New Beginnings: A Reference Guide for Adult Learners / Edition 4

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Adults who enter college have unique challenges and concerns. New Beginnings is entirely devoted to helping adults develop skills to succeed in college from how to manage time and stress to how to develop strong writing and study skills. Specifically addressing adults by building on skills they already use in their everyday work and lives, this friendly, accessible, and supportive guide shows readers what to expect and how to create success in college. The 4th edition offers an expanded section on internet research and writing with a word processor. Eight chapters include information on test-taking, note-taking, classroom protocol, resources for help, strategies for reading and thinking critically; plus a basic grammar and math review.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137152308
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 2/13/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 226,653
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Simon is Professor of English at Skidmore College. She has taught adult learners in Harvard University’s Extension School. Her latest book is The Critical Reception of Henry James: Creating a Master; she also has written biographies of Alice B. Toklas, Thornton Wilder, and William James.

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Table of Contents

(T.O.C. from 3e - Need 4e Update)

1. Becoming a Student.

Looking Back and Moving Forward: Applying Life Experiences to Being a Student.

Juggling Responsibilities.

Evaluating Information.

Working with Others.

Researching a Problem.

How Being a Student Affects Your Relationships with Others.

Friends and Family Members.


Classroom Protocol.

Presenting Your Work.

Written work.

Oral Presentations.

Collaborative projects.

Learning On-Line.

BOX: Classroom Do’s and Don’ts.

Getting Your Work Done.

Setting Goals.

BOX: Communication and Goals.

Additional Resources.

2. Assessing Learning Needs and Course Requirements.

Types of Learners.

Visual Learner.

Kinesthetic Learner.

Auditory Learner.

WORKSHEET: Evaluating Your Learning Style.

BOX: Tips for Capitalizing on Your Learning Style.

Understanding Classroom Formats.




WORKSHEET: Assessing Your Preferred Class Format.

Recognizing Different Areas of Study.

Choosing Your Classes.

Deciphering Course Descriptions.

BOX: Identifying Your Course Requirements.

Evaluating a Course Syllabus.

BOX: Questions to Ask About a Course.

WORKSHEET: Your College Career Plan.

On-line Learning

What you can expect from an on-line course.

BOX: Successful Learning On-line.

3. Identifying College Resources.

Educational Advisors.

Study Skills Classes.



Testing Services.

Counselors for Students with Disabilities.

Career Counseling.

Personal Counseling.

Mentoring Programs.

Tutoring Networks.

BOX: Making the Best Use of Support Resources.

Writing Center.

Computer Center.


BOX: Planning a Meeting With an Advisor.

4. Strategies for Managing Time and Stress.

Time Commitments of Being a Student.

Ten Hints for Time Management.

1. Be realistic.

2. Build in “safe time.”

3. Keep a planner.

4. Find a space.

5. Look at the big picture.

6. Speak up about your concerns and commitments.

7. Work a little every day.

8 Make a checklist each week.

9. Just say no.

10. Get a study buddy.



Six Tips for Managing Stress.

1. Identify a source of comfort.

2. Try relaxation techniques.

3. Use exercise.

4. Try imagery.

5. Find an anchor.

6. Connect with your support system.

BOX: Relaxation Exercise.

5. Developing Note-Taking, Studying, and Test-Taking Skills.

Taking Notes from Different Kinds of Instructors.

The Organized Lecturer.

The Storyteller.

The Discusser.

BOX: General Pointers for Taking Class Notes.

How to Prepare for Tests.


Study Time.

Preparing for a Multiple-Choice or Short-Answer Test.

Preparing for an Essay Test.


BOX: Types of Essay Questions.

Understanding Your Grade.

Additional Resources.

6. Strategies for Reading .

Taking an Active Approach to Reading.

Reading a Textbook.

Reading a Theoretical or Critical Book or Article.

Reading Fiction.

Reading Poetry.

BOX: Analyzing Your Reading Assignments .

7. Strategies for Research.

Choosing a Research Topic.

Formulating a Research Question.

Distinguishing Primary and Secondary Sources.

Library Resources.



Popular Magazines.

Professional and Scholarly Journals.


Book Review Digest.

Biographical Indexes.

Newspaper Indexes.

On-line Databases.


Using the Internet for Research.

Evaluating Internet sites.

BOX: Internet Lingo.

Taking Notes Based on Your Research.

Using Quotations.



Documenting Sources.

Styles of Documentation.

Organizing Your Notes.

Index Cards.


Tape Recorders.

Computer Files.

Plagiarism and Overdocumentation.

What is Plagiarism?

When Does Plagiarism Occur?

How Can You Avoid Plagiarism?

Are You Overdocumenting?

BOX: Useful Guides to Research.

Additional Resources.

8. Strategies for Writing.

Writer’s Block: What Is It and What Causes It?

BOX: Writing Assignment Checklist.

Generating Ideas.

Journal Writing.

Freewriting, Brainstorming, and Mind-Mapping.

BOX: An Example of Freewriting.

Starting with Passages from Source Material.


BOX: Sample Paragraph Outline.

Visualizing a Reader.



Writing an Introduction.

Developing Paragraphs.

Writing a Conclusion.


BOX: Revision Checklist.

Three Qualities to Aim for in Your Writing.



BOX: Eliminating Unnecessary Words.


Appendix A: Grammar Brushup.

The Parts of Speech.

What Is a Sentence?

Pronoun Protocol.

Handling Verbs.

Placing Phrases and Clauses Logically.


Using the Active Voice.


Common Usage Errors.

Additional Resources.

Appendix B: Math Brushup.

Math Anxiety Is a Learned Behavior.

Overcoming Mathematics Anxiety.

The Language of Mathematics.




Decimals and Percentages.

Scientific Notation.


Some Rules of Algebra.

The Order of Operations.

Negative Numbers.

The Number Line.

The Real Number System.

Commutative Property.

Associative Property.

Identity Properties.

Inverse Properties.

Distributive Property.

Expressions and Equations.

Properties of Equality.

Linear Equations.

Prime Numbers and Factoring.

Working with Exponents.

The First Law of Exponents.

The Second Law of Exponents.

The Third Law of Exponents.

Nth Roots and Rational Exponents.


A Method for Dealing with Word Problems.

Appendix C: Financing Your Education.

WORKSHEET: Assessing Your College Expenses.

How to Find Financial Aid.

Scholarships and Grants.


Assistantships, Internships, and Work-Study Plans.
On-Line Resources.


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