Writing About Writing

Lately it seems like I keep getting asked, “How do you write?” by people who don’t think they are good at it. So I decided to put down in – what else – writing, about writing. I hope you enjoy this little trip behind the scenes!

Let’s start by agreeing that everyone has a different writing style – professional, relaxed, goofy, etc. I also think a lot of people have a different style of writing. By this I mean the processes by which they compose their content. Here I am sharing the methods I employ and hopefully you will recognize how highly customizable writing can be.

Determine the Topic: I prefer to write about something that is significant or important in my life at the moment. Because my thoughts are already consumed by this subject, I am motivated to conduct research and excited to share what I am learning. I also believe that my passion for the topic comes across in my writing and readers find it motivational.

Contemplation: Once I’ve narrowed town a topic, I usually let it bounce around in my head for a few days. I take this time to think about the points I want to cover or different angles. Yes, sometimes this leads me to a totally different topic to write about and that’s okay!

Conduct Research: Because I don’t want my articles to strictly be my opinion, my next step is to research the topic. I want facts or the opinions of other people to back up or disprove my reasoning. I take notes of everything I find useful.

Composition: Research usually gets the ideas flowing, so I just record as many of them as possible in whatever order they arrive. It’s like brainstorming at this point. I always go back later to clean it up and make sense of it all. The beauty of a computer is being able to literally move sentences and paragraphs around until they flow in the right order.

Article Structure: I always start my article with an introduction to and a reason for the topic. By utilizing bolding, bullet points or numbers in the body of the article, my readers can at a glance determine if the content intrigues them. Then I end it with an upbeat or positive summary.

Writing Style: I want my articles to appeal to everyone so I try to intertwine common occurrences or examples that most people can relate to. Also, I write my articles as if I am speaking to a friend because I personally prefer the relaxed tone it encourages.

More Contemplation: My articles are rarely written and finalized in one sitting… well, never. I like to write the first draft and leave it for at least a few hours, preferably a day or two, and then come back for the second draft.

Second Draft: This is when I remove information that doesn’t fit well with the overall theme. I also try to keep my articles to one page in length. I read it out loud to myself several times to find phrases that make me stumble, because if I stumble my readers will, too.

Proofreading: I firmly believe you cannot adequately proof read your own work because your brain knows what it wants to see, not necessarily what is actually there. So I always like to have a friend proof read my article for typos, missing words, and other things I might overlook.

Publish It: Now it’s finally time to share it with everyone! First I share it with my subscribers through my e-newsletter broadcast, then after a few days I post it on my blog, social media sites and EzineArticles. Then lastly I schedule the article for a few more rounds on my social media sites to make sure it gets a lot of exposure at different times.

Writing does not have to be a boring or intimidating chore. Find what process works best for you. Maybe you can crank out a wonderful article in one sitting, but know that it’s okay to spread it out over the course of a few days in order to get what you feel is the best material. But however you do it, relax! You’ll discover that once you find your groove, it can be a very rewarding and gratifying experience.

A Guide to Power Training Cycling

I consider power training cycling to be the best method of training. You might think that is a big claim, but I will explain why in this article.

I will show you why power training cycling is the most effective way to train, and how to use a power meter such as the PowerTap correctly.

You might be wondering why power meters are praised so much, and why you would want to get one if you already have a heart rate monitor.

The reason you need a power meter for training, is because a lot of different factors affect your heart rate, so it isn’t the most reliable method to train from.

This makes maintaining a steady effort during time trialling or training nearly impossible.

Heart rate isn’t the only thing affected by lots of different factors, perceived exertion can be affected quite a bit, since it entirely depends on your mental state at the time. This is why new bikes are always so much easier to ride fast.

Power training cycling removes these other factors.

Here is a situation where power training cycling is so great is when you start to cycle up hill, and want to keep your effort the same.

If you went off heart rate, it would be quite hard to keep the same effort, since your heart rate will vary quite a bit during the climb.

If you had a power meter, you would take note of your power output before reaching the climb, and then you would simply have to change gear and cadence accordingly to maintain your power output. That is the main reason power training cycling is great, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, meanwhile you will be improving constantly!

The next section on power training cycling is about how to monitor and track your progress.

If you want to start power cycling training after buying your power meter, you need to measure what is know as your “Functional Threshold Power” (FTP). It is simply the power you are capable of producing for 60 minutes.

