Best Practices for Students #2: Know Your Software

Learning is a craft, a set of skills that you put to use over the course of your life to construct your education. Like any craft, your mastery of the tools at your disposal is crucial. One of the most overlooked tools in the learner’s toolbox is your computer and its software. Your instructors have probably spent a lot of time teaching you how to use books and the research library, maybe how to glean information from the Web, and definitely how to use language to put forth and defend an argument, but how much time have you or your professors spent on how to use your computer? [Continue reading]

The Art of Proofreading

One of the greatest frustrations that professors face is the lack of solid writing skills among some of our brightest students. To see a student who we other wise know to be smart and even articulate bury their written ideas under poor grammar, bad spelling, awkward colloquialisms, and misconstrued logic is painful, even heart-breaking. I’ve come to believe, though, that a big part of the problem is not so much that students are inherently lazy writers or that they simply don’t care enough to do well, but that they do not proofread their work, at least in part because they haven’t learned how to do it well.

[Continue reading]