Graduate Level

1 January 2017

The decision to pursue a graduate degree can be the most rewarding experience you would have to make throughout your life. It can also means making sacrifices, reducing the time you spend with family or friends, time management, and developing organizational skills. Time management is very important in graduate school as it requires you to stay organized in knowing when your assignments are due and completing them in a timely manner. Knowing about the program that interest you and understanding its qualifications can also help make your preparation for graduate school a success.

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According to Dr. Emily Head, Graduate Writing Center, All writing must demonstrate good mechanical skills including grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I think this is essential in writing a good paper. When writing at the graduate level, the writer should use critical thinking skills to include organizing the discussion into logical points, establish clear ideas, and citing information to support an argument or ideas. Secondly, the writer should do research, this allows the writer to gather information as it relates to the topic being discussed.

Thirdly, the writer should maintain academic integrity. According to Guide to Intellectual Property for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Students published by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies. “Academic integrity is the respect for standards in your intellectual community and for the work done by you and others, as demonstrated in the honesty and quality of your work”. I think this is really important as a writer. A writer should never take credit for someone else’s work as this is called plagiarism.

It is important to always cite were you got the information properly to avoid plagiarism. Adhering to a proper style of writing, called academic style, allows the audience to get a clear understanding of what it is that you are writing. Writing a paper at a graduate level differs from other forms of writing because the length and the material included in the paper differs from any other level of writing. As a graduate student, it is required for the writer to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the material being discussed.

This is why it is essential for the writer to do research on the topic to expand his/her knowledge about the topic. Also in graduate writing, the writer should be able to write less errors and issues of grammar and punctuations. Writing papers is something that is learned, however all people have strengths and weakness as it relates to how they write. By utilizing the Grammar and Writing Guide, I was able to get a clear understanding of what my strengths and weakness are as a writer.

I don’t have many strengths as a writer, however my weakness as a writer is trying to figure out how to apply my ideas to in my paper. Another weakness I struggle with as a writer is grammar and spelling. I struggle with using appropriate verbs or nouns which causes me to have misspelled words in my reports. I tend to write out my thoughts without identifying the main idea. This is something that I am working on. I know in order to make my weaknesses into strengths I have to write clear papers of free of errors.

I also know having effective writing skills is also important as it will benefit me both educational and in the workplace. If you control your time, you control your life, says Alan Lakein (1973). I agree with this statement. Graduate school can be exciting and challenging experience that requires a significant amount of time and effort. Balancing school and other life responsibilities can also be a challenge. Time management is essential as a graduate student. Utilizing time management and creating a schedule allows you to become more organized in your school work and social life.

I think having a schedule allows you to look at things that you need to complete or prepare for each week as this can be a stressor for some students. By managing your time effectively, it opens a lot of time for you to do other things that you enjoy. According to the Mayo Clinic, long term stress leads to physical health problems like chronic skin conditions, insomnia, slowed metabolism, obesity and heart disease. The Mayo Clinic also points out that stress might cause negative effects to mental health like depression and memory loss.

These health problems can create a downward spiral in worsening health as they often lead to stress cycles. It is important for students to learn ways of dealing with stress as it can have affects on the mind and the body. When I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I listen to smoothing music where I can relax, prioritize, and concentrate on one thing at time. Graduate school can be stressful however, prioritizing and organizing a schedule can help eliminate the daily stress you encounter as a graduate student.

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