How to Develop Your Writing Skills

Write What You Know and Love

This may seem trivial to some of you, but bear with me. I may not have all the answers, but this one I do know. If you do not have a passion for your subject matter, you will most likely fail. In a nutshell . . . write what you know and love. If you aren’t excited about your subject matter, how do you expect others to be?

If you do nothing else with your writing, follow the above words. They are not my invention, but I follow them religiously. After all, a writer’s lot in life (even part time) is difficult enough (especially if you are looking for fame and/or fortune), so follow your passion when writing, especially if you are a beginning student of the written word. You can branch out over time, but it’s best to start with the familiar.

Write the words that motivate you. Write as if the destiny of your soul depended on it. For many of us, it really does. Who is better qualified to write your book and share your experiences than you? No one else will bring your unique perspective to the story, the guide book, the memoirs, and the life lessons. Whether your genre be fiction, non-fiction, operating manuals, or life-transforming text books for the education of our youth, you carry a personal experience that tempers your perspective, your relationships, and your writing. Whatever excites you . . . get it in print!

Listen to that small voice within. I said it earlier, but I’ll say it again . . . follow your passion. Share the part of your life that makes you tick, that turns you on. It doesn’t have to be work related. Your passion could be your family or the foods that you love to cook (do the words “recipe book” come to mind?). What keeps you going may be a hobby like fishing, woodworking, gardening, biking, or bingo. Go with what gives you energy when you are sharing it with others. Stay away from the subjects that leave you feeling physically and emotionally drained. Follow your gut instinct, (do your research), and write your heart out. Your enthusiasm will automatically spill over into your written words.…

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Indiana’s Education Reform Laws

The Governers Attempt at Public School Reform?

Why are a lot of Indiana teachers protesting in Indianapolis? Governor Mitch Daniels is trying to improve our education system, and by doing that more kids may be attending private schools and yes some teachers will be getting a pay cut. My thoughts are if the teachers are doing a good job as they should be there won’t be a problem. The new laws are designed to reward good teachers and take away from sub standard ones. Now if I was a teacher who does my job and does it well I wouldn’t be worried. On the other hand if I am just teaching to earn my paycheck then I would be worried. Should we fund people who want to send their children to private school? If their school district isn’t getting the job done, then YES we should. As parents we have a right to get the best education we can for our children. If that means upsetting a few teachers and school districts then so be it! I want, No I demand a good education system for my children and I should not have to feel guilty about asking for it. The State of Indiana has a responsibility to the education of the future generation and these teachers who want the process to stay the same can just get over themselves! I sincerely hope that the governor gets this law passed and the sub standard teachers in this state get what they deserve!…

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We Need a Book Store in Missouri City, Texas

This article I am writing for my daughter, Carrie. She is an avid reader with many books. We both are book fans. As a matter of fact, I am currently writing my first murder mystery novel. Here is our dilemma: We need a book store in Missouri City, Texas.

As far as I am aware, there are not very many book stores in Fort Bend County. There is a Borders in Stafford, a Barnes & Noble in Sugar Land and a Half Price Books in Sugar Land. What about the 80,000 people who live in Missouri City and the outskirts? We read too!

The parking lot at Barnes & Noble is always so packed that you have to park really far and walk, not to mention the traffic congestion is terrible between Missouri City to Sugar Land. I feel it’s time we start getting more good quality businesses in Missouri City. I would like to see a store of the quality of Barnes & Noble or Borders with a coffee shop. An in-store book club would be nice with authors who come and do book signings, and maybe there should be some live music in the coffee area. My daughter and I would be regulars there. Most of our extra money goes for books anyway.

Unfortunately, I am not currently in a position to do much about getting a book store in Missouri City so all I can do is write about it, but that’s something, right? Maybe this article will plant a seed in the mind of someone who can put a book store in Missouri City.

As Fort Bend County grows, it is getting more time-consuming to navigate Highway 6. If we had some of the same businesses in Missouri City that are in Sugar Land we could keep our tax dollars here instead of going out of the city to shop elsewhere, and it might also help with the traffic in Sugar Land. A book store in Missouri City would also create a few more jobs for our residents.

I have other suggestions for making our beautiful city better. I can’t run for city council because I’m too busy trying to launch a new career and get an education, but I can write about my opinion of what our needs are. People may not agree so they can write their own articles.

If there is anyone out there who wants to start a new business, please give us a bookstore in Missouri City, Texas and my daughter and I will give you our business.…

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The Education of Your Life!

HIgh Above the Appomatox

In the past some Historically Black Colleges and Universities have gotten a bad “wrap” for not being customer service friendly to students. Virginia State University quickly dispatches that myth. University personnel are eager and quick to assist students. Employees working in the registrar’s office, financial aid office and residence life are some of the best employees on campus.

