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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, getting college essay help: important do's and don’ts.

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College Essays

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If you grow up to be a professional writer, everything you write will first go through an editor before being published. This is because the process of writing is really a process of re-writing —of rethinking and reexamining your work, usually with the help of someone else. So what does this mean for your student writing? And in particular, what does it mean for very important, but nonprofessional writing like your college essay? Should you ask your parents to look at your essay? Pay for an essay service?

If you are wondering what kind of help you can, and should, get with your personal statement, you've come to the right place! In this article, I'll talk about what kind of writing help is useful, ethical, and even expected for your college admission essay . I'll also point out who would make a good editor, what the differences between editing and proofreading are, what to expect from a good editor, and how to spot and stay away from a bad one.

Table of Contents

What Kind of Help for Your Essay Can You Get?

What's Good Editing?

What should an editor do for you, what kind of editing should you avoid, proofreading, what's good proofreading, what kind of proofreading should you avoid.

What Do Colleges Think Of You Getting Help With Your Essay?

Who Can/Should Help You?

Advice for editors.

Should You Pay Money For Essay Editing?

The Bottom Line

What's next, what kind of help with your essay can you get.

Rather than talking in general terms about "help," let's first clarify the two different ways that someone else can improve your writing . There is editing, which is the more intensive kind of assistance that you can use throughout the whole process. And then there's proofreading, which is the last step of really polishing your final product.

Let me go into some more detail about editing and proofreading, and then explain how good editors and proofreaders can help you."

Editing is helping the author (in this case, you) go from a rough draft to a finished work . Editing is the process of asking questions about what you're saying, how you're saying it, and how you're organizing your ideas. But not all editing is good editing . In fact, it's very easy for an editor to cross the line from supportive to overbearing and over-involved.

Ability to clarify assignments. A good editor is usually a good writer, and certainly has to be a good reader. For example, in this case, a good editor should make sure you understand the actual essay prompt you're supposed to be answering.

Open-endedness. Good editing is all about asking questions about your ideas and work, but without providing answers. It's about letting you stick to your story and message, and doesn't alter your point of view.

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Think of an editor as a great travel guide. It can show you the many different places your trip could take you. It should explain any parts of the trip that could derail your trip or confuse the traveler. But it never dictates your path, never forces you to go somewhere you don't want to go, and never ignores your interests so that the trip no longer seems like it's your own. So what should good editors do?

Help Brainstorm Topics

Sometimes it's easier to bounce thoughts off of someone else. This doesn't mean that your editor gets to come up with ideas, but they can certainly respond to the various topic options you've come up with. This way, you're less likely to write about the most boring of your ideas, or to write about something that isn't actually important to you.

If you're wondering how to come up with options for your editor to consider, check out our guide to brainstorming topics for your college essay .

Help Revise Your Drafts

Here, your editor can't upset the delicate balance of not intervening too much or too little. It's tricky, but a great way to think about it is to remember: editing is about asking questions, not giving answers .

Revision questions should point out:

  • Places where more detail or more description would help the reader connect with your essay
  • Places where structure and logic don't flow, losing the reader's attention
  • Places where there aren't transitions between paragraphs, confusing the reader
  • Moments where your narrative or the arguments you're making are unclear

But pointing to potential problems is not the same as actually rewriting—editors let authors fix the problems themselves.

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Bad editing is usually very heavy-handed editing. Instead of helping you find your best voice and ideas, a bad editor changes your writing into their own vision.

You may be dealing with a bad editor if they:

  • Add material (examples, descriptions) that doesn't come from you
  • Use a thesaurus to make your college essay sound "more mature"
  • Add meaning or insight to the essay that doesn't come from you
  • Tell you what to say and how to say it
  • Write sentences, phrases, and paragraphs for you
  • Change your voice in the essay so it no longer sounds like it was written by a teenager

Colleges can tell the difference between a 17-year-old's writing and a 50-year-old's writing. Not only that, they have access to your SAT or ACT Writing section, so they can compare your essay to something else you wrote. Writing that's a little more polished is great and expected. But a totally different voice and style will raise questions.

Where's the Line Between Helpful Editing and Unethical Over-Editing?

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether your college essay editor is doing the right thing. Here are some guidelines for staying on the ethical side of the line.

  • An editor should say that the opening paragraph is kind of boring, and explain what exactly is making it drag. But it's overstepping for an editor to tell you exactly how to change it.
  • An editor should point out where your prose is unclear or vague. But it's completely inappropriate for the editor to rewrite that section of your essay.
  • An editor should let you know that a section is light on detail or description. But giving you similes and metaphors to beef up that description is a no-go.

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Proofreading (also called copy-editing) is checking for errors in the last draft of a written work. It happens at the end of the process and is meant as the final polishing touch. Proofreading is meticulous and detail-oriented, focusing on small corrections. It sands off all the surface rough spots that could alienate the reader.

Because proofreading is usually concerned with making fixes on the word or sentence level, this is the only process where someone else can actually add to or take away things from your essay . This is because what they are adding or taking away tends to be one or two misplaced letters.

Laser focus. Proofreading is all about the tiny details, so the ability to really concentrate on finding small slip-ups is a must.

Excellent grammar and spelling skills. Proofreaders need to dot every "i" and cross every "t." Good proofreaders should correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. They should put foreign words in italics and surround quotations with quotation marks. They should check that you used the correct college's name, and that you adhered to any formatting requirements (name and date at the top of the page, uniform font and size, uniform spacing).

Limited interference. A proofreader needs to make sure that you followed any word limits. But if cuts need to be made to shorten the essay, that's your job and not the proofreader's.

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A bad proofreader either tries to turn into an editor, or just lacks the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job.

Some signs that you're working with a bad proofreader are:

  • If they suggest making major changes to the final draft of your essay. Proofreading happens when editing is already finished.
  • If they aren't particularly good at spelling, or don't know grammar, or aren't detail-oriented enough to find someone else's small mistakes.
  • If they start swapping out your words for fancier-sounding synonyms, or changing the voice and sound of your essay in other ways. A proofreader is there to check for errors, not to take the 17-year-old out of your writing.

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What Do Colleges Think of Your Getting Help With Your Essay?

Admissions officers agree: light editing and proofreading are good—even required ! But they also want to make sure you're the one doing the work on your essay. They want essays with stories, voice, and themes that come from you. They want to see work that reflects your actual writing ability, and that focuses on what you find important.

On the Importance of Editing

Get feedback. Have a fresh pair of eyes give you some feedback. Don't allow someone else to rewrite your essay, but do take advantage of others' edits and opinions when they seem helpful. ( Bates College )

Read your essay aloud to someone. Reading the essay out loud offers a chance to hear how your essay sounds outside your head. This exercise reveals flaws in the essay's flow, highlights grammatical errors and helps you ensure that you are communicating the exact message you intended. ( Dickinson College )

On the Value of Proofreading

Share your essays with at least one or two people who know you well—such as a parent, teacher, counselor, or friend—and ask for feedback. Remember that you ultimately have control over your essays, and your essays should retain your own voice, but others may be able to catch mistakes that you missed and help suggest areas to cut if you are over the word limit. ( Yale University )

Proofread and then ask someone else to proofread for you. Although we want substance, we also want to be able to see that you can write a paper for our professors and avoid careless mistakes that would drive them crazy. ( Oberlin College )

On Watching Out for Too Much Outside Influence

Limit the number of people who review your essay. Too much input usually means your voice is lost in the writing style. ( Carleton College )

Ask for input (but not too much). Your parents, friends, guidance counselors, coaches, and teachers are great people to bounce ideas off of for your essay. They know how unique and spectacular you are, and they can help you decide how to articulate it. Keep in mind, however, that a 45-year-old lawyer writes quite differently from an 18-year-old student, so if your dad ends up writing the bulk of your essay, we're probably going to notice. ( Vanderbilt University )

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Now let's talk about some potential people to approach for your college essay editing and proofreading needs. It's best to start close to home and slowly expand outward. Not only are your family and friends more invested in your success than strangers, but they also have a better handle on your interests and personality. This knowledge is key for judging whether your essay is expressing your true self.

