Jeez, all adults know this

With blatant disregard for the public benefits of motivational idioms, researchers have concluded that practice does not, necessarily, make perfect.

A study of violinists found that merely good players practised as much as, if not more than, better players, leaving other factors such as quality of tuition, learning skills and perhaps natural talent to account for the difference.

The work is the latest blow to the 10,000-hour rule, the idea promoted in Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 book, Outliers, which has been taken to mean that enough practice will make an expert of anyone. In the book, Gladwell states that “ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness”.

Not that Gladwell actually said that. Rather, 10,000 hours is a necessary precondition.

The larger point though any and every adult knows. People just click with some things and not with others. This is true of doing music at all – I reached my plateau and wasn’t going to get any better at about Grade VII. Just didn’t have the innate understanding of music necessary to take it further. Algebra plateaued somewhere in between dy/dx and integration. Just never could get the brain around the latter. Sure, could work though a known equation, work to rule. But composing one? Nahhh.

Even within a subject – two years of cello led to no one wanting to put me in even for Grade I. Two terms of trumpet had me sailing through Grade IV. Grade V has to be worked at a little bit……

And the thing is, every adult does know this, every language has an equivalent of horses for courses…..

5 Typical Mistakes to Avoid in Annotated Bibliography Writing

At times, students compose pretty complicated assignments. Thus, an annotated bibliography may become a serious challenge for many people. Though it doesn’t seem to be that hard to write, many people refer it to as one of the most boring tasks. Accordingly, students feel no enthusiasm about writing it. They write it reluctantly and pay little attention to details. Notwithstanding, this assignment should be written with great precision. Every detail is vital and may cost you a lot of grades.

Study group

An annotated bibliography provides a list of informative sources you’ve used to complete any of your academic projects. Every source provides general and specific data about the author, a title of an article or book, a year of publishing, the name of the publisher, and similar details. It helps your teachers/professors and other students to access and verify this data quickly. In the end, you should give an objective evaluation of the effectiveness of the informative sources you have used in your paper.

As you can see, this assignment has multiple requirements and details to deal with. Many college and university students make crucial mistakes while they write an annotated bibliography. To avoid them, you should learn them all.

Make allowances for the following issues:

  1. Disorganized references.

  2. Too long annotations.

  3. Poor research.

  4. Incorrect citations.

  5. Poor planning.

A reliable team of academic experts from a professional annotated bibliography writing service will shed more light on these points.

Issue #1

Most bibliographies are rewritten by students for many a time. One of the common reasons to do that is disorganization of references. Many students are simply unaware that there are several ways to organize references. 

You can organize your informative sources by:

  • Author;

  • Title;

  • Publication date;

  • Subject.

Depending on this peculiarity, the organization of your notes varies. Accordingly, you should obligatorily identify the correct format and follow the instructions of your academic supervisor.

Issue #2

Another possible issue is related to the length of your annotations. Commonly, students are not permitted to exceed the length of one paragraph. Many educational institutions consider it as a mistake and take away some grades. Other colleges and universities allow exceeding the length of a single paragraph. In this case, it’s necessary to make a clear spacing between the continuation of one annotation and the next one. Otherwise, annotations will be messed up.

Issue #3

The issue of inadequate research is likewise crucial. Unfortunately, it’s a common mistake that can be met in merely every piece of writing. A bibliography is one of such. Many students are too lazy to conduct in-depth research. As a result, they put to use the first sources they find on the Internet. Most of them may not be trusted. This makes the entire research worthless because the data isn’t officially confirmed.

Issue #4

As you write scientific research, you are obliged to use dependable data. It is commonly presented in the form of examples, statistics, surveys, interviews, and so on. You are allowed giving citations. As you write an annotated bibliography, you are obliged to cite every source you use. Nonetheless, many students just do not know how to cite correctly.

As a result, the intended audience doesn’t receive quoted comments, cannot evaluate the book or another literature piece, isn’t able to compare and contrast different works, etc. Wrong citing induces a lot of complications. Students risk losing all possible grades.

