Study Hack – Writing

SkeletonplanAcademic writing can be tough whether it be writing an essay or a literature review. We have some great resources in QUT Cite Write which will help you to get started, no matter what writing style you need.

First things first, make a skeleton plan. You can do this for your whole assignment and there are a lot of templates that can help you with this and some of them sound good! Try the hamburger or the diamond templates. After this, you can follow the same template (or try a new one) for each of your paragraphs. Use these templates to decide what information will go where. This will make it a whole lot easier to start writing when you know exactly what you are trying to say and when you want to say it.

ProofreadyourwrokOnce you have finished your assignment it is important that you edit and proof read. Check your grammar, punctuation and the flow of your words. Get someone else to have a look at it for you as a fresh pair of eyes may spot something you have missed. By editing and proof reading your work you will make sure your assignment works as a whole and most important of all, that it answers your task question.

Need more help? Visit QUT Support for learning.

Study Hack – Academic Honesty, what is it?

What is Academic honesty? You might have heard it referred to as plagiarism or cheating, at QUT we have a huge pile of resources to help you give credit where credit is due and be authentic in your studies.

BelieveOnline_JBSo what do you do if you have a whole bunch of great resources you want to use in your assignment? First off, it is great that you have found some resources relevant to your assignment but remember to have a good look at what your source is and where it came from. You want to use good quality information to back up your ideas and arguments. So make sure you don’t quote any information you haven’t verified!

findingInfoEasy_JB Next, you need to work the information into your assignment. You do this by direct quoting, summarising or paraphrasing their work. Remember, direct quotes should only take up 10% of your word count. Paraphrasing is the hardest but recommended. It is worthwhile aiming for as you can demonstrate your own understanding and show off your critical thinking skills! How to Paraphrase will give you some helpful tips so that you can put your best foot forward.

The final step you need to make is to acknowledge the work of the people whose resources you think are awesome have used in your assignment. Referencing or citing another person’s work is really important and there is loads of information about how to do this on QUT CiteWrite.

To avoid plagiarism make sure you reference and give credit to those who have come before you. And don’t forget, pictures and music need to be referenced too!

Need more help? Come and see us at the Library Help desk. No appointment needed.

Study Hack – Time management to the rescue!

Making a plan and sticking to it is often the hardest part of studying. If we can manage our priorities and commitments we can often get things done quicker and with less stress. With Easter coming up everyone is looking forward to a break. Having a break is just as important as studying, but how can you fit in a bit of R & R while still staying on track with your workload?

Why not look at some of the great time-management tools we have to offer to keep you on track and lower your stress levels.

To minimise cramming at the end of semester download a semester planner and stick it on your door, keeping track of your due dates in a visible place often helps you get things done sooner!

Assignment Calculator is a useful tool which breaks down your assessment into manageable chunks.

And if you manage to have the time for it check out the library’s website for some more quick tips and hints. To get started often simple things are the best. Why not write out a ‘to do’ list and highlight the important things?
StudyBreaks_JB
And finally, take study breaks! Everyone needs a rest every now and then to recharge. It can also unblock your mind and allow you to answer problems you were stuck on or see things in a different way.

Need more help? Come and see us in the Library and make a Study Solutions appointment.

Remember, good time management = less stress so why not give it a try?

 

 

Set up for study success this semester

The first week of semester is about meeting new mates, your tutors and lecturers and gathering unit information – assignment due dates, classes, exams. Staying on top of your study load and setting yourself up for success from Week 1 can be achieved with a little planning and bookmarking study support resources for when you need them.

Plan your semester

Planning is not about having your time set in stone, but more about seeing the bigger picture so you can afford to be flexible as things pop up during semester. Unexpected setbacks happen and when they do, a plan will help you to adjust your time so you can quickly get back on track.

To get started, you’ll need:

  • the academic calendar
  • an online calendar, like your QUT email calendar or Google Calendar – whichever works for you and you will refer to regularly

The academic calendar shows important dates related to your semester, such as mid-semester break and exam periods. Place or save the academic calendar somewhere you can access quickly, like your computer desktop. Next, input all your important dates over the semester, assignment due dates, exam study period, as well as your social and family commitments such as weddings or birthday parties. You’ll then start to see where you might need to start work on your assignments a little earlier if the due date clashes with your cousin’s 21st bash, for example. In your online calendar, block out time for your classes. Then add your regular work, family or other commitments. Setting up recurring appointments in an online calendar are time savers when planning your study load from week to week.

