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The NUS Education and Learning Blog

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Surviving the first year of university

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You have done it – gotten yourself onto campus for higher education and the slew of independence and responsibility that comes with it. Sometimes this newfound freedom can be crushing because like a caged bird whose doors have been flung open, you do not know where to begin or might go overboard and overindulge, sacrificing what should be at the top of your priorities: your grades. To avoid being overwhelmed, here are a few tips to keep the new uni student grounded. 

Prioritize your grades

When you are faced with the decision to work on an assignment or to go out, always choose the former. When everything is done and ready for submission, you can enjoy the uni life. Not only will this help keep your grades in check, it might even improve productivity as you would want to get your work out of the way as soon as possible so you can join the latest campus event or hang out with your new friends. 

Birds of a feather flock together

It is completely fine to turn to a classmate for some assignment help but better yet, you will find priceless friendships when you forge them over hours of working together on your respective assignments. As they say, you are the five people you spend the most time with and you want to surround yourself with productive friends who are able to encourage one another to do their best and then go out and reward yourselves when you truly deserve it. 

Set a routine

Humans are creatures of habit, so it is important to cultivate a schedule. Otherwise, you might start to fall into disarray. Practice good habits such as having meals at fixed times down to when to bath. It will help keep a sense of security, plus you can incorporate exercise into your lifestyle so you stay fit, healthy and steer clear of the freshman fifteen. Plus, exercise or even a mediative session will help prevent you from being too stressed and allow you to clear your head with it gets too much. All the habits you cultivate for yourself now will be able to determine the kind of lifestyle you fall into when you graduate. 

Prevent burnout

Burning the midnight oil and trying to stay productive all the time is not the best option – it is simply not sustainable because we are only human and we might suffer something called… Burnout. It is not easy to get over burnout because it will leave you feeling unmotivated and lazy, much like how Bilbo described it: “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread”. Therefore it is important to recognize the warning signs: feeling fatigued, mounting stress, excessive worrying, distracted eating and experiencing writer’s block. When that happens, it is time to take a break, go for a run, indulge in a hobby or do what uni students do best and party!

The Essential Elements of an Excellent Essay

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College essays give more freedom than any other form of academic writing, yet still, they are basically linear. That means you have to organize all your ideas into a string of coherent argument. A successfully structured essay is like a case of stairs leading to a total persuasion of your reader – each paragraph is a step, perfectly measured and on its place. Although there is no set formula, there are some commonly recommended elements. If I were to ask you to write my paper for me, I would expect you to include the following.

Thesis statement

Usually stated somewhere in the first paragraphs of your essay, this is your main proposition. One should not confuse the thesis statement with the theme, which is merely a subject matter – a topical area of your research. The thesis statement must be specific and arguable. That means there is a way to disagree with it and intelligently argue about it. If there is no way anyone would disagree with your thesis statement, that’s an established fact (or trivial observation), and therefore your entire essay makes no sense. Why would one strive to prove something obvious?

Research problem

Problem is why your thesis statement matters. To demonstrate it, you should provide some context. Show how the issue is misunderstood in the scientific community, or overlooked, or obscured by some other issues. Your essay must aim to clarify the issue, solve the problem, or at the very least deepen it and shed some light on some of its aspects. If your essay fails to do so, it is probably lacking relevance. Therefore it is important to decide on a problem and outline it at the beginning of your essay.

Evidence

Evidence is the material with which you work to prove your thesis statement. It may come from your independent research or from the body of evidence collected by your predecessors. In the latter case, you must provide the source of your evidence in the form of quotations.

Since your thesis is an arguable statement, it is a good practice to consider counter-evidence as well. Of course, your aim is to prove that it has no bearing on your issue, resist it, and disprove it. Yet you must do it logically and on good grounds – not by simply denying the facts.

Analysis

As you can see, the evidence must be processed and analyzed to create the argument for or against the thesis. When it comes to academia, data never speak for themselves – they must be interpreted. Interpretation of the evidence has two levels – analysis and reflection.

