Study Skills Presentation - C3College Degree Program
Prescription for Success.
Dee Teal BTh
Tutor Southern Cross College
Oxford Falls Campus - 2008
Doing the Groundwork
Getting to Grips with the Essay
Reading the Question
Choosing your Topic
The Different Kinds of Academic Essays
Doing the Groundwork for your chosen work
Competent Note-taking and referencing.
Color Coding and Highlighting
Planning the Essay Structure
Re-Reading the Question
Structuring the Basis for Your Answer.
Building the Structure
Re-Reading the Question
Consolidating your Answer - Break it down.
Articulating your thoughts (what you Think is What the Marker wants to know.)
Structuring your Essay
Roofing & Flooring
Introducing the premise of your essay
Concluding and wrapping up what you learned.
Writing an Abstract
Wallpaper & Carpet
English spelling NOT American – set your dictionary in Word
Spell Check. TWICE.
3rd Party Proofing.
Easy Marks through correct Formatting
Handing in on time.
Choosing Your Topic
If you are offered a choice
Pick the one that sits best with you.
Stick With It.
If in doubt about what’s required ASK for clarification
Interpret the question fully before beginning
If in doubt – ASK for clarification
Rewrite the question in plain English if it helps
+ account for explain (reason)
analyse examine closely, examine in parts, show how the
parts contribute to the whole
argue present a case for and/or against
assess decide the value of, judge, measure
the importance of
compare discuss two or more things in terms of their
similarities and differences
critically evaluate weigh arguments for and againstsomething,
assessing all evidence.
Decide which opinions, theories,
models or items are preferable.
define explain, give full meaning(s), make clear
what is meant by, use definition/s to
explore the concept of
describe give a detailed account of the features of
something without interpreting the
discuss present and give a judgment on the value
of arguments for and against, consider all angle
distinguish bring out the differences between two possibly
+ enumerate an item-by-item account, such as all the steps in a process
evaluate judge, criticise in terms of impact/significance, and
investigate the implications
examine make clear the details/meaning of, look in particularat
reasons causes and effects, account for, give
explore describe in detail, and note impact
illustrate use examples to show a concept
indicate focus on specific areas (similar to illustrate)
interpret make clear the meaning of, consider implications
narrate concentrate on saying what happened, telling a story
outline describe main features, a broad but thorough
account, identify briefly the main features of
prove show by logical argument
relate show similarities and connections between two or
review describe chief features, criticise generally (important parts)
to what extent
consider how far something is true or not true, consider howfar
something contributes to a final outcome
trace identify and describe the development or history of
Where to get Your Research
Oxford Falls Library
State Library of NSW
Academic Sources IMPORTANT
Internet Archive (www.archive.org)
iTunes U (via iTunes store)
Google Scholar (www.scholar.google.com)
Organising Found Research
Photocopy Relevant Pages – watch copyright
Copy front page and publication info for referencing
Keep copied documents filed and collated.
Note page numbers and references
Keep them ordered. Either by Subject or by Source.
Colour-code - PostIts/Highlighters/ Coloured sticky-tabs
Mind Mapping – Free Mind
Index Cards – organized according to Subject or Source
Hanging Files – Ongoing Research
Bookmarking – Foxmarks/citeulike.org/del.ic.ious
Structure your Essay
Break Down the essay into easy bites
In a 1000 word essay this
Intro – 100 words
Break Down the Body even further
33%Main Idea 1
Each Main Idea
33%Main Idea 2
Conclusion – 100 words
33%Main Idea 3
Doesn’t that seem so much
Writing the Essay
Stick to the structure
Know your research and notes
Know where you’re going.
If you process your thoughts by writing do so but don’t consider
it your final draft.
If English is your second language don’t be ashamed to ask for
Write the introduction and conclusion only when you are clear
on the question and how you’ve answered it.
Writing the Essay
Track your References and Footnotes as you go to make
Footnotes – are references referred to directly in your text. If you
have cause to write “many people say Drugs are good for you” You
MUST back it up with a reference, or else it begs the question “Who
are the many people?”
Also used when quoting someone directly.
See Handbook for correct formatting page 36.
Writing the Essay
Use useful online helps like www.bibme.org but make sure your
output is formatted as required byAlphacrucis.
Reference as you go. For every book you use note down the
relevant details, whenever you grab a book/journal/webpage or
other resource note the details.
Do not include the Dictionary in your references. Markers can
spot padding a mile away.
Use good quality academic reference materials. Don’t be
afraid to use other media, just reference it correctly.
Font – Serif Fonts for Printed Work PLEASE. You don’t get
marks for pretty, you get marks for easy to read.
Times New Roman
Book Antigua etc.
Not 1 Line
This is Important
Approximately 2.5cm on the left hand side and 3.5 on the right
– this leaves room for marker’s feedback.
This is a little bit of testing text… Where I rabbit on
and on until you get well fed up with all the nonsense
This is a bit more text – you could call it a 2nd
All essays (except Book Reviews) require an abstract.
Length = No More Than 10% of the Word Limit
Is a statement of the method used in answering the questions
and the conclusions reached in that method.
Differs from the Introduction as the intro poses the initial
question and states the student’s intent. The abstract sums up
the whole document.
Know what you’re being marked on and bear it in mind when
writing your essay (it’s on the back of your assignment cover
sheet... Get the coversheet before you go to hand it in!)
Make good use of the internet for research tools and resources.
If in doubt about a question or definition try Google. You might
get a quicker answer than waiting for your tutor.
Get a 3rd party to proof your essay (Pam does!) you get so
used to seeing what you want to see and mistakes slip through
easily. ESPECIALLY if you’re writing tired.