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The Academic Writer’s Guide to Pulling An All-Nighter

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Every academic writer has been warned of the dangers of procrastination, and yet at some point you may still end up armed with only a few pages against a fast-approaching deadline. Thankfully, these sleepless nights don’t have to be too difficult. Read on to find out how you can power through a night of academic writing.

Why You Shouldn’t Pull An All-Nighter

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Before giving you the tips on pulling an all-nighter, it’s important to understand that you should avoid it if you can. Sleep deprivation has serious short- and long-term effects that could show in your performance. We’ve listed some of them below:

It makes you cranky

When someone pulls an all-nighter, it shows in the way they act. And who can blame them? Staying up all night brings out the crankiness and impatience in you. What’s more, an article on Healthline notes how sleep deprivation can make you more prone to mood swings, which can eventually escalate to anxiety and depression.

It increases stress levels

Forcing yourself to stay up even for just one night is stressful enough already, and it can lead to burnout if you do it consistently. This kind of prolonged stress can be extremely harmful to your mental health and could do more harm than good to your writing. In fact, psychology experts from Maryville University link mental health to academic performance. This means pulling too many all-nighters won’t help your research in the long run, even if it feels like you’re making a lot of progress.

It decreases your attention span

Every writer knows how crucial it is to have focus and discipline when working on a paper. Unfortunately, pulling an all-nighter diminishes this focus and limits your attention span. Researchers from the University of Turku highlight the connection between sleep deprivation and cognitive performance – the less shuteye you get, the harder it is to concentrate.

Tips For When You Have To Stay Up And Write

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Now that you’ve been warned, here are some things you should keep in mind when you have no other choice than to pull an all-nighter:

Sleep when you can

While this may seem counterproductive, it’s crucial that you try to nap when you can. Even just short fifteen or twenty-minute naps can help your brain rest and recover, especially when you spread them out throughout the night.

Go easy on the caffeine

The logical thing to do when trying to stay up all night is rely on caffeine, right? Wrong. When you drink too much coffee, you get a jolt of energy and then suffer a crash that you may not be able to fight. If you need some form of caffeine, take it easy on the coffee and opt for tea, instead.

Drink tons of water

You may be able to avoid the caffeine altogether if you drink tons of water during your all-nighter. When your system is happy and hydrated, you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the coffee jitters that decrease concentration.

Plan your night

The most important tip for any writer before embarking on an all-nighter is to go in with a plan. You’re less likely to waste time on social media or stare at a blank screen when you have a clear schedule to follow. Structure your paper and set small goals that you can realistically achieve throughout the night. Don’t forget to factor in your breaks and naps.

Once you’ve successfully gone through an all-nighter, it’s safe to assume you made more than one mistake through your bleary-eyed writing frenzy. Reach out to our talented academic editors here on Edit911 to give your work that much-needed final touch, while you get your well-deserved rest.

Written by Accalia Crystle for Edit911

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The Best Newsletters and How To Write One

The Goodnewsletter.

A newsletter is often distributed to share information among people with common interests. Schools, clubs/organizations, social service groups, and others share information that is of interest and relevance to the target audience. Some newsletters arrive in the mail while others com electronically. No doubt, you likely receive one or more newsletters and at some point, you may have the opportunity to be involved in writing and distributing news for your favorite group.

6 Tips For Writing a Great Newsletter

Know your audience and get their interest.

Take a few moments to decide what topics will interest your audience. Make sure that the content you are putting in the newsletter will connect with the readers on a personal level. Use the six questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how to give your newsletter versatility. Each article needs to give relevant information that will keep your audience interested. You may have to do a little bit of research on the topic(s) in the newsletter but that will make it more valuable for your audience. It is important that you cite sources from your research in the newsletter articles.

The Kevin Rose Newsletter

Have a simple and easy to read format.

Use a font (size and type) that is easy to read. Make sure the format is easy to follow. When possible keep the complete article on one page so that people do not have to search for the remaining paragraphs on the topic. Black text is always best unless you are trying to highlight a few words. Make sure your vocabulary is concise and comprehensible so that everyone of all reading levels can easily understand the content.

Use interesting headlines and pictures.

Use action verbs and write dynamic headlines that grabs the attention of your audience. A picture next to a headline might be the best combination because the picture will grab the attention of your reader and the headline will sell them on the idea that this is must read information. Without an interesting headline, readers may skim over articles. It is also important that articles with more than a few paragraphs have sub-headings to help break up the text.

