28.11.16 This is a clock that i walk past every day, and on the face it reads:
“Remember, time lost has gone forever.”
It’s very motivating, because my essay is underway! I’ve been feeling very apathetic towards life recently, so I’m going to an appointment with my personal tutor to ask for some help. In the meantime I’m writing about the history of geography since the year 1500! Wish me luck guys. Xxx emily
26/03/17 - I’m currently essay planning on my iPad, using Procreate and One Note in split screen mode. I use One Note to take rough notes in lectures and seminars, and Procreate to make them look more presentable! If you have any questions about either of these apps/using the Apple Pencil please do drop me a line!
are you familiar with the feeling of
oh-my-holy-moly-my-life-is-a-complete-mess? me too fam. but now, it’s time for
change. It’s time to get our shit together and here are some tips to get
note : this is just a beginning guide; which only
includes 1/100 of the tips to get you life together. I’ll probably make a
part two if this is helpful?
1. do notprocrastinate.
sounds crazy? but honestly, just don’t. procrastination
leads to stress and anxiety and helps you lose your shit.
but, how do we not procrastinate?
get things done early. remember that sheet of paper your
professor gave around in class having the list of all the assignments to
be done that semester? yes, do that work months before if you have
do your homework the day it’s given. (no watching tv before you do)
study in the time you’re actually studying. don’t go on your
phone half the time. If you’re doing that, you may as well put your
productivity is basically when you do mechanical work (i.e. stuff which
doesn’t require much brainpower) to get into the real “productivity”
zone. it helps you brain prepare for the big task ahead. here are some
things to do -
make your bed
do the dishes/laundry
clean your room (i know it’s messy yo)
get your closet together
empty your inbox (be it gmail or tumblr)
do a smol workout?
make a to-do list/ organize you calendar
do a easiest or the most enjoyable task off your to-do list
3. plan, plan and plan
your planner/bullet journal should be your best friend. plan those
essays you got to write, that research paper you have to do, down to the
time you need to go out for dinner with friends. Plan. Every. Single.
Thing. I. Really. Mean. It.
+ and follow up with those plans!! you have already wasted a lot of time on
planning, you hAVE to follow up with that planning, right?
4. wake up early
why? waking up early gives you the
time to do things slowly and carefully so that you get it perfect in one
go and your life isn’t a complete disastrous mess.
x wakes up at 7 am every morning, goes for a short run to wake
herself up and comes back to have hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon,
slices of bread and a mug of steaming hot tea. she starts on her work
after that, doing it without stressing about it. Then, after a nice hot
bath and a delicious lunch, she goes out to a cafe to work on her
online classes and to hang out with her friends. coming back home, she does a quick
workout, takes a shower and heads off to make dinner. Having an
early dinner, she spends the remaining few hours relaxing, drafting blog
posts and spending time with her dog. at 10 pm everyday, she heads
off to her bed, looking forward to a glorious tomorrow.
..sounds like a fairy-tale, right? you can definitely live it though.
In general, your day should have the following stuff -
sufficient hours of work using which you can get all your work done
a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner (yep, no skipping meals)
a workout, generally of 15 - 30 minutes at the least
interaction with people, like hanging out with friends or family
sufficient sleep and resting time (preferably 8 hours of sleep)
a fixed routine consisting of you waking and sleeping at fixed time
a ‘me’ time at some point of the day where you don’t worry about work or anything and focus on relaxing after a long day.
6. believing that coffee sucks
why? its basically a drug and if you need three cups of it just to get
started on work, you’re going to have a really hard time during finals.
