Monday, July 31, 2006

How to plan your research of a term paper - link

Here's a related article on planning for a term paper. I like what Kathy has to say.

How to Plan your Research of a Term PaperBy Kathy Deisler

Planning the research process is one of the most critical aspects of writing a term paper. The purpose of the research is to convert the retrieved data into meaningful information. Before one starts writing a term paper one has to organize their research process.

Pressure builds as the final high school exams loom...

Well, the trials for the NSW Higher School Certificate have well and truly started with many a student facing the pressure [already] of their final secondary exams with nervous stomachs, bloodless lips and more than one prayer that they don't screw things up. The results of the Higher School Certificate [and equivalents] determine eligibility to tertiary education, specific careers, and the freedom of choice. Emotionally also, it has its effects. Way past the nervous wait for exams to start, young adults can gain loads of confidence with a good mark or sink into self-defeating attitudes with a low one.

The thing to remember though is that this final grading is not quite the life-shaping event students imagine. Yes, a good mark will open up a few more doors, but these doors are not locked against everybody else. Choice is still there for those students who may not have achieved as well as hoped, but have the strength and determination to follow a flexible plan.

Start before the doors to the examination hall squeak open to let in the latest crop of trembling teenagers. Have a plan for which direction you'd like to head career-wise. Investigate the requirements for achieving this: university course, TAFE or technical college course, apprenticeship, start-up employment. Find out what you need to do and how well do you need to perform. A university course will require lots of study and, often, classes in a similar field [eg. History, English and/or Language for an Arts Course].

Plan your attack. That is, time management. We all know studying is boring, especially when friends and good times beckon. However, a little time management [planning when and how long to study in advance] will allow you the leeway to do both. Balance is all-important. Forgoing all leisure pursuits and friends for your studies will soon get dry and dull. Plan for some going out time each week to refreshen your mind and boost your energy levels.

You have a vague to fair idea of what you want to do when you leave school, or, at least, you've identified an area of interest you wouldn't mind working in. You've figured out the path to achieving your long-term goal and what it takes to make your short-term goals. Now, work on a back-up plan.

There are alternative paths in every direction. If your marks aren't high enough for your chosen University course, can you go to a different college? Some technical colleges [we call them TAFE in Australia - Technical and Further Education], evening/private colleges offer courses that can be credited to university. Open University courses may be the start-up you need. Perhaps you'd like to try working [a few $$ in the pocket are always welcome]. Can you get a part-time job that is also related to your area of interest? Can you get a part-time job somewhere else and a volunteer position in your preferred industry?

Find out about redoing your final exams. Yes, this will mean more study and more school, but if you have the determination you can not only stick it out, but do much better the second time round. One, you'll be a year older and just that bit more mature [in most cases] and two, you'll know already what is expected of you and, hopefully, where you might have slipped up the first time round.

Opportunities are there for those students willing to do the digging, and knowing you have a back-up might just help you face exams with a little less trepidation and a lot more confidence. The trial examinations at this time of year are there to help show students where they may need to pick up their studies in individual topics. They are a gauge of how well you are doing. If you make mistakes or don't get the mark you were expecting then now is the time to turn things around. This is your chance to pick yourself up, give yourself a stern talking too and a swift kick up the backside. Or to seek outside help in the form of tutoring or suitable "support" education [also known as self-learning].

Remember your long-term goals. HSC is a short-term goal. Students [and their families] need to remember the big picture, plan early and not get caught up in the segments, or pixels, of school life. This way they can avoid a lot of the stress that builds up in the final year of high school. Knowing there is life after final exams and more than one path to follow will help settle the stomach and allow students to focus and concentrate on immediate goals, distant goals and what's really important - surviving secondary education with health and emotional intelligence firmly in place.


Readers are free to borrow this article for newsletters, etc, but please take the bio with you.

Trish Anderson is the creator of Beginnings, Middles and Ends, an e-write service currently at home at Drop in for a quick visit and chat, to read articles and other posts or to avail yourself of her reasonably priced freelance writing services, research and tutoring. Trish also critiques and writes fiction and non-fiction, and specialises in location research; her contribution to travel writing. You can contact her at

Friday, July 28, 2006

Curriculum Vitae

"expert author" at

contributing author to

contributing author to

editor of ArtBEAT - free community arts journal -$file/ArtBEAT_2006_jun_jul_aug.pdf

contributing author to

contributing author to local studies book - Our Best Always

Moderator of online critique group - The CornerCafe

Critiqued published works by Joanne Walpole

BME Writing & Research Services

I'm pleased to offer the following:

Writing service

Web content and general articles
Desktop publishing: creation and layout of newsletters, programs, menus etc
Presentations: notes, speeches and powerpoint presentation development/advice
Reports, correspondence, resumes

Critiquing service

Articles, shorts stories, reports, e-books, non-fiction essays/theses, whatever you've written. I read, comment, note corrections, make suggestions, offer advice...

