Finding Housing For Graduate School

When you are an undergraduate freshman, college is such a brand new experience that there is practically unlimited guidance in every aspect of it. The faculty assists you when it comes to accommodations. You basically fill out a form, and they tell you where you will live down to the room number and roommate. By the time you reach graduate school, however, the living arrangements are not so accessible. If you are new to a city and unsure how to go about settling in, here are some tips.

One route you could take is living in a dorm reserved for graduate students. This may be the most convenient option if you had to live off-campus for most of your undergraduate years or if you never had the opportunity to live on-campus and had to commute from home. Just make sure that your school has graduate dormitories before eliminating anything else.

One thing to watch out for is how your school doles out room assignments. If there is limited space in the graduate dorms, it is possible that you could be placed in an undergraduate dorm instead. Depending on what you want out of your living situation, this may not be the best environment.

If money is tight but you have some availability in your schedule, you may want to become a graduate assistant, or GA. A GA is a graduate student who lives in an undergraduate dorm as an assistant to the students. These grad students can help to organize events for everyone on their floor, while also enforcing university policies and looking after the general well-being of the students. There are many perks to this position even though you would not live with other graduate students. On top of the social activities, they receive some sort of compensation for their service, such as free housing for that year and maybe free meal plans, depending on the university. Just make sure you have enough time for the extra commitment.

On the other hand, you may want to look off-campus. You can search through websites like Craigslist or local rental agencies. If you do not want to live in one place for a whole year, you should sublet since renters will charge less than they pay. If you are concerned about roommates, search within your school by posting flyers. You may be able to find enough people to live in a house, which could have a porch or backyard.

Off-campus housing could be more affordable but when living on-campus, you do not have to pay separate bills for water, electric, heat, cable, and so on. Everything is one lump sum and probably on the same bill as all other university charges, like tuition. However, off-campus could be a more homey transition into graduate school and may offer more amenities. Dormitories may feel less personal.

Even if living in a dorm turns out to be the priciest option, you could receive more financial aid with this situation. There are loans available to help pay for not only tuition but also rent. This sort of support is not offered to those who get housing outside of the school's program.

Weigh out your needs and then choose, because as you can see there are many possibilities plus variations of those possibilities. The most important thing is that you are comfortable, because this is where you will carry out your graduate school education. Take your grad school search seriously because it will affect your future. Find out where you see yourself being most productive and optimistic, and that will be your new home.

Climb To The Very Top With A Doctorate Degree

As you consider occupations and higher education options, you will read about Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and finally doctor of philosophy (PhD) or doctorate degrees. How should you decide which of these is the one you should pursue. The decision truly depends on the career path that you choose and the advantages an advanced degree brings to your choices.

For now, we will only consider doctorate or PhD degrees, which are the highest level of academic achievement and, in some countries, are considered to be the end of the educational line. Doctorate degrees are actually a group of degrees usually associated with qualifying someone to teach and, in fact, the word doctorate is derived from a Latin word meaning "to teach". However, teaching is only one of the occupations performed by "doctors" as you will discover.

Study for a doctorate takes from four to eight years and consists of coursework, a comprehensive examination, and a research dissertation. There are different types of doctoral degrees, and the type of courses and number of credits earned varies from program to program. The most common degrees are research doctorates, or what we think of as PhDs, and they require coursework and a specific research project to complete.

In some countries, there is a hierarchy of research doctorates called higher doctorates, which require a body of research work called a portfolio. There are also professional doctorates, which require research aligned with a specific profession, and these degrees are held by lawyers, doctors, and psychologists. Finally, there are honorary doctorate degrees, which are given in recognition of contributions in a particular field or for some philanthropic efforts.

Other than the professions mentioned above, there are very few careers that actually require a doctorate degree, but it certainly provides an advantage for the highest paying jobs or for work in government services. The advanced degree also qualifies you for a position upgrade to titles such as professor, CEO, consultant, or research worker. If you already have a Master's degree, the doctorate puts you in line for a pay raise.