Instead, get enough sleep so that you have enough energy to study
without being a coffee addict. or you can even swap coffee for water. (hey, you’ll be more hydrated!)
side note - a cup of coffee per day is okay though. I love coffee too
and I totally feel you but don’t overdose on it, okay love?
some extra things to know about -
have a companion to keep you accountable at the start.
do have a laid-back day once in a while, you’re human after all.
balance work and play. reward yourself for shit done.
keep track of your spending, earnings, investments, etc.
being a perfectionist. seriously, you dont need to rewrite all those
notes, trust me (comes from a
don’t stress yourself out. getting your shit together is a journey and not a result.
remember, change will come. yes, it will; but only if you take action. start now.
also, on a side note - and this might seem very ironic, but
sometimes you don’t have to have your shit together. life is always a
mess and trust me when I say this, no one - yes no one - has their
shit together and sometimes it’s worth it to lead a messy life
and enjoy it without having any fixed rules and regulations like you
would have if you wanted that perfect life. enjoy the life you lead and
stay wonderful, loves!
Hey Emma 💛 Do you have any advice for procrastination? I also have a hard time concentrating, what do you do (or think I could do) that would help with that?
Hi! I’ve had a few questions like this recently so I’m just going to answer this one and hopefully anyone who asked a similar question will see it! But on with the answer. I think there is a few different reasons why we procrastinate so I’m going to note those down and give a few tips for each. You can obviously apply any ideas that you like regardless of what section I’ve put them under!
1. You’ve got poor work/productivity habits. Generally you leave things until the last minute since you “work better under pressure”. (This is so me, omg.) You probably think you’ll do something after you’ve finished something else, and then never do. You get distracted whenever you’re trying to study and will sit waiting to feel motivated but it never comes. For this I’d suggest:
create a productive work environment - choose a space where you will actually work without distractions, organise your study space, have everything you need in easy reach. Surround yourself with things you find motivating such as quotes!
write it out - write down a few manageable tasks that you need to do. Writing the actions they require will help you see what you should be doing to complete something, instead of just the overall task. One by one you’ll see yourself getting things done!
focus on 20-30 minute periods - generally we lose focus after a while so taking regular breaks can help give you chance to relax and refocus. Apps like Forest allow you to set a timer and will give you off your phone at the same time. Obviously if you’re being productive, don’t suddenly cut that off because it is “time for a break”.
use apps/browser extensions to cut out distractions - ones like RescueTime or StayFocusd will block you from checking certain sites.
find an accountability partner - pick someone who you can rely on to check on your regularly and see how your tasks are coming along. You can send them your to-do list and then every few hours you can update them with your progress. You won’t want to let them down.
use the two-minute rule - if something takes less than two minutes, do it. Don’t make an excuse, just do it. Tasks that are longer you can either delegate or defer. Here is a simple visualisation of what I mean.
record your progress - doing a simple “don’t break the chain” in your planner is a great way to see how productive you’re being and therefore get you more motivated to keep it up!
2. You’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Everything seems to be mounting up and nothing seems doable. You don’t know where or how to start. For this I’d suggest:
find some help - if you’re feeling like this, it is likely you need some help in some form or another. See if a family member, friend, classmate or teacher (or Google) can help or give you a starting point.
tell yourself that getting started is the first step - you don’t need to finish a task in a matter of minutes. Start doing something small. Maybe organise what you need, highlight the important bits of your assessment, or draft an essay plan. The secret to getting ahead is getting started!
divide and conquer - figure out what is the overall task that you need to do and split it into manageable parts. For instance with an essay the aim is to write it! Divide it into planning out what you want to write, any references you need, summarising a final draft and then writing each paragraph. By dividing bigger tasks into actionable parts you can reduce the obstacles and get through each part in a more timely manner.
reward yourself - create a reward system to celebrate completing a selection of tasks. By rewarding your progress you’ll build an incentive to work and reinforce productivity (great for your self-discipline!).
learn to forgive yourself - if you have an off day, that is okay! You can’t expect to see a huge change in a short amount of time. Remember to come back to it later and try again.
don’t over schedule - if you’re feeling pressure from the amount of work and then the added pressure of trying to stick to a time limit, you’re just going to go crazy. Set yourself flexible times to get something done instead of being heavily structured. Give yourself time for a break and the ability to change tasks.
stick with one task - it can be so tempting to multitask but try not to. Try to keep focus on the what you’re doing until it is done. If you struggle with that, you could write down anything useful that you randomly think about for another task, use a break-time to think about that other task or alternate between subjects/tasks every few hours.
