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

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

    2

      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

      3

        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

          5

            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

            6

              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

              7

                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

                8

                  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

                  9

                    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

                    10

                      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

                      11

                        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

                        12

                          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

                          13

                            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

                            14

                              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

                              15

                                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

                                16

                                  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

                                  17

                                    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

                                    18

                                      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

                                      19

                                        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

                                        20

                                          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.

                                          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.

                                          10 Effective Ways To Make You A Faster Learner universities in europe 25 Best Universities in Europe You’ll Be Interested in Studying In How to Prepare For College Final Exams Using the Internet 20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier An Incredibly Helpful List of 71 Free Online Courses and Tutorials

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                                          1 How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas 2 Habits and Motivation: Master Both for Big Results 3 How to Improve Concentration and Sharpen Your Attention at Work 4 10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It 5 How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

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                                          Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                          How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

                                          How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

                                          Regardless of how creative you already consider yourself to be, there’s a good chance you would like to level up your creative abilities.

                                          You might want to write a better song, think of better solutions to problems at work or around the home or maybe paint a picture.

                                          In any case, the good news is that creativity is not born: it’s made, and each one of us has the potential to be more creative and come up with incredible ideas.

                                          “Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

                                          The definition of creativity is broad, and reminds us that creativity is not limited to artists or musicians. It does however require that we have some kind of impact on the domain in which we create.

                                          Creativity also emphasizes values.

                                          “The process of having original ideas that have value” — Ken Robinson

                                          This makes up for what Csikszentmihalyi misses out. For instance, we can make a change in the world without adding significant value. Any destructive act, like smashing a window, creates change, but it doesn’t necessarily create valuable change.

                                          In short, there isn’t one single definition of creativity It’s up to us to find a definition that feels true and useful. When you know what your standard is, It’s much easier to embrace creativity and start to cultivate it.

                                          And in this article, you will learn how to be more creative and take a good look at what goes into the creative skill:

                                          1. Cultivate Focus

                                          In order to create, there needs to be a focus on creating something, whether it’s a song, a theory, a product, or a sculpture.

                                          You could also call this “drive” – it’s the initial spark that drives the solution to a problem, or the will to get on your laptop and start typing.

                                          However, it’s worth noting there are different stages to the creative process: the divergent stage and the convergent stage.

                                          In the divergent stage, we want a broad focus – we want to be willing to let in lots of different inputs, ideas and insights. This is the time for brainstorming all possible ideas and solutions.

                                          In the convergent stage, we start to narrow our focus, like a camera lens. At this stage, we start to drill down to a handful of ideas or solutions, discriminating throughout the process.

                                          How to cultivate focus?

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                                          Take a 20 Minute Walk

                                          Walking away and getting your heart rate up is the best free tool you have in regaining your focus.

                                          I know it might seem counterintuitive to take a break right when you’re at your busiest, and especially when you’re drowning in your massive to do list, but the effects it will have on your clarity and ability to focus are undeniable.

                                          Walking is physiologically proven to release stress, and clear your mind. In fact, most of my most brilliant ideas (and some pretty terrible ones too) have occurred on my daily walks.

                                          If you give this technique a try, what you’ll find is that you’re much more productive than you were before you took a breather.

                                          Over time, if you do these walks daily, you’ll quickly find that your to-do list starts to feel a lot less significant, and a lot more doable. It’s all about keeping razor focused, and that’s what short daily walks will gift you.

                                          2. Build a Structure

                                          When I wake up in the morning, I start the day with a structure in mind. I know that 15 minutes will be dedicated to meditation, 30 minutes to coffee and reading, 20 minutes to yoga and so on.

                                          The structure of this morning routine might be boring, but the act of each task in itself has the potential to be, on some level, “creative.”

                                          The point of structure is that it gives you the space to make time for something you want to do. It helps you carve out the time to do your creative work. Once you begin that thing in itself, you are free to go about it however you’d like.

                                          Without structure, we can lose focus and can feel overwhelmed with possibility. If you’ve ever looked at a blank page and felt too overwhelmed with possibility to make a mark on it, you’ll know what I mean. How much easier it gets when you are given some guidelines or a deadline?

                                          The trick is finding the right amount of structure for you and your creative needs. Too little structure and we feel overwhelmed. Too much structure, and we risk feeling limited and stifled.

                                          Again, it’s worth thinking about creating in those two stages: divergent (less structure) and convergent (more structure.)

                                          How to build a structure?

                                          Create a Morning Routine

                                          Your morning routine doesn’t have to be rigid or so arduous you dread waking up. In fact, it should feel like the opposite. When you get a routine that works for you, you’ll look forward to starting the day.

                                          We all have different needs and preferences which can shape our ideal routine. In the book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, you can be inspired over 160 different creators’ daily routines, from Charles Darwin to Pablo Picasso.

                                          Experiment with any that take your fancy, and see how you feel with a bit more structure to start your day.

                                          You can also take a look at this article about morning routine for inspirations: The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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                                          3. Find Motivation

                                          There is a theory that suggests: people will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself — not by external pressures. This is also known as intrinsic motivation; a drive that comes from within.

                                          Think of a time when you did some of your best work — chances are you were totally absorbed in what you were doing, to the exclusion of everything else. You were completely focused on the work itself, barely noticing time flying by.

