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Yes, There Really is a Freebie Santa Claus If you are a cynic when it comes to offers of free stuff, you are not alone. Everyone has had notions like ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? and ?if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is? drilled into their heads, and for good reason ? these things often hold water. On the flip side, there ARE actually lots of places you can score some decent free stuff, if you know where to look and are willing to devote some time to hunting them down. The key to getting the best free stuff with the least amount of hassle is to stick with that healthy cynicism but to also dipping your toe in the freebie pool little by little. But why would anyone give stuff away for free? It is certainly an obvious question, but if you stop to consider it for a moment, you can see that companies actually have a lot of motivation to give away free stuff. After all, if they give you something for free, you are bound to have a little soft spot for their company, and when you are ready to part with some cash, their product may near the top of your list. Also, by giving away free things, companies can convince people to try new products. You might not want to try a new kind of shampoo if you have to pay for it, but you?d certainly be willing to give a free sample a try. You may end up loving it and switching to that shampoo for good, turning you into a paying customer. Another reason a company might give you free stuff is to complete market research. This is where getting free things can get a little complicated for some people because the products may not cost you money, but the offer may cost you a little time. A company might ask you to take a survey of your buying habits before they give you a free offer, or they may ask you to provide feedback on a regular basis as you try their product for free. Some people balk at the time commitment required here, but for other people, filling out some paperwork is a small price to pay for some free stuff. Of course, to convert you into a customer or to communicate with you about market research, a company will have to contact you, which is complicated area number two for freebie lovers. You will almost always be forced to hand over your email address in order to cash in on a free offer, and that is a recipe for opening your inbox up to a barrage of spam (many companies sell your email address to offset the costs of their free promotions, which means the number of people soliciting you can go through the roof very quickly). If you want to avoid this downside of freebie hunting, set up a special email address specifically for your freebie deals. That way all of your spam goes to this one address and your regular email you use with family and friends remains free and clear. One final note of caution about free stuff online: a lot of scammers have hit on the idea of using pretend freebie offers to solicit personal information about people or to convince people to send them money. Don?t send money, even for postage, to a company you don?t know and never, ever give out personal information online. No reputable company is going to ask for your social security number or bank account details for a freebie offer, so don?t hand them out to anyone. When in doubt, skip it and move to the next freebie.

Online Writing Labs: You have One Available for You (online writing labs) There are numerous colleges and universities around the United States and the world that offer online writing labs. The labs are designed to offer help and instruction for any writing matter. Most Online writing labs are only available to the students of the offering college or university, but there are a few that are open to the general public. Virginia Tech has an online self help section and email help available for questions you have about grammar. The online writing labs are beneficial to both the writer in need of the help and the person helping them. The helper or tutors are usually graduate students working for their degree they benefit from the additional teaching practice. The students are getting proofreading, critiquing, and feedback along with any help they may need. The online writing labs were created by the schools to offer extra help to their students in their writing. They offer support in most areas of writing including choosing a topic, grammar help, revising a draft, and editing. They provide tutored help in these areas to students and faculty. Many online writing labs are set up to help you in three ways; online self help, email support, and one on one personal support. The online self help applications are available 24 hours a day. For the email support you email in your paper or project and you will receive a response with in 24 hours. The one on one personal support is a great way for students to learn how to do their own proofreading and editing. The tutors will help show the students what to look for and how to find their own mistakes. This is a great opportunity for help with someone other than a teacher. Even though the online help is available student are encouraged to use the writing lab tutors on a regular basis to improve their writing skills. Purdue University has an online writing lab they call OWL. It offers a wealth of information that virtually anyone can use. They offer a highly detailed step by step instruct of the writing process and huge section on professional, technical, and scientific writing. A section in job search writing that walks you through everything, from your academic coversheet to writing a personal statement, step by step. General Academic writing and research and citation help. This is the best site for offering its advice absolutely free. This site definitely deserves to be bookmarked on your computer if you are a serious writer, a student, a teacher, it really doesn?t matter. The University of Richmond has a program they call Writing Center. Although not as complex as Perdue?s they offer online self help topics for writers. Starting with the writing process to grammar and punctuation, it is another option for you. The University of Wisconsin has the Writing Center that offers some help with the basics. One thing to keep in mind that many of the universities and colleges that offer these many take them offline in between semesters and on breaks. If you are a student, many of you have an online writing lab available at your school or one that reciprocates with your school. Though the general public have self help online help available to them, chances are your school will offer some sort of one on one help to guide you through your work. Check it out it could be very beneficial to you. If you don?t have one available, it is highly recommend checking out OWL at Perdue or search the Internet. There are a lot of self-help online writing labs available to you.

