Tag Archives: Millersville University

The 5 Step Essay Writing Process That Will Help You Write Better Papers

Whether you’re writing a 500 word paper or a 30 page paper, writing an essay can be challenging. Figuring out how to get your point across, the proper diction, paragraph organization, and more before a deadline can feel like a daunting task. Even if you’re a great writer, the writing process isn’t always going to be easy. Fortunately, I have a 5 step writing process that makes essay writing a bit easier, and that helps you write better papers:

Step 1: Determine your purpose for writing the paper.

This first step is probably the most important step you can take when writing a paper. Defining the subject of the paper will help guide you in what to write. It is much easier to research something and write about it when you know exactly what it is you’re trying to write. Look over the assignment carefully to gain a better understanding of what your professor wants from the paper. Ask yourself the following question: What do you want the reader to know after reading this paper? Remember: When you write with a purpose in mind, your paper will have purpose. Make sure you know the goal you’re trying to accomplish well and how you can convey the message to your reader.

Step 2: Write down everything and anything about your topic.

Before you can start to write or even outline, you have to have ideas. Ideas are the starting point of any paper. Think about the overall point you want to get across to your reader that you defined in step one. For example, let’s say you’re writing a paper on why business X is successful. Do research on the business and on what defines success for that business and dump thoughts, links, quotes, statistics, and anything you can find on the subject into a document. This doesn’t need to have any structure or clear reasoning behind it just yet. This is simply a chance for you to brainstorm and collect information. This will also help give you a better understanding of the topic of your paper and will be extremely useful when the time comes to start writing. 

Step 3: Organize your thoughts.

Step three is when you sift through the research from step two and find the most valuable pieces of information that you’ll want to include in your paper. This is the step where you can create an outline. Keep in mind that outlines don’t have to be extremely detailed and lengthy; just think of the main points you want to write about and underneath those points, include supporting information. While you may be eager to begin the writing process and want to skip doing an outline, I wouldn’t recommend it. Outlines are a great way to organize your paper in a logical way. Start with your introduction which should include your thesis (what you want the reader to know after reading your paper), then body paragraphs where you share information that supports your thesis, and a conclusion that ties the paper together and summarizes what you’ve written. It sounds simple enough, and you’ve most likely been writing papers with this structure for most of your life, but it can be easy to neglect the basics and let your paper go off the tracks. Create an outline to organize your paper and see how each element of the paper will work together to accomplish your vision.

Step 4: Start writing, then take a step back.

Step four is when the writing begins. It might sound a little late in the process to start writing the paper itself, but after you’ve done the first three steps, this part of the process will be made significantly easier. Use your outline as a guide for writing. It is also very important to make sure that you read all of your professors guidelines for the paper so you know you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, as I mentioned in step one. If there is a rubric, make sure to look it over so that you know what you’re being graded on.

Remember that you can always go back to previous steps in this process and do more research or add things to your outline if you realize adjustments need to be made as you write. In fact, I strongly encourage you to do this to make sure your paper is exactly how you want it to be and satisfies the requirements. Refer back to your professors instructions regularly to make sure you’re on the right track. After you’ve written your paper, I recommend you step away from it for a while and do something else. This is so that when you come back to it, you can find mistakes that you may have overlooked before. It also gives you a mental break and prevents you from becoming overwhelmed.

Step 5: Grade your own paper.

This last step requires you to put yourself in your professors shoes. Once your paper is finished, read it over as if you weren’t the one who wrote it. When you’re done reading, write down what you believe the purpose of the paper was. If this matches the purpose you wrote down for yourself in step one, that’s great! That means you effectively conveyed what you wanted to to the reader. However, it’s always good to get a second opinion, so I would recommend having a peer, someone from the Writing Center, or even your professor look it over and give you their thoughts. You should also give yourself a grade and some feedback after reading it. It might feel a little strange to grade your own paper, but it’s very useful. If you feel like your paper was worthy of a B, think about what you could change to make it an A-worthy paper. What do you feel like was missing? What did you like about the paper? Was there anything you disliked about it? Being totally honest with yourself during this step will improve the quality of your paper. 

Try using this 5 step process for your next writing assignment!

