Higher Education

What You Need to Know When Going Back to School as an Adult

Working Adult College Students

It’s never too late to obtain a degree, but going back to school as an adult can be difficult. As an adult, you may have many other responsibilities that your (much younger) fellow students don’t have, such as a full-time job, career or parenting responsibilities. Even if you can devote yourself entirely to being a full-time student, you may still feel like a duck out of the water. Whether you’re jumping into a four-year degree program, or you think it might be a good idea to take some online classes. Here are three things you need to know when going back to school as an adult.

Talk to an Advisor before Registering or Enrolling

As an adult, your educational needs will most likely be strictly academic rather than both academic and social. While an incoming college first-year student might benefit from living on campus and staying at one school for all four years, your best option might be to take online classes at a community college before enrolling at a four-year institution. Speaking with a college admissions counselor may help.

Also, Collegewise counselors are passionate about “creating customized plans and setting deadlines to ensure that students complete their applications and essays thoughtfully, effectively, and early.” 

You May be Exempt from Some Classes Based on Experience

Adults have the benefit of work experience that most first-year college students do not possess. Another way college admissions counseling can help you is in determining if any of your applicable work experience might exempt you from having to take certain classes. The fewer classes you have to take, the sooner you can obtain your degree and the less that degree will cost you.

It’s Going to be a Big Change

Working adults who become college students must alter the lifestyles. How often do you need to take your work home? If often, then you may find it difficult to set aside time for research and homework after you arrive home from work. Although it may seem unmanageable to work a full-time job and attend college, you can manage both. With careful time management and dedicated preparation, you can do it. Think of the goal at the end to keep yourself in high spirits, and try to enjoy the shift in the atmosphere of the classroom versus the workplace.

Remember, receiving academic advising from an experienced higher education professional is critical to a first-time student’s success. While effective college admissions counseling isn’t the sexiest topic, it can make the difference between satisfying college experience and an unsatisfying one.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

How to Make Online Schooling a Smooth Process

Online Universities

Today’s typical college student has changed dramatically in the past few decades. The traditional university student used to be the fresh high school graduate with no obligations to interfere with a full course load, but thanks to the advent of online university and college programs, current college attendees are more likely to work full-time and have family obligations competing with their class time.

Online programs offer flexibility to these students, allowing them to attend classes asynchronously from their homes at whatever time is most convenient. Despite the advances in distance education, new students still need to make adjustments to prepare for the challenges unique to working adult learners. This article strives to help make the process of beginning higher education smoother and more enjoyable.

Prepare for Virtual Interaction and Self-Guided Study

Most online courses are learner-centered, which means that the learner carries more responsibility for meeting course objectives and requirements than the instructor. The instructor is still present in an online university course, but he or she will take more of a mentor or facilitator role, while the learner will rely mostly on assigned readings, research, and interaction with fellow students and the instructor via guided discussion.

Many programs include both synchronous and asynchronous communication to make this work. Discussion boards, shared websites, wikis, and email are forms of asynchronous contact where the individuals can communicate in different places at different times.

A web chat room or video conference enables students and instructors to interact synchronously, where they are all together at the same time despite being in different locations. Learners who are not used to this new environment often adjust readily during the first week of class when the assignments are focused on orienting students and encouraging them to introduce themselves and interact using the discussion methods outlined for the course.

Explore the Classroom Environment

Students in online university programs need to be familiar with the user interfaces for their online classroom environments and virtual tools provided to students by the institution. The best programs offer learners access to vast digital libraries and web resources to use for research instead of brick and mortar libraries accessible to the traditional students. The online classroom environments differ between colleges, but quality programs will provide tutorials for students before the beginning of a term.

The best way to become proficient with the user interfaces is to explore them during one’s free time and begin interacting with other students as soon as possible. Again, most courses are designed with primary activities to aid new students in adjusting to the environment.

Check Hardware, Software, and Internet Capabilities

The online university website and student handbook should provide a list of technology requirements that students are expected to meet before starting the program. This list will include the minimum hardware specifications for computers and mobile devices as well as a minimum speed for the Internet.

Students are responsible for meeting these requirements, and most instructors will expect learners to have alternatives plans in case their home Internet is not working. This could include a local cafe or library that extends access to public Internet service. Students should always obtain email and telephone contact information from their instructors to maintain contact if they do run into problems with these services.