Research service

Scouring of internet, books
Location/travel - I'll hit the road to find you the latest information on locations as per your brief - tourist information, transport, flora and fauna, people. Words and Images with this one!


I charge on an individual basis according to size of job, costs involved [especially location research], deadlines and time dedicated to complete a good job. Contact me with a description of your writing/research/tutoring requirements.

BME Tutoring Services

tutoring for students

Beginnings - ideas & planning of writing assignments
- requirements of assignment
- research skills

Middles - structure
- critique of first draft [includes editing for punctuation, spelling & grammar]
- pointers on where work can be improved
- format & referencing

Endings - final critique, making sure requirements have been met
- layout & presentation
- images
- bibliography

Can also help prepare for essay-writing in exams.

Any subjects where writing is a requirement [except Foreign Language]

Rates negotiated according to requirements

On researching your novel setting

Local Knowledge: background and historical setting in novels

You're writing a story set in your local city, but one hundred years in the past. How can you recreate the feel of the past in your words of the present? Local knowledge, that's how. And how do you get this sort of knowledge when your characters were walking around one hundred years ago and you're situated well and truly in the 21st century? Exploration on foot, a reliable camera and a willingness to stand on a street corner and imagine everything and everybody as it was in the past.

A good place to start, whether the city or town of your story is close by or not, is internet research. Major cities and many less major towns have their own tourist and business websites, visitor information sites, museum and exhibition listings, historical society and genealogy sites, and maps galore. Look closely for any sites that offer free tourist booklets. As well as the usual restaurant and accommodation guides, maps and business listings, most tourist booklets will also include photographs and brief histories of the area.

Next go to your local library or bookstore, and find travel guides to the location you're interested in. These travel guides will provide a well-rounded and "larger picture" of your area, and include customs, history, current information and maps. Other books that will be a boon to your research are historical novels and non-fiction works that are set in similar settings to your own. Non-fiction books have the added resource of the bibliography. Author talks are an extra benefit, especially question time. Have your questions prepared beforehand and listen to the questions and answers for other audience members.

If you live close to your setting or can travel there easily, the rest is as simple as driving off in your car or jumping on a train. Book yourself into a guided tourist walk. Put on your most comfortable walking shoes, grab your camera and a notebook, and off you go. From pub tours to historic house tours, there's a walk that will suit your historical needs. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Relate them to your characters and storyline, and not only will you get pertinent, accurate information, but you may also be inspired with extra plots and new story ideas.

Visit the local museum for that area, obtain a listing of historic houses, find the local public art [often historical in inspiration], trek through transport museums and art galleries, attend cultural events and participate in writers' festivals.

Factually, the accuracy of your novel should be vastly improved. Don't forget to take plenty of photos and notes, and collect fliers, booklets and maps at every opportunity. These are all resources that you can refer to in the future. Good research shows through in every paragraph.

The next step is to walk the streets of your novel setting on your own, if it's safe, or with a friend if you prefer. You should already know where the most appropriate sites are, going back for a second or third look will cement details in your head. Touch the walls, wander through gardens and smell the flowers, listen to the traffic and imagine how it must have sounded in the time period of your story. Your characters will be able to walk the streets and see the buildings for themselves. More importantly, your readers will be able to connect and relate to the realism you've brought to the pages.

Readers are free to borrow this article for newsletters, etc, but please take my bio with you.

Trish Anderson is the creator of Beginnings, Middles and Ends, an e-write service currently at home at Drop in for a quick visit and chat, to read articles and other posts or to avail yourself of her freelance writing services, research and tutoring. Trish also critiques and writes fiction and non-fiction, and specialises in location research; her contribution to travel writing.

Starting Out...

The thing I dislike most about diaries, electronic, cyber or otherwise is the mental block that snaps up as soon as I'm faced with a blank page or square. What on earth to write about? It is possibly made worse by the knowledge that other people might actually read my words and so added pressure ensues. Please be patient as I muddle my way through looking for ways to be both informative and interesting at the same time.

I'm here as a stepping stone to running my own site as a shopfront to my "about to blossom" writing business - Beginnings, Middles and Ends. BME offers ghostwriting, articles, web content, desktop publishing and e-tutoring.

I also write fiction and am in full possession of the usual writer's dream - a publishing contract worth millions and my name in lights.

As soon as I figure out how, I will post a few samples of work as well as "freebies" in the form of one or two short stories [and maybe some longer ones] that I have written.