How a Second Year Political Science Student Now Approaches Essays Differently

I think most freshmen approach writing their first university research papers as a challenging experience, unless they are absolutely positive their research and writing skills are at the university level. However, over-confident students run the severe risk of underestimating expectations and doing poorly.

When the time came to write my first Political Science essay, I knew what my problem areas were: I didn’t do all the readings, didn’t have confidence in my research methods, didn’t like my research, and didn’t know how to cite in Chicago style. Not good.

Fast-forward to today. I did well on that essay; however, I could have done much better had I followed these tips I learned through my experience:

  1. Get to the point and use concise language. Nothing screams insecure writer like never getting to the point.
  2. Don’t repeat your lecture material. The point of a research paper is to do research!
  3. Ensure your citations are on point, or risk being accused of plagiarism.
  4. Don’t get tunnel vision while researching. Keep your thesis in mind by maintaining a simple outline to avoid getting overwhelmed by irrelevant research.
  5. Talk to your TA during office hours. My excuse for not going last semester was my commute, but I was really just too intimidated to go. I’ll change that this time around.

I am not naive. I’m aware I’m going through some new-semester hyper- motivation that may or may not burn out by the time midterms come around. Hopefully I can keep some of the tips I’ve given myself in mind, but sometimes Netflix gets in the way. Nonetheless, I take pride in what I’ve learned and the work I do in my program. I will always try my best to improve and do well on my papers.

Undressing Nightlife Dress Codes

During the summer months my friends and I rarely stay inside the house. We can usually be found barhopping downtown. Having explored Toronto’s nightlife for over a year, it is easy to stop noticing things. For example, how most of the attire for females at bars and clubs isn’t exactly what you would wear to church on Sunday. Being a student in downtown Toronto lead me to become unaware of the nightlife expectations placed on us.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe this summer, meaning I had the opportunity to explore the nightlife of other cities. My first night out I was with a mid- to late twenty-something crowd when we decided to go to a trendy rooftop club in the heart Rome’s l’Eur. It was packed. So packed that the line extended down the street. We were lucky to get in because we knew someone (ayeeee connections!). Once inside, it was like a club in Toronto except cleaner and less trashy. Also noticeable was how the women there were dressed. These girls were dressed like a girl in Toronto would be dressed to go to dinner or the movies and they looked super comfortable and happy with themselves.

Moreover, how they felt and looked translated in the way the opposite sex reached out to them. In Toronto, most males at bars or clubs act a certain way, and lets just say they aren’t usually looking to get to know you the next day. In Rome, I was approached by a few guys (from the ages of early twenties all the way to late twenties) and I found –here comes the real shocker—that they were interested in actually getting to know my likes, dislikes, interests…ME. They weren’t touchy and extremely respectful. True gentlemen.

After recovering from those nights and getting some deeply deserved sleep, I started to think about what would happen if my friends in Toronto and I dressed the way the other girls and I did at clubs in Italy. I knew the reaction of other people, both guys and girls, would be completely different. Why is that? Why is it that in Toronto if women don’t dress like pop culture tells them to they are most likely not taken seriously, or completely ignored? Or sometimes not even LET IN to these bars and clubs? I mean Italy has pop culture too, less significant on a world scale but still very prominent in society. Is it because in Italy the culture expresses the idea that less makeup and more clothing is more? Is it a result of the influence of the American film, music, and fashion industries on Canada, or more specifically Toronto? Is it because females think that they have to show it all off even if they don’t want to just to get any attention?

I was almost 100% certain that if I went to a bar dressed with the same outfit that I loved and felt great in on one of my nights out in Rome or Milan, I would be completely snubbed by the boys, the girls, the bartender, the bodyguards, etc. So, since I like being proven right I decided to test it out. So Friday night, my best friend Amanda and I both tested it out and dressed how we wanted to dress. That is, in a nice pair of jeans, crewneck tank tops, and sandals and go to a hip bar downtown. We get to the front of the line and while the body guard checking our IDs didn’t say anything, his eyes said it all. We go inside and as predicted we didn’t make as many friends and we would have if we dressed in our usual attires when we go out. However, the friends we did make are still in contact with us for future outings (very interesting, am I right?).

So at the end of this, what did I learn? People going to bars and clubs are going to dress in different ways and people should dress however they want, not they way society, the bodyguards, the location, or whatever tells us to. I learned this in Rome, Milan, and Toronto.

Moral of the story: dress however the hell you want. You do you.

Enter for your chance to WIN passes to the advance screening of #STORKS, in theaters September 23rd

The advance screening will take place August 17th 2016, at Scotiabank Theatre at 7 pm.

For your chance to win one of five tickets, answer the following question in the comments below.

Who voices “Junior” in #STORKS?

Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant.  Junior, the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable, and wholly unauthorized, baby girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop – in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.

Enter for your chance to WIN a double pass to see #SULLY in theatres September 9th

The advance screening will take place August 17th 2016, at Scotiabank Theatre at 7 pm.

For your chance to win one of five tickets, answer the following question in the comments below.

Who is the director of #SULLY?

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

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Enter for your chance to WIN free passes to the advance screening of WAR DOGS, in theatres August 19th, 2016

The advance screening will take place August 17th 2016, at Scotiabank Theatre at 7 pm.

For your chance to win one of five tickets, answer the following question in the comments below.

Who is the director of #WarDogs?

“War Dogs” follows two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan Military—a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government.

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Enter for your chance to WIN free passes to the advance screening of SUICIDE SQUAD, in theaters August 5th, 2016

The advance screening will take place August 3rd 2016, at Yonge and Dundas Cineplex theatre at 7 pm.

For your chance to win a ticket double pass, answer the following question in the comments below.

Which actor plays Deadshot in #SuicideSquad?

It feels good to be bad.

Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

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Enter for your chance to WIN passes to the advance screening of LIGHTS OUT, in theatres July 22nd, 2016

The advance screening will take place on Wednesday July 20th, at Scotiabank Theatre at 7 pm.

For your chance to win one of five tickets, answer the following question in the comments below.

Which actor plays Rebecca in #LightsOut?

From producer James Wan (“The Conjuring”) comes a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.

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