Resources to Help You Improve Your Writing Skills

Writing is an invaluable skill to possess. You can communicate your ideas with confidence and possibly earn money. Therefore, this article recommends nine resources to help you improve your written communication skills. While some are free, others require a fee. What’s more, they provide options to take your writing to another level.

9 Resources

  • Courses

Accessing a writing course is easier now than ever before due to technology. You have the option of taking a course online or in person. The goal, however, is to enroll in the right one. With that said, what area gives you the most trouble? Grammar? Sentence Structure? Punctuation? Sign up for what makes the most sense, or you’ll be frustrated and wasting your time.

  • Workshops

Contact your local college or university to learn about writing workshops. Often the continuing education division offers special programs for the community. You don’t have to be student.

  • Libraries

Visit your local library. You’ll find shelves lined with books on writing and they’re free. Once you find your favorites (those that have been most useful), I suggest building your own personal reference library. Good writing is purposeful. Writers have tools that they rely on, and they use them.

  • Bookstores

This option is a no-brainer. Like the library, bookstores have up to date resources on writing. What’s nice about the large bookstores is that they have reading nooks. You can grab a cup or coffee or a smoothie, sit there, and read for free.

  • Conferences

Annual writing conferences are held at the local and national level. Google writing conferences to see what’s available. Even check your local library. The main branch of the Cleveland Public Library, for instance, holds an annual conference for writers. The sessions cover a range of topics. Participants attend for free.

  • Tutors

Hire a tutor to coach you in a specific area of writing. For example, if you struggle with writing essays, find a tutor that specializes in essay writing. On the other hand, if you struggle with academic writing, team up with a tutor who specializes in this area. Please note that the fees vary and are based on hourly rates. Nevertheless, you decide what works best for you (number of hours, frequency, and location).

  • Amazon

Amazon is loaded with resources for writers at all ages and stages. Visit the site. You’re guaranteed to find something to meet your needs.

  • Writer’s Digest

This magazine is an oasis for fiction and non-fiction writers. It contains how-to articles, interviews, resources, and more. In addition to being informative, the magazine is motivating.

  • Internet

The Internet exposes you to a ton of good information. Google improving writing skills. You’ll uncover articles offering writing tips, worksheets, activities, inspiration, and more.

What Life Lessons Did You Learn?

Life continually rolls forward. At various times throughout the year you probably consider the year previously and the lessons learned. You may consider your learned lessons during your birthday, at certain holidays or as the New Year begins.

What did you learn?

It actually does not matter what you learned as much as that you did learn something from the previous year. You need to learn, you need to grow and develop from those lessons. The lessons you get from the school of life can vary and what you learn from those lessons can change as you gain new perspectives and gather more information.

Why does what I learn change?

You may not have all the facts when you first realize something. Other information may come into play that changes how you view the lesson learned. Perhaps someone shares another perspective and it alters how you perceive the situation. These are all good things as we should always be learning and growing.

What lessons should I learn?

The thing about life is everyone is unique. You are unique in who you are, your memories, your future, your goals and your perspective. Just because you witness something with someone does not mean you both have the same ideas and view of what happened.

Ever listen to different people recount a major event?

It does not matter who they are with or how many other people are there, each sees different details. One may notice the colors another the sounds. The photographer may notice the photographic moments while the report may notice the stories. This is part of life as is learning from all those moments.

How does learning lessons help me in life?

Your success depends on knowing what works. More important than what works, is what works for you. What this means is that you need to take lessons learned and learn how to apply them to your life and make them work for your future and success.

How do I make lessons work for my success?

If you have played golf, there are certain techniques that work and create a successful golfer. Each individual has minor differences that mean modifying these techniques to fit their individual skills and abilities. While one golfer may be able to hit long shots, another is able to have a great deal of control that allows them more difficult shots. These differences do not mean one golfer is better than another, it just means learning how to apply those skills to reach the hole or goal in life.

What does this mean in my life?

You are the only one who can reach your goals. Reaching your goals requires knowing what it takes to reach those goals and how you can go about reaching them. What works for another person may not work for you. What another person does may not fit into your life. A person with little children has different obligations than a person with adult children. Take your lessons learned and learn how to make them work for you.

USMLE Step 1 Exam – FIVE Fantastic Steps To Scoring Above 230

If you are getting close to the beginning of your USMLE Step 1 exam preparation, then you have to realize that it is more important now than ever that you get a score well above 200, and even better well above the average of approximately 217. There are almost twice as many people applying for residency than there are spots available, so if you fail to get a top score, you are putting yourself in harm’s way as far as your career goes.

