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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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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

“Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

“The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

“The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

    Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

    1. Build a Memory Palace

      What is it?

      The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

      How to use it?

      Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

      “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

      Example

      An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

      • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
      • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
      • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
      • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
      • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

      You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

      2. Mnemonic

        What is it?

        A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

        How to use it?

        Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

        Example

        I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

        I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

        Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

        Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

        Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

        Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

        C

        J

        H

        D

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        P

        Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

        Cubs

        Just

        Hate

        Doing

        Push-ups

        Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

        3. Mnemonic Peg System

          What is it?

          According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

          How to use it?

          The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

          Example

          Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

          0 = hero

          1 = gun

          2 = shoe

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          3 = tree

          4 = door

          5 = hive

          6 = sticks

          7 = heaven

          8 = gate

          9 = line

          Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

          4. Chunking

            What is it?

            Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

            How to use it?

            In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

            Example

            Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

            Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

            081127882

            Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

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            081 – 127 – 882

            Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

            “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

            5. Transfer of Learning

              What is it?

              Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

              “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

              How to use it?

              There are two specific ways to use it:

              1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
              2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

              Example

              I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

              Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

              The Bottom Line

              The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

              We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

              Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

              “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

              More About Enhancing Memories

              Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
              [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
              [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
              [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
              [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

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