Capital vs. Capitol

Capital and Capitol are one of the most frequently confused pairs of words since the distinction between the two is subtle and the words are used infrequently unless you work in finance or in the government.

Capital and Capitol are an example of homophones, words that sound the same, but have different meanings and spellings.


Etymology of Capital and Capitol

Let us take a close look at the words “Capital” and “Capitol”. The words “Capital” and “Capitol” both are derived from the Latin word “caput” which means “head”.

“Capital” was derived from the words “capitalis” and “capit’le” which means “of the head” and “wealth” respectively. “Capitol” was derived from the word “Capitōlium”, the well-known temple of the gods in Greek history that was located on top of Capitoline Hill.


Meaning of Capital

The word “capital” can mean the capital of a city, the resources (both human and financial) of a business, or the uppercase letters in a word.

Examples of the correct use of “Capital”:

1. Meaning – Capital city:

In 1853, Olympia became Washington’s capital city.

2. Meaning – Alphabet in capital/uppercase letters

The name “Bill” begins with the capital letter “B”.

3. Meaning – Capital of a business

The startup raised successfully a capital of $1 million in the first quarter itself.

4. Meaning – Extremely important

Finding a solution to the sudden outburst of the people was of capital concern.


Meaning of Capitol

In the U.S., “Capitol” is the name of a popular government building where the U.S. Senate and members of the congress are housed. The word “Capitol” with a capital “C” is used to address the U.S. Capitol building.

Examples of the correct use of “Capitol”:

1. The United States Congress work in the United States Capitol building in Washington.

2. The discussion was to take place at the Capitol building today.



Now you know why understanding Capital vs. Capitol is important. The words mean completely different things and you cannot use the incorrect spelling unless you wish to confuse someone.

Best Gifts for Writers 2019

Are you looking for a gift for your favorite writer?  Whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday, or something else, you’ve come to the right place. As a community of writers, we can tell you the best gifts for writers. Below we’ve listed ten gift ideas for your favorite writer. While we have tried to provide gift options that will work for most people, we recommend that you only use the following list as a way to get ideas for gifts. You will want to buy a gift that you know will delight your writer.

1. Notebook

As one of the de facto best gifts for writers, the classic notebook is a must. There are so many options to choose from it can often be overwhelming. We recommend looking for a style that you think your favorite writer will like. Moleskine notebooks generally fit the bill pretty well as gifts for writers. You’ll want to make sure that the notebook is small enough that it can easily be carried around and stylish enough that your favorite writer won’t be embarrassed to be carrying it around.

writing notebook

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2. A Cure for Writer’s Block

Most writers will encounter writer’s block occasionally if not on a daily basis. Why not get them a gift that will cure their writer’s block? This literal block features over 780 ideas to help your writer overcome their momentary inability to write. They can simply open this block anytime they are stuck and they will instantly get ideas for writing. This 3″x3″x3″ is so portable and small that it can easily be placed on any writing desk without taking up much space.

writer's block

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3. Writer’s Mug

If your favorite is a coffee or tea drinker, they will love this gift. Not only will they be able to caffeinate themselves for daily writing sessions, they can also show off their personalities with great writer sayings. Just be wary of any passive aggressive messages they may send you. You never know how true they could be!

Please Do Not Annoy The Writer Black

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4. Writer’s T-Shirt

Let your favorite writer show off their writing pride every day with a writing t-shirt! From portraits of Hemingway to “Writing Facts” shirts, Amazon has tons of options for t-shirts for writers.

writing tshirt

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5. A New Laptop

If you are willing to spend a little bit for, a new laptop can make all the difference for your writer. If they’ve been using the same laptop for years, they will certainly appreciate a quicker laptop with a longer battery so they focus more on the writing and less on the tech. Head over to our guide on the best laptops for writers for details on what to look for in a new laptop. You’ll want to make sure the laptop you buy has the right specs and battery life so that your favorite writer will love their gift.

laptops for writers

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6. Writer’s Jewelry

If you want to give jewelry as a gift to your favorite writer, try this beautiful silver bracelet. It goes great with many styles and will allow your Hemingway to show off their writing pride!

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7. Travel Scrabble

Most likely your favorite writer is also a word nerd so they’re sure to enjoy Travel Scrabble. It’s the take-anywhere version of the classic board game. The tiles click in so you don’t have to worry about tiles falling off of the board. Perfect when you are traveling in vehicles or simply at a hotel. If your friend is not already fed-up with Words with Friends, they’re sure to enjoy Travel Scrabble and might even ask whether you want to join in!

travel scrabble

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8. Writing Tablet

If your writer loves to write on the computer, they might even like to hand write. The Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad allows you to take hand written notes and then digitize the notes automatically with the touch of a button. No more excuses for partially filled notebooks lying around.

Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad A4

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9. Kindle Gift Card

There’s a great chance that your favorite writer also loves to read, so why not get them a Kindle gift card? With a Kindle gift card, they can purchase any book from Amazon’s wide selection to read instantly on their Kindle.

Click Here for Details and Reviews on Amazon


10. Writing Retreats

There is no better way to get started writing than getting away from the hustle and bustle of life. Why not treat your favorite writer to a writing getaway? Doing a simple Google search will return hundreds of available writing retreats. Check out some of the best here.


11. Messenger Bag for Laptop

If your writer often carries around their laptop in a backpack, this fashionable messenger will be a great upgrade. Made from high density washed canvas, genuine crazy horse leather, bronze hardware and high-density cotton straps, this laptop bag is sure to last for years and always be in fashion. It easily fits a 14-inch laptop and any additional accessories or notebooks.

laptop bag

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Making sure you get the right gift for your favorite writer is crucial. You never want to experience that feeling of knowing your favorite writer threw away or regifted your gift. With the gift ideas above, those scenarios are unlikely. We wish you well in your gift search!

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

Essay writing is part of any academic activity. From grade school through college, you will often be asked to write descriptive essays so it’s important to understand what a descriptive essay is and how to write one.

What exactly is a descriptive essay?

It is a type of essay that requires the writer to describe something whether that thing is an object, a person, experience, or a situation. Through descriptive writing, the writer describes the situation in such a way that the reader can see and feel the situation, almost as if the reader is interacting with the object or thing as they read. All of the human senses are given importance while writing such an essay. The reader is able to understand the situation clearly because of illustrative language and the writer should be able to convey the same using crisp and clear language.


Steps to Writing a Descriptive Essay

How to write a descriptive essay is something that most of the students and first-time writers ponder when they first are asked to write a descriptive essay. They may have a situation in hand, but conveying the same to the reader without losing the situation’s true essence is tricky. Here are seven steps you should follow to write a descriptive essay that conveys the idea in your mind:

  1. Understand the audience: The first and foremost step to writing a descriptive essay is to understand the audience for whom you are writing. The tone of the essay depends on the audience. If the audience is small children, then the description should contain simple words that small children are able to comprehend. For a more matured audience, the tone can be slightly formal. If it is an academic writing, the essay should be formal.
  2. Choose the topic: Having a good understanding of the audience will help you a lot in selecting the right topic for your essay. First, choose a few topics and brainstorm some more topics using those initial topics as seeds. Ask yourself questions about the topics and see whether you are able to answer them. This will provide a clear understanding as to how deep you know about the topic. The more you know about a topic, the easier it will be to write about it. Do some research online so that you are able to bridge the knowledge gap. Remember to take note of the source of the information as you might have to refer to the sources in your essay.
  3. Create a draft: The next step in writing a descriptive essay is to create an outline of your essay. An outline provides a flexible structure within which you can write about your topic. This structure should be clearly subdivided so that the right picture can be conveyed to the reader. For example, if you are writing a descriptive essay about an event, it should be drafted in chronological order. For essays about a person or place, you can transition from a generic to a specific topic. Always use transition words to make your essay more logical and to connect various ideas. All senses of the human body such as sight, sound, taste, smell, and feel should be considered while writing the draft. School students are normally asked to write five-paragraph descriptive essay whereas college students have more liberty with regards to choosing the number paragraphs.
  4. Write the essay: This is the stage in which you elaborate on the outline and write your detailed descriptive essay. A descriptive essay should have a good introduction that captures the attention of the readers and which conveys the main idea of the essay. Next comes an overview of the topics covered and then your detailed description. You can divide your description into various sections, if required. The description should include similes, adjectives and metaphors. For example, instead of writing “I heard the sound of the waves,” you can write “I heard the roaring gush of water splashing against the bank.” While writing the descriptive essay, you should “show” the reader what the situation is rather than telling them. Thus, emotion plays an important role in writing a descriptive essay. Always use the same tense and do not switch between past and present tense, unless required. The essay should be concluded by providing your view point about the topics discussed. The conclusion should be precise and to the point and should be written using appealing words because this is the last thing your reader will read in your essay.
  5. Review the essay: A review should be done after you come out of the hangover of topic. Take a short break so that the description and the characters in it leave your mind. Go through the essay with a fresh mind so that you can view the essay from a reader’s point of view. Is it easy to understand the language of the essay? Are you able to convey the ideas in your mind clearly? Do you need to rewrite any of the paragraphs in the description as it is not clear? Does any of the paragraph appear to be too confusing than descriptive? These are but few of the things you should consider during the review phase. You can read out the essay loud to get a clear picture.
  6. Editing stage: This is the stage when you get the description proof read by someone. If you are a student, you can do it by yourself. Correct any grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. Jargons, if any, should be edited. If there are any alien words used in the essay, remember to provide a proper introduction during the editing stage. At this stage, you can change the style of writing, if you want. Read the description one final time before submitting it for publishing. You can also do a final plagiarism checking to ensure that there is no duplication of any sentences.
  7. Final submission: This depends on who you are and what the purpose of writing is. Always remember that experience is the best teacher. You might make some flaws the first or second time. But take it as a learning phase and try to make up the flaws next time you write an essay.


