"Give them the gift of words"

10 Unusual Ways to Make Writing Fun




Julie Petersen


Writing is a very challenging task most of us face on a regular basis. It all starts at school when we practice in writing essays, then we start working and write reports and business letters to our partners. One of the main keys to success in writing is practice. The more you write the more proficiency you’ll have. Successful writers have gone through a lot of challenges and setbacks before obtaining the “successful” social status. They practiced, failed many times, learned from mistakes, and kept trying until they made it.

When we don’t enjoy a specific activity, we feel bored, frustrated, and uninspired. Our productivity levels are also low, and everything concerning that activity is considered to be “painful”. Also starting a non-enjoyable activity is often challenging; the procrastination kicks in and that’s it, you’re no longer in control.

Many students hate writing and can’t enjoy doing it. Unfortunately, most of the college’s assignments are based on essays, research papers, and projects that also require writing. That also means that if your writing is efficient your grades will be higher. If you are a student struggling with writing you have two options to choose from. First, you need to find an interesting way to practice writing, the one you would enjoy. Second, if you already decided that you don’t want to connect your life with writing you can always find services that will do all the work for you. But choosing a good writing company is a very hard task as well, so check the writing services reviews. You may check them on the best custom writing services reviews  or any other reliable website.

During today’s article, we’ll talk about ten unusual ways to make the writing process easier. If you can manage to add some fun and enjoyment, you’ll improve your writing and your mood when doing it. Keep in mind that reading our tips won’t do any good if you don’t take serious action.

Create Goals and Compete with Yourself

Writing is a lonely activity. You don’t have colleagues or clients to talk to, and you only have to focus on putting those words down on that paper. Ever thought of competing with yourself? Well, every writer should do this. It’s a productive habit and activity that can only improve your writing performance.

Start making some yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. See where you’re at now, and establish where you want to be in the next few months. Keep up with your goals and see how empowered you’ll feel.

Don’t Be So Serious

Writing is supposed to be fun. Of course, it depends on the genre, purpose, and person, but overall, it definitely shouldn’t be a painful activity. Some writers make art; some prefer to transmit their knowledge and skills to the masses, while some professionals just write for the money.

Either way, you shouldn’t take writing too seriously, even if it’s your main preoccupation. Include a joke or two into your content, write in your unique style, and add new elements as the time passes.

Reward Yourself Properly

Did you know that we can trick our brains to do more of what we want even if that usually requires a lot of effort? You see, if you treat yourself with respect and care, you should be able to motivate yourself every day. Start rewarding your every day’s efforts, or maybe only do it whenever you reach a big goal.

If you can associate pleasure to the results you want, you’ll be able to see great improvements in your mindset and work productivity.

Set a Big Goal Once in a While

We need something exciting, something big! Everyone wants to be something, have something, or do something! In our case, we can set big goals concerning the number of words we write, the number of blog posts maybe, or the number of essay assignments. Either way, don’t forget to set a big plan once in a while.

When you accomplish what you’ve planned, you’ll gain a huge confidence boost, and therefore writing won’t be such a boring and painful activity.

Take Breaks & Meditate

Short and relaxing breaks are essential in order to stay focused while writing. Involve something fun or productive while you’re taking these breaks. If you have enough space and conditions, you can start meditating and relaxing for a few minutes.

If you have space to run, maybe a nice walk will refresh you. Either way, don’t stay too much in front of that PC or paper, take a few breaks and make them worth it.

Tell Interesting Stories

When you’re writing something boring, your activity is also boring. In order to spice things up, start telling some interesting or funny stories throughout your text. Don’t add them if they can’t send a purposeful message.

You’ll usually find enough interesting stories to tell and also associate them with something that you’ve been meaning to say.

Listen to Music

Classical music is an awesome writer’s choice. If you’re planning to stay sharp and focused, you’d better try some Mozart. Another choice would be to select a genre of music and start listening while you write.

