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ACADEMIC READING: HANDBOOK FOR STUDENTS

Brief student-facing guide to academic reading. Covers a variety of areas and gives useful tips on selecting reading materials, active reading strategies, useful techniques and more...

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APPROACHING THE QUESTION

This resource highlights the importance of fully considering an essay title and offers guidance on essay title interpretation. The resource suggests how identifying directive words, the topic area and limiting words may help students to organise and structure their essays effectively, and thus obtain higher grades.

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ASSESSMENT: STEP-BY-STEP

This resource offers guidance for students on achieving the best possible marks in assessments. Tips include understanding the question or brief, practicality, an awareness of assessment criteria, planning and previous feedback.

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BRAINSTORMING IDEAS FOR YOUR ASSESSMENT

This resource offers the 'mindmapping' or 'spider-diagram' technique as an initial assignment planning method. This method also prompts the student to consider the research process, and deadlines by which reading and note-taking should be completed.

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CHECKING YOUR ASSIGNMENTS’ REFERENCES

This resource highlights the importance of referencing to the overall assignment quality. The resource directs students to proof-read their work and identify correct use of referencing in the main body of the essay, as well as in the reference list itself.

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COMMAS

This resource identifies how attention to punctuation, particularly standard comma use, may improve coherence and grades. The main uses of commas are identified, such as listing, bracketing and joining. Explanations and examples are given for the context in which they are most commonly correctly utilised in academic work.

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CREATING YOUR TEAM

An overview of some tips for creating your team. It covers some of the steps to take at the outset of a group work project to ensure that the group works together effectively.

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DEALING WITH DISTRACTIONS

This resource offers guidance for students on identifying their distractions, considering the consequences of specific tasks when prioritising them, as well as strategy ideas for tackling distractions.

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DEVELOPING AN ACTION PLAN FOR INDEPENDENT LEARNING

Worksheet to support students to outline an structured action plan for their studies. This resource provides a template to encourage students to be effective independent learners, able to identify: what they want to learn; the best ways for them to learn what they want to learn; and how to demonstrate learning.

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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Advice on how to communicate effectively, particularly in a group working environment. Areas covered include active listening, body language and clarity of expression.

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ESSAY WRITING PACK

A downloadable workbook for students which can be tailored to different essay questions. The workbook structures enables the essay to be structured in an orderly way, allowing for the process to be learned as the assignment is completed.

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GETTING ORGANISED

This resource contains organisational guidance for students to help them stay on top of their work-load, further their time management skills and consequently reduce stress levels. This includes the importance of an appropriate working space, the use of a filing system and a general awareness of course information.

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GROUND RULES FOR GROUP WORK

An overview of things to consider when setting ground rules for a group work project. It covers rules around personal conduct and working practice, as well as an outline of why setting group rules is a useful exercise at the start of a project.

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GROUP PROJECT MANAGEMENT

An overview of tips to effectively manage group work projects. It covers breaking down the task, scheduling and setting deadlines, communicating and monitoring progress.

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GROUP WORK BOOKLET

This booklet provides a comprehensive guide to student group work. It covers topics such as how and why groupwork is used in HE, getting started with your group, personalities and roles, communication, dealing with conflict, reviewing progress and making decisions.

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HOW TO START WRITING

An overview of some techniques to get started with writing after conducting research for an assignment. Includes information about planning, freewriting, structuring and writing paragraphs.
Includes a worksheet for students to download and keep for reference.

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HOW TO STRUCTURE A PARAGRAPH

This resource highlights the importance of clear and effective paragraphing to essay coherence. The resource explains the basic aims and structure of a paragraph, along with a checklist of features. Signposting words and phrases can be particularly useful for introducing theory, linking or concluding an essay.

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HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR WRITING

Highlighting the importance of structure to constructing clear and effective communication, this resource offers advice on improving structure and planning in academic writing. The resource offers techniques, particularly essay focus and basic structures, which may help to improve student work.

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INDUCTION BOOKLET – TEMPLATE AND EXAMPLES

This resource offers a customisable template for a booklet to support students through the induction process. An exemplar booklet is also available from a student intake at the University of Manchester. A set of notes are provided detailing the background, aims and objectives, design and student evaluation of the booklet.

