The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook

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Overview

"The book itself covers everything university students need to know from exam revision and e-learning to work-life balance."
The Bookseller



"We would heartily recommend the book to students who are at the beginning of their studies."

Maxine Fletcher, Lecturer, Oxford Brookes



"This book's crammed full of very useful topics, information and exercises that I've never seen before, especially in the section on research, which I particularly liked."

Joel, Student, Keele University



Competition for graduate jobs has never been so fierce. The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook will help you succeed from the first week of your studies through to graduation.



Covering all the core skills you will need to help you make the most of your university course, The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook is your key to success.



This is the handbook of techniques, tips and exercises.

Written by a team of experts and tested on students, the advice in this book will help you to improve your grades, save time and develop the skills that will make you stand out to prospective employers.



Whichever subject you are studying, this practical and concise book will help you find your individual learning style and tell you exactly what you need to know to excel as a student:

• Working out the best way for you to learn

• Doing your research

• Presentations

• Revising for exams

• Improving your critical thinking skills

• Managing your time

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780335234028
  • Publisher: Open University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Moore is Dean of Teaching and Learning at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Colin Neville manages the Effective Learning Service at the School of Management, University of Bradford, UK.

Maura Murphy is administrator, programme coordinator and learning support consultant at the University of Limerick's Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Cornelia Connelly is a lecturer in the Department of Computing and Mathematics, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland.

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Table of Contents

Figures and tables

Guided tour

Acknowledgements

About the authors

Introduction: how to use this book 1

Book overview 1

1 Getting into it: becoming an active, creative learner 5

Chapter overview 5

Introduction 5

Some simple learning principles 6

Active learning and passive learning 7

Some characteristics of creative people 7

Getting immersed, learning to focus, getting into áflow' 9

Developing your own active learning strategy 9

Chapter summary: key learning points 11

Suggested further reading 11

2 Talking to the experts: useful orientations for interacting with expert professors, tutors and lecturers 12

Chapter overview 12

Introduction 13

Reflect on things you are already good at 13

How you become an expert at anything 14

How to talk to experts in a way that supports your learning 17

Recommendations and implications for your learning in higher education 19

Chapter summary: key learning points 22

Suggested further reading 22

3 Style matters: techniques to suit your own learning style 23

Chapter overview 23

Introduction 23

Intelligence 24

Eight intelligences questionnaire 24

The eight intelligences 30

Effective learning techniques 30

Connecting with your senses 31

Chapter summary: key learning points 39

Suggested further reading 39

4 Taking it in and working it out: ideas for reading, listening, making notes and critically thinking about information 40

Chapter overview 40

Introduction 40

An exercise in listening, reading, making notes and memorizing 41

Reading for clarity, precision, relevance and other important characteristics 45

Listening and the positive effects of body language 47

The importance of the reading habit 48

Generating your listening, reading, note-making and memorizing strategies by asking the right questions 49

Digging deeper 50

Chapter summary: key learning points 52

Suggested further reading 52

5 Research skills and orientations: first steps to good research 53

Chapter overview 53

Introduction 53

The purpose of research 54

The literature review: background and preparatory reading 57

Different categories of research 61

Ethical issues and research 62

Four approaches to research 64

Research methodology 65

Research methods 70

Stages of research 84

Common research problems 86

Comments on and answers to the exercises in this chapter 87

Chapter summary: key learning points 94

Suggested further reading 94

6 Getting it on paper: learning the skills for confident academic writing 95

Chapter overview 95

Introduction 96

Getting to grips with academic writing 96

Focusing on enjoyment 97

Knowing the rules 99

What makes writing academic? 99

Developing a college-based writing strategy and managing time 99

Responding to feedback 100

There is no such thing as good writing - just good rewriting 101

The writing process: from prewriting to letting it go 101

Nourishing your writing with the ideas and perspectives of-others 102

Imposing structure on your writing: the benefits of a good outline 103

Staying flexible and avoiding the tyranny of outlines 105

Some advice from a writing expert 105

Chapter summary: key learning points 107

Suggested further reading 107

7 Learning the rules: punctuation, spelling, accurate referencing and avoiding plagiarism 108

Chapter overview 108

Introduction 109

Why bother? 109

Parts of speech 109

Punctuation and spelling 110

Proof-reading 111

British and US spellings 112

Referencing 113

Plagiarism 119

Comments on and answers to the exercises in this chapter 122

Chapter summary: key learning points 131

Suggested further reading 131

8 The time of your life: managing time and living life as a student 132

Chapter overview 132

Introduction 132

Time management questionnaire 133

Time management issues 135

Planning 135

Procrastination 136

Perfectionism 138

Getting control 140

The 4-D approach 141

Planning: getting started 142

Procrastination and distraction 145

Chapter summary: key learning points 152

Suggested further reading 152

9 Learning with others: working and learning in groups 153

Chapter overview 153

Introduction 153

Benefits of working in groups 154

Learning to work together: understanding the phases of group development 154

Different people, different roles 155

Good questions for groups to ask themselves 156

A simple project plan 157

Leadership and group work 157

Chapter summary: key learning points 158

Suggested further reading 158

10 Presenting in front of a crowd: learning to present your work in public 159

Chapter overview 159

Introduction 160

Finding out about the purposes and criteria associated with your assigned presentations 160

Gathering resources for your presentation 162

Designing and structuring your presentation 163

Some principles of good presentations 164

Common presentation pitfalls and mistakes 166

Other useful resources for presenters 168

Group presentations 169

Chapter summary: key learning points 170

Suggested further reading 170

11 Keeping it together: managing stress, staying in control and being ready for exams 171

Chapter overview 171

Introduction 171

What is stress? 172

Understanding stress by exploring your emotions 172

Coping with stress through physical exercise 173

Managing stress by focusing on logic 173

Stress is not always bad for you 174

Keeping a record to help you reflect on and make sense of stressful experiences and events 175

Keeping a learning journal 175

Avoiding exam fever: planning, preparing for, doing and recovering from exams 176

Chapter summary: key learning points 179

Suggested further reading 179

12 Working with numbers: mathematics and numerical competence 180

Chapter overview 180

Introduction 180

Numbers and numeracy 181

Mathematics at university 181

Problem solving and abstract thinking 183

Breaking down the problem 184

From concrete to abstract 186

Phases of anxiety when learning a new skill 186

Chapter summary: key learning points 188

Suggested further reading 188

13 Facing the future and making decisions: planning for and focusing on the rest of your life 189

Chapter overview 189

Introduction 190

What sort of a decision maker are you? 190

Decision making ingredients 193

Seven steps in the decision making process 194

Structured and unstructured decision making techniques 194

Case study: Mia's dilemma 195

Free-fall thinking 195

Balance sheet approach 196

Five Thinking Hats 198

Decision trees 201

SWOT analysis 202

Creative visualization 203

Action plans 208

Time schedule 210

Chapter summary: key learning points 211

Suggested further reading 211

Conclusion 212

References 213

Index 216

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