Sunday ramble | Freshers week
Students will be starting at university this week. I have been helping university students a little and I expect to do so again this year. If any students want my advice for this year, it is to write your papers or essays with the reader in mind. The lecturer or professor reading them will be impressed with a good layout, clear text and a font that they don’t have to squint to read.
I would start with some kind of introduction and then the body of your text and maybe end with a conclusion. Don’t forget your references, Harvard referencing usually comes at the end of the paper. You can also make use of numbering, bullets, diagrams and pictures, if they are appropriate. Even info-graphics seem to gaining in popularity. You have a message to get across and so make it easy to read. Remember the person reading it might not have quite such good eyesight as you and so make the font, reasonable large at least 12 point. You will probably sound clever if you use long words, but use them wrongly and you will not sound at all clever. The use of politically correct words doesn’t always impress either. Vertically challenged might be more acceptable than saying someone isn’t very tall, but you could just say that they aren’t very tall. There are far more insulting ways of putting it. I admit though that over-weight is better than fat; but don’t get silly and go for horizontally challenged. Anyway that’ll give you nerds and geeks something to think about…
The kids went back to school last week too and the school runs have started again. I wish kids would walk to school. They put awful traffic calming by schools, because parents are worried about their little darlings. It’s the bloody parents that drive near the schools when the kids are coming and going. The rest of us have to put up with the speed humps, kerbs jutting out into the bloody road, mini roundabouts and chicanes, not to mention traffic chaos twice a day. I was on my way home in the dark last night and had to negotiate all that crap. Yes, I had been to the pub. No, I hadn’t had a drink. Yes, I did need one, faced with that obstacle course…
I’ve talked to a student starting at an English University this morning. If you think you have problems starting at university, she will travel Beijing tomorrow, spend two days there and then fly to Birmingham on a long flight. I thought the flight was 22 hours with two stops, but the one stop was in Beijing, so I think from Beijing there will one stop. I think that will be Bahrain. After all that, she will be have to cope with an English city for the first time. Totally different to China; with all the signs in a language that will be foreign to her. To make matters worse, it will be Wolverhampton! She’s watched “Skins” on TV, so she will understand some of the more colourful Wolverhampton language. In fact after watching that she wanted to change her English name to “Effy”.
When I was at school, we wore a uniform complete with a badge on our blazers and a school cap. I thought I was getting old when I saw a school cap and badge in Wednesbury museum not long ago. In the pub on Friday night, I really felt like I was getting old when I realised there were only two people in the room that were older than me and I was talking to them. It got worse yesterday, I was watching a film clip, without sound, in black and white from 50 years ago. I thought I recognised a few places and faces; then I spotted my dad…
Yes, students. Whatever you’re writing, you conclude it with a conclusion. Incidentally, I chose Calibri as my font for my blog and I use that every time; be consistent. This post will be about 700 words and I’ll write another for a zillion ideas before I cook lunch. I’m hoping to take a few photographs for my blogs this afternoon, so I have to get on! The conclusion can sum up what you’re trying to say or add to it; but it is likely to stick in the mind of the reader, so make it good.
- Don’t be broke by Christmas, a how-to for freshers (moneyviews.com)
- Student fashion: How to dress in freshers’ week (telegraph.co.uk)