Writing tips for students
If you are struggling with writing your essay for the university, we have some great tips to help. Read our advice, improve your skills and surprise your professor and other students.
For any student, writing an essay is the worst nightmare they ever had. Is it really so hard or it's possible to fight this fear? Of course, it's only your own decision what to do – to fight or give up, but your fear appears only because of lack of experience and knowledge. That means you are able to change this and improve your writing skills. We have gathered several great tips that will be your knowledge, but the experience part is your own hard work, and that should be based on information you got from our short article.
1. Plan your work
Your teacher in the university gives a writing task and sets a deadline to give you enough time to plan, research and write your essay. But of course, most students don't care about this, and they usually try to write everything the last night before the deadline. Some students are sure that it's a right way to do even. Needless to say they usually write a mess and get bad marks. To avoid this, try to plan your work beforehand. Don't leave everything for the last day because it's nearly impossible even for a qualified professional to write a great work during the one night. Try to get for about a week for research, two weeks for writing, and a week for proofreading, rewriting your draft and polish your work. Apart from feeling calm that you don't need to hurry up, you will learn how to be an accurate and punctual person as well as plan your own time wisely.
2. The outline comes before writing
Many students think that making an outline is a sort of excess work, that's why they always ignore it and start writing without a clear plan in their head. As a result, they may be confused during writing because they have no idea where they should start and how they need to end their essay. That's why creating an outline is a very important procedure that helps you to write clear and logically. Remember that a good outline is like your mind map that would never let you get lost in your own writing. Thanks to your plan, you will stay focused on your essay's goals and cover each paragraph of your work as fully as possible. With an outline, you'd never get stuck with your writing, and your finished work will be well-organized and logical, so you will be understood by your readers in a fast and easy way.
3. Start from the middle
Sometimes writers can feel stuck with their work at the very beginning because they have no idea how it's better to start. Of course, it's hard to figure out how to make a bright introduction that will grab the readers' attention when all you have is just a clean sheet of paper. So, just skip the introduction and start to write your essay, you always can come back to the first paragraph later and it will be easier to write it when you already have some paragraphs of your work finished.
4. Avoid plagiarism and use only reliable sources
When you just copy phrases from internet sources of books and use them in a way that they're your own words, this is plagiarism. Needless to say you wouldn't be able to get a good mark because it's a real cheating. Though if you use quotes in your work, then you have rights to copy other's author words and place it into your work. Keep in your mind that you should cite all sources properly. When you surf the internet or read books for researching your topic, remember that you should use only reliable sources like Wikipedia: https://www.wikipedia.org/, or others you can trust.
5. Proofread your work thoroughly
When your paper is finished, it's time to proofread it and correct all mistakes. Many students prefer to skip this step, they think reviewing their work is a boring and useless thing. But in reality, it's a great chance to improve and polish your essay, so don't neglect this important possibility. Plan your time and don't rush into correcting errors just after you finished writing. Take a break, at least for several hours or even better for a couple days. With refreshed eyes and clear mind you will be able to find and correct more mistakes than if you'd do the same feeling tired after writing process.
We hope our tips will be useful for improving your writing ability, and your readers will be amazed to read your interesting essays. Just plan your time and work hard, and you will get a great result that worth of your trying! If you are interested to get more interesting and useful tips, find more samples http://www.topadmit.com/en/samples. We are always glad to help you improve your writing and make the process interesting and productive.
UC Irvine's rare distinction: It's an elite research university that's a haven for Latinos
For most of her life, Angela Vera never imagined herself at the University of California. She grew up in a low-income Santa Ana neighborhood, the daughter of a Mexico-born carpenter with second-grade schooling who stressed the value of education but didn’t know how to guide her.
“I always thought UC was for students up here,” she said, holding her hand above her head. “I never saw myself as capable.”
But after a Santa Ana College counselor encouraged her to raise her sights, Vera transferred to UC Irvine two years ago. The campus, she said, gave her the financial aid, academic support and leadership opportunities she needed to thrive — and fueled her ambitions to pursue a graduate degree after she completes a double major in criminology law and society and social ecology next year.
UC Irvine may seem an unlikely haven for Latino students. The campus is located in what used to be a largely white Republican community, home now to so many Asians that people joke that UCI stands for University of Chinese Immigrants.
But the Irvine campus is now the most popular UC choice for Latino freshmen applicants, topping longtime leader UCLA for the first time last fall. And last month the campus won federal recognition for serving Latinos — a still-rare distinction among elite research universities.
