Thursday, 31 October 2013

5 steps to writing the conclusion

I have had a number of students contact me asking how to write a conclusion. So here are 5 tips to help write the closing paragraph of your next essay.
1. Try writing the conclusion first before writing the rest of the essay. You can always re-edit it later.

2.Re-iterate the focus question of the task. Refer to the task sheet.

3. State the key findings or aspects from the task, linking them together. Don't introduce new ideas. This includes quotes, however, there can be exceptions to this rule.
4. Try to avoid starting the conclusion with 'In conclusion...' or 'The purpose of this essay was to...'. Begin with a statement about the topic focus.
5. The important thing is to just write! Begin your thoughts with 'the purpose of this task is...' Write your answer down and that's your starting point. 

Which part of assignments do you find tricky?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

5 ways to beat procrastination.

There seems to be a procrastination theme happening on the StudyBreak Facebook page at the moment so here are 5 ways to beat procrastination and get whichever part of study you are avoiding done.

Here are 5 ways to beat procrastination and get your study done!

1. Set small study goals
What is the task and what do you need to do to get there?
Each day write down two smaller goals to complete. On the same list, write down others things you would like to get done too. Is there washing to do? Do you need to call back Aunty Dot? Do you need to schedule exercise in today? Study just might look like the better option!

2. Reward yourself
When you've achieved your set smaller goals, reward yourself. It might be going to the beach, watching tv or surf ing Facebook. When you've completed a task then it's time to take some time out before starting on the next assignment or exam study. This is the time to reward yourself with an organised social outing, a massage or something else you find relaxing. This will help you re -energise for the next task and reduce your stress.

3. Remind yourself how good you'll feel once it's done
You've already checked your Facebook feed five times this morning and there are no new emails, smothered no needtocheck them again for the next two hours. Mark Twain said 'the secret to getting started is to start'. Remind yourself how good you will feel once you've achieved your study goals. 

4. Talk about your study and get your motivation back
Simply sharing with someone about your study efforts and what task you're working on can clear your thoughts and motivate you to keep going. Especially if the other person gives you encouraging words. Talking out loud about your study can help you vent about any problems and make you realise how much you do know about your topic. 

5. Eat, sleep and exercise
Some people may use these tasks to avoid study but eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep and daily exercise will boost your energy levels. Try to exercise before studying and awaken your mind or change your study snack from chips to grapes. Be kind to your body!

How do you get your study started?

Monday, 21 October 2013

Where's your chair?

For years my study space was on the lounge with a small table to sit my laptop on. I thought it was great because when my neck hurt I could look up and rest by watching tv. Sure I had a desk, but it wasn't appealing. Sometimes I took my study outside and this is a great idea to get fresh air and a new surrounding can help with the writing flow.

In my final year of postgraduate study, I set up an appealing study space- at a desk with a view. I wasn't isolated and everything including my text books and printer were accessible. However, if I could sneak back to the lounge with my laptop on my knees I did. 

When my husband did a stint of working from home I decided he needed a good chair to support his back. I did my research and I tried and tested a range personally before I decided on just the right one.

When he finished his stint of working from home, I thought it looked a lot nicer than my shabby, unsupportive and generally ugly office chair, and pushed his chair over to 'my' side of the study space.

I haven't looked back and I have now claimed this chair as my own. Since using a good, supportive and comfortable chair, long gone are the days of sitting on the lounge with my laptop. I'm more productive as it's not so tempting to watch the tv and I'm more comfortable so less aches and pains from sitting with bad posture.

So, what are you sitting on as you read this post?

Email etiquette: 5 things to remember

There's not a common agreement governing email correspondence. There are too many contexts and purposes to consider.
However, here are five email etiquette tips to remember next time you contact your lecturer or tutor via email. 

1. Address the email recipient. Use the name you usually address them with, for example: 'Hi David'. 

2. Check your spelling. If unsure, look it up!

3. Use a subject line - two to three words to summarise the email and keep the body of the email concise.

4. Don't send an email when you are full of negative emotion especially during study stress. It's easy to click the 'send' button without double checking what you've written.

5. Email is not confidential. Don't write anything you wouldn't want someone else reading.

A good example:
Subject: edu101 criterion 2

Hi David

Is it okay to use a table to display our results for criterion 2?

Thanks in advance,

Time to re-think pressing the send button example 
Subject: question

Can I use a tabel to show results? Everyone keeps saying different things and I'm just not sure anymore. I'm getting concflicting info about this task.
Can you help me?

Thursday, 3 October 2013

5 ways to finish the final assignment for the year

Most of us can relate to the end of the year slump especially if it's your final year. But assignments are still due and they need to be submitted.  You may be thinking, ' I've had enough, I just need to get a pass'. Now it's okay to think this because you've been studying hard all year and need a well- earned break, especially after all the ups and downs that life has thrown in, but keep this thought in your head. 
When your lecturer offers a re-submit don't reply to the email with 'will I get enough marks to pass the unit without the re-submit? I've managed to scrape through in my other subjects.'  If they specifically list the amendments that could be done in a few hours, it is easier to do them and get the assignment out of the way.

Here are five tips to get through that final assignment before your exams, prac or break:

1. Check off the marking rubric- look at the 'credit' column if you are just wanting to get this assignment out of the way.

2. Include an introduction and conclusion: tell them what you're going to tell them (intro), tell them (body), tell them what you've told them (conclusion).

3. Use the spell checker in your word processor - although it doesn't find all mistakes, you would be surprised the number of students that don't use this tool at all! 

4. Check referencing - don't lose marks for incorrect formatting of the reference list -references are a simple fix.

5. When you think you've completed the assignment, leave it until the next day to submit (if there's enough time before the due date). This allows time for one final read through and you might be surprised to find little things to fix that were missed the day before.

How do you get through writing the last assignment of the year?