Since there are so many institutions that offer doctorate degrees, you must consider your choice carefully. You should first consider whether or not the school and program is accredited and whether or not there are financial aid programs to help you afford the tuition and fees. You should then consider the reputations of the curriculum, program, and faculty before making your selection.

You should also consider whether you can make the commitment to in-person classes or would rather enroll in an online program. Online programs are now not only acceptable but also accredited. In these programs, some in class time is still required and a comprehensive project or supervised placement replaces the research thesis.

Doctorate degrees are very prestigious. The time, effort, and commitment that a student must make to a doctorate program are extensive; so much thought and research is required up front. Depending on your career and educational goals, however, the rewards can be huge. If you are ready for the challenges from the highest level of academic achievement, then you should begin your journey today. Start by researching universities to see where you would like to attend.

Older Students Are Often Well-Prepared For Graduate School

If you are just thinking about going back to school to pursue graduate studies after a long break from the world of academia, you may be wishing you'd got an earlier start. You may even feel as if you've been wasting time or just spinning your wheels in the years following your undergraduate degree. After all, some ambitious college students go straight to graduate school after completing a Bachelor's program, getting a jump-start on a better career with higher earnings. This route, however, is not recommended for everyone. In fact, adults returning to school to complete graduate studies at a later date are often at an advantage.

Keep in mind that for many students, graduate school is a way of avoiding the workforce for just a few more years. Not every college student who enters a graduate program has a clear idea of what he or she wants to get out of it. Rather, it can at times be an escape route for young adults who don't know exactly what they want. As an older student, you likely have a much more focused idea of what you want to do with your graduate studies, and you are far less likely to be pursuing an advanced degree for frivolous purposes.

Because you've spent time in the workforce, you know what steps are necessary to further your career. You not only know whether or not a graduate degree is a necessary investment to go far in your field, but you also know what concentration you should be pursuing and what actions you must take to make your degree count.

Just the fact that you have spent years in the workforce, whereas some graduate students have never held a job, gives you an advantage. You'll more easily see the application of what you are learning. Your work experience will give you valuable perspective. In fact, many graduate programs look for work experience during the admissions process, tending to favor applicants who have spent time employed in their field.

As an older student, you have also had time to grow up a lot. By this point, you understand the value of your education and will make the most of it. Older students tend to have better grades and attendance than their younger counterparts, and they tend to participate more frequently in class and generally make the most of their opportunities.

Older students also tend to be better at networking in grad school. They have spent time holding a job or several jobs, which led to confidence gain and a loss of timidity. They tend to know what they want and how others can help them achieve their goals.

As an older student, you may experience unique challenges while working on your graduate degree, due to the length of time since you have last been in school. The truth is that it should not be long before everything you've learned in the past comes flooding back. You'll find that you're a smarter, stronger student than you were in the past, after your initial rustiness goes away.

It is never too late to go back to college, and you'll probably be glad you did. Going to graduate school after you've been in the workforce for some time could give you the competitive edge you need to go farther in your career. You can even choose to take courses online!

Going Back To College After A Long Hiatus

Many students begin college only to find that the other responsibilities in their lives get in the way. It is not uncommon for students to later decide that a college degree is important to their success. If you are thinking about finishing a college degree you started a long time ago, there are some steps you should take to ensure that you are prepared for beginning college anew. Before long, you'll on track to earning the college degree you need to get started on what you wish to accomplish in your life.

Your first step as a returning college student should be to evaluate where you are so far. Perhaps you took a couple of courses in community college, or maybe you were only a semester away from completing your degree. People find themselves having to leave college for many reasons. Rather than dwell on your decision to leave school, think positive. The credits you have earned in the past may still count towards your degree.

You should contact your prospective college about credits you already have so you can determine whether or not they will be accepted. Even if credits that you already have cannot be used towards your major, they may be accepted as elective courses. Even if it was 10 or 15 years since you were last in college, many colleges today will accept your credits in an effort to be accommodating to the large number of adults now returning to school. Some exceptions might be courses in subjects such as computer science, where great advances have been made since you were last in college.