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Meet The RA’s: South Village RA’s Grace Howell and Garrett Howell

Welcome to the second post in our series “Meet the RA’s”! This series consists of posts that will help you get to know the different RA’s that help make the residence halls great. This post will be about South Village RA’s Grace Howell and Garrett Howell!

Grace Howell:

Where are you from?

Grace (G): Millerstown, PA

What is your major?

G: Secondary Math Education

What is one fun fact about yourself?

G: I have a glow in the dark beta fish named Bea.

What is your favorite hobby/pastime?

G: My favorite hobby/pastime is probably playing field hockey or baking.

Who do you see as a role model?

G: My role model is my grandfather.

What advice do you have for new Marauders?

G: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get involved, you will meet some of your best friends that way.

What are you looking forward to most as an RA this year?

G: Building a strong community with my residents.

What do you plan to do after graduating from Millersville?

G: Get a job at my high school teaching Algebra 2 or Calculus.

Garrett Howell

Where are you from?

Garrett (G): Millerstown, PA

What is your major?

G: English, planning to minor in Criminology.

What is one fun fact about yourself?

G: I have an English Bulldog named Floyd.

What is your favorite hobby/pastime?

G: I love to watch movies or play games with my friends.

Who do you see as a role model?

G: My father.

What advice do you have for new Marauders?

G: To embrace the atmosphere, the cultures, and the different things Millersville has to offer.

What are you looking forward to most as an RA this year?

G: Meeting new people and helping new students get to know and love Millersville.

What do you plan to do after graduating from Millersville?

G: Attend law school.

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Stay tuned for more posts in this series! If you are a resident and your RA is either Grace or Garrett, let us know what you love about them in the comments.

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Housing Zoom Open Forums – Spring 2021 Housing

Housing and Residential Programs staff understands that students and parents have questions regarding Spring 2021 housing. We highly encourage students and parents to join us for our open forums we will be holding via Zoom. Before attending a forum, please check that your question has not already been answered in our FAQ post.

Zoom Open Forum Schedule:

  • Tuesday October 13, 2020 from 10:00am-11:00am
  • Thursday October 15, 2020 from 10:00am-11:00am
  • Tuesday October 20, 2020 from 10:00am-11:00am
  • Thursday October 22, 2020 from 10:00am-11:00am

Please visit the following link at the scheduled time and date of the open forum you’d like to attend: https://millersville.zoom.us/j/95434605528. Or, type the following Meeting ID into Zoom to join: 954 3460 5528

We look forward to hearing your questions and helping provide you with more information about Spring 2021 Housing!

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Explore Leadership Series

“The Explore Leadership series is for students at all levels of experience and involvement. This series will explore students personal purpose, values, privileges, health and wellness, transferable skills, goals, and community resources. We will explore various aspects of leadership and develop skills and self-awareness that will empower students to lead on campus and in their lives after graduation.”

We highly encourage you to attend the Explore Leadership Series Zoom sessions to get connected to your fellow PASSHE students and gain leadership skills!

Featured Sessions:

  1. Monday, November 2nd at 8pm: Community Connection
  2. Monday, November 9th at 8pm: Know Your Purpose, Know Your Values
  3. Monday, November 16th at 8pm: Community Resources
  4. Monday, November 23rd at 8pm: Diversity, Inclusion, & Privilege 
  5. Monday, November 30th at 8pm: Transferable Skills & Self Care
If you’re interested in receiving Zoom links for the sessions, fill out the interest form. 

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Spring 2021 Housing Application Information

The Spring 2021 Housing application will open on October 1, 2020.
You can access the application by logging into your MAX account and following this path: Student Services > Housing and Dining > myHousing > Applications.
Students will be placed 1 student per bedroom.
Email housing@millersville.edu with any questions, and subscribe to this site for email notifications whenever we share an update. Follow us on our Twitter and Instagram accounts for updates as well!

Meet the RA’s: East Village RA’s Delany Colgan and Madison Green

Welcome to the first post of our new series: Meet the RA’s! This series will consist of posts that will help you get to know the different RA’s that help make the residence halls great. This post will be all about East Village RA’s Delany Colgan and Madison Green!

