Choosing a Strong Research Topic

Start Smart with Preliminary Research

What is a Strong Topic?
You’ll be spending a lot of time on a research paper, so it is particularly important to select a topic that you really enjoy working with. But alas, it’s not that simple!
To make your project a success, you’ll have to ensure that the topic is strong, as well as enjoyable. What does this mean? Unfortunately, you might find a topic that you like a lot, and go on to develop a strong thesis with no trouble at all. Then, you find yourself spending an afternoon at the library and discovering one or two problems.

1. You could find that very little research is available on your subject. This is a common hazard that wastes time and disrupts your mental flow and confidence. As much as you may like your topic, you may want to give it up at the start if you know you’re going to run into trouble finding information for your paper.
2. You may find that the research doesn’t support your thesis. Oops! This is a common frustration for professors who publish a lot. They often come up with intriguing and exciting new ideas, only to find that all the research points in a different direction. Don’t stick with an idea if you see lots of evidence that refutes it!

To avoid those pitfalls, it is important to select more than one topic from the start. Find three or four topics that interest you, then, go to the library or an Internet-connected computer at home and conduct a preliminary search of each topic.
Determine which project idea can be supported with plenty of published material. This way, you will be able to select a final topic that is both interesting and feasible.

Preliminary Searches
Preliminary searches can be done pretty quickly; there is no need to spend hours in the library. As a matter of fact, you can start at home, on your own computer.Choose a topic and do a basic computer search.
Take note of the types of sources that appear for each topic. For instance, you may come up with fifty web pages that concern your topic, but no books or articles.This is not a good result! Your teacher will be looking for (and perhaps requiring) a variety of sources, to include articles, books, and encyclopedia references. Don’t select a topic that doesn’t appear in books and articles, as well as on web sites.
Search Several Databases
You’ll want to make sure that the books, magazine articles, or journal entries that you do find are available at your local library. Use your favorite Internet search engine at first, but then try using the database for your local library.

It may be available online.If you find a topic that’s widely researched and seems to be available in a number of books and journals, make sure those are books and journals that you can use.For instance, you may find several articles—but then you realize later that they’re all published in another country.

They may still be found in your local library, but you’ll want to check as early as possible, to make sure.You could also find books or articles representing your topic, but they’re all published in Spanish! This is absolutely great if you are fluent in Spanish. If you don’t speak Spanish, it’s a big problem!

In short, always, take a few steps in the beginning to make sure that your topic will be relatively easy to research over the days and weeks to come. You don’t want to invest too much time and emotion in a project that will only lead to frustration in the end.



SPEAKING model (D. Hymes)


Dear All,
Today, I would like to discuss with you famous anthropologist and linguist Dell Hymes’ SPEAKING model (1974). According to Hymes, a speech situation can only be understood if not only linguistic, but also other aspects are taken into consideration, such as: the setting of the communication, its goals, and the information about the participants. In order to reflect all these factors and help speech act analysts to make more in-depth analysis, Hymes coined the following acronym: SPEAKING [model/paradigm]. Below is the explanation of how to decode it:

S=SETTING/SCENE – i.e. where the speech situation is taking place (e.g. a University lecture hall) – this is the setting; the overall mood and context (is the conversation serious or funny; what is the cultural ambiance) – this is the scene [aka psychological setting].
P=PARTICIPANTS – i.e. the information about the participants (e.g. their cultural and sociolinguistic background).
E=ENDS (goals) – i.e. what are the goals and the actual outcomes of the speech act (e.g. John wanted to confess his love to Helen, but instead of saying “I love you”, he awkwardly murmured “It is good to see you”. As a result, his confession was put off).
A=ACT SEQUENCE – i.e. what happens first, second, etc.; also how exactly the events unfold (e.g. a FAQ section of a website: short questions first, brief answers follow; a TV host interviewing a university student-hero and the applause of the audience).
K=KEY – i.e. whether the situation is formal or not; whether the participants are happy or sad (e.g. an informal birthday party or a family reunion).
I=INSTRUMENTALITIES – i.e. the linguistic and non-linguistic tools used to make the speech act possible (e.g. a phone, English used by a Spaniard and a Ukrainian who meet in Canada).
N=NORMS – i.e. the conventions used by the speakers to arrive at their set communicative goals (e.g. in France, university students use “vous” (you-respectful) when they address their professor).
G=GENRE – i.e. the kind of the speech act (e.g. the final research paper; a small talk before a class).