An admissions counselor will be your go-to person to help you as you transfer credits from other institutions to the college where you have decided to earn your degree. He or she will be able to tell you which credits transfer and which do not. If certain credits don't transfer, do not look on them as wasted time. Instead, view them as valuable experience and preparation for the rest of your college career.

If you feel you have been really wronged by an admission counselor, however, you may choose to petition the Dean of Admissions. Courses from your past may be accepted for credit if you are able to back up your argument with evidence that your credits from the past do indeed meet a university's requirements.

Now is also the time to evaluate whether the major you may have been working towards when last you were in college still applies to your life and career goals. Many students find that after taking some time off from college, they have now matured and developed to the point where they have different ambitions. It is perfectly okay to change your major to reflect your new goals.

Finally, it is time to determine what course load you think you can handle as a returning student. If it has been quite a while since you were last in college, you may choose to take things slowly. If you have a full-time or even a part-time job, that is also a good reason to take just one or two courses at a time, at least until you learn to juggle your responsibilities.

Making the choice to go back to school after a break can seem complicated, but don't despair. Before long, you'll be attending classes with more resolute goals and a refreshed state of mind. Keep in mind that online college may be very practical for you.

Post Natal Exercise Training Courses

If you work as a fitness professional you will from time to time take on a client who is having a baby. More and more women are choosing to continue exercising through their pregnancy, as more studies show it to be safe and even beneficial for most women and their unborn babies. Equally important is post natal exercise, to get your client fit and healthy after giving birth, and helping to cut down the time it takes for them to get back into shape. There are many techniques, dos and don't of post natal exercising, and your course will teach you the safest and most effective ways to help your client.

By gaining a post natal exercise course certification you will be well equipped to give the best advice and safest exercises to these clients, having gained a full understanding of the physical and psychological changes as well as the medical complications faced as a result of pregnancy. By completing a post natal exercise course you will be able to adapt your client's exercise prescription to accommodate them safely and to best effect.

After giving birth the muscles of the lower back and core abdominal muscles are weakened, and ligaments are more supple making it easier to damage them. A new mum may not have much energy for exercise, but will want to get back into shape. Exercise can actually help your client relax, as well as giving them a little time to themselves. It will also helps them feel more energetic and better equipped to deal with the pressures of parenthood.

New mothers who exercised up until giving birth will find it easier to get back into training and can begin as soon as they are ready with a series of gentle rtretching and light exercise. If she stopped exercising during the pregnancy or did not exercise at all a gentle start after a longer delay may be the best way forward. You will learn more about this during your post natal training course. Swimming may not be recommended as post natal exercise for at least the first six weeks due to the risk of infection. Aerobic exercise such as running and tennis are not usually recommended until the pelvic floor muscles have recovered.

During your post natal exercise training diploma you will learn the expertise and build up your confidence when working with new mothers as clients. You will learn more about the changes your clients have experienced, what effect it has had on them, and what you can do to help. By the end of your course you will be able to deliver safe exercise plans which benefit the client by specifically targeting key areas affected during pregnancy, to help ease pain and discomfort, reduce weight gained, and help get your client back into shape after the birth.

Once you have gained your post natal exercise certificate you will also be adding another 'string to your bow', a qualification on your CV to help you stand out from the crowd and create more interest from potential employers, or help you gain a pay rise from your current place of work.

Philip Loughran writes on a number of subjects from travel to law, automotive to education. For personal trainer courses and personal training diplomas he recommends Future Fit.

Know More About GMAT Syllabus

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an extremely complicated test that is taken for selecting students for management and business programs. If you plan to apply for global business schools, GMAT can be the gateway for you. Since the top schools (more than 1900 schools) of the world are selecting candidates through the score of GMAT, it is obvious that cracking the test is not an effortless task. There are three principal parts of GMAT syllabus, and you need to master all of them to encompass a satisfactory score.