Analysis, as a rule, relates directly to the evidence, whereas reflection is made based on the observations you derive from the analysis. Reflection is an integral part of a strong essay, but it is especially important in the conclusion, where you must arrive at some new, not obvious facts. Consideration of the counter-arguments also constitutes reflection.

Structure

The structure is a pattern of your essay, a way in which evidence, analysis, and reflection are presented and tied together in one coherent argument. Two most wide-spread types of organizing an essay used by college students are the repetitive and chronological models.

The repetitive model consists of uniform paragraphs that follow the same pattern – statement of the evidence/fact, brief analysis, and a conclusion made from the stated fact. The chronological model presents the evidence in the same order as it appears in the sources or the work of literature that’s being analyzed.

Both models have their merits, being particularly convenient for students who are not yet experienced in essay-writing.

However, the strongest and most successful essays present evidence logically. Every new piece of information deepens the argument, propelling it further towards the inevitable conclusion. Moreover, sentences of reflection serve to tie different pieces of evidence together, making a transition between the sections of the essay smooth and seamless.

Of course, there are some other aspects that can make your essay even better, for example, rhetorical devices, visual structure, and relevant quotes. Yet those described above are the compulsory elements. Without them, there can be no good essay.

How important is a college application essay?

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Many college hopefuls are afraid of application essays. They see them as another obstacle on the way to the school of their dreams. Instead, they should see it as an opportunity to show their real self, to be memorable, to be more than just scores and numbers.

Grades, tests, courses, and extracurricular activities will always be important – I am not suggesting that the essay alone will make or break your admission. However, its importance grows together with the selectivity of a college you’ve targeted. If everyone who applies submits excellent scores, how do you decided who goes in and who gets the we-regret-to-inform-you letter?

How can you make your essay not too boastful but not too shy? How do you sell yourself without sliding into pompous self-promotion? This dilemma seems too complicated for many young people, so they choose to get professional admission essay writing help instead of striving to balance all this on their own. However, the important thing is to know the rules. You can try to win the system or you can try to break it, but first, you must know it inside out.

Often young people think that there will be one writing assignment – THE essay. Instead, however, a college may want you to write 3 to 5 different essays. Usually, this bunch follows more or less the same pattern.

The personal statement

Who you are, in a nutshell. Background, identity, accomplishments, what you value and why. Here you can address your experiences as an international student, a multilingual person, someone of a non-traditional age for a college newbie, a member of a minority group, an athlete, or write about your special skills, beliefs, hardships and experiences that shaped your personality and influenced your worldview.

The significant activity

This one is not about an extracurricular you’ve received the highest number of accolades for. This one should be about something significant in motivating you, making you grow and develop. Make it about something that relates to a personal aspect of your life or something you are truly passionate about.

Your academic interests

The key with this one is to go beyond the obvious. “I always loved math” or “I am interested in history” isn’t going to make it for you. Why it matters to you? What specifically fascinates you? Add some context – how and when did you decide that this is the field that interests you the most? Show how you acted on your interest, how it motivated you.

Your reaction to an honor code

This one can be given to you in the form of a creative task but it always aims to elicit your values and your code of conduct. Themes might be as various as “A letter to my future roommate”, “Tell us about a person who influenced you the most”, or “If I were a President for a day”.

“Personal space” essay

Something humorous and quirky, where you can be 100% yourself. Topics may include “Design your own rejection letter”, “Number 215 page of your 300-page autobiography”, etc. Do not underestimate this opportunity to make an unforgettable impression.

One student wrote a creative ironic reply to the standard MIT email. Although he never attended MIT, his reply is circulating the web for more than two decades now as an example of witty nonchalance that wins hearts. By the way, he is a self-taught programmer and a consultant for software and pharmaceutical companies with a BS in Chemistry from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from UC San Diego, so his story did had a happy ending.