Usefulness of S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G. analysis

Once all of these areas have been discovered, you will be more likely to be able to communicate appropriately in a cross-cultural situation. For instance, in a board meeting you might not fault individuals for being late if you knew they were operating on “Puerto Rican time.” Likewise, by knowing that the use of titles is expected, you would not fall into the trap of being disrespectful by calling everyone by first name.

Now that you have learned Hymes’ S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G. model, and have read one example, you should be able to apply it to a situation.

Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations of sociolinguistics: An ethnographic approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

English for Emails: Email etiquette

Unit 9: Email etiquette


Email dos and don’ts

A lot of people still have problems writing emails. I should know – I receive badly written emails every day! So I hope these suggestions will help.

Rule 1:
Always check you’ve got the right name in the ‘To’ box. And make sure your email only goes to the people who need to read it. Remember that if you reply to all, then everyone will get your email. Does the whole sales team really need to read your email to one person about something unimportant?

Rule 2:
This sounds obvious, but don’t forget to attach them! A word of advice – attach the file you want to send before you start writing. That way, you can’t forget to attach it!

Rule 3:
No. If you write ‘CAN YOU LET ME KNOW THIS WEEK?’ you are basically shouting at your reader. They will think you are very rude. So just don’t do it.

Rule 4:
Short emails sometimes sound rude. People won’t read very long emails. Keep emails short, but remember to be polite and friendly, too.

Rule 5:
This is important, especially if it’s a work email. If you make mistakes in your email, people will think you also make mistakes in your work. So always check everything carefully. Ask a colleague to read and check it before you hit ‘Send’.

Source :

Navigation of the American Explorers – 15th to 17th Centuries

Seventeenth century travelers to Maine’s coast such as Samuel Champlain, George Waymouth, and John Smith carried state-of-the-art navigation tools for both dead reckoningand celestial navigation.

Navigation Tools for Dead Reckoning and Piloting
Invented in China in the 3rd century BC, the compass did not come to Europe until the 12th century AD. By the time of Columbus’ voyage it was common. Instead of degrees, thecompass card, on which directions were drawn or printed, showed the points of the compass, including north, south, east, and west. There are 32 points of the compass, the four main quadrants of the circle each divided into eight 11¼ ° points. Columbus noticed that, as one sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, the variation between magnetic north and true north changed. On future trips he used this to predict, roughly, his arrival in America.

Dry Card Box Compass

Points of the Compass


A Chip Log, a Log Line Reel, and a Sand Glass


The next most important tool was the chip log, introduced in the late 16th century to measure speed. The chip, a quarter circle of wood, was attached to a light line on a reel. Knots were tied at 47′ 3″ intervals, the distance the line would be pulled out in 28 seconds if the ship’s speed was one knot or nautical mile in an hour, when the chip was dropped overboard. With a 14- or 28-second sand glass, navigators could see how fast the vessel was going by counting how many knots rolled out before the sand glass expired. Before the chip log, navigators estimated speed by timing how long a chip of wood in the water would take to pass from bow to stern.

Traverse Board



Compass and log helped navigators keep track of position. They used a lead line to determine water depth and bottom type. A heavy piece of lead at the end of a long marked line had a cavity in its bottom, which, when coated with grease or tallow, brought up a bottom sample. Experienced navigators often could determine position based on whether the bottom was muddy, sandy, pebbly, rocky, or covered with vegetation or shell fragments. Crossing the Atlantic, navigators used the lead line to find the continental shelf, and, more importantly, find the Grand Banks and other fishing grounds.


Wright’s Chart of the World, 1599
To record a vessel’s courses and speeds, the navigator used a traverse board. The board had a line of holes radiating from the center towards each of the 32 compass points. Sailors inserted pegs in the holes to show the vessel’s course and speed each half hour. The navigator then used traverse tables to add these and give an average course for a four hour watch. This result then was entered into a logbook along with information about the weather, changes in sails, and items concerning the crew.