Whenever you want to get back to writing, you’ll listen to that type of music and you’ll feel more motivated.

Write About or with Your Passion

If your time or activity allows it, always focus on your passions and interests. For example, if you’re a student, you should focus on writing about subjects that really interest you. If you’re a freelance writer, maybe find a client who can provide tasks related to your interests; it could be business, pets, adult, fiction, and so on.

Make Changes

Whenever you get bored, switch the font with another one; Start using different colors, formats, and tools. If you’re handwriting, you can maybe get an awesome pen and an awesome paper. Perhaps you can even change the environment in which you’re working.

Making changes is great because you’re improving your perception of the world, gaining experiences, and analyzing what’s working best for you.

Keep a Writer’s Notebook

Always keep a notebook with you. You will never know when an interesting thought or idea will come to your mind. As writers, we have a lot of ideas and probably even funny stories and jokes held in our thoughts. We can always use those brilliant or funny ideas while we write.

There’s nothing great than exposing your unique angles to a bigger number of individuals. Keeping a small writer’s notebook is a great writing performance optimization strategy for any type of writer!

Writing is not so painful if you know how to perceive it. There are many ways in which you can make your writing process more enjoyable and bearable. It’s up to you; you can keep on hating it, or you can start working to establish a “balanced” state and mood whenever you perform it.

Either way, remember that your writing skills are going to influence your professional life big time. Some job opportunities will come, and if you’re prepared for them, you can totally reach massive amounts of success in your field.

How to Write a Convincing Essay Conclusion




Jessica Freeman


Have you ever wondered what the purpose of essay writing was? Your professors keep assigning new projects, but sometimes you don’t see a point. There is a reason for you to keep trying. Academic writing is not useful only for getting higher grades at college. You’ll benefit from this skill on the long run, since it improves your capacity for professional communication. It makes you able to use authoritative sources of information, connect them with your own points of view, and come down to logical conclusions that convince the reader you’re right.

Did someone mention conclusions? How many times have you been stuck right at the end of the writing process? You’ve written a great introduction and some strong arguments, but you don’t know how to put all loose ends together. Don’t worry; that’s what we’re here for today. We’ll offer some tips that will help you write a convincing conclusion for your essay.

Understand the Purpose of the Conclusion

Once you provided all arguments you had, why do you have to write a concluding paragraph? Laura Roberts, an essay writing expert from Australian Writings, explains that students find conclusions difficult to write because they don’t see their point: “Why do you restate the thesis at the end? You already stated it, so why do you need to repeat it in a different way? Many students have those questions in mind. The point of a conclusion is to restate the thesis statement in relation with the arguments you exposed in the body of the paper. With the conclusion, you achieve the sense of completeness.”

Before you start writing the conclusion, you should understand what it’s supposed to do:

– Restate the thesis statement, stressing its importance;

– Achieve the sense of completeness, and

– Leave the reader with the final impressions you intended to achieve with this essay.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s see how exactly you can write the perfect conclusion. Take these practical tips into consideration:

Understand the Type of Conclusion You Need

The content in the conclusion will depend on the type of essay you’re writing. For an argumentative essay, which is the favorite assignment of most professors, you need to let the reader know why your arguments were important and why your point of view deserved their attention.

A narrative essay, on the other hand, calls for a different type of conclusion. You’re not arguing or discussing any issue; you’re just telling a story and you need to bring it to an end. Here, you don’t have to restate the main points. Just tell the reader what you learned from the experience you shared.

The following tips are mainly effective for concluding an argumentative essay. We focus on that type, since it makes the conclusion really challenging.

State the Significance of Your Findings

Why was this topic worth exploring? Why are your arguments important? If, for example, you discussed a topic from World War 2, you can explain how the research and arguments gave you a new perspective on the events. Whatever issue you’re discussing, state why it’s important to increase the awareness for it.