“Why this college” essay

This one must be creative, but also involves a great deal of preparation and research. Best way to prepare for this one is to take a campus tour, meet college representatives, or at least do some thorough research online.

In this essay, they want you to show why you and their college is a perfect match. There is no room for error. You must demonstrate that this college is on top of your list (even if it’s not). You must highlight the classes they offer are just what you wish to study; point out that the extracurricular activities they offer are just ones you are dying to join. You may recycle one essay for different colleges, but make sure you do all necessary tweaks to your template so everything fits.

Usually, the vetting process is shrouded in mystery. The more selective is the college, the less information is available on how the decision is ultimately made. However, one thing is certain – under no circumstances should you make a slapdash work on your admission essay. Even if you are certain that your sky-high scores, impressive accomplishments, and an immaculate record is enough to land you admission, a hastily written essay can seriously hurt your

Education in Transformation of Thought and Practice: Issues, Solutions and Innovation

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Life has a delicate balance that tolerates minimal disturbance and in order to keep such a balance, one needs to have an open and educated mind. Education therefore is an issue that is not solely limited to learning subject matter but also developing a perspective on life that favors progress through stability. However, standard education in the world is strictly focused on academic achievements and therefore it is not possible to succeed in such systems without outside support such as taking private lessons, receiving paid tutoring services or getting help with essay writing. The general approach to today’s education divides the system into two main modes: the innovative and personal education and structural and collective education. It can be stated that the innovative mode of education pushes for personal development while the structural mode seeks to develop a collective identity that reserves a spot and function for the individual in society. Again, balance is everything.

College life is an experience worth a lifetime for all but not everything goes as smoothly as one expects it, with issues such as physical, psychological and sexual assault remaining as significant threats to peace and harmony on campuses. Swarthmore College, one of America’s best liberal arts colleges, has banned Greek life on its campus “after leaked documents showed one fraternity joked about sexual assault, made anti-LGBTQ remarks and harbored a ‘rape attic’ in its house.” After bringing an end to fraternities and sororities at the college, the administration in their announcement stressed that Swarthmore has strict standards and rules for maintaining the quality of its residential liberal arts environment, which the mentioned fraternities and sororities were apparently violating. The process that led to the decision was initiated by the ‘Task Force for Student social Events and Community Standards’ at Swarthmore, following the organizations report regarding inappropriate misconduct on campus that disturbed several members of the student body, leading the administration to cancel the leases for such houses. The only sorority to remain on the Swarthmore campus will be Kappa Alpha Theta, which will be allowed to operate until the end of the 2022 but the sorority will not be allowed to recruit new members.

The new age of education brought in fresh methods of interactive learning to classrooms and a new game called ‘Mystery Skype’ is helping eighth-graders learn about geography, history and culture as well as communication skills with ease. The game consists of several questions that are exchanged between students at different locations in the US or in some cases the world, with the students being expected to guess each other’s locations based on each others’ answers. About 45 minutes into the game, students begin to guess the locations correctly, which seriously pleases their teachers as it shows that they are learning fast in an educational environment where “73% of eighth graders are less than proficient in geography” according to a National Assessment of Educational Progress report. The current geography education in America relies on memorization of names on a map but teachers believe that Mystery Skype teaches students geography within a comprehensible context while also teaching them skills such as “critical thinking, leadership and collaboration” and enabling them to meet people from different parts of the country and the world.

A common issue in today’s educational systems is bullying and violence, which decreases students’ motivation and disturbs the harmony within campuses. However, according to Federal Data published by the US Departments of Education and Justice, the rates of bullying, violence, crime and drug use are on the decline in schools following the Columbine High School shooting that took place twenty years ago. The data reveals that the reports of bullying by students of ages 12 to 18 was at an all-time low 20% for the 2016-17 school year and the rate of weekly occurrence for such acts was 12% for the 2015-16 school year, decreasing significantly from 29% during the 1999-2000 school year. The percentage of reports of being threatened or injured with a weapon on school grounds decreased to 6% in 2016-17 from 9% in the 2000-01 school year, while 4% of students of ages 12 to 18 reported that they were afraid of being attacked or harmed at school in 2017-17, comparatively lower than 6% in the 2000-01 school year.  9% of such students reported the existence of gangs at their schools during the same school year, decreasing from a staggering 20% in the 2000-01 school year. Overall, it is seen that the new security measures implemented at public schools are showing significant effect in reducing the rate of occurrence for the mentioned issues and the continuation of such measures will probably yield even better results in the future.