Parents or Close Relatives

Your family may be full of potentially excellent editors! Parents are deeply committed to your well-being, and family members know you and your life well enough to offer details or incidents that can be included in your essay. On the other hand, the rewriting process necessarily involves criticism, which is sometimes hard to hear from someone very close to you.

A parent or close family member is a great choice for an editor if you can answer "yes" to the following questions. Is your parent or close relative a good writer or reader? Do you have a relationship where editing your essay won't create conflict? Are you able to constructively listen to criticism and suggestion from the parent?

One suggestion for defusing face-to-face discussions is to try working on the essay over email. Send your parent a draft, have them write you back some comments, and then you can pick which of their suggestions you want to use and which to discard.

Teachers or Tutors

A humanities teacher that you have a good relationship with is a great choice. I am purposefully saying humanities, and not just English, because teachers of Philosophy, History, Anthropology, and any other classes where you do a lot of writing, are all used to reviewing student work.

Moreover, any teacher or tutor that has been working with you for some time, knows you very well and can vet the essay to make sure it "sounds like you."

If your teacher or tutor has some experience with what college essays are supposed to be like, ask them to be your editor. If not, then ask whether they have time to proofread your final draft.

Guidance or College Counselor at Your School

The best thing about asking your counselor to edit your work is that this is their job. This means that they have a very good sense of what colleges are looking for in an application essay.

At the same time, school counselors tend to have relationships with admissions officers in many colleges, which again gives them insight into what works and which college is focused on what aspect of the application.

Unfortunately, in many schools the guidance counselor tends to be way overextended. If your ratio is 300 students to 1 college counselor, you're unlikely to get that person's undivided attention and focus. It is still useful to ask them for general advice about your potential topics, but don't expect them to be able to stay with your essay from first draft to final version.

Friends, Siblings, or Classmates

Although they most likely don't have much experience with what colleges are hoping to see, your peers are excellent sources for checking that your essay is you .

Friends and siblings are perfect for the read-aloud edit. Read your essay to them so they can listen for words and phrases that are stilted, pompous, or phrases that just don't sound like you.

You can even trade essays and give helpful advice on each other's work.

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If your editor hasn't worked with college admissions essays very much, no worries! Any astute and attentive reader can still greatly help with your process. But, as in all things, beginners do better with some preparation.

First, your editor should read our advice about how to write a college essay introduction , how to spot and fix a bad college essay , and get a sense of what other students have written by going through some admissions essays that worked .

Then, as they read your essay, they can work through the following series of questions that will help them to guide you.

Introduction Questions

  • Is the first sentence a killer opening line? Why or why not?
  • Does the introduction hook the reader? Does it have a colorful, detailed, and interesting narrative? Or does it propose a compelling or surprising idea?
  • Can you feel the author's voice in the introduction, or is the tone dry, dull, or overly formal? Show the places where the voice comes through.

Essay Body Questions

  • Does the essay have a through-line? Is it built around a central argument, thought, idea, or focus? Can you put this idea into your own words?
  • How is the essay organized? By logical progression? Chronologically? Do you feel order when you read it, or are there moments where you are confused or lose the thread of the essay?
  • Does the essay have both narratives about the author's life and explanations and insight into what these stories reveal about the author's character, personality, goals, or dreams? If not, which is missing?
  • Does the essay flow? Are there smooth transitions/clever links between paragraphs? Between the narrative and moments of insight?

Reader Response Questions

  • Does the writer's personality come through? Do we know what the speaker cares about? Do we get a sense of "who he or she is"?
  • Where did you feel most connected to the essay? Which parts of the essay gave you a "you are there" sensation by invoking your senses? What moments could you picture in your head well?
  • Where are the details and examples vague and not specific enough?
  • Did you get an "a-ha!" feeling anywhere in the essay? Is there a moment of insight that connected all the dots for you? Is there a good reveal or "twist" anywhere in the essay?
  • What are the strengths of this essay? What needs the most improvement?

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Should You Pay Money for Essay Editing?

One alternative to asking someone you know to help you with your college essay is the paid editor route. There are two different ways to pay for essay help: a private essay coach or a less personal editing service , like the many proliferating on the internet.

My advice is to think of these options as a last resort rather than your go-to first choice. I'll first go through the reasons why. Then, if you do decide to go with a paid editor, I'll help you decide between a coach and a service.

When to Consider a Paid Editor

In general, I think hiring someone to work on your essay makes a lot of sense if none of the people I discussed above are a possibility for you.

If you can't ask your parents. For example, if your parents aren't good writers, or if English isn't their first language. Or if you think getting your parents to help is going create unnecessary extra conflict in your relationship with them (applying to college is stressful as it is!)

If you can't ask your teacher or tutor. Maybe you don't have a trusted teacher or tutor that has time to look over your essay with focus. Or, for instance, your favorite humanities teacher has very limited experience with college essays and so won't know what admissions officers want to see.

If you can't ask your guidance counselor. This could be because your guidance counselor is way overwhelmed with other students.

If you can't share your essay with those who know you. It might be that your essay is on a very personal topic that you're unwilling to share with parents, teachers, or peers. Just make sure it doesn't fall into one of the bad-idea topics in our article on bad college essays .

If the cost isn't a consideration. Many of these services are quite expensive, and private coaches even more so. If you have finite resources, I'd say that hiring an SAT or ACT tutor (whether it's PrepScholar or someone else) is better way to spend your money . This is because there's no guarantee that a slightly better essay will sufficiently elevate the rest of your application, but a significantly higher SAT score will definitely raise your applicant profile much more.

Should You Hire an Essay Coach?

On the plus side, essay coaches have read dozens or even hundreds of college essays, so they have experience with the format. Also, because you'll be working closely with a specific person, it's more personal than sending your essay to a service, which will know even less about you.

But, on the minus side, you'll still be bouncing ideas off of someone who doesn't know that much about you . In general, if you can adequately get the help from someone you know, there is no advantage to paying someone to help you.

If you do decide to hire a coach, ask your school counselor, or older students that have used the service for recommendations. If you can't afford the coach's fees, ask whether they can work on a sliding scale —many do. And finally, beware those who guarantee admission to your school of choice—essay coaches don't have any special magic that can back up those promises.

Should You Send Your Essay to a Service?

On the plus side, essay editing services provide a similar product to essay coaches, and they cost significantly less . If you have some assurance that you'll be working with a good editor, the lack of face-to-face interaction won't prevent great results.

On the minus side, however, it can be difficult to gauge the quality of the service before working with them . If they are churning through many application essays without getting to know the students they are helping, you could end up with an over-edited essay that sounds just like everyone else's. In the worst case scenario, an unscrupulous service could send you back a plagiarized essay.

Getting recommendations from friends or a school counselor for reputable services is key to avoiding heavy-handed editing that writes essays for you or does too much to change your essay. Including a badly-edited essay like this in your application could cause problems if there are inconsistencies. For example, in interviews it might be clear you didn't write the essay, or the skill of the essay might not be reflected in your schoolwork and test scores.

Should You Buy an Essay Written by Someone Else?

Let me elaborate. There are super sketchy places on the internet where you can simply buy a pre-written essay. Don't do this!

For one thing, you'll be lying on an official, signed document. All college applications make you sign a statement saying something like this:

I certify that all information submitted in the admission process—including the application, the personal essay, any supplements, and any other supporting materials—is my own work, factually true, and honestly presented... I understand that I may be subject to a range of possible disciplinary actions, including admission revocation, expulsion, or revocation of course credit, grades, and degree, should the information I have certified be false. (From the Common Application )

For another thing, if your academic record doesn't match the essay's quality, the admissions officer will start thinking your whole application is riddled with lies.

Admission officers have full access to your writing portion of the SAT or ACT so that they can compare work that was done in proctored conditions with that done at home. They can tell if these were written by different people. Not only that, but there are now a number of search engines that faculty and admission officers can use to see if an essay contains strings of words that have appeared in other essays—you have no guarantee that the essay you bought wasn't also bought by 50 other students.

