Strategies for Improving Workplace Behavior and Performance

From Leadership Expert Dr. Diane Hamilton

Grammar: When It Just Does Not Sound Correct

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My job has taught me that a lot of people struggle with grammar and spelling. My first sentence brought to mind one of the most common spelling errors. Many of my students type “a lot” as one word, which is incorrect. There is no such word as “alot”. If spelling is not hard enough, grammar is just as tricky because some things that are correct, do not sound correct. I know I tend to say things incorrectly just to sound like everyone else. For example, people might look at you funny if you correctly stated, “that is she” instead of incorrectly stated “that is her”. Continue reading “Grammar: When It Just Does Not Sound Correct”

Professors’ Expectations: Helpful Writing Tips for College Students

 

Students often struggle with writing essays.  Some have difficulty with structure. Others dread dealing with APA formatting. I teach everything from bachelor-level to doctoral-level courses.  The following contains some helpful writing tips that I have found may make writing essays a little easier.

Continue reading “Professors’ Expectations: Helpful Writing Tips for College Students”

Self-Publishing with CreateSpace

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  I am interested in self-publishing a book.  Can you tell me about your experience with self-publishing and things you have done to market your books?

That is a good question and one that I often receive.  Check out my previous posting:  How to Publish or Self-Publish Your Book.  I used Createspace for self-publishing.  I had a great experience with them. They are affiliated with Amazon.  The site offers different options based on authors’ needs.  Some of those options included:

  • Do-it-yourself tools to design interiors and covers
  • Comprehensive design and editing
  • Expanded distribution options

I found that the company was very responsive to my questions.  They took my design ideas and gave me a couple of covers to choose from based on my input.

Createspace is not limited to book publishing. They also work with musicians and filmmakers.

Once your book is published, and available on Amazon, you will then have the ability to create an Amazon author page.  That author page can incorporate links from your blog. Authors also have the option of making their books available on Amazon’s Europe-based site.

There are plenty of books that can help increase your sales on Amazon’s site.  One book that I thought was pretty useful was: Aiming at Amazon.

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Difference between Feasibility Study and Business Plan

 

Entrepreneurs face many challenges when creating a new venture.  Although the business plan is one of the most well-known documents, the feasibility study may be just as important.  Before the entrepreneur can seek funding, he or she must demonstrate that the idea is truly a good one.

Rochester.edu explained that a feasibility study, “can be defined as a controlled process for identifying problems and opportunities, determining objectives, describing situations, defining successful outcomes, and assessing the range of costs and benefits associated with several alternatives for solving a problem.”

In order to create a feasibility study, entrepreneurs need to define dimensions of business viability including:  market viability, technical viability, business model viability, management model viability, economic and financial model viability, and exit strategy viability.

A good outline for a feasibility study includes:

  • Introduction
  • Product or Service
  • Technology
  • Market Environment
  • Competition
  • Industry
  • Business Model
  • Market and Sales Strategy
  • Production Operations Requirements
  • Management and Personnel Requirements
  • Regulations and Environmental Issues
  • Critical Risk Factors
  • Financial Predictions Including:  Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, Break Even Analysis, and Capital Requirements
  • Conclusion

A feasibility study is not the same thing as a business plan.  The feasibility study would be completed prior to the business plan.  The feasibility study helps determine whether an idea or business is a viable option.  The business plan is developed after the business opportunity is created.  StrategicBusinessTeam.com explained, “A feasibility study is carried out with the aim of finding out the workability and profitability of a business venture. Before anything is invested in a new business venture, a feasibility study is carried out to know if the business venture is worth the time, effort and resources. A feasibility study is filled with calculations, analysis and estimated projections while a business plan is made up of mostly tactics and strategies to be implemented in other to grow the business.”

While it may seem the feasibility study is similar in many ways to the business plan, it is important to keep in mind that the feasibility study is developed prior to the venture.  StrategicBusinessStream pointed out that “a feasibility study can readily be converted to a business plan.”  It’s important to think of the business plan in terms of growth and sustainability and the feasibility study in terms of idea viability.

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Euphemisms, Metaphors, Clichés, Oxymorons and More

If you do not know the definition of some of the words in this title, you are not alone.  Although many of these things are used in every day conversation, many people may look puzzled if you ask them to define them.

 

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Top Resources for Writing College Papers

Please review the following video and articles for help with formatting, APA, grammar and other writing issues.  To return to Dr. Diane Hamilton’s blog, click here. For updates on help with writing, bookmark the following page:  Dr. Diane’s Writing Help

Checklist for Writing the Perfect College Paper

Professors may assume that students understand the basics when it comes to writing college research papers. In reality, many students are frustrated by all of the requirements.  There are not a lot of easy checklists that put all of the requirements into one location. The following checklist should be used as a helpful guide to help college students write a well-researched and properly presented paper.

Write in introduction/body/conclusion format

  • Introduction – The first paragraph introduces what will be included in the paper.  It is a good idea to have the first sentence of the first paragraph include a hook to interest the reader.  Students should list a few sentences that summarize the main topics that will be addressed in the paper.  In this example, assume that three things will be covered based on the assignment requirements. End the introductory paragraph with the thesis statement.
  • Body – The body is where the three things, required for the assignment, are addressed. Students should start each paragraph with a topic sentence. Students should write a few sentences about that topic.  Students should end that paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads into the next topic that will be addressed in the following paragraph.  This process should be completed for all paragraphs until the last paragraph.
  • Conclusion – The last paragraph may begin with something like, “In conclusion”.  This last paragraph will sum up the three topics addressed. The last sentence should restate the thesis statement listed in the introduction, and end with some sort of final prediction or conclusion.

Write in complete paragraphs – Paragraphs should ideally contain between 4-8 sentences.  Students often make the mistake of writing in incomplete paragraphs or overly long paragraphs.  Click here for more information about paragraph structure.

Avoid run-on sentences – Sentences should not be overly complex.  Students should check how many times the word “and” is used.  This may signal a run-on sentence.

Write in APA format – Set up papers that include a title page, double-spacing, indented paragraphs, page numbers, correctly cited sources, etc. per APA.

Research the paper through the school’s library – Students often make the mistake of researching through the use of Google or other popular search engines.  Students may also make the mistake of relying on sources that are less than scholarly. Sites like Wikipedia may offer some good information but they are not considered reliable or scholarly sources for research papers.  Students should use the school’s search engine, located in the online library.  Students should click the box that searches for scholarly, peer-reviewed journals to ensure the sources are appropriate.