The Mariner’s Mirror 1588



Guides for the Navigator
The seventeenth century navigator had little published information. Charts were rare; some advanced navigators carried globes. Mercator projection charts were far more useful than earlier charts. With its mathematical errors corrected by Edward Wright in 1599, the Mercator projection chart allowed mariners to draw a rhumb line between two points, get a bearing and sail that line.

The English Pilot, Fourth Book

pilot book


The earliest sailing directions originated in the Mediterranean as manuscripts called portolanos which were first printed in the second half of the sixteenth century. The first important collection was published in 1584 by the Dutch pilot Waghenaer. These volumes, with charts, sailing directions, navigational instructions, and tables, became known in England as “Waggoners” In 1671, the first of four volumes of The English Pilot appeared, based mostly on Dutch sources. These covered Europe, the Far East, and North America.

Seaman’s Quadrant



Tools for Finding Latitude and Time
The only way navigators could estimate a vessel’slongitude was by dead reckoning and measuring variation. Celestial navigational instruments were designed to help find a vessel’s latitude, the approximate time, and the direction of true south.
The quadrant, the earliest device used to find latitude, was a quarter-circle of wood, marked in degrees, with a plumb line and a sight along one edge, first taken to sea around 1460. Another early latitude-measuring device is the astrolabe. It is a disc with degrees and a movable arm with sights, first known to be at sea about 1481.

Astrolabe Diagram


The Method of using an Astrolabe


In the 15th century, Portuguese Prince Henry the Navigator pioneered nationally sponsored exploration and cartography. Portuguese navigators apparently took the cross staff to sea about 1515. It has two parts: a long graduated staff and a sliding crosspiece.


Cross Staff reproduction

The Method of using a Cross Staff



The navigator holds one end of the staff near his eye, where both the sun and horizon may be sighted, and then moves the crosspiece along the staff until one end is lined up with the horizon and the other with the sun or star. The angle is read from the scale on the staff. The cross staff required the navigator to look directly into the sun, almost impossible in bright sunlight. But it could be used when the ship was moving, and it was simple and relatively inexpensive.

Backstaff reproduction

The Method of using a Backstaff


Nocturnal, George Waymouth


A variation of the cross staff is the backstaff, invented byJohn Davis about 1594 and published in his Seaman’s Secretsin 1595. With it a navigator could measure angles accurately without looking directly at the sun.
The backstaff, in its final form, was made of wood and was made up of two arcs, a larger 30° arc and a smaller 60° arc.Vanes allowed accurate sighting of the horizon, while the sun showed a shadow on another vane. Also called a Davis quadrant, it could only be used for sun sights.
At night, navigators could tell time using a nocturnal, a device that measured the angle from the North Star to the pointer stars, either in Ursa Major (the Big Dipper or Big Bear) or in Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper or the Little Bear). It used the vertical as a reference, and required the month and date to be set. A sundial could be used in daylight.

Gunter’s Scale (detail)
By the middle of the 17th century, thanks to the invention of logarithms by John Napier which were transformed into a simple calculator by Edmund Gunter, navigators with little mathematical training could solve trigonometric navigational problems.
By the end of the seventeenth century, navigators were able to tell time within a quarter of an hour and find their latitude within a few miles. Despite their relatively simple instruments, these mariners sailed the globe.

Source :



History of Navigation: Introduction

Main frame 2

Navigation is finding one’s way at sea and in the air. Without roads, the navigator relies on coastal, celestial and electronic marks. The word navigate comes from the Latin words for ship (navis) and “to drive or guide” (agere).

Navigation is both art and science and requires understanding of the earth and heavens. Changes in navigation science and technology over the last five hundred years have altered the navigator’s work and methods. Yet, the navigator’s basic task remains constant: to keep track of where the ship has been and where it is now, and to plan where the ship will go next.

Navigation is based on astronomy, physics, oceanography, meteorology, earth sciences, aerodynamics, and hydrodynamics. Mathematics can include arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, logarithms, geometry, and analysis. The navigator needs practical judgment to make good decisions with incomplete or overly complex data.

While today’s electronics have helped automate navigation, they also provide much more information for the navigator to process, and the navigator has to be prepared for electronic failure. The work of navigation requires care, but it is fascinating in that it combines so many disciplines, and requires forethought and planning.

