Archive for category 2. Beginning a Conquest

Professors Are Your Friend

Transitioning from high school to college is a very happy yet terrifying moment in any incoming freshman’s life. You learn to live on your own, choose when you have classes, choose what classes to take, and choose when to, and how well to do your school work. One of the biggest things incoming freshman worry about are writing papers and talking to professors. Most come in fearing that their professors will give them lengthy papers with rubrics that will make you want to tear their hair and be intimidated and scared to meet with them. This is not the case.  They key to first year writing is first to practice your writing, and developing a relationship with your professor.

When I first came to college I terrified of going to my classes because I thought I was going to be overwhelmed with writing and the professors were going to mark me down unless I wrote a masterpiece. Reality hit me when I failed my first two papers for my English class. I was so frustrated because I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong and I wrote like I always did in high school. So I went to my professor and asked If I could meet after class to discuss about the upcoming paper because I did not want to fail any more papers and I wanted to succeed. I talked with my professor for a while about the paper and the requirements to make sure my ideas were exactly what he was looking for. We then sat down and discussed my previous papers and what I did wrong. He gave me tips and told me exactly what he wants as an English professor. After that meeting I felt like I had the secret guide to writing in my head that he taught me. I then never got below an eighty on any paper I wrote after that. I was so pleased with the results that I then sat down with the rest of my professors and discussed my writing with all of them. Now I get compliments from all of my professors on my writing improvement and my ability to come and check in with them to learn more.

Talking with professors will be your greatest tool as an incoming freshman will have in college. Image them as a personal trainer. You come in with only so much knowledge and can push yourself so far, but with the professor’s knowledge and your dedication they can lead you to be the best you possibly can be. They can tell you what your good at and show you what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it so that you can be successful in the future. It’s always a good idea to be in your professors office or want to meet with them as much as possible because this shows you care about what their class. They love when a student comes to them always looking to learn more and seeking advice. Developing this relationship can also help put their attitude in a more forgiving perspective when grading your work because they can put a name with a face.  It also helps to meet with all of your professors to find out the writing styles of each and what each one looks for in a good paper.

As freshman there are a lot of things to be scared of but meeting with your professors and writing should not be them. Professors will be your key to success and developing a relationship with them will help you the rest of your college career. It helps you meet your professors and find out what they look for in a good paper. They will help guide you with any struggles you have and help you succeed to whatever level you want. My own personal story shows how helpful and how beneficial it was to meet with my professor and in return I am successful in my writing assignments. The professors are your personal trainers and they are there to guide you down the path to successful writing.


Don’t Be Afraid They Are People Too

After spending four years in high school English classes I had the fear of college writing pounded into my head. I hope this tip can relieve some of your pent up anxiety about writing in a college setting.

I will admit I bought into all the hype during high school. I believed that college professors were up tight and not concurred about individual students. However I found this is not the case at Longwood. With Longwood’s relatively small class sizes I can honestly say most of my professors know me by my first name and will answer any questions I ask them through email or in-person so consider yourself lucky.

After buying into the fear like most freshmen, I stumbled at first, trying to make up for lost ground I decided to go to my professors’ during office hours. Although this might be something that you feel timid about, I would strongly recommend it. You are an adult now so do not be afraid of your professors they will treat you like a professional. They are not petty about helping you out that is what they have office hours for. In fact I have had several professors thank me for coming to their office hours because students hardily do.

When you set up the conference with your professor come prepared with some questions like:

  1. What style are you expecting this class to write in? (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)
  2. What are your expectations for my writing?
  3. What are some things you never like to see in writing?
  4. What is writing like in my major?(This is a major specific question only to ask professor from your major of study)
  5. Will everything expected in the essay be found in the rubric?

These questions lay the ground work for your college writing and show the professor you want your writing to stand out and appeal to their taste. Remember the easier it is for them to read the easier it is to grade.

I felt like interviewing my professors was like winning a prize knowing everything they want and expect in my writing. After a ten to twenty minute conference with my professors my work dramatically improved and my papers grades began to increase. Also an added bonus after meeting with your professors is that they will be able to put a face to the name making you more than just a body in their class.

This helps with whichever major you choose, because you will more than likely have the same professor more then once and you can reuse the knowledge you gained from your freshman interview to help you write in their class for the rest of your college career.

This tip can follow you all the way through college, do not just limit this to your freshman writing. With every new semester schedule take time to talk to professors during their office hours and get to know the expectations of your classes. This will make you stand out in the crowd of other students hungry for success. Professors are not scary do not be fearful of them, they are people too.



The Bright Side of the Perfect Essay

Welcome freshmen, you’ve  finally made it. College is everything you could of imagined and more. Having complete freedom for the first time in your lives is exciting and all, but it comes with responsibilities and knowing how to manage the responsibilities is the tricky part. First and for most, college is about getting an education, to do so staying organized and being proactive is a must. The foundation for practically all college classes is writing. Being able to write analytically and creatively is a great first step in doing well in any class.

The freedom of college isn’t limited to social lives. Professors grant freedoms also, like the choice of essay topics. For so many years you were restricted by teachers who had to teach to curriculum’s. Essays were assigned on specific topics you had no interest in, forcing you to write words to fill a quota. No longer will you have to suffer from writing essays that are unbearable to research and write about. The freedom of choice is one you should never write without.

The hard part comes when it’s time to choose a topic. It may seem like a walk in the park to some, but even if you have an idea in mind you then have to make sure that it’s not to narrow or too broad. That being said even in college there are guidelines for essays. Professors require essays to have some of the same characteristics high school papers mandated as in, type of papers (research, argumentative, opinion, etc.) and a minimum length. With these guidelines in mind choosing a topic to fit the required guidelines can be more difficult than it seems. The most important guideline that trips up most is the length requirement. Making sure that your paper crosses the minimum number of pages means that the topic is not to narrow. Running out of subjects to write about and rambling to meat the page requirement is just as bad as turning in a final copy that is not up to par on the professors guidelines. Writing is like water; it always has the same chemical makeup but can change shapes to fit specific guidelines.

If narrow topics make it hard to meet the required length. Broad topics make essays messy with outrageous amounts of information unnecessary to the overall essay. Avoiding these circumstances can lead to a well deserved grade. To avoid narrow and broad topics, in preparation of the essay setting up a conference with your professor can help deter these problems. Other helpful options include, peer revision, and the most helpful, writing center. Out side help is radially available and easy to come by. It may seem like a lot of work for just choosing a topic but look on the bright side, the essay you will write is going to be on a topic that you enjoy.

College is tailored around writing. Having the skills to write effectively will not just help you in class but also in the “real world”. Writing doesn’t happen automatically. There are many steps in writing an effective essay. The pre-writing stage is as important or even more important than the actual writing. Having a well formulated foundation makes the writing even easier. There is nothing worse then being half way done with an essay and realizing that the topic you have chosen won’t appropriately follow the guidelines required. Taking the time to do research on the topic chosen will save you from having to rewrite. As freshmen, English 150 is not a class you should take lightly, it will help you become a better writer, guaranteed.

Practice Post

I am very happy to be here at Longwood.


practice post

I’m very happy to be here at Longwood university 🙂