Tools for Academic Success
Our Academic Coaches have created resources to help excel in college! In addition to using these videos and handouts, you can also make an appointment with an Academic Coach to make your own individualized success plan.
Most students find the transition to college a little daunting: organizing your time, managing your increased workload, and learning new ways of studying is challenging! Even experienced college students find they're always mastering new study skills. Be sure to use all available resources to ensure you do your personal best!
- Setting Goals and Managing Time
- Study Skills for College Excellence
- Taking Notes in Class and While Reading
- Writing and Research
- Avoiding Plagiarism
Setting Goals and Managing Time
- Academic Coach Morgan Hakala has tips for how to organize your semester. Set yourself up for success:
- The first step in time management is understanding how you're currently spending your time. This Time Diary can you evaluate your activities!
- Academic Coach Morgan Hakala has created a handout to help predict how long a large project will take. This Assignment Planner (instructions on our TikTok) can help you plan the best schedule to complete your assignments!
- Academic Coach Andy Linscott created this handout on setting short-term and long-term goals to use with the highly effective WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan) method for achieving your dreams.
- Speaking of goals, Andy also has tip on using micro-goals to get yourself out of the procrastination and avoidance trap:
- Academic Coach Morgan Hakala has created this video describing multiple tools and strategies to help anyone achieve effective time management. Everyone can use these tips and tricks:
Study Skills for College Excellence
- Academic Coach Andy Linscott has created a handout with tips for achieving "Deep Study": letting go of distraction and getting in the zone.
- Many people find the Pomodoro Technique an effective way to organize study time: 25 minutes of focused study with varying lengths of break. Many apps have been developed to help people use the Pomodoro Technique!
- Academic Coach Morgan Hakala has created a checklist of active study strategies to help you study smarter, not harder!
- In this video, Morgan gives a more detailed overview of several useful strategies for studying smarter, not harder:
- Finally, this series of videos on How to Get the Most Out of Studying, by Professor Stephen Chu. We highly recommend them to every college student; even the first video–which introduces you to powerful tools like metacognition and growth mindset–will really set you up to succeed in college!
Taking Notes in Class and While Reading
- Academic Coach Morgan Hakala has created a handout introducing SQ3R, a reading and note-taking method which increases comprehension and helps you remember more of what you read (so you work less hard when it comes time to study)! Morgan has also created a video about SQ3R:
- Morgan has also created a guide to Cornell Note-taking, a method for taking study-ready class notes. She also made a short video, to explain in more detail how to use this incredibly effective method for taking easy-to-read, useful notes:
Writing and Research
Research can involve both peer-reviewed academic sources and popular sources. Below are some links to resources on finding academic research (including primary source materials) and reliable popular sources written for a general, non-expert audience.
- Fitchburg State University Library research guides
- Purdue OWL's research guide
- Project Gutenberg: free ebooks in the public domain
- The National Archives
- Digital projects from the American Antiquarian Society
General Information on Research
- The University of Southern California's library has a helpful glossary of research terms
- University of Southern California's guide on writing an annotated bibliography
It can be complicated to give credit correctly! However, it's important to do so, to avoid accidental plagiarism. These guides can help:
- A Guide to Plagiarism and Paraphrasing (Purdue Global University)
- Plagiarism Information (Purdue Global University)
- Plagiarism: What it is and how to recognize it and avoid it. (Indiana University's Writing Resources)
There is no single acceptable style across all disciplines. Each professor will select the documentation style appropriate to the field of study. Ask your professor first, then follow the instructions for the proper style. Still confused? We can help you! Stop in to talk.
- Citation and Reference Guides (Purdue Global University)
- MLA Format + Columbia Guide to Online Style by Janice Walker
- APA Documentation
- Chicago Manual of Style (PDF)
- Online Dictionary and Thesaurus
- Strunk and White's Elements of Style
- Online quizzes on English grammar rules and punctuation
ESL Writing Help
- Dave Sperling's Idiom Page at the ESL Cafe + a section on slang and phrasal verbs.
- Purdue OWL ESL help
- Some ESL online quizzes, to help ESL students to learn English.
- Grammar rules geared towards English language learners, including practices quizzes and videos