Give Suggestions for Future Research

This is usually done in research paper, but an essay can also end with suggestion for further research. However, you don’t want to introduce new information to the reader. Remember: the point of writing a conclusion is to achieve the sense of completeness.

If, for example, you’re writing an essay on the demographic changes, you can end with a statement like “We have a responsibility to keep exploring the demographic changes in our society and identify effective strategies that support sustainable diversity.” This triggers the reader’s interest to explore the issue further, but doesn’t leave the essay incomplete.

Conclude With a Quote

If you have a hard time connecting all dots in a logical conclusion, maybe a quote from one of your primary or secondary sources will help. Find a quote that connects your main points, and then discuss it with your own words to make it more specific.

For example, if you’re writing an essay about Dostoevsky, you can end with his own words about Saint Petersburg and explain that the vibe of the city is present throughout his entire work. Remember: if you use a quote, it has to be relevant. You will still need to restate the thesis statement in the conclusion, so use the quote in that context.

What Solutions Do You Suggest?

If you discussed a particular issue, such as global warming, you can explain the possible solutions in the conclusion, after you restate the thesis in relation to the arguments. If you were discussing the solutions in the arguments, you can briefly emphasize those points again.

Restate; Don’t Repeat!

The worst thing you could possibly do is write the same thesis statement in the conclusion. Don’t even paraphrase it! Use the conclusion to show how all elements of your paper fit together. You didn’t just list random arguments; you used them to prove the thesis statement. Show that!

Let’s show how that tip works in practice. This is our sample thesis statement: Buying books for presents is good because they last forever, they prove you care for that person, and they open new perspectives to them.

 

We already have a thesis statement with obvious arguments. In the conclusion, you should use different terms and logical explanations, which will still restate the thesis. Here is how that conclusion would look like:

 

You can never read the same book twice. Every time we read it, it has a different meaning for us. When we pick a valuable book for a present, we show our deep respect for that person. This book will give them a new perspective to important issues, so it’s the best present they could possibly get.

You see? We used slightly more vivid language to restate the same thesis, but it didn’t feel repetitive.

Wrapping It Up

Okay, it’s time for our conclusion now.

When you get to this part of the paper, you already have everything you need to get to the finish line. In this part, it’s important to use vivid language. Although you’ll be restating the thesis statement and mentioning your main arguments, you shouldn’t bore the reader with repetition. Hopefully, the tips above will help you make a powerful conclusion that leaves your reader impressed.

Author’s Bio

Jessica Freeman is a freelance writer. She is interested in traveling and online learning. She enjoys writing on education, technology innovations, and blogging tendencies. Find out more about Jessica’s work by visiting her student blog. You can also follow her on Facebook and Google+.

Omni Brain Stimulator and Vocabulary





What Is tDCS & Could it Help You Improve Your Vocabulary?

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), uses low-voltage electrical current via sponge electrodes to stimulate certain regions of the brain. This technique has been around for more than 200 years however during the second half of the 20th century scientists began realizing the true potential of tDCS and started to develop principles of how to best make use of this technique. Today, there are many commercial tDCS devices and one of the best among them is the Omni Stimulator tDCS kit.

How Could tDCS Improve Your Vocabulary

Although tDCS has been used and tested for a host of medical purposes including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and many other clinical diagnoses, it has been more recently recognized as a great tool for improving the potential of the brain in healthy individuals including learning capabilities. tDCS can improve memory, cognition and reading abilities, its use in vocabulary training and vocabulary building is also fascinating. Several studies have investigated the use of tDCS in different aspects of learning a new language and expanding vocabulary. Moreover, if practiced enough, the effects of tDCS on vocabulary expansion become long-term.

How You Use the Omni Stimulator to Improve Your Vocabulary

The Omni stimulator is very easy to use. A low-voltage electrical current is delivered to the specific portions of the brain which changes the physiology of the nerve cells in that region making them more active. The end result is that memorizing words, focusing on reading content become easier as you are literally giving your brain a hardwired boost.