The recent growth of online degree programs has brought unprecedented opportunities to busy working adults and parents. However, one should be prepared for the change from instructor-led to learner-centered curricula. Furthermore, new online students will want to learn how to access and use their virtual school and study tools before starting their programs.

Resources Consulted

WGU

U.S. News

KQED News

eLearning Industry

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Asante Lloyd: A Shining Star for The Why You? Initiative

Asante Lloyd

(Photo Credit: Asante Lloyd)

One of the most important services offered by The Why You? Initiative, a national non-profit organization committed to advancing and empowering young students and young professionals, is mentoring. In Critique of Pure Reason, renowned German philosopher Immanuel Kant posits that “Examples are the go-cart of judgment.” From Kant’s perspective, therefore, if a person desires quality judgment, then he or she needs quality examples. The Why You? Initiative, affectionately known as “[YU?],” is increasingly becoming a national leader in supplying America with the effective examples this perilous and disconcerting epoch necessitates. Under the leadership of Dr. Renaldo C. Blocker and Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels, [YU?] Co-Founders, and their executive leadership team, Marie Beasley, Donald Dantzler, and John Hubbard, the next generation of national and international leaders in sundry fields and spaces are emerging. Asante Lloyd, a native of Augusta, Georgia, is one such future leader the organization is developing.

Mr. Lloyd, a junior Civil Engineering major at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, plans to pursue a master’s and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering after graduating with his undergraduate degree. Over the past three years, Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels has served as Asante’s main mentor. Daniels has known him since he was a toddler. Through an extended discourse with Daniels, Lloyd became inspired to earn a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. His original plan was to begin his career in the field after earning his undergraduate degree. [YU?] motivates young students and young professionals across the nation to reach their highest potential. Dr. Daniels is keenly aware of Asante’s intellectual acumen and does not want him to limit himself to earning just an undergraduate degree. Lloyd appreciates this academic advisement, and he has resolved to expand his career possibilities by embarking on the challenging, yet rewarding journey to a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering.

As a high school student-athlete, Mr. Lloyd excelled academically and athletically, receiving numerous awards for football and track and superior academic achievement. He was even named Scholar-Athlete of the Year during his final year in high school. Asante evinced the reality that black male student-athletes can experience greatness in the classroom and fields and courts of athletic competition. He graduated with honors from a competitive magnate high school in Augusta, Georgia, obtaining a nationally and internationally reputable international baccalaureate (IB) diploma. Although he loves Mathematics and Science, and has always performed really well in those subjects, Asante has made great grades in all subjects. As Lloyd enters his junior year, his academic success persists—he’s still an honor student.

While his academic and athletic prowess and success are noteworthy, they do not even compare to his character. Asante is the type of child any parent desires to have. His parents, Felicia Mack and Roderick Lloyd, have done an excellent job rearing him, and they are quite proud of the accomplished young man he has become. One never hears a credible negative word spoken about him.

[YU?] prides itself on helping young students and young professionals, especially those who emerge from underrepresented backgrounds, to secure meaningful internships, including nationally competitive ones. This is why the organization’s leadership was enthused about Mr. Lloyd being selected last summer as a Scholar-Intern by the United States Department of Energy (DOE).  Impressed by his work last summer, Asante’s supervisors at the DOE invited him to return this summer to work for the agency at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, and he recently completed this summer’s internship experience at the DOE.

As a DOE Scholar-Intern, Mr. Lloyd gained valuable research experience in the field, and he was able to make significant contributions to the DOE, contributions that will benefit all Americans. He was able to gain knowledge and critical insights from national and international experts in his field, and these two years of experience have buttressed his understanding of how to engage in sophisticated research, apply data-driven approaches to solving complex problems, and work collaboratively with novice and experienced engineers.

[YU?] salutes Asante Lloyd for his accomplishments and for operating in a spirit of excellence.

If you would like to learn more about the work The Why You? Initiative does and would like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit http://www.whyyou.org. You may also donate to the organization by texting “YU” to 41444.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

Co-Founder

The Why You? Initiative

Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Qualified Nurse?