3. You’re a perfectionist. You either don’t want to start something out of fear you won’t get it right or you can stuck on stuck on the small details. There is a pressure to achieve “perfection”. For this I’d suggest:
focus on getting started, instead of finishing - it is easy to get overwhelmed thinking about what something is supposed to be like finished if you’re a perfectionist. Take things one step at a time.
remember that your perfectionist tendencies aren’t actually improving your work or productivity but hindering you - you’re continually setting yourself unrealistic objects and (like me) probably feel let down by yourself if you don’t reach them. Be realistic and focus on getting it done!
accept mistakes - you’ve written something wrong, don’t panic! Cross it out with a single line and move on. Things happen and you have to accept it. You can’t rip up the page every time you do something wrong, even if it is so tempting.
put things in perspective - is what you’re beating yourself up about right now going to mean anything in a week, a month, a year? Be honest if it isn’t, is it really worth putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.
praise yourself through the process - try not to criticise yourself but recognise your progress.
4. You’re wanting to do something else. You find whatever you’re doing boring. You want it to be over with but don’t want to get started. The ultimate catch 22, right? For this I’d suggest:
remember that putting it off isn’t going to make it go away - if you leave it too long you’ll end up getting more stressed about it. Best to get it over with.
plan from the get-go - once you know something is coming up (e.g. a test, an assessment, etc) make notes on it! That could be questions, annotations, potential topics, citations, etc. By making the effort to spend time reading through, you’ll save your future self some stress. Especially if it’s a topic you have forgotten. That way your notes act as a reminder so you can get started.
set a finish time with a reward - tell yourself that if you finish something by ..am/pm and then you can do something else. Use your self-discipline to not go back on this. Set a realistic time and try to get it complete before. If you can think that you’re doing something fun once it is completed, you’ll be more motivated to get it done.
make a structure - for note-taking, it can be overwhelming looking at a textbook and thinking what you’re going to write out. Make a note-taking layout/colour code that works for you and that subject. Mine is here - it just give me an idea of how I’d lay everything instead of going in with no action plan.
try to make it fun - this could be using YouTube to learn or starting a study group. Use different methods for memorising information such as flashcards, mindmaps or study guides (like question/answer).
make the effort to refocus - if you’re finding something boring and you’re unfocused, walk away for 5 minutes, get a drink and come back. If you’re really struggling, change topics for a while. Find a point where you can finish and start doing something else that is productive.
listen to some music - generally music without lyrics are best for focusing. Spotify has a great playlist for studying called ‘focus’. However I find my regular music good for getting me a little more motivated and awake. I also like writing essays to music because I weirdly sort of type in the same rhythm. Funny study hack I’ve found that works for me haha!
I hope that is useful! I must have copied and pasted my whole answer like 5 times just incase my tab reloaded and I lost everything, luckily not! You should also check out this post for smaller motivation tips and tricks! xx
Today I have FINALLY finished my criminology essay plan, and I’m currently getting some work done on my digital media lectures. ✌🏻
To say this month has been chaotic would be an incredible understatement. I honestly feel like the universe has been testing me, but here I am. I SURVIVED! Farewell April, thanks for.. helping me grow I guess? I’m optimistic about May, and whatever it may bring. It can’t get any worse… right?
So this is my first ever time lapse Procreate of my notes! As you can probably tell, sometimes I scribble random words and lines over the screen (either in curiosity or frustration), but I think it’s really interesting to watch back to see the order that I do things in and identify the process I use. Let me know your thoughts on this and whether you’d like to see more notes time-lapse videos in the future!
P.s. Sorry about some of my bad spelling mistakes (I’m looking at you ‘Berlinda’)
Today, I will be giving you some tips that I use to help me get an amazing grade on my essays! it is important to understand not everything is about getting an A, sure it is amazing but all you need to focus on is improving from your previous grade!!