Early Astronomers


Ptolemy, Claudius

c.90-168. Probably born in Egypt of Greek heritage. Mathematician, astronomer and cartographer. With simple projections he created a world map that summarized geographic information of the Greco-Roman world. He created a latitude/longitude system to describe locations. He conceived a world or heliocentric model of the Universe to explain celestial motions, drawing on the work of Greek and Babylonian astronomers. Both of these served for practical navigation until the 15th century.



Copernicus, Nicholas

1473-1543. Polish astronomer and mathematician who developed and published the view of an earth that orbited a stationary sun. His book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) was printed just before his death.


Kepler, Johannes

1571-1630. German astronomer and mathematician who theorized that planets and the Earth travel around the sun in elliptical orbits. He published his theory in 1609. Using his theory, he was able to calculate precise predictive tables for planetary motion.


Galilei, Galileo

1564-1642. Italian mathematician, astronomer and instrument maker. In 1609, basing his work on a description of a Dutch telescope, he developed the first practical telescope which he used to discover the moons of Jupiter the following year. This tool was an astronomical breakthrough, for no longer were astronomers dependent on their eyes alone for observation.

Newton, Sir Isaac

1643- 1727. English mathematician who laid the groundwork for calculus and did breakthrough work in optics and gravitation. In 1687, he published his Principia Mathematica in which he applied his laws of motion to the motion of celestial bodies, providing the mathematics to prove Kepler’s theories. These would be used by future astronomers to produce navigational tables. He also developed the universal law of gravitation.



He is sometimes called the grandfather of science. He studied under the great philosopher Plato and later started his own school, the Lyceum at Athens. He, too, believed in a geocentric Universe and that the planets and stars were perfect spheres though Earth itself was not. He further thought that the movements of the planets and stars must be circular since they were perfect and if the motions were circular, then they could go on forever. Today, we know that none of this is the case, but Aristotle was so respected that these wrong answers were taught for a very long time. Aristotle, outside of astronomy, was a champion observer. He was one of the first to study plants, animals, and people in a scientific way, and he did believe in experimenting whenever possible and developed logical ways of thinking. This is a critical legacy for all the scientists who followed after him.





Career planning for High Schoolers

variety long pix

“I’ve always had a pretty clear idea of what I want to do,” says Megan Lovely, a high school senior who hopes to become a director someday. She’s already taking steps toward her career goal by interning with her school drama teacher, acting, and applying to colleges.

If you’re still in high school, you may not be as sure of your vocation as Lovely is of hers. But, like Lovely, you can start thinking about—and planning for—your future before graduation.

“Start exploring what you want to do when you’re a freshman,” says Mark Danaher, a career counselor at Newington High School in Newington, Connecticut. “The high school years go very quickly.”

Most people need some preparation before they’re ready for the workforce, and planning should begin long before it’s time to start a career. This could include taking technical courses during high school or, after graduating, attending a college or university to earn a certificate or a degree. Knowing what type of career preparation you need begins with thinking about what type of career you want.

This article helps high school students plan for careers. The first section talks about exploring your interests. The second section highlights the importance of internships, jobs, and other opportunities for getting experience. The third section describes some education or training options, both in high school and afterward. The fourth section offers some thoughts on pursuing your dream career. And the final section lists sources for more information.

Explore your interests
two high school boys working on a chemistry experiment
High school is a great time to start thinking about careers. “All your life you’ve been asked what you want to do when you grow up,” says Steve Schneider, a school counselor at Sheboygan South High School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. “In high school, you start to work towards making that happen.”

Many high schoolers don’t yet know what they want to do. And school counselors say that’s perfectly fine. In fact, students are likely to change their minds multiple times, perhaps even after they enter the workforce. And some of tomorrow’s careers might not exist today.

Settling on just one occupation in high school isn’t necessary. But looking into the types of careers you might like can help set you up for success. “My feeling is that high school students don’t have to know the exact career they want,” says Danaher, “but they should know how to explore careers and put time into investigating them and learning about their skills and interests.”

Learn about yourself
Understanding what you enjoy—and what you’re good at—is the first step in exploring careers, say school counselors. “If you don’t know what you want to do, the question is, ‘What do you like to learn about?’” Schneider says. “If you really like science, what do you enjoy about it—the lab work, the research?”