Descriptive essay writing might appear to be a cumbersome task initially. But it is not so if proper attention is given to the above steps. If you are a school or college student and is required to write the essay as part of your assessment, then you can do a homework before appearing for the final assessment. If you are a writer, then after writing your essay hand it over to someone to read. This way you will be able to understand the flaws in your writing and improvise on the same. Whatever the purpose of the writing is make sure that the descriptive essay follows a chronological or generic to specific order for easy understanding.

If you are a writer, then after writing your essay hand it over to someone else to read. This way you will be able to understand the flaws in your writing and improve on your writing skills. Whatever the purpose of the writing is, make sure that the descriptive essay follows a chronological or generic to specific order for easy understanding.


Canceled or Cancelled?

The English language can play tricks on unsuspecting minds. One word may sound similar to the other but it could mean a totally different thing. There’s rug and rag. There’s pick and peek. One of the most common grammar problems in English is the use of canceled vs cancelled. Which is correct? How do you spell cancelled (canceled)? Is it really canceled or cancelled?


The spelling really depends on which version of the English language you use. American English uses “canceled” with a single “l”. It follows the general rule of appending “-ed” to the end of the verb if the word ends in a consonant.


However, British English spells “cancelled” with “ll.” The British do still spell “cancel” with only one “l” though and there is only one correct spelling of “cancellation” regardless of which style of English you use.


Americans prefer to use one L while the British prefer to use two Ls.

According to Grammar Girl, the difference in usage of cancelled or canceled can be attributed to the influence of Noah Webster in shaping the American English Language as we know today.


The AP Stylebook, predominantly American, uses “canceled.” Therefore, most American publications and papers written for an American audience use “canceled” in their writing. In addition to this, Mr. Webster has also incorporated standard American spellings that use shorter words compared to its British counterpart. There’s color vs colour, flavor vs flavour and favor vs favour.


By principle, both canceled and cancelled are correct. However, you need to keep in mind your audience and which method they will prefer. Even if you are used to American English, if you are writing for a British, Australian or Canadian audience, you will need to adjust your writing style to communicate more effecitively.


Aside from canceled vs. cancelled, other often confused words are “your vs you’re”, “their vs they’re”, “who vs whom”, and “hanged vs hung.”



How to Overcome Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is inescapable and happens to nearly everyone. Regardless of whether you are a prolific writer or amateur, sometimes putting down your thoughts on paper or a blank computer screen can be an uphill battle. If you have ever experienced it, you will probably agree that writer’s block can leave you stuck. In this article, we hope to give you some creative ways to overcome writer’s block so you can get back to writing.

You may have faced writer’s block when you first started writing or after you’ve already written several chapters. It doesn’t matter; it affects us in the same way. Writer’s block traps your mind, leaving you with little creative ability. Despite knowing what to say, it becomes hard to put it in words.


Common Causes of Writer’s Block

The common causes of writer’s block include poor timing, perfectionism, and fear.

  • Poor timing: Sometimes you feel that it is not the right time to do your writing or you are just too late in writing your piece. This is when you lose your ideas, and you end up procrastinating. Usually, in this case, you may need to spend some time processing your ideas.
  • The idea of perfectionism: This is when you want your writing to be perfect. You end up spending too much time fleshing out your ideas. Perfectionism can be very tempting, but if your writing isn’t done correctly, you may end up writing nothing at the end.
  • Fear: This is horrible and happens to all of us. You don’t want your audience and others to criticize your piece. In fact, fear, even the mere thought of it, is the big reason why most of the potential writers never take the first move.

However, writer’s block is a temporary problem that happens to everyone including beginner, intermediate, and experienced writers. The good thing is that it is possible and easy to break writer’s block. For centuries, writers from all over the globe have come up with solutions on how to overcome writer’s block. Here are ten tips on overcoming writer’s block.


Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block

1. Mind-mapping

Mind-mapping involves outlining all of the relevant things to include in your piece which gives you a head start. Mind-mapping connects your ideas with your main theme. It ensures that your information is organized and planned so that you can come up with structured content.