1. GMAT Verbal Ability
The verbal section of GMAT tries to understand your knowledge of English. There are three types of questions that are included. The first is sentence correction, which tests your correct expression, effective expression and proper diction. Reading comprehension tests the understanding of the candidate in general English. The way you comprehend a topic determines the marks. Critical reasoning will tests your logical ability to understand a complex sentence or argument. There are 41 questions included in this section, and you have 45 minutes to complete the same.

2. GMAT Quantitative Ability:
This section is also known as the mathematical section that tests your knowledge in algebra, geometry and arithmetic. Most of the questions come from high school level and wants to see your understanding of elementary mathematics. There are 37 multiple choice questions, and you are allowed 45 minutes to complete. The data sufficiency segment of the paper tests mathematical and logical reasoning. You will be given a problem with two statements, which you need to understand and answer. The problem solving section will test arithmetic, algebra and geometry concepts.

3. GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment
This part of GMAT tests your analytical skills. There are two parts of the section-analysis of an argument and analysis of an issue. You will have a total of 30 minutes to complete each analysis. In the analysis of an argument, a paragraph or generally, an argument is given in the paper, which candidates need to analyze critically. You need to understand and present your understanding of the same. In the analysis of an issue, you need to give your viewpoint on complex ideas or situation. This question will try to evaluate your ability to determine the pros and cons of a situation and come to an understand-based analysis.

However, you many think you can prepare for these sections on your own, you would certainly need help for tricks and saving time. You can take a few tests to find your level of understanding and then, you can decide of you need training and coaching. There is noteworthy coaching available for GMAT, which can help you learn few essential ways of solving problems without taking time. Since you need to attempt all sections within the specified time, the need for time management is inevitable.

Coaching centers can give you relevant materials for self preparation, and you can easily contact the faculty, in case, you have any problems understanding the course content of GMAT syllabus

ESL Writing: Spelling

Spelling of English Words:

People spoke English before they wrote it. When they started writing it, there was a lot of confusion about how to represent the sounds. That means there was a lot of confusion about how to spell the words. Over the years, the way people spoke English changed but what they wrote down in books and dictionaries did not change. As a result often there is little in common between how English is written and how it is spoken. That is why English spelling seems illogical.

But you have to deal with the difficulties of spelling correctly in your writing. Proper spelling is important to you as you learn to write English. It is important for two principal reasons.

The first is that the image your writing projects of your seriousness and competence depends greatly on your spelling. Persons who spell correctly in their writing are considered more intelligent and their professional work makes a better impression.

The second reason is that spelling correctly can help not only your writing but also your reading and speaking. Most adults who are learning English are used to saying that there is no sense to the spelling of English words.

This is not true. Although English is not always pronounced the way it is spelled, you will be happy to learn that you can learn a few facts and "rules" of English spelling that will help you in your writing. But remember, even the best rules have their exceptions. Although spelling is usually taught to children, it is not child's play. It is important to you because it is very closely related to your reading, writing, and vocabulary improvement. This is because all these activities depend on the same language skills.

Spelling and Writing:

Of course, spelling is most connected with writing. Your writing will not impress your readers as mature or professional if it is full of misspelled words. Furthermore, if you can't spell well, you will tend to avoid writing, and when you do write you will write shorter pieces. The result of your fear of spelling will keep you from using the more expressive words you may know because you are afraid of spelling them wrong. This is the reason why we have this section on spelling in a book that is dedicated to helping you improve your writing.

Spelling and Reading:

As your spelling improves, you will be able to read more words. You will be able to read groups of words, rather than single words, and will understand more of your reading. You will get clues from your knowledge of word parts. For example, if you learn the word sociology, you will recognize the ending in other words such as geology, biology etc.

As you come across new words that indicate fields of intellectual activity, you will be able to build on the ology ending. You will just have to learn the word part that indicates the field of study. This way your recognition and spelling vocabulary will grow.

You know that there are many words in English that are spelled differently but are pronounced the same. The words rite, write, andright are all pronounced the same. Instead of this making your reading more difficult, it will make it easier for you. As you learn the meaning of the different words, the spelling will help you keep from confusing the meaning, and help in your understanding of what you read.