Now you have an idea of what your semester looks like and how much time you have for your coursework and assignments.

Handy tip: Bookmark the library’s Assignment Calculator to help you allow enough time for completing your assignments.

Keep study support within reach

Can’t make it to campus for a study skills workshop? Library staff have been busy over the summer preparing these workshops for online access through Blackboard. Once logged into Blackboard, either go to the community site directly and click ‘Enrol’, or use ‘Community Finder’ and search with the name ‘Library Back to Study’. By enrolling in the community site, you will have ready access to these resources from your Blackboard home page.

Topics include reading and note taking, undertaking research and returning to university study, with helpful hints and strategies.

Need help through the semester? Ask a Librarian – by phone, at the Library Helpdesk or online.

We’re here to help.

Be prepared: Getting the best out of Study Solutions!

" Day133: Flickr keeps you studying!" By Abdulrahman AlZe3bi. CC BY-NC 2.0

” Day133: Flickr keeps you studying!” By Abdulrahman AlZe3bi. CC BY-NC 2.0

At the Library, there really is no such thing as a stupid question. Did you know that the most common question we get asked is, “Where are the bathrooms?” Helping you to find the bathroom is just one of the many ways we can help in the Library.

Many students get stuck with pesky research, writing and referencing questions over the course of the semester. At every branch Library, you can have your researching and referencing questions answered straight away at the Library Helpdesk. Our staff are trained to help you get started and point you in the right direction to get your assignments started.

If you have a longer or more complicated question, the Library can provide support for your studies through a Study Solutions appointment. By booking a Study Solutions appointment, you can get a 25 minute face to face appointment for help with your study, research and assignments. From understanding your assignment question, providing feedback on a draft, to working in groups, or organising your work/study load, we are here to help.

You can book a 25 minute consultation from Week 3. Bookings open a week in advance and fill up quickly – so be prepared and book early.

If you miss out on an appointment, never fear! Drop-in sessions are available at both Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove libraries from 12pm-2pm, Tuesday to Thursday. The time of your consultation will depend on how many students are waiting – so be prepared and have your burning question ready and waiting to maximise your time.

So! You’ve booked a consultation or you’re planning on coming to a drop-in session…. what can you do to prepare yourself to get the best out of your Study Solutions session?

1. Be on time! Make sure to note the date, time, and location of your consultation. Write it in your phone, diary, or the back of your hand. Remember you can keep track of your bookings online.

2. Come to your consultation with something specific to work on. Whether it be your assignment question, your draft, a particular study issue you’ve been having, or a question about a resource – this helps us to tailor the support specifically to your needs. Please remember that library staff cannot proofread assignments for you, we can give you tips and strategies so you can proofread yourself (hint: read your assignment out loud to the mirror!).

3. Check our online study resources and see if your question is answered there. If you familiar yourself with resources such as Cite Write, Studywell, and Studysmart, you’ll be well on your way to being a top student on your own!

4. If you’re looking for specific academic language and learning support you can get in touch with Academic Language and Learning Services (ALLS) to arrange an appointment. Language and Learning Educators are specially trained to help students and staff who need help with speaking and writing.

 

Welcome to Semester 1

Think of the Library as your floaties... 'Flafloaties' by  shankool007 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Think of the Library as your floaties… ‘Flafloaties’ by shankool007 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

So – you’ve found the library; worked out your preferred coffee shop; eaten some free pancakes; toga-ed up and perhaps even deciphered the campus map  to find your lecture locations. You’re feeling on top of things!

It’s time to get serious. Keeping on top of your coursework and managing your time to balance your study, working and, well,  life is no easy task but the QUT Library can definitely help! In February and March across the QUT, the library holds workshops to help any and all students with their researching, writing and study. These are free and open to any student. You don’t have to be new, just eager for some strategies and assistance! Sign up HERE

As the semester progresses, Study Solutions individual appointments can troubleshoot your assessment woes, or advise on how to get started. Free to attend and scheduled across the day at all library branches, sign up early for an appointment or attend a drop-in session to get your assessment off to the right start. Starting in Week 3, appointments can be booked HERE

If you’re not sure what you need to know, or don’t know what you don’t know, completing the Study Smart tutorials is a great way to learn some new skills and increase your understanding of university-level research and study requirements. They’re online, self-paced and easy to navigate. You can complete all six or just those where you think you need some help.