Mind-mapping relates to how your brain works. It is both analytical and artistic which helps make your brain work better. Mind-mapping makes your writing fun and drives away writer’s block since you can keep expanding on your ideas as the mind map grows. Even if you are handling a tough subject, mind-mapping enables you to gain insight making sure that you never get stuck.

To get started with mind mapping, you can find some great resources here.

2. Just start writing to break writer’s block

It sounds weird, doesn’t it? But it works. It is better to write something than to do nothing. Start by doing a free writing. Put down in writing anything that comes to your mind. Even if it is crap, gibberish, or junk. The muses and fears will soon vanish if you start writing right away. Never mind about the binding chains of perfectionism. If it is garbage, you can just delete or erase it later.

3. Go for a walk to get your blood flowing

Exercise is essential in balancing your work and your psychological, emotional, and physical health. Leading an active lifestyle is the best thing for any writer. It makes your blood flow well through your brain to keep your creative juices active. Among the exercises that can help you write better include walking, jogging, and biking. By the time you come back to your workstation after your workout your head will be clear. Ideas will flow easily when you have a fresh mind.

4. Just write about the big picture

Make your writing exciting. Just look at the big picture and read as much information as possible. This can make your research interesting, and you can remain motivated throughout. Make your writing loose and never worry about simple mistakes like grammar in the first draft. Again, just write even if it means starting your writing in the middle. The thing here is making the first move. Remember that a game becomes interesting after you start playing. Similarly, you can break the fears in your writing adventure by just starting to write.

5. Get help in the areas that make you stuck

It is common to get stuck if you are tackling a big or unfamiliar subject. If you ever get stuck and have no way out, try seeking help from another writer. Identify those gaps that made your project come to a standstill and ask for advice on how to get through it. Panic will never solve anything, in fact, it will just waste your time. The sooner you find help, the faster you can get back to writing.

6. Change your writing environment

Swapping your surroundings can work wonders in fighting writer’s block. Go outside your office to a silent place outside or to a park. If you enjoy the cafe vibe, find a local coffee shop with wifi. Sometimes distractions around you can be the source of your inability to write best.

The focus is vital for flawless writing. Go to a place where your sole intention is to write. Also, leave your phone behind and unplug from the internet. Emails and other notifications can easily distract you from writing. Additionally, start your writing early when your mind is fresh in the early morning. Facebook statuses and emails can put you into a reaction mode, distracting you from your writing.

7. File and handle it later

If your writing is not due soon, then plan your time. If you are getting bored or stuck, give it time and do other things first. Doing things in pieces can make your writing fun and exciting. You’ll complete your writing naturally without ever getting stuck or frustrated. Take a smart approach and get things done the easy way. A great tool I use to bucket my time is Tomato Timer.

8. A cup of coffee can do you good

It works for most of us. If you have a strict timetable and don’t have enough time to exercise, then coffee can be a quick solution. Work on your piece as you sip your coffee. It keeps your mind active so that you can continue to be creative and fight through the writer’s block.

9. Have a notepad to jot down ideas

Despite focusing our minds on one thing, our brains never stop wandering. If something important and related to your topic comes to mind, jot it down so you can think about it later. Once you’ve written down your thought, forget about it until you are finished with your current writing. A Moleskine notebook is a great way to jot down these notes.

10. Alternate your writing with rest

Your brain is not a machine, and it will get tired and wear out. Take regular breaks and let your mind rest. Research shows that human mind is more creative when it is at rest. Get a full nights sleep and take naps when you need to. Also, make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day. I mentioned the tool I use, Tomator Timer, above which is a great way to schedule your breaks.


Writer’s block happens to all of us. Nothing frustrates us more than staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen and not knowing where to start. However, you have to push through the writer’s block and not allow it to paralyze your writing. We have talked about ten ways to help you overcome the hurdle of writer’s block.

Hanged vs Hung

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the use of the word “hang” and its tenses. The question here is, are these words interchangeable? And if they are not, what is the difference between hanged vs. hung? Should you use hanged or hung when referring to that picture on the wall? The main point to remember is that hung is used when referring to inanimate objects while hanged when referring to people.

Hang is the present tense form and means to suspend, decline downward or to cling tightly to something. Hanged is the past tense as well as past participle of hang. Hanged in most cases is used to refer to death by hanging. For example, in a sentence, we can say,

The traitor was hanged in the public square.

The word hanged has a very specific use.

hanged vs hung

Hung is another frequently used word. It is a regular past tense of hang. In fact, it is used more often than hanged. In a sentence, we can say that:

She hung the picture on the wall

Hung is used with all the inanimate objects like shelves, paintings or ornaments. Most people claim that the two words can be used interchangeably especially when referring to putting people to death. However, it is less customary to use the two interchangeably in Standard English. Hung might be the conventional word to use if referring to hanging someone out of malice but without intending to kill or put to death.