An example of the connection between spelling and reading is the pair of words, stationery and stationary. School children learn to spell both words correctly by suing the memory trick of remembering that the words letter and paper (items sold in stationery stores) are written with the letters "er" and not "ar". This way the children remember that stationery with an "e" refers to the tools of correspondence, such as paper and envelopes etc.

Spelling and Speaking:

Certain words in English, such as flesh, flush, flash, fresh, etc. are only different from each other in one or two letters. The person that learns to spell these words necessarily learns the meaning and vice versa. The persons who concentrate on the spelling and the value of the consonants will also improve their speaking and writing. An interest in spelling will make you a better speaker and writer of English. You will understand better the meaning of the words when you write them.

Learning their differences in spelling also will also help in your speaking; you will know their meaning and how to pronounce them more clearly. Similarly an interest in the proper pronunciation will make you a better speller of English. Some people just go on spelling similar words wrong and give the excuse that "they sound the same". However, when you learn the proper pronunciation you will be able to spell the word correctly.

Ways of Learning Spelling Rules:

Some people say that English is crazy and has no rules, and that there is no way to be able to learn spelling rules. These people influenced the teaching of primary English to children. Their theory of teaching English emphasized the visual recognition of the words. Taken to an extreme, this approach makes learning the spelling of English words the same as that of learning Chinese characters.

Fortunately, this approach is being displaced and teachers are returning to that which used to be the approach to spelling, the language based teaching of spelling. Now we recognize that the spelling of nearly 50% of English words is predictable based on the letters in the word. For example, the spelling of the "hard" k sound, the /k/ in pack, look, and act are predictable to those who know the rules. Furthermore, 34% more of English words (such as knit, boat and two) are predictable except for one sound.

Finally, if we take into account other information such as the origin of the word, or its meaning, a very small percentage of English words are truly irregular and have to be learned visually by reading them several times. The language based approach to spelling is even more appropriate for you, who are learning English as an adult. You are better equipped than the child to see categories and to apply rules. If the language based system is better for children; it is even more useful for adults.

The Language Based Approach is based on:

    * word origin and history,
    * syllable pattern,
    * word parts,
    * letter patterns.
    * Don't be afraid. We will explain these points step by step and as clearly as we can. The few examples we will give you should be enough for you to recognize other examples of the three main parts of the language based approach so that you can continue improving your spelling on your own after reading this brief introduction.

Word Parts: Knowing the important parts of words such as prefixes, suffixes and roots will help you in your spelling, writing, and speaking. Some teachers will give a list of words for students to memorize their spelling, for example teacher, professor, aviator, writer, actor, carpenter, author, plumber, baker, etc.

To concentrate on the different suffixes is a better way to learn the difference in the spelling of these words. Take a look at what follows. It is only one example but will help you discover and learn other word parts. The everyday words end in "er", and the more modern or sophisticated words end in "or".

There is a reason for this which will help you. The words that name everyday trades and professions (like teacher, baker, carpenter) come from Old English or entered modern English early, while the "more fancy" professions (like professor, actor, author) are named by words that come from Latin, and were introduced into English much later.

This is just one example of how a knowledge of the different suffixes, "er" or "or" can help you. The origin of these two different suffixes also brings us to look at the role of the origin and history of words in the next section. English has many Latin and Greek word parts (prefixes, roots, and suffixes).

It is useful to know them to use the correct word in your writing. Look at the following. Following are a few examples; they are only a few among many that have entered the English language. If you learn a root or a prefix it will help you with other words. Little by little you can learn them all. For example, in the word "geology", the word part "geo" has to do with the earth, and "ology" is the "study of". Next time you see the word "geography", "geometry", etc. you will know that it has something to do with the earth. You will also have a start on knowing the meaning of "anthropology", psychology", "sociology", "criminology", etc.

