I struggle with making sure my papers is an analysis versus a summary. How can I tell the difference?
The best way to determine a summary versus an analysis is to ask yourself "Can I find what I've written directly in the text?" and "Do I discuss the overall effects and themes of the work?". The answer to the first question should be no. While you should always use direct quotes to support your claim, what you are arguing/your thesis should be an original idea. The text should be mere evidence supporting a view that you have developed. Subsequently, the answer to the second question should be yes because you should figure out the effects of the text to develop a theme and original claim. That will set apart your paper from a summary.
I feel like there isn't anything interesting or dramatic about me that I could include in my college application. How can I make my application stronger?
There is a widespread misconception that you have to have a wild and unique backstory or 100 different awards in order to get into college. However, college admissions are very holistic and inclusive. They would really like to get to know who you are as a person, in addition to your academic achievements. Don't feel pressured to conjure up a crazy story to make your application more appealing. Staying true to who you are will best display your personality and make your application that much more strong and authentic.
I understand algebraic content when it is taught to me in class, however when I have to apply it on my homework or on tests, it starts to get jumbled; I never know where to start. How can I effectively apply what I have learned so that it becomes easier to work through problems on my own?
Oftentimes, we complicate content and confuse ourselves when it comes to applying what we have learned by trying to combine everything at once. In order to make the application of knowledge easier, specifically in algebra, it helps to study and master individual concepts and gradually add them to more complex topics. For example, it helps to master exponent rules and come up with study devices that remind you how they operate before trying to apply those rules to the graphing of an algebraic function. Math is very much a series of building blocks that become a lot easier when broken down into its indivudal parts.