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  • You should get college essay help with both editing and proofreading
  • A good editor will ask questions about your idea, logic, and structure, and will point out places where clarity is needed
  • A good editor will absolutely not answer these questions, give you their own ideas, or write the essay or parts of the essay for you
  • A good proofreader will find typos and check your formatting
  • All of them agree that getting light editing and proofreading is necessary
  • Parents, teachers, guidance or college counselor, and peers or siblings
  • If you can't ask any of those, you can pay for college essay help, but watch out for services or coaches who over-edit you work
  • Don't buy a pre-written essay! Colleges can tell, and it'll make your whole application sound false.

Ready to start working on your essay? Check out our explanation of the point of the personal essay and the role it plays on your applications and then explore our step-by-step guide to writing a great college essay .

Using the Common Application for your college applications? We have an excellent guide to the Common App essay prompts and useful advice on how to pick the Common App prompt that's right for you . Wondering how other people tackled these prompts? Then work through our roundup of over 130 real college essay examples published by colleges .

Stressed about whether to take the SAT again before submitting your application? Let us help you decide how many times to take this test . If you choose to go for it, we have the ultimate guide to studying for the SAT to give you the ins and outs of the best ways to study.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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How To Write A Research Paper

Step-By-Step Tutorial With Examples + FREE Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewer: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | March 2024

For many students, crafting a strong research paper from scratch can feel like a daunting task – and rightly so! In this post, we’ll unpack what a research paper is, what it needs to do , and how to write one – in three easy steps. 🙂 

Overview: Writing A Research Paper

What (exactly) is a research paper.

  • How to write a research paper
  • Stage 1 : Topic & literature search
  • Stage 2 : Structure & outline
  • Stage 3 : Iterative writing
  • Key takeaways

Let’s start by asking the most important question, “ What is a research paper? ”.

Simply put, a research paper is a scholarly written work where the writer (that’s you!) answers a specific question (this is called a research question ) through evidence-based arguments . Evidence-based is the keyword here. In other words, a research paper is different from an essay or other writing assignments that draw from the writer’s personal opinions or experiences. With a research paper, it’s all about building your arguments based on evidence (we’ll talk more about that evidence a little later).

Now, it’s worth noting that there are many different types of research papers , including analytical papers (the type I just described), argumentative papers, and interpretative papers. Here, we’ll focus on analytical papers , as these are some of the most common – but if you’re keen to learn about other types of research papers, be sure to check out the rest of the blog .

With that basic foundation laid, let’s get down to business and look at how to write a research paper .

Research Paper Template

Overview: The 3-Stage Process

While there are, of course, many potential approaches you can take to write a research paper, there are typically three stages to the writing process. So, in this tutorial, we’ll present a straightforward three-step process that we use when working with students at Grad Coach.

These three steps are:

  • Finding a research topic and reviewing the existing literature
  • Developing a provisional structure and outline for your paper, and
  • Writing up your initial draft and then refining it iteratively

Let’s dig into each of these.

Need a helping hand?

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Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature

As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question . More specifically, that’s called a research question , and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What’s important to understand though is that you’ll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources – for example, journal articles, government reports, case studies, and so on. We’ll circle back to this in a minute.

The first stage of the research process is deciding on what your research question will be and then reviewing the existing literature (in other words, past studies and papers) to see what they say about that specific research question. In some cases, your professor may provide you with a predetermined research question (or set of questions). However, in many cases, you’ll need to find your own research question within a certain topic area.

Finding a strong research question hinges on identifying a meaningful research gap – in other words, an area that’s lacking in existing research. There’s a lot to unpack here, so if you wanna learn more, check out the plain-language explainer video below.

Once you’ve figured out which question (or questions) you’ll attempt to answer in your research paper, you’ll need to do a deep dive into the existing literature – this is called a “ literature search ”. Again, there are many ways to go about this, but your most likely starting point will be Google Scholar .

If you’re new to Google Scholar, think of it as Google for the academic world. You can start by simply entering a few different keywords that are relevant to your research question and it will then present a host of articles for you to review. What you want to pay close attention to here is the number of citations for each paper – the more citations a paper has, the more credible it is (generally speaking – there are some exceptions, of course).

how to use google scholar

Ideally, what you’re looking for are well-cited papers that are highly relevant to your topic. That said, keep in mind that citations are a cumulative metric , so older papers will often have more citations than newer papers – just because they’ve been around for longer. So, don’t fixate on this metric in isolation – relevance and recency are also very important.

Beyond Google Scholar, you’ll also definitely want to check out academic databases and aggregators such as Science Direct, PubMed, JStor and so on. These will often overlap with the results that you find in Google Scholar, but they can also reveal some hidden gems – so, be sure to check them out.

Once you’ve worked your way through all the literature, you’ll want to catalogue all this information in some sort of spreadsheet so that you can easily recall who said what, when and within what context. If you’d like, we’ve got a free literature spreadsheet that helps you do exactly that.

Don’t fixate on an article’s citation count in isolation - relevance (to your research question) and recency are also very important.

Step 2: Develop a structure and outline

With your research question pinned down and your literature digested and catalogued, it’s time to move on to planning your actual research paper .

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important to have some sort of rough outline in place before you start writing your paper. So often, we see students eagerly rushing into the writing phase, only to land up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on in multiple

Now, the secret here is to not get caught up in the fine details . Realistically, all you need at this stage is a bullet-point list that describes (in broad strokes) what you’ll discuss and in what order. It’s also useful to remember that you’re not glued to this outline – in all likelihood, you’ll chop and change some sections once you start writing, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is that you have some sort of roadmap in place from the start.

You need to have a rough outline in place before you start writing your paper - or you’ll end up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on.

At this stage you might be wondering, “ But how should I structure my research paper? ”. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, but in general, a research paper will consist of a few relatively standardised components:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Let’s take a look at each of these.

First up is the introduction section . As the name suggests, the purpose of the introduction is to set the scene for your research paper. There are usually (at least) four ingredients that go into this section – these are the background to the topic, the research problem and resultant research question , and the justification or rationale. If you’re interested, the video below unpacks the introduction section in more detail. 

The next section of your research paper will typically be your literature review . Remember all that literature you worked through earlier? Well, this is where you’ll present your interpretation of all that content . You’ll do this by writing about recent trends, developments, and arguments within the literature – but more specifically, those that are relevant to your research question . The literature review can oftentimes seem a little daunting, even to seasoned researchers, so be sure to check out our extensive collection of literature review content here .

With the introduction and lit review out of the way, the next section of your paper is the research methodology . In a nutshell, the methodology section should describe to your reader what you did (beyond just reviewing the existing literature) to answer your research question. For example, what data did you collect, how did you collect that data, how did you analyse that data and so on? For each choice, you’ll also need to justify why you chose to do it that way, and what the strengths and weaknesses of your approach were.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that for some research papers, this aspect of the project may be a lot simpler . For example, you may only need to draw on secondary sources (in other words, existing data sets). In some cases, you may just be asked to draw your conclusions from the literature search itself (in other words, there may be no data analysis at all). But, if you are required to collect and analyse data, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the methodology section. The video below provides an example of what the methodology section might look like.

By this stage of your paper, you will have explained what your research question is, what the existing literature has to say about that question, and how you analysed additional data to try to answer your question. So, the natural next step is to present your analysis of that data . This section is usually called the “results” or “analysis” section and this is where you’ll showcase your findings.

Depending on your school’s requirements, you may need to present and interpret the data in one section – or you might split the presentation and the interpretation into two sections. In the latter case, your “results” section will just describe the data, and the “discussion” is where you’ll interpret that data and explicitly link your analysis back to your research question. If you’re not sure which approach to take, check in with your professor or take a look at past papers to see what the norms are for your programme.

Alright – once you’ve presented and discussed your results, it’s time to wrap it up . This usually takes the form of the “ conclusion ” section. In the conclusion, you’ll need to highlight the key takeaways from your study and close the loop by explicitly answering your research question. Again, the exact requirements here will vary depending on your programme (and you may not even need a conclusion section at all) – so be sure to check with your professor if you’re unsure.

Step 3: Write and refine

Finally, it’s time to get writing. All too often though, students hit a brick wall right about here… So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

Well, there’s a lot to be said when it comes to writing a research paper (or any sort of academic piece), but we’ll share three practical tips to help you get started.

