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Before submitting or printing an academic research paper, essay, email, memo, or any other written document, it is very important to carefully proofread it. Proofreading of written material is the final step that must be taken before a document can be considered complete. When proofreading a document, you should first read it slowly and carefully to determine whether or not it communicates its message. If the title or the introductory paragraph do not clearly signal the intent of the paper or if the paragraphs that follow do not naturally flow from that introduction, you might want to rewrite those parts of your paper. If the research does not seem to verify what you are attempting to communicate, you may wish to rethink your thesis or you may need to conduct further research. Once that part of the proofreading process, the overview editing, has been completed, it is time to perform a more exacting analysis of the paper. During this part of the proofreading procedure,... read more

I understand some parents are cagy or wary of online tutoring. After all - schools teach face-to-face, don't they? But, have you noticed how online services are exploding and brick/mortar schools are slowly but steadily disappearing? The internet is no longer the future - it is here - now! Online tutoring brings multiple advantages for everybody. 1. Very, very flexible. The student can be anywhere. At school on lunch break - Overseas - Broken leg in bed - sorry. 2. Nobody needs to drive in crazy traffic and risk an accident. 3. The student has immediate access to my Mac with thousands of topics - explanations and worked solutions.  4. You get copies of the work we did together for review / better understanding. Smart phone or PC! No lost paper notes. 5. Online we share screens and audio in real-time just as if we were sitting at the same table. 6. Can cancel and reschedule at the last minute. In-person carries a 24-hour minimum. 7. Class... read more

I am a new tutor so a few days ago when l received a response to one of my first applications, l was very excited. This "student" requested that we talk on phone to finalize the arrangements for date and time.   I told him since l was home on spring break, he could call me on my land line but he wrote back requesting my cell telling him that when l am at home reception is very poor on my cell phone.  He kept insisting on getting my cellphone instead, l was puzzled why.  I never heard back from him.   A day later l got an email from Wyzant that they had determined this not to be a true student inquiry.   I have not figured out yet what this fake student was after.   Can anyone tell me?   Just be aware. Christine M.

Every student has the same amount of time in the day, but the key to improving your life and having time for the activities you want to do is to find ways to be more productive. First, putting all your due dates for your term assignments on a calendar, paper or digital, is an effective method of measuring out your time that you have to prepare. This way helps to manage the load in nice chunks. Finding out whether you are a visual, auditory, or tactical learner is also a great idea and is helpful in engaging with the material more easily and quickly. A quick, simple test can identify how information most easily goes into your brain. If you are a visual learner, you can “see” the information, so writing notes in charts and creating other visual representations makes the information organized in your brain. Using color codes in your notes is beneficial to map out information on the pages, such as using different colored highlighting pens or colored pencils to identify questions you... read more

You've purchased the latest and greatest of new digital cameras and have just come back from spending the day enjoying all those new features and taking great photos using Camera Raw. But when you insert the memory card and go to Import Dialog in Lightroom, all your thumbnails say, "Preview Unavailable For This File."   What's wrong?    Don't worry, it's not you. It's the Adobe Camera Raw Plug-In (ACR). Adobe updates the ACR plug-in on a regular basis, but never quite fast enough to keep up with every camera manufacturer's changes to their version of camera raw. So what happens is, Lightroom cannot yet read or see these new camera raw files.    What to do?   It's tricky, but not rocket science. Until Lightroom gets an updated version out that includes your new camera, you can download the Adobe DNG converter from the Adobe website that (hopefully!) includes your camera. The link is here - http://helpx.adobe... read more

  For those of you who may have purchased Apple's spiffy $79 external CD/DVD burner (or Superdrive as they call it), it may not have worked when you plugged it into your older Mac. A lot of times a person's built-in optical drive fails, and they see the new external at the Apple Store. They naturally grab one assuming it'll work because they'll be using it with a Mac. Hopefully there's a "Genius" selling it to them who's going to ask which Mac they plan on using it with. I'd think probably not. It turns out it's only the fairly newer Macs that support it. When you plug it in, your older Mac might very well inform you that "This Apple External CD/DVD drive is not compatible with this Mac. Please go to Apple Support to read more." What they show you is a compatibility matrix that seems to makes no sense. I haven't compared every spec of every Mac they list, but 2009 seems to be the general cutoff.   Perhaps Apple requires USB 3, and... read more