The Omni stimulator consists of a current regulation device, sponge electrodes, a headband. I had the Omni Brain Stimulator setup in less than a minute. I first placed the sponges in saline solution to the regions of the scalp as specified in the instructions. Then attached the clips to the sponges and fixed to my forehead with the headband. Follow the instructions on how to adjust the voltage appropriately to best fit your purpose. I found 1.5mA was what worked best for me however and I did notice a difference but let’s look at some studies.

Some Other People’s Results and Information

One group study investigated the effects of tDCS on vocabulary training and memorizing of words. The participants were distributed into two groups, of which one received tDCS stimulation, while the control group received no stimulation. Both groups engaged in language learning during the period of brain stimulation. The results were astonishing! The participants from the tDCS group had significantly higher scores on the tests. After five consecutive days, the overall test results were also significantly better in persons receiving tDCS. Many in the trial have reported improved cognition and amhigher motivation to learn, which resulted in better ability to reproduce the read content. This is especially true for language learners, who succeeded to memorize much more phrases and words than usual.

How Well Did It Work for Me?

I started using Omni stimulator 2 months ago with the aim to improve my English vocabulary primarily, but also to try to learn German at a faster rate after some after hearing and reading about tDCS studies. I started to use the Omni stimulator exactly according to the instructions from the manual and believe it or not, I have noticed improvement in language after the very first session. I was able to reproduce the learned content more efficiently and with much less errors than usual. Wearing a headband while learning was a bit uncomfortable during the first week, but I accommodated to it very fast and I don’t even notice it anymore. I have started to experience the long-term effects of tDCS.

In my opinion, devices such as Omni Stimulator help us extend the natural capacity of our brains by providing us with the stronger ability to learn, improved focus and better our memories.

This tDCS technology is very exciting for those wanting to improve their reading speeds.

References

Meinzer M, Jähnigen S, Copland DA, et al. Transcranial direct current stimulation over multiple days improves learning and maintenance of a novel vocabulary. Cortex. 2014 Jan;50:137-47. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2013.07.013. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Monti A, et al. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and language. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2013;84:832–842. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2012-302825.

Liuzzi G, Freundlieb N, Ridder V. The involvement of the left motor cortex in learning of a novel action word lexicon. Curr Biol. 2010 Oct 12;20(19):1745-51. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.08.034. Epub 2010 Sep 30.

Paulus W. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Suppl Clin Neurophysiol. 2003;56:249-54.

 

Studying for the GRE: Words in Context




One of the best features of the Vocab1 program is the opportunity it gives you to gain confidence in using new words by learning how to use them correctly in context. We provide numerous examples, as well as exercises that help you practice selecting the most appropriate word to complete a sentence. If you’re studying for the GRE, practicing sentence completion is an important part of your test preparation.

Here’s an example of a sentence-completion exercise:

The research assistant attempted to duplicate the professor’s laboratory tests, but the instructions he left for her to follow were so ____________ that her results never __________.

a) detailed … corresponded
b) outdated … differed
c) ambiguous … matched
d) precise … matched
e) illegible … finished

First, read the sentence to yourself and get a sense of its meaning. In this example, the sentence has a negative tone; you can see this by the use of the words attempted, but, and never. Keep this general idea in mind as you look at the pairs of words to choose from.

Let’s look at option (a): detailed and corresponded. If you fill these words in, the sentence says that the instructions were so detailed that the results never corresponded, or matched. This doesn’t make sense, because usually the more detailed the instructions are in a laboratory experiment, the more chance there is of getting the same result every time. The only way this would make sense is if the instructions were TOO complicated. Option (d) also uses a positive word in the first position, and another one in the second position. Using this pair of words, the sentence says that the instructions were so precise (accurate and easy to follow) that the results never matched. Again, this doesn’t make sense.