Use the answers to those questions to identify careers that may have similar tasks. High school junior Kate Sours, for example, loves spending time with kids as a babysitter and enjoys helping people. So she focused on those two interests when she began considering potential careers.

It’s important to think about what you like to do, say school counselors, because work will eventually be a big part of your life. “The whole purpose of thinking about careers is so that when you go to the workforce, you wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work,” says Julie Hartline, a school counseling consultant at Cobb County public schools in Smyrna, Georgia.

Identify possible careers
Once you’ve thought about the subjects and activities you like best, the next step is to look for careers that put those interests to use. If you love sports, for example, you might consider a career as a gym teacher, recreational therapist, or coach. If you like math, a career as a cost estimator, accountant, or budget analyst might be a good fit.

But those aren’t the only options for people interested in sports or math. There are hundreds of occupations, and most of them involve more than one skill area. School counselors, teachers, and parents can help point you in the direction of occupations that match your interests and skills. School counselors, for example, often have tools that they use to link interests and skills with careers. Free online resources, such as My Next Move, also help with career exploration.

Another approach to identifying potential career interests is to consider local employers and the types of jobs they have. There are many jobs in manufacturing and healthcare near the high school where Schneider works, for example, so he often talks to students about the range of career options in those fields—from occupations that require a 6-week course after high school to those that require a bachelor’s or higher degree.

Exploring careers that combine working with children and helping people led Sours to nursing. She’s now considering working in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit or pediatrics department.

Sours notes the importance of broadening, rather than narrowing, possibilities when studying careers. “Keep an open mind,” she says, “because with some work, you might think, ‘Oh, that’s a nasty job.’ But when you start exploring it, you might discover, ‘This is cool. I might want to do this.’”

Do your research
After identifying possible occupations, you’ll want to learn more about them. Resources such as Career Outlook and the Occupational Outlook Handbook can help you get started. Other sources of information include career-day programs, mentoring, and opportunities offered through your school to learn more about the world of work.

students doing research

Talking directly to workers can help you get information about what they do. If you don’t know workers in occupations that interest you, ask people such as parents, friends, or teachers for their contacts. Some schools have business liaisons or coordinators who help put students in touch with employers—and school counselors can assist, too. These networking efforts might pay off later, even if opportunities aren’t available now.

After you’ve found workers who are willing to help, talk to them on the phone, by email, or through online forums. Meet with them in person for informational interviews to learn more about what they do. Or ask if you can shadow them on the job to see what their daily work is like.

To find out if you’ll really like an occupation, school counselors say firsthand experience is indispensable. Sours, for example, shadowed her aunt, who works in a hospital as a physical therapist. Sours liked the hospital environment so much that she attended a week-long nursing camp, where she got to see the many tasks that nurses do. “I had so much fun, and I learned so much,” she says about both experiences.

Get experience
If job shadowing gives you a taste of what an occupation is like, imagine how helpful getting experience could be. Students can begin getting career-related experiences in high school through internships, employment, and other activities.

Taking part in different experiences is another step toward helping you to figure out what you like—and what you don’t. These experiences may teach valuable job skills, such as the importance of arriving on time. (See box: Put forth your best you.)

But, say school counselors, students need to remember that school takes priority over other pursuits. “It’s a good idea to get experience while you’re a student,” says Hartline, “but not at the expense of academic success.” Danaher agrees. “School should be your full-time job,” he says.

Completing an internship is an excellent way to get experience. Internships are temporary, supervised assignments designed to give students or recent graduates practical job training. Sometimes, internships or other experiential learning positions are built into educational programs, and students receive academic credit for completing them.

At Lovely’s school, for example, students have the option to fulfill an internship for credit during their junior or senior year. Lovely interned during her junior year for her high school theater director. “She gave us opportunities to do everything from contacting local newspapers for ads to writing program notes to directing the middle school production,” says Lovely. The experience gave Lovely a feel for a director’s work—and helped to cement her career goals.

At other schools, students seek out internships on their own. Academic credit may not be awarded, but gaining hands-on experience can still be worthwhile. Check with your school counselor to see if opportunities exist at your school.

Summer or part-time employment is another way to get experience. Paid jobs allow you to earn money, which can help you learn how to budget and save for future goals or expenses.