Delany Colgan:

Where are you from?

Delany (D): Hanover, PA

What is your major?

D: Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a minor in Integrative STEM

What is one fun fact about yourself?

D: I’m talented in small DIY projects.

What is your favorite hobby/pastime?

D: Shopping.

Who do you see as a role model?

D: My mom.

What advice do you have for new Marauders?

D: Stay organized and on top of everything, it’s very easy to slip up.

What are you looking forward to most as an RA this year?

D: Making connections with each of my residents.

What do you plan to do after graduating from Millersville?

D: Become a teacher! Preferably 1st or 2nd grade, but I’ll take whichever grade I can get! I also want to move to the South.

Madison Green:

Where are you from?

Madison (M): Carlisle, PA

What is your major?

M: Communications major with a concentration in PR and a minor in Politics

What is one fun fact about yourself?

M: I auditioned for American Idol when I was 16.

What is your favorite hobby/pastime?

M: I love watching TV shows.

Who do you see as a role model?

M: I see everyone around me as a role model because you can always learn something from others that can change your life.

What advice do you have for new Marauders?

M: Try everything you can and make memories everywhere you go!

What are you looking forward to most as an RA this year?

M: I am looking forward to being a positive influence on others, meeting new people, and learning about different backgrounds.

What do you plan to do after graduating from Millersville?

M: Hopefully find a good paying job.

Stay tuned for more posts in this series! If you are a resident and your RA is either Delany or Madison, let us know what you love about them in the comments.

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True or False: How Much Do You Know About Millersville’s History?

Think you know a lot about Millersville University? Test your knowledge by trying to answer the following true or false questions about MU! If you don’t know much about Millersville’s history, then keep reading for some interesting facts that you’ve probably never heard before and that you can impress your friends with.

All facts and information provided in this blog post are from the book “We Sing to Thee: A History of Millersville University” written by Dr. Dennis Downey, retired professor of history and former Director of the Millersville Honors program.

1. Millersville University was established in 1855, but was not named “Millersville University” until 1983.

TRUE! Millersville University was previously known as the “Lancaster County Normal School” and was renamed the “Millersville State Normal School” in 1859. The name was changed again in 1927 to “Millersville State Teachers College,” but once it started offering baccalaureate degrees, it became “Millersville State College” in 1959. Finally, the school was named “Millersville University” in 1983.

2. Millersville University’s yearbooks were originally entitled “The Wickersham”.

TRUE! The first yearbook was published in 1899 and was titled “The Wickersham” until 1901 when it was changed to “The Millersvillian.” It was changed for the last time (as of right now) in 1909 to “The Touchstone.”

3. After World War II, the return of veterans as well as the baby boom caused Millersville University’s (known as “Millersville State Teachers College” at the time) student population to double in size. 

FALSE! The student population actually tripled to more than 700 students within two years following World War II. Veterans were excited about the benefits of receiving an education and the opportunities it would provide for their families. 

4. The first study abroad opportunity was for Marburg, Germany, and was offered to German-language students starting in 1963. 

TRUE! This study abroad experience paved the way for other study abroad opportunities in places such as Great Britain, Ireland, China, and Eastern Europe.

5. Millersville University officially opened on August 17, 1855.

FALSE! Millersville University (then known as the “Lancaster County Normal School”) opened in the borough of Millersville on April 17, 1855, not August 17. Nearly 150 students enrolled in the school which was established as a three-month institute for teacher training. Lancaster County Normal School was actually the first normal school in Pennsylvania! 

6. In the year 1860, almost 80% of the student population was female. 

FALSE! In 1860, 341 of the 443 total number of students enrolled were men, and the remaining 102 students were female. In 1890, the trend of more male students than female students had stopped, and the number of male versus female enrollments was fairly equal. In 1895, there were 590 female students enrolled and 533 male students enrolled, making it the first year since 1856 that there were more female students than male students. 

How many of these facts did you know? Let us know in the comments!

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Should You Declare a Minor?

In college, your major is your main focus as far as academics go; it’s what most of your courses are based around and it’s what you’ll receive a degree in. Picking a major can be challenging, especially if you have multiple interests. Fortunately, if you’re interested in a certain subject but don’t want to make it your major, you can minor in it! Minors are a great way to increase your knowledge on a subject, whether that subject ties into your major or if it’s just something you’d like to know more about.