By periodically measuring your functional threshold power, you will be able to see yourself progress, which is excellent for motivation. You will also gain an advantage over your competitors who don’t do power training cycling.

Here is what you need to do to find out your FTP:

You can do this on a turbo trainer, but if you don’t have one, or hate indoor training, there is no reason you couldn’t do power training cycling on the road. You will only need a route where you wont have to stop very often.

First warm up with 15-20 minutes of easy spinning, then go as hard as you can for 60 minutes. Your average power output for those 60 minutes is your FTP.

This means you can pace yourself correctly during time trials and training, and you will be able to see yourself progress. That is why power training cycling is so effective.

An Introduction to Home Schooling

Home schooling has gained greatly in popularity over the years. Many parents feel the education system is not doing its job to educate their children. Some parents have decided to school their children themselves. This form of schooling takes place in the home and is structured in a similar manner to the regular school experience. I have noted that in families where a child is receiving home schooling, that the child tends to be a little further ahead than his/her peers.

Parents work with the school to provide an education that is equal to the one they would receive in a regular school setting. The children must have learning sessions in topics such as math, reading, science, and history. There must also be some form of physical activity during the day, comparable to gym. The physical activities used in home schooling are many times used as a positive reinforcement to keep good study habits.

Of course, like most things, home schooling has its advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to decide is home schooling is right for your children.

Advantages include a more focused learning environment. Without the distraction of other students, children will be able to concentrate on what is being taught. It is also a more relaxed atmosphere. Children are comfortable in their own homes, aren’t embarrassed to be wrong, and won’t feel the social pressure to conform to others’ opinions. These all can be great pluses for home schooling.

There are also drawbacks to home schooling. Social skills are not developed as quickly. The children are often sheltered from life situations such as not being included in a group or being the best in the class. These children can sometimes feel uncomfortable in social situations because they are not used to them. By allowing the child personal interactions with their peers, you can get over this disadvantage rather quickly.

Home schooling is a decision that should be made based on the child’s attitude and social adjustment. While it can be a wonderful experience stimulated with learning and free thought, it can teach children not to rely on community, which is something we all rely on at some point during our lives. Ignoring this could make settling into college or a career a lot more difficult than it has to be. Not saying that a child will not fit in, just that it can prove to be harder. There are also steps you can take to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Learn Piano Keys – One of the Basics

Learning to play the piano can be very satisfying. It gives a person a way to relax and something to do in their free time. However, many people deprive themselves of this happy pastime because they are overwhelmed by the number of keys on the piano. They see a dizzying pattern of black and white keys and assume that they would have to learn all eighty-eight of them in order learn to play. This, however, couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is a distinct pattern to these keys, and all it takes to learn piano keys is to understand it.

Although there are eight-eight keys on a full-size piano, there are not eighty-eight notes. There are only twelve. These notes continue to repeat as a person moves across the keyboard. They contain five black keys and seven white keys, and once a person has learned one group of notes they have learned them all. In order to learn piano keys, the first step is to locate the groups of black keys. Notice that they alternate between groups of three and groups of two. Take one group of each, and you have the five black keys in your pattern. The other seven keys are the white keys surrounding these keys.

Now, look at one group of twelve keys and find the white key directly to the left of the two black keys. This is the first note in the pattern, and the place where most scales start. It is known as a C. The next white key is a D, followed by E, F, G, A and B. These are the most important notes to know when trying to learn piano keys, because the black notes are not distinct notes in and of themselves. They are simply modifications of the white notes. They make the notes next to them sharp, or higher, if they are to the right and flat, or lower, if they are to the right. For example, the note between C and D can be either C sharp or D flat, depending on the key signature.

Once you know how to find each group of notes in the piano pattern, there is one more note you need to be aware of. To find it, go to the center of your piano, somewhere in the vicinity of your manufacturer’s logo. Locate the group of twelve notes there, and find the “C” in that group. This note is middle C, and it is the best place to start when trying to learn piano keys. If there is one note on the piano that is more important than the others, this is it. Not only do most songs start near this note, but it is the division between the left and the right hand.

HSC Chemistry and Physics Syllabus Dot-Point Notes

The way the HSC is structured is in terms of syllabus dot-points that are easy to read and understand. This helps HSC students because as their HSC trials and final HSC exams approach, the syllabus itself can be a useful study tool.