Common Roots

Root - Original Meaning - Example - Definition of the Example

agri - field - agronomy - study of crop production and soil.

anthropo - man - anthropology - the study of man

astro - star - astronaut - one who travels in interplanetary space

bio - life - biology - the study of life

cardio - heart - cardiac - pertaining to the heart

cede - go - precede - to go before

chromo - color - monochromatic - only one color

demos - people - democracy - government by the people derma - skin - epidermis - the skin's outer layer

geo - earth - geology - the study of the earth hydro - water - dehydration - the loss of water

hypno - sleep - hypnosis - a state of sleep

ject - throw - eject - to throw out

magni - great, big - magnify - to enlarge, to make bigger

man(u) - hand - manuscript - written by hand

mono - one - monoplane - airplane with one wing

ortho - straight - orthodox - right, true, straight opinion

ology - study of - geology - study of the earth

onomy - science of - astronomy - science of the stars

pod - foot - podiatry - care of the foot psycho - mind - psychology - study of the mind

pyro - fire - pyromaniac - a person obsessed with fire

script - write - prescription - written instructions for medical care.

terra - earth - terrestrial - having to do with the planet earth

thermo - heat - thermometer - instrument for measuring heat

zoo - animal - zoology - the study of animals


Common Prefixes (word parts at the beginning of words)

Prefix - Original Meaning - Example - Definition of the Example

a-, an- - without, not - atypical, amoral, anarchy - not typical, not moral, no government

ante- - before - antebellum - before the war

anti- - against - antifreeze - liquid used to guard against freezing auto- - self - automatic - self-acting or self-regulating

bene- - good - benefit - a value; a gift bi - two - bicycle - with two wheels

circum- - around - circumscribe - to draw a line around contra- - against - contradict - to speak against

de- - reverse, remove - defoliate - kill vegetation by killing leaves

dis- - apart - dislocate - to put out of place ex- - out - excavate - to dig out

equi- - equal - equidistant - equal distance extra- - beyond - extraterrestrial - beyond the earth

hyper- - over - hypertension - high blood pressure

hypo- - under - hypothermia - body's reaction to extreme cold

in-, il-, it-, im- - not - invisible, illegal, impossible - not visible, not legal, not possible

inter- - between - intervene - come between

intra- - within - intramural - within bounds of a school

intro- - in, into - introspect - to look within, as one's own mind

macro- - large - macroscopic - large enough to see by the naked eye

mal- - bad - maladjusted - badly adjusted

meter - (measure - thermometer - instrument to measure heat micro- - small - micrometer - instrument to measure small units

multi- - many - multivitamins - a pill containing many vitamins

neo- - new - neologism - newly popular word non- - not - nonconformist - one who does not conform

pan- - all - pan-american games - competitions in the western hemisphere

poly- - many - polygonal - having many sides

post- - after - postgraduate - after graduating

pre- - before - precede - to go before

pro- - for - proponent - a supporter

proto- - first - prototype - first or original model

pseudo- - false - pseudoscience - false science

re- - back again - rejuvenate - to make young

retro- - backward - retrospect - a looking back

semi- - half - semicircle - half a circle

sub- - under - submarine - ship that goes under the water

super- - above - superfine - extra fine

tele- - far - telescope - seeing or viewing afar

trans- - across - transoceanic - across the ocean

ultra- - beyond - ultraviolet - beyond violet on the light spectrum

un- - not - unnecessary - not necessary

Word Origin and History:

If you are curious and try to learn the origin of words when you look them up in a dictionary, little by little you will be conscious of the influence the origin of a word has on its spelling. For example, my students confuse the words past and passed. They write:In the passed, life was simpler. The child past his exams.

Of course these sentences are wrong. It is easy to correct this error. You have to realize that the word passed is a form of the verb pass because it ends in the letters "ed". Once you have this engraved in your mind you will never write, The bus past our stop. You will know that since you are talking about what the bus did, you are using a verb. You are saying that the bus did not stop, that it went on. You will know clearly that the proper word to use is the word passed. The proper sentence is:The bus passed our stop.