Writing A College-Level Persuasive Essay: Expectation Vs Reality

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Persuasive pieces of writing, commonly titled as “Argumentative Essay,” is all about convincing the readers. Some students consider this as less challenging but, in reality, it is a tough nut to crack. Readers comment on every minute details and counter, till they are fully swayed. Hence, your composition needs to be powerful and incredibly evidential.

If things are crumbling up, anytime you can approach a reliable professional offering write my paper help. However, there’s only advantage in learning all the true-facts particularly for self-education. You will find some realities, here, in contrary to the expectations a student build in their mind. Be part of this guided tour and land up with some solid inherent insights.

Expectation: Choosing a topic from your area of interest eases the task

Reality: You still have to perform extensive research to find details

Often, experts suggest picking a topic from your fields of interest. This is true in every aspect, but, this never eases the task. Having a theme of your choice, only, encourages the writers to perform the extensive factual study. A persuasive essay is impossible to pull up if you skip the investigation and analysis step. Readers prefer statistics, diagrams, graphical representations, analytical reports when they are reading an argumentative essay. To let your arguments stand apart and hold a position, your research should be deep-rooted.

Expectation: Persuasive essays can be written on any random topic

Reality: Topic selection for persuasive essays is the toughest chore

Inducing readers on any random subject isn’t possible as every individual have their own analyzing power. Normally, the person who is reading tends to perform a self-research besides going through the document. This lets them judge what you have written and detect if some information is fraudulent. To avoid such circumstances, it is important to choose an idea from the list of trendy persuasive essay topics. Make certain that you pick a concise, fascinating and popular theme in order to ensure excellence in the further development.

Expectation: “Facts are there. Wow, let’s start with the writing!”

Reality: Don’t forget there’s an intermediate step of outlining the essay

Do you think assembling the data is the last step before penning the persuasive essay? You’re certainly not aware of outlining, being the intermediate step. The probability of getting out of track is high when you are lacking a proper essay structure. Decide on the numbering, paragraphs, headings, sub-heading, and every other detail before starting with the main discussion. Persuasive essays can be written either of the two ways – alternate arrangements of argument and counter-arguments or set of arguments followed by the set of counter-arguments. Choose your type and abide by the structure as you progress with the facts.

Expectation: The only challenge is starting the essay with a hook

Reality: The whole persuasive essay appears to be a new challenge

You may find several blogs and recommendations yelling about the essay introduction being a challenge. But, the lesser known facts is that the whole idea of composing a persuasive essay is a dare in itself. With lots of integral steps, the process is quite thought-provoking and requires more assistance in writing a paper than usual. Everything from taking a position, deciding the arguments, building the counters, to putting them in order is a time-consuming matter. So, bid goodbye to procrastination before diving into the assignment.

Expectation: Only arguments are enough to convince the readers

Reality: Persuasive essay is incomplete without counter-arguments

If you believe that arguments, supporting your position, are sufficient to persuade the audience, then you are living in a different world. A persuasive essay is about perceptions, opinions, and views. Think it in a way as for why will someone believe your words till the time you prove them wrong! That’s the role played by counter-arguments. It points to the reader’s opinions and prove those wrong with proper shreds of evidence. However, your responsive opinions must not harm someone’s emotion or hurt other’s sentiments.

Actualities are now in front of your eyes! Forget the falsifying ideas that you have been holding onto and prep up for the next persuasive essay assignment. If you rely the facts and work accordingly, you will certainly end up with a wining persuasive essay. And it will evade all the baffles in between your aptitude and A+ grades – good luck on your upcoming compositions.

