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    Study Skills

 

Studying 101: Study Smarter Not Harder (UNC – Chapel Hill).  Website offers several tips on effective studying that will help you to efficiently and effectively learn course material.

Study Skills (Mempowered). Comprehensive website presenting numerous articles presenting study strategies based on extensive research on memory and learning.

Avoiding Study Traps (UNC – Chapel Hill).  Provides 10 strategies to overcome to the most common study traps.

Thinker Academy presents a series of online articles focused on improving study skills:

        5 Study Skills to Accelerate Your Learning

        How to Study Efficiently and Remember What You Study

        21 Study Tips: Learn the Strategies that Set Top Students Apart

Study Guides and Strategies is a learner-centric educational public service (.net) website that researches, authors, and maintains guides for learners and educators that provide several study skill approaches to learning:

        A.S.P.I.R.E." Study System

        Index Study System

        Study with Flashcards

        Study with Multiple Sources

 

Note Taking & Listening Skills


Cornell Note-Taking System V2 (Cornell University)

Note-Taking and Concept Mapping (Grand Valley State University)

Notetaking & Listening (Dartmouth College)

Concept Mapping: Chapter Maps (2-Minute Video) (Louisiana State University)

The Study Cycle (Louisiana State University)

Taking Notes in Lectures (Study Guides & Strategies)

Active Listening (Study Guides & Strategies)

Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review (SQ3R) (Study Guides & Strategies)

 Reading Skills


Reading practices that improve learning and retention do not occur naturally for many students.  Rather than passively reading a selection from start to finish, students must actively engage and interact with the assigned reading in order to understand, analyze, and apply what they have learned to their writing.  As such, effective reading serves as the springboard to academic writing. Students must develop skillful, critical, and active reading through habits of practice. 

The following resources present strategies, skills, and techniques that will help you develop as an effective reader. 

How to Read a Book v5.0 (University of Michigan). This article explains several strategies and techniques that can be applied to all types reading (i.e., books, articles, and websites) in order to gain and retain information as quickly and easily as possible.

Critical Reading Strategies (University of Minnesota, Student Writing Support). This website provides a brief summary of several critical reading strategies focused on textbook evaluation.

Critical Thinking in College Writing: From the Personal to the Academic (Writing Spaces.org).  Chapter in Writing Spaces; Readings on Writing, Volume 2, a peer-reviewed open textbook series on writing. This essay defines critical thinking for student writers, explains a process to think, read, and write critically.

Reading Games: Strategies for Reading Scholarly Sources (Writing Spaces.org).  Chapter in Writing Spaces; Readings on Writing, Volume 2, a peer-reviewed open textbook series on writing.  The essay examines the elements of a rhetorical reading strategy – conceptualizing reading as part of an academic conversation, reading actively (and what this looks like), figuring out primary and secondary audiences, recognizing road maps embedded in the reading, and identifying the main argument and why it matters – make this chapter a powerful tool for starting classroom discussion and/or inspiring written reflection.

How to Read Like a Writer (Writing Spaces.org).  A chapter in Writing Spaces; Readings on Writing, Volume 2, a peer-reviewed open textbook series on writing.  The essay provides a number of critical questions used to carefully examine what you read in order to understand the choices an author of a piece of writing makes.    

Applying Critical Thinking to Reading (Air Command and Staff College).  The lesson introduces a strategic reading protocol known as Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review (SQ3R), which is a step-by-step process for applying critical thinking skills to academic reading in order to extract specific information from an article or textbook.

Guide to Thinking Intensive Reading (Harvard University).  The website presents a number of deliberate and critical reading strategies to retain more information from your reading. 

Active Reading (Dartmouth College, Academic Skills Center).  The website maintains a number of student handouts on how to use the SQ3R method and other reading techniques to improve your reading comprehension and rate of reading.

Understanding Writing Assignments: Reading Prompts (Purdue OWL).  The website provides resources to help students better understand writing assignments and writing prompts.  The website also presents an overview of strategies to help with writing assignments and includes three examples of writing assignment prompt analysis (see annotated assignment sheets within the website).