Filling in the blanks with the pair of words in option (b) gives us the statement that the instructions were so outdated that the results were the same every single time. Outdated generally means “no longer accurate” so it wouldn’t make sense that her tests, using bad data, would match his results. In addition, the assistant is trying to duplicate a set of results (and therefore “never differed” would be a good thing); however, the word but implies a negative outcome.

Option (e) looks like a good choice at first: the instructions were so illegible (hard to read) that the results never finished. Wait a minute, though – “results” don’t “finish.” If the sentence read “… that she could never finish the tests” then we could consider this pair, but as it is, the sentence would not be grammatically correct, so we can eliminate this option.

We’re left with option (c). Using these words turns the sentence into a statement that the results were so ambiguous, or unclear, that her results never matched his. The meaning of the sentence makes sense in context, and the sentence is grammatically correct. By first determining the overall intent of the sentence and then comparing all possible choices, we’ve come up with the right answer.

Preparing to Take the GRE: Vocabulary Study





Applying to graduate school is a big step for many people. It’s a commitment of time, money, and dedication for several years. The requirement to make such a commitment might prevent someone who is more timorous from even beginning the application process. Timorous means timid, afraid, or fearful. The Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote a poem titled “To A Mouse” in which he calls the mouse a “wee, sleekit, cowrin’, tim’rous beastie” – that is, a small, quick, trembling, fearful animal.

Example: Some of the contestants in the spelling bee are so nervous that the judges can hardly hear their timorous voices, even with the microphone.

Aesop wrote a fable titled “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse” about a timorous mouse living in the quiet countryside who receives a visit from her city cousin and, impressed by his urbane manner and descriptions of easy living and fancy food in town, follows him home for a visit. The word urbane comes from the Latin root urbs, meaning “city.” You can also see this root in the words suburb (“part of the city”) and urban (“of the city”). Urbane means polished, gentrified, polite, courteous – in other words, the sixteenth-century idealized version of a “civilized” city dweller, as opposed to the rough, crude peasants living on the farms. These days, the word is generally used to describe someone who is courteous, self-confident and worldly.

Example: Felicia spent her childhood traveling the world with her father, the diplomat, and although she is only sixteen years old, her urbane manner leads people to believe her to be much older.

Oh, did you want to hear the rest of the story of the country mouse and the city mouse? Although there was indeed a lot of delicious food – cheese left on the table, and crumbs of bread and cake on the floor – the cats and dogs in the house chase the mice away, scaring the country mouse back home to her simple, quiet life. “Better a crust in peace than a loaf in fear,” she says.

We know that after you’ve been studying these powerful vocabulary words you won’t be timorous about using them, and your urbane conversational style will impress even the most sophisticated city mouse!


To increase your GRE score by 7 points in 2 weeks, click here to start practicing for free with PrepEd GRE

Vocabulary Building At Every Age: Why You Need Better Vocabulary Now





Did it ever cross your mind that the words you choose to speak and write with are also the ones you use to think with?

The broader your vocabulary, the more extensive your thinking becomes. Vocabulary building is an essential, life-long skill we should never stop working on.

Vocabulary building is possible at every age

If you’re a teenager, you need to build  your vocabulary. If you’re an adult, the same rule applies. Even if you’re in your forties or fifties and think that you’re too old to learn new vocabulary tricks, you need to improve your vocabulary. Each person will have slightly different reasons for needing a good vocabulary, but ultimately it comes down to this: vocabulary building helps you become a better, more confident communicator, no matter how old you are.

Open up a world of description and communication

A large vocabulary extends beyond the words we use to communicate with, which are often words describing simple thoughts and needs which we use primarily with our families and close friends.

However, when it comes to speaking with colleagues and strangers, your vocabulary is even more important. It’s the arsenal you have at your disposal through which you pick out the weapons of choice. You can choose the words that move people, or words to reprimand them. You can analyze the situation and pick the words you need to express love, anger, or frustration. The right words make your meaning clear.