In all, 492 campuses in 19 states and Puerto Rico have been designated Hispanic Serving Institutions, which allows them to apply for about $100 million annually in federal research grants. To qualify, the campus student population must be 25% Latino, with more than half financially needy.
In California, nearly all Cal State campuses, at least half of California Community Colleges and half of UC campuses have received the recognition. But UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara are the only HSI campuses among the 62 members of the Assn. of American Universities — an elite network of public and private research universities that includes the Ivy League, UC, Stanford and USC.
Just three of the nation’s 100 universities with the largest federal research portfolios are HSI campuses — UC Irvine ranking second to a specialized cancer center at the University of Texas, said Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, which represents 1,600 colleges and universities.
“One concern about major research universities is that they don’t necessarily look like the population of the United States,” Hartle said. “They are overrepresented with whites and Asians and underrepresented with African Americans and Hispanics.
“What you’re seeing at UC Irvine … is a conscious decision to make certain they expand the nature of the population they’re serving.”
UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman said the campus has pushed to diversify its campus as part of its public mission and urged other top institutions to do the same.
“We think it’s important to show that great higher education can be there for all of the people,” he said. “The demographics of the state are changing, and great institutions that were there for generations past should also be there for generations of the future.”
For the first time ever, more than half of UC Irvine’s graduating class this year are first-generation college students.
UC Irvine, Gillman said, is not only admitting more Latino students but also helping them succeed. Eight of 10 freshmen who entered in 2010-11 graduated within six years, about equal to whites and blacks and just below Asians. Graduation rates for transfer students are even higher.
Success took time. The campus began laying the groundwork in 1983, when it created the Santa Ana Partnership with local schools, Santa Ana College and Cal State Fullerton to improve college-going rates in the area. It intensified the efforts after state voters in 1996 passed Proposition 209 banning race-based affirmative action, said Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio, executive director of the Center for Educational Partnerships.
"One concern about major research universities is that they don’t necessarily look like the population of the United States." — Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education
The center serves 12,000 largely low-income students a year, three-fourths of them Latino, with programs to prepare them for college and help them succeed. It supports those interested in science, technology, engineering and math and helped develop a college-going plan for every high school student in the Santa Ana Unified School District. Affiliated faculty also conduct research and offer teacher training.
About 85% of high school students who work with the center complete the college prep coursework required for UC and Cal State, compared with the statewide average of 43%, Reyes-Tuccio said. She raises about three-fourths of her $10-million annual budget from public grants, private gifts.
Several Latino students said they chose UC Irvine because of generous financial aid and proximity to their families in surrounding cities. But many said they experienced culture shock moving from largely Latino neighborhoods and schools to the university, where only a quarter of students share their ethnic background.
Gloria Ochoa and David Cosme, both transfer students from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, said they initially were taken aback by conservative student rallies against immigrants and Muslims, featuring signs such as “Build That Wall” and “You’re Not Welcome Here.”
“I was wondering if I chose the right school,” said Cosme, a third-year sociology major who was born in Mexico and is the first in his family to attend college. “I wondered if I would fit in. Would I have to hide my identity?”
But he and Ochoa said they soon discovered supportive faculty and staff, more than 25 Latino student organizations and campus centers offering many support services.
Cosme found a comfort zone volunteering with the campus food pantry and a Chicano student organization, MEChA. “UCI provides a lot of spaces for my community to feel safe and express ourselves,” he said.
Ochoa, a third-year psychology and social behavior major, said she was amazed by the offerings at the Cross-Cultural Center, where she attended a workshop on trans Latina activism. Her disappointment at being wait-listed at UCLA vanished, she said, when she discovered the rich research opportunities at UC Irvine, where she is applying for positions to study autism and developmental disabilities.
“One great thing about UCI that they don’t get a lot of recognition and credit for is that a lot of faculty do research and there are so many labs to apply to,” Ochoa said.
Stephanie Gonzalez, 22, discovered her “family” as she calls it, at the Student Outreach and Retention Center, where she was able to find friends, leadership opportunities and food — peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that eased hunger pains since she could not afford a campus meal plan. She was hired by the center to develop mentorship programs and trained peer advisers to help students through such hardships as homesickness, breakups and academic struggles.
Daniela Estrada, daughter of a cook and hospital worker from Mexico, credited much of her success to campus mentors.
A counselor with the SAGE Scholars program for academically gifted, low-income students helped her craft a resume that landed her a law firm job when she thought she was unqualified. Mark Petracca, the associate dean for undergraduate studies in the School of Social Sciences, passed along research opportunities and nominated her for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, which provides up to $30,000 for graduate studies leading to a public service job. She plans to attend law school to become a public defender after completing a Fulbright program teaching English in Colombia.
