickly done. Any delay would also mean a delay on the potential income that they could generate. Professional writing services are experts on writing persuasive articles at a very quick turnaround time.
  • Be particular on details. Optimize every point and support each detail with sufficient information or evidence.
  • Be cheap. Most, if not all, clients want the most affordable price at the highest quality of work. This is not unusual as everybody wants everything to be as cheap as possible without compromising the quality of the product or the service.
  • Be your own editor. You should edit your own work. Try to avoid annoying mistakes such as grammar and typo errors.
  • Be a hard worker. Spend time with your work. Although you need to finish it at a short period, try to maximize this time by minimizing the errors.
  • Be a lover of your work. No one will believe in you if you do not believe in your self and your work. You should be confident of your skill to write and learn from every article that you do.
It is important that you must show your distinction with other professional writing services. Features such as flexible pricing, large-scale discount package and 24/7 service should also be considered. Clients are looking for writers who can offer them convenient, affordable and best quality work.

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Salient Tips for Writing a Criminology Essay

Like any other essay criminology essay primarily deals with tackling any issue pertaining to crime. Your academic work would be incomplete without the construction of an engaging criminology essay. Before you start writing your essay, make yourself aware of the finer nuances of writing a compelling and engaging essay. Any lack of knowledge on the subject would easily reflect in your essay and it would lose its impact. If you are really worried about how exactly to go about writing an excellent criminology essay, follow the tips given below.
The first and foremost part would be to provide a skeleton to your essay. A typical criminology essay should start with a gripping introduction followed by a sound central theme and end with a clear-cut analysis. Structure your essay around this skeleton to be able to deliver your message across effectively. Understand the knowledge domains of the topic chosen by you. Once you are clear about the topic you are aiming at, construct the areas around the central theme you wish to cover. Arm yourself with concrete data to validate your point of view.
Build a solid framework that would decide the body of your criminology essay. Pick each aspect and make a SWOT analysis i.e. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A thorough SWOT analysis would convey your perspective about the central theme. You would be able to convince the reader about your point of view as you have corroborated every aspect with precise data. Build a concrete foundation for your analysis as it would be the deciding factor on how compelling your essay would be.
Selection of a gripping topic
The topic that you choose for your criminology essay would be of utmost importance. Pick a topic that is controversial and generates debate. Preferably pick some recent issue pertaining crime that has been in news. Select a topic that invokes a response from people. Below are listed some topics that you may pick from:
~ Are technological advancements contributing to rise in crime?
~ Are our laws criminal friendly?
~ Are television and movies propagating violence?
~ How to curb cyber crime?
~ Terrorism for one country and tolerance for another; is it fair?
If you are in need of professional help on writing a powerful criminology essay you can seek help from experts at different sites. Their panels of professionally trained writers can provide efficient and timely help for writing your essays. Their extensive databank of free essays is a great help while constructing essays too. These essays are submitted by students and you can use them as a reference while writing your essay. If you are running short of time and have the deadlines looming on your head, you may also order a customized criminology essay from them. They would delegate an experienced graduate researcher to work on your essay and provide you with 100% genuine and original answers to your essay. Their secure customer control panel would have your orders processed with complete confidentiality. Get your professionally written essay in just 3 hours time.