Residence Life, under the direction of Dr. LaVerne Briggs has adopted the phrase “Building community one floor at a time.” Residence Life personnel are committed to providing not only safe and healthy environments, but living and learning centers as well. Residence Educators, Resident Assistants and Graduate Assistants work together to provide programs on a variety of subjects to residents.

Parents can rest assured that their child is well taken care of. There are programs and forums in the residence halls on everything from substance abuse awareness to movie nights! Students residing in the residence halls are in excellent shape as they pursue their respective degrees. Residence halls are equipped with high speed internet connections and cable tv connections in every room. In addition there is a full staff to help with academic advising, mediation and counseling.

If you’re looking for an HBCU that’s at the top of their game, turning out future leaders and gives quality customer service, then look no further. Virginia State University is the place.…

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Educational Challenge Helps 3 Woburn Schools Raise $40K

How do you calculate ‘success’? Well the students of three Woburn, Massachusetts schools calculate it 30 different ways!

On April 13th , the Hurld Elementary School PTO held a PTO Ideas’ Educational Math Challenge fundraiser that was an enormous success.

Students collected pledges for each correct answer on a 30-question math test. A concept similar to a walk-a-thon; but instead of walking, the kids are learning to earn money for their school.

Over a 7-day period, parent volunteers organized fun, educational, math-related games and challenges to motivate the students and get them ready for the final challenge test this past Wednesday.

The PTO’s goal was around six to seven thousand in order to purchase computer equipment for the school. The students far exceeded that goal and raised over $11,000.

Similarly, in 2008 the Wyman School ran the PTO Ideas’ Educational Challenge as a Spelling Challenge and this 200-student school raised over $13,000. The Linscott-Rumford , also in Woburn, joined in to run the Challenge fundraisers two years in a row resulting in profits of $8,500 and $7,200.

The fundraiser comes from Vicki Blaze of PTO Ideas (, a web-based company in Massachusetts. Blaze started the company in October 2006 and has written the Budget BashesTM series of fundraising ebooks, inlcuding the Educational Challenge and the $5ForKids Campaign.

Word has been spreading across town and across the country about these fundraising books that are helping schools increase their fundraising campaigns by thousands of dollars. Together Blaze’s ebooks have helped these 3 schools alone raise over $40,000.…

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The ‘Race to the Top’ Education Plan

Last month President Obama presented the country’s “Race to the Top” plan to state Governors. It’s an Educational Reform incentive program geared toward getting them jazzed about beefing up their states’ school systems.

In his speech, Obama described students in early learning programs up until senior year of high school, as the potential employees of tomorrow. He emphasized that our schools must churn out kids that are ready to succeed in college, are creative, possess problem solving skills and, who also possess an entrepreneurial spirit. This, he explained is the only way that they’re going to compete for jobs in this global economy.

4 billion dollars of the Recovery Act is aimed at reforming and refining US Education. Rather than handing out the funds, governors will compete for a share. States that turn around schools, employ great teachers, have high performing students will get a piece of the pie.

The way Obama put it, ‘States that outperform the rest, will win and America’s children will be better for it.’ Massachusetts is the only state mentioned as one of the current winners He says it’s not about more tests; it’s about finally getting testing right. Although he talked a lot about factors failure – poverty and racial difference, there was only one off-the-cuff mention about special ed.

Starting this September, Arne Duncan (Education Secretary), Al Sharpton, and Newt Gingrich are touring the country to promote the plan.

See the video on…

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Reservations in the Indian Education System

Almost 50% reservation in various fields of education is degrading the quality of students passing out every year. As a result the quality of education is also deteriorating due to this. Many brilliant students who deserve much better colleges or universities are barred from getting admission due to this reservation. In the present scenario in India there is no discrimination between people of different castes or societies. Every individual in the country gets the same opportunity but still though we talk of equality in society still due to this reservation the government is creating a difference in social status in our society.

Do you think this can help in the development of any nation? The government talks of equality everywhere but still in the educational system, government jobs there is a divide between the different societies in our country. Every year the situation gets worse as the government implements more and more reservation in the educational system. Is there any opportunity that the so called backward classes in the society don’t get? The answer is obviously no. Then why is this discrimination. Due to this the unity, equality and tranquility among the people is getting disturbed. We want a society, nation free from all these discrimination and so I would like all my brothers and sisters to raise their voice against this.…

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Online College Review- Thomson Education Direct

Associates Degree in Marketing

To enroll in online classes, students must complete a simple questionnaire and an admissions test. To make enrollment easier, every potential student is assigned an individual to assist them during the application process. Enrollment procedures can be handled online or though the mail.

