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12 Essentially Exceptional Academic Writing Tools For A Polished Dissertation

12  Essentially Exceptional Academic Writing Tools For A Polished Dissertation

A dissertation is defined as a document submitted in support of an academic degree or a professional qualification. It presents the author’s research and findings pertaining to a particular subject.

The requirements do vary from country to country and institute to institute but the overall structure is relatively similar. The process of writing a dissertation may take anywhere from 2 to 3 months to over a year. Students will investigate the subject of their dissertation presenting their final point of view in retrospect to the results of their research.

1. ThinkWell

One of the most important factors to writing a dissertation is sticking to a timetable. The timetable should be designed in such a way that it is achievable as well as practical. ThinkWell provides logistic support to design custom schedules, keeping in mind the objectives which need to be achieved. Students can use their assistance to schedule their activities for the next 6 months to even over a year in some cases. This is an ideal tool for students who are working on their thesis as well as taking classes.

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2. ThinkFree

Almost all students are anxious to start writing the introduction of their dissertation. In some cases, they are unable to find the proper tools to help them compose their project. ThinkFree provides you a stable and efficient platform for all sorts of documents from spreadsheets to presentations and even regular word processing documents. The best feature of this software is that it allows you all in one access to your documents from several locations, for example, a smartphone, tablet, laptop or even a desktop.

3. MHR Writer

Sometimes due to unavoidable circumstances, student are unable to complete their assigned academic work. It just so happens that they might have completed half or just the brainstorming session for the given assignment and they are unable to complete the project. MHR Writer provides expert academic assistance to complete your dissertations or assignments to meet your deadline. They provide comprehensive guarantees regarding plagiarism as well as a guarantee to meet your deadline. Around the clock customer support is also a standard feature of their assistance.

4. Crocodoc

In the course of writing your dissertation, there will come times when you need to design certain pages or illustrations which need attention to minute details. With the help of this application, you can embed complete images and pictures using 360 views. You can edit the background as well as each and every layer in the final document. You can use both the 2D view and the 3D view to make sure that your images are designed perfectly. This is an extensive tool which can provide pertinent assistance in the completion of a final project.

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5. The Free Dictionary by Farlex

This is a tool which is productive for use for students from all stages of life. This UK based facility employs several different resources all in one place. Students can use their dictionary to improve their vocabulary as well as improve their final presentation with the help of the thesaurus. This software can also be used on your mobile phone. The best part about this resource is that it is completely free of charge.

6. Dictionary.com

There are times when we come across new words and are unable to make out the exact usage of the word. With the help of this US based dictionary, you can find out the meaning of words as well as find different synonyms to convey your message across appropriately. You can also find out the meanings of idioms and phrases which you are unaware of. This application can also be used in your tablet, laptop or even desktop.

7. ThinkBinder

During the course of your research for writing your dissertation, there will be times when you will need to organize meetings with your colleagues. ThinkBinder lets you start a study group with the set of people related to your research. You can use this software to accumulate writing material pertaining to your thesis all in one place, with the help of your colleagues or instructors. This tool will come in especially handy during the research phase of your dissertation.

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8. Canva

Need help presenting your ideas in an attractive overall layout and presentation? Canva provides you several templates and tools to customize your complete project. This is a great way to combine illustrations and diagrams to your work with effectively displaying the appropriate material. You can customize graphics precisely and meticulously with the help of this tool. If you are unable to find what you are looking for Canva also provides customer support assistance.

9. A.nnotate

If your research involves getting information from several different sources, you will face the problem of collaboration. With the help of this software, you can annotate web pages into your project as well as documents and even PDF files. It is compatible with almost all web browsers. It is an efficient way to centralize all the results of your investigations with the help of this tool. If you have received material from your teachers or your colleagues it might not be in the format you required. With this tool, you can combine all the information in one place.

10. Sketch

Sketch is a practical app which was created by the makers of Evernote. You can create diagrams, pictures and even their captions with this software. Even after you have created a diagram or an illustration that diagram or illustration is still completely 100% editable. You can view the pictures in minute details right down to the last pixel. You can even adjust the borders and shadows of your drawings. The best part about the drawings made using sketch is that they are completely exportable without having to add or remove anything.