Since there is so much pressure to score well, I’d like to share with you a few tricks that my mentor from medical school shared with me before I started to study for the Step 1.

Step #1 – Gather and master the high-yield information

The best way to do this is with a study guide or a set of notes created by yourself or someone who has recently been through medical school. Take your time to get through these notes and be sure that the high-yield stuff is completely memorized before moving onto step 2.

Step #2 – Take this high-yield information and dig a bit deeper

Now that you have a good grasp on the highest-yield information, dig a bit deeper into every topic. It really isn’t enough to simply know the high-yield information these days, you have to go the extra mile and know more depth, but more depth about the high-yield information is what will get you a good score.

Step #3 – Start doing a question bank

Once you’ve got a great grasp on the high-yield stuff and then the deeper information, start doing a question bank. A good question bank done slowly and with purpose is one of the best ways to round out your exam preparation. Be sure to go slowly and to take really detailed notes from each question.

Step #4 – Add all new qbank information to your high-yield information

Once you’ve been through your question bank, you should turn to your high-yield study notes/guide and add anything extra that you’ve taken from your qbank. This is a great way to finalize your prep notes and give you absolutely everything needed to set yourself up for a top score.

Step #5 – Read and re-read those notes at least 4-5 times through

It isn’t enough to just create your notes and carry them with you, you have to get through them a few times. The best way to ensure you completely absorb everything is to get through it at least 4-5 times, and if you learn slowly you may want to make it even more times than that.

Dog Training Collars and Training Dogs

Even though dog training collars are surrounded with quite a bit of debate as far as training methods for dogs are concerned, this is mainly because of the electronic dog collars that are used to give shocks to the dog that are supposed to teach it to behave appropriately and is considered inhumane and cruel. However, there are people that are totally in support of such collars as they find it very effective for training their pets.

More modified collars have been made that provide better collar control as well as lessen the shock that is given to the pet. This was done to pacify both those objecting and those in favor of electronic collars. In these new collars, the shock that is given is only strong enough to be discomforting but does not cause any pain.

There is some amount of uncertainty to the claim that the dog training collars help in training the pet and teach it to behave correctly which results in getting a steady response from your pet by using these collars. A different training method involves teaching them to perform a particular action by pressing buttons at the same time. Upon completion of the task you as the owner will let go off the button. This method is usually used to train dogs who do not obey your commands.

A different method of using the dog training collar is by giving the dog stronger shocks upon misbehavior. The shock is sufficient to stop the dog from misbehaving. This method is generally applied to train dogs to stop barking.

Usually, you will find many regular dog collars that are available in a variety of colors, sizes, and designs and they are used to accessorize your dogs. For many people, the dog training collar is actually advantageous, as it helps in successfully putting an end to the misbehavior of the dog. A number of dogs will learn to behave by correlating misbehavior with the uncomfortable sensations of the shocks it gets when wearing a dog training collar.

If you think you need a dog collar for aiding your dogs training, you will find many local shops of dog supply stores and browse the internet to find some good training collars for your dog. If you are not comfortable with electronic dog training collars, you can use a similar electronic collar that instead of giving a shock, releases a very unpleasant sound. These collars help to correct your dog’s behavior, by producing a sound wave whenever it misbehaves.

Training your dog is a useful way for bonding and communicating between you and your dog. No one wants a dog that leaves trails of torn and scratched things or a persistently yelping dog. A properly trained dog is a pleasure to be around with, as you and your pet will grow emotionally connected.

Pet specialists have done extensive studies and developed scientifically verified, motivating, and result oriented training solutions to make sure that both you and your dog benefit from training.

Use Online College Courses to Supplement Live Courses

When you are working towards your college degree, you want to do whatever you can to get the credit you need faster. Many people would love to take an extra class or two each semester to graduate earlier, but it often doesn’t seem possible with their schedules. Many students are juggling a work school and other activities and commitments as well, and there are quite simply only so many hours in the day when you can take live classes at your school. This is why you should consider taking online college courses to earn a few more college credit hours each semester.

