Author Archives: ragnell44

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Prewriting Step 1: The Blurt

When I began this post, I thought I knew what I was going to write. Then I opened Microsoft Word, typed the title, and stared at the blinking cursor. What now? If you are like most writers, you have had the same experience. What is the best way to get past it?

Blurt.

When you blurt, you say or write something without stopping to think. Blurting often reveals what you really think.

I realize you may have a negative reaction to blurting. After all, if you say something without thinking, it can get you into trouble. In fact, it probably has. But blurting can be good. You get your honest feelings out without stopping to worry about whether someone will be hurt by them or disagree or be bored.

You may be thinking “That sounds suspiciously like freewriting.”

I confess. The Blurt is freewriting. Calling it something else was my way of arousing your curiosity so you would give it your attention.

How to blurt

To blurt or freewrite, set a timer for ten, fifteen, or even twenty minutes and write without stopping. You can use blurting when you are searching for a topic or after you have a topic and are trying to find what you want to say about it. In April, I took a WordPress course, Writing 101. The first assignment was a twenty-minute freewriting. My effort is a good example of what freewriting (blurting) looks like, so take a look at my freewriting now. After reading it, come back to this post for more information on the blurting process.

As you can see from my freewriting example, I had no topic, only an assignment to write, so my thoughts were scattered. At the end of twenty minutes, I had touched on many possible topics including the act of freewriting and how I was spending free time in retirement. While writing about retirement, I touched on reading, walking, shopping at the farmer’s market, and marketing my books. I also mentioned a desire to travel.

What to do with a blurt once it is written

Review what you have written. Highlight those topics or sentences that say “Write about me.” I have chosen to write this post about how to blurt because writing is what this blog is all about. However, for my Seasoned Aspirer blog, I might have chosen to write about my desire to travel because that blog focuses on things I have always wanted to do and what I’m doing now to accomplish them.

When to blurt again

If your first blurt was not topic specific, then you may need to do a second one, this time focusing on your chosen subject. There are times when you may return to the process as you continue to narrow your topic. There will be more about that in a later post.

What should be included in a topic-specific blurt

Whether you have come to your topic through a series of general to specific blurts or have an assigned topic from an instructor or editor, when you arrive at the subject you know you will write about, you need to write about your connection to that topic. What qualifies you to write about the subject? Do you have personal experience with it? Have you taken a course on it? Watched television documentaries? Read news articles? Know what your Facebook friends think of it? In other words, what do you know about the subject and how did you come to know it?

As an example, I will choose my desire to travel as my topic. In my blurt, I might discuss my desired destinations and whether I should tour with a group or take my own car. I might write about costs, finding hotels, and the types of attractions I wanted to visit. My connections would include my past travel experiences, including one in which I was standing with a friend at a bus stop in downtown Denver at 1:00 a.m., having missed the last bus to her house and seeing a homeless person sleeping on a bench across the street and vowing to never again go anywhere without my car. My experience taught me that traveling by car is best for me.

What if I don’t know anything about the topic?

If you have been assigned a topic you don’t have direct knowledge of, say so. Then write about all the places you might find information without giving any thought to how you might actually do any of the things you write. If you start judging your options as you write them down, you might discard the very action that would be most valuable. Write first. Then think about how you might accomplish each task.  Is there anyone you might ask? Are there YouTube videos? Can you do an online search? Is there an expert in your town you can interview? Where else can you get information? In this instance, the blurting will help you develop a plan to get the details you need to complete your assignment.

What’s next?

Once you have blurted on a specific topic and highlighted useful material, you are ready to identify your audience and narrow your subject, steps I will cover in the next two posts. In the meantime, go do some blurting.

 

 

Writing 101: My Freewriting Assignment

I am taking Writing 101 from WordPress and the first assignment is to freewrite for twenty minutes without stopping. This is actually fitting well with what this blog is about. I have been trying to write a blog about freewriting for a week now and nothing is coming out the way I like. this will be a good example of freewriting for people to read. I think too often people find this process hard and stop to think. In fact, I am doing that now. I want to correct my typos I want to put in missed periods Oh my, this is  hard.

I stopped to breath so I changed paragraphs. It is difficult for me to let mistakes go I think that is probably true in my life as in my writing. I should have done is a favorite maybe frequent is a better word thought process.