Other examples are the pairs: mist and missed, band and banned. It should be easy for you to realize that the proper use of the words is the following.

    * In the morning the mist makes it hard to see.
    * The hunter shot at the bird but missed.
    * The government banned smoking in public places.
    * The band played the music too loud.

Syllable Patterns

First of all, let's be sure we know what a syllable is. When we hear English spoken we hear a certain rhythm; we don't hear one unbroken sound. We hear different parts of what is being said. If we hear the phrase "Robert's father", we hear four parts of the saying: "Ro" "bert's" "fa" "ther". Each of these parts is a syllable.

Also, let's review what vowels and consonants are. Vowels are sounds that we make with no interruption of the flow of air by the mouth, tongue or lips. Consonants are sounds that stop, interrupt, begin or end a vowel; consonants are made with the different placement and use of the speech organs. Now we can look at the syllables.

There are two kinds of syllables in English: open syllables and closed syllables.

It is very useful to know this because it will help you in your spelling. The open syllable ends in one vowel and that vowel is long. A closed syllable ends in one vowel and that vowel is short.

The vowel of an open syllable is long, for example, he, go, and the first syllables of apron, hotel, etc. A "long" is a vowel that sounds like its name in English. The "a" of apron sounds like the name of the letter "a" and the "o" of hotel sounds like the name of the letter "o".

A closed syllable ends in one vowel and that vowel is short, that is, it has a sound that is NOT the same as the vowel's name in English. Why bother with this? Because it will help us to spell correctly the words we know how to pronounce.

You probably have heard the word "rabbit" and have talked about this long-eared animal. If you know the difference between open syllables and closed syllables, you will know that you spell this word with two "b"s. If you spelled it with one "b" as*"ra" "bit", the first syllable would be open and therefore the letter "a" would sound like its name and it would sound like "ray".

Since you know that the long-eared rodent's name doesn't sound like "ray-bit", you know that have to double the consonant "b" in the middle of the word. On the other hand, the word "label" is splht into two syllables before the consonant so the first syllable is open and there is no double "b" as in "rabbit". So this word is pronounced with a long vowel and sounds like "lay-ble".

This is a simple rule to remember; it is the "rabbit rule" and reminds us that in a two-syllable word, there has to be a double consonant in the middle after a short vowel. Knowing this rule is better than memorizing the spelling of words like ladder, tennis, written, etc.

Of course there are exceptions but the "rule" holds up most of the time. According to the "rule", the words lemon and camel should be spelled with two "m"s because their first syllable is not long. But they are not; they are spelled the way they are spelled with only one "m".

This is an example of what makes people complain about English spelling. True, it would be easier for you if the "rabbit rule" always was followed, but why complain about the exceptions if the rule helps you most of the time?

The "rabbit rule" not only helps you spell, it helps you read. If you come across an unknown word like "written", you will know how to pronounce it. You will know that the first vowel is not long, although you know that it is a form of the word "write".

Many people who learn English think that the word should sound like "write". They pronounce the word as if it were "writen". There is no reason to pronounce it this way, since you have the word in front of you with two "t"s. Of course, knowing the rule you will write correctly.

Letter Patterns:

If you learn certain facts about how different letters show up in English words, this will help you with your spelling and writing. This is because English is spelled in certain ways to preserve connection with how it is pronounced whenever this is possible.

Knowing a few letter patterns will be a big help. For example, surely you already know that the letter "q" is always followed by the letter "u" as in the words "queen" and "question".. Also, for some reason in the nature of the English language, no word can end with the letter "v" without a silent "e" at the end. Therefore, we have glove, move, live, etc.

The /k/ sound There are more letter patterns but for the moment, let's look at an important one. The sound /k/, not the letter "k", is sometimes spelled with the letter "c" and sometimes with the letter "k". If the sound comes before the letters "a", "o", or "u", or before any consonant, the hard sound (like someone coughing) is spelled with the letter "c", as in the words, "cat", "cup", "coat", "cover", "cut", "cable", "clean", etc. Before the letters "e", "i", or "y", this hard sound is spelled with the letter "k", as in the words, "keep", "kite", "whiskey", Kevin, kipper, funky, monkey, etc.

