Welcome to COM300!
If you are anything like me, you are probably a little terrified right now. you've heard the horror stories, the testimonies of failure, and the warnings from your peers, professors and advisors. While most of these are more or less true, I have some advice for you.
1. You can do this
I know the idea of this class is scary, and you are probably afraid of how much you are going to fail, but it will be okay. I promise.
2. You are going to get a zero
It will happen. Probably more than once. It is not the end of the world. Learn from your mistakes and move on to the next assignment.
3. Study for the quizzes
For the love of cheese, study for the quizzes. They sound easy, right? WRONG. Study for them. You'll thank yourself later.
4. Review all of your assignments
When you get your papers back, take them home and really think about all of the edits and comments. Think about how you can avoid making the same mistakes next week. Retype the assignment with all the edits completed so you can have an idea of what an "A" paper would look like. It seems tedious and like a waste of time, but it will help you so much in the long run.
5. It gets easier
In the first few weeks of this class, I was destroyed. I thought my writing career was over before it had even really begun. I complained to my friends. I thought I was a failure ... and then I started understanding. I understood my mistakes and learned how to eliminate critical errors. Don't get me wrong, this class will never be an easy course, but it does start to make sense eventually.
6. Passive. Voice. Kills. People.
Learn what passive voice is ASAP Rocky. Never use passive voice. Live in active voice. If you take away anything from this letter, remember to never, ever, under any circumstances, use passive voice ever again. Just don't do it. Please.
Keep it simple stupid. Throw it back to middle school and keep your work to the point and concise. Eliminate fancy, fluffy words. Get to the point. This is news, not a Harry Potter fanfiction. This will make your work sound professional, prevent redundancy, and save your grades.
8. Never settle
You will eventually get that first "A" on a paper, but don't stop there. Keep working for better grades each time you sit down at those computers.
9. Don't overlook the simple stuff
Do not forget comma and apostrophe use, then vs. than, AP Style Rules, spelling names, and everything else you've learned in the last 13+ years of schooling.
10. This class is not the end of the world
You will get through this course and you will move on with your life. You can do it. Pay attention to details, live and breathe the AP Style Rules, learn from your mistakes, focus on one thing at a time, and you will succeed.
I know you can do it.
Best of luck,
A COM300 survivor