Black Female Nurse

(Photo Credit: Black Enterprise)

The need for qualified nurses in Australia has been steadily on the rise. As a result, many young men and women in Australia are being encouraged to consider a career in the nursing/medical industries. Could you be considered a good candidate to embark on the fulfilling and stimulating world of nursing?

Nursing can be a tremendously rewarding career for many different people, but it is not for everyone. Becoming a great nurse requires more than just not getting squeamish at the sight of blood. Read on to see what to consider before you decide that a nursing career is right for you.

Should you consider a career in nursing?

The first and most important thing anyone considering being a nurse should possess is an outgoing personality. The majority of a nurse’s time is spent interacting with the patients, so if you don’t consider yourself a people’s person then nursing will likely prove to be a quite trying career choice for you.

Nursing is also a physically demanding job that requires a high level of energy. Most nursing shifts are 10-12 hours in length and are primarily spent on your feet. If you have back or leg problems, or if you are just not an energetic person, then nursing may not be the best career option for you.

Nursing is not only physically demanding but can also be really emotionally demanding. Being a nurse involves (among numerous other things) comforting patients and their families during some of the hardest times of their lives, which can certainly take an emotional toll. A good nurse needs to have the ability to leave the job behind when he or she finishes for the day. What happens on the nursing floor stays on the nursing floor.

Another personality trait that you may want to have (or acquire) is the ability to allow less than appealing situations to roll off of your back. Remember you will be dealing with all manner of patient issues—most of which are either painful or unusually uncomfortable.  In other words, you’re often dealing with people who aren’t in the best of moods. Therefore, you shouldn’t be easy to offend and cannot take things personally.

Becoming a Qualified Nurse

To be a qualified nurse, you will need to attend a nationally-accredited nursing program. There are some great options for nursing courses in Melbourne. The majority of these initial nursing courses can be completed in 18 months, and these courses will place you on a wonderful path to becoming a certified nurse.

Earning your degree in nursing will open the door to a myriad of exciting and deeply fulfilling opportunities in the healthcare industry. A degree in nursing will enable you to work in not only a hospital setting but also in nursing homes, sports and rehabilitation clinics and even mental health facilities.

Any well-established nursing school will have the means to give you a sneak peek at the variety of nursing career options available. A good nursing course should offer a wide array of hands-on labs as well as solid clinical experience through placement rotations. Such opportunities will give you a firsthand look at the various areas of practice that coincide with your medical qualifications, which will help you to choose a setting that you can thrive in as a qualified nurse.

Best of luck in your new nursing career!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

UC-Irvine’s Student Government is Unpatriotic and Dishonors Troops

UC-Irvine

Photo Credit: UC-Irvine

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, the Associated Students of University of California-Irvine passed a resolution to remove all flags, including the American flag, from a student government room on campus in a faux effort to be more “inclusive.” UC-Irvine student Matthew Guevara penned the anti-American resolution. Guevara posited that the American flag could be viewed as a symbol of hate. While America has a number of troubling phenomena in her past, and some residual problems in her present, an attempt to efface all symbols supposedly associated with the disquieting dimensions of our nation’s past evinces the fatuous thinking UC-Irvine’s student leadership employs. The American flag has always symbolized utopian ideals—even when many of the people who lived under it didn’t fully embraced those ideals. UC-Irvine’s student leadership should be honest and reveal that the vote banning the American flag isn’t about inclusivity at all; it’s a veiled maneuver to promulgate its anti-American sentiments.

Banning the American flag from this public space does nothing to ameliorate inclusivity at UC-Irvine. In fact, it does just the opposite.

Matthew Guevara’s lame explanation that since “the American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism,” its display “does not express only selective aspects of its symbolism but the entire spectrum of its interpretation” leads the Associated Students of University of California-Irvine down a murky road and slippery slope. Does this mean the next resolution Mr. Guevara or another member of the student government will author is a resolution forbidding white people from being able to use this space, considering white people could be viewed as vestiges of America’s racist and discriminatory past? This is the type of mindless conflation of what the American flag symbolizes with inclusivity in postmodern public space forces us to confront.

At every university I have attended, I have been a passionate advocate for student rights and for students being seriously included in the notion of shared governance. I love how students at my current institution, University of Wisconsin-Madison, have significant power. With considerable power, however, comes even greater responsibility. Unfortunately, the unpatriotic UC-Irvine student government has abused its power and exposed its immaturity.