Cite consistently and correctly throughout the paper – Students often make the mistake of thinking they are story-telling when they should be demonstrating research.  Students should get into the habit of paraphrasing rather than listing direct quotations.  Students should avoid patchworking.  Students should not make the mistake of listing references without citations. This is a common mistake.  Research papers require both citations AND references.  Students should also not make the mistake of simply ending a paraphrased paragraph with (author last name, year) to cite all information covered in the paragraph. This is also a common mistake and can be considered plagiarism.  Every sentence of paraphrased work requires the author and year information.  Click here for information about how to cite.

Submit the paper to TurnItIn – Many schools offer TurnItIn’s plagiarism checker.  This is an excellent tool that is helpful to both the students and the schools. Students should get in the habit of submitting his or her papers through this software program to insure that they are not inadvertently plagiarizing information.

Check narrative mode – Many courses do not allow students to write in first person.  If this is the case, students should not refer to themselves.  Students should look for words like I, we, us, me.  These words should not be included if the paper does not allow first person.

Check Word document format – Students often overlook the settings in the Word document.  Students should be sure that the font, margins and settings are correctly set to APA requirements.

Check spelling and other miscellaneous issues – Students should read the final draft more than once. Even if everything seemed OK in the paper, it is a good idea, for students to read it several times to look for small errors.  Students should check for spacing issues.  Students should also check that there are two spaces after periods per APA.  Students should spell-check the document to be sure all spelling issues are resolved.

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Top 5 Secrets for Online Student Success

Online education is growing at a pace that far exceeds general education enrollment.  Because of the popularity of online learning, many traditional universities are offering online courses.  Forbes recently reported that MIT will soon offer free education for everyone. With all of the online options available, students may be confused as to where to go for helpful information.  There are plenty of sites available to help online students find schools, locate loans and even determine majors.  What is not as readily available is information about how to be a successful online student once he or she is enrolled.

The following is the top 5 list of things that can help the new online student succeed once they have already chosen their school and major.  Click on the blue links for more information about each topic:

  1. Learn Goal Setting – Read about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.  The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant (sometimes also Results-Based), and Timely (or Time-Bound).  Students should set S.M.A.R.T. education goals. Those that neglect to do this may find that it takes them longer to graduate, while they waste time and money.
  2. Learn Tools Offered – Most online universities offer some extremely helpful writing, editing and plagiarism-checking tools.  The school’s online site may also have helpful tutorials to explain how to use the software (also known as the platform) that delivers the classroom information.  Learning how to navigate in the online classroom may take a little time.  However, after taking the first class, many students feel more confident in their navigating abilities.
  3. Use the School’s Library – Students may forget that their university has an online library.  It is important that students do not get in the habit of searching for information using Google, Yahoo! and other similar engines. A well-written paper is supported by peer-reviewed articles.  These may be easily found using the school’s search engines located in their online library.
  4. Learn APA – APA stands for American Psychological Association.  For college students, APA refers to the format in which papers should be written.  While APA may seem daunting to the new learner, there are some very useful examples of APA papers online that can help explain the requirements.
  5. Learn How to Cite – Professors often require students to cite research in his or her papers.  Most often they must cite in APA format.  There are some helpful sites to help students learn how to cite correctly.  Students must also learn how to paraphrase, include in-text citations and avoid plagiarism.

Click here for more useful tips about how to be a successful online college student.

Related article:

Words to Capitalize in a Title

 

Bloggers and other writers may experience confusion as to which words should be capitalized in a title of an article.  I sometimes capitalize all words so that I do not have to look up the rules.  But it is good form to learn how to write correctly.  The following rules apply to capitalizing titles:

  • Always capitalize the first as last words of the title as well as verbs, adverbs, adjectives, nouns and pronouns.
  • Consistently capitalize or do not capitalize conjunctions (examples:  but, for, and) or prepositions (examples: words that show a relationship between the noun/pronounce with another word – example:  from, over, around, about, before, behind) with five or more letters.  Older rules required no capitalization and newer rules require capitalization if words contain five letters or more. Exception: If the word is the last word or the first word in a title, then it should be capitalized.
  • Do not capitalize articles (example: a, an, the), prepositions (see examples above), conjunctions (see examples above) with four letters or fewer, and the particle “to” used with an infinitive (example: to do; to be).  Exception: If the word is the last word or the first word in a title, then it should be capitalized.

 

Never have your title all in CAPITALIZED LETTERS because this is not only incorrect, it is considered yelling.

 

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Successful Students Use Plagiarism and Editing Programs

 

Students who do not use their school’s library writing centers are missing important, helpful information, and their grades may be suffering because of this.  Online universities offer some very useful tools that can help students to edit their papers, locate scholarly journals, and even double-check for plagiarism issues.  Some of the programs available to students include professional editing software like WritePoint, a database search engine like Proquest, and a plagiarism checker like TurnItIn.  Some schools may use different programs other than WritePoint or TurnItIn, but the programs function similarly.  Students should check their online library for availability of specific writing tools.

The successful student will do their research through the school’s library database search engines.  Once they have written their paper, and have double-checked that they have met all of the teacher’s requirements, they will submit it to the editing software (if available) and the plagiarism checker (required by many schools).  The following gives an explanation of how these three programs work:

  • Professional Editing Software – Example: WritePoint is a program that inserts comments directly into the student’s paper just like a professional editor.  The program will highlight grammar and spelling issues as well as other formatting issues including:  Capitalization issues, clichés, wording choices, use of second person, subject/verb agreement, weak or redundant wording, improper punctuation or hyphenation, and subject/pronoun disagreement.  The student will receive their paper back with comments. At this point, the student can make the appropriate suggested changes and then submit their paper as assigned.  This helps teach the student how to edit their own papers and dramatically improves their ability to get a higher grade.  This also allows professors to focus on the student’s content.  Not all schools offer editing software.

 

  • Database Search Engine – Example: Proquest is a program that offers over 30 databases of information including:  Dissertations, Newspapers and scholarly journals.  For students doing research that requires peer-reviewed scholarly sources, this can be a very helpful tool.  Students should use their school’s library search engine rather than researching through sites like Google or Yahoo!