Reading to Write (The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill).  Website presents reading, note-taking, and writing strategies when reading assignments as a springboard for writing a paper.

Study Guides and Strategies Website is a learner-centric educational public service (.net) website that researches, authors, and maintains guides for learners and educators.  The following guides assist students in active, critical, and skillful reading.

Critical Reading Study Guide

Pre-Reading Strategies Study Guide

Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review (SQ3R) Study Guide

Basics of Mind Mapping / Concept Mapping

 

Test Taking Skills

 

Memorizing & Test-Taking (Study Guides and Strategies Website) is a learner-centric educational public service (.net) website that researches, authors, and maintains guides for learners and educators. 

Improving Test Performance (Virginia Tech). Website presents study strategies to improve test taking over an entire semester. 

How to tackle Exam Questions (Cornell University): Part three of this handout discusses how to answer an essay question correctly.

Essay Exams (Universality of North Carolina).  Comprehensive website that provides a writing strategy during essay examinations.

Writing Essay Exams (Harvard University). Explains the process of anticipation and rehearsal as the two most important ways to prepare for an essay examination.

 

Time Management Skills

 

Analysis & Assessment Tools:

Quiz - How Well Do You Plan? (Dartmouth College):  Take a short quiz to assess how well you plan.

Time Management Self-Assessment & Planning (Harvard University): Handout to assess your planning techniques for identifying time management strategies.

A Simple, Effective Time Management System (Cornell University): Analysis tool to build effective time management strategies for an academic quarter.

Developing a Timeline (Air Force Research Institute). Video produced by the Air Force Research Institute (AFRI) as part of the Academic Writing for Airman Video Series.  Provides a tutorial on developing a timeline to complete an academic writing assignment.

Assignment Calculator (University of Minnesota Libraries, Center for Writing, & Center for Teaching and Learning Services).  An online tool to break down any assignment for any course into manageable steps.  Enter today’s date and the due date to generate a series of suggested stages and deadlines.

Strategies, Principles, & Tips:

Time Management Strategies for Graduate Students (CollegeAtlas.org):  Belief article that highlights practical strategies for graduate students to maximize time.

Principles of Effective Time Management for Balance, Well-being, and Success (Princeton University): Presents a number of principles derived from research on time management, motivation theory, and experience working with university students.

Time Management Tips for Graduate Students (ThoughtCo.): Belief article that highlights practical strategies for graduate students to maximize time.

Time Management Tips for College & University Students (CollegeAtlas.org): Belief article that highlights practical strategies for college students to maximize time.

Time Management Tips (Dartmouth College): A list of 20 tips to improve time-management.

Where Do the Hours Go? (American Psychological Association): Article where graduate students and procrastination experts share their best time-management tips.

Time Management (Stanford University): Tips to effective time-management.

Additional Topics:

Time Management for Right Brained People: Or-What to do if To-Do Lists are not Your Style (Cornell University): Article provides strategies for ‘right-brained’ (intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective) dominant learners.

Perfectionism: Don't Let it Get in Your Way (Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne): Explores the negative impact of perfectionism and in contrast emphasizes the positive coping strategies characteristic of ‘high achievers.

 

Memory & Concentration Skills

 

Thinking & Memorizing (Study Guides and Strategies Website) is a learner-centric educational public service (.net) website that researches, authors, and maintains guides for learners and educators.  Provides an explanation of techniques – acronyms, acrostics, rhymes, loci, key words, image-naming, and chaining – to use memory effectively.   

Strategies for Better Memory & Learning (Mempowered).  Comprehensive website presenting memory strategies based on extensive research on memory and learning.  

A Study Strategy for all Occasions: Test Your Memory (Thinker Academy).  Article that presents cognitive learning strategy to improve your memory in preparation for examinations.

Improving Concentration/Memory (Virginia Tech).  Website presents a basic overview of memory and concentration and the skills necessary to improve them.