Finishing a Masterpiece and Getting it on the Shelves (how to get a book published) Writing a book is a monumental task in itself. The process is long, drawn out and grueling. Even if you thoroughly enjoy writing and writing on the same subject for an extended period of time, you will no doubt be exhausted by the writing of a book. Getting that book published, however, will take even more time and effort than producing the thing in the first place. Are you thinking about writing a book? Have you already written one and now are just wondering how to get a book published? If you are, read on. Here are a few tips on how to get from the starting line to triumphantly crossing the finish line. Writing that Book When starting out writing your book, before you are ready to consider how to get a book published, you may already feel daunted. To write a successful book you need to start out with some original thought. You probably have plenty of originality, but you may have trouble getting your ideas into a coherent flow of information that will be digestible by the general public. The first step is to create a book skeleton. You need to organize your thoughts into a progression of chapters. If your book will be non-fiction, start with a table of contents. Write chapter headings and sub-headings. You will automatically know that you?ll need an introductory chapter, but you should probably leave the content of your introduction for the last step. Organize your chapters so that they build upon one another. The more headings that you can brainstorm to begin with, the easier it will be to fill in your book with a series of short articles that flow into one another. If your writing will be fiction, you will need more of a storyboard. You will need to create cause and effect as well as character sketches. To make your story coherent your characters will need events to react to. Their reactions should become predictable as your readers get into the story. You may need to create some situations for your characters just for the purpose of introducing their traits to the reader. These are very general guidelines about how to begin constructing your book. The actual process will be much more involved as you move closer to finding out how to get a book published. Even after you are finished with the bulk of the content, your goal is still a ways off into the future. Getting to Print The next step in how to get a book published is finding a publisher. There are resources at your local library that will let you know who will be the best candidate for publishing the kind of writing that you do. After a series of queries and correspondence with the potential publishers you may get an invitation to send your manuscript. Then the work begins. A publisher is very experienced in finding books that are marketable. He knows what it will take to get your book to sell. Don?t be offended when his editors tears your writing apart. If they are doing that, you can enjoy the fact that you are on the road to a published book. Expect to enter into a close relationship of compromise and change with the editor as you rework and rework what you have already so painstakingly written. When you are finished you will have a readable and clean and correct manuscript ready for print. The road to getting a book published is a long one, but well worth the effort. Trust yourself, and trust the publisher to create a beautiful masterpiece. Don?t be discouraged if several publishers are not interested in your book. You may have to just keep the first few for yourself, and then again, they may eventually get accepted. Good luck and enjoy the process.

What to Think about While Choosing a Writing Desk (writing desk) Writing desks come in many shapes and forms. The technical definition is a piece of furniture with a surface for writing, with drawers and pigeonholes for writing materials and a portable case that when opened forms a surface on which to write. A writing desk could be as complex as that definition or as simple as a desk for writing. Basically a writing desk can be anything that you want it to be. You may not need to buy a writing desk. You may be perfectly comfortable with one you already have or working on the couch or at the kitchen table. This is fine. If it is a cohesive work environment for you that is fabulous, but some writers require a more formal, dedicated area just for them. By finding the perfect writing desk, you are on the way to the start of creative that work style atmosphere that they need. Before you begin your writing desk shopping venture you must first have two things picked out. The area in which your desk is going to go and the chair you are going to use. The location of the desk is important because it will be necessary to choose a size and style. The chair is important for comfort and maybe an important factor in determine the correct height of desk needed. Once these are figured out you shopping journey is ready to begin. While shopping for a writing desk the most important feature is comfort. You need to sit at the desk for most likely for hours at a time. Having a desk at the right height is imperative to this. With the writing surface being to high or to low will not only be uncomfortable but also will more that likely make it difficult for you to concentrate and write. Having a writing desk that is not the correct height is likely to cause neck and back strain. The function and the size of your writing desk are the next factors you need to consider before you purchase one. Do you need one with a little storage or a lot? Does it need to have an adjustable surface or can it just be flat? With all the choices available assessing what you need can help narrow down the ones that will work for you. How big of a space do you have for it? These are some simple considerations that are often forgotten while buying a writing desk. It would be terrible to fall in love with a desk and bring it home just to find out that it is not going to fit. The next important thing is style. When choosing the style of the writing desk you will want it to flow with the furniture already in your home. If your home is modern or contemporary you may want to choose one of the metal and glass desk designs or perhaps one with light wood tones and metal accents are right for you. Another great writing desk available is called the secretary. The secretary is wooden desk with drawers on the bottom and a fold down writing surface. They are usually compact in size but have ample storage and often offer shelving covered by glass doors on top. Plus having a fold down writing surface, it is easy to close up when you are done and hide you space altogether. Choosing the writing desk that is right for you may not seem that important. I mean how difficult could it be to choose a surface to write on, right? But making sure comfort, storage, and style fit into your lifestyle is an important decision. This is part of creating a suitable working environment for you to produce your work.