“Professor Petracca changed my experience and trajectory and future by believing in me more than I did in myself,” said Estrada, a political science major who will graduate this month. “That’s what so many students want: someone to believe in them.”
UC Irvine’s performance reviews reward faculty who contribute to “inclusive excellence.” The campus has created a database to connect faculty to opportunities to advance diversity and equity and has set a goal for at least half of them to be involved by 2020-21.
Some students said the campus could do more — offer more scholarships, for instance, and expand the food pantry. Administrators say they aim to do both with more funding opportunities as an HSI campus. A few students said they were being marginalized by a plan to relocate space for immigrant and LGBTQ students to a less central part of campus, although a university spokesman said the facilities will be upgraded and more spacious.
As for Vera, UC Irvine gave her a full ride and a chancellor’s scholarship to volunteer in Peru. She has found friends and a way to express her cultural identity, especially dancing for the Ballet Folklórico de UCI.
The once insecure Latina who never dreamed she could attend UC Irvine is now its irrepressible evangelist.
UC Merced pricier than UCLA? The surprising cost to live on campus
This fall, as crazy as it sounds, it will be more expensive to live on campus at UC Riverside than at UCLA, and pricier to bunk in the dorms at UC Merced in the Central Valley than at UC San Diego in tony La Jolla.
CSU Fullerton will charge $2,500 more than Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. And while it’s no shock that room-and-board at UC Berkeley will cost more than any other public university in the Golden State, the second-most expensive school for housing is hardly a household name — or located in a hot rental market: It’s CSU Channel Islands in the Ventura County town of Camarillo.
A new analysis of university room-and-board costs by this news organization shows the price of living on campus is often out-of-whack with local housing costs and is becoming one of the prime factors in the runaway cost of attending a four-year college.
“That is really surprising,” said Christopher Palmer, an assistant professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business who studies housing markets and proves even with a PhD in economics, it’s tough figuring out how California’s universities calculate housing costs.
Universities are under intense pressure to hold the line on tuition hikes, and the tuition increases set to hit both University of California and California State University students this fall have been widely debated. But room-and-board costs receive far less scrutiny.
Yet in the last 10 years, housing costs at UC campuses have jumped some 30 percent, making it increasingly difficult for some low-income students to earn a degree. “It’s impacting students’ and families’ ability to pay for college,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, who has backed several proposals in Sacramento recently aimed at helping students pay not only for tuition, but housing and dining costs, during college.
One of the most puzzling things about housing costs is how some universities have become so out-of-sync compared to the local market. UC Merced, the system’s least popular school, has the biggest gap between on-campus and off-campus living costs: nearly $8,000. It costs nearly twice as much to live on campus as it does to rent an apartment nearby.
UC Merced, opened in 2005, is among the more expensive of the UC schools when it comes to on-campus housing. (Courtesy of UC Merced)
While UC tuition is the same across the system, each campus sets its own prices for everything else from housing to printing costs, which means that a UC diploma can have a variety of price tags.
Officials at UC Merced say that as the school has grown, it’s had to add new buildings and services for students living on campus. “So while the off-campus market fluctuates based on the local real estate market, on-campus rates are driven more by the cost to maintain and expand the programs offered to support our students,” said Brenda Ortiz, a spokeswoman for the campus.
Colleges also calculate average room-and-board costs slightly differently, and students can choose from several living and dining plans.
Still the numbers underscore a persistent and growing problem: Unpredictable and rising living expenses are pricing some students out of higher education.
Systemwide, the average cost of living on campus next year will be $15,396, up about 6 percent from $14,520 this year, according to preliminary figures.
Berkeley’s on-campus living costs are set to be higher than any of other four-year public university in the state: $17,549, up more than $1,000 from $16,389.
Zach Gamlieli, Berkeley Student Cooperative President, left, talks with Tom Edmondson, a former co-op resident, in a double room at Casa Zimbabwe in Berkeley, Calif. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Casa Zimbabwe is one of the 20 affordable housing communities operated by the Berkeley Student Cooperative. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)
Rising housing costs are also plaguing Santa Cruz students. At $16,055 next year, on-campus living costs will be the fourth highest after Berkeley, CSU Channel Islands and Davis, and nearly a thousand dollars more than this year.
But students do it because, in a beach town that seems to care more about attracting tourists than helping young people earn a degree, “it is really difficult to find housing off-campus,” said Judith Gutierrez, a member of the Santa Cruz Student Union Assembly. This year, more than half of Santa Cruz’s students lived on campus compared to less than a quarter of Davis students.