Here is some advice that will help guide your decision of whether or not adding a minor is the right choice for you:

Minors have certain requirements that need to be fulfilled just like majors do. Click here to view the list of minors Millersville offers and their requirements. Your advisor is a great resource to go to with any questions about minors. It’s also important to talk to your advisor when considering a minor to make sure you are actually eligible to minor in that field. For example, a Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing cannot minor in Management. They would instead have to add management as a second concentration. Before you meet with your advisor, I’d recommend doing some research on your own to learn more about the minor you’re considering. If you’re interested in minoring in Psychology, for example, you could look into Millerville’s Psychology Department, the faculty and staff, and research the required courses to see if it’s a good fit for you.  Having this information can help you decide if declaring a minor is the right choice for you. 

Minors related to your degree are a good way to learn more about the field you’re interested in, may expand your job opportunities after graduation, and can help your resume stand out among other job candidates. However, don’t limit yourself to thinking that you can’t or shouldn’t minor in a field that isn’t related to your major – you can! Robert Kiyosaki, a businessman and author, said that the most important thing a person can do to help themselves is “to know a little about a lot.” Having a minor that isn’t related to your major can help you graduate with a more varied skill set and knowledge in more than one subject area. 

The biggest piece of advice I can give you when deciding on whether or not to declare a minor is to know yourself. Can you handle the additional courses? Will you still graduate on time? Is it something you’re really interested in? What do you want to get out of it? These are all good questions to ask yourself during this process. You may want to declare a minor to appear more well-rounded and hard working to employers, but standing out to employers also requires things like good grades and participation in extracurricular events.  If a minor interferes with these things, it may not be the right choice for you. If you already have your plate full with other courses and maybe a part-time or full-time job, or if you’re struggling to keep your grades up, I’d recommend making a pros and cons list to help you weigh your options and reach out to your advisor for advice. 

It’s important to remember that even without a minor, there’s still plenty you can do to make sure your a good candidate for jobs once you graduate. Click here to read an article from the American Marketing Association where two recruiters answer questions about things such as what they look for in a resume and how to get noticed, or this article from Indeed.com about how to impress potential employers and coworkers during a job interview. Of course, you can also still explore a subject area you’re interested in without declaring a minor in it by simply taking a few elective courses.

You can remove a minor at any time, so there’s no pressure to stick with something that isn’t working out for you. To add, remove, or change a minor, visit this link and fill out the form called “Academic Program Change Request”. This form was called the “Academic Minor” form until very recently, so if you hear it called that, just know the person is talking about the “Academic Program Change Request”.

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you’re happy with your choice and that you’re doing what’s best for yourself and your education. 

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How to Set and Achieve Your Goals

Setting and achieving goals is important, but can be challenging for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re not sure how to get started, or you’re having trouble staying motivated to reach your goal. Keep reading to find out how to set achievable goals and how you can accomplish them.

It’s important to understand why you should set goals for yourself in the first place. When you set goals for yourself, you set yourself on a path for success. Without goals, you won’t be able to grow and reach your full potential. Vivak Patel, Interim Director of Enrollment Management, says the following about the benefits of setting goals:  “Goal setting not only helps us achieve new heights and grow as an individual, it creates the blueprint for transforming our visions into reality. Progressing towards goals will create a path full of satisfaction and setting goals are your first steps.” Once you recognize that, you can start the goal setting process.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Take responsibility: Acknowledge that you are in control of your life and if there’s something you want, you’re the one who has to take action to get it. Knowing yourself and realizing it’s up to you to follow through with it will help motivate you to take those first steps. As much as I wish I could just snap my fingers and magically do well on all my assignments in order to reach my goal of getting better grades, I know it’s up to me to study harder and put more time into my schoolwork if I want to do better. Plus, reaching a goal through your own efforts rather than the efforts of someone or something else makes reaching your goal feel like an even greater accomplishment.