Structure of the HSC syllabus

For HSC sciences like Chemistry and Physics, the syllabus is a very useful study tool that students should use in preparing for their exams. Exams for these subjects MUST only contain questions that test knowledge within the bounds of the syllabus – that’s how our NSW HSC works.

Each ‘dot-point’ is a requirement for HSC students to understand a certain point, concept or issue. Together, these dot-points form the content of the entire subject. However the beauty of the syllabus is the way it is broken down into separate points, allowing students to study them individually, making sure each dot-point is understood.

Cover ALL the dot-points

Because HSC exams (and school internal exams) must only test knowledge contained within the syllabus, studying all the dot-points is a pretty safe and comprehensive study strategy if done correctly.

It is a good idea for all students to make their own syllabus dot-point summary notes nearing the end of the year in preparation for their exams. This reinforces their knowledge of the dot-points, and highlights areas of weakness in their knowledge. Sometimes, only when you need to write about a certain concept do you realise you don’t quite fully understand the concept.

Understand the connections between dot-points

It is important to note that syllabus dot-points should not be looked at in isolation. Most dot-points are in some way connected to other dot-points. For example, they may be dealing with aspects of a larger concept, topic or issue, or they may describe a larger concept or issue together, therefore they should not be looked at in isolation.

A good example is shown here:

2. Chemical processes in industry require monitoring and management to maximise production

Students learn to:

  • Identify and describe the industrial uses of ammonia
  • Identify that ammonia can be synthesised from its component gases, nitrogen and hydrogen
  • Described that synthesis of ammonia occurs as a reversible reaction that will reach equilibrium
  • Identify the reaction of hydrogen with nitrogen as exothermic
  • Explain why the rate of reaction is increased by higher temperature

The first 5 dot-points of this second section found in Chemical Monitoring and Management all deal with describing ammonia, its basic structure and the chemical reactions that are associated with it. When studying, students need to check that they understand each dot-point individually, as well as the bigger picture these dot-points highlight, in terms of fully understanding the general properties of ammonia.

Experiment dot-points

The syllabus also requires students to conduct “first-hand investigations”, or “gather secondary information” to find out more about a particular topic. Where these dot-points relate to experiments / practicals conducted in your school lab during class, HSC exams can and often do ask questions concerning the major aspects of these experiments / practicals.

Therefore it is highly important to pay attention to what is going on during one of these experiments / practicals.

Of particular relevance to HSC exams, students should always note the following three things:

1. What was the basic procedure followed, including equipment used?
2. What were possible sources of error (if relevant)
3. What were the risks to safety, and what precautionary measures were taken? (e.g. the need for safety goggles, gloves, tongs etc)

For experiments / practicals that are a syllabus requirement, HSC exam questions often ask students to discuss one or more of the points listed above. For example, a common one may be ‘Outline the procedure you followed to demonstrate the production of an ester” or “Account for the use of a fractional distillation column in your procedure to produce an ester.”

Therefore in your study of the syllabus, it is important to not neglect the “first hand investigation” dot-points, as they may very likely come up as a question in your exams!

Frequently Asked Questions About Christian Education

The pursuit of a Christian education for children typically involves a number of questions and concerns. At the forefront, you may want to ascertain that your children will receive a well-rounded and high-quality learning experience while they also receive ongoing exposure to spiritual ideals and a Biblical view of the world.

Definition of Christian Education

Students enrolled in a Christian school receive academic and extracurricular instruction from a religious perspective and with a faith-based foundation. While some private schools focus on other areas such as a specific vocation or fine arts, this type of instruction focuses on instilling Christian values and developing a spiritual perspective in students. The environment of the institution is different from public schools because the focus is centered on God. Teachers working at a faith-based institution typically share the same faith, enabling them to work with students from the same perspective.

The Pursuit of Quality

The combination of a Christian education and rigorous academic instruction should be a priority. An ideal institution will offer both faith-based guidance for students and academic instruction that meets or surpasses state requirements. Small class sizes, a supportive academic environment, and certified teachers with experience will ensure a quality experience for students.

Concerns about Sheltering

Pursuing a Christian education for children is not a matter of sheltering them from the harsh realities of the world. Students experience many of the same peer issues when attending a religious academy that they would face in a public school, including teasing and selfishness from other students on occasion. Unfortunately, unsavory influences from the media will follow children everywhere as well, including private faith-based institutions. However, schools instilling a Biblical perspective in students will continually work to supplant negative influences with positive, spiritual influences.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Faith-based institutions can offer extracurricular opportunities for students, not unlike public schools. Art, drama, and sports are three of the main extracurricular options that children may wish to pursue in conjunction with a well-rounded spiritual education.