For some students, summer is a great time to explore careers through employment. As the chart shows, young people worked in a variety of industries in July 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Pie chart showing teen and young adult employment by industry, July 2014
View Chart Data
The U.S. Department of Labor has rules about youth employment. These rules differ depending on your age, but they often limit the types of jobs and number of hours you can work. States may have additional restrictions.

Hartline advises that students who work during the school year start with a few hours and build from there, once they find it won’t interfere with their studies. “For some students, work is a motivator. For others, it’s a distractor,” she says.

Regardless of when or where they work, school counselors say, students who pursue employment can learn from it. “I think there’s no substitute for any type of work experience,” says Michael Carter, director of college counseling at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia. “Without experience, it’s hard for students to appreciate what type of career they’d like to have because it’s all hypothetical.”

Other activities
You can participate in other activities in high school that may spark a career interest. Examples include yearbook committee, science club, and debate team.

volunter work

By joining groups that involve community service and leadership opportunities, such as student government or honor societies, you can hone work-related skills or interests. Attending a camp in a subject area that interests you, such as engineering or writing, can help you focus on academic skills that may lead to a career.

Some student organizations aim to promote career readiness. SkillsUSA, DECA, and the Future Business Leaders of America are just a few of the national-level groups that might have student chapters at your high school.

Volunteering allows you to serve your community and bolster your experience. Religious institutions, local nonprofits, and government agencies are among the many organizations that use volunteers to fill a variety of roles.

In addition to encouraging you to meet like-minded people and develop your interests, these activities also show future employers and postsecondary schools that you are motivated and engaged. And the more you shape your thoughts about a career, the better you’ll know how to prepare for it.

Train for a career
Career preparation should start in high school, but it shouldn’t end with graduation: Most occupations require some type of training or education after high school. On-the-job training, apprenticeships, certificates, non-degree awards, and various levels of college degrees are typically required for entry-level jobs.

Which type of training you need depends on the career you want to pursue. Your high school may offer opportunities for getting career training or college credits before you graduate. And after graduation, your training options expand even more. The closer you get to entering the workforce, the more you’ll want to narrow your choices.

In high school
Getting a solid education is an important foundation for any career. Workers in many occupations use problem-solving, communication, research, and other skills that they first learned in high school. By doing well in classes and taking part in career-training or college-preparation programs, you demonstrate that you’re ready to put these skills into action.

chemistry lab students

Plan and achieve. Make sure your high school course plan prepares you for entering the next phase of training or education in your desired career. To enter an electrician apprenticeship, for example, you may need a year of high school algebra. Your school counselor can help you plan your schedule to ensure that you take the required classes.

Employers and postsecondary schools often look to your high school record to gauge how you might perform on the job or in an educational program. And finishing high school shows that you can set goals and follow through. “Starting freshman year, do the absolute best you can in your classes,” says Laura Inscoe, dean of counseling and student services at Wakefield High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Start strong and stay strong.”

But school counselors also say not to worry too much if your grades aren’t as good as you’d like. “School studies open doors if you do well, but they don’t shut doors if you don’t,” says Danaher. “You might just take a different path.”

Career programs. Your high school may offer options for exploring careers while earning credit toward graduation. Some of these options also allow you to earn industry certifications, licensure, or college credit.

In her high school, for example, Sours attends a career academy for health and medical sciences. She is learning about healthcare careers and will have a chance to apply some of her skills and knowledge as she continues in the program. By graduation, she’ll have earned both certifications and credits toward an applied nursing degree program at the local community college.

Career academies and other types of technical education are available in many schools to provide hands-on career training. Classes in fields such as business and finance, culinary arts, and information technology are designed to prepare you for work or postsecondary school.

students in class

College prep. If you know your goal is college, school counselors usually recommend taking the most rigorous academic classes your school offers—and those that you can successfully handle. Doing so helps bolster both your college application credentials and your readiness for college-level study.

Some college-prep programs, such as Advanced Placement and dual enrollment, may help you get a head start on earning a post secondary degree. Taking classes in these programs may allow you to waive some college course requirements, either by achieving a high score on exams or by completing a course for both high school and college credit.

Admission to college is not based on coursework alone, however. Not all high schools offer advanced academics programs, and not all students take them. You may still have more options than you think, depending on your career goals.

