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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

What Is the Specific Heat of Water? How Is It Special?

If you’ve ever walked along a beach on a sunny day and dipped your toes in the water to cool them off after the hot sand, you’ve taken advantage of the specific heat of water.

Despite how it may sound, specific heat doesn’t refer to the exact temperature of something. It’s a larger scientific concept that has to do with the energy it takes to heat a substance up. As you might have noticed from the example, not all substances warm up at the same rate—hence the different temperatures of the sand and water.

Water’s specific heat is one of its most interesting characteristics. In this article, we’ll be covering what specific heat is, what equation you use to find specific heat, and why water’s specific heat is so high.

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How to Solve a Rubik's Cube: 4 Different Ways

The Rubik’s cube—a 3x3x3 cube of mixed colored blocks—has been perplexing users since it was created in the 1970s. Solving it is difficult enough, but "speedcubers," or those who solve the cube at breakneck speeds, have renewed interest in how to solve a Rubik’s cube for people around the world.

If you want to be a world record-breaking speedcuber, you have to start small. This guide on how to solve a Rubik’s cube for beginners gives an overview of the basic method, an introduction to Rubik’s cube algorithms, and even some advanced tactics for those of you looking for some tips to boost your speed.

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RN vs BSN vs LPN: What Program Is Right for You?

Becoming a nurse is a great career goal—nurses are always needed, and the career can be a rewarding, fulfilling experience! But when you start looking into nursing programs, things can get a little complicated. What’s the benefit to being an RN vs a BSN? How about an LPN vs RN?

In this article, we’ll be talking about all these different programs, abbreviations, and careers, including what each one is, how to find a good program, and even an LPN vs ADN RN vs BSN RN salary comparison.


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What Is a Praying Mantis? 9 Fun Facts

Praying mantises are one of the world’s most fascinating insects. Not only do they look interesting, with their unique forelegs tucked up under their heads as if they’re praying, but they’re also known for a pretty creepy reproductive trait—sexual cannibalism.

In this article, we’ll be sharing some of the most interesting praying mantis facts, as well as their life cycle, their macabre mating habits, and whether or not these little predators pose any danger to humans.

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SAT Test Dates 2019 - 2020

If you’re applying to colleges, you need to know the upcoming SAT test dates for 2019 - 2020! Knowing these dates in advance, even if you’re not quite ready to take it yet, gives you all the more time to prepare and prep for your test, and in the SATs, prep is everything.

This article covers the SAT dates for 2019 and 2020, throughout the 2019 to 2020 school year. You can find the previous year’s test dates here, or dates for the future here!

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How to Write a Cursive S: 3 Calligraphy Tips

Learning cursive is learning an entirely new writing system. While it has many similarities to the letters in print writing, cursive is also quite different—and the cursive s is one of the letters that frequently throw people off.

In this article, we’ll show you how to write an uppercase cursive s and lowercase s in cursive. We’ll even get a little inventive and show you how to write a fancy s!


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What Is Political Science? Is It the Right Major for You?

If you love analyzing the state of world governments, combining historical events with modern conflicts, and proposing brilliant new solution to the world’s issues, political science might be the field for you.

But what is political science? This complex field combines history, politics, and scientific reasoning into one big package. Learn more about political science jobs, the political science major, and the field as a whole in this in-depth article!


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Who Was Queen Victoria? What Was She Famous For?

Queen Victoria of England is one of the most iconic figures of the British monarchy. Plenty of other kings and queens have captivated attention throughout history, but few have done so with the fervor of Queen Victoria, in part because her reign was one of the longest in British history.

Queen Victoria kept diaries from the age of 13. Because of this, we have detailed records of her thoughts, feelings, and actions throughout her reign in a way that we don’t for many other famous leaders. 

The length of her reign was just one piece of why Victoria is still so famous today. In this article, we’ll cover Queen Victoria facts, including her life story, important events in her reign, the Queen Victoria family tree, and why she remains such a popular figure today.


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How to Improve Your Memory: 9 Simple Tips

Forgetfulness happens to all of us. But if you’re struggling to remember things on a regular basis, you may be wondering how to improve your memory in a way that lasts.

In this article, we’ll be covering some memory improvement tips and tricks, including how to manage some common causes of forgetfulness, how to improve your health for better memory, and what behavioral tricks will help you remember things better.


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Interdisciplinary Studies: What Is It? Should You Get a Degree?

Colleges have a wealth of degrees to choose from that can lead you to all different kinds of career paths. But if you’re looking for something more specialized, something that can combine your love for multiple disciplines into one complete package, interdisciplinary studies might be right for you.

If you have questions like what is interdisciplinary studies, what kinds of students will do best in these programs, and how can interdisciplinary studies lead to a great career, read on!


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Understanding Place Value: Decimals, Large Numbers, and Easy Charts

How do you read 4,349,394.382? What does each digit mean? How do you know what number means what?

With place values, that’s how! If you don’t understand how decimal place values work, a number like that can look like a bunch of nonsense. In this article, we’re going to cover what place value is, why you need to know it, and how to work through place value problems to better understand large, complex numbers with ease. 


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11 Easy Steps for How to Draw a Dog

Dogs are cute! Who hasn’t taken a moment to doodle their favorite pooch on the side of their paper before? But like many animals, dogs can be hard to draw well, especially from memory.

If you are trying to up your drawing skill, this guide for how to draw a dog is for you! We’ll cover all the basics of learning to draw animals and dogs in particular, and walk you through drawing a dog step by step.


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The 6 Scientific Method Steps and How to Use Them

When you’re faced with a scientific problem, solving it can seem like an impossible prospect. There are so many possible explanations for everything we see and experience—how can you possibly make sense of them all? Science has a simple answer: the scientific method.

The scientific method is a method of asking and answering questions about the world. These guiding principles give scientists a model to work through when trying to understand the world, but where did that model come from, and how does it work?

In this article, we’ll define the scientific method, discuss its long history, and cover each of the scientific method steps in detail.


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What Is Sociological Imagination? How Can You Use It?

Have you ever wondered why your family cooks turkey on Thanksgiving? If you ask, you might get all kinds of reasons: because it’s tradition, because it tastes good, because it’s what the pilgrims ate back in the early days of America. All of those factors—taste, personal history, and world history—lead to one small action of you eating turkey on a holiday.

That’s the premise of sociological imagination. Like imagination in the more typical sense, the sociological imagination asks us to use our brains to think differently about things and consider why we do the things we do.

In this article, we’ll introduce the concept of sociological imagination, its history, how it changed the sociological field, and how you can use it every day to change your way of thinking about the world.


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What Does "Veni Vidi Vici" Mean? Why Do People Say It?

Veni, vidi, vici. You’ve probably heard the phrase—or its English counterpart, “I came, I saw, I conquered”—before. But where did such a phrase come from? Why are people still saying it today?

In this article, we’ll cover what the expression means, its historical context, and why it’s still commonly said today.


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