Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying Social Work Online

Studying social work online has many advantages as well as many disadvantages. On one hand, social work online degree program can be highly beneficial for some students, but on the other hand, it can be a great disaster for other students. Success depends on the abilities of the students for instance, learning style, motivation, availability, skills, and working habits. A valuable and quality education can be obtained from online institutions, but only those students succeed who have the abilities to follow online system. Following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of studying social work online.AdvantagesThe syllabus or course material is favorable for online study, because classes like introduction to social welfare, ethnic awareness, organizational development, and cultural awareness can be taken online with ease. Students can also read, attend lectures, write essays and prepare for exams online. Study of Social work is unlike the study of studio art where students have to get familiar with resources, people, and materials at first level. However, there are some portions of the courses of social work degree where students are required to follow the traditional models of lectures and textbooks.The online classes of social work program provide flexibility to the students. If some students are doing part time job or doing full time job, then online program allow working students to take their classes either in evenings, or at the weekends. Online program provides convenience and make students feel comfortable with their schedules.Another advantage of studying this type of work online is that it allows students to study anywhere. Students who live far away from universities always prefer getting their name enrolled for online program in order to avoid traveling expenses. Moreover, online degree programs cater to the needs of all the students so that a suitable program of social work can be picked according to the interests.DisadvantagesFor some classes like action research and human services, face-to-face lectures are important to take; online education ignores this portion.Secondly, presence of senior students and advisors is always beneficial for fresh students, because they can guide students at anytime within the university campus, whereas in online program of social work, students have to help them for managing the course material in a very effective manner.Another important aspect of studying this field is that students choose this course to help disadvantaged individuals, groups, and families through practical assistance, but after completing their study from an online institute, most of the students fail to interact with disadvantaged people in real life.

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Six Ways to Cut Years Off Your Writing Apprenticeship

From the age of seven I was determined to be a writer. Ten years later I finished my first novel however it took another twenty-three before my first book was accepted for publication.

Most of those twenty-three years were spent in the creative wilderness. Yes, it’s true I wrote five more books which were submitted and rejected. Yes, I developed the thick skin from those endless rejections which stands the published writer in such good stead when the reviews are not as positive as they might hope.

But I made so many mistakes – mostly of omission – and had I only taken the time to educate myself I could undoubtedly have cut years off my writing apprenticeship.

Here are Six things I wish I’d known when I started out:

Work Hard and Have Confidence in Yourself

My dad’s mantra was the old adage that success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. He might have added that you also have to have the confidence to follow through on all that hard work.

I was passionate about my writing but also secretive and totally lacking in confidence. I didn’t share my work and the form rejection letters I received were secretly filed away and simply endorsed my belief that these novels were no good, anyway.

Revise – Remember, It’s a First Draft

I now realise those manuscripts I sent out in my teens and early twenties were first drafts. I’d never had others read or critique my work and I was too close to my creation to know where the story lagged, or where the plot became too convoluted. When the inevitable rejection came I simply pushed the ‘yet-another-manuscript-that-didn’t-cut-it’ under the bed and started with bitter determination on the next novel… another manuscript I never had critiqued.

So the moral of this is…

Become Part of a Critique Group

Disclaimer: Join the ‘right’ Critique Group. Dynamics play an important part and criticism has to be constructive and delivered in a positive and helpful manner. If you don’t feel enthused by the critiquing you receive then something’s not working. Either you’re not ready to accept advice or that advice is not being delivered in a constructive and helpful manner.

These days, ease of communication means virtually anyone can be part of a critique group. My three wonderful critique partners live in Sydney, Melbourne and London while I live in a Victorian country town.

Most professional writing organisations offer a service that will match writers who want to become part of a critique group.

Often like-minded writers will get together but we were ‘put together’ like the Spice Girls seven years ago after we’d registered interest with Romance Writers of Australia and although we write in different genres the value of each other’s constructive criticism cannot be overstated. In the early days we’d preface each negative comment with, “I hope you don’t mind me saying this but… ” Now, however, we’re all experienced critiquers and thoroughly thick-skinned regarding criticism of our work. In fact, we welcome it. It’s great to be told where and what the problem is. Knowing where the problems are can be difficult for the writer to identify but much easier for a critique partner who has the necessary distance from the work. The easy part is fixing it.

Join a Professional Writing Organisation

Most ‘overnight successes’ come on the back of years of hard work. An average apprenticeship of ten years is a figure that’s bandied about amongst my fellow members of Romance Writers of Australia. That’s a long time. Ten years of writing, submitting, being rejected and then finally getting ‘the call’ – that sweet, joyous moment that makes one feel that all that hard work has been worth it.

Being part of a group of like-minded writing friends can be wonderful but I strongly suggest becoming a member of a professional body, such as Romance Writers or Sisters in Crime – or several – depending on where your writing interests lie.