 

 

  • Plagiarism Checker – Example: TurnItIn is the leading program that checks for plagiarism issues.  The program carries over 150 million archived papers.  There are a variety of websites where students can purchase papers.  Schools are very aware of these sites and programs like TurnItIn will catch these papers.  Students should be aware that professors will submit their papers to TurnItIn and will catch them if they try to submit work that is not their own.

Students may have had some initial training regarding these programs when they first entered school.  However, with all of the other things they had to learn at the time, many may have forgotten the importance of these tools. Students with questions about what his or her school offers, should ask their guidance counselor.

The top articles on this site that are helpful to a student’s success include:

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How to Paraphrase and Avoid Using Direct Quotes

 

Some professors require that students avoid direct quotations within their writing.  One reason for this is that students may have a tendency to rely too much on what others have written.  They may take large amounts of directed quoted material and copy and paste it into their writing in order to meet page or word requirements.  This is not acceptable.

Students must still cite to explain where they obtained their research.  To cite correctly, students should get into the habit of paraphrasing. In this way, students give the original author credit for their work by citing the source of the information without quoting it word for word.  Citing means acknowledging where they obtained the information.  A student must be careful not to paraphrase everything they write.  The student should not neglect to include their own analysis.  Duke University provides useful information about avoiding patchworking and paraphrasing in APA style.

Paraphrasing occurs when the writer take someone else’s thoughts and information and restates it into his or her own words.  Think of it as more of a restatement than a summary. Owl Purdue explained that it is better than quoting word for word because it eliminates the temptation to cite too heavily.  Owl Purdue’s Paraphrase:  Write in Your Own Words is an excellent learning tool and it includes 6 Steps to Effective Paraphrasing.

To learn how to cite correctly, check out a helpful link from plagiarism.com that explains how to paraphrase properly.  For more examples of how to paraphrase, check out:  Examples of how to paraphrase without plagiarizing.  The Writer’s Handbook also gives some helpful tips about methods of paraphrasing and how to paraphrase difficult texts.

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Top 10 Sources for Help with APA 6th Edition

Students often find it challenging to write papers that meet APA guidelines.  The following table demonstrates how difficult it can be just to cite correctly.

The following is a list of some of the most useful resources to help write a paper that meets APA requirements.

  1. Purdue Online Writing Lab APA 6th Edition – One of the most excellent resources for all things APA, writing, punctuation, grammar, mechanics, MLA, and more . . . main Purdue site index.
  2. APA Style Lite for College Papers – Free style guide that gives excellent examples of how things should look in APA 6th edition.
  3. Sample APA Paper from Owl Purdue – Excellent example of a paper with arrows and text boxes pointing out each area of the paper and how it should look.
  4. APA 6th Edition Tutorial – Video demonstration of changes in most recent APA edition.
  5. APA 6th Edition Style Headings – Examples of the different levels of headings.
  6. Meeting APA 2 Spaces After Periods Requirement – Video of how to easily change from one space to two spaces after periods to meet 6th edition guidelines.
  7. Long Quotation Requirements – How to space longer quotations in APA 6th edition.
  8. Removing that Extra Space Between Paragraphs – Video demonstration of how to use the home tab in Word to find paragraph settings to remove any spaces from in between paragraphs.
  9. Accessing Headers and Page Numbers in Word – Video demonstration of how to set up headers and page numbers.
  10. Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes – Additional APA information, first person explanation, vocabulary, grammar, anthropomorphisms, Wikipedia, and more.

What is a Backronym or Bacronym?

 

People often use the word acronym but what is a backronym?  First it may help to explain an acronym. An acronym is formed from initial letters of several words to make a specific word.  A good example would be how FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions.

A backronym works backward. It is constructed so that an acronym can be formed into a specific word.  An example would be when Amber Hagerman was abducted, there was something created called an AMBER Alert.  In this case AMBER stands for America’s Missing:  Broadcast Emergency Response.

There are some more recent examples commonly used in the news.  Reporters have been using the TEA in Tea Party to stand for Taxed Enough Already.  Some older commonly used examples of using backronyms include:

Golf:  Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden

Bing:  Because It’s Not Google

AIG:  Arrogance Ignorance and Greed

One of the longest ones I’ve heard was OLDSMOBILE – Old Ladies Driving Slowly Making Others Behind Increasingly Late Everyday.

For an extensive list of backronyms, click here to check out a Businessballs article.

Anthropomorphisms: When Not to Use Them

There is a really big word that students should know, but may not.  That word is anthropomorphic.  Technically it means to give human form or attributes to something that is not human. It is popularly used in children’s books.  However, doctoral students often have their dissertations rejected for including anthropomorphisms.

Here are some examples of what an anthropomorphism looks like:

  • The study assumed that people would not be interested.
  • The computer program thinks that the results are accurate.

Both of these sentences should not be used.  The reason is that a person can “assume” but a study cannot. Animate nouns are things like a person, a researcher or a participant.  Animate nouns can make an assumption.  An inanimate noun, like a research study, cannot.  Just like an animate noun, a researcher can “think”, but an inanimate noun, a computer, cannot.

To put it more simply, think of it this way:

  • Person, Researcher, Participant = assume and think
  • Study, Computer, Inanimate Object ≠ assume and think

What is the Difference Between a Citation and a Reference?

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What do professors mean when they say to include citations and references?

Students are often required to have both citations and references when creating their college assignments.  There can be confusion as to what the difference is between a citation and a reference.  Cornell explains, “a citation occurs when you use a specific source in your work and then follow up with the proper bibliographic information; plagiarism issues arise when you use a specific source, but fail to indicate what you have borrowed, and/or fail to provide proper bibliographic information a reference is the bibliographic information that guides readers to your source.”

It may seem easier to understand when given examples of each.  Here is an example of a citation:

“Canadians can celebrate that smoking rates have dropped dramatically in Canada in the past three decades” (Reutter, 2001, p. 13). 

You may also paraphrase what others have written.  Here is an example of how to do this correctly:

According to the Canadian Lung Association (2008), most people who quit smoking use a combination of methods. 

These should be included within the body of the document. They should not be confused with references.  References should be included on the separate Reference Page.

An example of how to list references on a Reference Page is listed below.  Keep in mind that formatting will not show up correctly on a blog.  The first line of each reference should be at the left margin and each following line should be indented 1/2 inch.  Here is an example without the indentations showing up:

References

Canadian Lung Association. (2008). How to quit. Retrieved May 26, 2008, from http://www.lung.ca/protect-protegez/tobacco-tabagisme/quitting-cesser/how-comment_e.php

Reutter, L. (2001). Health and wellness. In P. A. Potter, A. G. Perry, J. C. Ross-Kerr, & M. J. Wood (Eds.), Canadian fundamentals of nursing (2nd ed.) (pp. 2-30). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Harcourt Canada.

