Writing and Academic Skills Tips

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Citing correctly using Purdue OWL

Access Purdue Online Writing Lab’s citation guides from their website. Select the Online Writing Lab From the menu on the...

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Choosing and developing an essay topic

Your topic is what you’re writing about. Topics can be questions or problems (and theses can be answers or solutions). When choosing a...

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Studying and taking exams: Online open-book exams

When first presented with open-book exams, many students think preparation is not needed since they can access course materials. However, they...

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Studying and taking exams: Study groups

Meeting peers in small groups is a great way to become an active studier. They can also increase your motivation,...

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Studying and taking exams: Multiple-choice exams

Misconceptions about multiple-choice exams:   They’re easier. Not necessarily. Don’t rely on the fact that the answer is already on the page.   Memorizing...

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Studying and taking exams: Using mind maps

Mind maps help with connective thinking and categorizing information, which helps you study and write essays. To make a mind...

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Studying and taking exams: Using four levels of questions

Take a concept and insert it into these questions. Then look for an answer! These questions might be at the...

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Writing motivation

If you’ve ever had trouble starting an essay or staying focused, you’re not alone! Getting started and staying motivated can...

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University-level writing expectations

Critical Thinking and Analysis Demonstrate reading, understanding, and thinking. Do not just state or summarize your sources; use concepts and ideas to make arguments and/or...

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Writing thesis statements

After you’ve narrowed your topic, you must create a thesis. Your thesis is your argument and/or the answer to your research question and it belongs in your...

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Writing scholarship applications

Here are some top tips for writing scholarship applications. Best of luck to you! Step 1: Brainstorm What are the...

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Revising and proofreading

When you revise, you focus on the strength/clarity of ideas and organization of your text. Make sure the content and structure of your essay effectively communicate your main point.    1. Revise...

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Quotation integration

What is quotation integration? Academic papers include cited ideas from other scholars. We show familiarity with other scholars’ work and build on their...

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Writing lab reports

Before starting, review assignment expectations, learning goals, and the pre-lab report (if applicable). Common Structure (NOTE: Always follow your course laboratory...

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Eliminating wordiness

What is wordiness and why should I eliminate it? Wordiness can hide information, making claims unclear or incorrect. Accurate writing...

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Studying and taking exams

Active Study Strategies Studying = Thinking! Studying ≠ Memorizing: You need to remember some information to get started, but then...

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Reading and note-taking

Note-taking  Before Lecture: Consult learning objectives for lecture Review any slides Read assigned content Choose a note-taking strategy Add date...

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Procrastination

Why do we procrastinate? Misguided perceptions. We mistakenly believe we’ll be more prepared tomorrow. It’s also easier to justify comfort...

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Goal setting

When you link your day-to-day tasks to goals, you see the purpose behind your work. This helps you stay motivated. Think...

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Time management

It is easy to get overwhelmed when trying to balance course work, extracurriculars, free time, and any other commitments you...