20 February 2018

Causes of Having a Bad Mood

If you ask someone if they would rather be in a good or in a bad mood, this person will most likely think you are weird. The majority of people obviously prefer to feel good and to be in a good mood; this is a natural desire around which the entertainment, pharmaceutical, and other industries were built. Whenever you feel down, you can find a way to increase your mood; this is effective, but not a long-lasting measure; unfortunately, rarely people seek to find and understand the reasons causing their bad mood. Knowing these reasons, people would be able to maintain and control their emotions better.

Surprisingly, one of the most significant causes is what psychologists refer to as ego depletion. This idea belongs to the researcher Roy Baumeister, who believes that when people use their willpower, it drains their cognitive resources, and makes them feel worse. The more a person strives to abstain from doing something, the more annoyed their mind becomes. There is a stress threshold: at some point, when one’s willpower depletes, accumulated frustration manifests itself as anger, irritability, cynicism, and other negative emotions. In its turn, these effects increase a person’s blood pressure, as well as the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which eventually gets a person even more flustered.

A more trivial but not a less important reason why you might be in a bad mood regularly or even all the time is stress caused by excessive work; being a workaholic may be beneficial for your career and reputation, but it takes its toll: you put yourself at the risk of burning out.

The energy you have is a depletable resource, and learning how to manage it properly is the best way to avoid fatigue and the bad mood caused by it. There are other causes that add up to fatigue (and can be connected to working all the time): the lack of vitamins from fresh vegetables and fruit. Many people nowadays have to eat on the go, having no time to have proper, balanced meals. Consuming food should be a relaxing and pleasant process—not only stuffing one’s stomach with calories. And after all, if you have not been in direct sunlight for a while, you are guaranteed to be in a bad mood.

Unfortunately, among all the ways to get rid of excessive stress and bad mood, many people choose the easiest ones; some of them are more or less socially acceptable; for example, playing video games. However, more often people seek respite in substances such as alcohol or light drugs. 

So, the next time you feel your mood goes down, spend a minute to analyze your recent activities in an attempt to figure out what might be wrong. Activities that lead to the depletion of cognitive resources, fatigue and overworking, the lack of vitamins and sunlight, as well as the consumption of alcohol and other drugs, can be factors you might want to eliminate in order to start feeling better.


References

Klosowski, Thorin. “The Science Behind a Bad Mood and What You Can Do about It.” Lifehacker. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

“8 Causes and Treatments of Mood Swings.” Quick and Dirty Tips. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

Chan, Amanda L. “9 Sneaky Reasons You’re in a Bad Mood (and What to Do about It).” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.


Retrieved from: Academic Help
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08 March 2017

Critical Reading

About Critical Reading

Critical reading does not mean criticizing or finding mistakes in a text or an article.  Critical reading means noticing techniques that writers use to convince readers to accept ideas or information. Readers who recognize these techniques can evaluate a reading selection more easily. Critical reading is a skill used in everyday life.  For example, in college, choosing an answer on a multiple choice test requires critical reading skills.  Purchasing a product online is another example of a task that requires critical reading skills.  

Critical Readers

Critical readers do not automatically believe that everything they read is true. They ask themselves questions about the text. For example, they might ask if the author is well-known. They might ask if the author is an expert on the subject.  They also ask what the author’s purpose is for writing.  Is it to present facts or statistics, or is it to persuade or convince the reader to believe something? In addition, critical readers are aware of the author’s approach.  Is the information presented in an objective or critical way?  Does the writer reveal a subjective (positive or negative) attitude toward the subject?  

Identifying and Evaluating the Main Idea

Critical reading means analyzing ideas and then deciding whether to accept them, reject them, or think about them further.  In order to analyze ideas, good readers first identify the main idea.  Finding the main idea is key to understanding the writer’s argument.  Good readers skim the reading and find the main idea before reading the main article.  This results in faster and more effective reading.  

Critical readers also evaluate the main idea. They do this by asking questions. Does the main idea seem important?  Does it seem logical?  Does it allow for other viewpoints?  Does the author insist that this viewpoint is the only valid one?  If the main idea doesn’t seem important or logical, critical readers pay close attention to the details the author uses to support it.  

Examining the Evidence to Support the Main Idea

Paying close attention to the details means examining the evidence the author uses to support the main idea.  Evidence may include facts, statistics, examples, experience and opinions.  The critical reader asks two key questions.  The first is, “Is the evidence adequate?”  The reader decides whether the author has provided enough support for the main idea.  One or two examples are usually not enough to support a viewpoint.  If the support is inadequate, the critical reader will not accept the author’s opinion as true.  

The second question is, “Does the evidence seem accurate?”  The reader considers the source of the information.  The reader also considers the methods that were used to collect the facts.  If the source is questionable, the support may also be questionable.  If the method is unreliable, the facts may be unreliable as well.  

Analyzing the Presentation of Evidence

Critical reading also requires the reader to recognize errors in the author’s thinking.  Errors weaken the author’s support and, thus, the author’s ideas.  For example, the author may use circular reasoning.  This is simply repeating the main idea in different words without adding any reasons or evidence to support the main idea.  The author may also try to distract the reader with a red herring.  A red herring is an idea or statement that distracts or leads the reader away from the issue.  Finally, the author may make a hasty generalization. This means the author bases a conclusion on very little evidence or support.  

Putting It All Together

Critical readers understand both what a text says and how it says it. Therefore, critical reading means the following three things:

1. Recognizing the techniques authors use to convince the reader to accept the ideas as presented. 

2. Evaluating the text in light of these techniques.
3. Deciding whether to accept or reject the text, or to gather more information before making a decision.



Online and Teacher-led Activities

Essay topic:

Many schools and colleges today use a mixture of online and teacher-led activities. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach to learning?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience regarding online learning and teacher led learning. 
You must include a direct quote and a paraphrased quote from an article you have found in order to support your ideas. Write between 200-250 words. 

Some writing tips

What are online activities?
Online activities can be interactive games, puzzles, online quizzes, practice exercises, blogs, websites, electronic portfolios, web-based assignments, and other internet resources.
You will find a few useful example here..

What are teacher-led activities?
Teacher-led activities are explicit teaching techniques, usually to teach a specific skill. It is a teacher-directed method, meaning that the teacher stands in front of a classroom, presents information and explains it to the students.


25 February 2017

Research Essay Structure


ACADEMIC RESEARCH ESSAY STRUCTURE

Academic Research Essay Title (must be printed on the front page; this page is not numbered): …………………………………………………………………………………………...
Summary (must be printed on one separate page; 150 words)
Introduction (less than one page; must be printed on a separate page)
Research Question/s: ……………………………………………………………………
Research hypothesis: ……………………………………………………………………………………
Research objectives:
1. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
2. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
3. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Thesis statement: ………………………………………………………………………………………
Chapter 1 (Title) ………………………………………………………………………
Chapter 2 (Title) …………………………………………………………………………
Chapter 3 (Title) …………………………………………………………………………
Conclusion (less than one page; must be printed on a separate page)
References (in APA style; on a separate page; about 4-8 sources)
Appendix 1 (Academic Honesty Statement; must be signed by the student) – this page must be attached

Appendix 2 (if necessary; it contains tables, charts, graphs, pictures, questionnaire samples, etc.) – it is not mandatory.