A concise objective, for learning to read and write English, could be to communicate with people. A more expansive or technical objective, could be to learn to recognize, pronounce and use all the basic English characters (constants & vowels), symbols and operators to create single words, that have meaning, for making statements; or to create mathematical numbers or expressions, that have value. It’s important to understand language, including English, is about thinking and learning, so remember speaking and writing is thinking; and on the other side listening and reading is learning. So, by speaking and writing; and listening and reading, we think, and we learn. That’s what communication is all about. However, people put less emphasis on listening and reading, but those are two skills that can take you far and help you avoid many unfortunate situations. While learning English, keep in mind, many characters, symbols and operators used in writing grammar are also... read more

One question I just received on a different blog was how to handle the 4-star ratings that come up. No matter how good you are, someone will not be satisfied. I personally have received two 4-stars here on WyzAnt, one when I was just starting out, and one just today. For the 4-star early on, it was from a weekly student who only rated the very first meeting as a 4-star. When I learned it was him (either WyzAnt didn't let us see ratings back when I began or I just hadn't figured out how), I approached him about it at the end of our next meeting. One thing I've learned in life is to ask questions instead, so I simply inquired as to why the first lesson was a 4-star to him. He thought back and couldn't really remember why; the session had gone well to him, and he couldn't remember anything in particular that went wrong; he simply thought that 4-stars was still "good". When I explained to him that it wasn't really how things worked on WyzAnt, how only 5-stars is "good"... read more

In today's Writing Rundown, I want to leave the brainstorming process for a bit and discuss responding to a prompt. Take a look at the prompt I used for my last Literature Spotlight, “The Blanks Left Empty”: AP Literature Open-Ended Prompt, 1975, #2: Unlike the novelist, the writer of a play does not use his own voice and only rarely uses a narrator’s voice to guide the audience’s responses to character and action. Select a play you have read and write an essay in which you explain the techniques the playwright uses to guide his audience’s responses to the central characters and the action. You might consider the effect on the audience of things like setting, the use of comparable and contrasting characters, and the characters’ responses to each other. Support your argument with specific references to the play. Do not give a plot summary. Whew! That's a lot of information to sift through. Unfortunately, many high school and college-level writing prompts are as... read more

As I have tutored over time via instant messaging, certain problems come up again and again among the students that I have taught English writing to.   As I have corrected student essays over the past few years online, I have developed this set of advice for writers with less experience.  Much of this advice is influenced by Strunk & White's and Payne, so I don't claim much originality here.   General organizational advice for essays: 1. Don’t take the reader’s attention for granted. In the introduction, use attention-getting devices, such as a set of leading questions, interesting statistics, a famous quote from a famous person, a striking assertion or claim, etc. The following sentences in the first paragraph should narrow down the topic to the more specific point made in the thesis. 2. Always put the thesis statement, or main point to be proven or explained, at the end of the first paragraph. Aim to write it as a single sentence, not two... read more

I have been on WA now for several months (granted, through the summer months to start with), and although there were plenty of jobs that I would have accepted, I applied to several, and no one takes me up.  It is for any age Science, math, chemistry, physics, and I will also help with composition, English, etc  I get no one.  I double checked what makes a good job application, etc.  I double checked my profile. So is my price too high?  WA has not suggested nor given any guidance on any of these things, so I am asking you all. Thank you.

A student needed to draw a circle with a 2" diameter, then draw the following angles: 100°, 120º, and 140º. She had her compass but didn't have her protractor.   First she drew the circle, then she drew 2 perpendicular diameters. Since a circle encompasses 360º, each quadrant comprising 90º. We drew the 120º angle first using an entire 90º quadrant plus 1/3 of the adjacent quadrant, erasing the unneeded line, which leaves 60º in that second quadrant.   Then we found the circumference of the circle (C=πD, or 3.14x2"=6.28"). Next we found 1/4 of the circumference (6.28"/4=1.57"). We wanted to be able find the arc length in 10º increments, so we divided the arc of one quadrant by 9 (1.57"/9=0.174"). We converted this into 1/16ths of an inch by multiplying by 16 (0.174"x16=2.79 sixteenths of an inch).   Getting back to our angles, we measured the 100º angle next by taking our remaining 60º and adding 40º of... read more