For many college students, the traditional college hours when live courses are offered are busy and often even overloaded with classes, study groups, a part-time job, and other activities. The evening and weekend hours often are far less busy, and while this would be the perfect time to earn some extra college credit, the courses you need for your graduation requirements are rarely offered during these times. However, you can consider taking online college courses to earn extra credit hours and get the boost you need to graduate just a little earlier. These internet-based classes can be taken anytime day or night, so if you want to hop online and spend some time early Tuesday morning, Friday afternoon, or Sunday evening, you have the freedom to set your own schedule.

As a busy college student, you are eager to graduate and move on to the next stage of your life as a professional, working adult, but you don’t have the flexibility in your daytime schedule to take more hours than you already are taking. Online college courses are the perfect answer to earning a little extra credit in a way that conforms to your busy schedule. Spend some time today reviewing how an online class or two can help you earn extra credit today!

College Success – What Does it Take?

College success is not as difficult for most young students as learning how to take on adult responsibilities. Letting go of adolescence and becoming an adult is more challenging according to Carl Pickardt, Psychologist and adolescent specialist. If you take responsibility for showing up to class regularly, turning papers and work in on time, and sacrificing some of the time spent with friends in favor of more study time, you have won half the battle for achieving college success. Being responsible for meeting the demands of college (ability to respond and step up to the plate) is one of the keys to college achievement.

You already have been using some of the higher level thinking skills needed to succeed in college. You use these skills when you solve your life problems and overcome obstacles. Your lack of success in college will not be because you are not smart enough. There are many different types of intelligence and my experience in working with hundreds of students has shown that practically every student is smart in one way or another. For more information on different types of intelligence other than IQ, you can read the theories of Howard Gardner (Multiple Intelligences), Robert Sternberg (Successful Intelligence) and Daniel Goleman (Emotional and Social Intelligence).

In addition to self-responsibility, there are three other factors you will need to succeed in college:

1. Learning how to learn and study skills — You need to learn how to learn effectively and the ways that you learn best. Most colleges offer at least one college success course which can teach you these skills. These courses also need to be taught to high school students, but sadly few high schools provide them. A good college success course will teach you: how to study and learn, reading comprehension strategies, your best learning styles and types of intelligences, how to set and reach your goals, time management, discovery of your talents and strengths, career exploration, writing skills, note taking, problem solving, and more.

2. Work Ethic — Good study and work habits will lead you to success in college and in the work force. Good study skills will only be effective if you apply them. They will be worthless to you if you do not use them.

3. Motivation — Without motivation you will not consistently use good study skills, work habits and your intelligence and potential. There are two types of motivation, the carrot (pleasure) and the stick (pain). When you use these together you will have a powerful motivational combination. Keep your long-range goals for achieving a college education in your mind’s eye. For example, let’s say you want a degree in secondary education to become a teacher. Visualize and imagine yourself as a teacher who is making a positive difference for your students. Enjoy the positive feelings that come when you see yourself as a great teacher. This is the carrot and a reminder of one of the benefits (pleasure) you will experience by achieving your goal. Also remind yourself of the stick (pain) or the consequences if you do not achieve your goal of completing a degree in secondary education. It can deprive you of becoming a teacher. Reminding yourself of the benefits and consequences will help you to stay motivated and persistent. Also break your long-range goals into small steps. Every step accomplished provides you with positive feedback and will increase your motivation to reach your long-range goals.

You can succeed in college, in your career, and in your life. Where to begin? Start with college success by taking responsibility, learning how to learn effectively and how you learn best, using good study skills and work habits, and by fueling your motivation to succeed. Use these four keys and you will open the door to college success and the gateway to your dreams.

Education System in India

India is one of the largest democratic country in the world. Education system in India is having a huge demand because of its quality and systematic education procedures we are following. India’s education sector is emerging fast with sparking demand for every one. Our Education system is the strongest and it will start from pre schooling age with excellent training methodologies with latest models like e-learning, Skill enhancements educational software drives, skills presentation, text books etc.

Indian government is spending a huge amount for education sector for every financial year. The amount spent is utilised in various methods by considering the minority and backward class people and also for poor people facing difficulty in receiving elementary schooling. Government is providing facilities to all kinds of people and the education market is going to hit $70 billions by the end of 2012.

Canon Law Society of America estimates that the total size of India’s private education market could reach US$70 billion by 2012. Private education sector has started in mid 1990’s and set up various schemes and one among them is that state governments will out source the supply of various Hardware and Software in various government and government aided schools. The funds for the out supply has been provided by central government under various schemes called ICT, SA, school programme etc. Various private companies have entered in to market With huge investments. The government is also encouraging various industrial institutes to offer academic and financial aid to private people. Many big companies like L&T, Microsoft etc are showing their interest in participation.