It is important to note that many students think they should just include references to show the sites they visited or read to complete the assignment.  This is not correct.  References should be listed to explain where the citation information was obtained.  If a citation was not listed within the document, it doesn’t make sense to list a reference.

Career Dreams are Attainable: Expert Guides Readers to Ultimate Success

 

01.17.2011– Dr. Diane Hamilton is the go-to expert on all things career. The author of three books, she urges readers to not be afraid to try new things. Most importantly, students and job hunters alike must be self-aware, allowing them to know what they want and to allow them to have the career of their dreams.

Bill Gates is not the only one who believes that online education is the wave of the future. In The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything you Need to Know to be a Successful College Online Student, Hamilton guides readers through the process. It took Diane many years to become a successful online teacher and it is the job she loves the most from her 30+ year working career. It’s time readers heed the advice of seasoned professor Hamilton.

In her second book How to Reinvent Your Career: Make More Money Doing What You Love, Diane delves deeper into the importance of taking that degree and making life choices to better oneself. After reinventing herself over 10 times in her career, Diane Hamilton learned many business and life lessons along the way, making her the consummate professional for advice regarding all things career. This in-depth book covers everything from how to properly use social marketing to studying the marketplace. A detailed analysis of up and coming careers is also included. Getting down to the “nitty gritty,” Diane Hamilton proves with this book that she has the power to convey what would be overwhelming information in a concise, no-nonsense yet friendly approach.

“With my first two books, I based my writing on life experience and sharing what I know,” said Hamilton. “Then I wanted to take it to the next level, taking advantage of my training and certification in personality assessments. I chose to have some fun and co-authored my third book with my daughter, Toni Rothpletz. Together we created a book, meant to be entertaining learning for post-boomer workers trying to decipher personalities in the workplace.”

Personality tests abound. Which one is right for each individual? Together Hamilton and Rothpletz analyze each test and leave it up to the reader (with guidance) to find the personality test that works for them. They make the case that having a certain level of self-awareness prepares those of all generations for the complicated personalities issues in the modern workplace. “New Gens,” a term coined by Hamilton and Rothpletz, includes Gen X, Gen Y and the Millennial generations. The authors explain how this unique group has specific expectations in the current working environment. Honing in on the fact that Americans spend a large majority of their time in the office, Hamilton and Rothpletz claim that it is not only encouraged but necessary to find a way to get along with all generations. It is a vastly diverse workplace in 2011 with boomers still working and Millennials soon to be taking their place. With Hamilton’s and Rothpletz’s sound advice new workers will be geared up for career success. A fun, entertaining, inspiring read, It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace, is a must-have for job seekers and survivors in today’s every-changing work environment.

Hamilton has taken it to the next level this year, offering three informative reads. With her work, readers can navigate the often scary and unchartered world of careers. The US is the land of dreams and opportunities. Authors like Hamilton can help guide readers to improve their potential. Careers can be fun. Careers can be reinvented. Most importantly—dreams are attainable. Dr. Diane Hamilton has proven that.

About the Authors:
Diane Hamilton currently teaches bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level courses for six online universities. Along with her teaching experience, she has a Doctorate Degree in Business Management and more than twenty-five years of business and management-related experience. She is a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor as well as a certified Emotional Intelligence trainer.

Toni Rothpletz has a Bachelor Degree in Global Business Marketing and is currently working on receiving her MBA. She currently works as a business developer/sales executive in the computer industry. Her background includes working in several industries including computer software, identity theft, and social networking organizations.

To find out more about their writing or to schedule an interview, visit Dr. Hamilton’s website at http://drdianehamilton.com or her blog at http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/.

Review copies are available.

The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything you Need to Know to be a Successful College Online Student by Diane Hamilton—August 2010 ($14.95/Amazon). ISBN: 9780982742808

How to Reinvent Your Career: Make More Money Doing What You Love by Diane Hamilton—September 2010 ($16.95/Amazon). ISBN: 9780982742815

It’s Not You It’s Your Personality: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace by Diane Hamilton and Toni Rothpletz–December, 2010 ($19.95/Amazon). ISBN: 9780982742839 Approximately 220 pages

PR Contact:
Rebecca Crowley, RTC Publicity
649-619-1178
rebecca@rtcpublicity.com

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2011 Top 10 Things You Should Not Put On Your Resume

image via google.com

In a tough economy, many people are trying to perfect their resumes.  It is a very competitive market out there, with many competing for the few coveted jobs.  It is important not to make the mistake of including inappropriate information in your resume or cover letter as this is the first thing that companies use to judge you.

I read an interesting article about whether you should include your MBTI and IQ results on your resume.  AskaManager.com didn’t think this was a good idea explaining, “Resumes are for listing your accomplishments; they’re not for personal traits. Listing that you’re an “ESTJ” does give me some information about you, but it doesn’t tell me what you’ve achieved and experienced, which is what I’m looking for when I look at your resume.” 

This made me think about all of the resumes I’ve screened that had inappropriate information listed on them.  Here is my top list of things you should never include on your resume:

  1. Age, weight, height, religion, race, political affiliation, pets, marital status and other personal information
  2. Salary requirements
  3. Inappropriate email names (example:  Toosexy at blahblah.com)
  4. Medical issues
  5. High School Information, High School Memberships
  6. Photograph
  7. Personal negative feelings about a position or employer
  8. Hobbies or activities that imply religious affiliation
  9. IQ, EQ, Personality Results, Mensa, GPA
  10. Overly large or busy fonts and colors on resume and cover page

Some career sites note that the objective and reference sections are not a good addition.  I don’t personally think those are as much of a problem.  In fact, I think an objective statement can help if a person’s past jobs aren’t in line with the job they are hoping to obtain. Including the phrase “References Available Upon Request” is still acceptable although not required.  It is not correct to actually list the people being used as references unless they are requested.

WordPress To Introduce New Stats Features For Authors

 

Many blogs on WordPress are large enough that they have several authors writing for them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see which author is bringing in the most views?  Well now you can. 