Improving Memory & Retention (Dartmouth College). Website presents principles for improving memory and a video that highlights a three-step process for meaningfully understanding and retaining information.

Memory Tips (4-minute Video). Expand your memory skills and ability with these quick tips from the UNC-Chapel Hill Learning Center.

Attending to Attention: Strategies for Focus and Concentration (Harvard University). Handout that helps to identify attention skills and strategies.

 

Memory & Concentration

Teaching Items...


Academic Writing Skills


Student Writing Overview:  Academic writing is a tool to communicate ideas to others.  Academic writing requires you to think critically about a topic and to conduct research to learn more.  As such, researching, thinking, and writing are interrelated activities that you engage in simultaneously during the writing process.  

Student Writing Resources & Materials:  The Student Writing section of the Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides resources and materials addressing the academic Writing Process and the development of skillful, critical, and active Reading Practices.  The Introduction to Academic Writing section provides an overview of the principles of academic writing, and is a good place to start if you are new to academic writing.  The Online Resources section provides links to open-source research management software, style and grammar checkers, and documenting and editing tools.  The Print Resources section highlights essential books and references for writers maintained by the Air University Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center (MSFRIC).  You may also want to access the Writing Video Library

 

Stages of Writing:  Content on the OWL is organized using the stages of writing.  Although the stages appear in order, the writing process remains recursive.  Inherently, you will revisit each of the stages of writing several times during the writing process.    

 

Stage 1. Analyze Your Writing Assignment


Stage 2. Plan the Essay & Develop Ideas


Stage 3. Write Drafts


Stage 4. Revise Your Writing


Stage 5. Edit Your Writing


Stage 6. Publish Your Writing

 

Research Skills

 

The following resources may be helpful in augmenting the research guidance received from your specific school or program at Air University.  Before getting started with any research, be sure to review the assignment instructions and rubric. 

 Develop Your Topic, Research Questions, and Hypotheses

 

In addition to the books below, you may find it helpful to review the resources provided under Selecting a Topic in Stage 1. Analyze the Writing Assignment and Develop a Thesis in Stage 2. Plan the Essay & Develop Ideas.    

 

 

 

 

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8thEdition (Turabian)

The Manual for Writers continues to be the gold standard for generations of college and graduate students in virtually all academic disciplines. Now in its eighth edition,A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertationshas been fully revised to meet the needs of today’s writers and researchers.

 

 


Student's Guide to Writing College Papers, 4thEdition (Turabian)

Students all need to know how to write a well-reasoned, coherent research paper – and for decades Kate Turabian’sStudent’s Guide to Writing College Papershas helped them to develop this critical skill. The book introduces students to the art of defining a topic, doing high-quality research with limited resources, and writing an engaging and solid college paper.


 Using Sources in Research

 

Conducting Primary Research (Purdue OWL).  Provides a brief discussion of collecting information directly from the world around you, including interviews, observations, and surveys.

 

Googlepedia: Turning Information Behaviors into Research Skills (WritingSpaces.org). Chapter in Writing Spaces; Readings on Writing, Volume 2, a peer-reviewed open textbook series on writing.  The essay discusses the process of moving into the virtual library for research needs and merging current information behaviors with traditional information literacy strategies.

 

Evaluating Sources in Research

 

In addition to the resources below, you may find it helpful to review the resources on developing skillful, critical, and active Reading Practices as you consider your evaluation sources.

 

Primary Sources:  Primary sources were created during the period being studied or were created later by a participant in the events being studied.  Primary sources also include empirical studies involving experiments or direct observation.  Results from empirical research are often found in scholarly journals.  Primary sources reflect the participant or observer’s viewpoint.   

 

Primary Sources Come in All Shapes and Sizes (Yale University). Presents examples of the major types of primary sources.

 

Examples include results of experiments and research, statistical data, vital records, historical and legal documents, original manuscripts, personal papers, memoirs and autobiographies, institutional records, oral histories and eyewitness accounts, artifacts, photographs, and maps.  Interviews, surveys, fieldwork, and Internet communications via email, blogs, and newsgroups are also primary sources.

