College tuition and fees continue to rise

What does it cost to get a college degree?

The job market has always been competitive, and in the current strained economy, it is even more so today. A job seeker needs every edge possible to leap to the top of the resume pile, and a college degree might just be your ticket to rising above the competition.

Studies show that, even in today’s tough job market, college graduates consistently earn more than their non-degreed counterparts. However, the cost of getting a degree has risen steadily, making many potential college students wonder if going into debt is worth a better paying job. Read more

How to land an interview with the best resume

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Stay concise, focus on accomplishments, and don’t hold back

Do you think the perfect resume is a subjective idea? The recipe for an outstanding resume is actually fairly universal in terms of look, length, and basic content. With the right approach, you can churn out a stellar resume that will appeal to potential employers and land an interview for your dream job. Here are some resume writing tips and a sample resume to get you started. Read more

When writers go bad

Ensuring what you mean is what you write.

Sometimes when writing, we may begin a sentence without knowing how it will end. If you’re not careful, it could come out with the entirely wrong meaning. Self-editing prior to handing in work can help avoid some serious writing disasters.

“When something is awful, why not say so?” asks Richard Palmer, author of Write In Style: A Guide to Good English(London: Spon Press, 1993, 3).  He says so in the chapter on Disasters, – using the following passages to explain what to do to avoid such mistakes: Read more

Who do you trust?

Which online resources are safe to use?

Search expert Barbara G. Friedman emphasizes the importance of knowing how to evaluate Web site reliability in her book Web Search Savvy: Strategies and Shortcuts for Online Research (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005, 158). In Credibility at a Glance, she notes that one “quick measure of a Web site’s credibility is to look at the domain.”

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Ace your exams with a healthy body and mind

With “a broad foundation of well-being,” says Eileen Tracy, “you’ll be in good condition for your exams.” In her book The Student’s Guide to Exam Success, she recommends building that foundation on the following Five Pillars of Health: Moderation, Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, and Expression.   Read more

Harvesting Creativity

Become an Idea Person

Being able to come up with good ideas on command is a valuable – and valued – skill. In Communication World’s “Be Inspired to Innovate”, Sam Harrison shares a five-step, idea-generating methodology he designed, which begins with exploring. “Exploring is being a sponge. You absorb data and information. But what you’re really after are insights that can help you generate ideas.” Read more

Online Answers for “People Questions”

“When you are in need of a short, comprehensive biography of a famous person, there are many online resources available for consideration,” says Joann M. Wleklinski. In her Online piece Get a Life Comparing Online Biography Resources.

Along with Wikipedia, which she calls “a decent resource for a quick, first-look overview of a subject,” she reviews Biography.com, noting that its “content is for the most part reliable, but hardly comprehensive. It seems that a certain amount of sizzle about a person doesn’t hurt the individual’s being represented, either.” See the article for her assessment of general web search engines Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Read more

Subject vs. Topic

Too often students get papers back from professors with notes such as “Too broad” or “Try to narrow your focus” written on them. Narrowing your focus from a subject to a topic helps prevent you from using too much summary in your paper. Focusing on one topic allows you to fully develop and flush out new ideas of your own.

Narrowing down a subject, which is “broad and general” into a topic or “the specific issue being discussed”  makes it both manageable and arguable, says Laurie Rozakis. In Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Research Papers 2nd ed., (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007), 23, she suggests this approach for Shaping Your Ideas. Read more

Meaningful Memories

Sticking Points

Do you find yourself unable to recall important facts you’ve studied for school or work? Richard Palmer says that’s because “You have never truly concentrated on them.”

In his book Brain Train: Studying for Success, Palmer explains, “if you want something to stick, you’ve first got to ‘glue’ your mind to it. Just staring at it time and again is not likely to be very efficient. It can work, but it’s more probable that the information will skate across the surface and disappear. Writing it down is much better. For a start, more of your brain will be directly involved, because it will have to work your hand as well as absorb the visual material. Make sure, though, that you focus on what you write, otherwise the memory will vanish. Read more

Roots and Branches

Hints for looking up your family history

Whether you’re just beginning to dig into your family history or you’re ready to take your research to the next step, you’ll be dazzled by the vast genealogical resources available online and they’re growing every day.

Doing some legwork before you turn to the web will boost your effectiveness. FamilySearch – a site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and “the largest genealogy organization in the world” – recommends looking in your home for “birth, marriage, and death certificates; family bibles; funeral programs; obituaries; wedding announcements; family registers; and ancestral tablets” and other information. Also, “Make a list of other relatives and the family information they may have. Contact the relatives—visit, call, write, or e-mail them.” Find more good tips in How to Start Your Family History. Read more