The main reason that leads to this mistake is not following the demands for your writing format. There are various types of formats, such as MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, Vancouver, and others. Every format is unique after its own fashion and has some important differences. You may not even notice them but they do exist. Thus, you should place a date in the middle or at the end of the citation. Even the location of commas may be crucial. Obligatorily learn all the details about the assigned format and practice referencing and citing.

Issue #5

Another huge mistake is to arrange citations in the wrong way. Your citations must be arranged in a specific order, such as chronological or alphabetical ones. It enhances productivity and makes literature review much clearer and easier to read. Nonetheless, many writers ignore this requirement or forget about it. As a result, everything looks like a real mess. It doesn’t allow focusing properly.

For example, you have seen three initial citations listed after an alphabetical order. Accordingly, you think that you’ll easily find other works using ABC. However, the next citations go in accordance with their format or date of publication. It’s simply impossible to find something. Beware of possible complications and choose a concrete order.

A Few Tips to Prepare a Good Annotated Bibliography

As you can see, there are many issues you should know about. In the event, you struggle with an annotated bibliography we can help you. There are several tips you should undertake to avoid mistakes and set things correctly. 

Take a look at the following table:




of your


By the author, title, subject or date

of publication;


of your


In chronological or alphabetical order;

By the format or subtopic;




Books, articles, periodical journals,

videos, scholarly abstracts,

educational or scientific websites;

Try to remember these tips and use them in your future bibliographies. Define the writing format, learn its demands, and strictly follow them. Consult your academic advisor and avoid pitfalls.


Before modern-day toothpaste was created, pharmacists mixed and sold tooth cream or powder. Early tooth powders were made from something abrasive, like talc or crushed seashells, mixed with essential oils, such as eucalyptus or camphor, thought to fight germs. Their flavors came from oils of cinnamon, clove, rose or peppermint. Many contained other chemicals such as ammonia, chlorophyll and penicillin. These ingredients fight the acid-producing bacteria that can cause tooth decay and bad breath.

Penicillin in early toothpaste? Wouldn’t people have noted infections clearing up?

Aren’t the universities becoming efficient!

Universities have been warned over degree class inflation as an analysis reveals that seven in ten students who get less than DDD grades at A-level go on to graduate with top degrees.

Of the 3,025 students who went to university last year after achieving less than DDD, 69 per cent went on to graduate with either a first class or upper second degree.

This is seven per cent higher than the previous year, and a 73 per cent increase since 2010/11, according to a major report published on Thursday by the Office for Students (OfS).

Whaddayamean grade inflation? Mo, it’s the superlative efficiency of the new universities in teaching grievance studies…..

Me ‘uman writes

Giving children detention during break time is a violation of their human rights, the British Psychological Society has said.

Schools should never threaten to take away a pupil’s break or lunch time as a punishment, the society’s educational and child psychology division.

OK, yes, that’s really something we should put up there with free speech and fair trials, isn’t it?

Bad logic here

Sats are no better than teachers at predicting pupil’s GCSE and A-Level results, a study has found.

Researchers from King’s College London (KCL) say their findings call into question the benefits of standardised exams.

The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found teacher assessments at age 7, 11 and 14 were just as effective as using Sats results to predict pupils’ subsequent exam success.

We would rather hope that professionals who dealt with the children for a year would be able to predict results. So, why the surprise? The idea that teachers actually know anything?

Yes, we know, but why is what we want to know

This isn’t to comment on the decision itself – about which I know nothing, Rather, the ghastly bureaucratese of the justification.

Oxford University in ageism row as celebrated poets ineligible for top job because they are too old

Well, OK. It’s this that grates:

A spokesperson for the university said: “The University of Oxford operates an Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA) for employees in all academic posts.

“From 1 October 2017, the University has adopted an EJRA of 30 September before the employee’s 69th birthday. Despite its unusual appointment process and duties, as an employed professorship the Professorship of Poetry is subject to the EJRA.”

Yes, yes, we know what you’ve done. What we want to know is why?

