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Melissa Brinks

Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

Recent Posts

Announcing Accepted - The PrepScholar College Admissions Podcast

Posted by Melissa Brinks | May 16, 2019 1:27:52 PM

College Admissions

If you love our strategy guides, we have great news: PrepScholar is launching a college admissions podcast! It's hosted by PrepScholar co-founder and Harvard grad Allen Cheng and writer Melissa Brinks.

Download our podcast now at iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and Libsyn (or wherever you get your podcasts).

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How to Add and Subtract Fractions: 3 Simple Steps

Posted by Melissa Brinks | May 2, 2019 2:00:00 PM

General Education

Adding and subtracting fractions can look intimidating at first glance. Not only are you working with fractions, which are notoriously confusing, but suddenly you have to contend with converting numerators and denominators, too.

But adding and subtracting fractions is a useful skill. Once you know the vocabulary and the basics, you’ll be adding and subtracting fractions with ease. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know for adding and subtracting fractions, including some example problems to test your skills.

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4 Popular Camel Spider Myths and the Truth Behind Them

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Apr 3, 2019 7:00:00 PM

General Education

You’ve no doubt seen pictures of camel spiders before, usually accompanied by a story about deadly bites, camel eating, or chasing people across the desert. Thanks to chain letters, camel spiders have a reputation as being fearsome, terrifying predators—but is that warranted?

In this article, we’ll be covering the facts and fictions of camel spiders, including where they’re found and what they eat, as well as some biological information about how camel spiders fit into their environment. Read on to learn more about camel spiders!

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What Is Muriatic Acid? Is It Dangerous?

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Apr 1, 2019 7:00:00 PM

General Education

Acids get a bad rap—when we hear the word, we often picture some kind of vat of flesh-eating, lime-green liquid. But acids of all kinds, including muriatic acid, have tons of practical uses, and not just for super villains! Homeowners, leatherworkers, and even the pearl industry use muriatic acid on a daily basis.

This guide will cover what muriatic acid is, some common uses for it, and how to handle it safely.

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How Many Seconds Are There in a Day? A Week? A Year?

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Apr 1, 2019 4:00:00 PM

General Education

Ever wondered how many seconds there are in a day? How about a week? A year? Thanks to Rent, we might know the number of minutes in a year (525,600), but how many seconds is that?

Whether you’re trying to get even more granular about how you measure a year or you’re just trying to figure out how many seconds are left until summer vacation, this guide will teach you how many seconds are in a day, a week, a year, and beyond. Not only will we teach you how to calculate these problems, but we’ll also give you a handy chart to keep track of them.

Read on to find out how to swap one unit of time for another!

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Who Is Aleister Crowley? The Truth About His Life and Work

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Mar 26, 2019 3:00:00 PM

General Education

The name “Crowley” has become synonymous with occultism, magic, and secret societies—but who was the man behind it all? Who was Aleister Crowley, really, and why has his name come to be synonymous with esoteric writings?

In this article, we’ll discuss who Crowley was, including his life story, the many controversies he inspired, his connection with the occult, and all his famous writings. If you’ve ever wondered about the inspiration behind characters like Supernatural or Good Omens’ famed demons, it all comes back to one famed occultist.

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2 Tricks for Remembering Greater Than and Less Than Signs

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Mar 3, 2019 1:00:00 PM

General Education

What do those little sideways carat symbols mean? They're inequalities! Inequalities can be difficult to get a handle on, especially because the greater than and less than signs look so similar. But these symbols are very useful, because they help us show the relationship between numbers or equations in a way that doesn't just say that they're equal.

In this article, we’ll be talking about what inequalities are, how they’re represented, and how to remember which sign means what.
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The 20 Most Useful Rhetorical Devices

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Mar 3, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education

Rhetoric is the art of effective communication; if you communicate with others at all, rhetorical devices are your friends!

Rhetorical devices help you make points more effectively, and help people understand you better. In this article, I'll be covering some important rhetorical devices so you can improve your own writing! 