PLAN! firstly I can not stress this enough, so many people do not plan and just write their essay, to then realise they are completely off topic and have to restart! I live by the quote “failing to plan, is planning to fail”
start by writing the essay question out on paper, then create a mindmap/brainstorm of the subject area, possible topic sentences/ideas/facts
secondly, write some of your thoughts on the general topic, from different aspects and scopes, you can list words or ideas that will sound good in your essay
look through any criteria sheets, lectures/tutorial slides discussing the assignment, your notes, that are relevant to your assignment, then write all this information in one place.
then have a look on google scholar or whatever books, journal articles, websites, or any sources deemed appropriate by your lecturer/teacher. It is so important to note where you found your sources, it will help you so much later!
once you have finished that, calculate how many words are an appropriate amount per paragraph. for example, if you have a 1500 word essay, with 5 body paragraphs including an introduction and conclusion then you should give the body paragraphs 250 words, the introduction 150, and the conclusion 100 words. it doesn’t matter if it is exact or notes, just use it as a general guide!
― How to write an essay as an undergraduate history student
These are general guidelines to help undergraduate students write better essays. *Note that every assignment is different. You should take the time to closely read the instructions and meet with your Professor if necessary. I hope you will find these useful and good luck writing your papers!
B E F O R E Y O U S T A R T
Make sure that you have closely read the instructions as presented by your Professor. There are many different types of historical essays (argumentative essays, historiographical reviews and so on). It is imperative that your style is adapted to the type of essay you are required to write.
Gather all your information. Some Professors want students to write essays using only class material, others expect them to do more research. If the latter, make sure to gather all (most) of your information beforehand. If you are a university student, you have access to a library and many academic journals. Use this access and make sure to ask librarians for help when needed.
Take careful notes as you are reading in preparation for your essay. If your Professor provided a specific question, make sure to read critically for information that is susceptible to help you answer this question. If your Professor has not assigned a question, you should still read carefully and try to find the different ways in which historians address certain issues.
Some students prefer not to plan essays, others do. I suggest planning as it may be the best way to map out your ideas and begin forming an argument. It is impossible to cover all the facets of a problem in one essay, therefore, planning your essay may be the easiest way to make sure your work covers important aspects of a given issue. Planning will also help ensure that all your arguments remain connected and support a central claim.
Find a few (preferably history) essays that you find well-written and pay special attention to their structure. While you should be careful never to be so inspired as to be tempted to copy (this is a very serious academic offence) the goal of this exercise is to find more academic vocabulary and see how it is used by actual scholars.
W H E N W R I T I N G
If your Professor gave you a question to answer in advance, make sure you answer this question and this question only. While you should always supply your arguments with pertinent examples, these should be succinct and focus on the main contention debated in your essay.
Make sure your essay has a thesis statement (yes, even when you are asked to answer a question). Your Professor should know from the very beginning of your essay what you will be arguing and what position you will take. All subsequent paragraphs until your conclusion should serve to better make the case for your thesis.
Try to follow the “classical” essay model, that is: introduction, body and conclusion.
Began each paragraph with a topic sentence announcing the focus of the next few lines. Conclude the paragraph by rephrasing the main idea and possibly by trying to make a connection with the next body of text.
Always bring evidence to support your arguments. This evidence may come from the work of other historians are from a passage of a primary document. Whatever the case may be, make sure that your arguments are solidly built and “defended”.
Introductions and conclusions are (usually) not optional. Your introduction should help the reader understand what the text will argue and how it will proceed to do so, while your conclusion finishes the text by summarising key points and perhaps even making a suggestion for future studies. (An additional tip may be to write a simple introduction at the beginning and then rewriting it when the essay is finished. Once you are satisfied with your introduction, you may copy and paste it as your conclusion making necessary adjustments and avoiding copying the exact sentence structure. The point here is to use your introduction as a guide to write your conclusion.)
Be precise, you are writing a history paper, dates and names matter.
Be clear and concise but make sure that all your points are well-developed.