It is also vital to understand the origin of these two words. A majority of us wonder why there is two past tense for the same word. According to The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, Third Edition, there are two different words for hang from Old English including hon and hangen. These combined with Old Norse word “hangjen” led to the entanglement of the two words. This is why we have two different past tense for the word hang.

8 Best Laptops for College Students

Are you looking for a new laptop for college? You have come to the right place. We have evaluated a number of laptops that our visitors use at college everyday. Continue reading for the best laptops for college students.

Preparing for college can be stressful enough without having to decide which laptop to buy. Since most colleges require a laptop these days, it is necessary that you buy the right laptop with the right specs. Most colleges will give you the required specs of the laptops they allow, but we’ve gone a step further with this article to recommend laptops that not only meet the requirements of colleges, but generally exceed them.

Given that most college students need to be mobile, we will keep this list to only laptops, but you can certainly get a desktop for college as well when you need more computing power in your dorm. The following guide of best laptops for college students is geared towards students who need lightweight laptop options to take to class, but anyone is free to read our guide.

Before we begin, let us define what makes a great laptop for college students:

What makes a great laptop for college students?

Buying a new laptop can be a challenge if you aren’t familiar with what specs are required. Most colleges will provide these specs, but here’s an overview of what specifications you should be looking for in a new college laptop. The eight key things you need to look for when buying a new laptop are below:

Recommended laptop configuration for college students:

Storage: These days, at least 250GB is ideal. If you travel a lot, you may want to look into an SSD drive upgrade

Graphics: Getting a discrete is recommended, but not necessary

RAM: Buy at least 4GB, but more than 6GB is preferred

Software: Buy Windows or Mac OSX and your preferred word processor

Processor: AMD A6/ Intel i3 OR better

Keyboard: Buying a full keyboard might be beneficial if you have to type numbers a lot, have big hands, or just prefer one. You can either get a larger laptop (heavier) or buy a lightweight USB keyboard. Also, we highly recommend getting a backlit keyboard so you can write in low light.

Weight: Since you will be carrying your laptop to class often, we highly recommend a lightweight laptop (less than 4 pounds)


Best Laptops for College Students 2019


LaptopProcessor | RAM | StorageWeightPrice
1. MacBook ProIntel® i5 | 8GB | 128GB SSD3.5 lbs$1,000+
2. Lenovo ThinkPad T450Intel® i5 | 8GB | 500GB3.81 lbsUnder $700
3. HP Notebook ay011nrIntel® i5 | 8GB | 1TB4.65 lbsUnder $550
4. Acer Aspire E15Intel® i5 | 8GB | 256GB SSD5.27 lbsUnder $600
5. HP Chromebook 14Intel Celeron | 4GB | 16B SSD3.4 lbsUnder $200
6. ASUS ZenBookIntel® i5 | 8GB | 256GB SSD3.2 lbsUnder $800
7. Dell InspironIntel® i5 | 8GB | 1TB5.3 lbsUnder $500
8. Microsoft Surface BookIntel® i5 | 8GB | 128GB3.3 lbsVaries


MacBook Pro (Editors’ Pick)

Apple MacBook ProNo list of the best laptops for college students would be complete without the MacBook Pro. We love this laptop since it is reliable, stylish, and comes with many of the programs college students need to get started.

The MacBook Pro 13.3-Inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and up to 9 hours of battery life. MacBooks come with the Mac OS X Yosemite, but you can install Windows by using the Parallels program. It is also one of the lightest laptops on this list. It has a backlit keyboard for writing in low light and a spacious palm rest.

We recommend the MacBook Pro if you prefer the Mac OSX operating system environment or prefer a really great screen resolution. The asking price of $1,200 may be off-putting, but if you love the Apple ecosystem, this is the laptop for you.

Lenovo ThinkPad T450

Our ThinkPad T450 packs a lot of core features for college students including a fast process, lots or graphics support, a spill-resistant keyboard which is perfect for the college student working in the cafeteria.

This gem features a 14 inch full-HD LED screen, an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. For additional security, this Thinkpad laptop comes with a fingerprint reader.

The laptop comes preinstalled with the Windows 10 operating system, but that can be customized. The laptop is also lightweight coming in at 3.81 lbs.

Very rarely can you get a laptop with such great features for less than $700.[/fusion_text]

HP Notebook ay011nr

hp laptopThe HP Notebook ay011nr, packs a load of features for under $500. It’s really hard to match the bang for your buck with this laptop.

This gem features a 15.6 inch full-HD screen, an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. It even has a backlit keyboard to boot. For an additional $30, you can get an SSD hard drive which will make it less prone to heating issues and will eliminate your worries about losing data from a hard drive crash.