Another breath. What now? I first thought I would write about retirement. I “retired” in january, a nicer term that quit my job. But I am 70. It’s time to retire, right? But I still need money, which was why I was still working. So i thought I would have time to promote my books and write more. Where does time go? Why do people think they will have time to do things when they retire? How can be people be bored and say there is nothing to do?

Anyway, another breath. What now? I am still messing around correcting my punctuation. Have to stop that. It is not freewriting if you are correcting stuff. I want better word choice, but there is no time for that. Have to stop using the backspace key. Anyway, taking a lot of classes and activities. Library book discussion. Took up a lot of time reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, almost 800 pages. Then didn’t make the discussion because it was cold and snowy the night of the discussion. There’s those repeated words. Once and English teacher, always an English teacher. Anyway, I like the book but reading almost 800 pages takes a lot of time. Then I did Blogging 101 and now this and I am signed up for other stuff, Like Walk Kansas. Must walk 150 minutes a week and eat 14 fruits and 21 vegetables a week. That means that there is lots of prepping to eat fruits and vegetalb.es. They take time.

What else is taking up time instead of writing. Well there is marketing which I know next to nothing about, so I am trying to figure that out. Everyone says you must be on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t know what to do with them. I also signed up with Pinterest and LinkedIn. Lots of stuff to feel guilty about not doing.

Went to the farmer’s market for fresh vegetables on Saturday. Walked in to the hallways where vendors are lined up. It was packed. I was claustrophobic. Walked the length of the booths and saw some nice things, fresh greens, turnips, green onions, plus baked goods, crafts, fars of honey–thats jars folks. Anyway, I scurried back to the front door and out. Cannot make decisions when there are so many people. Maybe when they move outside next month.

Really, the timer has not gone off yet. I am not a fast typist but it feels like this is going on forever. Pity the poor reader. But my readers for the blog, the ones I  am telling to use freewriting, I call it the blurt because you are meant to do it without thinking, will at least have a good example of what it is and what may come oout.

What else? there must be something else happening. I wish the timer was beside me instead of in the other room I didn’t even look at the time I started, just punched the timer button. I am glad I tell people to do this for ten minutes instead of twenty. My wrists are wearing out.

When I was teaching, I had students who thought their freewriting would work for a final draft. Not so. But then before I told them about the writing process, freewriting was their rough draft and often the final one.

So what will i do with all these words that are disconnected. I do see possible topics for my other blog, Seasoned Aspirer. I want to travell. Did I mention that? I think not. When I was working I didn’t have time to go anywhere. Now I am not and I don’t have money to go anywhere. Life did not provide retirement plans and now I am studk. Where do I want to go. The rec center has some good trips coming up– South Dakota and Mount Rushmore and another to Nashville. I want to go. Aloways wanted to go to Elvis’s home–can’t remember the name this second so I have to keep moving. It will come later.

What time is it anyway. I am starting to stress.. Did I really punch the button that started the timer. I hope so. If not, when will I give up and stop. There it is! Yes!

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Writing: From Concept to Rough Draft–A Series Overview

Overcoming the Blank Screen

Whether you write with pen, typewriter, or computer, you will probably suffer a bout of writer’s block at some time during your writing life. To help my students get past the blank screen, I put together a prewriting guide.  In the next few blog posts, I will explain the various sections in the guide and the importance of each. Topics that will be covered in the series include freewriting on the subject, developing  the topic sentence or thesis statement, identifying an audience and purpose, and creating the working title and outline.

Write to Fit Project Planner

I discussed the Write to Fit Project Planner in a previous post. Once you have it filled out, it is time to move forward with the first stage of writing: gathering information. The Write to Fit Project Prewriting Guide outlined below is the perfect form to help with that task.

Write to Fit Project Prewriting Guide

This guide gets you started and gives you an organized direction, but your ideas are not written in stone. You may change any one or all of them as better ideas come to you. That is how the writing process works.

Freewriting: The Blurt

With the topic of your project in mind, set a timer and write for ten to fifteen minutes without stopping. One of the following questions may help you get started. What is your experience with the topic? What do you know or believe? How did you learn what you know? Why do you believe what you do? What people do you associate with the topic?

Connection

Explain your connection to the topic. Did someone you know teach you these things? Have you personally observed or experienced the examples given in the essay? Are you writing from experiences gained through a hobby, job, or course?

 Audience

Describe the people you feel will most enjoy or benefit from your essay or article. Consider age, gender, marital status, educational level, profession, and any other pertinent identifying factors.

Purpose

Do you want to inform, entertain, or persuade your audience?