Information should be accurate, timely, and engaging.

Include a variety of topics and sections that will make your newsletter more interesting to a larger audience. It is best to split your topics equally among activities and news that has occurred since the last newsletter and new items that will be coming up before your next publication date. A calendar of events is always welcome in a newsletter. Above all else, make sure the information you provide in your newsletter is accurate.

A table of contents is helpful.

This can be placed on a side bar or in a small section. Having a table of contents or summary paragraph turns the newsletter into a resource that people know they can easily grab and find the information relevant to them now. Some newsletters are only a table of contents that directs to an external site or blog. This is also great to keep engagement high, since readers are more likely to read shorter newsletters and scan only for information/stories that interest them. It also drives traffic to your website/blog.

Grammar and spelling are important.

After writing your articles, proofread for typos and edit all articles for consistency of writing style. If multiple people have contributed, make sure that the entire newsletter has the same tone and writing style. Always have multiple people proofread for spelling and grammar. Once you believe you have edited enough, go over it one more time.

 

The Four Best Email Newsletters

We get hundreds of emails a day, so the few newsletters that we allow in our inbox are some of the best out there. Do you have a favorite newsletter? If so, leave it in the comments!

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How to Write a Dissertation That Doesn’t Suck

When I was living in that dread land of ABD (all but dissertation), I could always spot what poor fools around me weren’t going to make it. If I had wanted to be punched in the face, I would have given them these five tips to help.

1. Have an Actual Opinion

You can gather all the data you want. You can survey 15,978 institutions with a 90% response rate. You can figure out how to interview your dead grandmother. If you don’t use it all to arrive at an actual opinion: It. Doesn’t. Matter. Even better, your opinion should be interesting. It should shed light on something unknown, promote a new idea, disprove a myth—something!
But you should at least have one.

 

2. Don’t Write Crap Just to Show You Did the Research

It’s been years since you’ve seen the sun. Your children don’t recognize you. In fact, you don’t remember having children. You just know you’ve been staring at your computer so long your eyelashes have cobwebs. Now you’re writing up the Literature Review section, and you’re going to make damn sure each and every book, article, blog post, and bubblegum wrapper you ever so much as looked at is going in there. No one will be able to deny your thoroughness, your pain, or your lost youth. And no one will care, either.

Showing your research should be part of your argument, such as showing there’s a real gap in the literature or demonstrating that your opinion is different from what’s come before. Anything irrelevant must go, even if the article in question were only acquired through an inter-library loan and buying your own microfiche machine.

 

3. Stop Repeating Yourself! (AKA, The “Argh!” Rule)

It doesn’t matter how many fancy words you’ve learned, how often you change your syntax and tone, or what lovely tables and charts you have. The reader can tell when they’re being told the same thing over and over.

Don’t believe me? Well, the audience for your paper is able to identify the recurrent appearance of the same content multiple times. Moreover, people notice when you repeat yourself!
Say it once, say it correctly, and move the hell on.

4. Write a Dissertation That Makes You a Good Hire

Oh, you found it fascinating that fruit fly genitalia can be counted more readily using the Accu-Scope 3088 Rechargeable LED Monocular Microscope than with the Labomed Sigma Monocular Microscope? Wow. And you wrote 2,432 pages on it? That’s major winner right there.

And now tell me just who you think wants to hire someone who spent a year of their life figuring that out? All that dissertation will get you is a job as a lab minion.

Pick something you can talk about at your interview that makes you sound smart and topical, cutting-edge and valuable. Or lets you fake it.

 

5. Don’t Plagiarize (AKA, The Dumbass Rule)

Most grad students have figured out by the time they’re doing the dissertation that they must cite even when they paraphrase, must put everything in quotes that’s not their own work, must slavishly follow the writing style down to the last comma in their references, and must refer at least twice to something their professor wrote if it’s even remotely on point.

But remember that the all-holy dissertation is supposed to show you can perform original thinking, or at the least create an original thought, however small.

Be absolutely certain that your whole idea doesn’t revolve around what someone else said. It can be inspired by it, or you can have the idea to disprove it, or you can expand on it in an original way. But if it’s really just a restatement of another’s work, someone on that panel of professors is going to all but kill themselves proving how superior they are to their peers by haughtily revealing that they already read your so-called opinion right here.

Seriously, in academia, it’s better to be new and pointless than incredible but repetitive.

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