Timing of Enrollment

Shaping students’ perspectives about the world and the issues that arise begins at the beginning of life. As children grow and begin learning, instruction should include a religious perspective to ensure that they incorporate this mindset into their overall attitude. Optimally, Christian education should begin when a child enters school. However, it’s never too late to make a positive change and teach a Biblical viewpoint to students.

Differing Perspectives

The viewpoint imparted to students attending a faith-based institution will be significantly different from the perspective taught to students in public school. Students will focus on service, helping others, outgoing concern for others, pleasing God, pursuing truth and Godly wisdom, and using the Word of God to decode issues and challenges in life. In a secular education, instruction typically focuses on independence, personal rights, competition, personal gain, comparison to others, random chance, and identity based on performance.

Finding a faith-based institution that will partner with you in teaching your children a Biblical worldview will enable to you to ensure that your kids receive the instruction you want them to have to prepare them for a full and rewarding life.

Learn Basic and Advanced Photography Techniques With a Digital Photography Course

Digital cameras today make it easy to take good photos, and are convenient for many people to bring along to various settings to take photos of their family and friends. Many people will also snap a few photos of beautiful landscapes and interesting sights they may come across as they travel or even as they go about their day to day routine. Photos are just as fun to share with friends and family now as they will be to enjoy while you are reminiscing years from now. With all of the features that new digital cameras are loaded with, it is pretty easy for just about everyone to take good photos. However, if you want to take amazing, magical photos, you should make an effort to learn more about the art of photography through a digital photography course.

Even with the many features that today’s digital cameras are loaded with, you may not be completely happy with the photos you are taking. They may seem to be missing some element, or you may think that a particular photo would have looked better with a different zoom or angle. The fact is that when you take a digital photography course, you will learn basic photography concepts such as natural lighting, angles, zoom, using the flash, shooting modes, and more. Courses will show you how and when to use the various features your digital camera is loaded with while also teaching you about basic photography concepts so you can fully take advantage of the camera’s features and snap some amazing photos. Some courses are more general in nature while others will explore one aspect of photography in greater detail.

You absolutely can set your camera to its auto mode and let it decide which features to use and when. You will likely get some pretty good pictures from your auto mode. However, if you want amazing photos, you will need to take matters into your own hands by arming yourself with instruction on photography techniques and concepts through a digital photography course.

Get College Scholarships for Women

College scholarships for women are special scholarships that are only eligible to be awarded to women. Do you feel stuck? Trapped in a dead-end job? Do you feel like there is no way for you to earn enough to feed your family and truly get ahead? Perhaps you want to go to school, so that you can increase your earnings, but there is no way that you can afford it.

If this is your situation, than a scholarship or a grant might be just what you need to get the training that can help you to further your career!

Now a frustrating part of getting college scholarships for women is that most scholarships are slanted towards seniors coming out of high school. But don’t think that this obstacle cannot be overcome. You just have to know where to look.

Remember that a scholarship can save you thousands of dollars. As such, you need to be very thorough in your investigations. The internet can provide you with plenty of scholarship agencies, however, be careful and fully investigate them all to see if they are legit.

What is needed to get a college scholarship for women? First of all, you’ll need to know your GPA and ACT/SAT score from school. Did you do well in school? If so, than you are in good shape. If you have a GPA over 2.5, then you can possibly qualify. What about your ACT score? Is it low? Unlike your GPA, you can change your ACT!

Re-taking the ACT can be tough though, and will require study. But if you feel that you didn’t give it your all as a teenager, and think that you can achieve a higher score, than re-taking it could be a big boost to your scholarship application.

How can you find available scholarships?

First, you can find organizations that grant college scholarships for women. These types of organizations are plentiful. The EWI, the AIE, among others, provide women with scholarships on a yearly basis. Contacting these groups can give you some real answers in your quest for a scholarship.

Also, there are organizations in your area that many offer scholarships. These often operate on a local level, maybe based out of your city or state.

The federal government offers scholarships and grants, and this can be another source of funding. If your test scores were great in school, you may have to go this route.

But one of the best ways to find a scholarship, is to look to the schools themselves. Many schools like to give scholarships to adults on a yearly basis. For instance, they will have “Second Chance” scholarships, as well as scholarships for women, for women over 40, and for minorities.