It was only when I became a member of Romance Writers of Australia that I gained an in-depth understanding of how publishing worked and learned how to make professional submissions. As a lone writer I had no idea about the protocol of submitting to editors, checking guidelines to see if queries only were preferred, or if the editor or agent’s preference was for a partial or full manuscript.

Critique groups and writers’ groups can be the best thing that ever happened to some writers, but be sure everyone knows and follows the guidelines with regard to critiquing. I’ve heard of hitherto enthusiastic, aspiring writers whose confidence has been shredded by wounding, unhelpful criticism.

Write What You Love – and Do Your Research

In my late twenties life took an unexpected turn and I found myself living in a thatched cottage in Botswana’s beautiful Okavango Delta with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot I married after a whirlwind romance – and all the time in the world to write.

Regency and Georgian historical romance were my first love but I figured I couldn’t fail if I wrote a romance set in the Okavango, inspired by my own experience. The trouble was, the manuscript didn’t capitalise on my unique perspective for, instead, I wrote an African-set love story pitched at Harlequin Mills & Boon which I addressed generically to ‘Dear Editor’ with no idea of what line it might fit. In fact, I didn’t know there were even specific lines with guidelines regarding the level of heat, suspense, etc.

So while the research for the setting was no problem – I was living ‘on location’, so to speak – I failed to do my research with regard to the publisher I was submitting to. I had preconceived ideas as to the kind of story M&B would be looking for but I’d never read a M&B story. My lack of research would have hit the editor between the eyes like a beacon of ignorance.

Enter Competitions

Entering competitions was my route to getting published. I chose competitions with feedback from three judges and where the finalists would be read by an editor from a publishing house I was targeting. After winning three Single Title competitions judged by Erika Tsang from Avon (twice) and Cindy Hwang from Berkley, I knew I was close.

With the advice of mentors, critique partners and a nurturing, professional writing organisation, I knew what editors wanted, what types of stories were selling and how to put together a professional submission.

Finally I had skills, confidence and a selling product to power me across the finish line and my 8th book – Saving Grace – will be released by Pan Macmillan Momentum on January 01, 2013.

With a bit of strategic career planning, I might have been published a good deal earlier than what amounts to nearly a life sentence.

That would have been nice.

Then again, maybe I’d not fully appreciate today the achievements of my long, and definitely interesting, journey.

So to all of you reading this with a view to publishing your own stories – good luck, make sure you have fun… but be strategic!


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Making Money Via an Online Business

The internet (Web) has revolutionized the way we live. The web caters to different online businesses and drastically altered the way corporations and private parties do business. A lot of people are looking for various ways to find a balance for work, leisure and making money nearly simultaneously. Different types of online businesses present themselves as each gives opportunities for people to earn money. A person can either have a passive or active income. From the way it’s described, passive income can be generated from actions a person sets up that earn a recurring income without other functions done to them while an active income needs work to be done continuously.In making money online, one should consider several factors before deciding which business is right. Here is a 3 step guideline to consider before a person embarks on their online business.1. Plan – The amount of experience and knowledge you will need for an online business is important. You can do the learning yourself or have a mentor guide you in the business. Think of the time you need for learning the business and the time allotted for it to grow and make money. Also plan for expenses that a person has to allot for the business. This includes the website, computer tools, training, virtual assistants, web developers and other factors. Making money online needs a lot of planning which will definitely help you in the long run.2. Decide – After research, decide on the type of online business that you will venture into. Research in the beginning is very important. One should know their way around the internet as the business revolves on it. Decide on a name for the business as it should be unique to catch search engine visitors attention.3. Market -To be making money online it is important for you to effectively market your website business. You should decide wisely on the structure and design of your website. Think of ways to attract an audience, then market your website according to that plan. Internet marketing involves different techniques to earn a higher page rank on the search engines. Moving your page rank higher attracts a larger audience for you to build a customer or subscriber list. Techniques include article marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, blog marketing, backlinking, Google AdSense ads and other techniques. You can either do affiliate marketing or direct online selling. Affiliate marketing is putting unique links on your website where you can earn a commission from a sale. Direct online Selling involves the selling of products and services through the internet. from a website business.There are many misconceptions in making money with an online business. Some say it is fast and easy, but the truth is that it is not that easy. A person needs to dedicate time to learn about it first to achieve the goal, which is to earn a profit of course. If any online business offer claims a person can make money easily and without much effort, it would be more logical to doubt it. It is important to reexamine the online business website, verify the testimonials and look for second opinions. If they are offering products for affiliate marketing, reexamine if it is legitimate. To improve the odds to earn an income for an online business, one needs to perform considerable research before making any decision. This will serve as the all important foundation for anyone making money with an online business.

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