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20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier

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20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier

It’s a wonderful time to be a student. There are thousands of awesome resources, tools, and websites that can make the studying process easier and more effective. Unfortunately, because there are so many, it can be hard to determine which sites are worth your time and which aren’t. These 20 websites aren’t very popular (yet), but they can offer you and your grades a lot of support.

To Improve Your Writing

1. AskPetersen Writing Blog

AskPetersen

    Ask Petersen offers a terrific collection of tools and advice to help improve your writing. The website is divided into sections like Essay Samples, Resources and a helpful Blog. The blog topics vary from writing a proper essay introduction to choosing the best time to study. Even if you just spend a few minutes on the website between classes, you’re likely to find useful information that can help you become a stronger writer. Besides, check essay writing services review section, where you will find helpful overviews (for example, EssayOnTime.com Review, Ultius.com Review, CustomWritings.com Review, etc.) of writing assistance services.

    2. Writer’s Digest University

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      Writer’s Digest University provides self-guided writing workshops. Topics include Advanced Novel Writing, 12 Weeks to a First Draft, Grammar and Mechanics, and How to Craft a Book that will sell, among others. Most classes are between $250-$400.

      3. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

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        If you want to become a better writer, you’ll want to bookmark Grammar Girl on your computer’s desktop. The site answers every grammar question you could possibly have. From comma usage to compound words, Grammar Girl has all the answers. You can browse through the selection of questions and answers, or you can pose a question of your own.

        4. Essays Capital

        EssayCapital

          Are you having a hard time writing your essay? Are you overwhelmed and considering hiring a writing service to help? Essay Capital provides well-researched, high quality essays that take your opinions into account, and convey what you want to say in the paper. They also get to know your writing style, so your paper sounds like you wrote it.

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          5. Thesaurus.com

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            A strong vocabulary makes you a better writer. When you find the exact word you want to use, your sentence will make more sense, and your writing will flow more smoothly. Thesaurus.com lets you find better words for your writing. Just type in the word you want to swap out and Thesaurus will give you a new selection of words to choose from.

            6. No Red Ink

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              No Red Ink is an innovative online interface that lets students improve their grammar and writing skills. Quizzes and questions are based on things students care about like pop culture, their friends, and sports. If a student gets a question wrong, they get immediate feedback instead of a bunch of confusing red ink that they’ll just ignore. Incredibly, No Red Ink learns as the student progresses, so the program can suggest topics that need additional practice.

              7. Grammar Book

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                Similar to Grammar Girl, Grammar Book provides a heap of grammar and punctuation help. But rather than formatting all the information in question and answer format, Grammar Book is easily divided by category.

                To Help Prepare for Tests

                8. College Confidential

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                  College Confidential helps you prepare for the SAT and the ACT, as well as generic preparation for AP tests. Through a series of forums, students get to communicate with one another and learn what they’ll need to study in order to be successful.

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                  9. 4 Tests

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                    4 Tests provides a big selection of practice exams for the SAT and the ACT. The best part? They’re free! You can also find helpful study information on the 4Tests Blog and various study guides.

                    10. Meet The New SAT

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                      This website prepares students for the SAT, PSAT10, and PSAT 8/9. The site includes the official SAT practice test from Khan Academy. Learn what to expect inside the new SAT and get to know the new scoring system.

                      11. Kaplan Test Prep

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                        From this website, you can create a registration with Kaplan University and gain access to the official Kaplan practice tests for the SAT and ACT.

                        12. Shmoop

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                          Shmoop connects 13 million students and teachers with study guides, practice tests, an essay lab, informational videos, and career advice. If you’re looking for a comprehensive learning and studying website, search no more.

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                          To Collaborate with Other Students and Teachers

                          13. Collaborize Classroom

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                            Collaborative Classroom provides a platform for students and teachers to communicate with one another. Students can get one-on-one assistance with assignments and helpful resources for improving your test prep strategy, studying habits, and reading skills.

                            14. Padlet

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                              Padlet gives you a blank template where you can create a design, upload a document, or collaborate with others. Use the space as a white board to help with your study plan. Or use it to build a presentation. In any case, you can work remotely with other students and teachers.

                              15. Edmodo

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                                One of the best-known collaborative websites for students and teachers, Edmodo provides a place for teachers, students, and parents to connect. Access homework assignments, email your teacher, and get feedback on your assignments all in one place.

                                16. Mind Meister

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                                  Mind Meister lets you create mind maps that you can then share with fellow students or your teachers. This tool makes brainstorming in a group a lot more effective.

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                                  Students’ and Educators’ Blogs

                                  17. Simply Charly

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                                    Simply Charly is a blog that discusses the most important and influential people throughout history. Depending on how you learn best, you can choose to watch videos, listen to podcasts, or read articles.

                                    18. Mostly Morgan

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                                      Mostly Morgan is a fashion and lifestyle blog. However, the author (Morgan Timm) is a junior in college and writes a lot about college admissions, studying, test preparation, and other academic topics.

                                      19. Explore.Dream.Discover

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                                        The subheader of Explore.Dream.Discover is “Reflections of a world wandering college kid.” It is written by Andrew Liu, a college student and aspiring entrepreneur at Harvard. The blog follows his academic career and the lessons he learns at school and while traveling.

                                        20. Dan Shipper

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                                          In his blog, Dan Tripper discusses entrepreneurship, startups, and the importance of hard work and ingenuity. It’s a great read for anyone looking for some inspiration and entertainment.

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                                          There you have it! These 20 websites can help make it easier to study, write, and prepare for tests. School can be a challenge, but at least now you’ll get the support and resources you need to be as successful as possible.

                                          Featured photo credit: rhodesj via flickr.com

                                          More by this author

                                          Jessica Millis

                                          An experienced writer, editor and educator who shares about tips on effective learning.

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                                          Last Updated on October 21, 2021

                                          How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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                                          How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

                                          Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

                                          Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

                                          The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

                                          Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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                                          Program Your Own Algorithms

                                          Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

                                          Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

                                          By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

                                          How to Form a Ritual

                                          I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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                                          Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

                                          1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
                                          2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
                                          3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
                                          4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

                                          Ways to Use a Ritual

                                          Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

                                          1. Waking Up

                                          Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

                                          2. Web Usage

                                          How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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                                          3. Reading

                                          How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

                                          4. Friendliness

                                          Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

                                          5. Working

                                          One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

                                          6. Going to the gym

                                          If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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                                          7. Exercise

                                          Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

                                          8. Sleeping

                                          Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

                                          8. Weekly Reviews

                                          The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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                                          More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

                                           

                                          Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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