After high school
About two-thirds of high school graduates from the class of 2013 enrolled in college that fall, according to BLS: 42 percent in baccalaureate (4-year) colleges and 24 percent in 2-year schools. Of the remaining one-third of 2013 graduates, who opted not to go to college, 74 percent entered the labor force.

College-bound high school graduates may not know it, but BLS data show that wages are usually higher, and unemployment rates lower, for people who continue their education after high school.

Associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs range from accounting to zoology. But job training and vocational school programs may offer the type of career preparation you need for the occupation that interests you.

Job training. If you get a job or enter the military directly out of high school, you’ll receive training specific to the job. Some employers may even pay for you to get related credentials, such as industry certification.

The type and length of on-the-job training you get depends on the occupation. For example, community health workers typically need 1 month or less of experience on the job and informal training, in addition to a high school diploma, to become competent in the occupation.

Apprenticeships are a form of job training in which a sponsor, such as an employer, pays a trainee to learn and work in a particular occupation. Some jobs in the military include apprenticeship training, but others involve different types of hands-on learning.

culinary picture

Vocational school. Also known as trade or technical schools, vocational schools have programs designed to give you hands-on training in a specific field. Many of these programs lead to non-degree credentials, such as a certificate or diploma. Occupations that you can prepare for at these types of schools include automotive mechanic and emergency medical technician (EMT).

Some vocational schools specialize in a certain occupation or career field, such as truck driving, culinary arts, or cosmetology. Others provide a diverse range of programs, such as medical assisting and precision production.

Earning a certificate allows you to prepare for a career in a relatively short amount of time: Nearly all certificate programs take fewer than 2 years to complete. For example, you may earn a nursing assistant certificate in less than 1 year.

Associate’s degree. Associate’s degrees, which may qualify you for occupations such as dental hygienist and funeral services manager, are available through public community colleges and other 2-year schools. But some 4-year schools also offer associate degrees that complement or lead into their bachelor’s degree programs.

Associate’s degrees are available in a variety of subject areas, but most degrees awarded in the past decade have been broadly focused. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the most popular fields of study for associate’s degree recipients between 2001–02 and 2011–12 were liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities.

Earning an associate’s degree and then transferring to a bachelor’s degree program might make sense if you’re unsure of what you want to study. It also allows you to save money on tuition, because community colleges are usually less expensive than baccalaureate colleges and universities.

Bachelor’s degree. If you plan to get a bachelor’s degree, your school counselor can help you with the application processes for colleges and financial aid. But you should also have a plan for why you’re pursuing a degree.

A good initial step is to think about what you might like to major in. If you’ve been considering your career interests throughout high school, declaring a major won’t be difficult. “Your initial undergraduate program should be an outgrowth of your academic strengths in high school,” says Carter.

Still not sure what you want to study? Look at some studies. For example, job opportunities and starting salaries vary by college major. (See table.) Data may be helpful in narrowing your choices, but they shouldn’t be the sole determinant of your future. “Don’t let your decision be based on money alone,” says Hartline. “Find something you’re going to love to do.”

Average starting salaries for Class of 2014 college graduates, by major field of study
Major category 2014 average starting salary
Overall $48,707
Engineering 62,891
Computer science 62,103
Business 57,229
Communications 48,253
Math and sciences 44,299
Education 40,267
Humanities and social sciences 38,049
Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers, September 2014 Salary survey


To keep your options open as you choose a major, school counselors suggest entering a liberal arts program. Take classes in a broad range of subjects to help you figure out what you like best—and where that might lead in your future.

Be flexible—and follow your dream
Everyone’s career path is different, and there is no “right” way to start a career. For example, if you want to postpone your studies to discover your passion, you might decide to take a “gap year” after high school. A gap year gives you a chance to pursue meaningful volunteer, work, or travel experiences. But school counselors recommend that you have a plan to ensure that your time off is productive.

Whatever career path you choose, says Schneider, remember that you can change your mind at any time. “There’s always the flexibility to shift course,” he says. “A career is not a life sentence. If at some point you realize, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ back up and ask yourself the same questions again: ‘What am I good at? What do I like to do?’”

