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4 reasons why you need to explore beyond your course readings

Going beyond your course readings is essential to help you get ahead. Find out the benefits of reading extra material and how to explore the many resources available to you as a USQ student with this guide.

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4 reasons why you need to explore beyond your course readings

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  2. 2. University is an adventure of a lifetime filled with an infinite number of opportunities to expand your outlook and learn. Make the most of the time you have now to discover as much as you can about your future profession by reading more than what is listed in your course readings. While reading more than you have to may seem time consuming, it’s definitely beneficial in the long run. Here are 4 reasons why you should explore a universe of knowledge by going beyond your course readings:
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  4. 4. Doing extra reading before you come to class can help you take the leap from a passive to an active learner. This means you’ll be more engaged in your studies by being prepared and searching for further information. Being an active learner allows you to develop a deeper understanding of the topic so you can answer those tricky questions your tutor throws at you online or contribute confidently to a forum discussion.
  5. 5. Research shows that those who engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, throughout their lives experience slower memory decline than those who don’t.1 There is also a correlation between reading comprehension and IQ, so basically the more you read the smarter you become.2 1) James, B, Wilson, R, Boyle, P, Yu, L, Barnes, L, Schneider, J & Bennett, D 2013, ‘Life-span cognitive activity, neuropathologic burden and cognitive aging’, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, vol. 9, no. 4, viewed 15th September 2016, <> 2) Ghabanchi, Z, Rastegar, R 2014, ‘The correlation of IQ and emotional intelligence with reading comprehension’, Reading Matrix, vol. 14, no. 2, viewed 15th of September 2016, <> DID YOU KNOW?
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  7. 7. Research states that approximately 5–15% of the words we know were learned by reading.3 By taking time to read about your course topic, technical terms and definitions will become second nature to you. This way, you’ll be able to write better assignments with confidence! Also, exploring beyond your course readings allows you to delve deeper into the topic. By having knowledge of different material you can criticise or question ideas, and provide a variety of different perspectives in your assignments. Therefore, reading as much as you can about your course topic leads to more sophisticated academic writing and ultimately better results! 3) Nagy, Herman, and Anderson, 1985 cited by Nell K. Duke and Annie M. Moses, ’10 research-tested ways to build children’s vocabulary’, viewed 15th September 2016, < readingline/pdfs/ProfessionalPaper.pdf>
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  10. 10. Have you ever had an exam question that asked you to give examples and your mind went completely blank? Like a shooting star, the knowledge you learn in class can fade away quickly if you don’t revisit the topic often. Reading beyond your course readings by accessing previous case studies provides you with a bank of knowledge that you can showcase in your exam. Think of it as doing your exam study in advance!
  11. 11. ‘I firmly believe there is no substitute to reading. The quality of your output reflects the reading that you have done in preparation for assignments and exams. USQ has an abundance of Library resources available for students who want to go the extra mile to be able to produce high quality work.’ Dr Rumman Hassan Lecturer of Marketing School of Management and Enterprise
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  13. 13. Exploring beyond your course readings is essential not only if you want to enrich your study and improve your uni grades, but it can help prepare you for your future career. Keeping up to date with industry trends, leaders in your field and successful methods of practice, is important for professional growth. Make sure you schedule time into your week to research industry updates. It will be worth it! Check out how Bec keeps up with industry trends while working 9-5.
  14. 14. ‘In a competitive labour market, employers are looking for those little ‘extra’ distinguishing features that help separate graduate applicants. Being well-read in your field not only shows through your grades, it shows depth in job applications and your interview responses. Employers are looking for a deeper level of understanding and knowledge. Reading widely helps with this.’ Mike Thomason Career Development Practitioner Student Services
  16. 16. If you’re ready to launch into a new literary atmosphere, a great starting point is your supplementary texts or extra references. Often these can be found in your study module when your lecturer suggests additional reading. You can also explore some of the references that the author cites within your text and at the end of the article or book. SO HOW DO I FIND EXTRA INFORMATION?
  17. 17. To access these resources and find more good quality information on your course topic head to a Library on-campus or search the Library website. There are a vast number of books, journal articles, newspapers and other resources available to you online for free. Online students, don’t worry, you can still access on-campus resources by having them sent to you for free. Find out more here.
  18. 18. ‘Did you know that the Library has over 240 000 electronic and print books, millions of journal articles and other resources freely available for you to use. It’s important you gain the skills to access the best material for you, so that you gain a wider understanding of your subject. This is where Librarians come in. We can help you acquire these skills and assist with finding information. So pop in, email, phone or instant message us to get started!’ Samanthi Suraweera Reference Officer Faculty Librarian
  19. 19. CRICOS: QLD00244B  NSW02225M  TEQSA: PRV12081  14.6.J  10.2016  Graphics © Shutterstock Don’t miss out on the opportunities you have right now to reach your potential. Exploring beyond your course readings is so important for success at university and throughout your career. So what are you waiting for? Jump on the USQ Library website and explore the many resources available to you as a USQ student.