I sometimes wonder how I made it finish a year of self-education. I am certain only that it required ambition and a leap of faith.
At school, where teachers preferred "consistent" student, it was incredibly difficult for me to get high grades.
Then every result felt like a game of chance.
One issue was my asthma. As my attendance was steadily affected by wheezy mornings, I remained unconcerned of the link to my undesired inconsistency. Because of the habit of blaming myself, I did not consider the school inadequate for being unable to accommodate my needs. I simply continued lagging behind in class.
I came up with the idea of self-education browsing the internet. I discovered the option of sitting exams as a private candidate. The freedom to control my studies was captivating. But unaccustomed to such responsibility at 16, I was afraid of making the wrong choices or underestimating the workload.
Self-education (or autodidacticism) requires both, the utmost discipline and curiosity. However, my curiosity didn’t exist. It was anger about my disadvantages, and this was a desire to prove myself capable that drove me to accept the challenge – luckily with my parents’ support.
It was right to begin with a realistic choice of courses that I enjoyed and was good at – biology, Spanish language, and English literature. I could access online specifications, exam papers, and examiner reports, all of which became the backbone of my studies. When I got stuck with anything, especially with biology, YouTube tutorials such as Crash Course explained confusing topics like photosynthesis in the most catchy and entertaining manner.
I vigorously listened to Spanish TV and radio to improve my grammar and vocabulary.
For English literature, I encouraged myself to analyze the text critically.
Just keeping positive I managed to stay motivated. Every single day I began by reading a short story that turned me in a good mood to study. As I chose psychological approach, I listened to myself, studied as long as I needed, took breaks when I wanted, never stick to any timetables.
I chose to study just one subject per day, what was awesome. My schedule was greatly disorganized.
I decided to complete my three A-levels; this was about studying the AS and A2 levels in one year while they normally studied over two years. To accelerate the process, I decided to learn an AS topic and then the A2 equivalent, for example; reading chapter 3 of the AS textbook.
I avoided revision, because, with everything fresh in my mind, a quick scan through my notes before the exams was pretty enough for me. I visualized my arguments and did a detailed essay plan on my laptop what helped me to lessen the hours spent writing. Such tactics helped organize my time in a more efficient way and meet all academic deadlines of the year.
So how did I do? For English and Spanish, I got two “A”s, and quite a shocking U for biology (which I plan to re-take).
Regardless of how unusual this type of education is, it’s still real, given the amount of resources and technology at our disposal. And yes, without teachers’ guidance, you will face an academic solitude.
Be ready to that the process of learning in this way will be deeply personal. At times you’ You'll find out that your own judgment is really tough.
Of course, I have some regrets, such as not practicing enough timed papers, and, of course, the bad grade in biology. Overall though, I should say that I am more than satisfied with my preparation and knowledge and will go on using these techniques in the future.
As finals season is quickly approaching, we’ve prepared a list of the errors, for you to polish up your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Good writing habits will be useful not only in school: written accuracy will also serve you throughout your career.
1. Spelling mistakes
Many spelling mistakes often occur when incorrect homophones (these are words with the same pronunciation, e.g. sea, see, etc.) are used in a sentence.
Incorrect: “Can you rite down this address, please?”
Correct: “Can you Write down this address, please?”
2. Run-on sentences (sentences with no comma before a coordinating conjunction)
A coordinating conjunction links two clauses that could be sentences on their own. Make sure you put a comma before the conjunction. Otherwise, it becomes a run-on sentence.
Incorrect: “While I am at work, my wife goes to work and my cat is napping.”
Solution: if the clauses before and after the conjunction can be sentences on their own, just insert a comma right before the conjunction.
Correct: “While I am at work, my wife goes to work, and my cat is napping.”
3. Sentence fragments
This is a sentence that’s missing a subject or a verb.
Incorrect: “An epic fail!”
Solution: Add a subject or verb to the fragment, as needed.
Correct: “This was an epic fail!”
4. No comma after an introductory phrase
An introductory phrase normally provides some background information, and that’s why a comma usually follows it. Remember, that the comma is optional if the phrase starts with a preposition and has fewer than five words and.
Incorrect: “While a Christmas commercial played on the radio she was at home trying to study for her mid-term exams.”
Correct: “While a Christmas commercial played on the radio, she was at home trying to study for her mid-term exams.”
A sentence is wordy if there are more words than actually necessary to convey meaning. More than that, wordiness makes writing unclear.
Incorrect: “Thomas ended up having to run all the way home due to the fact that he missed the last bus leaving Central Station.”
Solution: Identify long phrases that you could replace with a single word. Eliminate words that have the same meaning. Remove weak words, such as “actually,” and “kind of.” Remove nonessential information.
Correct: “Thomas ran home because he missed the last bus.”
6. Comma splicing
This type of a mistake occurs when you use a comma to couple two clauses that can be sentences on their own.
Incorrect: “He bought beach clothes, his dad bought a scarf.”
Solution: Add a coordinating conjunction (remember: FANBOYS) after the comma or change the comma to a period, semicolon, or colon.
Correct: “He bought beach clothes, and his dad bought a scarf,”
7. Comma misuse inside a compound subject
To link more than one noun phrase, a compound subject uses a conjunction.
Incorrect: “My girlfriend, and her sister, went to see a movie.”
Correct: “My girlfriend and her sister went to see a movie.”
8. No commas around interrupters
Interrupters break the flow of a sentence, in other words, these are the words used to provide additional detail. To avoid a mistake, make sure you put commas around interrupters.
Incorrect: “It was luckily the end of winter vacation.”
Correct: “It was, luckily, the end of winter vacation.”
9. Squinting modifiers
A squinting modifier is a word, clause or phrase that can modify the word before it or the word after it.