The laptop comes preinstalled with the Windows 10 operating system, but that can be customized. The only downside to this laptop is the weight which comes in at a little under 5 lbs.

Very rarely can you get a laptop with such great features for less than $500. We highly recommend you snatch this laptop up before it’s gone!

Acer Aspire E15

The Acer Aspire E15 could be one of your best investments if you’re willing to pay a little more than the HP above.

Like the HP, the Acer Aspire E15 packs a 15.6 inch full-HD screen, an Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. The main difference between the Acer and the HP is the 256GB SSD that comes built-in to the Acer. Also, the Acer includes 2GB of dedicated graphics RAM so if you are planning to do a lot of image editing, the Acer will be a better buy over the HP.

The laptop comes preinstalled with the Windows 10 operating system, but that can be customized. It also included a backlit keyboard which is great for college students who love late nights.

The only reason the Acer did not get our top spot for 2016 is the price tag, but it’s still a great laptop nonetheless!

HP Chromebook

The lowest priced laptop on our list, the HP Chromebook certainly offers many of the tools college students are looking for out-of-the-box.

While it may not pack the same power as the other laptops on this list, the Chromebook doesn’t need to. It has a 14-inch screen, which is plenty for writing,  4GB of RAM, and a 1.4 GHz processor. It only has 16GB of storage, but that’s because everything it does is stored in the cloud so you never have to worry about losing files!

All Chromebooks run on Google’s proprietary Google OS which functions very much like the Google Chrome browser.

For the price of only $250, it’s hard to beat the Google Chromebook, especially when it has all the features college students are looking for.

ASUS ZenBook

One of the higher-priced laptops on our 2016 list, the Asus ZenBook book offers plenty of perks to make up for the price tag.

This laptop features a 13.3-inch multi-touch (yes, you can tap it!) screen, an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. It even has a backlit keyboard and it is the lightest laptop on this list. Obviously, the main differentiator between this laptop and the others on this list is the touchscreen. This is a huge benefit for college students who want to archive their work immediately in real-time on their laptops.

If you’re looking for a laptop on which you can handwrite notes, this is the laptop for you!

Dell Inspiron

Dell InspironAnother great laptop, the Dell Inspiron has everything you’d expect from a great laptop for college students at a reasonable price.

An i5 Intel processor, 8GB RAM, 15.6 inch touchscreen, a 1TB HDD, and Windows 10 operating system. This touchscreen is cheaper than the Asus ZenBook which makes it a great buy if you are looking for a touchscreen. The wide palm area is ideal for college students as well. The 7 hours of battery life also makes this laptop a steal since you since through several classes without worrying about finding an outlet.

If you are a looking for a reliable, great laptop with a touchscreen this is a great laptop.

Microsoft Surface Book

Microsoft Surface BookMicrosoft really knocked it out of the park when the developed the Surface Book. It is a beautiful laptop that is perfect for college students who love touchscreens. While a lot pricier than most of the laptops on this list, it definitely makes up for it with value. We do only recommend this laptop for college students with deep pockets though due to the price.

Being a Microsoft laptop, the Surface Book comes preinstalled with Windows 10. The base model comes with 4GB RAM, a 13.5-inch PixelSense Display works perfectly with the included pen, an Intel i5 processor, 128 GB of storage, 8GB RAM, and up to 12 hours of battery life. The keyboard disconnects from the screen, allowing you to use it as a tablet as well.

The best part about this laptop is the screen. The included pen works seamlessly with the laptop, making this is the best touchscreen we have on this list. If you enjoy writing on laptops or tablets, this is the laptop for you.

In Conclusion

While these are the best laptops for college students according to us, you may find a laptop that better suits you. Since there are so many great laptops, feel free to list your favorite in the comments to help visitors after you who are looking for laptops for their college students. In the end, laptop choice is very personal, so if none of these laptops fit your style, find one that does!


Making a case for letter case

John Saito, a writer at Dropbox, recently posted on Medium a great article describing the reasons people and apps use title case and sentence case. If you haven’t tried our title capitalization tool yet, we allow you to do both. John argues that while title case creates a nice symmetrical pattern for short sentences, sentence case creates a more casual and inviting visual appearances, something modern brands, such as Dropbox, will want to use. Additionally, he argues that Title Case actually makes picking out proper nouns in short sentences extremely difficult. In the example he gives below, he argues that users may not realize the “Calendar” app refers to a named app or just any generic calendar app.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

title case vs sentence case calendar app
Source: Medium


Another interesting fact John talks about is that Google and Apple use different case styles:

If you’re an Apple user, you’ll notice a lot of title case throughout their products. That’s because Apple’s design guidelines recommend title case for many UI elements, including alert titles, menu items, and buttons.