  LeapFrog LeapFrog LeapReader System Learn to Read 10 Book Bundle   This is an excellent resource for a beginner novice reader. The systematic reading language format gives the reader a higher level of self-confidence and raises the level of reading in small increments. It keeps the student involved and encourages him or her to learn and develop successful reading strategies and techniques.   Happy Reading!!!   LeapFrog LeapReader Learn to Read, Volume 1

Everyone has their own approach to writing. Some writers are very methodical throughout the entire writing process while others write freely and revise their way to the final draft. For proposals and admissions essays, a structured writing process draws from the strengths of both approaches. It starts with a creative focus and concludes with deliberate writing and revision. First, with the requirements and prompt in mind, the writer lets him or herself write and think freely. Second, the writer reviews his or her own notes and ideas to identify a cohesive focal point. Next, the writer distills the ideas into a concrete thesis and engages peers, friends, family, and instructors to develop and strengthen the arguments. Finally, the writer lays out the elements that support the thesis and backs it with specific examples or anecdotes. Creative Stage. In this stage, the writer thinks and writes freely but not chaotically. It starts with a careful review of the requirements laid... read more

As a parent you may be wondering, "How do I find a tutor for my child?" Here are a few questions to ask a tutor: 1. What is your prior experience in ? 2. How will you assess my child's needs? 3. What is your previous experience in education? 4. How will you work in collaboration with my child's teacher? 5. Can you come to my home? Or do I need to come to your location? 6. How flexible are you with your schedule? Is this something you only do part-time, or is this what you do? Here is a list of some questions that a tutor should ask (not in any particular order): 1. What do you think would help your child be more successful? 2. What does the teacher say about how your child is doing up until now in the class? 3. How does your child feel about tutoring? What has he/she been saying about class? 4. How has your child done in previous math courses? When did she/he start struggling? 5. Do you have a copy of the syllabus for the class... read more

What is the best way to improve your SAT Reading score? I find that most students lose points on the Reading section because of the test's challenging vocabulary. As you go through the practice tests, if you find that you are not familiar with many of the words, take the time to write them out on separate flash cards. Then, look them up in the dictionary and write the definitions on the flip side. You can also buy pre-made SAT vocabulary flash cards. Whether you make them or buy them, test your memory with flash cards for about 20 minutes a day.

OK, so you’ve been asked to do a Pivot Table for the first time? And just like everyone else, you feel somewhat intimidated; “what’s going to happen to my data if I screw up my Pivot Table?”; “Can I undo my changes?”; “Can I delete my Pivot Table?”; “How long does it take to create a Pivot Table?”; “What is a Pivot Table in the first place?” Let’s give the short answers first: “Nothing”, “Yes”, “Yes”, “30 seconds to an hour or more”, “A summarized view of your data grouped by selected fields”.   And yes, as mentioned in other posts, most job interviews for admin, accounting or office positions where Excel is used heavily will include a question on Pivot Tables – so be prepared! The first thing you need prior to creating a Pivot Table is a data set in rows and columns, and preferably a normalized data set; by normalized, I mean a clean data set where individual records are populated in rows and unique field headers are in columns. Once you start working... read more


While in many tutorial exercises as well as in job interviews, you may be asked to create a VLOOKUP formula, in the real world you will quickly find that INDEX/MATCH is a far better solution. To understand why, let's look at the syntax of each: VLOOKUP(lookup_value, array, col-num, lookup_type) VLOOKUP(what?, where?, which column? , approximate search: yes or no?), just like HLOOKUP, refers to a specific column number (or row) starting from the first column (or row) of your index search (the “where”). Why the first column (or row)? Because this is where Excel will look for your "what" !! This means you always have to include at the very least all columns (or rows) starting from the "what" column (or row) all the way to the column_index (or row_index) number in the "where" range. For example, if a customer discount is in column P, and customer name is in column C, your VLOOKUP function will look something like... read more

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