International study opens a whole new world to adventurous students

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As far as academic experiences go, abroad study is the ultimate adventure. Education is something that is a privilege, and when we are lucky enough to have access to it, it is made even more special when we are presented with opportunities for growth and excitement. Of all those opportunities, studying abroad is definitively and without exception one of the most chaotic, exhilarating, and rewarding opportunities there is. You will seldom find anyone who says that they regret taking the leap of faith and studying abroad. But why? What is so special about international study, and why should anyone seriously do it? There are many reasons that international study is such a positive experience to have, but ultimately they can all meld into three pillars, three ultimate reasons to take the leap and expand your horizons.

Travel makes you more confident in yourself

Studying abroad will make you nervous in the beginning. You will be effectively thrown out of your comfort zone. And then it proves itself to be this incredible experience that is quite literally is life changing. When you take the leap, you are doing so because of your decision to do so. Pursuing education overseas puts you in a position of self-growth (especially if you are studying in a country where you do not understand or speak the language). Abroad study makes you more uncomfortable than ever in the beginning, and then it makes you more confident forever. That is its magic, its lure, its life lesson.

Being somewhere new means you meet different people

Being a student anywhere can be socially challenging, what with the time constraints on due dates and the overwhelming nature of academic success. Studying somewhere new inevitably puts you in a position where you meet new people, and because you are in an entirely new place, you are more likely to network and forge connections that you would perhaps have otherwise brushed off, were you back home in your usual environment. When you are studying, you can study with these new friends, and when you are taking a break or have a weekend arrive, you can take some time off and go on adventure with these people.

Studying abroad makes you more accountable

More than anything else, studying abroad makes you more accountable for your successes (and your failures). Whether it is going out of your way to find adequate PhD proposal help, or staying in to work on your last assignment instead of going to a party with your friends, studying abroad forces you to take full accountability for your progress and consequential successes. This is because you have none of the usual structure of being settled into your classroom at home, of studying and submitting to a familiar schedule. Additionally, you also inevitably want to explore this new place, and must force yourself to study before you can play sometimes. This is an incredibly valuable lesson, and it will make you not only a better student, but a more organised individual in life.

EdTech profoundly effects the education industry

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Education is one of the most traditionally-inclined industries in the world. Historically, this is an industry that has been run predominantly – if not wholly – on traditional methods and models of teaching and learning. For decades, this was how it worked. Generations have gone through the education system as it has been traditionally, and they have gone on to flourish into well-rounded individuals. The success of traditional education has not changed. But the world has.

More and more over recent years, traditional education systems and processes have fallen more and more out of touch with the generations of students going through the system right now, and there is one sole reason for that. That reason is the evolution of the modern world, and the necessity for evolution in its wake. This evolution is, of course, the rise of technological influence in the modern world. But how did we get from there to here?

A traditional industry at heart

It is no big secret that education is a traditional field. From books and pen and paper, to the methods, models, and environments that education took place in, education has historically always been hinged on the same concepts and contributors that have always served it so well. Education has had dominantly – if not wholly – paper materials and resources, educators have taught in brick and mortar spaces, and students learnt the old fashion way. And then along came technological innovation.

Technological disruption arrives

Technological advancement and digitalisation have been hitting industries around the world hard throughout recent years, and the introduction of tech to the education sector is one of the latest to have profound and ongoing impact. Technology has well and truly disrupted the education industry. Aptly called EdTech (education technology), this technology is transforming the education sector and making it easier for both educators and students alike.

Everything from the assessment submission formats, to the forms and permissions for school trips to France, have been changed at the core by technological innovation and rapid digitalisation. At first, people were understandably concerned that the introduction of tech to such a traditional industry would rule out the age-old principles at play.