2. Recognize what you want to achieve: Once you have a goal in mind, understand the reasons you want to achieve that goal. For example, my goal is to get better grades. I want to get better grades because I want to prove to myself that I’m smarter than I think and so I can set myself up for success after college. Knowing why I want to reach a certain goal is especially helpful for when I find myself struggling on the path to reaching it. My reasons for setting the goal in the first place remind me not to give up when things get difficult. On the path to success, you’ll likely face setbacks that may make you question whether or not your goal is really worth it. If something means a lot to you, you need to work to overcome the challenges and keep striving for it. Click here to read an article that shares 8 strategies for how to not give up.

3. Make a plan: When goal setting, it’s important to understand everything that you’ll have to do in order to reach that goal. Make sure your plan is realistic and attainable. Try to make a schedule that you’ll feel encouraged to stick with. For example, if you want to become a vegetarian, it’s much easier to start incorporating vegetarian alternatives into your meals gradually than to completely switch to an all-vegetarian diet. You could pick one day of the week where you only eat vegetarian foods, then slowly add another day, then do three days, and so on. Remember that some things will take time and there may be setbacks, but don’t let that discourage you. Make a plan and try your best to follow it closely, but make adjustments when you feel it’s necessary.

4. Don’t take on too much by yourself: Dr. Rachel Finley-Bowman, Dean of Student Success and Associate Provost, says this about not overwhelming yourself and feeling like you’re alone when trying to accomplish your goals: “When striving to set and achieve goals, two pieces of advice immediately come to mind – (1) think small and (2) ask for and accept support. The first suggestion doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t reach for your greatest dreams, but recognizes instead that any large goal is a sum of smaller parts. Prioritize and focus upon how you can achieve each part along the way. This helps to lessen anxiety about the overall task and gives you victories to celebrate as you progress in your journey. Teamwork and collaboration also promote achievement and so don’t be afraid to ask for support or accept it when it is offered. Every faculty and staff member in the MU learning community are stakeholders in your success. Leverage our expertise and guidance to help you achieve your goals.”

5. Visualize your goals and visualize yourself achieving them: Once you have an idea of what it will look like when you reach your goals, you’ll feel more inspired to achieve them. If your goal is to participate in more community service events, picture what that will look like and how it will feel to help others. Visualizing your goals will also help you recognize if a goal is unrealistic or not. If you’re a student taking several classes and you also have a job where you work long shifts, you may realize that participating in community service events regularly would be a challenge and you can adjust your goal accordingly. Vivak Patel recommends creating a vision board to help with visualization. He says, “Create, print, and cut out images that associate with your goals and hang them up on a board or even your wall. Place it in your room or somewhere that is visible for you. Look at your vision board each morning. Visualization will help you reach the goals that you set and this technique is used by the most successful people in the world.”

6. Reward yourself along the way: As you get closer to reaching your goal, reward yourself as an incentive to keep working. Whenever I study really hard for a test and do well on that test, I like to reward myself by buying my favorite candy. Telling myself that I’ll get M&M’s if I work hard gives me the motivation to get things done. It also makes me feel good after my hard work pays off and makes me want to study harder for my next test.  You should also reward yourself because you deserve to! Working towards a goal takes determination and work. Reaching milestones when trying to accomplish a certain goal, no matter how big or small, deserves recognition and celebration.

If there’s something you want to achieve, follow the steps above to help you achieve it. Remember that the faculty and staff at MU want to help you succeed however they can. Reach out to them for guidance and support when setting and achieving goals. Comment some goals you have that you’d like to start working towards. Remember, if you really want something and believe that it’s attainable, don’t give up on it!

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Fall 2020 MU Academic Resilience Speaker Series

This fall, Dr. Ann Gaudino and Dr. Margaret Mbindyo have organized an Academic Resilience Speaker Series which features great speakers on topics surrounding how and why students can develop academic resilience. Academic resilience is the ability to overcome challenges and grow from them. Academic resilience is especially important now because of the challenges and disruptions brought about by the pandemic.

Webinar meetings run every other Wednesday from 12:00pm-1:00pm between September 9th-November 18th. Click here or here to register, or scan the QR code in the graphic above.

We strongly encourage you to attend these webinars to learn how you can achieve academic success and to receive support!