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Study Strategies and Assignments

Explore and equip yourself with tools to become a more productive and effective student.
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By: Helen Coleman, Editor-in-Chief

Whatever you need help with while studying or working on an assignment, this is the Module for you. The strategies included here will help you achieve your best grades at university and beyond. Included in this Module are all the skills you will need during your life as a student, but also as you travel through life in general, as these skills are lifelong strategies which can help you succeed in your career and make the most out of every environment you are in.

Studying at university can be hard work, a great deal of fun, and can change your life for the better, helping you discover who you are. It is incredible when you think about all the new people you meet as a student and the amazing opportunities you get to experience. There are many chances to develop yourself and become the person you want to be in a fully supported environment. It can be so easy to enjoy yourself that it might be difficult to fit the required studying in with all the socialising. This Module helps you to embrace all the new opportunities and still achieve your best possible grades.

Study Strategies and Assignments is all about breaking down the constituent parts of your studies and assignments into manageable, plannable events to squeeze every last possible mark out of your work and opportunities to help you study smarter, not harder.

This Module helps you to build effective, time-efficient, healthy study strategies and set the scene for your academic success to continue throughout your studies and beyond. It is about considering which essential study strategies and assignment tips you need to know, how to put them in place, and then build on them to create a strong, considered, and authoritative academic voice.

Study strategies and assignment tips are something we all learn as we move through university life, but this module encapsulates the best study strategies and assignment tips required. This is to help you prepare for getting the most out of every single study session, group experience, and moment with an expert— and therefore, also the most out of your initial stages at university while maintaining health and well-being: essentially, it’s the tips and tricks that save time and help to achieve higher grades we all wish we had known when we started. Think of it as study strategies and assignment hacks!

The Skills included in this Module are as follows:

Preparing to Study

This Skill helps you create a distraction-free zone for studying and reap the benefits. It covers how to manage and plan time effectively, enabling you to engage with your studies while also embedding time for opportunities to engage in a productive life. Setting your goals and achieving them along the way is important to support your continued progression, and this Skill helps you to manage that.

Every Class Is a Master Class

Recognising the different types of traditional class (e.g., lectures, workshops, seminars) helps you to prepare for each one and make the most of your opportunities. This Skill covers how you are expected to prepare for class, what is expected of you during the class, and how to reflect effectively after the class. In addition, it covers how to participate in class effectively and appropriately (e.g., asking questions, engaging with others) and includes tips on proper class etiquette.

Online Learning

Online learning can be a different experience to attending sessions in-person and require a different type of preparation and in-session behaviour. This Skill explores how to get the most from online sessions or blended learning, how to participate in class effectively and appropriately, and includes ‘netiquette’. This Skill also introduces you to working with the virtual learning environments (VLE) and learning management systems (LMS) that your university may use for storing resources that can help you succeed.

Building Your Community

Part of being at university is becoming a member of a community. It is important to know what kind of a community you wish to build around you and this Skill is specifically created to guide you through doing just that. Whether you are creating a support network for studying, for career prospects, or to help you through tough times, this Skill helps you ask for help when you need it and create a whole new world of opportunities.

Maintaining Motivation, Concentration, and Focus

Maintaining focus is an important skill to master and this Skill is designed as a guide to assist you with maintaining motivation, concentration, and focus to complete your required task or tasks. This Skill helps you to break everything down into manageable elements while maintaining sight of the final required result and achieving your goals.

Reading With Purpose

Learning how to focus your reading to gain the most relevant information in a minimal amount of time is a skill which, when mastered, will help you immensely. This Skill explores how to read with purpose, focus, and meaning, and to help you stay on topic. It supports you to develop the key skills of recognising the purpose for your reading, refining the resources you need, and what to do with the resources when you have found them.

Planning an Assignment

A large part of the success of an assignment begins with the assignment plan. Creating an appropriate assignment template or structure to work through can help you succeed every time. Planning your assignment with the templates and tips from this Skill helps you to recognise the key points you need to include, the learning outcomes to be addressed, and to make sure everything is included correctly and in a logical manner. This Skill addresses different types of assignments and includes hints, tips, and tricks to try for yourself.

Submitting an Assignment

Sometimes the most difficult part of completing an assignment is having the confidence to submit the work. This Skill considers working on the self-confidence required to submit a completed piece of academic writing. It is concerned with supporting you to check you have completed everything you needed to and to submit a polished piece of work on time.

Planning for Tests and Exams

It is really easy to reduce the stress of an exam, or test, simply by planning appropriately. This Skill helps you recognise the different types of tests and exams and the planning and preparation to help you deal with them in a constructive way. Using the tips in this Skill enables you to reduce stress, assisting you to focus more on the subject and achieve as high a mark as possible.

Giving and Receiving Feedback

One of the greatest gifts to support your progression at university are feedback and feedforward. This Skill explores how to make the most out of all the feedback and feedforward you are likely to receive at university and use it to help you achieve your best possible results every time.

Suggested Reading
  • Coleman, H., (2019). Polish your academic writing. SAGE Publishing.
  • Coleman, H., (2020). Your super quick guide to university. SAGE Publications.
  • Coleman, H., (2021). Get your data from experiments. SAGE Publishing.
  • Edwards, A., (2020). Beat your writer’s block. SAGE Publishing.
  • Rabel, K. (2020). Manage your time. SAGE Publishing.
Page citation: Coleman, H. (2022). Study strategies and assignments. SAGE Skills: Student Success. https://sk.sagepub.com/skills/student-success/study-strategies-assignments