This isn’t how it works Honey

It might sound dramatic, but I have often likened my experience of hearing about how black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students do worse than their white peers at university to the five stages of grief.

There was the initial shock and denial that there could be any discrepancy between my white student peers and myself in achieving a first or upper 2:1 class degree. Surely this gap would vanish if entry requirements, subjects, and socio-economic backgrounds were all accounted for?

When I saw that a 13% gap persisted even after other factors were controlled for, I felt frustration and anger. I could not imagine how universities had allowed this to happen. As BAME students, we expect that if we put in the hard work, we should get good grades.

There comes a point in every education where hard work isn’t the thing any more. There really is a stage at which aptitude, innate intelligence, skill, perhaps, is what is being tested.

Different systems might have this at different stages, from the whining schoolboy having to do Greek to the post-doc student having to actually some up with some new knowledge. But we really are trying – the point of the system being – to sort between those who simply work hard at it and those who are good at it.

This is, of course, nothing to do with BAME. Uncovering talent is uncovering talent irrespective of culture, nationality and melanin content. But to fail to grasp that it ain’t about studiousness at some point in the process is to have failed to grasp the point of the system itself.

They’ve missed a bit here

Black and Asian students are more than twice as likely to go to university than their white counterparts, new data has revealed.

In the first survey of its kind research published by the Office for Students (OfS) today analysed each university and college’s student intake, dropout rates, degree attainment and progression to further study or employment for different groups of students over the last five years.

It found that among the nation’s most deprived students, those who were black, Asian and mixed race were far more likely to attend full-time university courses or apprenticeships than their white counterparts in the last five years.

Blacks and Asians are more likely to be second generation immigrants. First generation immigrants often do see education as the route to success for their children. Those tales of Ugandan Asians rocking up with nothing, running the corner shop all hours and then ending up with all kiddies either doctors or accountants – stereotypes usually do have some basis in reality.

So, OK, entirely believable numbers. But there’s something I suspect is being missed. “Black” isn’t really a useful grouping in the UK. The past experiences of Black African and Afro Caribbeans are too different for that. Ad I’d e very surprised indeed if this high uni attendance happened among Afro Cs.

Ah, a visiting fellowship

Cambridge University has rescinded its offer of a visiting fellowship to controversial academic Jordan Peterson, who refuses to refer to transgender people by their chosen pronouns, after outcry from faculty and students.

This is like a visiting professorship but perhaps a tad grander? Or less so?

Come give a couple of lectures, have dinner, goodbye sorta thing? Like the LSE gave Naomi Klein?

Not sure about this to be honest

Singing patriotic songs in assemblies makes teenagers feel proud to be British, a headteacher of a leading inner city school has said.

Katharine Birbalsingh said singing the songs twice a week instilled “resilience” and a connection to the UK among her pupils, the vast majority of whom are from a black or ethnic minority background.

Ms Birbalsingh’s students at Michaela Community School in Brent, north London sing the National Anthem, I Vow To Thee My Country or Jerusalem twice a week.

Thing is, Birbalsingh’s been right about so much in education that it seems picky, pendantic even, to be questioning such details….

You will be assimilated….

Compulsory lessons to teach children from the age of five about gay and trans relationships will be outlined in guidance to head teachers to be published tomorrow.

The controversial new statutory guidance will also spell out for the first time the end of parents’ right to opt their children out of sex and relationships education classes in secondary school.

….into the Borg.

They do seem to be missing the bit about a liberal society being a plural one….

This seems fair enough

Teaching children coding is a waste of time, the OECD’s education chief has said, as he predicts the skill will soon be obsolete.

Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said that the skill is merely “a technique of our times” and will become irrelevant in the future.

“Five hundred years ago we might have thought about pen literacy,” Mr Schleicher said. “In a way coding is just one technique of our times. And I think it would be a bad mistake to have that tool become ingrained.

“You teach it to three-year-olds and by the time they graduate they will ask you ‘Remind me what was coding’. That tool will be outdated very soon.”