Sometimes, it’s required. Most of the UCs and CSUs don’t mandate that students live in the dorms but at San Jose State, freshmen from more than 30 miles away have to live on campus as part of an attempt to boost retention and graduation rates. Studies show that students who live on campus are more engaged in campus life and do better in school. At San Jose State, that will cost more than $15,500 next year.
Hoping to ease the impact, lawmakers in Sacramento introduced a budget proposal in March to cover more living costs for the state’s college students.
“Research shows more and more that students are graduating with all this debt not because of high tuition,” said Assemblyman McCarty, one of the key backers of the plan. “The reality is these huge debt loads are driven by non-tuition costs.”
Zach Gamlieli is one semester from a Cal diploma. But if it weren’t for Casa Zimbabwe, the off-campus student cooperative where he pays about $7,000 to live, the Los Angeles native would have a much different story. “It’s kept me in school,” he said. “I was probably going to have to leave school and go back to work.”
University of California plan links first generation students with similar professors
Rebecca Covarrubias, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, didn’t plan on being a professor. She wasn’t even sure she’d attend college. Her Phoenix-area family was tight-knit and supportive, but no one at home had attended college before her, and Covarrubias was mostly focused on making money after high school. Yet she applied to the University of Arizona because her friends were doing it, got a full scholarship based on her academic record and decided to take the opportunity.
Once Covarrubias got to campus, she wasn’t sure how to “do” college, either. She didn’t attend office hours or attempt to connect with professors because she didn’t know that was important.
She learned, of course. But years later, Covarrubias is trying to help make college a little easier for first-generation students as the Santa Cruz campus faculty lead on the University of California’s systemwide First-Gen Faculty campaign.
The initiative, which encourages instructors on campus to identify themselves via T-shirts, buttons and other means as the first in their families to graduate from a four-year institution, starts next week during Santa Cruz's Student Success Week. Fifty-four professors have signed on so far, along with dozens other faculty supporters.
Systemwide, some 800 faculty participants are expected to wear First-Gen Faculty shirts and share their experiences with their students across nine undergraduate campuses during the first week of classes this fall.
Janet Napolitano, system president, said in a statement that by training faculty members to connect with undergraduates “unfamiliar with college culture -- and ensuring that these faculty are highly visible on across UC’s campuses -- UC aims to connect first-generation students with the tools necessary for academic success, to foster a sense of belonging and ownership among this critical student population, and to ensure that UC continues to serve as an engine of economic mobility for our diverse population of undergraduates.”
At Santa Cruz, Covarrubias said, “We’re already having students contact us, thanking us for creating something like that -- for being so transparent. It’s basic but it’s super meaningful and impactful. When students feel less intimidated, the more we can bridge those divides that might exist.”
First-Gen Faculty is mostly a visibility campaign, for now. The idea is that first-generation students can seek out professors with similar experiences as role models or mentors. Faculty members can share advice and alert students to essential campus services. Covarrubias expects that the campaign will evolve into lunch meetings for first-generation students and faculty members, so that they can meet outside the classroom, as well. She’s also helping to organize faculty training on first-generation issues for later this summer. Individual campuses will share best practices with each other, as faculty and staff education on issues central to first-generation students is part of the systemwide initiative.
Another long-term program goal is to move conversations about first-generation students beyond just their deficits.
“These students are not just lacking something, but in so many cases come with additional strengths,” Covarrubias said. Sometimes they’re parents who are managing households themselves, or students who are helping their own parents or caregivers with child care, budgeting, translation and supplemental income, she added.
Reframing the conversation also means recognizing what a successful student looks like. Many professors tend to consider highly confident, talkative, individualistic pupils as engaged, Covarrubias said, but engagement comes in different forms, shaped both by culture and personal experience.
Martin Berger, vice president for academic affairs at Santa Cruz, said that focusing on first-generation students “is one of the most important things that the U.S. should be doing in the 21st century.”
To “unlock the full potential of the country, you need to do more than educate the same elite population generation after generation,” he added. “Doing so limits our ability to innovate and problem solve. The more heterogeneous our approach, the more creative our solutions.”
Some 42 percent of University of California System students are the first in their families to attend a four-year college or university.
Karen Kelsky, an academic career consultant and moderator of the "Professor Is In" blog, said she'd never heard of a program like California's and approved of the concept, in that it "would help first-gen faculty and graduate students as well. In my work I constantly talk to and hear from first-gen Ph.D. students who struggle to understand the unspoken codes of the academy."