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INSTRUCTION WORDS IN ESSAY QUESTIONS

This resource prompts students to initially consider what the assignment question is asking directly, by identifying key phrases. Although variant upon subject, the resource identifies general definitions for key words commonly utilised within essay questions.

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IS A DISSERTATION JUST A LONGER REPORT?

This guide is designed to show you how to adapt your current report writing practices for doing a longer independent research project like a dissertation. If you are planning to do a dissertation project that involves some kind of primary data...

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LEARNING CONTRACT

This resource includes guidance notes for developing a learning contract for self-directed study, together with a template for a Learning Contract. The resource is tailored for adult students and is designed to be worked through on a one-to-one basis with a tutor.

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LEARNING FROM YOUR ASSESSMENT FEEDBACK

Highlighting the importance of assessment feedback, this resource offers advice on how students may make the most out of any comments received. Guidance includes reading feedback as soon as it is received, keeping a learning journal and forming action plans.

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MAKING MORE HOURS IN THE DAY

This resource contains guidance for students on managing their time effectively. This includes pointers on developing study practices, prioritising tasks and actively putting personal study first.

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MATHS INSTRUCTION WORDS

This resource identifies the key terms used in Mathematics assignments, defining them in a way in which assists student understanding of assignment titles and questions.

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MEETING ROLES FOR GROUP WORK

An overview of some of the roles in group project meetings. Includes an outline of responsibilities for chair, record keeper, time keeper and task manager.

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NOTEMAKER

An online resource on notemaking, including links to information on Linear, Pattern and Cornell notes. An easily navigable resource. Also features templates for the learner to experiment with note taking.

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NOTEMAKING IN LECTURES

A student helpsheet describing a process for effective strategies for notemaking in lectures. Includes notes on preperation and process.

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OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION

This resource details specific strategies for students facing common difficulties with their work, which may lead to procrastination. This includes how to cope with multiple tasks, poor concentration, how to structure essays and turn feedback into constructive criticism and prioritise study over other commitments.

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PLANNING TIMETABLES AND SCHEDULES

This resource details guidance for students on how to compose weekly, termly and project timetables. The resource provides further tools, with a particular focus on being realistic whilst flexible with any time available.

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PLANNING YOUR WORK

This resource highlights the importance of planning work, and how this may improve essay coherence and structure. According to personal preference, the resource offers the linear, cornell or mindmapping approach to planning as guidance for achieving higher grades.

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REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES BOOKLET

This 71-page booklet explains when to reference, how to reference (using the Harvard style), gives examples of different forms of referencing, including some of the less common sources, and includes two assignments to demonstrate referencing in action.

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RESOURCE PACK SUPPORTING STUDENT COMMUNITY PROJECTS

This pack contains resources to support student projects in the local community. It includes guidance for students about project queries
list of resources available to students to support their project work, fundraising ideas, oral history references and a contract template.

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STRUCTURE OF REPORTS

A detailed explanation of the content of subsections of a report. This includes information about titles for sections as well as suggested content.

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THE 5 STEP PLAN

This resource for students details five key steps for taking control of your workload. This includes listing tasks to complete, breaking down big tasks into smaller steps, organising tasks under headings ('now', 'sooner' or 'later), taking one task at a time as well as prioritising and planning tasks.

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WHAT IS ACADEMIC WRITING?

This resource identifies the common key features of academic writing, such as formality, correct grammar and a logical structure, and how this may be different from other forms of writing.

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WHAT IS RESEARCH?

This guide provides an overview of research methods and methodologies, including practical advice for those new to research, and tips on how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls for new researchers. It covers a background to research; getting started; quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

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WHAT MAKES A GOOD REPORT?

This resource includes a list of commonly perceived tropes of sub-standard reports as well as a detailed breakdown of suggested content of report sections.

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WHAT’S THE POINT OF REFERENCING?

Student essay in response to a 2009 LearnHigher competition on 'What is the point of referencing?’. Together with a tutor commentary, the essay sets out and explores three for referencing: to construct, structure, support and communicate arguments; to link work to the existing
body of knowledge; and how referencing can add credibility to academic work.

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