Level the playing field for all children with better vocabulary

Researchers and educators raise red flags on vocabulary poverty, saying that the word gap between low-income students and their high-income peers is dangerously wide. Just like the wage gap creates huge differences in future earning potential among young adults of different genders and racial backgrounds, this word gap can create barriers to success for children across the country.

Poor students do not interact with, speak with, or listen to as many words as their more wealthy peers – largely because their parents spend more time at work, and don’t have the time to devote to at-home reading support. As a result, during a critical neurological growth, these children do not receive the stimuli to expand their vocabulary and sharpen their thinking. If they’re not getting enough support at school and at home for their reading, they may not develop a love for books. This issue affects children with learning difficulties even more acutely.

As a result, many children lag behind their peers, struggling to communicate, read, and study. In the end, these children often face severe disadvantages when it comes to their education and future.

We are still working towards equality in education, where all students irrespective of background and income can access the same quality education. Until then, we should also focus on instilling in children a love for books and reading, because this can be the cornerstone through which vocabulary poverty is exterminated.

The bigger your word arsenal, the bigger your advantage in battle

In a nutshell, you will be able to express  yourself without others misconstruing your words.

You’ll have the words to inspire and influence others to act in ways that benefit you and your cause. You’ll have a magical wand of words that will resolve disputes and accurately describe situations in ways that do you justice and help others understand your message.

‘Tricky’ and ‘hard’ both mean difficult, but that doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable. Semantic nuances in words make some more apt than others in certain circumstances. Broadening your vocabulary will make you aware of these subtle differences and ultimately help you use the right word in the right context.

Open the door to success with the key to happiness

A strong vocabulary can lift you up and help you become the individual you one day hope to be. If your goal is to be the person who speaks eloquently and confidently in any situation, a person who inspires and teaches those around them, and someone who can use the right words in the right situation, then vocabulary improvement is the simple solution.

A strong vocabulary is the basis for lifelong learning. The more vocabulary you know, the more you’re inspired to learn and grow.

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Vocab1 to Improve Your Vocabulary





Vocab1 is today’s go-to source for improving vocabulary through enjoyable and science-driven activities and games. It’s unlike any other app because it makes learning fun. But let’s look more closely at the system to see why this software might not be the right choice for you.

You don’t want a fast way to improve vocabulary

Don’t believe anyone that tells you learning new vocabulary is time-consuming. With Vocab1 you can learn new words in a few minutes alone.

The exercises have been developed according to proven science and reputable research to ensure you can build your vocabulary fast and without much hassle. Principles like repetition and active learning ensure you work less but get impressive results.

But if you’re an old-school learner and you prefer your hand-written lists and homemade flash cards, then you might not enjoy using Vocab1’s high-tech solutions.

You think you already know the right words

There are dozens of vocabulary improving apps out there. But which one helps you learn the right words? Probably only a handful.

Vocab1 gives you access to word lists that are specifically tailored around particular disciplines, school grades, and tests to ensure you focus on the words that matter the most to your success right at this moment. The app offers 193 expert-designed word lists to choose from. Talk about choice!

Once you master your vocabulary lists you can take advantage of the dictionary-size word database to expand your lexicon even more.

However, if you believe that you’ve got the vocabulary you need to impress your boss or score high on that important exam, you probably won’t be motivated to use Vocab1.

You don’t enjoy guided learning sessions

Vocab1 2015 offers you step by step guidance so that you can improve your vocabulary through the most efficient path possible.  Featuring video tutorials and guided learning, the app ensures you have the support and encouragement you need to build your vocabulary.

But if you’re a lone wolf and want to plan your own exercise series, then you might not enjoy the hands-on guidance and personalized feedback provided by Vocab1.

You don’t think learning should be fun

Vocab1’s signature feature is its addictive and fun games. You can learn new words the fun way so that you build the motivation to improve even further with each new game!

Play the fun vocabulary games on Vocab1 for under an hour every week and you will be able to understand and correctly use new words without even realizing you’ve been practicing.

