Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ongoing Learning Support & Editing Papers

Study workshops have come to an end for this term, but one-to-one help for students is available year-round at the LAC. You can drop in Thursdays and Fridays between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm or make an appointment on other weekdays. We have a wealth of ways to boost your novice study habits and add to your savvy secrets to make the most of your study time.

People have been lining up for the tutors in Dafoe Library, which suggests that students find the Writing Tutor Program helpful. Although it is a drop-in service, the program has posted sign-up sheets so that if there is a wait for tutors, you can sign up for a time slot and ensure that you see a tutor.

If you are in the final stages of writing your paper, you may find the LAC handout Reviewing your Academic Paper useful. In addition, the following links may be helpful:

Thanks for checking in.

Natalie & Anita

Monday, March 21, 2005

April Exams: Some Study Tips

This week’s workshops

Test Taking Strategies: Essay Exams
Thursday Mar 24th (3:30) in 340 Helen Glass

Editing: Tense
Tuesday Mar 22nd (2:15) in 534 University Centre


We are approaching the ever popular time for the nerve-racking exam cram - ten hours, twenty hours of force feeding facts so that we can go in, write the exam and forget it all twenty minutes later.

Study in small bits
When studying for exams it is much better (and much less stressful) to study in small bits (20 minutes – an hour) over a longer period of time than in a large chunk all at once. For example, you will remember far more if you study for 20 minutes every day than if you study 2 hours once a week.

Avoid useless repetition
Another popular study technique is to read your notes over hundreds of times. This strategy can backfire however. Facts and information that looks familiar on your note page won’t look so familiar when taken out of context and put on an exam sheet. Students who hate writing multiple choice tests will have an even harder time when faced with information taken out of context. Also, when memorizing small details, it is important that you pay attention to how the details related to each other and fit into the chapter or course.

Rehearse: test yourself
A really simple way to deal with this problem is to test yourself when you are studying. Reading and rereading your notes and your text book is not enough. Make up flashcards or study cards, cover up definitions in the text and quiz yourself, draw pictures, draw diagrams that connect the ideas from the chapter sections together answer the questions at the back of the chapter. All of those techniques are a relatively painless way to remember material. If you want help developing these skills you can come see us at the Learning Assistance Centre (520 University Centre).

Find out more
Good websites for information on exam preparation (besides our own of course) are:

York University’s Exam Preparation site

University of Guelph’s Fastfax

California Polytechnic State University study skills site has a number of good exam preparation and exam writing handouts.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The writing tutors, next week's workshops & a website.

The writing tutor program is up and running and students are evaluating the service positively. If you haven’t had a chance to come visit us, we're in Dafoe library in the reference room (there are signs near the entrance that will help you find us). Students are seeking help with understanding the assignment, finding resources, and creating a thesis statement. The tutors are all friendly and really like helping students improve their writing skills. I know the tutors think it's awesome to see students from different areas and share their knowledge them.

We had to cancel last week's workshop "Editing Your Final Draft." Anita (LAC Learning Specialist) will be re-offering it on Monday, March 14 at 2:30 (Information Commons, main floor, Elizabeth Dafoe Library). See you there!

We are also offering:

    • Editing: Verbs and Pronouns Tuesday March 15th 3:15 217 Univ. Centre
    • How to Prepare for Exams Thursday March 17th 2:30 340 Helen Glass

There are some great sites dedicated to improving student’s skills. I have found this site helpful. Not only great for study skills, but also on every academic front you can imagine. Plus, it is available in 26 languages! Incredible, eh? Please, let me know what other treasures are out there.

(LAC Writing Tutor)