Investigating all these avenues can really pay off. It’s not something that will come easy, and expect disappointment from time-to-time. But if will pay off if you open that letter and find that you’ve been awarded a scholarship!

College scholarships for women can help you to get your career back on track. If you need to get back to school, but don’t have the money to pay for it, then hopefully these tips that we’ve shared with you today can set you on the right track!

Coach Handbags Outlet

When many people think about Coach, they think about the handbags that they have to offer. It is true that Coach has some very nice handbags and they are extremely popular and fashionable but there are many other things that Coach offers besides handbags. They have all kinds of womens accessories that range from footwear to jewelry. Although Coach tends to be fairly reasonably priced in comparison to other handbags that are popular, they can still be quite expensive, especially if you’re on a fixed income. That is why it is always good to shop at the Coach Handbag Outlet.

These Coach stores are available all across the United States and even internationally. While you can still get your Coach handbags at other retail locations, it is often preferable to go to the Coach Handbag Outlet in order to do your shopping for several different reasons. First of all, you have the shopping experience and are surrounded by people who also enjoy Coach and the staff is very knowledgeable about the products that they offer. Another reason why the Coach outlet is a good idea is because their prices tend to be a little bit less that you can find in some other retail stores. You may even be able to purchase some handbags at quite a discount that is not available anywhere else.

Another great reason to go to the Coach Handbag Outlet is because you can browse some of the other products that they have available. Many people like to complement their handbags with various other items in order to match in as many ways as possible. As a matter of fact, doing this can really give you a wonderful look, if you have Coach clothing, jewelry and handbag to match.

One more thing that you may discover at the Coach Handbag Outlet is that they do not only carry items and accessories for women. Coach also has a nice line of accessories and clothing for men. These include such things as travel accessories, belts, wallets and some clothing.

A trip to the Coach Handbag Outlet can be part of a fun day shopping. Make sure that you shop there early, however, as you will want to take as much advantage of the deals that you will find as you possibly can. By locating an outlet store near you, you will have a great resource that you can use over and over again.

Five Career Decision Making Secrets

We live in a black and white, yes or no society. Often when faced with a big career decision, that built-in bias causes us to stop at two either or options. That’s a mistake.

Hindsight proves that there are often multiple options available to us and just by looking at your career change in different ways and from different approaches you’ll see more of those options.

Here are five decision-making secrets that will help you to see your optimum choices in foresight rather than until it’s too late.

1). You know far more than you think you do.

You’ve been recording observations subconsciously for your entire life. You’ve taken in and retained much more than you think you have. You’re also connected to all the wisdom in the universe. So, you often don’t need more analysis or research. You do need to pull everything together that you already know and make your best decision possible from where you are with what you have.

2). Readiness to act on a new direction is more based on the existence of confident feelings than on any group of facts.

Where does confidence come from? It comes from remembering your competent experiences. Let go of your career change mistakes and look at your accomplishments. They will put you in a much more confident and hopeful frame of mind. Examine all of your options from that frame of mind.

3). Engagement clarifies. Action intensifies clarity.

By choosing your best bet and getting into action you can’t go wrong. Perspective is enhanced via movement. Often you won’t see your best career options until you take a couple of small steps forward. Look for ways to do that without fully committing to a new direction.

4). Write down multiple options and sleep on them.

When we live with a good question even for 24 hours our n mind seeks a solution. Often by coming back the next days and asking these questions you’ll see what you couldn’t see the day before. What am I missing? What else? How would a genius arrive at the optimum choice?

5). Decide on the day and time that you will commit to one option.

It’s not decision- making that bothers you and causes distress but the lack of making decisions. All unmade decisions eat away at your sense of self-respect and drain your energy. By setting a firm decision date and following through, you will make the decisions and increase your feeling of competency.

ANY decision that you can see in hindsight was there and available for you to see in foresight and you’ll increase the probability of seeing it by expanding your options to at least five viable options before you make the decision.

Actively use these secrets to increase the probability of making the right decision for you, the first time.

But also know this. Making decision-making mistakes is a normal part of the self-actualization process, the business building process and yes of the career decision process.

It’s actually valuable to recognize our mistakes. Without mistakes we would have nothing from which to adjust and make follow-up decisions. It really is all good and by deciding and acting frequently you’ll get better and better at doing what’s right for you.