20.9.16

University tips | Lectures and getting support


Hello,

I really enjoyed writing about my study tips in my last university advice post, so I've decided to write another one because I have a lot to say! As I said in my last post, my advice might not suit people doing creative/science courses because my course was very academic, so bear that in mind when reading.

Towards my final year I used my laptop a lot more when making notes for my dissertation and assignments. This sounds super obvious, but if you are someone who prefers writing notes from lectures, seminars, books, all by hand, then you will know that transferring these notes to a word document can be very time consuming.

Therefore, I started to make notes from my reading straight onto a word document, and referenced as I went along. It made organising my notes and writing out my essays so much easier because all the information was in one place, and all I had to do was move my notes around the page and put them into my essay plan.

I still continued to write my lecture notes by hand, but I would print the lecture slides so I could make notes around the bullet points. My lecturers were really helpful as they uploaded their lecture slides on the on-line portal beforehand, and this helped me as I was able to listen and understand the topic instead of trying to scribble down all the information from the slides.

Google is your friend - Google books was a saviour at times, it's always the worst when your university doesn't have a subscription to that journal you need or that e book so it's good to have a little search on-line.

Also, just because you're doing a degree doesn't mean all the on-line resources you use have to be degree level, if you need a quick refresh on something for example the causes of the First World War have a little look on BBC bite size. It's easy to understand because it's at GCSE level & there's no harm in using resources like that if you are struggling to get your head around something. Just don't put it in your bibliography!

Communication is key - if you're struggling to find a source or just need some help then send your lecturer a polite email and they will help you out! Also don't forget that you have your peers! My course had a Facebook group where people would ask questions and keep everyone updated if a seminar was cancelled (the best notification you can get if you've forgotten to do the reading and prep but not the best news if you're organised, for once).

Make use of available support - most universities have skills tutors, who are staff dedicated to help you with the skills part of your course. As I did History, our skills tutorials were based on topics such as writing introductions/conclusions, planning, how to make notes, referencing, presentation tips, time management etc. We were also able to make appointments with the skills tutors, who can give you 1 to 1 support with assignments or organising yourself when it comes to deadlines!

I hope this post can give you some ideas, and if there is anything you would like me to talk about in regards to my university experience, then leave a comment below.

Hafsah