Comparing it to trigonometry, he said: “We are going to get into the same dilemma. I think is very important that we strike a better balance about those kinds of things.

“For example, I would be much more inclined to teach data science or computational thinking than to teach a very specific technique of today.”

It’s important to distinguish between teaching the concepts of something and the techniques. Boyle’s Law is important, being able to fiddle around with an ICE engine isn’t a skill someone born today is likely to need. No, not because electric, but because computerisation.

The concept of coding, sure, but the techniques of javascript? I tend to think that’s all going to go the way of car engines in fact. Time was when any driver had to know how to maintain at the very least. Nowadays, just turn it on and drive. It’s a black box that works. Computers are getting there. There’s this group over here, engineers, who code. Then 99.9% of the world who don’t.

At which point not worth teaching the details of what’s not used to all, is it?

We need another number here

At half of England’s universities, fewer than 5% of students are classified as being from disadvantaged white backgrounds, according to a new report from the National Education Opportunities Network (Neon). This fact is bluntly stated as being a problem in the introduction of the report rather than the conclusion, but it is worth looking beyond these headline figures. What do reports like this really tell us?

Actually, the number tells us nothing at all without one more such number. What’s the portion of the age cohort that is disadvantaged white?

Guess what’s the one number we’re not told?

Isn’t this discrimination?

Last week, universities in England were preparing reports on how they have diversified their student populations. These reports will be submitted to the director of fair access at the Office for Students. My university, King’s College London, will report, happily, that our undergraduate intake is now 77% state school, more than 52% ethnic minority and has the fastest growing population of low-income students in the Russell Group.

52% ethnic minority is rather higher than the UK average. Even among the age cohort in London. So, why this illegal – for such is illegal – discrimination?

Hmm, what’s that? But it’s to make u for the past or summat? But English law doesn’t work that way – illegal discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity is illegal. And yes, given the way peeps talk about Oxbridge all we do need is those numbers showing out of proportion with the target population….

Selective school does good job

London state school secures 41 Oxbridge offers

We can write Polly’s article for her now, can’t we?

The point though being:

The sixth form, which is oversubscribed, annually accepts 300 students, who are interviewed before being offered a place.

Selective school has good results.


We are equal opportunity snarkists around here

There are many plans for making the world better. Some of them stemming even from lived experience of the real world.

Maybe we should go back to the good old days with less than 5% of the cohort going to university. But I’m not a reactionary, oh no. I wouldn’t insist on Latin for admission. I would insist on a decent standard in maths though, and at least one modern language that is not the applicant’s mother tongue.

A spot of science too? One argument would say “settle for physics”. Another argument would say that a bright boy – or girl – could teach himself much of physics from books, but to learn some chemistry you really need to do some lab, therefore demand chemistry for admissions. A finely-balanced argument I’d say. Views sought on biology.

That one might betray, ever such a tad, some of that experience. Say, the lived wisdom of having taught chemistry at a very selective university which used to demand Latin as an entry requirement?

I wouldn’t want to say myself….

Didn’t think Downside would make the list

Using published figures, among the schools and colleges with the highest number of Oxbridge admissions are:

Westminster School, London (independent) – an average of 70-80 pupils each year have been offered places at Oxford and Cambridge in the last five years, the school says
Eton College, Berkshire (independent) – in 2014, 82 students were accepted to Oxbridge. The following year 68 were accepted
Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge (state sixth form college) – an average 60 pupils receive Oxbridge offers, the school says
St Paul’s School, London (independent) – 53 students went to Oxbridge in 2016 and 41 in 2015
Peter Symonds College, Hampshire (state sixth form college) – an average of 48 students received offers from Oxbridge over the past three years
St Paul’s Girls’ School, London (independent) – an average of 45 students went to Oxbridge each year between 2015 and 2017
King’s College School, London (independent) – sent 48 students to Oxbridge in 2017
Magdalen College School, Oxford (independent) – 44 students went to Oxbridge in 2018

Anti-Catholic bias I call that.

And what a surprise to see that the children of Oxbridge academics get into Oxbridge?