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About this book

This is the ultimate guide to study skills, written by million copy bestselling author Stella Cottrell. Her tried and tested approach, based on over twenty years’ experience of working with students, has helped over a million students to achieve their potential.
When it comes to studying, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. This engaging and accessible guide shows students how to tailor their learning to their individual needs in order to boost their grades, build their confidence and increase their employability. Fully revised for the fifth edition, it contains everything students need to succeed.
This is an invaluable resource for undergraduate students of all disciplines, and is also ideal for postgraduates, mature students and international students. It prepares students for what to expect before, during and after their studies at university.

Table of Contents

Introducing The Study Skills Handbook

Abstract
The experience of studying in Higher Education can be life-changing. Most graduates look back on this time with great fondness. In part, this is because of the unique opportunities it offers.
Stella Cottrell

Self-efficacy: Managing your Success as a Student

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Success as a student

Take charge of your success
Abstract
The experience of studying in Higher Education can be life-changing. Most graduates look back on this time with great fondness. In part, this is because of the unique opportunities it offers.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 2. Gaining the most from your course

Engage. Enjoy. Excel.
Abstract
Whilst the benefits you gain from your course depend, in part, on the quality of the teaching and resources, much of the real value lies in what you and other students bring to the table.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 3. Employability and preparing for your future

Abstract
Whether or not you know which career or kinds of work you wish to pursue, you give yourself a big advantage if you start to consider and prepare for your future right from the start of your course. This gives you more time to investigate, think, and prepare, and helps with the mental and psychological journey that this often entails.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 4. Successful study

Intelligence, strategy and personalised learning
Abstract
Students do not, typically, give much time to thinking about these three aspects of study: it can seem easier to launch into learning more tangible study skills such as making good notes or writing an essay. However, it is worth putting time aside to think more strategically about what learning is, what has an impact on successful outcomes, and how, through refl ection and planning, you can exert greater control over your own academic performance.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 5. The C R E A M strategy for learning

Abstract
Developing each of these aspects strengthens all the others. For example, being motivated involves refl ection about what you really want. Active learning and creativity require motivation and also help you to stay motivated. Eff ective organisational strategies benefit from imagination and reflection – and so on.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 6. Time management as a student

Abstract
As a student, only part of your week and year will be formally timetabled. You are responsible for organising most of your study time for yourself. This can be challenging.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 7. Managing stress and well-being learning

Abstract
Studying in higher education is meant to be challenging. Whilst that is great for stretching and developing you, it can also be daunting. At times, the pressure can feel too much.
Stella Cottrell

Academic, People and Task Management Skills

Frontmatter

Chapter 8. Working with others: Collaborative study

Abstract
Academic study at university level generally focuses on the achievements of individuals. In part, this is to ensure that everyone is awarded a qualifi cation on the strength of their own work.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 9. Developing cultural competence

Learning in diverse and international contexts
Abstract
Cultural competence is the ability to work with people from other cultures in an eff ective and sensitive way. It involves a strong awareness of our own cultural expectations, values and beliefs, so that we are confi dent in our cultural identity and clear when we are drawing on our own particular cultural norms.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 10. Effective reading and note-making

Abstract
Traditionally, studying at university is referred to as ‘reading for a degree’, a testament to the centrality of reading to building knowledge and understanding. For almost any subject studied in Higher Education, reading and making notes are essential tasks. They usually take up a great proportion of independent study time.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 11. Researching and managing information for study

Abstract
Research is something we all do. It starts with a ‘spirit of enquiry’, whether this is investigating ‘best buys’, sports results, new music or fi nding a cure for diseases. In everyday life, how we go about our research will vary depending on the topic, our purpose in investigating, how much we want to know, and the availability of information. Likewise, for academic study, there are distinct research methods depending on the subject discipline, level of study, source materials or assignment.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 12. Critical thinking

Abstract
Criticality is an ability that we all need and can nurture. It helps us to uncover the ways things work and why things occur the way they do. It helps us understand the world around us, to predict more accurately what might happen in future, make wiser decisions, keep things in perspective, act fairly, and resolve problems creatively. Critical thinking can be analytical, refl ective and creative.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 13. Writing at university level

Abstract
Writing a good assignment is both a challenge and one of the most rewarding aspects of study. It off ers a great opportunity for focusing your mind and gaining mastery of a new topic, as well as developing a skill useful for life, employment and study. With the right approach, writing assignments can be inspiring, fascinating and enjoyable
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 14. Developing your academic writing

Abstract
There is no single style that can be used in all academic writing. Each academic discipline has developed its own particular styles, and in some subject areas you may find that even various branches of the discipline use quite distinct writing styles.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 15. Writing Essays

Abstract
Writing a good assignment is both a challenge and one of the most rewarding aspects of study. It off ers a great opportunity for focusing your mind and gaining mastery of a new topic, as well as developing a skill useful for life, employment and study. With the right approach, writing assignments can be inspiring, fascinating and enjoyable
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 16. Managing assignments

Research projects, reports, case studies and dissertations
Abstract
Almost all courses set tasks which require you to undertake some kind of primary research for yourself. This might consist of many smaller projects for which you write short reports, or larger-scale assignments such as a fi nal year project, in-depth case study, long essay or dissertation.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 17. Devising your revision and exam strategy

Abstract
Doing well in exams at this level involves drawing on a wide range of skills and qualities, from good decision-making, critical thinking, memory and writing skills to managing time, regulating stress, keeping things in perspective and exercising a high degree of self-efficacy. As you can see, if you develop skills and strategies covered in earlier chapters, you will already have strong personal resources to call upon for exam success.
Stella Cottrell

Chapter 18. Memory

Abstract
There are times when we want conscious recall of specifi c information. This may be for everyday purposes – to have information at our fi ngertips when we need it, to save time by not needing to check information, or for social occasions such as taking part in a quiz. If as a student you are required to sit exams you may be expected to memorise some details, but it also builds confi dence when you know that you can remember your material.
Stella Cottrell
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