What’s New in the 8th Edition of MLA Style?

Recently, the Modern Language Association published an 8th edition of MLA citation style. If you were already familiar with MLA style, you may be thinking, do I need to change how I use MLA style? The short answer is yes and no. The 8th edition of MLA style did make some changes, but many elements will still look very similar. The good news is that the updates in the 8th edition MLA were mainly to simplify the referencing process. In this blog post, I’m going to share some of the key changes and show you an example of developing a citation in the latest edition.

Note: In the Centre for Student Success, we recognize that not everyone is going to be ready to transition to the 8th edition, so we have both a 7th edition and an 8th edition MLA handout available. If you’re unsure of what edition to use, clarify with your professor.

What Changed?

In previous editions of MLA, you might have been used to memorizing a specific format based upon the source that you were referencing. For the most part, each source had elements in its citation that were specific to that source.  This is where the biggest change between the 8th edition and previous editions of MLA is. The Modern Language Association recognized that the source by source format was overcomplicating the referencing process, so they have now introduced a standard format that can be used for all types of sources. Now the MLA provides a base format and asks users to fill in the information available and relevant to their source.

The basic format outlined by the MLA looks like this:

Author. “Title of source.”  Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

(Modern Language Association 20).

You might remember adding a publication city in previous editions of MLA, but in the 8th edition location doesn’t mean a physical location, but rather the location of the work itself. In this spot you would put page numbers for printed works or the URL or DOI for online sources (Modern Language Association 46). Since the location section tells the reader what format your source was in, the 8th edition doesn’t ask for “print” or “web” anymore.

Let’s Practice

To show how to use the new 8th edition MLA, I will show an example using the following article:

https://www.thestar.com/business/2016/07/07/canada-post-lockout-deadline-extended-until-monday.html

Here is the base format again and now we’ll fill it in with The Star article’s information.

Author. “Title of source”. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

Author: This article has a clear author, Darren Calabrese, so we can fill in the author spot.

Calabrese, Darren. “Title of source”. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

Title of source: For a news article like this one, this section is going to be the title of the article, which is Postal Workers’ Union Rejects Binding Arbitration as Lockout Deadline Extended.

Calabrese, Darren. “Postal Workers’ Union Rejects Binding Arbitration as Lockout Deadline Extended”. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

Title of Container: This section is the larger work that something is published within. For this article it would be Thestar.com.

Calabrese, Darren. “Postal Workers’ Union Rejects Binding Arbitration as Lockout Deadline Extended”. Thestar.com, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.
Other Contributors: This is the place where you could put in other people credited for the work such as editors, producers etc. For this article we don’t have anything to put here so we would skip that part and move onto the next relevant element.

Version: Typically, newspapers don’t have a version, so this would be left out of this particular citation. Commonly, this element applies to journal articles or books with multiple editions.

Number: This also does not generally apply to newspaper articles. This section is for a volume number, which is most often seen in journal articles and books.

Publisher: Here we’ll add in the publisher. This is usually a corporation. For the article we’re using the publisher would be Toronto Star Newspapers, which I found at the bottom of the webpage.

Calabrese, Darren. “Postal Workers’ Union Rejects Binding Arbitration as Lockout Deadline Extended”. Thestar.com, Toronto Star Newspapers, Publication date, Location.

Publication Date: This one is pretty straightforward. Fill in as much of the date as is available and format it day/month/ year. We have the full date available for this article so we would include all elements.

Calabrese, Darren. “Postal Workers’ Union Rejects Binding Arbitration as Lockout Deadline Extended”. Thestar.com, Toronto Star Newspapers, 7 July 2016, Location.

Location: Since we have accessed this article online and newspaper articles don’t have DOIs, we will give the URL as the location of this source.

Calabrese, Darren. “Postal Workers’ Union Rejects Binding Arbitration as Lockout Deadline Extended”. Thestar.com, Toronto Star Newspapers, 7 July 2016, www.thestar.com/business/2016/07/07/canada-post-lockout-deadline-extended-until-monday.html

Now that we’ve filled in all the elements relevant to our source, our citation is complete. With the addition of a new base format for all sources, sourcing in MLA style has become even easier.  For a more in depth discussion of the 8th edition of MLA style, check out our handout or visit us in the Centre for Student Success.

Chelsey Kerr

Summer Intern

 

 

Work Cited

Modern Language Association of America. MLA Handbook, 8th ed. 2016, pp. 1-146.