According to TimesoftheInternet.com, “Now, WordPress is introducing a stats feature which will allow the admin to see which posts are profitable and which authors are bringing in the most profit. This way, they can ask their authors to change their styles to bring in more profit for the site. This is one feature that is very useful for WordPress blog admins. They can easily manage their top authors from their dashboard and make necessary changes.This feature should be available very soon, probably in the next beta release of WordPress.  So if you’re running a WordPress blog, you could make good use of this feature which will help you manage your site authors.”

The Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes

 

Ask Dr. Diane: What are the most common writing mistakes that your students make?

While it is not unusual to see spelling and grammar issues, I’ll assume that readers realize that they should check for such things and just list the top 10 most common other issues I see here. I hope this posting will give some insight into how to set up your papers so that you can avoid making these common mistakes.

  1. Papers not set up with double-spacing – To set your paper to be double-spaced, be sure you are on the home tab in Word and go to the paragraph section of the tool bar.  There is an up and down arrow icon that you can click on.  When you do this, it will give you choices of how to set up your spacing. Pick 2.0 to set double-spacing. 
  2. Papers should not have an extra space between paragraphs – Remember that papers must be double-spaced throughout in APA.  Word sometimes defaults with an extra space between paragraphs.  To change this, click here.
  3. Papers must have headers/numbers set up correctly through the header/number function in Word – To learn how to do this, click here.
  4. Papers must be set up with an introduction/body/conclusion – Your introduction and conclusion need to be strong summaries of what the paper will or has included.  For more about how to write an essay, click here.
  5. Papers should not be written in first person – Remove the “I” or “Me” from your writing. For an explanation of the meaning of first person, click  here.
  6. Citing and References confusion – Citing is the act of quoting a source.  For example:  “Citing is the act of quoting a source.” (Hamilton, 2010)  This is not to be confused with references.  References are included on a separate page with the title References at the top.  You must include references whenever you cite.  The reference explains who deserves credit for the citation.  Many students list references but no citations.  That is not correct.  You need both. 
  7. Paragraph length confusion – Students often either write in overly short or overly long paragraphs.  A good size paragraph is at least 3-4 sentences but should not be so long that it takes up an entire page or more.
  8. Papers should be left justified and not blocked – Students sometimes write in blocked format.  That is not correct.  Papers need to be left justified.  The setting for this is on the home tab under the paragraph part of the toolbar.
  9. Over citing – I see a lot of students who tend to write entire paragraphs of citing and forget to include their own writing in their work.  Although citing is important, it is also important to have your own points and statements.  Remember to make your point and then follow that up with citations to back up what you have written.  As a professor, I am looking to see that you have learned the subject and are not simply restating what others have said.
  10. Forgetting title page – Students often forget to include a title page.  It is very important that all papers include a title page that is correctly formatted in APA format. For helpful examples of APA formatting, click here.

For more help, see the following articles:

15 Ways to Improve Writing Skills for Students and Everyone Else

Removing Extra Spaces Between Paragraphs

How to Add Headers and Page Numbers in Word

APA Style:  5 Essential Tips for APA Style Headings

Citing Long Quotations in APA 6th Edition

Sample APA Paper – 6th Edition

Adding 2 Spaces After a Period to Meet APA 6th Edition Requirements

What is the Difference Between a Citation and a Reference?

Is Wikipedia Reliable?

PowerPoint – Resources and Examples to Make the Perfect Presentation

The Top 100 Vocabulary Words Adults Should Know

Sample APA 6th edition paper in PDF Form

Explanation of First, Second and Third Person Writing

Anthropomorphisms:  When Not to Use Them

Have Some Fun With Common Grammar Mistakes

TerriblyWrite Blog

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

How to Paraphrase and Avoid Using Direct Quotes

KIVA and IVA Talk Radio Interviews Dr. Diane Hamilton

Upcoming Episodes  

Date / Time: 10/20/2010 10:30 AM

Category: Jobs

Call-in Number: (347) 994-2414 

She’s an accomplished businessperson with real-life experience working in real estate, finance, technology and pharmaceutical industries. Her experience also includes working as an organizational development consultant helping companies with training, time management, emotional intelligence and facilitating the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument.

She’s going to help get your career in focus!

To hear the first interview, click here.
To hear the second interview, click here.  There were some connection issues so I apologize if it sounds like we were talking over one another here.

Can Texting Damage Writing Skills?

 

I often talk to my students about whether they feel texting has caused people to have more difficulties with their writing skills.  I personally see a lot of first-year students who abbreviate quite a bit, lack punctuation skills and don’t write in complete sentences. 

Young and younger children are receiving cell phones. It may make parents feel safer knowing they can reach their children. Tweens are learning to type in text abbreviations which may affect their ability to write well.  WJS.com reported “The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives 3,339 texts a month—more than 100 per day, according to the Nielsen Co., the media research firm. Adults are catching up. People from ages 45 to 54 sent and received 323 texts a month in the second quarter of 2010, up 75% from a year ago.” 

Eudopia.org recently posted a survey asking the following question to see if text messaging is harming students’ writing skills:  “IYO txtng = NME or NBD?” If you have no idea what that means . . . Translation: “In your opinion, is text messaging the enemy, or no big deal?” 

PiercePioneer.com asked, Mike Darcher, English instructor for 20 years if he felt texting was hurting our students’ writing ability.  He said he could not make the connection of bad texting habits being carried over into student’s writing. “In terms of writing skills, there is no way of measuring its impact,” Darcher said.

TimesDaily reported the results of a report of a study from Pew Internet and American Life Project. “The study was prompted in large part because of growing concerns over how text-based electronic communications affect the writing ability of students who are immersed in electronic media. Out of 700 youth aged 12-17 who participated in the phone survey, 60 percent say they don’t consider electronic communications – e-mail, instant messaging, mobile text – to be writing in the formal sense; 63 percent say it has no impact on the writing they do for school and 64 percent report inadvertently using some form of shorthand common to electronic text, including emotions, incorrect grammar or punctuation.”

Some linguists are mixed on the effect of texting on writing skills. There are those who think that this may not last and may just go the way of some slang words that are no longer used.  Some think that learning texting is just like learning another language.  As long as the students can keep them separated, then they see no problem with it. 

