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A Few Tips For Finding The Best Way To Take Notes In University Courses

I've been in a number of college classes of all kinds--from food science to art history, and while some were definitely more difficult than others, one of the major keys to unlocking success in each course was taking effective notes. Sounds pretty basic, right? Well, you might be surprised.

One of the first steps to taking effective notes is to determine how you learn best. There are numerous learning styles, so you need to pinpoint just a few that seem to work best for you. For example, I have found for myself that I learn best by listening carefully to the lecture.

Then, you need to decide what that means for you. I am not only a great listener; I am also a slow writer, so trying to take notes by hand with paper and a pen ends up being distracting, keeping me from hearing what is being said, as I am still trying to write what was said two minutes before.

Since I am such an active listener, I find it very effective for me to either take my laptop along with me to class (I type quickly without even looking at my keyboard, so I can easily pay attention while typing up extensive notes) or take along a digital recorder so that I can play back the lecture later on.

It is also helpful to combine these methods so that times when the lecturer or a contributing student are speaking too softly to be picked up by the recorder can be simply filled in by notes taken on the computer.

If you want to explore one or both of these options, be sure to choose a laptop that is highly portable. The first laptop I purchased for use at the university was extremely heavy, and it became a hassle to carry around with me.

Keep in mind how far you have to go to get from class to class and how much strain this will cause on your back to carry it in a backpack or shoulder bag.

Make sure your recorder is professional quality and will be more likely to capture lectures in a clear manner so that you don't have to try to guess about what is being said as you review before exams.

If you are the type of person that becomes easily distracted by the temptations to participate in social networking while on your laptop, then consider going the old-fashioned way: get a notebook and pen.

This is very effective for visual learners, as you can draw diagrams and timelines presented in class, making them simple and accessible for review.

It's up to you to decide what is more effectual when you need to study. You can try several different methods and see what works best in the long run. But once you figure out what works, persist in doing it, and you will definitely see success and less frustration in preparing for crucial exams.


Helping Children Love To Write Creatively

Most of us spend out childhoods wrapped inside the delightful world of our own imaginations. Our inability to make sense of the adult world around is one reason why: it's safe where children "live." Somewhere along the line, reality tends to take over and squelch our creative sides; but if parents and teachers are careful, they can provide a way for their preteen children and students to continue nurturing their imaginations through creative writing.

Give Them a Little Help

It's easy for most young kids to take a simple object like a fork and turn it into a knight in shining armor. But preteens in the process of leaving their imaginative worlds may react to the idea of writing with the following: "But I have nothing to write about." Or, "My life is so boring!" To get their creative juices flowing, offer them prompts so that they don't have to do all the thinking themselves. There are a plethora of creative writing prompts appropriate for all ages on the internet: seek them out.

Don't Sweat the Grammar Too Much

Most kids are discouraged from engaging in creative writing because they are afraid that their grammar won't be "right." Correct grammar is a skill that they will continue to develop as they grow older into high school and young adulthood: adults must be cover not to be such sticklers for correctness that they effectively snuff out any desire for children to be creative. When they write, talk more about their story line than sentence structure; about their character development rather than their punctuation. Encourage kids to illustrate their writings: to give a face to what's going on in their heads. Many children who are reluctant writers find that they can express themselves much more effectively through drawing: they move on to the written word when they're ready.

Find Unique Ways For Them to Hone Their Talents

There are some great summer camps in the United States that are specifically designed to encourage children to express their creativity through writing. If your child is interested in writing, find a camp or community education program where she can receive ideas and encouragement from professionals who know how to really get kids excited about writing again.

Creative writing can be a lifelong enjoyable pursuit for people of all ages and nationalities. But it's important for adults to encourage writers when they are young and provide opportunities for them to grow and develop their talents without judgment. With creative writing, you really don't have to grow up at all!


Tips on How to Write a Novel

At some point in everybody's life, there must have been a book that they could not put down. Some people are so inspired that they even aspire to write their own novels. There are tens of thousands of books being written every year which means writers are more than just a handful. While the truly exceptional ones and bestsellers are really the cream of the crop, you can also pen your own novel if you are truly inspired. Here are some important steps that you should follow when you want to write your own novel.

- You should map out a story and see how the whole story will flow. Mapping out a story is basically just figuring out the different major parts of the story and is different from the whole writing process. However, when you write, it doesn't matter whether you follow step by step or just simply jump in into writing the rest of the story.

- Identifying the plot is an important aspect in writing and the plot should include a beginning, middle and an end. The plot is the main part of the story so without it, the novel simply becomes a string of sentences without a central theme.