Tradition and modernisation collide

Traditional education is a marvel, and it has done wonders for generations. Since the dawn of the inception of education as a core industry around the world, it has been gaining traction as a crucial societal pillar. This fact has never wavered. When technological advancement and digitalisation first made their influence known in the modern world, tech began to improve the industry, and it has been an ever-evolving and advancing movement since.

EdTech makes education more convenient, more efficient, and quicker than ever. Rather than taking over from traditional education entirely, this modernised iteration of education in fact works in alignment with traditional methods and models to make them more efficient and easier to follow and use for all parties. In this way, EdTech has positively transformed this traditional industry, making it more efficient than ever before. And this is only the beginning.

Follow These Tips So That You Don’t Fail Your Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense is your chance to stand for your research and results. It’s also your chance to know what other experts think about your work. Their questions and comments can be the base for further research and improvement in your expertise in your chosen field.
However, you also have to consider certain things to effectively defend your dissertation. These 10 tips discussed in this article will be very helpful in getting ready for a successful defense of your work.

1. Maintain your physical and mental fitness

The reason this tip is in the first position is that everything will depend on your fitness on the day of presenting your dissertation. It’s quite obvious and normal if you feel nervous, but a strong mental state and good memory can help you overcome nervousness. Remember that a strong mind and a powerful memory depends on strong physical health.
So take care of your health. Do exercise and meditation daily, eat healthily, and sleep well. This is as important as research for your scientific paper. It’s also equally important as your preparation is for the dissertation defense.

2. Learn public speaking and presentation skills

If you have done this before, i.e. public speaking or presentation, it would be relatively easy for you to present and defend your dissertation in front of the questioning committee. If you are going to do this for the first time, you should learn and practice it.
In either case, you have to observe yourself for improvements. Check if your speech is smooth and voice is steady. Also, check if you feel anxious while speaking. Watch conferences and research presentations given by successful people. Observe their style and tone, develop your own, and you will be better at defending your dissertation given that you know the answers to every question.

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3. Know what it takes to defend from the successful students

Being ready for the presentation and being fit for the day is good. But knowing about real experiences from the past successful students can be a great help. Meet the students and discuss how they felt while defending their scientific thesis.
Also, ask for their suggestions and feedback to improve your defense. You can also have an idea on deep the committee members can go to know about your research and it’s worth. It will help you get yourself ready for the dissertation presentation before your professors.

4. Gather as many questions as possible with their answers

One of the best ways to win any discussion or debate is to be ready with the answers to any possible question. Do the same preparation for your defense day. Get your dissertation read by as many people as possible and get possible questions from them. And have answers to all the questions.
Also, get ready for the unexpected questions. Re-read your paper for several times and think from the point of view of a reader with the same level of knowledge and expertise as you. This way, you will defend your dissertation against most of the unexpected questions.

5. Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your field

Knowing what is going on in your field can make a big difference. There may be a question which is not clearly addressed. It may be the case that a development is completely new, and you have not included it in your dissertation. In that case, it would be very helpful if you have all the latest updates regarding your field. However, if you have a fear to miss the necessary information, you may try this out.
Stay tuned with the latest news on researches on your chosen subject. Read magazines and journals regularly to stay up-to-date. It will save you from stress and nervousness in the room while defending your dissertation.

6. You are the master your dissertation

Though you will be asked the questions from the experts and experienced people, remember that you are the master of your work. You are the person who knows the most about your dissertation. You have done your research and you are the person who understands the results and outcomes better than any person in the room.
So be confident and have faith in yourself. Assure yourself that you are the expert and the most knowledgeable person when it comes to the discussion on your dissertation. It’s ok not to know everything, but you should be high on confidence for whatever you know. This will help you stay strong and relaxed during the presentation of your work to the board.

7. Know who are you going to face

The committee members are experts in their fields. There are great chances that they will be knowing something that you don’t know in the subject you have chosen for your dissertation. So, check updates on their work and see their recent contributions.

While you will be knowing more about your dissertation, knowing about the recent work of the committee members can help you a lot. Try to figure out possible questions from them. Some may be friendly and will share their questions before the meeting, others may keep you in suspense. Thus doing some hard-work in guessing their possible questions will help you in defending your dissertation effectively.