If you’re a Google user, you’ll see a lot more sentence case throughout their products. And that’s because Google’s design guidelines recommend sentence case for almost everything.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

apple vs google title case and sentence case in apps
Source: Medium

To read the full article, head over to Medium.


Do You Double Space Between Sentences?

Two spaces after a period

When people used to learn how to type on a typewriter, the “two space after a period” rule was a must, since additional space was needed to show the difference between the spacing between a word which was smaller and the spacing between the sentences which was larger. The world has since changed. You’re not going to like it when I say no two spaces after a period, just use one.

You were probably taught to use double space after a period in high school typing class too, but that was wrong. How do you change the habit? You can easily break the habit as I haven’t used or tempted to type two spaces for decades. Quitting two spaces after a period is not like quitting a lot of things, like smoking. You don’t find yourself in a nostalgic typewriting situation and suddenly get hit by an unexpected urge to use a double space after a period.

Most people have been using two spaces after a period, as they were taught, but to correctly follow most style guides, you only need to use one which is more than enough to differentiate a sentence and words on most modern computers.


The easy way to get rid of two spaces after a period

If you don’t want to read the whole reasoning behind using only one space after a period, there is a simple shortcut to get rid of all double spacing in your documents. Simply use the CTRL + H in most word processors on Windows and COMMAND COMMAND +SHIFT + H on Mac. Then in the “Find” text box, type ”  ” without the quotes. That’s two spaces, what you’re searching for. Then in the “Replace with” text box type ” ” without the quotes, a single space. Then click “Replace All” and voila, your double spacing becomes single spacing.


Modern style: one space after period

If you still use two spaces after a period then you will be tormenting your editor. Most editors keep begging people to only use one space. Using two spaces after period they have to delete one, don’t think it’s not hard with search-and-replace, so it’s not hard to place dishes in the dishwasher either, the fact that you don’t like doing that, do you?

If the sympathy of the editors doesn’t move you, then you rule follower although some rules are not worth it. You don’t have to put up with a lot of to-heck-with-the-rules types of listeners or readers. And the new rule should be a one-space world not double space after a period.

Top style guides such Chicago Manual of Style, AP stylebook, and US Government printing office style manual recommends once space after a period.

Space after period’s story is always told as though the monospaced typewriter fonts needed double space after a sentence for excellent readability. The wide availability of proportional fonts on computers led to the use of single space.

Using a monospaced font the letters are all the same width, hence an I is the same width as an m. The proportional fonts the letter differ in widths, hence an i is much narrow than an m.

In fixed-width for example, the horizontal space used for the letter “j” is the same as that used for letter “k”.

  • Three jjj’s
  • Three kkk’s

Check the two sentences below:

  • Fonts such as Courier New will accomplish this task.
  • There are 49 letters and 3 numbers in this sentence.
  • Do 52 alphanumerical characters it in the same space?


Variable width fonts (proportionally)

Examples are spaced such as Arial, Verdana, Geneva and time new roman using a different amount of horizontal space depending on the width of the letter.

Example 1

  • Three jjj’s
  • Three kkk’s

Example 2: the sentences below have 52 characters.

  • Arial is a proportionally spaced font that does not.
  • Do 52 alphanumerical characters fit in the same space?
  • There are 49 letters and 3 numbers in the sentence.


Most publishers advise leaving the single character space, double spaces, between and after colons used within a sentence when working on either a manuscript and published work.

The AP clearly states the rule, and the MLA acknowledges that most presses use one space. The question remains way? And why did your grammar teacher tell you to use two spaces?

When handwriting, there’s nothing like uniform spacing; only if your handwriting is as terrible mine, hence wider spacing to make it clear new sentence has started.

Grammar Girl states the main reason why double space after period started with most typewriter using monospaced fonts as explained above. Note that the period of a monospaced font is quite far out from the final letter of the sentence, unlike in computers. If using dry typewriters ribbons the period will at times be almost invisible.

The shortcoming noted the reason arises to use an extra space: double space after the period to ensure the sentences concluding was visible even when the periods were not visible.


What about after colons?

It has always been one space after the colon; the traditional American typing practice, enjoyed by some people, who leave double space after colons and periods. The University of Chicago press, especially for formally published and manuscripts works from which they are published discourages the use of double space after the colon.


The shift to one space after a period

The story of space at the end of sentences is complicated that the traditional lore, with the many years of professional printing before the typesetters, typewriter tends to use wide spaces after the periods. The era of a typewriter, two spaces after period ruled, the computer era and the shift of typewriter to computer tools for typing, one space become the standard.

HTML and most of the blogging platforms, even if you use double spacing, they are eventually turned into one space after period. In special cases, where you need multiple spaces, you must hard code it in using the HTML code for space, such as &nbps giving you a nonbreaking space.