First and foremost , it’s essential to approach your writing as an iterative process. In other words, you need to start with a really messy first draft and then polish it over multiple rounds of editing. Don’t waste your time trying to write a perfect research paper in one go. Instead, take the pressure off yourself by adopting an iterative approach.

Secondly , it’s important to always lean towards critical writing , rather than descriptive writing. What does this mean? Well, at the simplest level, descriptive writing focuses on the “ what ”, while critical writing digs into the “ so what ” – in other words, the implications. If you’re not familiar with these two types of writing, don’t worry! You can find a plain-language explanation here.

Last but not least, you’ll need to get your referencing right. Specifically, you’ll need to provide credible, correctly formatted citations for the statements you make. We see students making referencing mistakes all the time and it costs them dearly. The good news is that you can easily avoid this by using a simple reference manager . If you don’t have one, check out our video about Mendeley, an easy (and free) reference management tool that you can start using today.

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. To recap, the three steps to writing a high-quality research paper are:

  • To choose a research question and review the literature
  • To plan your paper structure and draft an outline
  • To take an iterative approach to writing, focusing on critical writing and strong referencing

Remember, this is just a b ig-picture overview of the research paper development process and there’s a lot more nuance to unpack. So, be sure to grab a copy of our free research paper template to learn more about how to write a research paper.

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Unfortunately, the times when your parents or elder siblings could assist you in your homework have passed. Now you need to look for professional help. Luckily for thousands students struggling with the same issue, there are dozens of websites offering custom paper writing service. That's how you get all your academic papers done. The only question now is the price of such a service. We'll be comparing the features to find the best suitable option.

An affordable custom paper writing service

Prices always matter! No, you get it wrong! Quality of the work done actually matters. A good essay is not necessarily the one you have to pay $100 for. When choosing college essay help consider three essential moments: time, cost and reviews. Let's learn a bit more about each moment. That's how you succeed.

In terms of time there can be hundreds of variations. When do you need your essay to get done? In a week? In a month? Tomorrow? Look for the service that offers adequate timing. And remember, the less time is required the more you have to pay. Sometimes several people would be working on one essay. Such term paper writing service will be priced higher, but still allows you to get the desired results and high grade from a professor.

Price is another important feature. Paying huge cost for an essay doesn't guarantee the proper work. There are multiple websites with affordable offers. What you should really check is the reviews of the clients. They make you understand whether you're dealing with good service or not. Ask questions before placing an order. The person or a group of people who are to write your paper should have experience and knowledge and have diploma themselves.

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Opening the Internet you see thousands of option for hiring a writer. How do you find the one that helps you in satisfying the professor and get an excellent grade for that?

First, pay attention to the education of the writers. Do they have degrees or diplomas? What are their main spheres and fields?

Second, consider the price you're going to pay. Spending hundreds of bucks on an essay won't make it a brilliant work. Third, evaluate the timing. Both yours and the writer's. Get ready to pay more for an urgent job. Find the balance between price and time, and you'll get the best paper on time

Online Notepad

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The 5 best digital notepads in 2024 will free you from paper clutter forever

By Jason R. Rich

Updated on: April 2, 2024 / 7:38 PM EDT / Essentials

CBS Essentials is created independently of the CBS News editorial staff. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.

The 5 best digital notepads in 2024

Forget about writing down your ideas on sticky notes, paper napkins or scraps of paper -- all of which create clutter and can easily get lost. Now you can create handwritten notes and drawings, organize them in customized virtual notebooks, back up your notes in the cloud and then share them with others -- all with a digital notepad. And you can use these devices to read, annotate and sign PDF files, too. 

The best digital notepads look like tablets, but they have an e-ink display that's easily readable in almost any lighting -- just like the best e-readers . Using a stylus, you handwrite or draw directly on the screen, within the pages of customizable virtual notebooks. Then, in most cases, you can automatically convert your handwritten notes into editable text, or store the notes as you created them. 

Digital notepads give you plenty of virtual paper style options and even let you to choose your simulated writing instruments, such as a ball-point pen, fountain pen, pencil or highlighter. While some of the latest digital notepads can also be used as e-readers or offer basic tablet functionality, their main purpose is to replace a traditional notepad.

Best digital notepad overall : reMarkable 2

Best digital notepad and e-reader combo : amazon kindle scribe.

  • Best compact digital notepad : Moleskine Smart Writing Set

Best digital notepad with a color display : Boox Note Air3 C

Best digital notepad with tablet functions: boox ultra c pro.

Keep in mind, with a specialty app (like Goodnotes 6 or Notability) and an Apple Pencil , any  Apple iPad tablet can be used as a feature-packed, full-color digital notepad, as can any tablet that has a stylus available for it.

Our top picks of the best digital notepads for 2024

Our in-house consumer tech experts have jotted down their research notes and compiled this roundup of the best digital notepads out there. Get ready to handwrite or draw directly on an e-ink display using a pen-shaped stylus. This nicely recreates the experience of handwriting on paper using a traditional pen or pencil. Organize and access all of your notes in one place. And because these devices rely on an e-ink display, battery life is typically up to several weeks, not mere hours, like a traditional tablet.

Remarkable 2

Display size : 10.3 inches | Display type : E-ink | Resolution : 1,872 x 1,404 pixels, 226 DPI |  Color or monochrome display : Monochrome | Internal   storage : 8GB | Expandable : No | Stylus included : Yes | Connectivity : USB Type-C, Wi-Fi | Operating system : Codex | Battery life : Up to 2 weeks

Unlike a traditional tablet that's built for a ton of tasks, or an Amazon Scribe that's for both note-taking and e-reading, the reMarkable 2 is first and foremost a digital notepad. It's designed to replicate writing on paper with a pen.

What we like most about this device is that it's extremely thin and lightweight. The monochrome, e-ink display is also quite readable, with minimal glare. And the rechargeable battery lasts up to two weeks.

As a digital notepad, you can create custom-named notebooks, and each can contain any number of individual pages filled with your handwritten notes. As you're writing, you can opt to leave the content as is, or convert it automatically into editable, typed text. This makes it great for note-taking, managing to-do lists or organizing important information.

Another task the reMarkable 2 handles exceptionally well is PDFs; you can view, annotate, highlight, sign, organize and store them. All content within the reMarkable 2 can be synced with your choice of cloud-based services, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive. 

Beyond PDF files, this note taking tool is compatible with Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations. It also can serve as an e-reader that accepts ePub files, but that's not the intended purpose of this device. If you're looking for a versatile digital notepad that provides a writing experience that feels like you're using real paper and a pen, reMarkable 2 is a great option.

Amazon Kindle Scribe

Display size : 10.2-inches |  Display type : Paperwhite |  Resolution : 300 ppi |  Color or monochrome display : Monochrome |  Internal   storage : 16GB, 32GB, 64GB |  Expandable : No |  Stylus included : Yes |  Connectivity : USB Type-C, Wi-Fi |  Operating system : Amazon FireOS |  Battery life : Up to 12 weeks

We're huge fans of the Amazon Kindle Scribe, mainly because it can serve as a digital notepad and full-featured e-reader compatible with any Kindle-friendly e-books. The 10.2-inch paperwhite display is very easy to read, and the device's battery lasts up to three months between charges.

For our coverage of the five best e-readers for 2024 , the Scribe was named best e-reader for note taking. Be sure to read our in-depth review of this powerful tool to discover all that it can do.

The Amazon Kindle Scribe also offers yet another cool feature that other Kindles don't. It's a digital notepad. You can handwrite or draw on the display using a stylus. Use the note-taking app to create custom digital notebooks and then fill them with pages containing thoughts or sketches. These notes are stored within the Scribe, but can easily be shared when the device is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.

As you're reading, you can annotate the content of e-books with handwritten notes, or annotate PDF files. A basic stylus comes with the Scribe and a three-month trial subscription to the Kindle Unlimited service is included, as is a USB Type-C charging cable. 