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Medieval Castles – An Essay

Castles remind us of a time that was full of adventure and romance. Castles remind us of a time in history in which there was a lack of government and order. Although there was not mass confusion and anarchy, there was less order. Castles were the basis of feudalism. Castles can be seen as a manifestation of feudal society. Feudalism started with the rise of castles and ended with their end. The castle set the tone as the only homestead that nobility would live in during this time. Castles were influenced by and influenced many medieval cathedrals in Europe. Although castles served many purposes, their primary purpose was military. At that time, people were not protected by merely shutting and locking a regular wooden door. They needed the protection of castles and their knights. The lords and constables of castles needed serfs to work the land to make revenue in order to pay rent to the more important nobles. Given the following evidence, it is relatively obvious why castles and castle building played an instrumental role in the development of Western Europe.
Castles are unique to a time in history known as medieval times. The word medieval in our times is an insult to anything as is the word feudal. Through the haze and ruins, one can imagine dungeons, chivalrous knights, and mighty Lords who ruled the land and protected the common peasant from barbarians and other invaders. The rise of castles marked the rise of feudalism. This was all started by the crusades. The majority of the knights and nobles went to liberate the holy land from the Muslims. The Crusades influenced castle builders back in Europe. Ideas were gathered from Muslim and Byzantine fortifications. Because of the lack of protection in Europe, a castle’s strength needed to be increased because of the ever-present threat of a Muslim invasion. The end of Feudalism also marked the end of the middle ages and hence the end of the great castle era.
Castles integrated the combination of residence and fortress. The first castle dates back to King Sargon II of Khorsabad in ancient Egypt. He erected a grand palace for himself to protect him and his subjects. The first recorded references to castles was the Edict of Pistes by Charles the Bald, king of the West Franks. “We will and expressly command that whoever at this time has made castles and fortifications and enclosures without our out permission shall have them demolished by the First of August” (Brown Architecture of Castles 13). Other castle laws were the Norman Institutions handed down by William the Conqueror after he took over England. One law says that no one shall raise castles in Normandy without the Duke’s license.
An ideal castle site was one that had natural obstacles for defense such as steep hillsides and water. Castles that were built on rocks or islands were especially effective. An example of this is Bodiam in Sussex which was the home of Sir Edward Dalyngrigge in 1385. A moat offered good protection, but building on a lake or river offered better protection. The site should not be too remote. It should have water and building material readily available nearby. A site should have a good climate, good pasture, and ample fertile land. If a castle had all these things, it would increase its chances of surviving a siege.
A large majority of early castles followed the motte and bailey design. These designs utilized earth and timber. A motte and bailey design is a design where the keep is on a hill or motte behind the bailey which is the open area of the castle similar to a town square. A bridge usually connected the motte to the bailey. The motte was a great mound of earth or rock. Sometimes it was artificial, but the majority of the time it was authentic. At its base there was a deep trench that resembled a moat. This was used as defense. Surrounding the motte was a wall of timber. The motte also contained the keep which is where the lord of the manor and his family lived. The keep was the innermost part of the castle. It was the last defense against attack. The keep has also been referred to as the donjon. This is where the French got the word dungeon meaning the jail or place to hold prisoners. Surrounding the entire premises was a wooden fence that was at least ten feet in height. These wooden stakes were then implanted in the ground for support. The fence sometimes stood upon posts to allow men to get through. During a siege, the perimeter would be covered with wet animal skins to curb the threat of arson. Most motte and bailey castles were built before William the Conqueror’s conquest in 1066.
Walter the Archdeacon wrote a biography of John, bishop of Therouanne about 1130. In it he describes Merchem Castle near Dixmude: “There was, near the porch of the church, a fortress which we may call a castle… exceedingly high, built after the custom of that land by the lord of the town many years before. For it is the habit of the magnates and nobles of those parts… to raise a mound of earth as high as they can and surround it with a ditch as broad as possible. The top of this mound they completely enclose with a palisade of hewn logs bound close together like a wall, with towers set in its circuit so far as the site permits. In the middle of the space within the palisade they build a residence, or, dominating everything, keep” (Brown Architecture of Castles 21)