Education system in India is regulated at center as well as at state level too. These regulations vary from state to state. we are having two kinds of educational systems in India, Central board and State Board. Central Board of secondary education is being monitored by central government and State boards have their own education board systems. The Central Board is seeking affiliation that is managing a committee which is controlled by a trust and it should have non proprietary entries with out having any vested control by any individual or others. The trust will approve budgets for the financial year and also for tuition charges etc and the donations incurred to this board will be exempted under Income tax Act as this is meant for charitable purpose for promoting education but not for pursuing the profits on it.

State governments are mainly responsible for the establishment of state colleges and universities and also has power to approve the establishment of private universities as according to UGC Norms.

In order to Impart Professional and technical educational system in India A group of professional councils grouped together and established a council called All India Council For Technical Education in 1987. It promotes professional institutions and gives recognition to courses which comes under undergraduate programmes and provides the standard development of Technical education in India. These regulations continues to show its influence in Indian Education System. Irrespective of all these constraints the educational sector is achieving excellent potential growth with high standards.

Golf Course Types by Ownership

One of the things that a newcomer to the World of golf would probably like to know is what the difference is between different types of golf course. This question is more complicated than you may first imagine as there are really three different ways to express what category a particular golf course fits into.

The first is by setting and categories a course by whether it is set in heathland, woodland or by the ocean etc. The second type is by length, where the course is categorized essentially by the length of time it takes to play a round, so these types will be pitch & putt, full length or executive, so called because executives may not have time to play a round on a full length course of 18 holes. Most executive courses are only 9 holes.

In this article though we are going to look at how golf courses can be categorized by ownership. The above two types of categorization allow you to know what to expect when you turn up to play. However, this third type of categorization determines whether or not you will be allowed access to the course at all.

The following is not an exhaustive list of course types but these are the most popular types of course that you might come across.

Private Golf Courses are courses which are owned by a golf club and they only allow play by members of the club. If you aren’t a member of the club then you can’t play, unless of course you are lucky enough to be invited to play by someone who is already a member.

Public Golf Courses can be courses owned by private organizations or individuals or by other organizations such as local businesses. The key here is that the owner charges a fee for playing. Essentially this means that the course is open to be played by anyone who can afford to pay the fee.

Courses also exist which are essentially a combination of the above two. Club members can play at any time. The public are allowed to play but usually only on specific days of the week, or times of day.

Municipal golf course are owned by the local government. They operate like public golf courses but the money paid for the green fees goes to the them as opposed to a private individual or company.

Some residential areas have their own golf course which is designed to be played by the local residents only. They tend to be run by the community itself and as such are not open to the public.

Finally there is the resort golf course. Resort golf courses are owned and operated by a holiday resort or a hotel chain for the pleasure of their guests. Play may not be restricted to resort guests however, and so you may find some resort courses are open to the public in return for a fee.

Punishing the Victim — Why Public Schools Pressure Parents To Give Their Kids Mind-Altering Drugs

Public-school teaching is structured in such a way that it inevitably bores millions of normal, active children who are forced to sit in classrooms six to eight hours a day with about twenty other immature children. The teacher has to cover the curriculum, so she is pressured to teach all the kids the same material in the same way. Few teachers have the time or patience to know each child’s unique personality, interests, strengths, or weaknesses, or give different instruction to each student.

Middle-school and high-school children often have to learn subjects they can’t relate to, are not interested in, or that frustrate them, such as history, trigonometry, or foreign languages. As a result, many students get bored, watch the clock, and wait for the school day to end.

Classroom “learning” usually consists of forcing students to read dumbed-down textbooks, memorizing facts from these textbooks, and then regurgitating these meaningless facts on dumbed-down tests. Students go from gym to math, to chemistry, to English literature, to American history. Their day consists of disconnected lectures on disconnected subjects. Each class lasts only fifty minutes, so their train of thought breaks off at the sound of the bell.

Young children in elementary school have natural high energy, and each child has his or her own unique personality. Most teachers simply don’t have the time or patience to teach different material or use different teaching methods with each child. Just being cramped into a classroom with twenty-five other children and told to learn certain tasks by an adult they may not like, can annoy or frustrate many normal but emotionally immature children with a will of their own.