Best compact digital notepad : Moleskine smart writing set

Moleskine Smart Writing Set

Stylus included : Yes |  Connectivity : Bluetooth |  Battery life : Up to 11 hours | Notebook compatibility : Moleskine Smart Notebooks ( small or large ) | App : Moleskine Notes app (iOS/Android)

Most digital notepads have all of their technology built into the tablet. That's not the case with the Moleskine smart writing set. In this case, there's a lot of tech bundled into a smart pen that works just like a ball-point. In fact, the smart pen also writes on paper.

The pen must be used with one of Moleskine's smart notebooks, which come in two sizes and in either a hardcover or softcover. As you're writing using the Moleskine pen within one of these notebooks, the pen actually records everything you write and draw. Transfer the work wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet and replicate it on the screen of a mobile device.

Using the Moleskine Notes app, your can view your handwritten notes, store them as PDFs, sync them in the cloud or share them with others. Content can be kept in your own handwriting or converted into text that can be edited. And all of your notes can be associated with keywords or tags that make them easier to locate quickly. 

Another useful feature: It can simultaneously record audio from a class or meeting and link those audio files with your handwritten content. This system is ideal for someone who wants to continue writing with a pen on paper, but store and share all of their notes or drawings digitally, too. 

BOOX Tablet Note Air 3 C

Display size : 10.3-inches |  Display type : E-paper |  Resolution : 2,480 x 1,860 pixels, 300 ppi (monochrome); 1,240 x 930 pixels, 150 ppi (color) |  Color or monochrome display : Color |  Internal   storage : 16GB |  Expandable : Yes (microSD card) |  Stylus included : Yes |  Connectivity : USB Type-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth |  Operating system : Android 12 |  Battery life : Up to 16 hours

Boox is one of the few companies that offers digital notepads and Android tablets with full-color, e-paper displays. The Boox Note Air3 C has a 10.3-inch color screen. It's primarily designed to be a digital notepad for writing or drawing using different colored virtual inks, or for annotating full-color PDF files. 

As an e-reader it accepts 17 e-book formats. The device itself is a mere 5.8mm thick and it's extremely lightweight. As a note taking tool, it offers a paper-like experience for handwriting ideas and sketches.

Because the device uses an e-ink display, it's battery lasts for many hours. But it lacks a traditional display, so don't expect to work with high-resolution photos or video with the sharpness of a traditional tablet. The colors appear more muted. Resolution improves dramatically when viewing content in monochrome. As you're handwriting, the Note Air3 C can convert your handwriting into editable text. You can also use this device to view, annotate, sign and share PDF files. The handwriting and drawing capabilities are extensive, while the e-reader features are also robust. 

Because this is an Android device, it can be used for basic tasks that a tablet can also handle, like checking email, but this is primarily a digital note-taking tool for notes. Overall, we're very impressed with the note-taking capabilities of the Note Air3 C and recommend it to someone who prefers to handwrite, store and share their notes digitally.

For slightly less money, the Note Air3 ($400) is available with a monochrome screen.  It can handle everything that the Note Air3 C can do, just without the color. If you're going to invest in a Boox digital notepad, however, we suggest going with the full-color version. The use of color gives you more options when handwriting notes, drawing or annotating PDF files. There's even a virtual highlighter that allows you to highlight text in PDF files using the colors of your choice. 

BOOX Tablet Tab Ultra C Pro

Display size : 10.3-inches |  Display type : Kaleido 3 |  Resolution : 2,480 x 1,860 pixels, 300 ppi (monochrome); 1,240 x 930, 150 ppi (color) |  Color or monochrome display : Color |  Internal   storage : 128GB |  Expandable : Yes (microSD card) |  Stylus included : Yes |  Connectivity : USB Type-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth |  Operating system : Android 12 |  Battery life : Up to 21 hours | Keyboard : Optional

The Boox Ultra C Pro can do everything that the Boox Note Air3 C can do as a note taking tool, but it also serves as an Android tablet.

It comes with the same collection of preinstalled apps as other Android tablets and allows you to install additional apps from the Google Play Store. The Boox Ultra C Pro has a full-color, e-ink display. This means it can be viewed in any lighting situation with virtually zero glare. 

Be warned: Between the speed of the processor and the sluggishness of the display's refresh rate, the Boox Ultra C Pro is not suitable for video. And while it can display full-color, high-resolution photos, the colors will appear muted and the images will lack detail. But this digital notebook is great for basics like web surfing, email, word processing, spreadsheets or any tasks that don't rely on video or graphics. 

Also on the plus side, the Ultra C Pro comes with a stylus and runs Android 12. It also has a built-in camera, speakers and a microSD memory card slot. It supports 24 digital file formats. A variety of optional cases (that also serve as stands) and a detachable keyboard are sold separately. While not for everyone, the Boox Ultra C Pro is a great option for people who prefer hand-writing over typing, but who want the core features of a tablet in a single, lightweight device.

How to choose a digital notepad

A digital notepad should be as comfortable and intuitive to use as a traditional pad and pen. Here are five things to consider when choosing which digital notepad is best suited to meet your needs:

  • Design : The best digital notepads are compact, thin and lightweight. They rely on an e-ink display that's easy to read in any lighting (including direct sunlight) and they come with a pen-shaped stylus that's as comfortable to use as a pen. You also want the ability to choose a paper style (blank, lined, graph, etc.) and create customize notebooks that can contain any number of individual pages. The operating system should allow you to store your handwritten notes locally, sync them with a cloud account and share them with others via email. 
  • Display : An e-ink display should be glare-free and easy to read in any lighting. The higher the resolution, the better (especially when it comes to full-color e-ink displays). Most displays built into digital notepads have a resolution that's measured in horizontal and vertical pixels, or in pixels per inch.
  • Functionality : Beyond handwriting or drawing on the display, you might want to automatically convert writing into editable text. Other useful functions include the ability to markup, annotate and sign PDF files. Some of the best digital notepads also serve as e-readers, audiobook players and more. Also, while some digital notebooks only sync files with the manufacturer's own cloud-based service, others are compatible with services like Google Drive, Microsoft 365, Dropbox and Evernote.
  • Stylus : All of the digital notepads featured in this roundup come with a pen-shaped stylus. However, in some cases, you can upgrade to a premium stylus for an additional fee. To get the most out of a digital notepad, you want a stylus that feels like a pen in your hand and that replicates the experience of handwriting on paper. If you flip over the stylus, the opposite end should work as a digital eraser (just like a traditional pencil). When using one of the best digital notepads, you can choose your virtual writing instrument. Options typically include a ball point pen, pencil, felt tip market, highlighter and fountain pen. 
  • Battery life : Because these devices rely on e-ink displays, their battery life tends to be much longer than a traditional tablet. In some cases, you can expect to use a digital notepad regularly for up to four weeks before needing to recharge it.

When it comes to keeping up with the latest  technologies , our team of consumer tech experts has you covered with comprehensive product roundups, in-depth product reviews and details about where and how to find the best deals. We cover everything from  laptops  and  action cameras , to the best  TVs ,  smart grills ,  tablets ,  smartwatches  and noise canceling  earbuds  and  headphones .

Jason R. Rich ( www.JasonRich.com ) is an internationally recognized consumer technology expert with more than 30 years' writing experience. He's also an accomplished author and photographer. One of his most recently published books, The Remote Worker's Handbook: How to Effectively Work From Anywhere ($24.99, Entrepreneur Books) is now available from Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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Eighty-four million Americans had a mental disorder in 2022, while 34 million people had a substance use disorder. About 11 million people dealt with both, but many did not receive professional treatment, partially because of a persistent stigma leading to silence and shame around mental health problems. Michelle Miller reports on how former congressman Patrick J. Kennedy and author Stephen Fried are hoping to make change with their new book.

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Putin appoints Shoigu as secretary of Russia's national security council

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Thousands flee as Russia presses border assault in northeast Ukraine

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Cannes set to unfurl against backdrop of war, protests and films

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Entertainment

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The fight over Marilyn Monroe's former home

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Hollywood legend Roger Corman dies at age 98

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How AI powered robots are helping small farms

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Cyberattacks grip U.S. hospital systems

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Northern lights set the sky aglow amid powerful geomagnetic storm

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write on a paper online

100 Totally Free Printable Activities for Kids

P rintable activities for kids may seem a little old-school, but there's something to be said for good old pen-and-paper fun. While there are tons of great online resources for kids , it's important to take a break from screens sometimes.