Topic Sentence or Thesis Statement

What is the main point you want to make? If you are writing a single standalone paragraph, the main point will be given in the topic sentence. If you are writing an essay or longer work, your main point will be made in a thesis statement.

Working Outline

A working outline is a simple listing of the details that support your thesis in the order you think you will use them.

Concluding Sentence

Review the information in your previous answers and create a sentence that will bring your essay to an effective conclusion. As with all other answers in this guide, this sentence may be changed as better words and ideas come to you.

You may download a copy of the Write to Fit Project Prewriting Guide and use it to organize your writing projects. Come back to read in depth explanations on each of the components in the guide in upcoming posts.

 

© 2015 Hazel Hart

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If at First You Don’t Succeed . . .

I’ve tried blogging several times without much success, so when my relentless friend and writing buddy, Bonnie Myrick, told me about WordPress’s Blogging 101 course, I immediately signed up. After all, my current blog is all about writing to fit any situation, and blogging is a situation with which I need help. You’ll see what I mean when you read the history of my blogging attempts.

Darksideduo

If you go to the Blogging 101 Commons page and check my avatar, you will see @darksideduo as my username. That name is the result of a blog that never happened beyond the signup stage. Bonnie, my above-mentioned relentless friend, and I had published a book of dark fiction titled Dark Side of the Rainbow. Advice from those who were supposed to know about self-publishing said a blog was absolutely essential to our success. However, once we signed up, we had no idea how to use the blogging tools. We lived fifty miles apart and signed up on my computer, which meant Bonnie was not present to bug me, so now all I have to show for it is a username I can’t get rid of.

Seasoned Aspirer

If I could choose a new username, Seasoned Aspirer would be it. It was the name I used for my publishing company when I published books on lulu.com. It was also the name of a blog I had on GoDaddy. It was my longest running blog but suffered from infrequent posting and lack of publicity. I started a version of Seasoned Aspirer on WordPress, but I couldn’t figure out how to transfer the GoDaddy posts to the new platform, so I had to start over. Seasoned Aspirer is now about doing things I always wanted to do–travel, get healthy, and voice my opinions on a variety of matters. My daughter recently said, “Mom, you have an opinion on everything.” She’s right, but those opinions don’t seem to be showing up on my blog. Wait! I have to write and post them.

A Spirited Journey

A Spirited Journey was a short-lived blog containing research for my 1855 historical novel. I went through GoDaddy, and when I didn’t pay the renewal fee, the contents of the blog disappeared.

Keyhole Conversations

The most successful of my blogging attempts was another partnership with relentless Bonnie. That’s because she was in charge of the design of the site and the actual posts. Keyhole Conversations was a video blog where we posted interviews with other writers. Bonnie did the interviewing and posting, I did the camera videoing, editing, and uploading to YouTube. It was a lot of fun, but I moved to Emporia, ninety miles from Bonnie’s home, so doing the video interviews was no longer viable.

Write to Fit

While the actual web address is my name, the blog name is Write to Fit. In January 2015, I retired from teaching English at a community college. Shortly before that, I published Basic Sentence Structure, my first e-book in the Write to Fit series. The second book in the series, Basic Sentence Add-Ons: Phrases was published in February. The purpose of my blog is to build relationships with my readers, answer questions about topics covered in the books, and blog about writing as a series of choices, such as the best punctuation mark, word, or sentence to fit the audience and purpose of the piece of writing. While my target audience is beginning writers and college students, I welcome those who care about writing to join me.

 

 

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Write to Fit Project Worksheet

Have a writing plan for each project
Whether an instructor has given you a writing assignment or you have come up with a project on your own, filling out a project worksheet is a good first step toward a successful outcome.

Fill in the basics
At the bottom of this post is my project planner for Punctuation Pointers and Pitfalls, the next book in my Write to Fit series. Notice that I entered a start date. For me, it was the day I actually started work on developing the idea, which included filling out the planner and  making a list of punctuation marks to discuss in the book. If your project has been assigned by an instructor, your start date might be the day you received the assignment. Of course, you know the importance of the completion date. Length is also important.  Whether you are writing a standalone paragraph of 150-200 words or a book, knowing how long something will be helps you begin to adjust the topic to fit the size of your project.

Of course, you can tell from the title of my book that I had already narrowed my topic to punctuation marks when I entered the project name. However, you may have a project subject that is vague, like “Civil War” or “Being a Parent.” If so, you will want to bring some focus to it when you fill out the topic and organization sections of the form. However, anything you enter can be changed as your perceptions of what you want to write develop over time. Later blog posts will go into more detail on narrowing topics.