And lastly, but definitely not least, there are a variety of ways you can Ask a Librarian! for help: Chat to a Librarian operates during semester; you can phone or come to a Library Helpdesk at each library branch; you can Email a Librarian or perhaps check out the FAQs where others have come before you and already asked what you need to know!

There’s no such thing as a silly question and we are here to help!

 

 

Bloom of doom

Exams! by  Jan Smith (CC BY 2.0)

Exams! by Jan Smith
(CC BY 2.0)

Poor Jacarandas. In Queensland they’re a signal that end of year exams are upon us and as such, the blooms strike fear, panic and desperation in students’ hearts and their beauty largely goes unappreciated.

So, what can you do once the mass of purple fills the skies – and carpets the paths – to survive exam madness?

  • Firstly, know your enemy. There are many different types of exams: multiple choice; short answer; and open book just to name a few. Each has different performance requirements and therefore, a different preparation strategy. Studywell has lots of exam advice including how to identify what you’re facing and how to prepare for each different exam type.
  • Double check the basics. Well before the day, check the exam timetable and then check it again. Know where you’re going, what time and work out how you’re going to get there. Exam rooms are usually in different places than your lectures so check the campus map and familiarise yourself with where you need to go.
  • Formulate a plan of attack. Put in place strategies to organise your time and organise your notes. Gather all the information you need together – lecture notes, recordings of lectures, textbooks, readings, quizzes, lab reports – before you start studying to make sure you have all the information at hand.
  • Phone a friend. Study with a buddy or form a study group. You’ll help keep each other motivated and can quiz each other and share techniques for revising.
  • Eat and Sleep. Good nutrition and staying hydrated are key to performing at your best  – as easy as it would be to fall into the trap of takeaway and caffeine. Plan to get adequate sleep in your study schedule as your brain’s retention and retrieval performance will be hampered by inadequate zzz’s.
  • Don’t panic. It’s easy to start to feel overwhelmed, even if you have a good study plan in place. Here’s some strategies to combat exam anxiety and don’t be afraid to talk to someone if it all starts getting too much.

Wishing you all the best of luck  this exam period  and be assured, one day you will be able to gaze upon the Jacarandas with fondness rather than loathing.

Light! End of the tunnel!

You're nearly there minifig! 'Small Climb' by  Black Zack (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

You’re nearly there minifig! ‘Small Climb’ by Black Zack
(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The weather’s warming up, and all that sunshine is like a beacon of hope – it’s almost the end of semester! You’ve already handed in a few assignments and things are rolling along. To make sure you keep the momentum going, here are a few tips:

  • Use the Assignment Calculator to help manage your time on these last assessments.
  • Set some time aside for each of your assessment pieces. A weekly planner is available here.
  • If you aren’t sure about your assignment task, talk to your tutor or lecturer about what is required.
  • Ask someone at the Library Helpdesk to show you our online learning resources and help you find information.
  • Book a Study Solutions appointment for a 25 minute one-on-one appointment to talk about your assignment.
  • Check out your faculty’s peer assistance program to talk to another student about your study.

Time can slip away quickly. For best results with less stress, start early, work consistently and finish strong!

Get help with your assignments without leaving your couch!

Lib_chat

For the times when you aren’t able to visit our Library Helpdesk on campus, we offer an online chat service, Chat to a Librarian.

You can use Chat to a Librarian during semester at these times:

  • Monday – Friday: 10am – 9.45pm
  • Weekends and Public Holidays: 12pm – 4.45pm

To get started, just hit the chat button on the QUT Library home page and fill in some basic information. One of our friendly librarians will be ready and waiting to answer your question.

You can use the chat service to get help with finding information for your assignment, assistance using databases, and advice on referencing.

If you need help outside the times the chat service is open (but you still want to stay at home in your pajamas), we have loads of information to help you anytime that you need it:

  • To find the answers to some common library questions, try the AskQUT Library FAQ.
  • For help with referencing, try QUT cite|write
  • There are some great tips on assignment research and writing available on Studywell.

We look forward to chatting with you soon.

New to computers? IT Skills Solutions can help

Using computers is an essential part of uni life. If you haven’t used computers much before, it can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry, we have the perfect solution!

You can book a free 25-minute appointment for one-to-one help with:

  • Basic computer skills
  • How to use QUT online systems
  • How to help yourself

Get ready for success at uni. Book your free IT Skills Solutions appointment online or in person at the Library Helpdesk.

It’s not too hard or too late!