 

Secondary Sources:  Secondary sources are works that describe, summarize, interpret, analyze, and evaluate primary sources, research results, or scientific discoveries (i.e., publications about the significance of someone else’s research or experiments).  From an historical context, the source is at least one-step removed from the event. 

 

Secondary Source in Research (ThoughtCo.com).  Defines secondary sources and provides quotes and examples from scholarly researchers.   

 

Examples include articles found in scholarly journals that discuss or evaluate someone else's original research, scholarly books and articles, reference books, and textbooks.  Secondary sources also include articles in newspapers, popular books and magazines, and book reviews.

 

Evaluating Sources (Purdue OWL).   Provides information on evaluating bibliographic citations, aspects of evaluation, reading evaluation, print vs. Internet sources, and evaluating Internet sources.

 

How to Read a Primary Source (Dr. Patrick Rael).  Provides tips for the kinds of questions to ask when evaluating a primary source.

 

Walk, Talk, Cook, Eat: A Guide to Using Sources (WritingSpaces.org). Chapter in Writing Spaces; Readings on Writing, Volume 2, a peer-reviewed open textbook series on writing.  The essay presents four metaphors that articulate how to work effectively with sources.  The metaphor describes how to analyze source-based assignments and integrate source materials.

 

Questions to Evaluate the Authority of the Researcher's Methods (WritingCommons.org).  Present four standard questions that academic readers ask when reviewing research reports.

 

Finding and Examining the Sources in Your Sources (WritingCommons.org).  Discusses the thought process for determining if a journal article is useful within a research topic.    

 

Evaluating Sources (Berkeley).  Guide that provides a series of questions to evaluate sources.

 

Reviewing the Literature

 

In addition to the resources below, you may find it helpful to review the resources provided under Conduct a Literature Review in Stage 2. Plan the Essay & Develop Ideas.

 

Writing a Review of Literature (University of Wisconsin – Madison).  Provides a brief overview of writing a review of literature.

 

Research an Argument & Counter Argument 

 

In addition to the resources below, you may find it helpful to review the resources provided under Establish & Organize an Argument in Stage 1. Analyze the Writing Assignment.

 

Counterargument (Harvard).  Discusses the importance of considering a possible argument against your thesis or some aspect of your reasoning in your writing.

 

Methodology (Observation, Survey & Interview)

 

Introduction to Primary Research: Observations, Surveys, and Interviews (WritingSpaces.org).  Chapter in Writing Spaces; Readings on Writing, Volume 2, a peer-reviewed open textbook series on writing.  The essay introduces definitions of research, examines ethical considerations, compares the research process to the writing process, and provides information about writing from primary research.

 

Empirical Research (WritingCommons.org).  Introduces three common modes of conducting field research: interviews, surveys, and ethnographic observations

 

Types of Interviews (WritingCommons.org).  Provides an overview of common interview formats.

 

Create a Survey Instrument (WritingCommons.org).  Discusses how to develop a well-designed and accurate survey to gather information or data.

 

Analysis & Evaluation

 

In addition to the resources below, you may find it helpful to review the resources provided under Establish & Organize an Argument in Stage 1. Analyze the Writing Assignment.

 

Introduction to Syntheses (Michigan State University). Defines synthesis and provides techniques for synthesizing. 

 

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing (Purdue OWL). Handout distinguishes between quotations, paraphrases, and summaries.

 

Citing Sources

 

In addition to the resources below, you may find it helpful to review the Documenting and Open-Source Writing and Research Software under Online Resources.

 

Organize Citations (Using Citation Managers) (UNC – Ashville). Provides an overview and assessment of a number of citation machines that help manage your research and format papers (creating bibliographies, citations and footnotes). 

 

Abstract

 

Identifying and Prioritizing Elements of a Research Abstract (Northwestern University).  Presents five questions to address the elements required in an abstract.

 

Research & Writing Process Timeline

 

Developing a Timeline (Air Force Research Institute). Video produced by the Air Force Research Institute (AFRI) as part of the Academic Writing for Airman Video Series.  Provides a tutorial on developing a timeline to complete an academic writing assignment.

