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Matthew SchwartzStudent Spotlight

Matthew Schwartz
Richmond, VA
Journalism

I honestly chose the University of Memphis because it was far from home! It gave me a chance to be independent from my family, and has more than exceeded my expectations. I have become involved in projects and organizations that interest me, found a group of friends who will be lifelong, and explored a city that has a lot to offer.

Importance of Math and Writing

At this point in high school you have experienced a wide variety of subjects - some you've liked and some you probably haven't. Like most students you probably cringe at the thought of math homework and have nightmares about that term paper for English, but somewhere in the back of your mind, you realize the importance of each of these subjects. Your ability to succeed in college is largely dependent on your ability to excel in writing and math. This is not to say that you should place less emphasis on other subjects, but rather strive to excel in these two areas.

Nearly every course you'll take in college will involve extensive composition and writing. The ability to write is not exclusive to English courses in college. Below are just a few suggestions you should consider to enhance your composition and writing skills and better prepare yourself for college.

1. Research and become familiar with different methods of writing.
2. Gather inputs from your parents and teachers on your writing clarity.
3. Study writing styles from various subject perspectives.
4. Compare the differences in a literature term paper and a business proposal written for a management class.
5. Practice your writing skills by drafting brief summaries of newspaper or magazine articles.
6. Read the written summaries several weeks later and critique them for clarity and sensibility.
7. Have others read and explain their understanding of the summaries with you.
In addition to writing, being able to think and reason analytically is extremely important in college. The ability to perform mathematical calculations will be required in many courses ranging from Algebra, Accounting, Finance, and Statistics. You are encouraged to reach beyond your nightly homework assignments in Math/Algebra to strengthen your ability to think analytically. Request additional problems from your teachers in order to challenge your skills. This extra effort will likely reward you with success after you enter college.

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Last Updated: 6/30/14