Castle designers saw a need for improvement because wood and earth were not strong and were not effective protection against fire. There was also a need for bigger, grander castles because noble visitors did not travel alone so a castle would have to have enough room for the occasional visitor and his or her group. The architects who designed castles were known as master masons. They saw that stone would be a more effective building material. Although it was cold and hard to work with, it provided the much needed protection against fire. These newer castles are called enclosure castles. Like motte and dailey designs, enclosures castles had a wall protecting the perimeter of the manor. However these castles were not built upon hills or mottes. The keep of the castle was incorporated into the wall surrounding the property. These castles still had a bailey. With this new style of castles came a new construction material. Stone became the only material to build one’s castle out of because it made castles much stronger against attack. The tower of London is an example of a masonry castle. The ideal stone for castles was the fine limestone of Caen in Normandy. This limestone was soft when first quarried, but gradually became hard as it was exposed to air. To insulate against the cold stone walls of castles, the women made tapestries for the walls. The tapestries almost always contained a story relating to the castle. One of the most famous tapestries is the Bayeux Tapestry. It depicts the Norman knights before Hastings in 1066. Since they were now using stone, castle builders were able to integrate defenses into the castles.
Castles needed to have defenses. They were not made impregnable. They were made so that it would take an enormous amount of artillery and money to take the castle. They were made so that it would take a large amount of time to take a castle. The castle of Newcastle at Tyne was far from impregnable in 1173, but it was strong enough to make an ill-prepared Scottish King William think twice about a siege: “Well sees the king of Scotland that he will never complete the conquest of Newcastle on Tyne without military engines” (Ibid 80). Some defenses used by castles were machiolations. Machiolations were projecting battlements to protect against arrows and other weapons. They were at the top of the wall surrounding the castle. Arrowslits or arrow loops were slits that were cut into stone to allow sharpshooters a place to shoot. They were angled so that the sharpshooter was protected from oncoming projectiles. Another defense used was Greek fire. This was an incendiary device that was used against wooden attack machines. The ingredients of Greek fire are a mystery. It is thought that it contained some of the following components: crude oil, refined oil, naphtha, pitch, resin, sulfur, quicklime, and bitumen. This deadly mixture was put on an arrow and then shot onto one of the attacking machines and it gave explosive results. Greek fire was probably developed in the seventh century by the Byzantines for naval warfare. Greek fire was a morale builder for the defenders during a siege. The Lord of Joinville described Greek fire as “This Greek fire was suck that seen from the front as it darted towards us it appeared as large as a vessel of verjuice, and the tail of the fire that streamed behind it was as long as the shaft of a great lance. The noise it made in coming was like that of a thunderbolt falling from the skies; it seemed like a dragon flying through the air. The light this huge, flaming mass shed all around it was so bright that you could see right through the camp as clearly as if it were day. Three times that night the enemy slung Greek fire at us from their petraries, and three times they shot it from their arbalestres a tour” (Ibid 88).
Weapons were used against castles during a siege included the trebuchet, mangonel, belfry, ballista, ram, and bore. The trebuchet was a big machine that flung artillery like a catapult. The mangonel was similar to the trebuchet but smaller and more maneuverable. Its strength was based on the tautness of the hemp, rope, or tightly twisted animal sinew. Artillery used by these weapons include rocks, fireballs, and dead animals to spread disease. The belfry was a mobile tower which was built higher than the castle walls in order to scale them during siege. The ballista was essentially a large crossbow that hurled rocks and other large boulders. The ram was a device that did what its name says. It was used to knock the portcullis or gate down. The bore was a device used by the attackers during a tactic known as mining. They mined from their camps to the castle walls. They would set up a support then start a fire to break down the castle walls. The defenders of the castle also used this tactic to counter the attackers siege. They would watch the moat to see the vibrations caused by the attackers shovels. Then they would start a counter mine. This was the most effective tactic used in a siege but it was the most dangerous. It was dark, had contaminated or little air and there was always a threat that the tunnel would cave in or be caved in by the castle’s garrison.
Castles were not just fortresses but also residences of the nobility. It is this balance of military and residential qualities which make a castle so different from other fortifications. Castles had all the best furnishings and colors. They had chapels because Europe was a Christian continent. They occasionally had more than one. On the castle property were things like gardens, parks, vineyards, dovecotes, fishponds, mills, and stables. Castle were not as primitive as we think them to be. They had some of the conveniences that we have today. They had a form of a toilet. It was a toilet made of stone. People who wished to use it had to bring some material to protect themselves from the cold stone. The waste would eventually drain to a river by way of an underground pool. These cesspits would often have to be cleaned out by dung farmers.
Not all castles were extravagant fortresses that housed kings and all his subjects. Many castles were just built for the lord, his family and a few servants. Other castles that were not well protected or had no threat of attack were called fortified manors. The design of a castle was taken very seriously by the lords. There is reference to Aubree, wife of the Count of Bayeux, executing on the spot, Lanfred, her master mason after he completed her castle. She did this because she was so pleased with it that she didn’t want him to build one like it for anyone else.