Texting may be a passing thing, but it is definitely here for now.  If you are trying to figure out what that text is or that abbreviation that someone sent you, you might want to check out the following list from the Vancouver Sun:

The top 10 commonly used abbreviations in texting — translated to plain English:

– 411 — All the information

– BBIAS — Be back in a second (also BBIF — be back in a few, and BBL — be back later)

– BFN — Bye for now

– ETA — Estimated time of arrival (used for deadlines and when to expect something/someone)

– FYI — For your information

– KK — Okay, okay (I understand what you’re saying)

– LOL — Laugh out loud

– OMG — Oh my God

– TTYL — Talk to you later (also TTYS — talk to you soon)

– UOK — Are you okay?

If you want to know what your kids are saying to each other, here are some common text abbreviations to watch for. Parent alerts include:

– PAW or 9 — Parents are watching

– POV — Parent over shoulder

– CD9 — Code 9, meaning Parents are around

– P911 — Parents coming into room alert

– PIR — Parents in room

– PSOS — Parent standing over shoulder

– KPC — Keeping parents clueless

– NP — Nosy parents (But this is also used as “no problem”)

Want to know your kids’ relationship status? Nothing to be alarmed about if they text:

– LYLAB — Love you like a brother

– LYLAS — Love you like a sister

– LDR — Long distance relationship

But you don’t want to see:

– 420 — Let’s get high/marijuana use

– LGH — Let’s get high

– LH6 — Let’s have sex

– LHOS — Let’s have online sex

– LIK — Liquor

How is their day going? Here are a few common indicators:

– 2MTH — Too much to handle

– ADIH — Another day in hell

– ADIP — Another day in paradise

– LTHTT — Laughing too hard to type

– HHIS — Head hanging in shame

– CWOT — Complete waste of time

– IMSB — I’m so bored

– BOOMS — Bored out of my skull

– 121 — One to one (private chat invitation)

If your son or daughter texts you a status report, you should be familiar with:

– BHL8 — Be home late

– CUL8R — See you later

– G2G — Got to go

– G2R — Got to run

– ILBL8 — I’ll be late

– TTYL — Talk to you later

New Kindle For the Web – Embed Book Excerpts

Readers can now read the first chapter of Kindle books for free through web browsers – no download or installation required
Bloggers and website owners can embed Kindle book samples and earn referral fees on sales
SEATTLE, Sep 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) –Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today introduced the beta version of “Kindle for the Web,” making it even easier for customers to discover new books and authors by sampling Kindle books directly through web browsers–no installation or downloading required. Amazon is also inviting bloggers and website owners who are participants in the Amazon Associates Program to be part of Kindle for the Web by embedding samples of Kindle books on their websites. These website owners will earn referral fees from Amazon when customers complete book purchases using the links on their websites. More information about Kindle for the Web and how to embed Kindle book samples is available at www.amazon.com/kindlefortheweb.

Customers simply click the “Read first chapter FREE” button on a book product page on Amazon or on other websites, and the first chapter will open within the web page. Customers can change the font size and line spacing, adjust the background color, and share their favorite books with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail–all without leaving the book in the browser.

“With Kindle for the Web, it’s easier than ever for customers to sample Kindle books – there’s no downloading or installation required,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Director, Amazon Kindle. “Kindle for the Web is also a great way for bloggers and authors to promote books on their websites by letting visitors read a chapter without leaving their site.”

To see examples of Kindle for the Web on authors’ websites, go to the blog of author Karen McQuestion at www.mcquestionablemusings.blogspot.com and the free sample of her bestselling Kindle book “A Scattered Life,” or the website of author John Miller at www.heymiller.com and the free sample of his book “The First Assassin.”

Kindle offers the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read. The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 700,000 books, including New Releases and 108 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 575,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 80 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle devices. Kindle lets you Buy Once, Read Everywhere–on Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. Amazon’s Whispersync technology syncs your place across devices, so you can pick up where you left off. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books you purchase from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.

The all-new Kindle has an electronic-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast, a new sleek design with a 21 percent smaller body while still keeping the same 6-inch-size reading area, 15 percent lighter weight at just 8.5 ounces, 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life with wireless off, double the storage to 3,500 books, no glare even in bright sunlight and built-in Wi-Fi–all for only $139. The all-new Kindle 3G with all of these new features plus the convenience of free 3G wireless is only $189.

In the future, Kindle for the Web will include optimization for mobile browsers and other features. For more information about Kindle for the Web, including instructions on how to embed Kindle book samples, go to www.amazon.com/kindlefortheweb.

Can Spell Check Make Things Worse? The Most Misspelled Words

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What are some of the mostly commonly misspelled words?
I post a lot of information about spelling and grammar for my students.  There are certain words that many people tend to misspell.  For a list of the top 100 misspelled words, click here.  I often ask students to quiz their family and friends to see how they do with some of the more commonly misspelled words . . . For fun, ask people to spell the following words that seem pretty simple and basic to see how well they do.  I think you’ll be surprised at how many times people misspell these:

Calendar

Embarrass

Questionnaire

Accommodate

Definitely

I think a lot of students tend to rely heavily on the spell check function.  The problem is, if you don’t really have a good idea of how the word you are looking for is spelled in the first place, spell check may offer solutions that are not even close to the word you had intended.  I often have students send me an email saying something like, “I apologize for the incontinence.”  I kind of think they were looking for the word inconvenience .  .  . but I guess you never know.

For some extra tips on improving your spelling, check out an article by powa.org by clicking here.  Here are some tips from that article that may be helpful to you:

Suggestions for Spelling Improvement

1. Don’t look words up while you’re composing. Wait until your thought-flow runs its course. As you write, highlight or mark any words you aren’t absolutely sure about. Then later when editing, your attention will go right to these words and you can look them up all at once without interrupting and losing track of your thoughts. By looking up words later, you also can concentrate on learning to spell them correctly so you won’t have to look them up again. You might even consider keeping a list of Target Words to concentrate on.

2. Every time you write a word ask yourself whether you know how to spell it. There are only two possible answers to this question: yes and no. Maybe, probably, and I think so all count as no. If the answer is yes, keep on writing, but if the answer is no, mark the word to look up. Most spelling errors come not on words like “cataclysmic,” which you know you need to look up, but on words like “front,” where you think the odds are with you.

3. Notice what part of the word you’ve spelled wrong. Hardly ever do you spell a whole word wrong. Usually one or two letters need to be changed. Find the trouble spot by comparing the dictionary version with the version you’ve already written down. Sometimes a memory prod will help you get those letters right next time. For example, you might learn to spell “environment” by remembering that it has the word “iron” in it.