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Tips for Successfully Writing Long Answer Tests

Most students breathe a sigh of relief when the professor outlines a multiple choice exam on the syllabus, but what about the dreaded long answer exam? When this style of exam is announced it is often met with panic and concern from students, because they know they will have to demonstrate a deep understanding of the material. As I progressed further in my university career, multiple choice tests became a rarity and I quickly had to learn how to prepare for the new expectations that came along with long answer style tests. Through my experiences and some additional advice from learning professionals, I have some tips for successfully writing long answer tests.

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Long Answer Tests

Before we get into my tips for success on long answer tests, let’s take a look at the kind of skills you’ll need for this type of test.

Bloom’s (revised) Taxonomy is something we reference often in the Centre for Student Success, as it helps students understand the skills they’ll need for effective learning.

Blooms

(Milman, 2015)

Long answer tests require students to understand course material well enough to apply, analyze and evaluate. This is where the panic and concern comes from. Often students study as if they will only be expected to remember or memorize, which doesn’t prepare them for the requirements of university testing. Basically, success on a long answer test starts long before you sit down to write it; it starts with tailored studying. For a more detailed discussion of Bloom’s (revised) Taxonomy, check out our blog post The Gentleman of the Hour: Benjamin Bloom, why is he so important?

Studying for Long Answer Tests

As I mentioned, success on long answer tests, and any test for that matter, starts very early. I would argue that studying for long answer tests starts as soon as you begin to take notes.

  1. Take notes in your own words

When taking notes, you’ll want to keep in mind how you’ll be asked to use the information. Long answer tests often focus on application and analysis, which requires students to understand the material enough to discuss it in a context they may not have seen before. Simply copying the professor’s lecture slides word for word won’t prepare you to write this type of test. The professor won’t be looking for copied down, memorized material on a long answer test, but rather will be looking for your own understanding and application of the material. It takes higher order thinking skills to be able to understand material enough to put it in your own words. If you can’t do this in lecture due to time constraints, you can always follow-up shortly after the lecture and add to your notes at that time.

  1. Try to think of examples

As we have already discussed, a big part of long answer tests is application and analysis. Often, to show that you are able to apply a concept, the professor will either provide an example and ask you to apply the concept, or ask you to provide the example yourself. In order to prepare yourself for this element of the test, try to incorporate examples into your studying. This could include generating your own examples or finding examples from the professor or textbook to help guide you. In particular, developing your own examples is beneficial as it encourages you to apply the concepts, just like you’ll have to do on your long answer test. As research shows, if you create the examples yourself, you are more likely to remember them because it will be something that’s relevant to you (McCabe, 2015).  If you’re going to use examples from the professor or text, be sure to come up with your own examples as well to make sure that you’ll be able to apply concepts on your own for the test.

  1. Study in the format of the test

Once you’ve set yourself up with fantastic notes, it’s time to start studying. The best way to prepare for any test is to study in the format of the test. So for a long answer test, you’re going to want to study in long answer form. This way you’ll be prepared to use the material in this format on the actual test. Sometimes, the professor will provide sample questions as part of their review, but if not, just do your best to come up with possible questions. It’s more about practicing formatting concepts into a long answer than it is about knowing the exact question on the test.

This is also a great opportunity to incorporate group study techniques into your routine. If you’re able to put together a study group, each member of the group can develop potential questions and share them with the other group members, so that everyone has a chance to practice with a variety of questions.  You don’t have to write out several long answers (though you can, if it is helpful to you); you can practice with these questions by just developing outlines of how you would answer them.

On the Day of the Test

Once you’ve prepared your notes and studied in the format of the test, it’s time to actually write the test. This can be super nerve-wracking for students, but with preparation beforehand and some planning on the day of the test, you’ll be fine.

  1. Read the instructions

First and foremost, read the instructions carefully. You can lose easy marks by missing an element listed in the instructions. As Langan (2002) points out, often the instructions contain direction words such as define, discuss or explain. These are extremely important because they will guide you as to how your professor would like you to present the information on a topic. You might include all the right information, but if you don’t present it how the professor directed, you likely won’t get full marks. Langan (2002) suggests circling the direction words to remind yourself as you write.

  1. Outline your answer

With long answer style tests, you need a plan. If you were writing a formal academic essay, you would likely plan out your arguments and thesis in advance of writing and you should do this for your long answer tests as well. This will help keep you on track as you write. From my personal experience, there is nothing worse than thinking of exactly what you want to write and then forgetting it before you actually include it in your answer. Outlining your answer helps to not only prevent this, but will also make sure that your thoughts are organized logically so that the professor or marker can understand what you’re arguing. In the worst case scenario that you aren’t able to finish your answer due to time constraints, your outline will at least show where you were going with your answer.