We've rounded up 100 printables you can take with you just about anywhere. From printable coloring pages and paper dolls to craft instructions and STEM-inspired fun, these activities provide hours of entertainment. They also keep kids actively learning by developing fine-motor skills, working on critical thinking, and even inspiring some gross motor play workouts. And the best part is, they're completely free!

Bookmark this list of printable activities and come back to it anytime you hear the dreaded, "I'm bored!" You can also check out our guide to Boredom Busters for Kids for more ideas for screen-free fun.

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There are so many great printables that teach kids how to draw various pictures and patterns. Photo by Pixelshot, courtesy of Canva

Drawing Printables for Kids

1. Learn how to draw a cat .

2. Save the world when you design your own superhero .

3. These blank-face drawing prompts leave a lot to the imagination.

4. Be the star of your own comic with these blank  comic-book strips .

5. Learn how to draw a box turtle with these easy  step-by-step instructions .

6. Mandalas are a meditative activity that can take a long time to complete. Learn all about them with the Asian Art Museum's downloadable Mandala drawing activity .

7. Learn how to draw anything you can imagine with these instructional drawing guides .

8. Chill out with these creative doodle pattern tiles .

9. Build drawing skills with grid drawing puzzles .

Writing Printables for Kids

10. Use pictures to write your own story .

11. Print out your own  envelope and write a letter to family and friends.

12. Print these fill-in-the-blank stories from Nickelodeon and exercise your funny bone.

13. These writing-practice printables are great for kids learning their letters.

14. Browse over 100 writing printables for early readers.

15. Put pen to paper with creative-writing templates .

16. Build penmanship (yes, that's still a thing) with amazing  handwriting worksheets .

17. Flex those brain muscles with writing printables for preschoolers.

18. These writing worksheets work on skills like capitalization and punctuation.

RELATED: Water Games to Play All Summer Long

Printable activity pages can keep kids from saying the dreaded, "I'm bored!" Photo by Wave Break Media, courtesy of Canva

Printable Activity Pages for Kids

19. Download an activity pack from Puffin Books. These brightly colored and beautifully illustrated packs keep kids busy for hours.

20. Spend some time learning about yourself with this  All About Me activity sheet .

21. Explore your home with this fun activity sheet .

22. SpongeBob fans will love Nickelodeon's Spongebob activity book .

23. These mind-bending mazes will keep your kids mesmerized.

24. This 10-page printable includes everything from a list of boredom busters to daily learning projects.

25. You don't need much to  learn how to build a tent !

26. Make a time capsule with this printable time capsule activity pack .

27. Explore a variety of printable activities for preschoolers .

28. Look through tons of free  themed printable activity packs .

Hidden-Picture Printables for Kids

29. These hidden-picture printables are perfect for long car rides.

30. Spruce Crafts has some beautiful seek-and-find printables .

31. These difficult hidden-picture printables are perfect for older kids.

32. Check out these simple hidden-picture printables .

33. These find-the-difference coloring pages are a two-in-one activity.

34. Enjoy these spot-the-difference puzzle printables .

35. Monthly themed hidden-image printables are perfect for holidays and classrooms.

36. Have double the fun with this hidden-image printable that doubles as a coloring page.

37. Try these animal-themed hidden-image worksheets .Scavenger Hunt Printables for Kids

38. Go on a scavenger hunt to find red objects.

39. Shiver me timbers! It's time to go on a pirate treasure hunt .

40. Take this printable to-go as you embark on a nature scavenger hunt.

41. Have fun inside and outside with these scavenger hunt printables .

42. These simple scavenger hunts are perfect for younger kids.

43. The pictures on these printable scavenger hunts  make them perfect for early readers.

44. Browse over 50 free printable scavenger hunts .

RELATED: Free Coloring Pages for Kids to Download

No need to buy coloring books when you can print out free coloring pages. Photo by Ketut Subiyanto, courtesy of Pexels

Coloring-Page Printables for Kids

45. Color-by-numbers are a great way to recognize numbers and have a little fun.

46. These color-by-numbers printables are tons of fun for younger kids.

47. Crayola has oodles and oodles of  free coloring pages to download.

48. Download and print this silly story you can color created by a licensed art therapist.

49. These color-by-numbers pages feature cute scenes and characters your kids will love.

50. Check out these free coloring pages for kids (and adults)!

51. With just a few markers or crayons, these color-by-numbers printables will turn into masterpieces.

52. These coloring pages are based on famous works of art.

53. Browse tons of coloring and color-by-number pages . 

54. Color Me PhD has free science coloring books based on PhD-level scientific research. Don't worry, you don't need a degree to color inside the lines.

Printable Calendars for Kids

55. These adorable printable calendars have cute graphics themed for each month.

56. These printable calendars have fun themes like Star Wars , superheroes, Disney princesses, and more.

57. Print some blank calendars and fill in the dates. These will work every year.

58. This free printable calendar doubles as a coloring book.

59. Printable weekly planners might just be what you need to organize your life.

60. This weekly planner can break up your schedule into days or hours, and also has a section for goals and behavior tracking.

61. Look through a variety of printable calendars for kids .

RELATED: Crafts for Kids: 100 Awesome Art Projects

Put on a show with printable finger puppets. Photo courtesy of Easy Peasy Play

Printable Craft Instructions for Kids

62. Put on a show with  printable finger puppets .

63. San Francisco's Museum of Craft and Design's MCD@Home program partnered with local artists to create a collection of fine-art projects to complete at home.

64. Enjoy soothing sounds when you learn how to make your own  rain stick .

65. Browse beautiful themed printable crafts for kids .

66. Get crafty with these printer-friendly flower magnets .

67. Catch them all with these free Pokemon-inspired fidgets and bookmarks .

68. These adorable printable paper dolls are ready to be dressed in their printable outfits.

69. Learn to design your own paper dolls and doll clothes .

Printable Games for Kids

70. Make your own Blue's Clues guessing game .

71. Playing bingo is as easy as printing one of these  game boards .

72. Design your own Snakes and Ladders game.

73. Toddlers love this Feed the Monkey board game.

74. Teach numbers with this Buggy Board Game .

75. Check out these cute printable games including Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Dots.

76. Try this flag matching game that will help your kids learn about countries across the world.

77. Learn early reading skills with this printable digraphs board game .

78. This rainbow unicorns game is great for practicing colors.

79. Arrange Magna-Tiles into an airplane, a duck, and other fun shapes with these magnetic-tile printables .

80. Take this printable License Plate Bingo game on your next road trip to battle boredom.

RELATED: 64 Easy Science Experiments for Kids to Do at Home

Kids can print out instructions to learn how to make their own slime. Photo courtesy of Liberty Science Center's Slime Time

Math and Science Printables for Kids

81. Learn the science of slime with Liberty Science Center's Slime Time .

82. Learn how to map and plan a vegetable garden with the New York Botanical Garden .

83. Brush up on math skills with Dad's Worksheets .

84. Learn all about monarch butterflies in this fully illustrated collection of butterfly activities .

85. School your kid on our planet's diverse habitats and ecosystems with the World Wildlife Fund's Biodiversity Toolkit .

86. Create a pollination station with Ranger Rick.

87. NASA's Climate Kids teaches children how to make a solar oven, a terrarium, a bird feeder, and more earth-friendly crafts!