Overworked teachers are under a lot of pressure today. They must teach many students in their classes, cover the curriculum, test and grade the students, and prove to parents and the principal that their students are learning and doing well in their studies. Even worse, a teacher’s job may now be threatened or she could be disciplined if her students do poorly on the new standardized tests The No Child Left Behind Act puts pressure on teachers and principals to make sure students pass these tests because the school can lose funding or even close down if students’ test grades don’t measure up to minimum standards.

For all these reasons, over-worked teachers are under enormous pressure to maintain discipline in class so they can do their job. If some students are disruptive, don’t pay attention, or cause trouble in class, the teacher must do something about these children to keep order. In the old days, teachers could discipline kids by smacking or restraining them. If a teacher tried this today, parents would quickly slap her and the school with a lawsuit, so that kind of discipline is now impossible. Also, as we mentioned earlier, compulsory-attendance laws now make it extremely difficult to expel a violent or disruptive student.

So how do school authorities solve this discipline problem? Too often, they pressure parents to give Ritalin (or similar drugs) to “calm” children down or make them “focus” on their work. However, school authorities needed a way to justify using these mind-altering drugs on children. They found this “justification” by going along with the psychiatric establishment’s claim that millions of normal, active, or bored kids who might be having temporary medical, emotional, or other stress problems at home or in class, have an alleged mental illness called ADHD.

By claiming that normal but disruptive children have a mental illness, school authorities feel justified in giving kids mind-altering drugs to “correct” the problem. Indeed, many well-intentioned teachers and principals have come to believe the ADHD rhetoric so strongly, that they sincerely believe they are helping children they think have ADHD.

Well-intentioned or not, schools also get many important benefits by taking the easy way out with Ritalin. School districts today are strapped for money because many States are running huge budget deficits. Schools can’t spend the time, money, or effort it takes to find out what makes problem kids act out. They don’t have the resources to give these children intensive, time-consuming psychological counseling, or test them for all the real medical conditions that might be causing the problem. So pressuring parents to give Ritalin to their normal but “unruly” kids to “quiet” them became the typical American quick-fix for solving complex problems.

Parents, don’t let public schools pressure you into giving your children potentially dangerous mind-altering drugs. It is far more likely that your public school has PSTD (public school teaching disorder) than your normal child has an alleged disease called ADHD. Consider taking your children out of public school and homeschooling them.

Careers After 50: The Value of a Temp Job!

Careers after 50: developing appropriate experience to qualify for a planned career.

You’ve researched and studied a variety of proposed new careers. After speaking to others working in the field you’ve narrowed your list down to one or two possible new careers. However, you’ve found both require specific experience that you need to acquire.

Other qualifications for a new career after 50, for example, can be learned through self-study, distance learning, formal education and working with mentors. However, now you have the dilemma of getting the necessary experience to qualify for new career.

Let’s suggest a way to put you in a position to successfully compete for job in the new changed career. You might want to consider working for a temp agency, to get some desired experience or to discover if the suggested career is right for you.

Ask around for referrals to the right temp agency. Some temp agencies are specialists only working with specific careers and industries.

Re-draft your resume to put your best foot forward depending on the career and job. For each career you might want to restrict only signing up with two or three temp agencies. As you progress and learn more about specific temp agencies you can adjust your focus so you are only working with the best agency relative to the planned career.

Make it a point to see the temp agency recruiter, have a face-to-face interview and learn all you can about their services. Don’t forget this is a job interview and you want to show the recruiter how you would present yourself to a prospective employer.

Find out in advance if you are required to show specific technical skills at the temp interview and spend some time brushing up on the required skills prior to the interview.

Do some research regarding prospective wages you might expect. You’ll probably be asked what wage range you would accept. Also, you should learn what possible benefits might be available.

Many times temp assignments can last six months or longer. Be sure to tell the temp agency the length of assignment you would accept.

If the temp job is in a career you wish to qualify for, you may leverage yourself into being offered a full- time position. Or you gain enough relevant experience to qualify for a full-time career with another employer.

Don’t expect that you’ll be immediately moved into a desired temp position. Continue to contact the temp agency, at least once a week, to let them know you’re available for placement.

So the value to you using a temp agency in qualifying for a new career after 50 is: (1) Gaining required work experience, (2) Possibly being offered a job in the desired new career, (3) Bringing in some income while you prepare to change careers, or (4) Finding out the new career is not for you so you can research additional opportunities.