By doing so the program won’t break a line at the space a special way to keep two words together, hence they don’t end up on two lines such as dates or a name.


The advantages of a single space

The single space after period seems to have many advantages. It very appealing, and improves the sense of sentence flow, hence preventing the readers from getting distracted by the purgatory of an extra blank area.

The real advantages of using single space boil down to:

  • Single space is the new standard, so double space after period looks like an error.
  • HTML writing and anywhere on the web automatically removes double space, reinforce one space after period making any worrying at second space useless.
  • Double space after period, your editor will wind up doing find-and-replace and your work wind up with one space after a period adding benefits is a frustrated editor.

Recommending one space after a period doesn’t mean double space has no advantages. It has always been an element of clarity in distinguishing the end of a sentence from an abbreviation.  Further, it makes it clear a new sentence has started even if a word is not capitalized.

Lastly, you need to think of switching over to a single space. It starts with obsessing over double space after period, killing them with great displeasure, an event with a sense of loss. Within several weeks you will find and replace on every document you wrote as you will be leaving a few extra spaces in.

Within a month you will break the double space after period habit and always keep the one space after period standard in mind.


Additional Reference

7 Days to Better Writing – Day 7: Publishing Your Writing

Now that you’ve spent the last six days improving your writing, you’ll want to showcase your improvements somewhere. Today you’ll learn where to publish your work and how to make sure it’s ready for publishing.


Where can you publish your work?

You have three main methods for publishing your work that vary in cost and audience size.

Online Publishers

Amazon is by far the most well-known online publisher. They offer Kindle Direct Publishing which allows you to instantly share your writing or books with millions of readers via Kindle ebooks, but also provide full-service publishing to fill all your publishing needs. Other notable online publishers include: AuthorHouse, Apple’s iBooks, and Lulu. A new site, Reedsy, will even help you connect with the best online publishers.


External Publishers

For hundreds of years, the classic way to publish books has been to find a publisher who is willing to print your book. You had to convince the publisher that your book was going to sell a lot of copies or else it wouldn’t be worth the publisher’s time and investment. In fact, many well-known authors, including JK Rowling, were turned down the first time they approached a publisher. Unless you know your book is going to be a bestseller or has gained a large following via another form of publishing, you may want to hold off on publishing externally. The four major publishing companies are: Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Hachette Livre.


The Internet has opened many doors for amateur writers. No longer do you need a major publishing house or newspaper to publicize your writing, you can just post it online.

Blogging has become a very popular outlet for writers as there are virtually no barriers to entry. Anyone can start a blog on WordPress or Blogger, and instantly make it available to billions of people. Similarly, online forums such as the Subreddit /writing allow you to make your work available to thousands of people and get feedback immediately.


Format your writing for publishing

Now that you know where you’ll publish your writing, you need to make sure it’s formatted correctly so that your audience doesn’t immediately dismiss you as an amateur.

Style Guides

Depending on where you’re publishing your work, you may need to format your writing and titles in one of the following ways:

  • Elements of Style: The most common guide used by writers of all kinds, the Elements of Style is a must for any amateur or professional writer.
  • Chicago Style: Mostly used in academic settings for journals and manuscripts, Chicago style is still “one of the most widely used and respected style guides in the United States.”
  • APA Style: The APA, or American Psychological Association, style is most commonly used by the social sciences in journals.
  • MLA Style: MLA style is most commonly used to write and source papers within the liberal arts and humanities.

While there are a number of styles you can use, the Elements of Style is by far the most likely candidate for you.


Online Tools

Besides using our title capitalization tool to make sure your writing titles and headers are correctly formatted, there are a number of other online tools that can make sure your writing is correct. Here are our top 5:

  1. Grammarly: One of the best proofreading tools on the internet, Grammarly checks for all sorts of grammar and typo issues. It then coaches you on how to improve. There is even a Chrome extension available so you can edit right from your browser window. Check out our Grammarly review to learn more.
  2. Google Docs: The online word processing capabilities of Google Docs lets you share your writing with anyone for proofreading and formats your writing to work with most major publishing platforms.
  3. ProWritingAid: This tool not only tells you what to improve, but also how to improve. It has the ability to generate a detailed analysis on overused words, sentence length, writing style, plagiarism, clichés, redundancies, “sticky” sentences, consistency, and the like.
  4. ClicheFinder: Most readers are turned off by clichés; they see them everywhere. So why not identify them before your readers? ClicheFinder is here to save the day.
  5. PublishXpress: Want to quickly convert your Word documents to ebook-friendly formats such as epub and mobi? Try this online tool that does just that.


Publishing your writing can be hard work, but very rewarding once the world is able to read your creations. Best of luck!


For more from our 7 Days to Better Writing series:

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