Incorrect: “Children who go to kindergarten rarely hardly make friends.”
Correct: “Children who rarely go to kindergarten rarely hardly make friends.”
10. Subject-verb agreement
Singular subjects take singular verbs, and, obviously, plural subjects take plural verbs
Incorrect: “Elena do shopping every day.”
Correct: “Elena does shopping every day.”
Here we go: The top ten student mistakes in writing. If you start brushing up your writing skills from identifying common errors, this will definitely help you make fewer mistakes now and in the future.
History, geography, economics and social sciences, and of course philosophy - whatever bachelor degree you do, once you'll have to do an essay. To help you to succeed in it, we asked Caroline Binet, teacher and author of "The written tests and essay composition", to give a piece of advice.
Interview by Audrey Steeves
What is the first thing to do when addressing the issue?
Caroline Binet: First, take the time to understand it. Too many students rush and start writing even though they have not tried to define the terms of the subject and to delimit the area of research. If we have 4 hours to complete a test, I think we need to spend at least 1 hour to do this work for understanding, definition of the concepts and organization of ideas before starting to write. That is the safest way to avoid off-topic.
What distinguishes a good copy from a bad one?
The student who has understood the subject, made it accountable and succeeded in expressing his personal thoughts based on his knowledge and examples, produces a good copy. In a good copy, by the end of the reading, the examiner has a feeling that he has met the student and talked to him. For student, that means to be organized, clear, and aware of the direction. Above all, it is a well-written copy. On the contrary, a bad copy is one, which merely paraphrases accumulated knowledge without logic and consistency.
We often hear that we must first handle the introduction and conclusion, is that true?
It is true because judging by the beginning and the end of the essay, we can assess how the student organizes his thoughts, and this is very important. But it's also relevant for the rest of the content. That's naïve to think that the examiner won't read beyond the first and the last sentences and just skim the main body. So do not disregard a good sequence of ideas, the relevance of examples, the explanation of concepts and so on.
Is it possible to practice how to write a good essay?
Not only is it possible, but also necessary because the essay is primarily a writing exercise. At the beginning of the year, students often receive a methodology for writing a course essay, so I think that is pretty enough. But learning is based primarily on the regular practice, what means doing exercises - no matter how good a student is already at this. Therefore, I can only advise candidates to start to practice with student books topics to find the right rhythm, the right style, which will let your thoughts flow naturally. To sum it up, the essay is a conventional method and original thinking.
Understanding of Purpose
Great written work normally starts before you put pen to paper or fingers to console. Recognizing your gathering of people is a key initial phase in arranging. For a paper in an English class, the target is the instructor who assesses your composition capacities. In a powerful report, your target is the hypothetical group of onlookers to whom your message talks. As a daily paper or magazine columnist, your gathering of people is the readership searching for data or excitement. A book writer gives bits of knowledge on a subject or a convincing story. You likewise need to secure the subject or reason of your keeping in touch with help give guidance.
Conciseness and Clarity
Great written work is clear and compact. Recount your story, build a section or structure a sentence in the most productive way imaginable. Superfluous words, expressions or proclamations can intrude on stream and occupy the reader from your key focuses. Clarity is nearly related. With compact, expressive and iron sentences and passages, you have a superior shot of readers
Structure and Organization
Great composition is decently composed and organized. The formal structure shifts extensively in light of whether you compose a paper, exposition, sonnet, article or book. Then again, comparable standards apply. Association starts with a layout of your work. Make a subject, topic and theory, or significant point. Delineating every segment or point inside the work aides guarantee the finished item is firm, legitimate and powerful. In a solitary section, paper or bigger work, a straightforward framework incorporates a starting or lead, supporting sentences or areas and a conclusion.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Regardless of how decently composed, expressive and powerful the structure and contentions in your paper or story, absence of meticulousness can destroy your exertion. Foundational components of great written work incorporate right spelling, legitimate language structure and sentence structure and proper utilization of accentuation. Divided, fragmented sentences and run-on sentences are normal lapses in understudy papers.
While numerous components of great written work identify with the specialized methodology, top scholars frequently have style. Style is the capacity to present clear fundamental focuses, offer intensive, articulate supporting portrayals, dodge redundancies and utilization fitting dialect. Contingent upon your intended interest group, slang or conversational dialect may work best in less formal works. Legitimate dialect and shirking of slang are more proper in formal papers or distributions.
At the end of a long drawn out essay it is essential to include a conclusion. Within the conclusion you must summarise the content of your work. This can prove to just as big of challenge as writing the main body of your assignment. Trying to squeeze several hours of work into two or three paragraphs with just the key points is a hard job to do, especially when you usually have a word limit on most papers. We suggest when you reach this mile stone it is important to take a break to refresh your mind. Refreshing your mind after spending hours in front of a screen is vital. You will be able to regenerate your concentration and get back on track.
Don't rush the ending just because you want to finish it as soon as possible. The conclusion is important because it will show the reader that you understand what you have researched, written and argued about in your piece.
After taking a break reread what you've written just to make sure you can pull the most important pieces out of the main body. Note down the important pieces and link them together in the conlcusion.
We hope this really helps you. If not visit our Hints and Tips pages for more information.
Author: Gareth Smith, Eagle-Essay Writer
Our service is designed to help students who struggle academically. We provide a professional service to aid those who struggle with higher education. Like for example if you're a foreign student studying in a different country and are struggling with the language barrier. We can help you by providing a written structure to give you ideas on what to write about next in your assignment. Most universities don't allocate resources to help out students in these scenarios. This is why it is our goal to limit this problem. Why should a student struggle when there isn't anyone on campus to help them? This is why services like ours are not a bad thing. We're here for people who need help.
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