I urge UC-Irvine’s student leadership to correct their wrongs by rescinding this foolish resolution. American men and women in uniform have fought and are fighting under the banner of what the American flag represents every day. Our military men and women who have lost their lives fighting for our liberty have been draped with the American flag. Above all, the American flag symbolizes everything that unites us as a nation.

I encourage the Associated Students of University of California-Irvine to awake from their stupor and be grateful for the precious human treasure that has been sacrificed and lost defending the honor of the American flag and the freedom of America and her denizens.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Congratulations to Dr. Santresa L. Glass: Social Media and Business Expert

Santresa L. Glass

(Photo Credit: Santresa L. Glass)

Today, Dr. Santresa L. Glass passed her doctoral dissertation defense and has been conferred a doctor of education in Organizational Leadership degree at Argosy University. The title of her dissertation is “Investigating the Effectiveness of Social Media: The Impact on Brand Identification and Organizational Performance in Small to Medium Business.” Less than 10 other dissertations have been written about social media; therefore, her dissertation positions her as one of the early leading experts in this area of research. Businesses of all sizes will benefit from the research she has conducted, especially small and medium-sized businesses.

Dr. Glass highlights the importance of having a sound strategic strategy for using social media platforms as vehicles for marketing, and she emphasizes how essential it is for businesses to empirically evaluate their social media marketing. She plans to have her dissertation published in book form soon, and Revolutionary Paideia will be the first media source to announce its publication and how you can obtain a copy.

Glass obtained her undergraduate degree in English at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia and a master’s degree in Management at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. She has over 10 years of executive business experience and over 10 years of experience as an educator.

Although Dr. Glass had to endure many challenges in her pursuit of the doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership, she found the perseverance and courage necessary to make it to the end of this rewarding journey. What lies ahead for her is endless possibilities.

Santresa, this is a day you will never forget. Never allow any overt and subtle negative messages from anyone to distract you from the significance of your accomplishments and from the bright future ahead of you. This is your day—make the most of it! Take time to celebrate Jesus and your accomplishments He made possible.

I would like for everyone to join me in congratulating Dr. Glass on her truly great accomplishments.

Today, you join a small percentage of people across the United States and world who have earned a doctoral degree.

You did it, San! Congrats!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

HBCU Alumni Must Change the National Discourse

HBCU Lifestyle

(Photo Credit: HBCU Lifestyle)

Instead of allowing primarily members of the dominant culture to make the central issue surrounding historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) about whether they’re still relevant, HBCU alumni need to transition the national discourse on HBCUs to more alumni financial support to their institutions.  One of the core reasons why most predominantly white institutions (PWIs) continue to experience success and remain financially stable is they receive significant financial support from their alumni.  If alumni and supporters of HBCUs would make giving financial support to their institutions a true priority, then the relevancy questions about HBCUs will have dramatically less impact.

Many HBCUs are among the finest institutions in the nation and produce many of the best professionals in the world.  Although greater federal, state and private dollars are needed to buttress HBCUs, alums cannot sit back and wait on funding from these sources to arrive and increase. Too many graduates of HBCUs haven’t and aren’t donating to these institutions that have given so much to them.  These institutions, however, have to better engage their alumni.  HBCUs must encourage alumni to be active in important activities sponsored by their institutions.  Alumni shouldn’t just hear from institutions only when financial solicitations come in the mail. HBCU administrators must become even more ebullient in their efforts to fundraise as they are about staying in contact with their alumni and learning what concerns, suggestions, comments, and questions it has.  For alumni to begin to give more money to their HBCUs, it needs to feel truly important to these institutions.  Better engagement with alumni does not mean more financial solicitations.

HBCU graduates have to understand how vital the conversations they have about the institutions that produced them are to the continued success of these institutions.  HBCU alums cannot expect their institutions to prosper when they’re constantly having negative discourses about them.  What you say about HBCUs, even via social media, can have an immense impact on them.  You should really think about the harm you can cause to HBCUs when you express your complaints about them via social media.  Make great efforts to resolve your issues with leaders at these institutions before you do an unproductive thing like airing your anger about them on Facebook and/or Twitter.  While you may feel you’re just venting or attempting to get your point across, many people are out there who desire to dismantle HBCUs and they will use your comments as fuel and evidence for their nefarious efforts.