4. Watch out for words that sound like other ones. Here the problem isn’t so much spelling as using the wrong word, as when someone says, “I don’t care weather it rains.” Besides “whether” and “weather,” some other frequently confused words are listed below. These words are especially treacherous because computer spell-checkers won’t pick them up.

a — an — and
our — hour — are
accept — except
personal — personnel
cite — site — sight
quiet — quite — quit
cloths — clothes
roll — role
desert — dessert
soul — sole
do — due
than — then
led — lead
there — their — they’re
loose — lose
to — too — two
moral — morale
wear — where — were
new — knew
who’s — whose
no — know
your — you’re
past — passed

Have You Updated Your Job Skills?

In my book How to Reinvent Your Career, I write about taking a skills inventory. It’s important to look at how things have changed since you last made a career move, and decide whether you’ve kept up with the changes around you. Are you lacking some important skills? I recommend assessing your skills inventory and deciding whether you need to get some training in some of the following areas:

  1. Computer use
  2. Networking
  3. Interview performance
  4. Job Hunting
  5. Communication
  6. Analytical research
  7. Adaptability
  8. Diversity awareness
  9. Leadership
  10. Planning/goal setting
  11. Problem solving
  12. Teamwork
  13. Multi-tasking
  14. People skills
  15. Self-reliance

Remember that these are all important skills that employers are going to be looking for in prospective employees. Remember to highlight your abilities in each of these areas when writing your résumé.

Ask Dr. Diane: Do You Have A Question?

I have dedicated  a section of my blog to answering questions about the topics I cover in my books.  If you have a question about online learning, personalities in the workforce, how to get a job or reinvent your career, personal finance, social media or any of the other topics I cover here, please  email me at diane@drdianehamilton.com and I’ll be happy to post it here with my response.

PowerPoint – Resources and Examples to Make the Perfect Presentation

Do you need to create a PowerPoint presentation for work, school or a YouTube video to promote your business?  Many people know the basics of how to put together a quick presentation.  But do you know how to make that presentation pop?  If you haven’t read the book Death by Powerpoint, it is an interesting read.  I can’t tell you how many PowerPoint presentations I have sat through in business meetings while suffering a slow painful death . . .  I found that many of them were either really boring or shared unnecessary information or usually both.

I teach several courses where students are required to submit their assignments as a Powerpoint presentation.  If you are considering putting together a presentation, here are some wonderfully helpful sites to get you started:

  1. http://www.meryl.net/2008/01/10/70-powerpoint-and-presentation-resources-and-great-examples/ – This site includes a very comprehensive list of 70+ PowerPoint and Presentation Resources and Great Examples.
  2. http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/41661.aspx – If you want to see some samples of more presentations, check these out from brighthub. 
  3. http://www.iasted.org/conferences/formatting/presentations-tips.ppt – This is an actual PowerPoint presentation giving tips about a PowerPoint presentation.
  4. http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/skills/presentations.aspx – Where better to find PowerPoint tips than from Microsoft . . .check out 12 tips for creating better presentations.
  5. http://www.slideshare.net/thecroaker/death-by-powerpoint – Great video:  Death by Powerpoint and how to fight it.
  6. http://elmhurst.edu/~jacobh/WorstPresentationEverStandAlone.ppt – PowerPoint presentation that calls itself Quite Possibly the Worst PowerPoint Presentation Ever.
  7. http://www.ece.wisc.edu/~kati/PresentationGuide.ppt – Terrible PowerPoint presentations presented in a PowerPoint presentation.
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR3gcCrTSzw – Youtube video from Microsoft showing new media-rich tools for PowerPoint 2010.

Once you have completed your PowerPoint presentation, why not go the extra step and add your voice for the full presentation.  I like to use Camtasia Studio.  However, you can also utilize sites like Voice Thread at http://voicethread.com/.  This site allows you to record the audio portion of your presentation without having to buy software.  You can even use your telephone to call into their system and dictate your presentation.  What is easier than that? You simply enter your phone number and their system calls you.  You have three minutes, per slide, to talk if you use their free account.  You can upgrade for $12.95 when I last checked.  When you are finished, you will get a link that you can go to in order to see and hear your presentation.

Ask Dr. Diane: What are the Top 15 Writing and Grammar Mistakes You See as a Professor?

Today’s question is:  What are the top mistakes you see students make in terms of spelling and/or grammar?  Here is a list of some of the common mistakes I see on a regular basis:

  1. A lot should be written as 2 words and not as one word as in a lot.
  2. Cannot should be written as 1 word and not as two words as in can not.
  3. Use effect as a noun and affect as a transitive verb.  Example: Something may have a lasting effect.  The delay may affect your plans. 
  4. Use except as a verb and accept as a preposition.  Example:  He counted all of them except the last one.  Please accept my apology.
  5. When including numbers in your writing, be sure that you spell out the number if it is the first word in a sentence.  Example:  It is correct to write:  Fifty people were in the crowd.  It is incorrect to write:  40 people were in the crowd.
  6. Many people still get its and it’s mixed up.  You only use “it’s” when you mean it is.  Example:  It’s getting late.  Use “its” to show possession of something.  Example:  Its case is blue. 
  7. Irregardless should not be used as a word.  You might find it in dictionaries as you would ain’t.  However, it is not proper to use as a word.
  8. Many get lose and loose mixed up as well.  Lose sounds like looze and is used when something is lost.  Loose means not tight and is used as an adjective. 
  9. Use anyway as one word if you mean “in any event”.  Example:  She is going to the party anyway.

10.  It is correct to say between you and me and incorrect to say between you and I.

11.  It is correct to say I couldn’t care less and incorrect to say I could care less.  Interestingly only 1 in 5 people say it correctly. 

12.  When to use e.g. and i.e.  Use e.g. When you mean “for example” and use i.e. when you mean in other words. 

13.  Use farther when you are talking about a more advanced point.  Example:  Drive farther down the road.  Use further when you mean to assist.  Example:  He was trying to further his ambition. 

14.  If someone is from Scotland, they are Scottish and not Scotch.

15.  When to use I or me . . . It is correct to say it has been a good year for Bob and me.  It is incorrect to say it has been a good year for Bob and I.  Take the words “Bob and” out of the sentence and it helps to tell you if you are correct.  For example:  It has been a good year for me sounds correct.  It has been a good year for I does not.