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Reducing Student Essay Writing Stress – 5 Top Tips

Let’s face it, when it comes to writing essays, dissertations, thesis chapters or submitting coursework, even the most organised of us will come face to face with that last minute essay panic at some point in our lives. I have worked with lots of students over the past year, and indeed, as an under-graduate and then a post-graduate student, I have found myself surrounded by students of all ages, styles, abilities and personalities. There is always a commonality – the dread of an essay or academic assignment. The extend of the dread, and the reason for the fear may be different across the board, but nonetheless, it would be nigh on impossible to find a student who doesn’t find themselves getting slightly nervous when the words ‘essay’ and ‘deadline’ are uttered within the same breath.
However, essay writing is a fundamental part of all study. We start pulling together written assignments at school from the age of 4, and we continue to write assignments throughout our life. Sometimes they are career related, and certainly in our earlier life they are frequently academic and educational.
I am one of those individuals who likes to plan to avoid that last minute essay panic. I don’t find a buzz in working all night to finish off an assignment that’s due to be submitted at 9am the following day. I don’t find that my academic or creative genius is awoken only when there is 4 hours to go before submission deadline. I find that I am calmer, and I generally write better and more coherent essays when I have the luxury of time and the ability to re-read, and rewrite my essay.
There are however some students who do find that they are much more productive and almost much more intelligent in their essay writing when they are up against the pressure of a deadline. And that’s just fine. But sometimes, when you have a 200 page thesis to submit for example, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to deliver a good quality essay in 12 hours. And so you need a plan.
One of the best ways to avoid that last minute essay panic is quite simply to have a plan for completing the essay. Attack the essay as you would any project:
1. Know the deadline. This is the point at which all stages of your plan will work back from.
2. Set a realistic start date. If the essay is only 1,000 words long, you don’t need to start writing and researching it two months ahead of the deadline date. One to two weeks is probably sufficient. If however the essay is 10,000 words long, then starting it two months ahead of deadline might be sensible.
3. Work out all of the key steps you need to complete between the start date and the finish date. These could include completing the research, watching an important film that is related to the subject matter, carrying out qualitative research, attending a discussion group, meeting with your tutor etc. It should also include completing various parts of the essay itself; for example, writing a full content plan for each chapter, drafting the introduction, drafting the body of the essay, drafting the conclusion.
4. Set completion dates for each of these key steps…and stick to them. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of missing a deadline and then letting the whole plan slip – keep on top of it.
5. Aim to work to a completion date that is at least 2 days before the actual submission deadline. Not only does it feel great to complete your work in plenty of time before submission day, it also gives you a couple of days to re-check through your work and to sort out a proof read or final editorial, if this is required.

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Essay Writing – 6 Common Types

Students often have essay writing activities in almost all of their subjects. The initial step is usually to decide on what topic to discuss. But the next big decision that essay writers confront is what type of essay to employ. What technique works for the selected topic? What kind of writing style is suitable? What tone is efficient?
In choosing what essay type is appropriate to use, students need to fully understand the difference between each type. Here are the common types of essays that can help students on their paper writing activities:
1. Persuasive or argumentative essay
A persuasive or argumentative essay makes a claim or position regarding a subject for the main purpose of persuasion. It is usually presented with statistics, expert opinions, and well-supported arguments about a claim or controversy. In using an argumentative tone in essay writing, it is essential that the issue to be discussed is two-sided wherein the writer takes a stand. Also, the main argument must be clear, exact, and highly focused.
2. Comparison and Contrast essay
This type of essay writing takes two subjects and identifies their similarities and differences. A good comparison and contrast paper possesses a valid basis for comparison – a limited focus and catchy information. In writing essay using compare and contrast, it is vital that the purpose for comparing and contrasting the two subjects is made clear. This purpose is crucial because it provides focus to the paper.
3. Descriptive essay
Descriptive essays’ aim is to provide a vivid picture of a certain person, place, object, or event. It offers concise details that enable the readers to imagine the subject described. Generally, descriptive essays explain the “what, why, when, where, and how” of a topic.
4. Definition essay
Definition essay writing demands writers to present a meaning of a term that goes beyond the objective definition offered in the dictionary. Essay writers need to provide a more focused and exact description of the term than what is offered in reference sources.
5. Narrative essay
A narrative essay tells a story in a sequence of events. This type of essay is told from a defined point of view, often the author’s. It offers specific and often sensory details to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story. Verbs must be vivid and precise.
6. Evaluation essay
The prime purpose of this essay writing style is to form judgment on certain ideas, places, services, etc. basing on clear-cut criteria. An informed opinion is critical to the development of this essay. It is important to use facts, statistics and other authoritative resources to establish and organize the criteria to present a substantial analysis and evaluation.
Essay writing is just one tough kind of various paper writing activities. Students usually ask for professional essay help to assist them on what type of approach or style to use in their composition.

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