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10 Personification Examples in Poetry, Literature, and More

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Mar 1, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education

Personification is an important literary device—as a form of metaphor, personification compares two things quickly and efficiently, often in a poetic fashion. But what is it?

In this guide, we’ll discuss what personification is, what it does, and why so many writers use it, as well as a whole bunch of examples to help you get accustomed to identifying personification when you see it.

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How to Get Help With Your College Application

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Feb 21, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

College applications can be both difficult and stressful, especially if you don’t have someone in your life who’s familiar with the process. But there are all kinds of resources for college application help—you just have to know where to look.

Not all help with the college application process is created equal. Some are a little too hands-on, which can mean your application doesn’t sound like you. Others may not offer the kind of help you need. When you’re looking for assistance, you need services that help boost your own skills, not ones that do the work for you.

It’s perfectly okay to get college application help. This guide will walk you through some options for assistance, including what you should seek help for, what you shouldn’t, and some of the best places to find reliable assistance with your college application.

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College Transfer Acceptance Rates: Which Schools Accept the Most Students?

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Feb 13, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Transferring from one school to another is a wise or even necessary choice for many students, but it’s not without obstacles. College transfer acceptance rates are actually lower than freshman acceptance rates, meaning competition is higher.

This might sound like it’s cause for alarm, but, like applying as a freshman, it just means you need to be prepared.

If you need or want to transfer but aren’t sure where to go, check out some of the colleges with the best transfer acceptance rates.

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Ethos, Pathos, Logos, Kairos: The Modes of Persuasion and How to Use Them

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Feb 3, 2019 4:00:00 PM

General Education

Ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos all stem from rhetoric—that is, speaking and writing effectively. You might find the concepts in courses on rhetoric, psychology, English, or in just about any other field!

The concepts of ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos are also called the modes of persuasion, ethical strategies, or rhetorical appeals. They have a lot of different applications ranging from everyday interactions with others to big political speeches to effective advertising.

Read on to learn about what the modes of persuasion are, how they’re used, and how to identify them!

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100 Easy Drawing Ideas to Spark Your Inspiration

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Feb 2, 2019 4:00:00 PM

General Education

Whether you’re an experienced artist or a beginner, one thing’s for sure: drawing ideas are hard to come by. Though it might be tempting to wait for the inspiration to strike you, many people recommend spending some time drawing every day to build your skills! You don’t have to produce a masterpiece every day, but investing just a little time in honing your skills can make a big difference over time.

But that raises the obvious question of what you’re going to draw. Rather than letting yourself get frozen with indecision, let this list of cool drawing ideas be your guide!

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The 20 Best Writing Contests for High School Students

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Jan 25, 2019 12:00:00 PM

Other High School

If you’re a writer—fiction, non-fiction, or fanfiction—you can put those skills to work for you. There are tons of writing contests for high school students, which can award everything from medals to cash prizes to scholarships if you win.

Not only will a little extra money, whether cash or scholarships, help you when it comes time to pay for college, but the prestige of a respected reward is also a great thing to include on your college application.

Read on to learn more about what writing contests for high school students there are, how to apply, and what you could win!

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5 Tips to Write an Excellent UCF Application Essay

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Jan 24, 2019 4:00:00 PM

College Essays

The University of Central Florida, commonly known as UCF, is one of the largest colleges in the United States. Over 50,000 students are enrolled at UCF, but that doesn’t mean it’s super easy to get in—UCF has an acceptance rate of 49.9 percent, meaning they accept just under half of students who apply.

To set yourself apart from the crowd, you’ll want to write a stellar UCF application essay. Don’t think that the fact that these essays are optional means they’re not important; they’re an additional opportunity to show why you’ll be a great addition to the student body!

In this guide, we’ll cover all the details of the UCF essay prompts, including how to answer them, what UCF is looking for, and a step-by-step guide to make your essay as strong as it can be.

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