Decide on an overall organizational method
Organization is the main method you will  use to present your topic to the reader. I have chosen definition and process as my main organizational methods. I will be defining the various punctuation marks and their uses. Then I will show how to use them. If you are writing about parenting, you might write a narrative (story) that shows someone being a good parent. You might write a comparison/contrast paper showing the differences in behavior between a good parent and a bad parent. You might write a cause/effect paper showing why someone parents children the way he/she does. Instructors will often tell you the organizational method required for the paper, so read assignment instructions carefully.

Make sure you understand the formatting requirements
Formatting involves what the finished project looks like on the page. Since I am planning to publish my e-book on Kindle, I must follow the appropriate guidelines. Amazon has made available an entire e-book  containing that information. If an instructor has given an assignment, the formatting requirements may come with the individual assignment or be stated in a syllabus or other course document. Since different instructors will have different preferences, make sure you locate and read the assignment formatting requirements carefully. Here are some examples of specifics to look for. Should you indent or not indent the first line of a paragraph? Should you double space the lines. Should you leave an extra line between paragraphs or not? What size and type of font should you use? What margins should the page have? How should you name the file and what file type should you use when saving? These are only a few of the possible formatting particulars you may be required to follow.

List intermediate due dates
Next, there are the due dates. Even short pieces, like paragraphs and essays, have stages of writing that require time for writing, reflecting, and revising. As it has been a week since I first filled out my punctuation book planner, I now see I should have broken down the rough draft deadlines into chapters, perhaps two per week. Without intermediate time limits, it is easy to procrastinate, so I will make those adjustments today.

Make note of other considerations
Depending on the project, you may have other tasks to complete. You may need to view a video, interview one or more people, or perform some other task. You may be asked to write for a particular audience, such as new mothers or high school students. Make note of such requirements in this section.

Write to Fit Project Planner 
You may download a blank Write to Fit Project Planner  to fill out and adjust to fit your needs. You may share the form with others, but please keep the copyright and website link at the bottom of the page. You or your friends may have questions you would like to ask me.

Write to Fit Project Planner Example

Project name: Write to Fit Punctuation Pointers book.
Start date: February 13, 2015
Completion date: May 5, 2015
Length: 50-60 pages

Topic: Punctuation marks and how to use them
Organization: Definition, Process, How to
Special formatting: e-book for Kindle

Due dates:

Prewriting: Feb. 18
Rough draft: April 15
Final draft editing: April 25
Final draft proofreading: April 28
Final draft formatting: April 30
Submission/Publication: May 5

Other considerations

 

 

© 2015 Hazel Hart

New eBook: Basic Sentence Add-Ons: Phrases

Six weeks after my publication goal date, the second book in the Write to Fit series, Basic Sentence Add-Ons: Phrases, is finally available on Kindle. Why did it take so long? It turns out that writing phrase examples on demand is harder than I thought it would be. Creating infinitive phrases as direct objects was particularly difficult. I now have sympathy for writers of grammar quizzes.

   Available on Amazon

Available on Amazon

The purpose of Basic Sentence Add-ons: Phrases is to give students and beginning writers clear definitions and examples of the various kinds of phrases. In addition, readers will find ways to avoid two major pitfalls when using phrases: misplaced or dangling modifiers and incorrect punctuation.

The publication of the next book in the Write to Fit series, Punctuation Pointers and Pitfalls, is scheduled for April 1, 2015. In the meantime, I will be blogging about writing topics ranging from sentence structure to essay development and beyond. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed on this blog, fill out the contact form form below with your request.

 

 

 

Success Tips for Online Students: Part 4

If you are new to online courses, you may have a high learning curve during your first week of class. First, you must learn to navigate the course and use the course tools, such as e-mail, discussion boards and assignment submission links. Next, you must learn any required software used for submissions. After all that, you must complete the assignments for the first week of the course. Even those students familiar with the computer may have trouble assimilating all the new programs and completing the assignments by the first due date.

You are not alone

One of the biggest complaints  online students have is the lack of help available to them, and you may feel that way. After all, you are sitting alone in front of a computer, staring at a screen full of instructions, and trying to figure out where and how to accomplish all the assigned tasks before the due date. Then something doesn’t work. A quiz won’t open. An assignment file won’t upload. You try to figure out what is wrong, but nothing works. It sure feels like you are alone. But with a little preparation, you will know what help is available and how to ask for it.