- Draw out your main characters and other supporting characters. Novels generally move around a central character that moves towards and around the main plot of the story. Called the protagonist, this character is challenged by an antagonist, someone who goes against everything the main character stands for. You should also create the other characters who can help shed more information about the protagonist and the antagonist and help create a more dynamic and colorful facade for the story. Some of these characters also move towards the end plot while some characters disappear at one point or another in the story. Make your characters believable so the readers can identify with them.

- Tell a lot about the environment where the characters are set. Identify the period or era, identify the place, and other events, happenings and activities in their surrounding so the readers can have a vivid picture of the story and get to better understand and dwell deeper into the situations of the characters.

Other important things you should remember are the following. A good grasp of English is necessary. Even if your writing is not that flawless, editing, re-editing and proofreading can do the job. This is normally done by somebody else so a fresh new set of eyes can see what is wrong compared to what the writer can see. You should also have feelings. While every human being has this, incorporating your feelings and personal experiences is more important than the technicality of writing. General knowledge will also come in handy so you can inject actual world facts without the readers having to question and be distracted by them.

When you start writing, go to a quiet place, with windows perhaps, to clear your mind and draw inspiration. When you're done with your draft, get feedback and see how else you can improve your writing. When you mind is focused and new ideas pop into your head, just sit down and start writing and worry about editing the content later. Before you know it, your novel will be well on its way to being completed.


Recognizing The Four Major Parts Of Speech

In grammar there are eight parts of speech which break down into four major parts and four minor parts. A part of speech is a category assigned to a word or a phrase. The four main parts of speech are noun, adjective, adverb and verb. In English, a word can be more than one part of speech depending on how it is used.

A noun is a word that is used to name a person (Nicolas), place (Guatemala), thing (television), quality (beauty), action (flight,) or idea (mercy). There are several different kinds of nouns including proper nouns, common nouns and abstract nouns. Proper nouns are used to name specific people, places or things and are capitalized. Dawn Williams, Dawson City and Golden Gate Bridge are all examples of proper nouns. Common nouns refer to all nouns that are not proper and they are not capitalized. Abstract nouns name ideas, qualities and other intangibles. Some of these include words such as fear, happiness and honesty.

Adjectives are words that describe, modify or qualify a noun or a pronoun. An adjective tells us how many, what kind, or which one. In the following sentences, the italicized words are examples of adjectives.

"Jordan gave his mother the silver bracelet for her birthday." (What kind?)
"There were thirty coats for sale in her shop." (How many?)
"Out of the sisters, Sarah was the older one." (Which one?)

Adjectives can also change form by adding -er or -est to the end of if they are preceded by "more" or "most". The easiest way to find an adjective is to find the word that describes the noun. Articles are considered to be adjectives as well. There are two different kinds of articles and they are: definite (the) and indefinite (a, an).

Verbs are words that describe an action (walk, jump, think) or a state of being (become, is, seem). A complete verb is made up of the main verb as well as any helping verbs that may or may not be used with it. The most commonly used helping verbs are called the nine models which are could, should, would, might, may, shall, will, must and can. These models express how the writer feels about the verb. They give the verb a sense of urgency or obligation. Every verb has five forms which include; base form (walk), past tense (walked), past participle (I have walked), present tense (he/she/it walks) and present participle (I am walking).

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or another adverb. To find out which words in a sentence are adverbs, ask yourself when, where, how, why, under what circumstances and to what extent, as the answers to all of these questions are in fact adverbs. The italicized words in the following sentences are all adverbs.

"She walked near her house." (Where?)
"She walked yesterday morning." (When?)
"She walked carefully." (How?)
"She walked because she needed to get to work." (Why?)
"She walked while feeling sad." (Under what circumstances?)
"She walked quite carefully through the snow." (To what extent?)

Another way to recognize an adverb is to look for words that end with the suffix -LY. Most of these adverbs are created by ending -LY to the end of an adjective. Some examples of this are slowly (slow), aggressively (aggressive) and hopelessly (hopeless).

The four major parts of speech are found in any good writing. Learning to use them correctly is the best way to ensure that you´ll understand them when you come across each part as you read or write.


The sketch pen: an essential item of stationary

Drawing can be one of the most creative ways to express yourself, no matter how old you are! And whilst everyone has a preference about which equipment to use, sketch pens remain extremely popular. They come in bold, vibrant colors, allowing you to highlight words on text, or shade in pencil sketches. There are a wide range of sketch pen varieties to choose from, with some pens that use permanent ink, ideal for writing on surfaces such as wood or glass. Other sketch pens are ideal for puzzle games, or for highlighting documents that are used at school and in the workplace. Because of their numerous uses, sketch pens are popular around the world, and make up an essential part of your stationary equipment.