The complaints of alums, however, shouldn’t go unanswered.  If HBCU administrators want to see more financial giving to their institutions, then they must employ better ways to hear and address complaints of alums, especially when those complaints are credible.  Even when complaints aren’t legitimate, it matters to alums that their voices are perceived as being heard.  These institutions can do a better job of resolving tensions that exist within by establishing a meaningful relationship with their alumni.  A meaningful relationship cannot simply be developed by interacting with alums around the time Homecoming is approaching and during the week of Homecoming.

Establishing meaningful relationships with alums, engaging them in essential institutional activities, and empowering them with a voice that matters will yield greater financial support for HBCUs from alumni.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

3 Tips to Afford College in the 21st Century

Affording College

(Photo Credit: Iowa Lakes Community College)

It’s expensive to attend college in the 21st century.  The average cost of tuition and fees at a four-year public university was $8,893 for the 2013-14 academic year, according to the College Board. Average private school tuition was $30,094, while out-of-state tuition at public schools averaged just over $22,000.  None of these figures include room and board.  Unless you’re a great athlete, a 4.0 student with a near-perfect SAT or ACT score or independently wealthy, you’re going to need to find funding sources beyond Pell grants.  In this piece, you’re offered ways to help you to afford college that you may not have considered.

Participate in Medical Studies

Research for new drugs, psychological treatments and other medical procedures are mostly performed on university campuses.  University of Nebraska journalism student Elias Youngquist told Al Jazeera America he needs money for college expenses and to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring.  He discovered that Celerion, a clinical research firm in Lincoln, Nebraska was in Phase 1 testing of a new anti-depressant and needed human subjects for the trials.

Youngquist spent a few hours at the company’s laboratories for two weekends, despite being warned of side effects ranging from psychosis to suicide.  He ended up earning more than $1,000 for a few hours of time and a little discomfort.  Tommy Dornish, another University of Nebraska student, said he’s earned $20,000 in four years being a guinea pig for Celerion.

Check with your university hospital for upcoming paid research trials on campus.  You can also inquire with the psychology, chemistry and biology departments.  Just Another Lab Rat and ClinicalTrials.gov can help you find paid trials in your area.

Become an Egg or Sperm Donor

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12% of married couples have fertility issues in one form or another.  Groups such as Single Mothers By Choice advocate passionately for sperm and eggs from donors.

Sperm donors can earn as much as $1,000 per month by simply donating three times per week at places like Northwest Cryobank in Spokane, Washington and Missoula, Montana.  Generally, the only requirements are that you’re STD-free, above a certain height (generally 5’10 or above) and drug-free.

Due to the fact a vast majority of recipients are white couples, most donors must also be white.  The largest sperm bank in the world, Cryos International, is even more picky.  It stopped accepting sperm from redheads in 2011, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

Egg donors can earn significantly more.  The Center For Human Reproduction in New York has a total compensation package of $8,000.  The process takes about one month and can produce anywhere from five to 35 total eggs.

Bootstrapping

This term, bootstrapping, is generally applied to entrepreneurs exhausting every avenue to come up with startup capital for their new business.  College is a de-facto business investment, and students can use many of the same methods entrepreneurs do.

Use websites like Scholarships.com and Fast Web to search for demographic and major-specific scholarships you may qualify for.  Students who inherited annuities from their grandparents may be able to sell their future payments to J.G. Wentworth or a similar company.  You can even create a campaign on crowdfunding sites like Campus Slice and see what happens.

College is getting more expensive with each passing year.  By thinking creatively, you can experience greater success in reaching your financial goals.  This will require you to think beyond the traditional funding sources, however.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The 4 Best Time & Money Savers for Busy College Students

Black Students and Care Packages

(Photo Credit: NWI Times)

Managing classes, exams and special projects makes it difficult to find any “me” time, and according to a recent survey conducted by Citi Group and Seventeen Magazine, almost four out of five college students work while attending school, making personal time just about impossible.  Save time and money by taking advantage of the following four resources—you don’t have to go off-campus for these services, and they’ll help you get it all done with some down time to spare.