Start early

Like the Boy Scouts, you must “Be prepared.” You will probably have access to the course a few days before the actual beginning of the semester. Take that time to look around. Click on links to see what is available. If the school provides face-to-face online orientation sessions, attend one if you can. You will be taken through the various course tools and how to use them. If you cannot attend an online orientation, look for one in the course itself. Also, locate the FAQs that show how to upload assignments, check your grades, post to discussions, and use the course e-mail system.

Help desk

If you are having a technical problem, such as the inability to upload assignment files, you may be using the wrong Internet browser or may need to adjust the settings on your computer. There is usually a help desk number you can call or a help request form to fill out. The only problem with these resources is that they may be available only during regular business hours. As an online student, you may be working at midnight or three in the morning, so will have to wait. While you are waiting, you may want to consult the online FAQs.

Instructor help

Your instructor is your main source of help when you have questions about the course content and assignments. See your syllabus for the instructor’s contact information, which may include e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. If this is not an emergency, use e-mail and expect a twenty-four-hour turnaround. If you are having trouble with an assignment due the same day, then call within the hours the instructor has indicated as acceptable. If technology fails during an online test or while uploading an assignment, send an e-mail as soon as possible after the occurrence. The instructor may reset the assignment so you can complete it.

Other help

Free tutoring may be available, both online and on campus.

The college library may have online services, databases, and citation help available. A librarian may be available to answer questions by telephone.

There may be an online writing lab where you may submit your writing assignments for advice on improving your work.

To find the above resources, check the major links in your online course or the main college website. If you cannot find a link to the help you need, ask your instructor–your best resource in an online course.

A preview of future posts

Now that I have completed an overview of how to succeed in any online course, I am going to focus on my first love, writing. In future posts, I’ll be discussing how to prepare an assignment project sheet, find a topic that fits the length of your assignment, develop topic sentences and thesis statements, and support your opinions. There will also be pointers on revising, editing, and proofreading. If these are topics of interest to you, be sure to subscribe to my blog.

© 2015 Hazel Hart

 

 

Success Tips for Online Students, Part 3

For many of you, the biggest appeal of online courses is that they can be done from home. There is no need to get dressed, travel miles, hunt for a parking space in a crowded lot, or race through blistering heat, pouring rain, or falling snow to get to your classes. If you have children, you don’t have to hire a babysitter. If you have a job, you don’t have to build a course schedule around your work schedule or vice versa. All you have to do is settle down in front of your computer when it is convenient for you to log in.

Find a time for logging in to your classes

If you are new to college and/or online courses, the trouble with a “convenient” time is that there often is none. Your days are already packed with activities. Where will your classes fit in?

Jot down a list of your daily tasks in the order in which you do them and look for places for your classes to fit in. Are you a morning person who can get up an hour earlier every day and immediately turn on the computer and get to work? Do you have time after others leave the house in the morning? How about when the children are down for a nap or after the dishes are done? Maybe you are a night person and will work after everyone else has gone to bed. Whatever time you choose for your login, make it a daily habit.

Make logging in part of your daily routine

Logging in daily will help you stay focused on your educational goals and overcome procrastination. During your time online, you might check for announcements, review assignment due dates and requirements, read instructor notes, post to discussions, and complete study guides and quizzes. Once you have completed these tasks, you may have additional homework to complete offline.

Overcome procrastination with a study schedule

Most of us have a tendency to put things off, and doing homework is no exception. It can be a problem for students in traditional classrooms as well as for online students. In many cases, you will have an entire week to prepare and submit assignments. It is easy to see today’s activities as more important and to believe you can just work a little longer tomorrow. This often results in no work being done until the due date, a mad scramble to complete assignments, and poor grades.

Enlist the support and understanding of friends and family

A major reason for procrastination is not wanting to disappoint friends and family. I used to advise my students to tell these important people in their lives that they were committed to their studies and would see everyone again in sixteen weeks. Let your friends know you won’t be available for shopping, lunches, movies, weekend parties, or other activities that might coincide with your study schedule. Let your loved ones know the number of hours it will take for you to successfully complete your courses and ask for their help with household chores and providing quiet time while you do your homework. Give those who love you an opportunity to lend a hand and help you succeed.

Take the time now to plan your way to a successful semester.