15 Ways to Improve Writing Skills for Students And Everyone Else

In some of the classes I teach, we discuss whether texting has hurt how people communicate.  Many students are so used to abbreviating that they sometimes have difficulty when the time comes for them to actually write in complete sentences.  I get a lot of questions from my students about how to format papers.  I think it is helpful to have a few different sites to go to for examples to help learn how to write and format correctly.  Many colleges and universities require that papers are submitted in APA format.  If you have to write something for a class or just need helpful writing tips in general, please check out the following:
  1. For a sample APA paper in 6th edition style, see:  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/media/pdf/20090212013008_560.pdf
  2. For more APA information check out http://apastyle.apa.org/ and http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.
  3. The following is a great site for help with grammar:   http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/.
  4. To see how to remove extra spaces between paragraphs check out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWcouakic5Y .
  5. A good size paragraph is at least 3-4 sentences.  It also should not be so long that it takes up an entire page.  Many students are unaware of how to set up a paragraph correctly.  For help understanding paragraph structure, check out http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/fwalters/para.html. Also check out: How to write an essay – http://lklivingston.tripod.com/essay/.
  6. Always check your spelling! To see commonly misspelled words, check out http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/misspelled.html.
  7. Always submit your documents in the format requested.  I teach for 6 universities and they all require papers in .doc or .docx format.  Do not submit papers in .wps format.  When you save your document, be sure you are picking the save as Word document setting. http://www.mydigitallife.info/2008/11/25/how-to-change-default-file-saving-format-from-docx-to-doc-in-word-2007/.
  8. Many people are unaware of the functionality of the home tab in Word.  If you are in a word document and want to set your paper’s default settings, notice the paragraph part of the tool bar.  On that section, there is a small downward diagonal arrow in the bottom right corner.  If you click on that, you can set your default settings for your present document or for all future documents. If you want it set for all future documents, pick the default button at the bottom when you are finished changing your settings. Be sure your spacing is set at zero before and after paragraphs if you are getting extra spaces between paragraphs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWcouakic5Y .
  9. How to write a business plan – http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/plan/writeabusinessplan/SERV_WRRITINGBUSPLAN.html.
  10. How to write a marketing plan – http://www.infotoday.com/mls/jun99/how-to.htm
  11. How to write an abstract – http://www2.winthrop.edu/english/handbook/AbstractTips.pdf.
  12. If you need some editing help, many schools have a writing center where you can submit your paper to give you suggestions as to how to improve your paper.  I have several editors I can recommend if you want to email me at diane@drdianehamilton.com.
  13. If you need statistical help, I also have an excellent statistician I can recommend if you email me at diane@drdianehamilton.com.
  14. Do not cut and paste things into your paper.  If you are going to quote someone, you can do so if you cite correctly.  Many students make the mistake of thinking they can copy and paste entire pages of information right into their papers without citing.  Do not do this as it is considered plagiarism. For help understanding how to avoid plagiarism see http://library.csusm.edu/plagiarism/howtoavoid/how_avoid_internet.htm.
  15. If you are submitting a paper for class, it is best to submit it to their TurnItIn program to check to be sure you are not plagiarizing.  TurnItIn is a program that many schools offer to be sure your work is legitimately your own. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnitin.

Related Articles:

How to Paraphrase and Avoid Using Direct Quotes

The Online Student User’s Manual – Facebook

Please check out the new homepage for my book The Online Student’s User Manual on Facebook.  Please let others know by picking the “I Like” button when you get there.  Thanks!
Click here to go to the Facebook page.

 

Sample APA Paper 6th Edition

I often have students ask me for examples of how to write in APA format.  With the recent changes in the 6th edition of APA, it can be even more confusing.  I think the following link has a good example of what an APA paper should look like:  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/media/pdf/20090212013008_560.pdf

Free Help: Job and Career Changers and Seekers

To sign up to receive my free newsletter containing helpful information about reinventing your career, including how to deal with change, choosing careers, facing fears, knowing your options and more. . . click here.

The information in this newsletter includes some excerpts from my book  How to Reinvent Your Career:  Make More Money Doing What You Love that is due to be published this summer.  To get a head start  before the book is even available, sign up for the newsletter today!

Mike Leonard, NBC Today Show Reviews Dr. Diane Hamilton’s New Book About Reinventing Your Career

Mike Leonard of NBC’s The Today Show was nice enough to review my book How to Reinvent Your Career:   Make Money Doing What You Love . . .
“There has never been a better time to take note of Dr. Diane Hamilton’s wise and encouraging advice. The world is changing rapidly and with change comes uncertainty…as well as opportunity. Find your passion. Use this book as a road map to a better career and a more fulfilling life. “

Mike Leonard NBC Today Show Feature Correspondent and Best Selling Author of “The Ride of Our Lives – Roadside Lessons of an American Family”

What’s New in the Sixth Edition of the APA Publication Manual?

What’s New in the Sixth Edition of the APA Publication Manual?

via apastyle.org – Click this link for more on this article.

Many of my students are now required to use the 6th edition of the APA manual. For help on what has been changed in the newest edition, see the above link. I like that they now have 2 spaces after a period . . . I think it looks better.

Is Wikipedia Reliable? – For Dummies

The creators of Wikipedia are the first to admit that not every entry is accurate and that it might not be the best source of material for research papers. Here are some points to consider:

  • Look for a slant. Some articles are fair and balanced, but others look more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. If an article has only one source, beware.
  • Consider the source. Even if an article cites external sources, check out those sources to see whether they are being cited fairly and accurately — and do, in fact, reinforce the article’s points.
  • Look who’s talking. If you research the contributors themselves and find that they are experts in their fields, you can be more confident in the entry.
  • Start here, but keep going. Wikipedia should be a starting point for research but not your primary source for research material.

In this article by Dummies.com the authors discuss the accuracy of Wikipedia. Why would Wikipedia not be reliable? The reason is that the site is written on a wiki. A wiki is software that allows users to modify its content. I never realized how interactive this software was until I taught courses where students used a wiki in our online classroom. There have been studies to show that Wikipedia is as reliable as Britannica. However, even the creator of the site doesn’t recommend using it as a source for citing in studies. When you look up “Who Writes Wikipedia” on their site, the first answer they give is: You do! Because so many people are able to access the site and make changes, there can be errors. My personal experience has been good with Wikipedia. However, I always double-check to be sure they have listed reliable sources below to back up their information. I agree with Dan Woods and Peter Thoeny in the above article . . . you can start there to get an idea of a topic but look for information to back up what is stated. It should not be your only source of information.