My Views on Starting College

At the start of this year, I had a goal of getting into an Early College program so I can graduate high school early and have a head start on college. I didn’t have many options when looking for such a program in Arizona, especially since we live in a city that is like an island. I narrowed it down to two programs, the Move On When Ready program and a local community college’s First Step program.

The Move On When Ready program focuses on you graduating from high school when you’re ready. After your sophomore year in high school, you can take a test to see if you can graduate from high school. If you pass, you receive the Grand Canyon Diploma that says you have met the requirement for high school. The First Step program is where a high school student can take classes for the summer semester, and still attend high school. In the end, I decided I would do the First Step program. Mostly because going to school always seemed like a fantasy, rather than a reality. I really wanted to get the school experience and find out what my friends say I miss not going to school.

So I started to gather as much information that I could about the program, then I told my parents and they were fine with the idea. The process of getting started wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be overall. I filled out the First Step form, then went to the campus to take my placement test. The placement test was what I was worried about mostly. Even though you cannot fail the placement test, I thought I might get a low enough score that I would not be able to join. I cannot speak of what was on the test, but I did do well. I then met with an advisor and he told me all about college and what classes I should take. So now I’m taking three classes for the summer to start my college adventure in late May.

The College Writing Series: Translating Your Evidence

Now that we have gone through the first step of the essay process (picking evidence), it’s time to analyze your evidence. As I’ve said in past posts, college writing is about creating your own insight, rather than writing about other individual’s insight (for example, writing a book report). Professors do not want a review of the reading, they want to know what you thought about it. Being able to present your thoughts in an organized, easy-to-understand manner will earn you the better grade.

“How do I go about analyzing my evidence,” you ask? In CEA format, there are three steps:

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The College Writing Series: How to Pick Great Evidence For Your Essays

A few weeks ago, I started the first true series of Teach Them Right, called The College Writing Series. My first post for the series gave a very brief overview of the format I will be using (CEA – Claim, Evidence, Analysis), and what to expect in future posts.

Now on my second post of this series, I would like to touch on the first step of writing a college-level essay in CEA format, picking evidence for your paragraph. By picking your evidence before doing anything else, you are able to form your argument based off of the evidence instead of picking evidence that fits your argument.

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3 Reasons Why College Textbooks Are So Expensive and How to Save as Much Money as Possible

The ever-rising costs of college tuition have caused many to rethink their education, but one subject that has gotten under many noses is college textbooks. According to the Huffington Post, in 2014 college textbooks had increased in price by 812 percent since 1978, beating medical services, new house prices, and inflation.

CollegeBoard estimated that last year’s average undergraduate spent about $1,300 on textbooks over two semesters, as seen in the image below.

2015-2016 college expenses

I can personally say that my textbooks have cost more than that this semester. I spent over $700 on three classes and thankfully, I already had the book for my fourth class. That sets me up to pay about $1,400 by the end of the school year.

So why are college textbooks so expensive and what can you do about it to save money?

Who’s to Blame?

Wonder who to point fingers at when it comes to expensive books? It’s both the publishers’ and schools’ fault.

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The College Writing Series: An Overview of CEA Format

I’m happy to announce that I will be starting the first true series of Teach Them Right called The College Writing Series, aimed to assist you in teaching your child the basics of writing in college! In my last post, 7 Rules to Writing in College, I pointed out a few things that differentiate high school writing from college writing, so it is best to check out that post before reading this one.

In this new series, I’ll teach what is called CEA Format, and is essentially a method to help your body paragraph structure. CEA (which stands for Claim, Evidence, and Analysis) was taught to me in my first semester of the Early College Alliance, the college prep program I entered in the 10th grade. Over the past few years of writing for college professors, I have found that when I use CEA format my essays are generally complimented for their flow and logical progression, both of which are important for a reader. Now I use CEA in almost all of academic writing, sometimes even in short answer questions.

“So why should I use this format?”

CEA format is extremely helpful when it comes to organization of an essay.

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7 Rules to Writing in College

As the summer starts to wind down and supermarkets start their “Back to School” sales, that can only mean one thing… the start of a new school year.

Maybe you have a high schooler that you’re going to homeschool, and you’d like to prepare them for college. One of the biggest things that I had to learn is that high school writing is not the same as college writing. Usually, freshmen get slapped in the face because the same essays that were earning “A’s” in high school start to be labelled as “not really there yet” in college.

Here are a few rules that you can start using in your teaching to help your student prepare for college:

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