8. Know the place and arrangements

If you know about the tools and arrangements of the meeting room, you will save last minute stress. Make a list of gadgets you should be carrying in the room so that you don’t have to look for help from the staff.
Ask the administration staff about the procedure and set up and prepare accordingly. Some universities use an overhead projector while some use a tabletop projector. Some provide laptop while other require you to bring your own. Some may also require you to hand over the prints of important charts and diagrams. So, get ready with your tools like a laptop, microphone, pen drive and other tools to avoid confusion and save time.

9. Have a positive end in mind

Stay relaxed and be positive about the results. Also, get ready for the celebration with your family, relatives, and friends. It will be your day and will not come again. So have complete faith in yourself and see yourself successful as it will have a positive impact on your physical appearance and mental state during the defense of your dissertation.

10 Take feedback and comments positively

Even if you have worked very hard and taken care of every small detail during your research, there may be some points missing in your dissertation. Comments, suggestions, and feedback on those points from the questioning professors will be useful for your further research.
It’s completely acceptable and is your chance to broaden your knowledge in the field. So, take them positively and assure yourself to be ready to work further on them.

We hope you will be better at defending your dissertation with the help of these tips.
Best wishes!

The worldwide mental health crisis in higher education

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Each of us are different from one another. Just like these differences in ourselves, we all have our own unique experiences with big events in life. Education is one of them. We all feel the pressures of education when we are students. At some point in the game, there is a moment – or multiple – that feel like they are swarming us too much. Whether that moment presents itself when looking at the GMAT test series before the big examinations, or when we are struggling under the mountain of assignments that are all due within five days – or less – of one another, we have all felt it.

For some students, it is an unfortunate reality that they feel the pressures more so than their peers do. Constantly, in some cases. It can feel like the weight of the world is squarely on your shoulders, and you have no way to escape it. The light at the end of the tunnel feels dimmer and dimmer, until it seemingly disappears altogether. It is the single greatest misconception that students who struggle do so because they have weak mindsets. This is not only incorrect, but it is incredibly damaging.

One of the biggest problems with the global education system right now is that it largely still operates on a broad curriculum, that functions on the ideal that every student is to complete the same assignment, at the same time, in the same way. This approach to teaching is unhealthy, because each student has different learning capabilities, and essentially forcing them to all conform to the one learning approach is not only unfair, but positively brutal. The pressure is overwhelming to a fault.

In fact, it is the reason why it is not difficult at all to understand how there is a growing epidemic in schools around the globe that centers around the mental health of the students that go to those schools. The mental health of anyone, in any circumstance, should be of the utmost importance, but it is perhaps never more intense than when it is a student that is struggling to find the light in what should be an exciting, progressive stage in their lives. All over the world, students are struggling. This is not a geographical issue. This is a globally collective issue that is fast becoming an epidemic.

The mental health crisis spanning the globe is catastrophic. There is no denying this fact. What is fundamentally more heartbreaking again is the fact that people under immense pressure – i.e. students, for example – are dealing with the pressures by collapsing in on themselves, due to lack of honest, open, and non-judgmental assistance. This is something that must be changed. The time for action was yesterday, it was last year…it was even last decade. But it is better late than never, and we are responsible for pioneering that action forward and ensuring its longevity now and into the future. We cannot afford to keep losing students. We just cannot.

Contributing knowledge to the scientific community and to society

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Research is a term that individuals use on a daily basis but which they do not completely understand. It refers to the systematic investigation into materials and sources so as to establish facts and reach important conclusions. When it comes down to the field of science, research is conducted with the goal of making life better for people, while at the same time preserving natural and cultural diversity. The main purpose is therefore to find an explanation to why things happen in the natural world and to aid humanity. It is needless to say that undertaking scientific research is rewarding. There is the opportunity of doing something that matters. People who carry out organized and system investigation are currently working on issues that have no solution whatsoever. In other words, it is about the unanswerable questions that science has not been able to answer so far.