88. Explore hundreds of free learning pages from  Enchanted Learning .

89. Learn about 3D shapes with these printable activities for early learners.

90. Teach patterns using LEGO bricks with these printable LEGO pattern cards .

91. Kids can try their hand at Sudoku with these easy Sudoku puzzles .

92. This counting board game will help kids learn the numbers 6 through 10.

Printable Word Games for Kids

93. These themed word searches are sure to please.

94. Look through tons of printable crosswords for kids .

95. Browse a variety of printable word games including word scrambles.

96. Get searching with these word searches for each grade level .

97. These crossword puzzles for kids are themed around subjects like the solar system, verbs, and Minecraft.

98. Tree Valley Academy has adorable printable word searches with different themes.

99. Find a themed word scramble to match your interests.

100. Pick the perfect word puzzle printable for your picky kid.

This post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated with additional reporting by Amelia Eigerman

100 Totally Free Printable Activities for Kids

The Northern Light General Assignment Editor

  • Anchorage, Alaska, United States
  • Student Employee
  • Closing on: Jun 30 2025
  • Student Assistant 2
  • UAA VC Student Affairs

The The Northern Light General Assignment Editor leads a team of general assignment reporters creating written stories for The Northern Light. They also get to write their own stories.

Working for The Northern Light offers an unique opportunity to learn about publishing and the news media. Staff have access to industry professionals, professional equipment, and chances to submit material for awards. The Northern Light is UAA’s student-run newspaper and explains issues that affect UAA while providing balanced coverage in representing students, staff, faculty and the greater community. The paper publishes stories online at www.thenorthernlight.org and in print – distributed throughout the UAA campus and the Anchorage community.

To thrive in this role, applicants should be able to lead a team of writers, making sure all deadlines are met. Much of this work can be done remotely, so applicants must possess excellent communication and time management skills. Applicants should be team players who are good at giving and receiving constructive feedback. Applicants should be able to train staff on news writing and storytelling. Applicants should be familiar with the typical genres of a newspaper - news, arts and entertainment, opinion, etc. - and be able to edit and offer suggestions accordingly.

Minimum Qualifications:

Applicants must have experience with editing written work. They must possess excellent writing and research skills. The ability to meet deadlines is crucial to this role. To be eligible for student employment, an applicant must: a. Be enrolled in the University of Alaska system with a minimum of six credit hours in the current semester of employment; or b. Have been enrolled the preceding semester for six or more credit hours and demonstrate plans to enroll for six or more credit hours in the next semester for employment between semesters; andc. Have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA), be in good academic standing, or approval from the MAU Senior Student Services officer or his/her designee. d. Students enrolled in non-traditional programs of study will be considered eligible for student employment with the approval of the Senior Student Services officer. e. An applicant must provide evidence of enrollment as outlined above to substantiate employment eligibility. f. Position reappointment is contingent upon successful progress toward degree completion and performance evaluation.

Position Details:

Applicants can expect to work 15 - 20 hours per week.

Pay is $12.52 per hour.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a successful candidate is identified.

The University of Alaska (UA) is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities throughout the applicant screening process. If you need assistance in completing this application or during any phase of the interview process, please contact UA Human Resources by phone at 907-450-8200.

UA is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:  www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination .

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Micah Perino, at [email protected]

* Each university within the University of Alaska system publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report which contains information regarding campus safety and security including topics such as: campus law enforcement authority; crime reporting policies; campus alerts (Timely Warnings and Emergency Notifications); fire safety policies and procedures; programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; the procedures the University will follow when one of these crimes is reported; and other matters of importance related to security on campus. The report also contains information about crime statistics for the three most recent calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in On-Campus Student Housing Facilities; in Noncampus buildings or property owned or controlled by the University or a recognized student organization; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus.  The report also contains fire statistics for any fires occurring in an On-Campus Student Housing Facility during the three most recent calendar years.  

Access to the reports is available at:

UAA : (Addresses Anchorage campus, Aviation Technology Complex, JBER - Elmendorf Extension, JBER - Richardson Extension, Kenai Peninsula College - Kachemak Bay campus, Kenai Peninsula College - Kenai River campus, Kodiak College, Kodiak High School Extension, Matanuska-Susitna College, Prince William Sound College, and Prince William Sound College - Cordova Extension) Online:  https://www.uaa.alaska.edu/students/safety . Request a paper copy in person: UAA Police Department Office at Room 114 of Eugene Short Hall on the Anchorage campus / UAA Dean of Students Office at Room 122 of Rasmuson Hall on the Anchorage campus. Request a paper copy by mail: 907-786-1120 or  [email protected]  / 907-786-1214 or  [email protected]

UAF:  (Addresses Fairbanks Campus, Bristol Bay Campus, Chukchi Campus, Community and Technical College, Kasitsna Bay Campus, Seward Marine Center, Tok Campus, Kuskokwim Campus, and Northwest Campus) Online:  https://www.uaf.edu/orca/files/ASFSR.pdf . Request a paper copy in person: UAF Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability on the 3rd Floor of Constitution Hall. Request a paper copy by mail: 907-474-7300 or  [email protected] .

UAS:  (Addresses the Juneau Auke Bay Campus, Juneau Technical Education Center, Sitka Campus, & Ketchikan Campus) Online:  https://uas.alaska.edu/equity-and-compliance/docs/clery/UAS_ASFSR.pdf . Request a paper copy in person: Hendrickson Building, Suite 202 on the Juneau campus. Request a paper copy by mail: 907-796-6371 or emailing  [email protected] .

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  • Published: 08 May 2024

Accurate structure prediction of biomolecular interactions with AlphaFold 3

  • Josh Abramson   ORCID: orcid.org/0009-0000-3496-6952 1   na1 ,
  • Jonas Adler   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-9928-3407 1   na1 ,
  • Jack Dunger 1   na1 ,
  • Richard Evans   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-4675-8469 1   na1 ,
  • Tim Green   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3227-1505 1   na1 ,
  • Alexander Pritzel   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4233-9040 1   na1 ,
  • Olaf Ronneberger   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4266-1515 1   na1 ,
  • Lindsay Willmore   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-4314-0778 1   na1 ,
  • Andrew J. Ballard   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-4956-5304 1 ,
  • Joshua Bambrick   ORCID: orcid.org/0009-0003-3908-0722 2 ,
  • Sebastian W. Bodenstein 1 ,
  • David A. Evans 1 ,
  • Chia-Chun Hung   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5264-9165 2 ,
  • Michael O’Neill 1 ,
  • David Reiman   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-1605-7197 1 ,
  • Kathryn Tunyasuvunakool   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8594-1074 1 ,
  • Zachary Wu   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2429-9812 1 ,
  • Akvilė Žemgulytė 1 ,
  • Eirini Arvaniti 3 ,
  • Charles Beattie   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1840-054X 3 ,
  • Ottavia Bertolli   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-8578-3216 3 ,
  • Alex Bridgland 3 ,
  • Alexey Cherepanov   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5227-0622 4 ,
  • Miles Congreve 4 ,
  • Alexander I. Cowen-Rivers 3 ,
  • Andrew Cowie   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4491-1434 3 ,
  • Michael Figurnov   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1386-8741 3 ,
  • Fabian B. Fuchs 3 ,
  • Hannah Gladman 3 ,
  • Rishub Jain 3 ,
  • Yousuf A. Khan   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0201-2796 3 ,
  • Caroline M. R. Low 4 ,
  • Kuba Perlin 3 ,
  • Anna Potapenko 3 ,
  • Pascal Savy 4 ,
  • Sukhdeep Singh 3 ,
  • Adrian Stecula   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6914-6743 4 ,
  • Ashok Thillaisundaram 3 ,
  • Catherine Tong   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-7570-4801 4 ,
  • Sergei Yakneen   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-7827-9839 4 ,
  • Ellen D. Zhong   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6345-1907 3 ,
  • Michal Zielinski 3 ,
  • Augustin Žídek   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-0748-9684 3 ,
  • Victor Bapst 1   na2 ,
  • Pushmeet Kohli   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-7466-7997 1   na2 ,
  • Max Jaderberg   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-9033-2695 2   na2 ,
  • Demis Hassabis   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2812-9917 1 , 2   na2 &
  • John M. Jumper   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6169-6580 1   na2  

Nature ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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We are providing an unedited version of this manuscript to give early access to its findings. Before final publication, the manuscript will undergo further editing. Please note there may be errors present which affect the content, and all legal disclaimers apply.