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11. PlagTracker

Once you have completed your dissertation, it is imperative to check for any traces of plagiarism. Maybe inadvertently you might have forgotten to mention the source or reference of a certain quote. With the help of PlagTracker you can pinpoint and eliminate any occurrences of plagiarism. PlagTracker also helps you edit the plagiarized text should the need arise. They have a panel of writers to edit your final dissertation to make sure that you have a completely unique piece of work.

12. Plagium

This is a NY based company which has targeted the general public for their assistance. They provide an extensive plagiarism check which is unparalleled. They provide assistance to check documents larger than 5,000 characters as well. The smaller documents are checked for plagiarism free of charge but there may be a charge for the larger documents. Before associating any work with your dissertation it is advisable to use this service to apprehend plagiarism.

Summing It Up

Always keep in mind that coordination with your institute requirements for the schedule, formatting and structure related to the academic writing and whole project should always be taken into consideration. With the assistance of all these above tools and with the coordination of your academic dissertation  supervisor the project will be completed in no time.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Published on July 7, 2020

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

Exercise isn’t just for your body. Just as important is keeping your mind strong by training your brain with fun mental workouts.

Think of your mental and physical fitness the same way: you don’t need to be an Olympian, but you do need to stay in shape if you want to live well. A few cognitive workouts per week can make a major difference in your life.

The Skinny on Mental Workouts

Physical fitness boosts your stamina and increases your muscular strength. The benefits of working up a mental sweat and brain training, however, might not be so obvious.

Research suggests that cognitive training has short- and long-term benefits, including:

1. Improved Memory

After eight weeks of cognitive training, 19 arithmetic students showed a larger and more active hippocampus than their peers.[1] The hippocampus is associated with learning and memory.

2. Reduced Stress Levels

Mastering new tasks more quickly makes the work of learning less stressful. A stronger memory can call information to mind with less effort.

3. Improved Work Performance

Learning quickly and remembering key details can lead to a better career. Employers are increasingly hiring for soft skills, such as trainability and attention to detail.

4. Delayed Cognitive Decline

As we age, we experience cognitive decline. A study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that 10 one-hour sessions of cognitive training boosted reasoning and information processing speed in adults between the ages of 65 and 94.[2]

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Just like in physical exercise, what’s important isn’t the specific workout. To be sustainable, cognitive workouts need to be easy and fun. Otherwise, it’s too easy to throw in the towel.

Fun Brain Training Exercises for Everyone

The best about fun mental workouts? There’s no need to head to a gym. Feel free to mix and match the following activities for daily brain training:

1. Brainstorming

One of the simplest, easiest ways to engage your brain? Coming up with solutions to a challenge you’re facing.

If you aren’t good at solo ideation, ask a partner to join you. When I’m struggling to come up with topics to write about, I call up my editors to bat ideas around. Friends or co-workers are usually happy to help.

2. Dancing

Isn’t dancing a physical workout? Yes, but the coordination it requires is also great for training your brain. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

Studies suggest that dance boosts multiple cognitive skills.[3] Planning, memorizing, organizing, and creativity all seem to benefit from a few fancy steps.

3. Learning a New Language

Learning a new language takes time. But if you split it up into small, daily lessons, it’s easier than you might think.

With language learning, every lesson builds on the last. When I was learning Spanish, I used a tool called Guru for knowledge management.[4] Every time I’d learn a verb tense, I’d create a new card to give me a quick refresh before moving on.

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4. Developing a Hobby

Like languages, hobbies take time to develop. But that’s the fun of them: you get a little better—both at the hobby and in terms of brain function—each time you do them.

If you’re trying to train your brain and improve a certain cognitive skill, choose a hobby that aligns with it.