Wellness Around the Clock

Studying for finals might seem more important than tending to a cold, but sometimes you need to receive input from a medical professional.  If you get sick but aren’t sure if you should take time off from classes to see a doctor, schedule a consultation with an online healthcare provider at MeMD. You’ll get high-quality, affordable healthcare from a board-certified doctor right from your mobile device.

A Workout You Can Do Anywhere (and It’s Free)

College involves a significant amount of time sitting: you sit through lectures, sit to study and sit to type papers.  If you don’t have the funds to join a gym or the time to spend working out at one, download the free Tabata Timer app.  In Tabata training, you do 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by a 10-second break for four-minute increments.  The routine, commonly referred to as high-intensity interval training, offers optimal results when performed three to four times throughout the day or over the course of 20 minutes, according to the American Council on Exercise.  You can easily set the timer from anywhere, bust out the moves and be back to studying in less than 10 minutes.

Join a CSA

If money is tight, you probably already do your own grocery shopping instead of eating out.  Join a Community-supported Agriculture (CSA) to save even more on food.  In this system, consumers buy seasonal, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and often meat and fish directly from a farmer.  Boxes are delivered on a bi-weekly basis, and many CSAs deliver right to college campuses.  Not only does this type of service support a well-rounded diet with just-picked produce, it conserves time and money; no driving to the store every week.  Split a box with your roommates or neighbors to save even more.

Tell Your Family What You Need

If your grandmother and aunt send you random assortments of cakes and knitted sweaters, tell them what you really need the next time they ask.  Supplies such as reusable water bottles, lotion, shampoo, snacks and other personal care items add up.  A subscription care-package service such as PijonBox is a cool way for your family to help you get the supplies you need sent right to your door every month.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

How to Use the Internet as a Reliable Research Tool

Online Research

(Photo Credit: Exponential Programs)

Postmodern college students have a research tool not available to students decades ago: the Internet. While the Internet is a boundless source of useful information, it is also littered with less than reliable sources. Another issue many college students face is figuring out how to do in-depth, college-level research, according to Project Information Literacy (PIL). PIL’s online survey of nearly 2,000 college and high school students found that Google was the research tool of choice for nearly 90% of students. While Google can be a beneficial tool, it shouldn’t be your only option for research at the college level. This piece offers some tips about how to use the Internet in more useful ways to conduct research.

Explore Databases

Your high school librarian might have shown you how to access a research database from a workstation in the library.  Once you get to college, the number of online databases available to you increases exponentially.  PIL’s study found that college students today have 19 times more databases available to them than their high school counterparts.  Locate higher education institutions near you along with online resources associated with those institutions.

It’s important to know what database to employ to obtain information that’s actually relevant to your project.  Temple University’s Research Guide recommends that instructors suggest specific databases to use, noting that a 2010 PIL survey revealed that only about 14% of college handouts recommend specific databases.  If your assignment fails to specify, it never hurts to ask your instructor.

Review Individual Sites

The Internet grows larger every minute.  Not only is more information available online every minute, college students can get home internet access for less money than in the past.  A 2012 infographic from Domo divulges that nearly 600 new websites pop up online every minute.  As a student doing research for a credible academic paper, it’s your job to sift through websites to find the ones that provide information that’s accurate.

Luckily, myriad websites give clues as to whether or not you can trust them to offer reliable information. One way to judge the reliability of a website is to look at its domain or URL.  If you’re tracking down health statistics from a government agency, for example, a site that ends in .gov, such as CDC.gov or FDA.gov is going to provide you with accurate information from the actual Centers for Disease Control or Food and Drug Administration.  A website such as CDC.com or FDA.com isn’t necessarily connected to the federal agencies.

You can also discover more about the person who penned the article on the site.  Typically, a credible author will be an expert in his or her field, such as a doctor or a professor.  The article should ideally cite sources and direct you to those sources so that you can verify the information or learn more.

Connect with Your School’s Library

Although the Internet is full of information, there are other resources.  Print books and journals are still excellent sources when writing a paper or working on a project.  You don’t have to trudge to your campus library to track down the books you’re looking for, though.

You can locate books that might be relevant using your school library’s online card catalog.  Some schools let you put the books on hold or check them out online, and then pick them up the next time you’re on campus.  You can also download e-books from the digital collections at some campus libraries, meaning you don’t even have to pick up the books in person.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison