What Is Academic Writing? Do’s and Don’ts for Students

Academic writing is a formal style of writing that is used by the academic community. For example, academic writing is used by universities and academic journals. If you want to publish your article in a peer-reviewed journal, you should stick with the academic style. Students need to use the academic style when writing research papers, dissertations, literature reviews, essays, and other types of academic assignments.

In the opinion of betterwritingservices.com, the vast majority of American students avoid the stress of writing academic papers and prefer to buy them online from legitimate essay writing companies.

In this article, we will consider some specific features of academic writing in more detail and take a look at the main dos and don’ts of formal writing.

The Key Features of Academic Writing

First of all, academic writing should be unbiased and formal. All your claims must be based on evidence, and you cannot build your arguments around your personal opinions or assumptions. You can make your writing unbiased by presenting research results accurately, acknowledging the limitations of your own research, and addressing opposite viewpoints. The formal style of writing requires you to make your paper consistent in terms of logic and structure. Besides, you should avoid colloquialisms, clichés, and contractions.

Academic writing should also be precise and clear, which means that you must avoid vague phrases and statements that can be interpreted in different ways. Besides, you should avoid words like “perhaps” or “likely” because your arguments should be specific, and you should present them with confidence. We recommend that you read academic journals to familiarize yourself with the writing style and vocabulary.

Last but not least, academic writing must be well-structured and well-focused. Your arguments and all the information that you provide must be perfectly relevant to your general topic. The overall structure may vary depending on the type of paper and word count, but the structure of the content should meet some common requirements so that your paper will be easy to comprehend. For instance, each of your paragraphs should focus on a specific idea expressed in a topic sentence. Use transitional phrases to connect different paragraphs and include transitional words in sentences to indicate the connection between different ideas.

As you can see, academic writing is all about precision, clarity, and credibility. Therefore, you should also select reputable sources. While you might feel tempted to use any sources that support your opinion, you must make sure that your sources are actually credible and relevant. Use your university library and academic databases. Don’t forget to cite your sources according to the necessary citation format.

The Do’s


  • Write clearly
    Even though your academic papers might be dedicated to complex topics, you should make sure that they are easy to read. Your readers should understand exactly what you’re saying. Always start paragraphs with topic sentences and keep your sentences brief. Avoid complex terms if you can deliver the same information in a simpler way.



  • Stay objective
    Academic writing must be based on facts and logic. It should also be precise and not influenced by emotions. You need to present information in an objective and impersonal way. To stay objective, you must only use reliable academic sources and support all of your arguments with data. Avoid clichés because they will damage the overall clarity and make your writing less specific. Besides, you should only write in the third person.



  • Use various sentence structures
    Academic writing can easily become boring, especially when your audience needs to read the same long sentences over and over again. Moreover, long, overcomplicated sentences may make your audience think that you’re unable to formulate your ideas in an easy-to-understand way. In contrast, if you use short sentences only, you won’t let your readers reflect on the overall meaning, creating a sense of a rush. We recommend that you choose a well-balanced approach, using both long and short sentences.



  • Use technical vocabulary
    All academic subjects have a certain jargon, and you can use it to communicate your thoughts precisely. However, you should only use specific terms when you actually need them. Don’t try to impress your readers with complex words because this way, you will just make your text difficult to read.


The Don’ts


  • Avoid a personal language
    Although you may use the first person when writing admission and narrative essays, the use of the first person is generally prohibited in academic writing. Besides, one of your main goals is to stay objective so there’s no place for your personal perspective.



  • Avoid colloquialisms
    When writing academic papers, you should be especially careful with your word choice. While conversational English enables you to use some slang words and informal phrases, you should never use them in academic writing. We recommend that you read your paper once you’ve finished writing, and replace any colloquial language with appropriate forms.



  • Don’t use the wrong verb tense
    Students often change the verb tense by mistake, switching from one tense to another, even though different actions may take place within the same timeframe. You should always be careful with the verb tense because it indicates whether something happened in the past, present, or future. We recommend that you always check the verb tense when editing your papers.



  • Avoid inappropriate fonts and formatting
    When it comes to formatting, you should follow clear guidelines. There are different formatting styles used in academic writing, such as APA, Chicago, MLA, Harvard, and others. Every style has certain requirements regarding margins, fonts, and other details of formatting. Before you start to write your academic paper, make sure to check the rules of the required citation style and determine what fonts you can use, as well as what your headings, citations, and main content should look like.


Final Thoughts

Academic writing requires you to stick with the formal writing style and to express your thoughts in the most precise and objective way. All students have to be familiar with academic writing and use it when writing assignments. Even though academic writing is much more difficult than informal conversational English, it’s easy to master once you’ve familiarized yourself with some clear rules. We hope that this guide will help you avoid some common mistakes and write academic papers that will be appreciated by professors.

How Elevations RTC Encourages Every Student To Remain Healthy and Active

Going off to a troubled teen program for any reason can be a bit of a scary situation for teenagers. A lot of the time, students are stepping away from home for the first time, and they are trying to get their life on track to be a better person overall.

While education and rehabilitation are often stressed early on, there are hidden benefits to living full-time on campus. For instance, Elevations RTC feels very strongly about making sure that every student has the chance to stay healthy and active while on campus. Offering countless opportunities makes it so much easier to follow and stick to a plan that works, which leads to numerous benefits.

Whether it is team sports in the gym or weekend outings in the winter to the mountains nearby in the greater Salt Lake City area, the options are there for students to decide how they want to get physical activity. A step inside the cafeteria and a view of food choices also showcase healthy opportunities for food. Why such a focus on healthy living? The benefits are endless.

Fighting against physical struggles

No matter what someone is facing before heading to the Elevations RTC school, staying busy is a perfect way to take the mind off of lingering issues. There is less time to think about troubles when staying active and doing something exciting. A lot of people end up finding an activity or two that truly stands out, and that can make a huge difference.

Staying active can cut back on the chance of depression or anxiety seeping in and becoming an issue. Less idle time reduces those bad thoughts and keeps more focus on why a teenager is at Elevations in the first place.

Learning new passions for life

If every student who comes through the doors at Elevations RTC can leave with just one new passion in life, it can be viewed as a successful run. Healthy passions can have so many different benefits for people of all ages, and it is conducive for those who are attempting to get their life on track.

Developing healthy habits in a controlled setting can go so well that they continue away from Elevations. In some scenarios, students will find work opportunities later on in life that relates to their passion. A few examples include working in the arts, finding a job in sports, or landing a tech job. Even if it is as simple as understanding the difference routine workouts can make, it pays to stick with it.

There is every opportunity for students to pursue whatever passion they are into at Elevations RTC. There are extracurricular activities, and even ways to learn more on certain school subjects. Even if there is currently no group or any other students interested in something, the Elevations RTC staff will work with each individual to ensure that they are getting an opportunity to do what they want.

A boost in self-esteem

Even if a person already feels like they are in good shape, there is something to be said for staying active and getting in even better shape. Some leave Elevations RTC in the best condition of their life because they are actually using the time for physical activity the way teens should use it. With smaller class sizes and more opportunities than a traditional classroom,

Just a little bit of added self-esteem can affect a person’s entire life. They feel more confident when they are around others, and they start to feel what a difference it can make to live a healthier life. Eating healthy and exercising keeps the body fresher than ever, and many students at Elevations RTC surprise their family back home after being away for a while. The majority of families notice a positive change in appearance and mood after spending time on campus.

Eating for success

The saying goes that a person can never outwork a terrible diet. Nutrition is just as big of a part of physical goals as working out and staying active. That is why it is taken so seriously on campus, as students have resources that just are not available in traditional school systems.

The biggest positive at Elevations RTC is that students have a nutritionist on campus to turn to when staying on the right track. The nutritionist runs a specialty healthy eating group to support students on campus. They also are available for individual meetings for anyone who needs additional support in regard to eating issues and diet.

Eating healthy has even turned into a group activity, as there are specific gardening and food clubs on campus. Students have the opportunity to learn how to grow particular things and eventually incorporate them into their diet. This is a skill that can last a lifetime, as many students realize for the first time just how easy it is to start and maintain a garden with a decent amount of space to work with.

Strength in numbers at Elevations RTC

Students have the opportunity to work out every day with their peers. They have a physical education teacher who helps create workouts and structure regarding their time in the gym.  Having strength in numbers and all the support one could ask for is the perfect opportunity for anyone to start with healthy habits.

It is a challenge to eat healthily and work out multiple times a week, but it is doable with the right support. Once students taste positive changes, it can even make matters that much better in the end.

Three Ways Governments and Institutions Are Restricting Foreign Students

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world were closing borders and increasing controls over foreigners within them. Throughout Europe and the United States, the mass movements of migrants from war-torn regions or in search of better economic conditions provoked reactions and closures that led to restrictions on movement and closer monitoring of identities and credentials, especially for non-citizens. As the pandemic spread globally, those closures, lockdowns and curtailments of free movements for foreigners have increased. We’ll consider ways in which governments and educational institutions have been cracking down on foreign students.

  • Governments and institutions requiring certified translations of documentation

The last decade has seen a massive increase in the amount of documentation required to cross borders and on the ability of foreigners to enter the educational and other institutions of a nation not their own. Visas now are harder to come by, restricted both in terms of numbers and in terms of the difficulty to obtain them. In addition, foreign language documents must be accompanied by certified translations, compelling applicants for visas or foreign educational programs to pay for often pricey certified translation services. The costs of translation certification can represent a significant deterrent which may discourage applications altogether.

The reasons for requiring certification of document translation are easily justified by the institutions themselves, backed by government policies on immigration and movement of foreigners. For sure, educational visas have long been a loophole that have been used to enter foreign countries and secure otherwise difficult to obtain visas. In many cases, educational visas have served as the easiest way for foreigners to gain entry to a country, even if their real intention is not to study but work. A recognized translation authority must verify the authenticity of a diploma or certificate. This adds a hurdle for the would-be applicant for a visa or for entry into an educational program.

An additional loophole for foreign applicants’ education has been the ability to fake employment credentials, claiming or exaggerating work experience. Thousands of fraudulent student visas have been uncovered. A particular vulnerability has been revealed in the F1 visa program, which allows foreign students to remain in the United States to work after they obtain their degrees. In some cases, the educational institutions facilitated this deception by accepting bogus documentation. 

Requiring certified translations will deter fraudulent uses. And the requirements of certified translation can easily be solved by certified translation services, which verifies the authenticity and originality of translated documents by expert linguists from accredited authorities. The extra expense of certified translation services shifts the burden onto the student visa seeker, but it also reduces the likelihood of fraud on the part of sketchy institutions. 

  • Stringent medical requirements and strict quarantines keeping foreigners out

The global pandemic has brought the travel and tourism industry to a virtual standstill. But it has also put a damper on foreign exchange educational programs. In addition to the additional documents and certified translations required of foreign students, many countries have imposed medical requirements which serve to deter academics from moving between countries. 

Thailand was the first country after China to record a COVID-19 infection, but the southeast Asian “land of smiles” was quick to limit the spread of the outbreak by slamming shut its external borders, canceling visas, and basically placing a “no foreigners admitted” sign on its frontiers. The move was successful in limiting the viral spread, but it also had a devastating effect on a tourism industry that annually was greeting nearly forty million visitors. 

Less reported but also profoundly affected were Thai educational institutions, which typically earned a substantial portion of their income from foreign students, many from the Middle East, Africa, and neighboring nations. All entrants to the nations were required to undergo a draconian 16-day quarantine, something only a small trickle of tourists and students have been willing to endure. Only Hong Kong, with a 21-day quarantine, is stricter.

  • As education goes online, entry denials and deportations of students are on the rise

In July 2020, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency issued strict new rules to the country’s education institutions with online-only programs. The institutions were charged with informing students, either still in their home countries or already in the US, that they will be deported or denied entry unless they can secure admission at a program with in-person classes. Potentially this could affect many if not most of international students, representing about 5.5% of the nation’s student body.

This policy poses a problem not only for students but for educational institutions as well. Foreign students pay tuition on average three times greater than American students. In 2018, they accounted for some $45 billion income for US colleges and universities, effectively subsidizing the tuition of domestic students. It remains to be seen how the Biden administration’s policies will deal with the issue, though there are some promising signs.

The bottom line is that 2021 promises to be another trying year for foreign students across the world. It remains to be seen whether the restrictions on educational pursuits will prove additional side effects of the global pandemic and draconian government controls.

How to improve your resume ready to apply for a leadership role in business

No matter your employment status, it is highly likely that you have already got a resume saved to your computer that you can easily access at any time. It might be the resume that got you your current job, one you have been sending out looking for a better role or even one that you are currently using to get your first step up onto the career ladder. No matter how successful the resume has been in the past, it is important that you adapt it to every single job you apply for. Even if the job requirements seem very similar to one you have applied for before, every employer is looking for someone slightly different with a slightly different set of skills. This is especially the case if you are applying for a leadership role within a business. Here is a look at some of the ways you can prepare your resume ready to apply 

Further your education

You might think once you have completed college or even high school that your education is over. That does not have to be the case. There are lots of courses, such as a masters in leadership online course that you can complete at any time in your career. The great thing about these courses is that you can complete them alongside your current job. Unlike when you were younger, you do not have to move to a campus or attend several different lessons every day of the week to complete a masters in leadership online. All you need is a laptop and access to the internet, and you can complete all of the course’s content online. You can also choose exactly when and how you complete all of the course material. For example, if your job keeps you busy in the mornings, you do not have to be worried about making it to a 9am lecture every week. You could choose what time you put aside to complete your masters in leadership online, whether that be very early in the morning, in the evenings once you get home from work or even on the weekends if you would rather. 

You might think that this is a lot of effort to go to for what will ultimately be a couple of lines on your resume. What is important to remember, is when it comes to a resume it is not quantity but quality. Not only does a degree like a masters in leadership online course show that you have developed your leadership skills, it also shows you have gone above and beyond to better yourself. Employers are always looking for people who are motivated to improve their own skills to help improve the business, so a masters in leadership online course would be one of the best ways of demonstrating this much sought after personality trait. As it is an online course, it also means it will cause less disruption to your life. Many masters in leadership online courses can be completed within a year, meaning you can learn everything you need to know about leadership within a very short amount of time. The sooner you complete the course, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of this new skillset. 

List your skills and talk about their relevance to the job you are applying for

One of the main things you will want to include on any resume are the skills that make you stand out from the rest. Whilst you might think it is as simple as listing what you are good at, it is important to also explain why these skills would make you the ideal candidate for this job. Look at the requirements for each job advert and try and match them to the skills that you list on your resume. For example, if a job requires someone to be experienced with a particular piece of software, it is not good enough to put down that you are confident using computers. You should talk about which software you have experience using. There is a big difference in being confident in using a word processor and an excel spreadsheet. As well as just saying you are confident, talk about some of the things you are skilled at completing with that software. For example, you could say that you are skilled at producing reliable formulas to accurately calculate the businesses finances and give the most insightful look into the day to the profitability of the company.

It is also not enough to simply say you are good at something. If getting a job was that easy, then we would all be applying for the best paid jobs in the country. You also need to be able to prove that you are as good as you say you are. You need to be able to prove skills that you have learnt, whether that is on the job or a masters in leadership online A lot of the times employers will test your abilities with pre-interview assignments or even examinations during the interview process. Before you get to that point, it is still a good idea that you give the employer a reason to be confident that you truly understand how to do the things you say you are skilled at. Failure to do so could see you eliminated from the job application process before you even get to the interview stage and are able to demonstrate your practical skills as part of an examination or an assignment. Try and think of real-life examples where you have used those skills to help your previous business. For example, you could say that you are skilled in producing effective social media and designed a campaign for your previous business that significantly increased your follower numbers and in turn visitors to the website. Being able to explain exactly how good you are at these skills, and how beneficial this skillset will be to a business, will put you in the best possible chance of securing that position. 

Talk about the responsibilities you had at each job

As well as somebody that is skilled, any group of people looking at your resume and considering whether to invite you to an interview will also be looking for someone that they can trust. It is all well and good being fully trained to do the job, whether that is through experience or through completing a masters in leadership online, but you also need to put the effort in. If you are lazy, late and simply disobedient, an employer could end up hiring someone that does not get the work completed on time or to a high standard. It is often difficult to persuade somebody that you have just met that they can trust you. It is even more difficult to persuade someone you have never met with just a few sides of paper.

One of the best ways to convince an interview panel that they can trust you is to try and explain exactly how much trust you gained from your previous or your current employer. For example, if you were given any extra responsibilities over your colleagues, list those on your job application. This could be anything from being responsible for running the businesses social media pages, running promotional campaigns or something as simple as making sure the business does not run out of supplies. You might think that being in charge of something as simple as checking the level of pens and printer toner you have in the office and reordering them when necessary might be a minor responsibility. The reality is that anybody who has ever worked in an office knows exactly how important these small things can be to the day to day running of any business. The sheer fact that an employer chose you over any of your colleagues to complete this task shows that they had a lot more trust in you to make sure the job gets completed correctly. 

Format your layout to show off your technical skills

When looking through applications for a new job, an employer will probably look through lots of different documents at the same time. It is highly likely that around 90 percent of these resumes will look exactly the same. They will be printed in the same fonts, with the same text positioned in the same way. That is why it is not only just important to make sure the text you include in your resume helps you stand out from the rest of the candidates. It is also important that the overall design is impressive, so it helps you stand out from the rest of the crowd when they first glance at your resume. If they are impressed with their first glance at the resume, they are more likely to want to spend more time reading your resume to learn about the person who put together this impressive design. 

Resume design does not only help you stand out from the crowd. It also helps demonstrate how skilful you are at using certain types of software. For example, if a job requires someone to have a good understanding of using Word, try and use as many of the features within the software that are appropriate for a resume. This could include anything from splitting the page into two or even three columns to make the use of any wasted white space on the page, to including formatted headings to each section. If you are applying for a job where design skills are especially important, like a graphic designer or another equally creative role, it is just as important to design a CV that shows of your skills. If this is the case, try and think outside the box. Instead of writing a simple word document, why not create an infographic or a short video on the software they would expect you to be able to use to impress your potential new bosses. 

Do not forget the most simple pieces of information

When you are thinking of all the creative ways you can impress your potential new boss, it can often be easy to forget the simple things. When it comes to a resume, there are certain things that probably will not persuade an employer to give you a job but are vital for them to have as part of the job process. For example, if you forget to include contact details like your phone number or your email address, they simply will not have any way of being able to invite you to the next stage of the interview process. Whilst they might be able to go back through previous correspondence you have had with them to try and find a way of getting in touch with you, the fact that they would have to go to the effort to rectify one of your mistakes is not a good first impression to make with a new employer. Instead, make sure all of this important information is clearly displayed at the top of the resume. If you have completed any additional education, like a masters in leadership online, make sure you include the institution you studied at and when you completed the course.

If there are certain skills that are vital to the role, it is also important that you demonstrate you have those skills or qualifications on your resume. If a job advert says the role requires someone with a clean driving license, do not just presume that they will know that you have one. Make sure you explicitly say that you do within the resume. An interview panel will not want to waste time meeting with someone who simply is not qualified enough to be able to carry out a job, so are highly likely to choose to not offer you an interview if they are concerned that you do not have an important skill or qualification.  

Check, check and check again 

Once you have completed your job resume, it is important to check that every single word in that document is correct. First, check that it all reads correctly, makes sense and none of your sentence structures sound too clunky. Check that you have spelt every word correctly, especially certain technical terms or brands that your software spellchecker might not pick up on. Then check all of the information is factually correct. Double check things like your phone number and your email address, as if you get these incorrect you might simply not receive any invitation to the next stage of the interview process.

Scrum guide – what is it?

Scrum is a framework for the purpose of project management that facilitates teamwork. The Scrum framework redefines the values and moves forward with interactive progress towards achieving the goal. The real question is why scrum and why not waterfall? The waterfall is a model that breaks down the project-related activities into sequential phases, whereas one phase is dependent upon the other phase. In simple words, it delivers phases and scrum provides features.

Waterfall phases are connected and due to the sequential process, hence it is not valuable until the project reaches its end. Scrum works as a solution to such a problem, by providing new features right after a few weeks, instead of focusing on big releases.

Scrum provides assistance in breaking down the complex activities into smaller pieces, large enterprises into smaller teams, and large projects into sprints. The structure of the scrum framework is based upon three pillars, transparency, inspection, and adaptation. All three pillars hold equal significance.

The actual purpose of the scrum guide

The scrum was developed in the early 1990s. The first version of the scrum guide was introduced in 2010, in order to help people all around the world. The purpose of the scrum guide was to make it easy for people to understand scrum. Since then, the guide evolved with functional updates with the most recent version being released in 2020. The latest Scrum guide changes summary refers to the biggest change in the section of “Scrum Artifacts”.

So why scrum guide is important and what does it really contain?

The scrum guide puts the light on the definition of a scrum. It is important to understand that each element of the framework holds a specific purpose that holds importance in the final overall value. Scrum comes with its full benefits when it is expected the way it is, without bringing any change in the core design, eliminating elements, or not following the rules and terms of the scrum.

The use of scrum is escalating as the complexity is rising. It is applicable in several domains dealing with complex work. Scrum involvement refers to the use of analysts, scientists, developers, researchers, and spreads, the rest is done by specialists. The world “developers used in scrum is to simplify it, not to exclude. 

Scrum values

The fundamentals of scrum are based on a team of people, which consists of developers, scrum master, and product owner. There is no presence of a hierarchy of small sub-teams. It is such an organized unit, where all professionals are diverted towards focusing on one aim at a time and that is the product goal. 

Scrum teams are always cross-functional, as all the required expertise and skills are found in the members of the team. they all are self-organized means that decisions like what, who, when, and how are decided internally.

The scrum responsibilities are widespread overall activities such as research and development, operation, maintenance, verification, stakeholder collaboration, and experimentation. They are all structured and organized in a way that successfully manages their own work. It is the responsibility of the scrum team to create a valuable and useful increment every sprint.

The sprint 

Sprint is the backbone or according to some professionals “heart” of a scrum, where the idea is converted to value. Sprints are considered fixed-length events less than a month or a complete month to develop consistency. The next sprint starts right after the completion of the previous sprint. All the elements required to achieve the product goal such as sprint review, daily scrums take place within scrum.

Throughout the sprint, changes are discouraged as they might endanger the Sprint Goal. the quality remains consistent, the product backlog is refined accordingly. There are multiple to forecast the progress like cumulative flows. Only the product owner is authorized to cancel the sprint if sprint results come to obsoletion.

Sprint planning

Sprint planning is like a workstation that lay out the work that is supposed to be performed for the sprint. The whole scrum team is behind the creation of a resulting plan. Sprint planning considers the following topics. Topic one relates to “why is the sprint valuable?” the second topic refers to “what can be done with a sprint?” and “how will the chosen work get done?

What Are the Signs of Sexual Abuse in Teens?

As the parent of the teen, one of your first fears might be that they are abused in any way, including sexually. Unfortunately, sexual abuse is a reality, and perhaps one that’s more prevalent than you might think.

There are often stories of sexual abuse that happens to both male and female teens, and the perpetrator is often someone who is trusted, such as a teacher or school official.

The CDC estimates 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls will experience sexual abuse in the U.S. before they’re 18.

If you can recognize the warning signs of abuse, you may be able to stop it before it happens or do something about it quickly if it already has.

The signs of abuse in teens can be challenging to identify, however.

The following are things to know about red flags of sexual abuse that are often seen in teens, and also more details about what you can do if you’re a parent.

Physical Symptoms

You may wonder if there are physical symptoms and the difficulty in identifying sexual abuse is that there often aren’t. If there are, your teen may hide them from you. If there are physical symptoms, a medical professional might bring them to your attention as a parent, but these tend to be things that can easily be misdiagnosed.

If there were going to be physical signs or symptoms, they might include unexplained bruising or symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases.

Behavioral Symptoms

You are more likely to start to see there’s a problem by the way your teen behaves, but again, that can be challenging because teens tend to be moody and unpredictable regardless of the circumstances.

In girls, in particular, some of the symptoms that may occur when they are a victim of sexual abuse include:

  • Eating disorders: A lot of parents don’t understand the links between an eating disorder, particularly one that seems to have developed recently, and sexual abuse. Eating disorders can include anorexia but also bulimia and binge eating. A lot of times, sexual abuse survivors will feel a sense of shame or guilt, and they may try to deal with that by punishing themselves with food-related behavior.
  • Substance misuse: When a teen starts to use drugs or alcohol, there’s a tendency to automatically think they’re doing that because their friends are or they want to have fun. What a lot of parents and even educators don’t understand is that teen substance misuse is often masking something else that’s happening, and one of the things that it could be covering is sexual abuse. Research has found significant links, particularly in females, between substance use and sexual abuse at some point in their lifetime.
  • Depression: Depression, along with other mental health conditions, including anxiety, are common signs of sexual abuse.
  • Self-harm or self-destructive behavior: If a teen is cutting or harming themselves or talks about suicide or attempts it, there may be something else happening, particularly if this behavior has just seemed to come out of nowhere.
  • Some parents may notice that their teen seems to be very sexual or have an advanced level of sexual knowledge for their age. They might not even realize they’re sharing this with their parents.

Sometimes the signs of sexual abuse can be different in males versus females. A male may become aggressive, for example, while that’s less common in females.

Boys who have been sexually abused may show signs like inappropriate sexually related behavior and physical problems like pain in the genital area.

With both boys and girls, changes in sleeping or eating habits can also be indicators that something isn’t right.

If you do see anything that you as a parent feel isn’t right, it’s important to try and talk to your teen about it because they may be honest with you.

If your teen comes to you about it, you should first and foremost tell them that you believe them and thank them for being honest.

If your teen comes to you to tell you this, rather than asking questions, just let them speak.

From there, you will need to get professionals involved.

Contacting the Authorities

If you find out, as a parent, that your teen has been sexually abused, no matter what your child says they want, you have to contact the authorities. This is important not only for your child but for other children and teens who could be victims.

You are obligated to report it, and there are safeguards in place to prevent your child from being retraumatized in a court situation.

You may also need to talk to a medical professional and also a counselor or mental health professional.

Dealing with Your Own Feelings

As a parent, your first priority will undoubtedly be helping your teen in any way possible, but eventually, you will also have to deal with your own feelings about the situation.

You may feel extreme anger, guilt, shame, or so many other emotions. It’s normal to feel this way, particularly since as a parent, you want to protect your child more than anything.

You first have to avoid showing these emotions around your teen because it’s probably going to heighten their own similar feelings.

You can talk openly and honestly with your teen, but don’t let your emotions become so outwardly escalated that you add to the stress or trauma your child is feeling.

You may benefit from participating in a support group or talking to a counselor yourself as well.

The reality is that a trauma like teenage sexual abuse can affect your child for the rest of their lives, but at the same time, their life is far from ruined, and the next steps you take can make a world of difference.

Long-term therapy and emotional support are going to be two of the best things available for your child.

Don’t pressure your teen into anything they don’t want to do, and take the process as slowly as they need it to be.

5 of the Reasons Why You Should Learn Spanish as Part of Your Education

There are many students who never have the opportunity to learn a foreign language. Their school may not require them to learn one at any level, regardless of whether they’re in middle school, high school, or college. They also might not necessarily have the inclination to learn a foreign language on their own.

However, learning a foreign language can come in handy more than you might anticipate. There are dozens that you can take, but if you do have the opportunity, you may find that Spanish is the best way to go. Let’s discuss a few of the reasons why you may wish to learn it if you ever get the chance.


You Can Communicate with the Locals if You Ever Go on Vacation

Talking Spanish with native speakers is one thing that you can do if you ever go on vacation to a Spanish-speaking country. If you go to Spain, then they obviously speak Spanish there. There are several great cities worth visiting in Spain, such as Madrid, Salamanca, Barcelona, Ibiza, or Seville.

You could also head south of the border to Mexico, where they speak Spanish as well. You might visit Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, or Punta Mita.

There are some other countries you might visit where they speak Spanish or at least a version of it. The natives speak Spanish in Columbia, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Venezuela, and many more.

When you arrive, you can communicate easily with the desk attendant at your hotel. You can ask for directions at the airport, or you might talk to your tour guide if you decide to go out on a guided tour. Your Spanish knowledge will doubtless impress all of them.


You Can Speak to Various Contractors You Might Hire

It’s also highly likely that you might encounter contractors somewhere in the US that speak Spanish. You might hire a gardener, roofer, plumber, electrician, or other workers who speak Spanish primarily.

You also may need to hire a nanny, a website designer, mechanic, or many other positions where the candidate speaks more Spanish than they do English. If this is true, then you can talk to them about what you need done and get some idea about whether they will be the right fit for the project.

They will also likely appreciate your knowledge. You encounter many Spanish-speaking individuals in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, but you might run into them virtually anywhere across the US.


You May Have a Spanish-Speaking Person in Your Family One Day

It’s also definitely not outside the realm of possibility that you may have someone in your family one day who speaks Spanish fluently. Since there are so many different Spanish-speaking countries, you might easily meet and fall in love with someone who speaks Spanish, either as a first or second language.

If that happens, they will be happy that you can communicate with them in multiple languages. That will make things easier when you meet their parents or other relatives.

It’s also possible that someone else in your family might fall in love with a Spanish speaker. You might end up having a Spanish-speaking step-parent, or perhaps your brother, sister, cousin, etc., may bring a Spanish-speaking person home. If this occurs, they will like speaking to you in Spanish, and that will certainly make them feel more welcome and comfortable.


You Can Put Spanish Speaker on Your Resume

It’s also nice when you’re applying for a job, and you can put on your resume that you speak fluent or even a little Spanish. There are many jobs where the company will appreciate that skill.

Your boss might speak Spanish, or some of your other coworkers may speak it. You can understand what they want from you if you’re about to start a new project or you’re meeting them at a job site.

If you speak a foreign language, that might be what a would-be employer notices on a resume that can set you apart from some of the other candidates. If you can have a brief conversation with them to prove that you do indeed speak Spanish like you say you can, they may even hire you on the spot.


You Might Find that You Enjoy Learning Foreign Languages

One more reason why you may enjoy learning Spanish is that you might find out that learning a new language is a lot of fun. The more of a new language you understand, the more you will feel like you are broadening your horizons.

You might start with Spanish, but you may decide to learn some others as well, like Portuguese or French. There are also many Chinese and Japanese speakers abroad, and if you travel often, you may discover that the more languages you speak, the easier of a time you will have.

Aside from the reasons we mentioned, you may learn that you can help people in more situations than you might envision or expect. You might find a person lost in an airport, and if you speak their language, you can assist them.

You may come across a person who’s in trouble, such as if they are having a medical emergency. If they are not a native English speaker, you can give them a hand.

The reality is that people speak so many different languages, and with America being the melting pot that it is, you never really know when you’ll need to whip out your new linguistic skills. If you pay a tutor to teach you a new language, you will definitely find that the cost is well worth it.

If you speak more languages, then you will appear more worldly as well. You can impress the strangers who you meet, and they’ll realize that you’ve lived a rich and exciting life. Some of the world’s greatest travelers, inventors, and other historical figures were also bilingual or even multilingual.

How to Choose a Field of Study

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Determining what field of study you are going into is an extremely difficult decision. Not only are you likely deciding while you’re young, but there are also many factors to consider. Additionally, you likely have several schools and majors to choose from, further complicating the process. For example, do you want to go to an out-of-state college to become an occupational therapy assistant, or do you want to attend an in-state school to learn how to become a teacher? So how exactly can you narrow down your decisions and ensure that your final choice sets you up for future success? Here’s how to choose a field of study. 

Follow Your Passions

One of the best pieces of advice to follow when trying to choose a field of study is to simply follow your passions. Many people say that you should enter into a field with lots of job opportunities that provides you with a high salary, but that isn’t always the case. You have to actually enjoy what you’re doing for a living. If you choose a path you’re not interested in, finding the motivation to study and earn your degree will be extremely difficult. Even if you pull it off, you’ll have to work the rest of your life in an industry or field that you don’t even like. A common saying is, “When you love something, it doesn’t feel like work,”  implying that you’ll have a much easier time holding a job you enjoy doing. Before you choose a field of study to enter into, make sure that it’s one that you have an interest in or are passionate about. 

Analyze Job Prospects

Although choosing something that you like doing is important, you also can’t completely neglect the money aspect of a career either. College is expensive, and for most people, it will leave you with thousands of dollars in debt. That debt needs to be repaid, regardless of what field you enter into. If you enter a field of study that is extremely difficult to find a job in or doesn’t pay that well, then the investment you make into college won’t really be worth it. You may love art, but if you’re not confident in that study’s job market, then you may be better off pursuing another one of your interests. Choosing a field of study is all about finding a perfect balance that allows you to enjoy what you’re doing but can also set you up for future success. 

Look at Potential Programs

When choosing a field of study, it’s extremely important to look at potential programs and what they offer. For example, if you’re passionate about biology and medicine, you may find schools that offer a fast-track to medical school. Alternatively, those fascinated by business and marketing may find schools that allow for a completed bachelor’s degree and an MBA in just five years. Finding a program that can help you build a career and establish a professional network is extremely important and can set you up for future success. If you find a really great program that aligns with your interests and has plenty of great opportunities, then you should strongly consider entering that field of study.

Make an Educated Decision

Perhaps the biggest mistake that a prospective student can make is deciding on a field of study based on extraneous conditions. For example, you shouldn’t choose a field of study and program simply because the university is located in a beautiful town with great weather. You also shouldn’t choose a school or field of study based on things like athletics or parties. When deciding what university to go to and what field of study to enter, you should solely look into your interests and your future. Any outside influence from extraneous factors could lead to you making a bad decision that will be costly to correct. 

Protect Your Organization By Setting Up the Right Type of Protocols

In organizing the structure of your workplace, getting the right policies and procedures are just the beginning. 

You need to establish follow-up procedures and support services for those times when your team members may be affected by a breach in protocol or another form of support. 

The need for support is true regardless of industry, from construction to service, education, and finance, to book publishing.


The Re-Emergence of Normalcy

Any time you get a group of people together, the chance of some direct or indirect adverse action may impact other members. Hence, developing a plan for best practices in order to maximize the positive and mitigate the negative responses is crucial. 

This concept will be especially true as society begins to open up and our everyday lives begin to normalize. The past year hasn’t been easy for anyone, but our ability to read social cues and interact with people in person is probably the most damaging. 

In fact, much of the way we interact with others will change in the short-term and possibly have more prolonged effects. We’ve ingrained social isolation habits, distancing, and more that will be difficult to change right away. 

Our whole way of interacting with people will need to transform over time to become more regular. 

In other words, coming out of the pandemic, people will exhibit more Post-traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, or PTSD, than prior.

Defined as a condition brought about by a terrifying event, PTSD symptoms can significantly impact sufferers’ physical and mental health. 


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Symptoms can become acute, occurring rapidly after an event, but typically appear a month after it occurs. 

Symptoms of PTSD may include: 

  • The recurrent, unwanted reliving of the event
  • Flashbacks associated with replaying the event over again in the sufferer’s mind
  • Severe emotional and physical reactions to things that may be similar to the event 
  • Tendency to lean into avoidance of similar spaces, interactions, or people

Not all issues of PTSD may stem from the pandemic itself but rather how we interact with each other and treat one another. Issues of bullying, inappropriateness, and even harassment may increase due to the lack of recent social interactions between persons. 

Having a program in place as you begin to bring workers back into the office is crucial. Setting up training and other support programs should be a priority within your organization, including harassment training, counseling, and other team members’ services. 


The Effects of Negative Interactions Related to Harassment

Before the pandemic, harassment in the workplace occurred at an astonishing rate. In fact, it’s reported that possibly up to 81% of women have experienced one form of harassment or another in the workplace. 

81% is an astounding number no matter how you look at it, so establishing a safe workplace environment with built-in protocols to handle social interaction issues must be a focus for your organization. 

In order to address any issues, you need to understand the term harassment. Harassment is defined as any unwelcome conduct based on race, color, religion, disability, sex, national origin, or genetic information. 

Some of these actions can be illegal and may create unnecessary liability for your business and organization, especially if there is a complaint that is ignored, or a culture of harassment develops within the workplace. 

To protect your organization, your team members, and your business, you need to establish a clear protocol that handles employee complaints compliant with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If creating a human resource (HR) department is too cost-prohibitive, you can always find a third-party service to create one. 

Many payroll services include HR staffing support as part of their service offerings. If your payroll services don’t offer HR support, search around and find one that does offer the service. It will save you a ton of time reporting, investigating, and decision-making process as needed and well before it becomes a much larger issue. 

Now that things seem to be trending toward a more open society, inevitably, there will be conflicts between people. The catalyst for those conflicts will vary between the type of organization and the people involved. Still, due to the prolonged, stressful uncertainty we’ve all operated under, interactions will lack some of the past’s nuance. 

For those reasons, your organization must be proactive in defining acceptable behavior, guidelines for addressing concerns, and possible ramifications for violations. 


Well Known Colleges with Excellent Online Programs

If the pandemic taught us anything, it was that the internet is the future of education. But finding the right college or university with an online degree program you desire can often be confusing. In most cases, you end up perusing a list of schools you’ve never heard of and have no reference for.

However, there are well-known colleges with top-flight degree programs online out there. Everything from nursing, engineering, liberal arts, teaching, and hundreds of other options. If it feels better and more secure to apply to a well-established school, here’s a list of options, ranked highly by U.S.News.

University of Florida

Ranked #3 comes a large university located in Gainesville, Florida. The top 5 online programs sought by students are, in order: Business Administration, Nursing(RN), Public Relations, Criminology, and Psychology.

Their Business Administration degree comes is ranked first in the country. The school requires the same amount of rigor and acceptance qualities that it expects from a student attending traditionally, so there’s no concern about getting a second-tier education just because you attend virtually.

Ohio State

Ranked #4, OSU’s top 3 enrolled online programs are Nursing(RN), Medical Assisting, Dental Hygiene/Hygienist. If you’re looking to go into the medical field, OSU would be a great school to consider.

Not to be overlooked, their graduate studies in the medical field are also considered top-tier. Their Master’s program in Nursing(RN) and Psychiatric Nurse Practioner are both ranked in the top 3 while their Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Master’s program is ranked #1.


If you’re looking specifically for a high-quality degree in Special Education/Teaching, then Georgia may be perfect for you. 100% of their online program is formatted around this discipline.

That might seem too hyper-focused, but it’s a good sign for anyone looking to have a career working with people with special needs where a degree is essential. But they do offer several more options in their graduate online school where every Master’s program is ranked in the top 10 out of 337 schools.

Penn State

If you’re looking for a top-tier psychology degree online, then look no further. Penn State is ranked #1. They also offer many online graduate degrees, including 9 that rank in the top 5. These include engineering, education administration, and psychology.

Arizona State

With the #1 Bachelor’s program in Business and the #2 program for psychology, ASU is no surprise to be ranked a top ten university in the online degree world. They’ve been ahead of the curve in the online degree industry, beginning their first programs 15 years ago. They’ve got one of the biggest online enrollments overall, as well.

But the excellence only starts with the Bachelor’s programs. Once you search their graduate ones, you’ll see that they are stellar in that area, too. They currently have FIVE #1 ranked online Master’s degrees that include instructional media, business, and various paths to an MBA

The Future

The trend is sharply headed in the direction of more online classes being taken by students. In the last few years alone, even without the pandemic, the growth has been 151% and it shows no signs of slowing down. The ability to get a degree at your pace from the comfort of your home gives future students a technological advantage over previous generations.

Of course, you don’t have to get a college degree necessarily. But if you choose to, there are many more options for education and training and it’s now a viable and popular option to seek out your higher education online.