Tag Archives: Student

Writing Mistakes – Tips for kids & Resources to improve Writing!

I saw this posted on another BLOG and just wanted to share with you.

Dr. Diane Hamilton wrote:

The Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes

 Ask Dr Diane: What are the most common mistakes you see students make when writing papers?

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 default 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 pageStudents 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


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K12 – Contest – WIN 100K for your School – Microsoft – OUR SCHOOLS NEEDS


What a great contest – You get your students involved and they learn at the same time.  Putting together a multi-media presentation for a great cause – Your school!   If this is done right, this can be a great life lesson for anyone that gets involved and invests time and effort to create.  

How the Our School Needs Contest Works

We want to hear from teachers and students about what their school needs most. Look around your school and think about how it would benefit from winning $100,000.

Watch: What does your school need

What to do

Students can work in groups, classes, or even school-wide to write an essay and take pictures finishing the sentence “Our School Needs: ___________.” To enter:

  1. Write an essay (500 to 800 words)
  2. Take pictures (3 to 5 photos)
  3. Film a video (not required, but fun! Maximum of 3 minutes in length)

Who Can Enter

Any student or teacher from a K-12 school can enter. While students under 18 are encouraged to create the entry, a parent, legal guardian or a teacher must submit it.

What Could Our School Win?

Bing will award a quarter-million dollars, divided among four schools—$50,000 to three first-prize winners, and one $100,000 grand prize.

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More sleep and good eat’s MAKE for better Students….

Something I think no parent needs to be told, but it’s easier said then done.  An article was in District Admin about a study done that showed kids that slept an extra half hour and had breakfast where not as tired and paid better attention in class.  Eight hours of sleep and eating a healthy breakfast makes all the difference.

Changing the start time to school is not easily done for many reasons.  Being a parent of two girls – one in HS and the other in grade 8 we have a mandatory bed time that can be flexible on occasion, but not the norm.  Being that my girls start school at or just before 9AM, makes it easier for me then others that might start between 7-8AM or for those needing to take a bus and travel.  My oldest goes to bed by 10 or a little after and ends up with 9hrs of sleep most nights throughout the school week.  Breakfast has never been an issue, we have always stressed it as being very important. 

What can be done, I am not sure other than doing our best and making sure they get as much sleep as possible.

DistrictAdmin Article – “Research shows HS students benefit from later start time” 

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