  1. Be straightforward

As Pauk (2001) argues, it is better to get straight to the point for long answer exams, unless directed otherwise, of course. Pauk (2001) isn’t suggesting that you avoid expressing complex ideas, but he suggests a straightforward approach. Unless the professor requests a certain style of writing, you’re best to make sure that your ideas are clear and that the professor can see that you understand the material first and foremost. As Pauk (2001) argues, long answer exams are generally not the place for “flowery language” (401).

  1. Follow a format

Although long answer tests are not as formal as an academic essay, they should still adhere to a format to make it easy for the professor or marker to follow along. You should still include the main elements of an academic paragraph (topic sentence, evidence, analysis) and transition words to make your ideas flow smoothly. The professor or marker will likely have lots of exams to read and they won’t have time to try and decipher a poorly organized answer.

  1. What if I don’t know the answer?

This has happened to all of us. If you’re looking at the question and the answer isn’t clear, take a deep breath and try to jot down anything that comes to mind in an outline. If you’re still not sure what to write, you can always work on other questions and come back to the one you’re stuck on, but make sure to leave yourself enough time. If nothing comes to you, just write down the best answer you can. The beauty of long answer tests is that there is an opportunity for part marks—something that is not possible on a multiple choice test.

 

With advanced preparation and some organization on the day of the test, you’ll be ready to succeed on any long answer test.  If you need more help preparing for an upcoming long answer test, feel free to visit us in the Centre for Student Success.

Chelsey Kerr

Summer Intern

 

References

Langan, J. (2002). Reading and study skills (7th ed). New York City: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

McCabe, J. (2015). Learning the brain in introductory psychology: Examining the generation effect for mnemonics and examples. Teaching of Psychology, 42(3), 203-210. Retrieved from http://top.sagepub.com/content/42/3/203.abstract

Milman, N. 2015. Crafting the “right” online discussion questions using the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy as a framework. Distance Learning 11(4), 17-20. Retrieved from https://www.usdla.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Vol.-11-No.-4-2014.pdf

Pauk, W. (2001). How to study in college (7th ed). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing in Academic Writing

When do I quote? When should I paraphrase? What exactly is a summary? Academic writing can be downright confusing for students, especially knowing when to quote, summarize or paraphrase in their writing.  In my consultations at the Centre for Student Success, I see this confusion often, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain further.  To help explain each of the methods, I will use the following article from The Toronto Star as my source:

Province on the hook for $304M in cost overruns at Pan Am Games: Auditor general

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/06/08/pan-am-games-342m-over-budget-auditor-general-says.html

Quoting

First off I’m going to discuss quoting in academic writing. This is by far the most overused of the three I’ll be discussing today. Students are often concerned that if they use the work of someone else and don’t quote it, then they’ll be plagiarizing. This is not true. I’ll get to paraphrasing later on in this post, but it’s important to note that putting material in your own words and citing it properly is a fine substitute for quoting material in most circumstances. However, there are still some instances where quoting is the most appropriate method for incorporating a source into your writing.

When do I quote?

  1. What the person said is important
  2. How they said the information is important

I like to reserve quoting in my academic papers for instances when I just couldn’t word something any better or for statements of historical significance.

It is important to lead into a quotation in your academic writing so that it flows nicely in your work. You’ll want to provide a little context first just so your reader can see why you placed the quote there. Additionally, often when students quote, they forget to include a strong analysis following the quote. Even if you use a quote as your evidence, you still need to explain how that quote supports your thesis. For more information on the structure of an academic paragraph, see the Centre for Student Success Elements of an Academic Paragraph handout.

Lead-in

Quote

Explanation

Example: Following an investigation by the auditor general, ethical concerns were raised about the Pan Am Games’ gross overspending. According to The Toronto Star, “The report found 53 senior staff were paid $5.3 million in bonuses at the end of Games for finishing out the entire length of their contracts and meeting budget targets. Those payments come in addition to annual performance bonuses of $10.5 million” (Battersby, 2016). These figures show the unethical actions of the Pan Am executives, as they were paid high bonuses despite the fact that the Pan Am games were grossly over-budget. Since the province was asked to contribute a significant portion of the funding, the executives should be held accountable to tax payers about how the money was spent.  The Pan Am Games are only one example of many, where public funding has been misused, which is why executives responsible for budgeting should be held legally responsible for their irresponsible spending.

