Friday, December 15, 2017 by Anna Kendall

Holiday season is in full force. This means that shopping is also in full force this month as people search for the perfect holiday gifts. And, of course, the perfect gift for students is the e-version of College PaperBuddy (wink wink). The e-version of CPB is currently sold through Amazon Kindle, where it can be purchased for reading on several different devices. Additionally, there is an option to purchase the book as a gift. So, with the click of a button, CPB can be purchased as a holiday gift and immediately sent to recipients.

 

Most importantly, through the “Kindle Countdown Deals” program, you can purchase the book for only $2.99! Beginning December 17, and lasting throughout the week leading up to the Christmas holiday, the CPB book will be sold at this reduced price. So, happy shopping!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 by Anna Kendall

The majority of blog posts on this website are dedicated to all things writing in college. Most college writing, however, is based on reading. From class handouts to textbooks, class syllabi are full of reading assignments throughout the term. In addition to homework, students need to read articles and books in order to take notes for their research papers. All of this reading might seem pretty daunting. Not many people have the time to carefully read book after book when they’re a full-time student, employee, caretaker, social butterfly, etc.

 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a magical way to transfer the words from books into our brains. (In lieu of reading for college exams during our first semester of college, my roommate slept with textbooks under her pillows the night before finals claiming to learn the material through osmosis. Once final grades were posted it was apparent that this plan didn’t work out so well. True story!)

 

There are, however, ways to speed up the reading process and focus on the key points in the material. Below are some tips to follow when reading and taking notes for a research paper. (Note: These tips can also be applied to other college reading assignments.)

 

  • Read the introduction and conclusion: The introduction and conclusion are both important as they contain information that summarizes what the chapter, article, etc., are about. The conclusion is especially important as the key points are restated.

 

  • Read the topic sentences of each paragraph: Traditionally, the first sentence of a paragraph is the most important as it states the main point of the paragraph (i.e., what it is that the following sentences will strive to prove or support). Sometimes, though, the very first sentence of a paragraph might not be as important if it is primarily used as a transition from the preceding paragraph. Therefore, it’s best to read the first couple of sentences. After reading these sentences, the rest of the paragraph can be quickly skimmed for statements and quotes that could be used for the research paper.

 

  • Read  sentences that contain bold-faced words: Whenever a word is bold faced, then it means that the word is important. The writer of the text is basically saying, “Hey, you, look over here!” Read any sentences that contain bold faced words. (This is especially helpful when reading for an exam!)

 

  • Read the chapter/section summary: If a book, textbook, or article has a chapter or section summary, then it is usually a good idea to read this section, because this is typically where the writer or editor synthesizes all of the important information from the previous pages.

 

  • Skim through the glossary and other textbook cheat sheets: If a book or textbook contains any glossaries, review guides, or other types of academic cheat sheets, then it is often helpful to scan through these documents. (This might be useful when studying for an exam if the instructor uses these review guides as the basis of their test questions.)
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 by Anna Kendall

When it comes to Chicago style, most people envision a large section of footnotes at the bottom of each of their paper’s pages. This is pretty standard. However, the latest edition of Turabian’s guide to Chicago style offers a few alternative methods to citing sources in the text—sans the footnote or endnote.* 

Weaving Citations into the Text: Sometimes, Chicago style suggests that
bibliographic information can be woven into the text as opposed to appearing in a footnote or endnote, i.e., incorporating the author’s name, the title of the work, and the year into the text. 

For example:  This research is also supported by Sandwich in her book Grilled Cheese Is the Best (2011); in the book Sandwich states, “Munster is a good option.”

Incorporating Parenthetical Notes into the Text:
 In many fields, parenthetical notes can be used when discussing a particular work at length. The first time the work is discussed, provide the full bibliographic data in the footnote or endnote; for subsequent references, type parenthetical notes into the text instead of shortened footnotes or endnotes. The parenthetical note appears before any end punctuation and includes the author’s last name, a shortened version of the title, and the page number, all separated by commas. 

For example:  The research confirms that typing an entire paper onto an iPhone is not a time-efficient way to perform schoolwork (Duh, “Pointless Studies,” p. 4). 

* Please note that this is a new practice within Chicago style, so you should consult your instructor before incorporating these alternative citation methods into your paper.

Thursday, March 30, 2017 by Anna Kendall

Yes! Most definitely, yes.

 

In the CPB book, I stress the importance of citing papers to avoid any plagiarism issues. For most cases, when information is pulled directly from a source and then presented in a paper, the source should be cited (either within the text or in an in-text citation) and the page number should be included. However, sometimes gray areas appear in which it’s a little unclear as to whether or not a citation is needed, such as for indirect material. To help clear up any confusion, I’ve listed some instances—and guidance—in which it might be unclear as to whether or not an in-text citation is needed.

 

  • The information is paraphrased: In these cases, since research is being reported from a specific study, then the appropriate information should be cited for the source. However, a page number is not necessary.

 

  • A main idea from the source is quoted for emphasis: If you’re quoting a word or phrase to emphasize a main point from a source, then a specific citation is not necessary if the author has already been identified within that paragraph or section.

 

  • An idea is seen in multiple sources: If you specifically state that the idea or information is seen in multiple studies, then it would be appropriate to include those sources in a string cite. If the idea or information has become general knowledge, then a citation is not necessary.

 

  • The information quotes another source: If the source you’re quoting is quoting a second source, and you are directly lifting that information for your own paper, then a citation with the page number should be included and written in the proper format. 
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 by Anna Kendall

While grammarians today are becoming a bit more relaxed on the usage of comprise and compose, they still remain very distinct in style guides; therefore, it’s important to understand each word’s correct usage. As is common with the English language, there are often little quirks and exceptions to writing rules. However, for the sake of clarity, below the overall rule on usage for each word is presented.

 

Comprise: For the most basic sense of its usage, comprise means “to contain.” It signifies all of the parts that make up an entity. When using this word, it is important to state the entity first, followed by the name of the parts.

 

  • Example: The curling league [the entity] comprises 30 teams [all of the parts making up that entity].

 

  • Example: The special deep-dish pizza [entity] comprises eight slices of deliciousness [all of the parts making up that entity].

 

Compose: For the most basic sense of its usage, compose means “to make up.” It signifies what parts make up an entity. When using this word, it is important to state the name of the parts, followed by the name of the entity.

 

  • Example: Many different types of berries compose the fruit salad.

 

  • Example: Many different bands compose this year’s festival lineup.

 

Composed of/Comprised of

According to the current guide books, it is OK to use the phrases “composed of,” but it is incorrect to us the phrase “comprised of.” (“The museum is comprised of 50 galleries” could not work as “The museum includes of 50 galleries.”)

 

  • Example: The kickball team is composed of many different players.

 

  • Example: The book is composed of many fascinating, thrilling chapters. 
Saturday, February 25, 2017 by Anna Kendall

"Should I go with the .com or the .org?"

 

Since most of us rely on the Internet for retrieving news and other information, it’s important to know what to look for in terms of identifying a site’s usefulness and appropriateness. The first place to start is to look at the web-address extension. Below is a brief breakdown of the main extensions:
 
 
.com This extension is typically used for U.S. commercial sites, or sites that aim to make a profit. Some .com sites offer great material, while others are biased and aim to either sell or promote something (which usually means the information can be misleading or inaccurate). Use discretion when you choose a .com.
 
.edu This extension denotes a U.S. educational institution. (Your college website most likely has this extension.) Usually the information is from a reliable source.
 
.gov This extension denotes a U.S. government website. Usually the information is from a reliable source.
 
.net This extension was originally designed for network providers. Now, however, it’s used for multiple purposes (including commercial purposes or personal gain). Use discretion when you choose a .net.
 
.org This extension is typically used for not-for-profit organizations, such as social agencies and health associations. Information from this type of site is most likely reliable, but you should use discretion, as these sites can be biased and inaccurate.

Friday, February 24, 2017 by Anna Kendall

After 5 years of sending out the original CPB newsletter, I’ve decided it’s time for a change. Next Tuesday, February 28, I’ll be launching the brand new CPB newsletter: CPB Digest. This new letter will summarize the important information from the most recent blog posts, and it will provide plenty of helpful links to both the CPB website and other great online resources. While the CPB book focuses on academic research and writing, the CPB newsletter will focus on broader writing and research issues that can benefit all writers—from students to professionals to avid e-mailers and bloggers.

 

 

You can click on this link to enter your email address for the distribution list, and you can also send me a direct email (anna@collegepaperbuddy.com). Feel free to reach out with any questions or comments; I love getting feedback. And, most importantly, enjoy the super sleek, sophisticated CPB Digest next week!

Friday, February 17, 2017 by Anna Kendall

Do Groundhogs Lie?


Politics aside, it’s a pretty crazy time to be a reader of the news. With “fake news,” it might seem close to impossible to find accurate information. What we read in the news might conflict with what we read on social media, and sometimes our reality might not reflect what’s been reported in the news. (Punxsutawney Phil said there would be 6 more weeks of winter—and yet the Midwest saw temps in the 60s this month . . . Who can we trust?)

Regardless of whether you swing to the right or left, you’ve probably encountered fake news. Remember: It’s just as easy to spread fake news as it is real news. (Did you read the story about the alien running for president in 2020? There’s a Facebook page dedicated to the campaign, so obviously it’s true . . . )


Real-News Detectives


So, are we all doomed? Will real news become a thing of the past? Most likely, no. In fact, there is a good chance that the Fake News Epidemic could inspire the discovery of tools that prevent the spread of fake news in the future. In the meantime, it has made us all more aware that fake news exists—and that we need to become savvy readers.


To become savvy readers, we need to learn how to assess a source’s credibility. Evaluating a source’s credibility is helpful when seeking the truth. The following Tips & Tricks provide (real) information for evaluating a source’s credibility.


Tips & Tricks


Research the producer of the website, newspaper, magazine, etc.: Has this person/organization been accused of false reporting? Does the publication or website have any economic or political interests that would sway the reporting of information?

For websites, review the URL and what the web-address suffix signifies: Does the website have a “.edu” to signify a school-based site, or does the website have a “.com” to signify a commercial site?

Consider the medium of the information: Was the information reported via a nonprofit research or educational site? Or, was the information reported via social media (such as through a series of Tweets)?

Analyze the objectivity of the writing: Does the writing provide an objective overview of the information? Does it avoid subjectivity (avoiding opinions and prejudices)?

Assess the reliability of the report’s sources:Were reputable people and organizations consulted? Were academic journals or high-standing newspapers cited?

Determine if the writing reflects fair and unbiased reporting: Does the article provide information reflecting both sides of an argument? Were representatives from all sides contacted for their opinion?

Monday, January 9, 2017 by Anna Kendall

If your New Year's resolution is to improve your vocabulary, then this blog post is for you. And, the good news is that you don’t have to be a bibliophile or have a phantasmagorical method for improving vocabulary to learn new words. Spending just a few minutes a day learning a new word (or playing with a thesaurus, as I might have done for the first sentence) can improve your vocabulary. 


 Reading a book—and looking up unfamiliar words—is definitely a helpful way to improve your vocabulary. But you can also practice the following activities that will help you learn new words in a timesaving manner. Incorporating just one activity into your daily routine will enhance your personal vocab database over time. Good luck, and enjoy learning some new words!


 Start a “Word of the Day” E-mail: Pick a random word from the dictionary each day and write its definition and an example sentence into an email for friends or family. Everyone can learn new words together and have fun incorporating them into reply emails.


 Practice Incidental Reading: Take advantage of any opportunity to read something. Read news stories, read flyers, read the back of your shampoo bottle—just read! Reading improves vocabulary, especially if you look up the words that you aren’t already familiar with.


 Play Scrabble or Words with Friends: Word games are not only fun but also an easy way to learn a few new words. Apps like Words with Friends make it super easy to exercise the mind and increase one’s vocabulary. They're like an educational way to pass the time on the bus or train going to school or work.


 Create a Vocabulary List: Pick random words from a dictionary or thesaurus each day and type them into a Word document along with their definitions. Study the words each day and then quiz yourself at the end of the week.


 Sign up for WOD Emails: Add your email address to a word-of-the-day distribution list, such as Merriam Webster’s, and study the word that arrives in your inbox each day and try incorporating it into your conversations and correspondences throughout the day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 by Anna Kendall

Throughout the College PaperBuddy e-book, I offer hints and tips for going above and beyond when writing research papers in college. I refer to these suggestions as “gold stars,” as they are ways to impress your instructor and possibly earn a few extra points. Remember how you cherished those gold star stickers your teachers gave you in elementary school? Remember that warm, fuzzy feeling you got when your paper received one of these shiny emblems of perfection? Well, you can think of the following tips as ways to earn a “gold star” in class. In college, as well as in life, it sometimes helps to go above and beyond what is expected of you—the reward, whether an improvement in grades or a personal sense of satisfaction, will be worth it. Below are a few gold star suggestions for college. 

• Participate in class 
• Ask your instructor questions 
• (If appropriate) create a title page for your paper 
• Arrive ten minutes early to class 
• Use more sources than what is required for the paper 
• Write neatly 
• Relate class discussions to class materials 
• Sit in the front half of the class or lecture hall 
• Take notes 
• Sit up straight in your seat and focus on the instructor 
• Dress appropriately for class 
• Turn off your cell phone before entering the classroom 
• Proofread your papers 
• Smile 
• Have fun and make the best of the academic situation

 
 
 
 
 
The quick, friendly guide to
writing quality research papers TM