G E N E R A L T I P S
Locate your argument in historiography. As a historian in training, it is important that you show your Professor that you understand there are debates regarding specific interpretations. It is also important that you demonstrate that your line of argumentation is supported by the work of experienced researchers. Even if your essay primarily focuses on primary document analysis, surely some have analysed this text or object before, make sure to mention these scholars and their contributions to the debate.
Citations should be used wisely. As said before, it is important to ground your argument in the work of other historians. In this sense, citations are immensely useful. That being said, depending on the length of your paper, too many citations may suggest laziness as you have made little efforts paraphrasing. A few carefully selected and well-integrated quotes in your paper should do the trick.
Unless prohibited (for some odd reason) by your Professor, use footnotes to give additional information. Using footnotes to engage in discussions that are important but that otherwise cannot find their place in your text will show your Professor that you had a strong command of the topic at hand. It is also the best place to suggest further readings.
27/03/17 - Just about to type this all up. A mixture of excitement and dread ensues. (Excuse my incorrect spelling of Belinda)
P.s. Still trying to figure out the best way to take pics of my iPad with concern to lighting, if anyone has any tips please let me know! Once I’ve typed my essay I’ll post a still saved image of my notes and type up a few bits on how I plan for my assessments if people would like? ☺️
To anyone right now who is writing an essay, planning to write an essay, procrastinating writing an essay...
There’s a piece of advice I wish I received a long time ago at the beginning of my academic career: don’t write by page numbers; write by chunks of time. I’ve been tackling this 15-20 page research paper in 45 minute chunks with breaks in between, and it is going shockingly smoothly. This may not be ground-breaking to some (it’s kind of like pomodoros), but thinking of writing a huge mass of words in manageable time chunks instead of pages is super uplifting instead of intimidating.
firstly, never ever ever just read through your notes!!! this is only good if it’s like the morning before your exam, otherwise never do it- it won’t work (unless you have a photographic memory or something)!
flashcards- they don’t have to be pretty, just functional! Write only key information down such as dates and places or formulae
don’t write notes for things you already know! Go through your folder/specification/textbook and make a list on everything you need to revise
bullet points- sit down with a black biro and some lined paper and read through your revision guide/textbook/class notes and make concise notes- you can make them look nice later using highlighters but for now just focus on noting down key information!
word documents- this is what I call my ‘panic notes’. I sit down with a revision guide (usually a day before my exam) and make very quick notes on a word document- I use shortened words/text speak to save time and make sure I get down key information
print off past papers- give yourself about half the time you would have in the exam and go through the paper, making bullet points for longer questions or plans for essays. Highlight sources/extracts you’re given as if you are in the exam as this is very good practice. Then use the mark scheme to roughly mark the paper and add to your answers
mind maps- don’t write down every single piece of information, or copy out sentences from a textbook- just put a key idea/topic in the middle and expand on it with key statistics/facts- use lots of diagrams if they help
notebook notes- get a small, lined notebook and write down key facts in it, also draw diagrams if needed. Then carry this notebook around with you- maybe go for a walk with it and test yourself as you walk (getting outside is very important and good for your brain!)
use word association/mnemonics/silly little tricks to help you remember things- for example I remember that barium ions burn green in the flame test because barium sounds like bear and bears live in forests which are green! Often the ruder the better as you’re more likely to remember them
ask a family member of friend to help you revise- ask them to test you on things from notes/a revision guide; I often ask my mum to test me and somehow it really helps me to remember things as she’s hopeless as science-based subjects so always mispronounces things and I have to explain basically everything to her!
If no one is available to help you, test yourself! Fold a piece of A4 in half vertically and write questions and answers on separate sides- then, a little while later on so you don’t remember everything word for word, fold it back so you can’t see the answers and ask yourself the questions!
also it’s vital that you get a good amount of sleep (all nighters usually do not turn out very well unless you’re superhuman), drink plenty of water, eat healthily (it’s alright to treat yourself a bit though!), and get outside at least once a day! Also give yourself a few breaks from studying- you and your brain will need to relax a little!