The first sketch pen was patented in 1910, and the design developed in the late 1920s when Benjamin Paskach designed a pen which consisted of a sponged handle with various colors. This type of pen became popular in the mid-20th century and by the 1950s, the sketch pen served a number of different purposes, and was used to label items, create posters, and highlight documents. Today sketch pens are both popular with children, who love to color their doodles with bright, fluorescent colors, as well as adults. The sketch pen is popular in bingo halls where it can be used to highlight numbers that are called out, or to highlight items on a shopping list. Although the sketch pen has a thick nib, it is still commonly used by artists, who enjoy using the bold colors to create impressive canvas prints and works of art.

A sketch pen has its own ink source, and usually comprises a tip made of a porous fiber such as felt. You may still remember the smell of sketch pens from your childhood; up until the 1990s, these types of pens used an ink which was made from solvents such as xylene and toluene. Today, this ink is usually made up from various alcohols, but the feeling of holding a sketch pen can still have the same effect as it did when you were a kid. The sketch pen is easy to control and because the outer casing of the pen is also in a bright color, these items of stationary can easily be found when left around the house or office.

Elkos Pens are one of the world's leading pen manufacturers, specializing in gel pens, ball pens, pen refills, and of course, sketch pens. Their products are renowned around the world for their durability and quality, and there are a wide range of designs to choose from. The company ensures that all safety procedures are adhered to during the manufacturing process and the latest technology is used to create products which are safe for all ages. With over 30 years experience, Elkos Pens has gone from strength-to-strength since the company was first founded, and now manufacture pens that are available in a wide range styles, colors, materials and designs, with products that are popular with young children, students, and adults. Elkos Pens also manufacture pens which can be used in the workplace.


The Amazing Ball Pen!

Despite living in the electronic age of Computers, mobiles and internet, there is still no substitute for pen and paper. Even as you browse the Web, you probably have a pen within easy reach to jot down notes, scribble phone numbers, or even to doodle! Modern ballpoint pens are so inexpensive that we don't even think about them anymore -- you might have a cup on your desk that contains a dozen or so different pens that have wandered in from who knows where!
A ballpoint pen is a pen that uses a small rotating ball made of brass, steel or tungsten carbide to disperse ink as you write. All of the pens that preceded the ballpoint used a watery, dark India ink that fed through the pen using capillary action. There were many problems with this technology. For example:
The ink used to flow unevenly.
The ink was slow to dry.
The ink was exposed to the air while it is flowing through the pen, so it would not dry quickly or it would clog the pen.
The ball point pen was what the world was waiting for! The epicenter of the ballpoint pen is, of course, the ball. This ball acts as a buffer between the material you're writing on and the quick-drying ink inside the pen. The ball rotates freely and rolls out the ink as it is continuously fed from the ink reservoir (usually a narrow plastic tube filled with ink).
The ball is kept in place -- between the ink reservoir and the paper -- by a socket; and while it is in tight, it still has enough room to roll around as you write. As the pen moves across the paper, the ball turns and gravity forces the ink down the reservoir and onto the ball, where it is transferred onto the paper. It's this rolling mechanism that allows the ink to flow onto the top of the ball and roll onto the paper you're writing on, while at the same time sealing the ink from the air so it does not dry in the reservoir.
Because the tip of a normal ballpoint pen is so tiny, it is hard to visualize how the ball and socket actually work. One way to understand it clearly is to look at a bottle of roll-on antiperspirant, which uses the same technology at a much larger scale. The typical container of roll-on has the same goals a ballpoint pen does -- it wants to keep air out of the liquid antiperspirant while at the same time making it easy to apply. At this scale, it is easy to see how the mechanism works. Here's a shot of the ball end of a typical roll-on:
If you look inside the container, what you have is extremely simple -- the ball is exposed so it can pick up the liquid antiperspirant:

A ballpoint pen works exactly the same way. The tiny ball is held in a socket, and the back of the ball is exposed so it can pick up ink from the reservoir.
The ball fits into the socket with just enough space to move freely.
The size of a ballpoint pen's line is determined by the width of the ballpoint. A "point five millimeter" (0.5 mm) pen has a ball that will produce a line that is 0.5-mm wide, and a "point seven millimeter" pen (0.7 mm) has a ball that will produce a 0.7-mm line. Ballpoints come as tiny as "point one millimeter" wide ("ultra fine").
Throughout the history of ball pens many refinements in design took place, but the basic structure of the pen has remained the same. In the last 30 years, the ball pen market has seen massive development despite stiff competition from gel pens. Today, Elkos is a dominant player in the ball pen market, along with other manufacturers like Linc, Todays, and Rotomac.
So the next time someone gives you a promotional pen or you buy one at the store, you will definitely recollect the amazing technology behind the ball pens.


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