Copyright © 2015 Hazel Hart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success Tips for Online Students, Part 2

In my previous post, I discussed the number of hours needed to successfully complete a three-hour course. Having that information allows you to evaluate the time necessary for each course and to enroll in the number of credit hours that best fits your situation. Once you have completed enrollment and have been given access to your course(s), you will be ready for the next step: reading and printing the syllabus or syllabi (the plural of syllabus is syllabi).

What is so important about the syllabus?

The syllabus is your written contract with the instructor and the school. If you have ever watched Judge Judy or any of those other courtroom shows, you know how important a contract can be. The syllabus tells what you can expect from the instructor and the school and what the instructor and the school expect of you.

If you were taking a face-to-face course in a traditional classroom setting, a good portion of the first day of class would be taken up with a review of what is in the syllabus. Your instructor would point out particular sections and what they contained. Why this instructor-led review of a handout you could easily read yourself? Because instructors know that in their students’ eagerness to get on with assigned readings, many of them will neglect to read this important document on their own.

So what is in a syllabus?

Key information will include the instructor’s name and contact information, a list of the textbooks and other required materials, the course description, and any required face-to-face meetings or proctored tests. You will find out the policies on the number of required log-ins and amount of time you must spend in the course, whether late work will be accepted (usually not), and appropriate discussion posting manners (often referred to as netiquette) in an online course. In most instances, the syllabus will also contain an overview of the course assignments and due dates. This overview will help you plan your study schedule, which will be the topic of my next post.

Why print the syllabus?

Since the syllabus is in the course and always accessible online, you may be thinking that printing it is a waste paper and ink. Not so. The key to the need to print is the fact that the document is “accessible online.” To access the information, you need Internet service and a password. If you are in the middle of your midterm exam and weather takes down your Internet, you need the instructor’s telephone contact information, particularly if this is the last day the exam is available. If you are suddenly ill or in an accident that prevents you from crawling to your computer and alerting your instructor to your inability to complete assignments, you can have a friend or relative do it for you–if the contact information is printed and kept where it can be easily located. In fact, you may be worried about whether you can make up work missed in an emergency. You don’t have to get online to find out if you have that hard copy of the syllabus available.

And by the way, there will probably be a quiz.

Copyright © 2015 Hazel Hart

Success Tips for Online Students, Part 1

Making a new start

The new year is a perfect time for new starts, and getting a college degree or making a career change may be on your list of New Year’s resolutions. If they are, then you may be one of the many first-time college students enrolling in spring semester classes. Congratulations on taking action toward fulfilling your goals. Time spent selecting courses and preparing for the first day of class is usually filled with excitement and enthusiasm. It is also a time when you can take your first step toward a successful semester by considering your current obligations and the time you have to devote to your classes.

Consider your current obligations

I taught online courses for twelve years. During that time, I saw many students struggle because they had enrolled in more classes than they had time to successfully complete. Yes, I know there is a popular saying about being able to do anything you set your mind to doing. There is a lot of truth in that statement. I have had students who combined a twelve-to-fifteen-credit-hour course load with three or four children and a full-time job. A very few were exceptional students. They amazed me with their organizational skills and prompt assignment submissions. Then there the many in the middle who struggled to keep up with their obligations at work and at home while also trying hard to stay current with their coursework. Sometimes these students had to drop a course or two in order to pass the rest successfully. Others chose to complete what they had started but were disappointed in their grades. A few overwhelmed students simply stopped logging in to classes.  To avoid disappointing outcomes, take a good look at your current obligations and the number of hours per week you have to commit to your education.

Credit hours and actual time spent

For every three credit hours you enroll in, you will need an average of an additional six hours a week to complete the readings and homework assignments. That is a total of nine hours per week needed for one three-hour class. Twelve to fifteen credit hours is considered a full load because the amount of time needed per week is the same as a full time job: thirty-six to forty-five hours. If you have no other obligations, full-time is right for you. I realize financial aid requirements may be a factor in the number of courses you take, but if you cannot successfully complete those courses, the financial aid may go away. If you have a full-time job, children, and/or a significant other, taking a close look at your schedule and seeing how many hours you have to commit to your education is an important step towards your success.

This “success tips” series

I began this series as a single blog post of five success tips but soon found I had more to say than I could manage in a single post. Check back or subscribe for additional posts on reviewing your syllabus, setting up a study schedule, navigating an online class, communicating with your instructor, and more.

Copyright © 2015 Hazel Hart