  • Drug discovery
  • Machine learning
  • Protein structure predictions
  • Structural biology

The introduction of AlphaFold 2 1 has spurred a revolution in modelling the structure of proteins and their interactions, enabling a huge range of applications in protein modelling and design 2–6 . In this paper, we describe our AlphaFold 3 model with a substantially updated diffusion-based architecture, which is capable of joint structure prediction of complexes including proteins, nucleic acids, small molecules, ions, and modified residues. The new AlphaFold model demonstrates significantly improved accuracy over many previous specialised tools: far greater accuracy on protein-ligand interactions than state of the art docking tools, much higher accuracy on protein-nucleic acid interactions than nucleic-acid-specific predictors, and significantly higher antibody-antigen prediction accuracy than AlphaFold-Multimer v2.3 7,8 . Together these results show that high accuracy modelling across biomolecular space is possible within a single unified deep learning framework.

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Author information.

These authors contributed equally: Josh Abramson, Jonas Adler, Jack Dunger, Richard Evans, Tim Green, Alexander Pritzel, Olaf Ronneberger, Lindsay Willmore

These authors jointly supervised this work: Victor Bapst, Pushmeet Kohli, Max Jaderberg, Demis Hassabis, John M. Jumper

Authors and Affiliations

Core Contributor, Google DeepMind, London, UK

Josh Abramson, Jonas Adler, Jack Dunger, Richard Evans, Tim Green, Alexander Pritzel, Olaf Ronneberger, Lindsay Willmore, Andrew J. Ballard, Sebastian W. Bodenstein, David A. Evans, Michael O’Neill, David Reiman, Kathryn Tunyasuvunakool, Zachary Wu, Akvilė Žemgulytė, Victor Bapst, Pushmeet Kohli, Demis Hassabis & John M. Jumper

Core Contributor, Isomorphic Labs, London, UK

Joshua Bambrick, Chia-Chun Hung, Max Jaderberg & Demis Hassabis

Google DeepMind, London, UK

Eirini Arvaniti, Charles Beattie, Ottavia Bertolli, Alex Bridgland, Alexander I. Cowen-Rivers, Andrew Cowie, Michael Figurnov, Fabian B. Fuchs, Hannah Gladman, Rishub Jain, Yousuf A. Khan, Kuba Perlin, Anna Potapenko, Sukhdeep Singh, Ashok Thillaisundaram, Ellen D. Zhong, Michal Zielinski & Augustin Žídek

Isomorphic Labs, London, UK

Alexey Cherepanov, Miles Congreve, Caroline M. R. Low, Pascal Savy, Adrian Stecula, Catherine Tong & Sergei Yakneen

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Max Jaderberg , Demis Hassabis or John M. Jumper .

Supplementary information

Supplementary information.

This Supplementary Information file contains the following 9 sections: (1) Notation; (2) Data pipeline; (3) Model architecture; (4) Auxiliary heads; (5) Training and inference; (6) Evaluation; (7) Differences to AlphaFold2 and AlphaFold-Multimer; (8) Supplemental Results; and (9) Appendix: CCD Code and PDB ID tables.

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Abramson, J., Adler, J., Dunger, J. et al. Accurate structure prediction of biomolecular interactions with AlphaFold 3. Nature (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-024-07487-w

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Received : 19 December 2023

Accepted : 29 April 2024

Published : 08 May 2024

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-024-07487-w

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9 places to nosh on bagels in southern Maine

From old-school spots to foodie favorites, there's a 'hole' lot to try.

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Bread and bagels at The Works Cafe in downtown Portland. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

From New York-style boiled bagels to Montreal-inspired wood-fired ones, there’s lots of great bagels in southern Maine and several shops have the accolades to back that up.

In 2023, Bon Appetit named bagels from Rose Foods and Rover Bagel among the best in the country.

Two years before that,  Food & Wine Magazine put Rover, Forage and Scratch Baking Co. on its list of best bagels in the U.S.

Whether you like yours toasted with cream cheese or as the bread for your breakfast sandwich, you can find plenty of styles and flavors from Biddeford to Brunswick.

BEACH BAGELS

The offerings at Beach Bagels include a French toast and marble bagel, and the cream cheese menu comprises spreads like strawberry, olive and honey walnut. Along with breakfast sandwiches, Beach Bagels has hearty breakfast options like omelets and pancakes. Best of all, you’re steps away from a beach stroll. Just don’t let the seagulls steal your bagel. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily WHERE: 34 Old Orchard St., Old Orchard Beach. beachbagels.yolasite.com ______________

Dutchman’s opened in 2022 as a pop-up housed at Nomad pizza in Brunswick’s Fort Andross building. It’s since become a permanent fixture there and uses the pizzeria’s wood-fired ovens to bake its bagels. The hand-shaped, honey-boiled bagels come in plain, roasted garlic, poppy and a bagel-of-the-day flavor.

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday to Sunday WHERE: Fort Andross, 14 Maine St., Brunswick. dutchmans.me ______________

FORAGE MARKET

Making bagels at Forage Market involves a two-day aging process. The bagels are naturally leavened with wild yeast starter and baked next to a hardwood fire. There are usually five flavors available, including sesame and garlic. Breakfast sandwiches (including vegan options) are available. Forage also has a location in Lewiston. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday WHERE: 123 Washington Ave., Portland. foragemarket.com _____________

MISTER BAGEL

There are 10 or so Mister Bagel locations in Maine, including South Portland and Falmouth. It all began with the Portland location, which was the first bagel shop to open in Maine. The late Rick Hartglass started Mister Bagel in 1977, and it is still a family business. Music fans will appreciate the breakfast sandwich menu, which includes The David Bowie (bacon, egg and American cheese), the Jimmy Buffett (egg with roast beef and cheddar) and The Lady Gaga (avocado, salt and pepper, with or without egg).

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday WHERE: 599 Forest Ave., Portland. misterbagelforestave.com ______________

At Rose Foods, the menu varies depending on the day, but there are usually six to eight flavors available. For example, should you pop in on a Friday, you’ll find a poppy and onion bialy (a cousin of the bagel that is not boiled). Rose Foods also makes a number of bagel sandwiches, including the Classic Nova with Nova lox and the Classic Whitefish. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily WHERE: 428 Forest Ave., Portland. rosefoods.me

______________

ROVER BAGEL

At Rover Bagel, you’ll find wood-fired plain, poppy, sea salt, sesame and everything bagels available most of the time, and the spread game here is strong with cream cheese options like lemon-thyme-honey cream and chili-garlic.

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon Sunday WHERE: 10 West Point Lane Suite 10-204, Biddeford (Pepperell Mill). roverbagel.com

______________ Advertisement

SCRATCH BAKING CO.

You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the line of devoted fans waiting for Scratch Baking Co. to open, especially on weekend mornings. Along with the popular Maine sea salt, plain and other everyday flavors, Scratch has a daily special bagel. There’s honeyed rosemary on Wednesday and jalapeno cheddar on Thursday. Scratch is also famous, at least to locals, for its P-Cheese spread. It’s a pimento cheese recipe made with cheddar, mayo, roasted red peppers and seasoning and was passed down to co-owner and head baker Allison Reid by her grandmother, Mern.

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to noon Sunday WHERE: 416 Preble St., South Portland. scratchbakingco.com ___________

THE MAINE BAGEL

The Maine Bagel is a drive-thru with several breakfast and other kinds of sandwiches available. With a bagel list that features egg and bialy among the standards, the family-owned spot is the perfect place to stop on your way to Pine Point Beach. The Maine Bagel really shines with a dozen kinds of cream cheese spreads, including raisin-walnut, lox, strawberry, cranberry-nut and bacon-chive.

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. WHERE: 117 Route 1, Scarborough. themainebagel.com Advertisement

THE WORKS CAFE

The Works Cafe is an institution on the edge of the Portland’s Old Port. It opened in 1990 as Bagel Works before it changed its name in 2002. The original shop in this regional chain opened in Manchester, Vermont, in 1988, and there are 11 locations around New England, though just the one in Maine. Gone are the ’90s-era banana-walnut bagels and cold pizza cream cheese, but The Works Cafe is still a reliable place to grab a salt, multigrain or cinnamon raisin bagel, among others. The menu also has bowls, sandwiches and smoothies.

WHEN: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily WHERE: 15 Temple St., Portland. workscafe.com

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