What is the step that is often underrated by students in the writing process?
The answer is the planning stage. This critical process allows you to strategize the most efficient way to write a cohesive and cogent paper. Some people suggest you write the paper and organize it after is written. However, this advice could not be further from the truth. Whether the task is writing papers for school, reports for work, or GRE essays it is vital that you plan and organize your ideas first before filling in the body or substance of the essay. This, in the end, will keep you on track and will allow you to have a paper that flows well from idea to idea.
What is one technique that will increase your ability to remember complicated information and study for exams?
The answer is compound learning. This requires that you set aside specific times during the day to study bits of information and review this information consistently throughout the weeks prior to an exam. In general, I advise students to begin studying for tests two weeks ahead of time. Students should expect to study for about 1 to 2 hours per day. Study time exceeding this will generally not be beneficial, as your brain will begin to get exhausted and not be able to retain additional information. In the following days, students should then review the previous days concepts and then add new information. By the end of the two weeks this process should permit the student to slowly aggregate information together and have a solid understanding of the concepts required for the test.
What categorical differences exist between adolescent and adult brains and decision making processes?
During adolescence, the brain’s frontal lobes, that are responsible for executive control and planning, are underdeveloped and activity is considerably low. In contrast, the socio-emotional epicenter of the brain (i.e., the limbic system) is hyperactive during this period. The interaction between the immature and low-functioning frontal lobe regions and increased limbic system activity leave adolescents especially sensitive to socio-emotional stimuli with little ability to correctly modulate and control behavior (Goldstein et al., 2016). As such, adolescents are not as psychosocially mature as their adult counterparts (Hughes & Mcphetres, 2016) and are more prone to impulsive actions that reflect risk taking or novelty seeking (Luna & Wright, 2016). Additionally, the adolescent brain undergoes significant reorganizing, both functionally and structurally, in several components important to decision making and impulsive behavior. The reward-processing or mesolimbic pathway (i.e., dopaminergic system) increases its neural projections to the prefrontal cortex until late adolescence then declines substantially. Such restructuring may increase pleasure or reward-focused behavior and the reinforcing elements present in certain circumstances. Research also suggests that the brain experiences continued development well beyond the second decade of life (Goldstein et al., 2016; Hughes & Mcphetres, 2016; Luna & Wright, 2016). Research also indicates that youth are categorically distinctive from adults in social and cognitive performance, often referred to as ‘developmental immaturity’. Youth experience significant alterations in their behavior and independence throughout their progression to adulthood. For example, adolescents’ autonomy increases slightly while their self-concept becomes much more refined and clear. Additionally, as discussed, their ability to make decisions changes over time as well as their ability to regulate emotion. Finally, their cognitive abilities increase throughout this transition (Goldstein et al., 2016; Luna & Wright, 2016).