                                          Now think of a time when you felt under pressure to perform. Maybe it was an exam, or a commission for an important client, or maybe your boss had told you “there’s a lot riding on this.”

                                          Notice the difference? In the first memory, you were driven by intrinsic motivation, which made it relatively easy, even enjoyable, to be highly creative.

                                          In the second memory however, extrinsic motivation was breathing down your neck, distracting you by whispering about the rewards for success and the horrible consequences of failure: likely making it harder to focus on the task at hand.

                                          For this reason, intrinsic motivation, if you can find it, is what separates the good from great creative work.

                                          This isn’t to say only internal motivators help. I personally get motivated by luring myself to work with a good cappuccino at my favourite cafe. That will get me ready to write or edit or whatever I’ve been avoiding.

                                          How to find motivation?

                                          Connect to Your “Why”

                                          Your “Why” is your fuel: the thing that drives you forward, that gives you a reason to do what you’re doing.

                                          ‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.’ — Friedrich Nietzche

                                          When you have a reason to do something, a purpose or a goal that matters to you, you can connect your daily actions to it. Then, each act becomes infused with meaning and you find that intrinsic motivation comes naturally.

                                          The trick is to remember your “why” and connect with it on a regular basis.

                                          Think about how you want to feel on a daily basis. What would you like to accomplish in the next year? What would you like for yourself in the next five years? How about in your lifetime?

                                          Ultimately, the tasks you face on a daily basis, or at least some of them, will connect to a greater purpose if you follow this path and you will find you feel more motivated to create and less resistance.

                                          If you aren’t sure where to start looking for motivation, this will help: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

                                          4. Be an Expert in a Chosen Domain

                                          Research has shown that just as expertise in one domain does not predict expertise in other unrelated domains; creativity in one domain does not predict creativity in other unrelated domains.[1]

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                                          So just because you can paint a pretty picture, doesn’t mean you can creatively solve a mathematical problem.

                                          If you’ve taken one of those tests like the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which will ask you to think of a bazillion uses for a pencil, and scored well, unfortunately this is only an indicator of divergent thinking skills. It is not a predictor for creativity all round.

                                          The good news is, you can train your creativity in your chosen domain. Much like a muscle, you can isolate exercises to strengthen it.

                                          Of course you can still do a total body workout – or atotal creativity workout – but it means your creativity-training exercises need to come from a wide variety of domains; not just thinking up uses for a pencil.

                                          How to become an expert?

                                          Make a Mastery Training Plan

                                          Following our physical workout analogy, it’s worth applying the habits of great athletes to your chosen creative domain. For example:

                                          1. Decide what area/s you want to work on

                                          Much like a tennis player who decides they need to improve their serving technique, you can decide what area within your creative domain you want to improve at. Get specific.

                                          2. Decide how much time you can dedicate

                                          Most of us don’t have all day to train like a pro tennis player might, but you can likely squeeze 20 to 30 minutes in a day, if you want to. Whatever the time you can allow is, decide to dedicate yourself to it.

                                          3. Review your progress

                                          Finally, in order to check your progress, you can take regular reviews. Decide what your metrics are, and take time each week to check in with yourself.

                                          How many days did you practice? How did you compare to the previous week? This kind of review can help you stay on track, and actually creates more intrinsic motivation as you see yourself develop.

                                          5. Create a Conducive Environment

                                          A psychologist in 1943 proposed that behaviour is:[2]

                                          “a function of both the person as well as the physical environment they are in.”

                                          I would suggest that the act of creating is a behaviour and that, even though it begins as an internal process, it’s very much affected by and even dependent on the environment we are in.

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                                          I started noticing how environment affects me when I worked in an office. Over time, I realized that the more people who were in or who were talking, the more distracted I was. If I got to the office early before my coworkers arrived, I was twice as effective.

                                          I was even more effective if I was at home. Now that I work from home, I know I’m even more effective when in certain coffee shops. Ideally, places that have high ceilings, gentle lighting, some barely noticeable background music – and excellent coffee.

                                          It’s these little variations in our environment that can really shape our creative output.

                                          If you’re an introvert, you probably do your best work alone. If you’re an extrovert, you probably do your best work in the company of others.

                                          This isn’t to say you should find one way of doing things and stick to it: in fact, varying your environment from time to time is a great way to stoke the creative fire too, which we’ll touch on more later.

                                          How to create a conducive environment?

                                          Add or Subtract Stimuli

                                          Novelty in our environment has been shown to stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases our desire to seek out reward.[3]

                                          If you’re looking for creative motivation, adding some novelty into your environment can be just what you need.

                                          On the other hand, some people are highly sensitive and when it comes to having too much stimulation in their environment, they find it difficult to focus.

                                          Experiment with working in different environments. Note how you feel. Note whether you do better creative work or have more interesting ideas when you’re alone or with others.

                                          Try listening to music, people chatting or try being in complete silence. Try a dimly lit room, try working in bright sunlight.

                                          In each case, note how you feel before, during and afterwards and rate the quality of your work.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Creativity is not one particular skill or talent one can have. It comes in as many broad and unique flavors as there are people on this earth.

                                          To be more creative, take little steps each day. Acknowledge where and when you feel most inspired, motivated and original and spend more energy in those areas.

                                          More Articles About Creativity

                                          Featured photo credit: Sticker Mule via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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