The Thomson Education Direct Marketing Program offers an easy to use format which will appeal to beginners and to those experienced in online learning. An hour of studying each day is all you need to complete the curriculum which includes the principles of business, marketing, management, mathematics, and finance. Step-by-step lessons written in non-technical English provide photos and diagrams to illustrate each new concept. Microsoft XP, CD ROMs, books, reference materials, and a business analyst calculator are all available to provide hands on training.

Lessons are broken up into study units. After every unit is completed, you’ll take an open book exam. These exams count for two thirds of your overall grade. The proctored examination will account for the remaining one third. Students must have a C average or a point average of 2.0 to receive their degree.

Additional Information:

Cost: The cost per year semester is approximately $808.00. Several payment options are available and discounts are offered to students who pay in full. 
Accreditation Agencies: U.S. Department of Education – DETC (Distance Education Training Council).…

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DePaul Offers Local Businesses Education Opportunities

Starting and running a small business is not the easiest task to accomplish. That’s why DePaul University partners with the community to help local entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.


The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in DePaul provides many different opportunities for local business owners. They provide workshops throughout the year, and the also work in tandem with the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce for additional learning opportunities, such as special events and seminars. There are also regular blog postings on their website, so you can take advantage of the school’s expertise even if you are unable to get away from the business to attend an event.

Opportunities like peer round-table discussions allow business owners a free-flow of thoughts and ideas that help everyone in the group create innovative ways to grow their operation. Seminars and symposiums spotlight success stories with helpful insight on the struggle to get to the top.

DePaul provides a large consumer base for the Lincoln park neighborhood, so it is great that they give back to the community by help in the local businesses achieve greatness. The programs fees and schedules can be found at the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center website, To get more information about the programs that the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce co-sponsors, visit…

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Traditional Books: The Path to True Research and Learning

In today’s society of instant gratification where things get done with the snap of the fingers, it seems natural that the computer is the answer for students doing research papers for a class assignment. While occasionally they may find this to be the case, they are losing sight of what the true processes of research and learning are. But why should they bother doing all the leg work when Google will do it for them? The answer is imperative to the process of learning: students must learn how to be self-reliant and they must learn the invaluable tool of researching in order for them to realize their utmost potential. Using real books also usually means a trip to the library, which brings considerable other benefits including motivation, social interaction, and a sense of accomplishment. For these reasons, I strongly believe that students should be required to use real books in research papers.


Researching through books gives students the know-how and confidence to form their own opinions and perspectives rather than cut-and-paste ideas from what they type into a search engine. Doing in-depth research, writing a well planned paper, and getting the final work done is an accomplishment in-and-of-itself. Students learn the research skills necessary not only for a good education but for real life – a point they may not realize until later when it is too late. Internet search engines are great researchers, and while they give students an answer, going to the library and using real books makes the student earn it for themselves. More importantly, it helps students want to research and learn. Using real books to do significant research rather than just getting a quick answer from a computer is how the students “show their work.” Most professors will tell you that that process of learning and explaining is more important than even a correct answer. It forces the student to learn the research process, the Dewey decimal system, subject classification, and how to talk to a librarian one-on-one in order to come up with an “answer” (in this case their research paper). My professors at Columbia taught me some of the best research methods, all of which I needed for papers and my thesis, and which I still use today. With a real book you can underline the parts most applicable to the assignment, earmark the pages, and highlight the areas that need to be referred back to frequently, all of which can be easily read over and over again until the point is understood. Computers try to emulate this (even the PC uses bookmarks) but you can’t get the same feeling that you do with a book. The bottom line is that just getting the answer is not learning; but figuring out how to get the answer – now that’s learning and that’s why real books and sound research should be required in students’ papers.

At the library, students surround themselves with like-minded people in a very fostering environment that is conducive to research. This helps keep them focused and motivated. Surrounded by books, the collective knowledge speaks volumes (pun intended), and with all the inspiring, great minds that constitute that knowledge, it makes for a great motivational environment. One can’t help but want to learn more, no matter the subject. A library full of wonderful books conjures up images of the greatest minds that have shaped civilization, and it serves as a poignant reminder of how the most amazing thinkers of all time have used real books to research and learn, and not just a PC. These same great minds, these notable inventors and historians, include the very people who invented the computer and the Internet, as well as of course the printing press! By surrounding themselves with real books for research papers they feel connected to the subject in a way that a computer screen alone cannot provide. The librarian and their staff – the caretakers of this wonder we call the public library – are equivalent to having additional mentors outside of the classroom to guide students on how to use books not only for a research paper, but also to guide them to a section on other subject matters that …

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