Can every research be considered scientific?
Research is of paramount importance in scientific, as well as non-scientific fields. The question now is: can every type of research be classified as scientific? This is a tough question to answer. News channels are supposed to conduct scientific research in the form of viewer polls. There are also online platforms claiming that they offer forthcoming information. It is important to not forget about graduate students who gather and analyze data relating to their topic. How is it possible to know if research is scientific? What is certain is that it is not possible to label every analysis as being scientific.

An investigation has to be conducted in order to reveal new information. There should be sufficient evidence to support what is being asserted. Even the best interventions need to be questioned in terms of reliability. As a rule, scientific methods consist of:
• Observation
• Posing a question
• Collecting data
• Forming a hypothesis
• Testing the supposition
• Analyzing the results
• Drawing conclusions
• Offering the scientific community and society solutions

Special emphasis needs to be placed on the research methods. Inquiries need to be carried out with rigor. Being extremely careful and thorough is actually what mainly distinguishes scientific research from other forms of investigation. Those who are not well acquainted with the research methods need to take into consideration the possibility of acquiring the services of a tutor. Just as it is possible to tutor science and connect with a tutor instantly, it is within the bounds of possibility to get a consultation with an expert in research methods. The tutors are selected by the best universities and they work with professionals at all levels. Getting back on topic, it is necessary to choose the adequate research methodologies and apply them in the scientific research process. They represent the means by which knowledge is created. Two principal methodologies can be identified as far as human knowledge is concerned:

Authoritarian
Rationalistic

In addition to what was mentioned before, it is worth acknowledging replication and validity. The main concern should be validity, as any kind of research can be negatively influenced by outside factors and the findings can, therefore, be invalidated. The point is that if the best practices are not applied and the criteria is not met, the research cannot be considered scientific. Generally speaking, research that is limited to analyzing secondary sets of data, records, or specimens does not count as innovation. The project should no doubt be reviewed.

Making a scientific contribution
There are many innovative research topics in chemistry. Chemists have long been inspired to make advances, motivation which is more or less synonym for passion. The main areas of interest include biomolecular catalysts, nanotechnology, and, last but not least molecular diagnosis and therapy for all sorts of illnesses. Research facilities enable brilliant minds, i.e. members of the scientific community to gain access to specialized instrumentation and expertise that they cannot find elsewhere. Scientists have all the necessary tools and the techniques at their disposal to establish a foundation for success.
Contributing to science and, implicitly, the community, is not difficult. After a topic of interest is chosen, it is necessary to identify a problem. In academic slang, this is called the research question. Owing to the fact that the research question is the thing around which the investigation is centered, it is very important that it is clear, concise, assertable, and complex. If there is information available on the topic, even better. It is impossible to work on the question in the absence of resources. By resources, it is understood funding and laboratory equipment. For instance, Argonne’s Chemical Sciences and Engineering (CSE) division has numerous facilities for advanced chemistry research.

Formulating a hypothesis is the next step of the process. This is basically an educated prediction that offers an explanation for an observable event. Finally, the research plan is outlined. The investigator needs to keep in mind the aim and design the experiment accordingly. What happens when someone contributes their results? Important questions are answered. The results are set to the database and scientists will be able to update their knowledge. Each project enriches the next. That is the way in which things work. Linking results enables researchers to obtain a comprehensive perspective of things. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that science is not only a body of science, it is also a way of getting to know the world.

Final considerations
The denomination scientific research is stricter than it used to be in the past. An enquiry supposes the use of thorough methodologies, the ultimate goal being to make a contribution to the scientific community and to society/ humanity. Doing research is a key part in the career of any scientist, of engineer for that matter. Something that is important deserves to be undertaken. It is not required to be a good writer, but it does help to write down words carefully. The findings will gradually uncover some truth relating to the universe. Even when the study has ended, the work can be continued.

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