From : Various Sources

Most Famous Filipino Traditional Folk Songs

The Filipinos are music lovers. Music is a way for Filipinos to express their feelings and aspirations in life. Even the most common people have their own music. Filipino folks clearly and lucidly express their experiences and dreams through folk songs. Among the most popular traditional folk songs include Bahay Kubo, Paroparong Bukid, Magtanim ay Di Biro and many others.
Here are the 10 most popular traditional folk songs in the Philippines.

1. Bahay Kubo
Undoubtedly, the most popular traditional Filipino folk song is Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut). The song tells of a small hut surrounded with variety of vegetables. It was composed by Felipe De leon.

Lyrics of the Song:
Bahay kubo, kahit munti,
ang halaman duon ay sari-sari.
Singkamas at talong,Sigarilyas at mani.
Sitaw, bataw, patani.
Kundol, patola, upo’t kalabasa.
At saka meron pa,
Labanos, mustasa.
Sibuyas, kamatis,
Bawang at luya.
Sa paligid-ligid ay puno ng linga.

2. Magtanim ay Di Biro
Magtanim ay Di Biro (Planting Rice is Not a Joke) is a popular Tagalog folk song. This classic song was composed by Felipe De Leon.

Magtanim ay di biro
Maghapong nakayuko
Di naman makatayo
Di naman makaupo
Bisig ko’y namamanhid
Baywang ko’y nangangawit.
Binti ko’y namimintig
Sa pagkababad sa tubig.
Ng inianak sa hirap,
Ang bisig kung di iunat,
Di kumita ng pilak. Sa umagang pagkagising
Lahat ay iisipin
Kung saan may patanim
May masarap na pagkain.
Halina, halina, mga kaliyag,
Tayo’y magsipag-unat-unat.
Magpanibago tayo ng lakas
Para sa araw ng bukas

3. Paroparong Bukid
Paroparong Bukid, which means “farm butterfly”, is another popular Tagalog folk song composed by Felipe De Leon.

Paruparong bukid na lilipad-lipad
Sa gitna ng daan papagapagaspas
Isang bara ang tapis
Isang dangkal ang manggas
Ang sayang de kola
Isang piyesa ang sayad
May payneta pa siya — uy!
May suklay pa man din — uy!
Nagwas de-ohetes ang palalabasin
Haharap sa altar at mananalamin
At saka lalakad nang pakendeng-kendeng.

4. Leron, Leron Sinta
This popular classic traditional folk song composed by Alberto Florentino. This folk song is about a man named “Leron” and her sweetheart “Neneng”. The song revolves around the adventures of the two sweethearts as they pick fruits from a Papaya and a Tamarind trees. The first verse is the most famous.

Leron, Leron, sinta
Buko ng papaya
Dala dala’y buslo
Sisidlan ng bunga
Pagdating sa dulo’y
Nabali ang sanga,
Kapos kapalaran
Humanap ng iba.

Halika na Neneng, tayo’y manampalok
Dalhin mo ang buslo, sisidlan ng hinog
Pagdating sa dulo’y uunda-undayog
Kumapit ka Neneng, baka ka mahulog.

Halika na Neneng at tayo’y magsimba
At iyong isuot ang baro mo’t saya
Ang baro mo’t sayang pagkaganda-ganda
Kay ganda ng kulay — berde, puti, pula.

Ako’y ibigin mo, lalaking matapang
Ang sundang ko’y pito, ang baril ko’y siyam.
Ang lalakarin ko’y parte ng dinulang.
Isang pinggang pansit, ang aking kalaban!


5. Sitsiritsit Alibangbang
This traditional Filipino folk song is a humorous song that describes a flirtatious woman threatening the storeowner that ants are going to get him if he is not going to extend credit.
Sitsiritsit, alibangbang Salaginto at salagubang. Ang babae sa lansangan, Kung gumiri’y parang tandang.
Santo Niño sa Pandakan ” Puto seko sa tindahan. Kung ayaw mong magpautang, Uubusin ka ng langgam.
Mama, mama, namamangka, Pasakayin yaring bata. Pagdating sa Maynila, Ipagpalit ng manika.

Ale, ale namamayong ” Pasukubin yaring sanggol. Pagdating sa Malabon, Ipagpalit ng bagoong.
Sitsiritsit, alibangbang, Salaginto at salagubang. Ang babae sa lansangan,’ Kung gumiri’y parang tandang.