Tips for college (and college writing)

This first week I’ll be introducing the course, talking about what college writing is and what habits of mind will be helpful for you to be successful as a college write; I’ll explain in the next post something of my view on this pull we all (or most of us) feel these days between paper and screen. You will be setting up your blog this week as well–see a later post for tech details and a short video.

Before I get started with the specifics, here are a few general tips for things to keep in mind as you start a new semester (and maybe your college career!):


  • Decide on an email address to use ( may not be your best choice…) If you do not already have a google account, you may want to set one up.  You may want to set up a gmail account as well, if you do not have a “professional” address to use for school.
  • If you do not plan to regularly check your AccessBCC email, set the auto-forward option to an email address you do check more often.
  • Set your email preferences so that sent messages are saved (to preserve a record in case instructors do not receive your emails).
  • Add your instructors’ email addresses to your contact list. Consider exchanging email addresses with classmates who sit nearby, or exchange names to friend them on FB.


  • Organize both paper folders and computer folders to save handouts, notes, and your assignments. You may want to set up a Dropbox account, or use Google Drive to share files between computers.
  • Look over your daily schedule to plan a time and place to work. The usual recommendation for a f2f class is two hours out of class for every hour in class, so you can expect a three-credit course to take six hours out of class per week; for an online class this would translate of course to nine hours per week for a fifteen-week semester. Since this is only a six-week class, you can expect to spend–how many hours is that?–…a lot of time per week to complete the coursework successfully.
  • If you do spend some time on campus, think about how to use free time there productively; find your own niche or hideaway where you can study, or drop by to see one of your professors.

BCC resources

  • Get your accessBCC card activated as a library card; see this FYE experience blog post for more info on how you can use your card. Please do this right away if you have not done so yet; some of the readings for the class may come from our online databases, and you will need to have activated your library card in order to access those resources.
  • Locate computer labs (in the library and K), the and Learning Commons, in B110).
  • Check out the Art Gallery and fitness center, both free to BCC students. On a nice day take a walk around the pond; get a bite to eat in the cafeteria in G or the food cart in C.

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