How to Make the Most of Your schoolwork

March 15, 2019

 

Publish your schoolwork.

 

Write your papers, do your projects, submit what you need to submit to your teacher/professor/authority figure and get your grade, but don't stop there. Once you've received some feedback on your work, go ahead and send it out into the world (cool kids call this "shipping").

 

You don't need to have connections with an academic journal or newspaper, just drop your work on social media or publish to a personal website. This will result in two helpful things.

 

1. You'll start to read your papers and look at your projects in a different light. If you're proud of your grade on an essay but you're aware that, if you hadn't written it, you'd be loath to read it. Or if you wince at the idea of subjecting friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers to your rubric-optimized case study. You'll be able to practice editing and reformatting your work for a different type of audience (a potentially more important audience).

 

2. Your work is exposed to feedback from a very large pool. More than likely, your social network hosts a large range of people with varying backgrounds and experience. Peers in your field, experts in other careers, people with little interest in you or what you're studying. 

 

It may seem like a hassle to expose your fragile thoughts to an onslaught of unexpected opinions, but it can be very helpful. In my experience, engaging in discussion posts or conversations with class peers can be a pretty static experience (with notable exceptions), the moments when my work (and I) have grown the most have been when I've been forced to defend or explain my ideas to someone with an entirely different perspective or someone with very little initial knowledge/interest.

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