The best thing about the system’s interactive games is that you can personalize them with your own imported custom lists.

Still, if you think that the only way to learn is through repetitive review of the same lists over and over again, then Vocab1 is probably not the system you’re looking for.

You’re not concerned with succeeding at work, school, or in your social sphere

Every game and every activity is measured through advanced technology integrated with Vocab1. This achieves two great things:

1) It gives you an overview of your learning progress and helps you identify your weaknesses.

2) It offers you personalized learning recommendations to catapult your vocabulary to new heights.

Tracking your success with Vocab1 gives you the confidence to take your new vocabulary into the real world and use it immediately. However, if you don’t care about measuring your own progress and applying your skills to your own life, then you won’t enjoy using the progress tracking feature of Vocab1, either.

So there you have it. There’s absolutely no reason whatsoever why you should use Vocab1 to improve your lexicon – unless you’ve finished reading this article and have changed your mind on any of the points above. If that’s the case, look into this award-winning system right away!


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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Vocab1 to Improve Your Vocabulary

How Banishing Annual Performance Reviews Improves Employee Motivation





Annual performance reviews have gotten a bad rap in recent years – mostly because they  often do more harm than good. They’re supposed to motivate and acknowledge those employees who were doing an excellent job over the previous year, but what they really achieve is a lower employee motivation. That’s because many reviews, or reviewers, leave those who are under-performing simply embarrassed and without any incentive to try harder.

According to INC, several companies have ditched the annual performance review practice in view of the fact that, by the end of a typical review, most people feel bad about themselves, and the company doesn’t exactly benefit from it.

What you can do instead of an annual performance review

Adapting a year-long, ongoing performance feedback practice will make your employees feel more comfortable and will give them the relief of knowing that all of their work won’t be under scrutiny and open to malevolent comments from managers and other teams.

– Instead of having the organization evaluate the performance of teams and individuals, have people review each other’s performance.

– Create opportunities for informal evaluations to enable constructive feedback to your employees, teams, and colleagues.

– Encourage your team to seek feedback and advice rather than dread it by assuming a positive attitude come feedback time.

– Organize follow-ups in which you can tangibly support employees to reach their full potential within the company and offer the tools and know-how they need to succeed and keep up with the rest of their peers.

– Keep a communication channel open at all times. You never know when an employee will need your advice.

– Praise more than you criticize. Appreciating the little things and the small successes of your team and employees is what will motivate them to stay focused.

Meaningful conversations that inspire action and solve problems

Remember that employee performance is not about criticism but about meaningful conversations that positively affect the employee – and by extension, the company.

Companies that have moved past the annual review performance practice (think Atlassian, Microsoft and Accenture) now engage in truly constructive feedback sessions in which feedback is not served cold but is accompanied with coaching and other supportive initiatives like mentoring. This ensures that the feedback is turned into impactful action that ameliorates the performance of the employee at hand and removes roadblocks.

A constructive performance review model emphasizes the human principles of empathy and support.

It is grounded in the vision of an organization’s responsibility to make the best out of its employees’ talents and time, and highlights the importance of ongoing support, education, and inspiration of the workforce through a dialogue that doesn’t presume, but gives employees a pedestal to speak their concerns and voice their problems. In this model, employees work together with management find the right solution that can benefit everyone involved.

One-to-one informal evaluations

Evaluating people in front of others is a dreadful, nightmarish thing to do that can only harm your employees’ momentum and engagement with the company.

Instead, heave heartfelt, informal one-to-one sessions in which evaluations are not perceived as threats or insults but as the springboard for fixing problems and coming up with great solutions. You’ll notice the difference – and so will your employees.


Vocab1 guarantees to help you increase your vocabulary knowledge! Learn more words and apply them in your writings.