The letter "c" and the /s/ sound The letter "c" usually has the sound /s/ before the letters "e", "i" or "y", such as in the words cell, celery, cilantro, receive, incipient, cyber, etc. On the other hand as explained above, before the letters "a", "o", or "u", the letter "c" represents the hard sound as in the letter words, "cat", "cup", "coat", "cover", "cut", "cable", "clean", etc.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but you can learn them by making up little reminders as you learn the words that don't follow the rule. To remember a few of them say, "The kangaroo and the skunk like to skate".

The /g/ sound A similar pattern involves the sound /g/, not the letter "g". The sound /g/ sounds like someone choking or like Lady Gaga's name. This sound is sometimes spelled with the letter "g" and sometimes it requires a "u" after the "g". If the sound comes before the letters "a", "o", or "u", or before any consonant, it is spelled with the letter "g" alone, as in the words, "goat", "gum", "glove", "go", "Gus", "gas", "glue", etc.

Before the letters "e", "i", or "y", this sound is spelled with the letters "gu", as in the words, "guitar", "guess", "guy", guilty, etc. There are many exceptions to the rule, but as with the sound /k/ you can learn them by inventing little reminders as you learn the words that don't follow the rule, such as "Get the gilded gelding!"

Rules of adding "es" to:

    * make the plural of nouns ending in s, sh, ch, or x,
    * and the third person singular of verbs ending in s, sh, ch, or x.


One kiss - Two kisses

One lunch - Four lunches

One fox - Three foxes

One lass - Many lasses.

One tax - Many taxes

One ass - Many asses


Tax - NYC taxes our income.

Fish- He fishes for salmon.

Crunch - She crunches up her old cereal boxes.

Pass- John passes all his tests.

Words ending in the letter "y" Words that end in this letter "y change the "y" to "i" before adding any suffix or other word ending, unless the suffix begins with the letter "i". Look at the following examples:

    * The word happy changes the "y" to "i", adds the suffix and becomes happiness
    * The word beauty changes the "y" to "i", adds the suffix and becomesbeautiful
    * The word plenty changes the "y" to "i", adds the suffix and becomes plentiful
    * The word try changes the "y" to "i", adds the suffix and becomes tries

BUT... If the suffix starts with the letter "i" (for example "ing"), the word try does NOT change the "y" to "i". It adds the suffix and becomes trying. If we add the ending ish to the word boy, we get boyish.

Doubling the Final Consonant:

a. Words ending in an accented short vowel or any spelling of a special English vowel sound (as in the words "bird", "turn", "word") double the final consonant so that the word has the original sound when a vowel suffix is added..

For example:

remit - remittance

upset - upsetting

occur - occurred

confer - conferring

refer - referred

concur - concurrent.

BUT... If the accented vowel is not short, the word does not double the final consonant. Wait a minute! What is an accent? An accent (not the way you talk, like an American accent) is the stress or emphasis on a syllable. We say the word "telephone" with the accent on the first syllable. It is TELephone, not telePHONE.

For example:

reload - reloaded

defeat defeating

delude deluding

slide slider

b. Words ending in a consonant in which the accent is not on the last syllable do not double the final consonant.

For example:

open - opening

holler - hollering

recover - recovered

c. Also if the words ends in a silent "e", the "e" is dropped and there is no doubling.

For example

forgive - forgiving

pure - purify

refuse - refusal

fame - famous

globe - global

convince - convincing

The author of this article is Frank Gerace and it is taken from his book: ESL Learners CAN WRITE RIGHT!

Frank Gerace Ph.D has served in Latin America in UN and national Educational and Communication Projects, and has taught in Bolivia and Peru. He currently teaches English in New York City as well as maintaining a strong bilingual presence on the web. He provides guidance on accent reduction and the proper American English accent at He also offers resources for Spanish Speaking learners of English.