For example:

  • Attention to detail: Pick a hobby that requires you to work patiently with small features. Woodworking, model-building, sketching, and painting are all good choices.
  • Learning and memory: Choose an activity that requires you to remember lots of details. Your best bets are hobbies that require lots of categorization, such as collecting stamps or coins.
  • Motor function: For this brain function, physical activities can double as fun mental workouts. Sports like soccer and basketball build gross motor functions. Fine motor functions are better trained through activities like table tennis or even playing video games.
  • Problem-solving: Most hobbies require you to problem-solve in one way or another. The ones that test your problem-solving skills the most, however, take some investigation.

Geocaching is a good example: Using a combination of clues and GPS readings, geocaching involves finding and re-hiding containers. Typically done in a wooded area, geocaching is a fun way to put your problem-solving skills to the test.

5. Board Games

Playing a board game might not be much of a physical workout, but it does make for a fun mental workout. With that said, not all board games work equally well for cognitive training.

Avoid “no brainer” board games, like Candy Land. Opt for strategy-focused ones, such as Risk or Settlers of Catan. Remember to ask other players for their input.

6. Card Games

Card games build cognitive skills in much the same way board games do. They have a few extra advantages, though, that make them worthy of special attention.

A deck of cards is inexpensive and can be played anywhere, from a kitchen to an airplane. More importantly, a deck of cards opens the door to dozens of different games. Challenge yourself to learn a few in an afternoon.

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7. Puzzles

Puzzles are great tools for building a specific cognitive skill: visuospatial function. Visuospatial function is important to train because it’s one of the first abilities to slip in people struggling with cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.[5]

Choose a puzzle you’ll stick with. There’s no shame in starting with a 500-piece puzzle or choosing one that makes a childish image.

8. Playing Music

Listening to music is a great way to unwind. But playing music goes one step further. On top of entertaining you, it makes for a fun mental workout.

Again, choose an instrument you know you’ll stick with. If you’ve always wanted to learn the violin, don’t get a guitar because it’s less expensive or easier to pick up.

What if you can’t afford an instrument? Sing. Learning to control your voice is every bit as challenging as making a set of keys or strings sound good.

9. Meditating

Not all cognitive exercises are loud, in-your-face activities. Some of the most fun mental workouts, in fact, are quiet, solo activities. Meditating can help you focus, especially if you have pre-existing attention issues.

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never meditated before. It’s easy:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes, or for however long you have to meditate.
  • Close your eyes or turn off the lights.
  • Focus on your breathing. Do not try to control it.
  • If your thoughts wander, gently bring them back to your breath.
  • When the timer goes off, wiggle your fingers and toes for a minute. Slowly bring yourself back to reality. Remember the sense of serenity you found.

10. Deep Conversation

There’s nothing more mentally stimulating than a good, long conversation. The key is depth: surface-level chatter doesn’t get the mind’s wheels spinning like a thoughtful, authentic conversation. This type of conversation helps in training your brain to think more deeply and reflect.

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Choose your partner carefully. You’re looking for someone who’ll challenge your ideas without being confrontational. Stress isn’t good for brain health, but there’s value in coming up with creative arguments.

11. Cooking

When you think about it, cooking requires an impressive array of cognitive skills. Developing a cook’s intuition requires a good memory. Making sure flavors are balanced takes attention to detail. When something goes wrong in the kitchen, problem-solving skills come into play. Motor control is required to stir, flip, and whisk.

If you’re going to cook, you might as well make enough for everyone. Invite them into the kitchen as well: coordinating with other chefs adds an extra layer of challenge to this fun mental workout.

12. Mentorship

Whether you’re the mentee or the mentor, mentorship is an incredible mental workout. Learning from someone you look up to combines the benefits of deep conversation with skill-building. Teaching someone else forces you to put yourself in their shoes, which requires empathy and problem-solving skills.

Put yourself in both situations. Being a student makes you a better teacher, and teaching others gives you insight into how you, yourself, learn.

Final Thoughts

Your mind is your most important possession, and training your brain is needed to maintain its health. Don’t let it get soft.

To keep those neurons firing at full speed, add a few fun mental workouts to your schedule. And if you’re still struggling to get your brain in gear, remember: there’s an app for that.

More Tips for Training Your Brain

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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