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Tips for Students on Writing Concise Research Based Papers

Author: Mark Page-Botelho Posted: 2015-06-04

The other night my daughter Zea was helping a friend with their research paper by peer reviewing it. She quickly became frustrated reading it as her friend didn't seem to have any focus to his writing. Sometimes writing a long research based paper can be difficult. Rambling on about a topic can be time consuming and will produce a less than stellar paper. For students to better understand and produce research based papers, I would add a process to help organize thoughts before the writing even begins. You should cite materials before reading starts with CiteThisForMe.com. Take notes and include with each note an inline citation as you read. Use a mind map tool such as Mind42.com to organize thoughts and when finished export to Word Document in outline form to save time. These tools when used as a process make writing much easier.

More specific writing pointers from Zea to prevent rambling include being very condense, precise, and everything needs to be backed up by evidence. Go through and cut out tons of sentences. If you can summarize your point in one sentence than do that, don't ramble on and on for three or four sentences. See below for her format of how you should write precise research based paragraphs (specifically for the field of Psychology).

Basic notes about writing from Zea: 
  • Always speak in past tense (it gets confusing to the reader when the writer switches tenses and oftentimes writers forget or don't think about what tense they are using. Just be safe and always go past tense).
  • Never say "I," "we," or "our". It is "the current study," or "the research supports;" never talk about yourself. If you are stating your opinion, such as "I think cats are better than dogs," just rephrase it to be a statement; "Cats are better than dogs". Your research should back up this statement, proving it to be true or supported.
  • Never abbreviate, it's "do not" not "don't."
  • Commas go after "because" and "however." Also if you have quotation marks then punctuation signs like commas or periods have to go inside of them, not outside.
Here is the format that Zea followed when she wrote her research papers for her Psychology classes (this can be adapted to any type of research paper). Each part should only be one sentence!
  1. Opening thesis sentence
  2. Who conducted the research and what it studied
  3. Hypothesis
  4. Participants (total #, # men, # women, and what they are)
  5. Type of experiment & measured variables
  6. How were variables measured (can have a sentence for each variable)
  7. Results of study
  8. How the current study (your study) followed up/verified/added to this study's findings EVERYTHING ELSE CAN JUST BE CUT OUT! Credit to Zea Page-Botelho for writing tips





Steve Jobs Ad Nauseam

Author: Mark Page-Botelho Posted: 2015-04-04

A good deal of my closest friend's love Apple and the products they sell. They are always perplexed as to why I myself don't partake in Apple's offerings, although I did use an Apple 2GS for quite some time. Apple does make good products, but I've always been turned off by their cult like following as there are products just as good as and oftentimes better than what Apple offers. They are a luxury brand while I'm about functionality and practicality. 

There is one aspect about Apple that just doesn't sit right with me. They are going after a lifestyle of opulence in a practical world. Additionally, I've always been a humanist and believe in voting with my dollars to change the world. What Apple, at least during Job's reign was what I considered the epitome of evil. He was notorious being extremely egotistical and treat his employees poorly. For someone considering himself to be a Buddhist, he was as far from as can be. Many accounts, even if only a few were true, would not exemplify Buddhist beliefs. He treated every interaction with others as a means for Ego boosting, as seen from his infamous interaction with President Obama. Even the bloggers that don't work for Apple are treated as robotic servants to be dismantled if they show any doubt in Apple products by being ostracized from further product release showings.

Job's himself is a tyrant in regards to unions and slave labor. Apple during his time was the only company known for pushing slave labor employees to the point of mass suicides. He dismantled Apple's philanthropic program. At least Bill Gates shares his wealth with misfortunates and established programs to better the planet. He also believed in union busting and that teacher's pay should be based on merit. He believe that school should be year round and that teachers should work 10 hour days. What a disaster that would have been, especially considering he was a college dropout!

Diogenes of Sinope's recent article, although very Gordon Ramsay-ish, sums up what I've been feeling when people who worship Job's and the products he pushed. He was a very good salesman and cult leader. People also keep talking about how Steve was a genius innovator. All the products he's credited with inventing all existed before they were repacked and touted as being created by Steve. He didn't even credit the repackages with their work such as Ivy and the legends of engineers working at Apple. He's not a genius in any regards other than his idea to push simplicity in order to sell products to non-computer users. That's the only thing he did and did well. Apple will hopefully turn their company around to be more in tune with the Buddhist beliefs that Steve claimed to follow, and start treating people with respect. However, I'll never by an Apple product as I don't want to promote my own Ego by buying luxury technology items that become outdated all too quickly.




Link: Diogenes of Sinope Original Article


Effective Parental Controls Study Results

Author: Mark Page Posted: 2014-10-01

A recent study of the effectiveness of  parental control programs was recently conducted by AV-Comparatives found that no software solution is perfect. With Windows, OSX, and Android software evaluated, the programs that caught 100% of the objectionable material for 9 year olds also came up with a significant amount of false positives. This can lead to frustration while browsing. The software that was deemed the best for Windows was Windows Live Family and Telekom Kinderschutz, both of which scored 100%. Non of the OSX programs scored above 92%, and on iOS the Surfgarten app scored 100% with many false positives. For Android, BlueCoat K9 scored 98% success.

If you have children who use technology, nothing beats monitoring their use. Education and talking to your child is best practice and relying on a simple software fix is not reliable. If you can't be around to monitor your child's technology use, have them play outside or read a book.




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Don't Forget Hands on Activities

Author: Mark Page Posted: 2014-08-21

As a technology facilitator I often overlook really cool hands on opportunities in learning. Mrs. Page utilizes a good combination of both digital and hands on activities. Giving students a break from their computers helps them with their fine motor skills, or as in the Adaptations lesson that Mrs. Page did, there really is no substitute in making a point come alive.






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Results-based Professional Development (RBPD)

Author: Mark Page-Botelho Posted: 2014-05-16



This is a really informative presentation on professional development that is authentic.




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