 

Assignment Calculator (University of Minnesota Libraries, Center for Writing, & Center for Teaching and Learning Services).  An online tool to break down any assignment for any course into manageable steps.  Enter today’s date and the due date to generate a series of suggested stages and deadlines.


 

English as a Second Language (ESL) Support


ESL Grammar Guides & Resources

In addition to the resources below, you may find it helpful to review the Online Grammar Guides within the Online Resources section and the Grammar, Mechanics, Punctuation, and Style resources within the Stage 5, Edit Your Work section.

 

ESL Guide & Language Resources (UNC – Chapel Hill).  Comprehensive list of ESL resources.  

 

Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary (Cambridge University Press).  Type in a word or phrase and the dictionary provides a definition and examples of how to use the word or phrase in English.

 

English Grammar Guide (Education First).  Discusses the rules of grammar and provides practice exercises.

 

ESL Student Resources (Purdue OWL).  Provides grammar, mechanics, and punctuation resources. 

 

Confusing Words and Homonyms (GrammarBook.com).  Lists words that sound alike or look alike with examples.


Academic Writing Tips (National Defense University).  The International Student Management Office (ISMO) provides 33 tip sheets addressing common writing challenges.

 

Understanding Your Assignment

 

Common Expressions in Academic Writing (Purdue OWL).  Lists key words that characterize assignment prompts in academic writing in the North American educational context.

 

Documenting & Citing

 

Why We Cite (Writing Center at UNC – Chapel Hill).  Video that describes why citations are important in supporting context, providing intellectual credibility, and acknowledging sources.

 

Use of Prepositions

 

Prepositions (Purdue OWL).  Presents a series of articles explaining prepositions of time, place, introducing objects, direction (to, on, in), location (at, in, on), and spatial relationship.

 

Prepositions (GrammarBook.com).  Provides the rules for prepositions.

 

Use of Articles (A, An, The)

 

Tutorial – When to use the Articles “a”, “an”, “the” or Nothing (University of Minnesota).  Online tutorial on using the most common articles in academic writing.   

 

Articles – A versus An (Purdue OWL).  Handout that explains which article (a/an) to use before a noun.

 

Using Articles (Purdue OWL).  Handout that discusses the differences between indefinite articles (a/an) and definite articles (the).

 

Verb Tenses & Helping Verbs

 

A series of Purdue OWL handouts explain and describe the sequence of verb tenses in English:

 

Sequence of Tenses

 

Passive Verb Tenses

 

Active Verb Tenses

 

Verb Tense Consistency

 

Verbs with Helpers

 

Irregular Verbs (For Example – Write, Wrote, Written)

 

List of English Irregular Verbs (UsingEnglish.com).  Comprehensive list of common English irregular verbs including the infinitive, the past simple, and the past participle forms.

 

Irregular Verb Dictionary (Englishpage.com).  Comprehensive list of common English irregular verbs including the infinitive, the past simple, and the past participle forms.

 

Phrasal Verbs (Multi-Word and Two-Part Verbs)

 

Overview of Two-Part (Phrasal) Verbs (Idioms) (Purdue OWL).  Provides a list of separable, inseparable, and intransitive verbs.

 

Dictionary of English Phrasal Verbs (Two-Part Verbs) (UsingEngish.com).  Reference of current English phrasal verbs (also called multi-word verbs or two-part verbs) with definitions and examples.

 

Phrasal Verb Dictionary (Englishpage.com).  Defines and provides examples of phrasal verbs.

 

Idiomatic Expression

 

An idiom is an expression that is either peculiar to itself grammatically or has a meaning that cannot be derived from the meanings of the individual words (Merriam-Webster).  For example, ‘raining cats and dogs’ means that it is pouring rain.  The following websites provide definitions and examples of idioms:

 

Useful North American Idioms List (English Current)

 

Idiom and Expression Resources (ThoughtCo.com)

 

English Idioms (UsingEnglish.com)