2Write down the date and the topic of the lecture This will help trigger your memory when you are studying
3Learn to write quickly.Or type quickly, if you're using a laptop. Use lots of abbreviations. Don't worry about getting down every word, especially words like "a" and "the." Don't worry about writing neatly. As long as you can understand your notes, it's neat enough.
4Write down definitions or clarifications If your instructor defines a term or an idea, make sure you write it down and understand what it means.
5Don't copy outline or PowerPoint notes word for word. Here's a common problem: a teacher puts a PowerPoint slide up, and students are so busy writing down every word on the slide that they stop listening to the lecture. This causes them to miss information that was discussed in the lecture but not written on the slide, and it also makes active listening impossible. Instead, use the notes to help you follow along.
6If your instructor indicates that something is important, mark it. This is a strong clue that something may be on the test.
7If your instructor is going too fast or is unclear, say something. Even the best lecturers get a little garbled sometimes. There's nothing rude about asking your teacher to clarify a point. Understand, though, that the whole class will not stop for you and you alone…
8Err on the side of writing down too much Excess notes are probably not going to hurt you on the exam. Not writing down enough will.
9Reviewing your notes.This is very important, but students don't do this nearly enough. Review your notes to make sure you understand all the information and to keep it fresh in your head. Here are some note reviewing tips: [Source: ]
10Essay Requirements All formal assignments must follow these criteria! You are being forewarned……
11Be Double SpacedThis allows me to write comments (and corrections) on your papers. I like to engage with your text… and university professors will expect that your papers will be double spaced.Papers that are not double spaced may be returned, unmarked.
12Be typed and/or neatly handwritten in blue or black ink on one side of the paper only Your reader’s first experience with the paper is how it looks… If it looks messy or the words are difficult to decipher, your reader will be less likely to enjoy the process of reading your paper!!Studies show that messier papers are marked more harshly than those that are neat!!!
13Be Spell checked and Proofread Guess what? Spell check does not find all of your typographical errors. If a word is spelled correctly, but used incorrectly, your computer will not identify itIn order to catch awkward sentences, missed punctuation, and form/from errors, read your drafts out loud to yourself. A poorly edited paper is hard to read; it can be very difficult to get past the surface errors to see the ideas of the paper
14Have a title page (with a MEANINGFUL AND ORIGINAL title) Your title is the first opportunity to catch your reader’s attention. It should hint at the content of your essay, while being as creative as possible.“Essay On Lord of the Flies” does not count as a meaningful or original title
15Use font 12-point Times New Roman, Palatino or Century Schoolbook Larger fonts are simply a waste of paper – and they don’t fool your teacher into thinking the essay is longer than what it really is.
16Have pages that are clearly numbered! Be consistentThe title page does not count as a numbered pageNumbering your pages saves your teacher from wanting to scream when she realizes that what she thought was page 2 is actually page 5……
17Have an introduction (with a clear thesis that should not be underlined in your final draft), body, and conclusionRemember: your thesis is the purpose of your essay and each paragraph should be clearly connected to it and should develop/prove it!
18Introduction: What’s the point? Your introduction directs your whole paper. It states clearly what you intend to prove (hint: this is your thesis statement)… and it lays out a plan for accomplishing this.
19A Good thesis is….Not a Question (that is why it is a thesis statement)Takes one position and doesn’t hedge its betsSpecific and concise Crime must be stopped.vs. Our courts should hand out tougher sentences.There are reasons why schools should not have dress codes.School dress codes limit students’ ability to express themselves as individuals and do not enhance learning.
20The flow of your paper….The standard format for an effective essay or article is to:(1) present a coherent thesis in the introduction, (2) try your hardest to convince the reader of your thesis in the body of the paper, and(3) restate the thesis in the conclusion so that the reader remains quite sure what your thesis is, and so that the reader can decide whether he or she was convinced.
21We are not having a conversation…. in your essay Do not announce what you will be discussing (e.g. In this essay, I will talk/discuss/write about capital punishment); Just do it. (Capital Punishment is wrong).Do not address your reader in a formal paper; this may be appropriate and effective in a letter or a personal piece of writing but it undermines the tone of your formal essays.
22Prov. Exam Rubric: Choice (Note: this is your word choice, not the choice of topic) In order to received 4 out of 5 points, you must meet the following criteria:Choices contribute to a considered composition. Diction is specific and effective. (Diction: read the words you choose)Syntactical structures are generally effective. (What words you choose to put together in your sentences)Stylistic choices contribute to a competent composition.
23Provincial Exam Rubric: ORG (Organization) In order to get 7-8 out of 10 (Proficient), you must meet the following criteria:Introduction competently constructed to provide direction.Controlling idea/theme (read: thesis statement) is focused and generally sustained; development of idea/theme is clear and coherent.Closing (Conclusion) related effectively to the idea/theme.
24A sentence has more than one word… and a paragraph needs more than one sentence.Any one, two or three sentence paragraphs need to be revised. Your paragraphs should have multiple sentences, just the same as your essay needs multiple paragraphs.
25Support, support, support The evidence (or reasons) you use to support your argument decides whether or not you have an effective paper.You might have the most brilliant thesis in the world, but if you fail to support it, your essay will not be successful.
26Provincial Exam Rubric: T/D (Thought and Detail) In order to received 7 or 8 out of 10 (Proficient), your essay must meet the following criteria:Thoughtful ideas are supported by evidence &/or details ORconventional ideas are supported by purposefully chosen evident and/or ideas.NOTE: The criteria requires both the ideas themselves and EVIDENCE to support those ideas.
27Huh? What does vague mean anyway…. Be specific in the words you choose (5 points of your whole essay is devoted to word choice!!).There is a reason there are horror books and movies called “It” and “The Thing.”NOT: Although the motorcycle hit the tree, it was not damaged. (Is "it" the motorcycle or the tree?)NOT: George worked in a national forest last summer. This may be his life's work. (What word does "this" refer to?)(examples adapted from
28Prov. Exam Rubric: Choice (Note: this is your word choice, not the choice of topic) In order to received 4 out of 5 points, you must meet the following criteria:Choices contribute to a considered composition. Diction is specific and effective. (Diction: read the words you choose)Syntactical structures are generally effective. (What words you choose to put together in your sentences)Stylistic choices contribute to a competent composition.
29Use MLA style for all citations MLA = Modern Language AssociationCitations are the use of any secondary sources (I.e. Research, quotations, etc)A sheet indicating how to use these is available in the library and there are links on my site to other helpful sites.We will revisit this style throughout the semester
30Look over the Rubric before you submit assignments… it has been given to you for that exact purpose!!Extra-help is available whenever needed.