Tutor profile: Rosemary K.
I have a report to write. Where do I start?
Did you get all the information you will need together in one spot? Prepare a nice space for yourself, with everything you need handy. No one wants to keep getting up to search for things you need; it takes away from your work time and it's really frustrating! Organize your space. Get yourself a snack and something to drink, but keep it away from where spills or stains could ruin your work. Get your books and information together and space it out in a way that makes you feel comfortable: do you label your piles? Great? Prefer to just lay things out in separate piles so you can find what you need at a glance? Awesome! Do you have a bunch of tabs open, with the information you've decided to refer to? Excellent, just make sure you have everything saved and/or bookmarked, so a computer glitch won't eat your work. Outlines are really helpful. Look at your teacher's directions for the report. Make a list of every single thing the report needs, then number each thing. These can become your outline. Now, you have a road map! Congratulations! Next, look at the information in front of you. Try to organize it according to your outline. You're making life easier for yourself! Do you have ideas coming to you? Fantastic! Start writing (or typing) them down - you can fit them in as you need to (or get rid of them, if you don't) as your put together your report. You're just about ready to start writing. Introduce your report, by repeating the question or information the teacher is asking you to provide, and how you will answer this with your sources. You've got your road map, so you've got everything in front of you that you need to succeed. A final paragraph will sum up everything you've talked about, and any possible conclusions you want to draw from this process. Hit save. Print. Congratulations, you did it!
Subject: Study Skills
I have trouble focusing when I am trying to study. How can I get more focused and understand what I'm studying?
You should first check the area you're in when you are trying to study. Is there a loud TV on, or music playing? You should try to turn down and tune out as much loud noise as you can, letting you focus on your notes and work. If home is loud, can you study in the library after school or at lunchtime? Can you and a friend study together at their home, which may be quieter? Keep your phone and video games away from you for a little while! You aren't going to be able to study at your best if you're texting, playing on an app, or scrolling through social media. You need to focus on your work, and every little thing competing for your attention is going to mean less attention to your studying. Some people learn better and remember better by repeating what they're reading. Take notes about your notes! You'll focus on the major points and reinforce what you learned in class. Give yourself a break! Don't plan on sitting in one spot for hours at a time. Your brain needs a break, too. Get up, walk around, check those texts or scroll through your feeds for a little bit; give yourself a break every hour, to start. Take 15 minutes at first; if you're good to go, go back to studying. If you need more time, give yourself another 15 minutes. But promise yourself to put the phone and video game away, and get back to studying. Challenge yourself - offer yourself rewards for studying, whether it's extra video game time, extra phone time, or hangout with your friends time, for every hour you put in. You'll challenge yourself and treat yourself. Good luck!
Subject: Library and Information Science
How can I determine whether the information a website is giving me is accurate? Are there "good" or "bad" websites, and how can I tell the difference?
There are loads of inaccurate websites on the Internet! There are ways to separate the helpful from the downright awful. I like to give websites something called the CRAAP test: a list of questions to ask yourself as you look at the website, to help you figure out whether the information is reliable or unreliable. CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Think of Currency as asking the website whether it is worthy your time. Do all the links work? Is the information current? Check and see if there are dates as to when the information was last updated - subjects on topics like dinosaurs, or the Revolutionary War, have to be updated often. Relevance means the meaningfulness to your topic: does it cover all the information you need to have? Is the information original, or has it been taken from other sources? Is it educational in source, or is it from a fan site? Authority means where the source of the information is coming from. Who created this? Does the person have the right credentials - an educator, a college or library, a research organization - for you to feel comfortable using this information? Does this source have contact information, like an email address, where you can get in touch to ask more questions, if you need to? Has the creator of the information published information only online, or have they written journal articles, magazine articles, or books? Look at the website's address: is it a .gov website (a government source), an .edu website (an educational organization, like a school or college), .org (usually nonprofit organizations, including schools and research organizations) or a .com (usually companies that may try to sell you something). Does the information appear to be biased, presenting only one point of view, rather than providing all the information? Accuracy means, does the website read right? Are words spelled wrong? Is there accurate punctuation? Does the website list the sources that their writers used when they put together their research? Has the information been reviewed, or checked? Research is usually refereed, or reviewed, by other researchers to make sure the most accurate, up-to-date information is given. Can you find a bibliography? Finally, we have Purpose. Why was this website created? This goes back to making sure there are no biases in the information. Does the website exist to help you learn, or to convince you that the writer's point of view is better or smarter than anyone else's? Are there advertisements popping out at you all over the webpage? Most importantly, what is the information provided based on: fact or opinion?
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