Creative writing tips to improve academics

No matter what your major is, it might be fun to take an Intro to Creative Writing course. In addition to studying literature and Expository Writing, learning how to write and think creatively can improve all aspects of academics.

Creative writing can greatly improve one's learning skills. (Credit: garyvarvel.com)

Creative writing can greatly improve one’s learning skills. (Credit: garyvarvel.com)

When you practice creative writing exercises, you are learning problem solving and discipline. Here are some creative writing tips and methods for writing fiction. Read more

Expository writing for better research papers

Every college student needs to take expository writing to learn how to write clearly and concisely for an academic audience.

How many college students feel when writing a research paper. (Credit: Memesly.com)

How many college students feel when writing a research paper. (Credit: Memesly.com)

Expository writing provides instruction on writing an essay, research paper or term paper. Here is an overview of expository writing and some writing tips.  Read more

How to search for images to use in research papers and blog posts

When using another person’s image, be sure to provide credit to the original source. (Credit: Joanjoc)

When using another person’s image, be sure to provide credit to the original source. (Credit: Joanjoc)

Students who want to add images to their research papers and portfolio examples must be aware of the rules about copyright. When creating web-based content your image search will be easier now that Getty Images has made thousands of their photos available for free. You can even use the images when creating a blog post should you be so inclined. It’s important that students know the rules associated with taking images from the web and using them in their own work. Here’s the run-down on how things stand today.

Image search gets easier

Many students maintain a blog and website where they can promote their work. It’s always nice to have professional quality images to add to the sites’ appeal. In March 2014, Getty Images announced that it would make 35 million images available for free. There are a few conditions, however. The use of the image must be non-commercial and you have to embed the image with a special code. Read more

Get it while it lasts: Take $15 off your purchase of $150 at CengageBrain.com

Right now you’re probably more acclimated to the new semester and are getting a solid start on the projects and research papers your professors have assigned….or so we hope. Regardless of where you stand, CengageBrain.com wants you to know that they are still here to help you get your classroom essentials for that big paper you have due next week. In fact, there is another college supplies deal being offered that might make you want to get started on your assignments.

And the final deal is…

Through the remainder of February (2/7/2014 – 2/28/2014) CengageBrain.com is giving you $15 off your purchase of $150, which includes everything from textbooks to eBooks to rentals to study tools! When you reach check out, use coupon code 15OFF150 to take advantage of this great deal. Read more

The consequences of buying a term paper from a custom writing paper mill: Plagiarizing by any other name

If you’re going to use someone else’s work, always remember to cite the source. (Credit: Dahn)

If you’re going to use someone else’s work, always remember to cite the source. (Credit: Dahn)

Many a student facing a deadline has thought about buying their term paper from a custom writing service, also known as a paper mill. But what they may not realize is that if they turn in that paper as their own work that they will be plagiarizing or committing an academic crime. When plagiarism is detected then the consequences can be quite costly for the student.

Rate of incidents of plagiarism

Plagiarism, or using other people’s writing and ideas without giving them credit, has increased over the past decade according to Pew Research. Plagiarism.org found that in a survey of more than 63,700 undergraduate students that: Read more

Honor Code vs. paper mill: Know the academic and ethical penalties

Illustration by Alejandro Gonzalez, USA TODAY

Illustration by Alejandro Gonzalez, USA TODAY

Student success depends on making ethical choices during your college years. The reasons for buying a term paper online and passing it off as your own are many, not the least of which is that starting your adult life off by cheating makes you a loser. Your student advantage should not include buying term papers. Consult your school’s Honor Code and learn the academic penalties for plagiarizing. Some can be immense and life- altering.

Honor Code and Honor Committee

Many colleges have an Honor Code that addresses proper behavior and assigns punishment for infractions such as plagiarism, cheating, lying, stealing, forgery, and computer fraud. Read more

Can you say, “Plagiarize?”: Why custom writing and buying a term paper from a paper mill is a bad idea

Plagiarism is commonly found in academia. Always remember to cite your sources. (Credit: Carrot Lord)

Plagiarism is commonly found in academia. Always remember to cite your sources. (Credit: Carrot Lord)

By far one of the most stressful experiences for a student is writing a term paper, research project or essay. The idea is to write based on your own work and not to plagiarize (steal) the work of others. No problem, just get on the Internet and check out custom writing services. Also known as a paper mill, these sites say that they will create a paper on deadline that will meet the requirements of your assignment. Here are the reasons why that is a very bad idea.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you use the words or ideas of someone else in your writing project and you don’t give the author credit for it. Read more

Take 10% off print textbooks at CengageBrain.com

Happy 2014 students! As January arrives, many people have their New Years’ resolutions top of mind. Maybe you’re hoping to get in better shape this year. Or even hoping to do more traveling in the upcoming year. Why not include getting a head start on purchasing your textbooks for the Spring semester? To help you get motivated to buy your college textbooks, CengageBrain is giving you an offer you can’t refuse.

Print textbooks at a discounted rate

This week, CengageBrain is offering five dollars off your purchase of fifty dollars or more worth textbooks. Use coupon code 5OFF50 at CengageBrain.com to take advantage of this deal. WAIT! We’re not done! Read more

What you need to know about modern Shakespeare film adaptations (like Romeo and Juliet 2013)

“The Reconciliation of the Montagues and the Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet,” by Frederick Leighton, 1855 – if only film critics could get along so well!

“The Reconciliation of the Montagues and the Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet,” by Frederick Leighton, 1855 – if only film critics could get along so well!

All the world’s a stage, so it’s no surprise that the same scripts keep getting used over and over again, especially when they’re as classic as Shakespeare. Making a Shakespeare film adaptation is one of those challenges that many film directors and actors have as a career goal, and given the continued appearance of those films in the mass media, audiences are eager to see how the films are brought to a modern audience. Whether it’s Joss Whedon’s Much ado about Nothing, which was just released on Blu-ray, or the 2013 Romeo and Juliet incarnation scripted by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey, here’s what you need to know about the recent Shakespeare films – whether it’s to keep up with dorm room discussion or as a lead in to a good research topic for your next Shakespeare paper! Read more

Google vs. Siri: How conversational search will change online search engines

One day kids will not be able to tell you what a "card catalog" is, and it might be sooner than later.

One day kids will not be able to tell you what a “card catalog” is, and it might be sooner than later.

Long, long ago, in a land, far, far away people used to search for information in something called a library, using books and card catalogs and something cutting edge known as microfiche. Ask a Gen Xer about it sometime and listen to them wax poetic about their days hanging in library carrels with stacks of books, but watch it, or they will get off topic and start in on their album collections and how caller id ruined prank phone calls.

Today, the vast majority of us conduct all our research, from where to go for the best fish tacos to how to get help writing that research paper, through the Internet, and, most likely, our search engine of choice is Google. The company is so dominant that “googling” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006 as a verb meaning to find information. But nobody stays on top forever, and Google’s reign may come to an end sooner, rather than later, if Apple and conversational search technology has anything to say about it. Read more