This semester, I’ve written around 30 papers. High school definitely did NOT prepare me for this, but I somehow managed to get through it. The most useful tool that I use would be outlining. Outlining was a key factor in both my political science research paper and my political philosophy paper because they were so long. I was extremely overwhelmed when I started gathering research for the research paper. I was getting so many good sources, but it was really hard to organize them. When I had my conference with Professor Miller, she noticed I was having trouble and helped me create a rough outline of my paper. Once the outline was done, I immediately felt relief because I had a foundation for my paper. I find that when I don’t use outlines, my papers are disorganized and I often get lost in my thoughts. Have you ever had so many good things to say but you didn’t know where to start? Outlining solves this problem. When I see everything laid out in front of me it helps me stay on track. I also found that I’m less likely to forget important details when I outline. I suggest that everyone starts outlining it seriously makes writing so much easier!!!


This is a sample outline of a basic five paragraph essay.



The Dangers of Drinking

Throughout high school and especially college, students are surrounded by alcohol. Whether or not they try it is up to them, but let’s be honest, most of us do. When you drink responsibly, alcohol can allow people to loosen up and have a good time, but you still have to watch yourself. Alcohol is a serious substance and misusing it just one time can result in horrible injuries or even death. Unfortunately, my family has been personally affected by someone misusing alcohol. My aunt was hit and killed by a drunk driver while standing on the sidewalk of a busy road. This was a devastating loss for my family especially because it’s so easy to prevent. We should have programs that help educate everyone on safe drinking to stop anything like this from ever happening again. Having victims or their families come to speak and raise awareness on the severity of the topic would be so beneficial and could prevent so many tragedies. I always here stories of people dying because they drink too much or because a drunk driver was on the road. Alcohol also causes so many other issues like sexual abuse and even health problems. Misusing alcohol is 100% preventable and we should raise awareness to stop it.


Languages Are More Than Words

In From Silence to Words: Writing as Struggle, Min-Zhan Lu has a very interesting meaning behind saying there are “voices in her mind.” Living in China, Lu grew up in a family where she learned Shanghai dialect and English, and was forced to go to school where they spoke Standard Chinese. This left her conflicted between her two lives since she was expected to speak different languages and behave differently. She metaphorically compares languages to tools to show how she believed languages worked. This explained that in order to learn these languages and behaviors, you had to use the “tools” and be taught the skills by someone who has already mastered them. I experienced a situation similar to this when I went to Mexico last spring, not to the same extent of course. I’ve been taking Spanish in school since second grade so you’d think I’d be good at it by now. My dad would always ask me to speak to the hotel staff in Spanish and thats when I realized that I wasn’t as good as I thought. I was taught the “school Spanish” and that’s probably not the Spanish they speak. Luckily, most of them also spoke a decent amount of English. In a week alone I could see how language barriers could create an issue. Imagine being an immigrant that had to go through Ellis Island without a clue of how to communicate with anyone? There are countless different “voices” at Ellis Island because of all the different people that have taken the journey to America from their foreign home countries. Those same “voices” now walk the same streets we do and have impacted America greatly.

Evolution of the American Dream

When I hear the term “American Dream,” the first thing I think about is a middle class family consisting of a working husband and a stay at home wife taking care of their two and a half children. Let’s not forget about the perfect house with pristine grass and a white picket fence. This vision was obviously embedded in my head by my teachers in middle school and high school and is extremely outdated. In todays society, people are focused on material possessions and don’t just stop at having a nice house and family. There’s nothing wrong with wanted to splurge a little, but some people have taken the American Dream to new extremes.

Many celebrities live the lavish lifestyle that ordinary people could only wish for. Obviously everyone knows the (unfortunately) iconic Kardashian family and the disgusting amount of money they have. Their TV show still runs because people enjoy watching the Kardashians live the American Dream. Countless mansions, luxury vehicles and trips to exotic places definitely make their show worth watching. Recently Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the clan, turned 18 and her 25 year old boyfriend, Tyga, bought her a $320,000 Ferrari. Don’t get me wrong if someone handed me the keys to a brand new Ferrari I would be more than happy to take it, but in reality, she’s 18 and that is absolutely absurd. The American Dream has really been blown out of proportion since these things aren’t feasible for your average citizen to achieve. But hey, it’s called the American DREAM for a reason, right? The Kardashians sure are living the dream of wealth and well-being.kylie-tyga-inset