How September Got Its Name





Ever wonder why September is ninth in order and not seventh? If you’re familiar with Latin, the etymology of “September” is not hard to decode. It’s derived from the word ‘septem’ which means ‘seven.’ But if you’re feeling perplexed don’t worry. Yes, it’s the ninth month in the Gregorian Calendar. It wasn’t always like that, however.

Calendar months were moved and renamed often over the first few thousand years they were in use. At one point, the Romans decided that the month after August needed to be named. September was the next month and seventh in line – that’s because year started in March back then. January and February did not even exist yet.

So since the month after August was seventh in line, it was quite apt to name it “September.” However, the early Roman calendar (which only had 304 days) didn’t work out in the end, because the seasons eventually stopped aligning with the sun’s position in the solar system, causing confusion. That’s why around 700 BCE, the King Numa Pompilious added January and February in the calendar, extending its length by 50 or 51 days.

As a result, September was pushed back, and was ninth in line, where it has stayed.

September is memorable for more than its odd naming history, however! Here are some examples:

> September is one of only two months that start on the same day of the week every year (December is the other).

>  On September 5, 1961 air piracy was declared a crime in the United States, punishable by death or imprisonment.

> Band aids were a first-aid concept created in September.

>  National Cheese Pizza Day is celebrated September 5.

> National Teddy Bear Day is celebrated  September 9.

January is not the only month people make resolutions! The first month of fall in the Northern Hemisphere can be a month of new resolutions, personal growth pledges and new starts. This is the case because after a lovely summer vacation break September starts with you feeling energized, relaxed and ready to conquer more!


Vocab1 guarantees to help you increase your vocabulary knowledge! Learn more words and apply them in your writings.

Vocab1 – Your Questions Answered




What makes Vocab1 different?

Vocab1 is the only vocabulary learning tool in the world to use a corpus to accelerate learning. A corpus is a massive database of words in usage, developed by linguists (professors who study language).

How do I know a corpus will improve my vocabulary?

Because your brain is hard wired to learn new words through context. Typically, you need to see a new word in 10 different contexts to learn it. Up until now this could take months of reading. With Vocab1 you can read the word 10 different contexts in just a few minutes.

Who made the corpus?

The corpus used in Vocab1 is called COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English) and we created by the talented linguists at Brigham Young University. eReflect have done a special licensing deal to use the corpus in our vocabulary products.

Why don’t other programs do this?

A corpus alone is not enough to produce vocabulary context. At eReflect we did another 6 months of advanced research and data processing in order to extract the contextual usage examples from the database. This was a massive task and it’s the reason Vocab1 is the only program to offer this technology.

What is the difference between Vocab1 and Ultimate Vocabulary?

While Ultimate Vocabulary is a powerful program, it was originally developed in 2006, and a lot has changed since then. Vocab1 is our next generation vocabulary tool for a new era of advanced cloud computing.

The main new feature in Vocab1 is the corpus based learning to create massive context. Vocab 1 has also been completely reimagined in terms of user experience, reliability, and features.

Why is massive context a huge leap in vocabulary learning?

Research shows that our brains are hardwired to learn new words by reading or hearing them in context. In fact, we now believe that is the only way to learn new words effectively. Vocab1 leverages this knowledge by providing multiple examples of real-world context for every word. This means you can get more context in a few minutes than you previously would have in months. This accelerates your learning to almost “superhuman” levels.

What is the difference between Vocab1’s Context and dictionary usage examples?

Most dictionaries only provide 1 or 2 examples, which is nowhere near enough. In addition, the examples are contrived and do not simulate context in the real world. Vocab1 provides dozens of examples that are extracted from actual usage in the real world.

What are the games and activities in Vocab1?

The games and activities are there to accelerate your learning even more and to make vocabulary fun. The games featured in Vocab1 are based on the most popular games from previous products. Only they have been updated and improved. They are now more user friendly, faster, and fun.

See Also:

Special PDF Report – The Power of Vocabulary Context

Vocab1 Spy Screenshots Revealed