Paraphrasing

The second method I’m going to touch on is paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is when you take an idea from a work and put it into your own words.  It differs from a summary as it usually includes more detailed ideas or focuses on a more specific section of a work. As an example, you could summarize a full article, but you wouldn’t paraphrase a whole article. Paraphrases are often the same length or even longer than the original piece of text you’re referring to.

When do I paraphrase?

  1. When what is said is the most important part, not how it is said.
  2. The details or information are significant and important to your writing

Paraphrases still need to be cited!

Example:

Here is the original paragraph:

“Michael Coteau, minister of tourism, culture and sport responsible for the Games, said Wednesday that the Games had come in under budget according to the government’s calculations. While the auditor broke the numbers into two piles — one for operating the Games, and one for building the athletes’ village — the government sees the budget as a whole, he said. Part of the discrepancy also comes from the auditor adjusting the bid budget to cut out more than $200 million spent on preparing the West Don Lands for development, reasoning it would have been spent regardless. Coteau added later in an interview that costs the auditor put on the province are on the books of other levels of government, and some are fixed costs from within the ministries” (Battersby, 2016).

Paraphrased version of the same paragraph:

When assessing the total cost of the 2015 Pan Am Games, the auditor general examined the costs as two separate figures, the cost for the event operations and also for the construction of the athletes’ villages and found the project to be grossly over budget (Battersby, 2016). However, the minister of tourism, culture and sport, Michael Coteau, examined the total spending and argued that the project was under budget, as some of the construction and development were not solely for the Pan Am Games, but planned  construction that would have been completed regardless (Battersby, 2016). Coteau also noted that the spending for the Pan Am Games will not be paid entirely by the province of Ontario, as some of the spending falls under the jurisdiction of other levels of government, which is why he argues that the project was not over-budget (Battersby, 2016).

Summarizing

Lastly, we have summarizing. Summaries are often used to provide context to a reader who may not be familiar with your topic. Summarizing focuses on the overall idea of a work. To create a summary, you would read through the work and then sum up the most important parts or the big idea(s) and briefly include this information for your reader. Usually, summaries are shorter than the original work.

When do I summarize?

It is best to summarize when you need your reader to have a general understanding of a topic, as opposed to a specific understanding of the topic.  If you need your reader to have a more specific understanding, a paraphrase is more appropriate.

Summaries also need to be cited!

Example: Despite the Pan Am games being extremely over budget, the Pan Am executives still received high bonuses, which has raised ethical concerns (Battersby, 2016).

If you would like a more detailed discussion of quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing, please check out our new Summaries, Paraphrases and Quotations: What to Use and When handout, now available online and in the Centre for Student Success. We will also be running a Citing Sources Successfully workshop in the upcoming fall term, which covers quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing in depth.

Chelsey Kerr

Summer Intern

 

References

Battersby, S.J. (2016). Province on the hook for 304M in cost overruns at Pan Am Games: Auditor General. Toronto Star. Retrieved from: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/06/08/pan-am-games-342m-over-budget-auditor-general-says.html

 

 

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Seminar Presentations for Leaders and Listeners

When we picture university, we often picture a big lecture hall filled with hundreds of seats, all facing a professor who talks as students frantically write notes. Although that can be true especially in the beginning stages of earning a university degree, towards the end of your degree you will likely be in much smaller classes here at Laurier Brantford. Instead of a traditional lecture style, these smaller classes commonly focus more on discussion, which leads us to seminars! Ah, the dreaded seminar presentation. Seminars are a style of presentation where a student or group of students present a topic to a small group of their classmates. Generally, seminars focus heavily on discussion between the leader(s) and the class.

seminarblogpostmeme

Image courtesy of Imgflip Meme Generator

Students are often anxious at the thought of having to conduct or participate in a seminar, but seminars can be a great way to develop an understanding of course content. Whether you are leading or listening to a seminar, it is important to know your role so you can facilitate or participate to the best of your ability. Here are some quick tips:

Leaders

  • Develop Questions

Seminars are the perfect opportunity to get a class discussion going. To help start this discussion, you should be prepared with questions to ask the class. Your professor should be able to direct you as to how many questions will be appropriate based on the length of the seminar. Be sure to keep these questions clear. If your audience is confused by what you’re asking, you likely won’t get much of a response.

  • Create Visuals

It can be challenging for seminar participants to follow along as you discuss the material, so visual aids can be helpful. The visual aid does not have to include every single detail that you’re going to present, but a few main points can help keep your audience on track. Your visual aid can be anything that will help your audience better understand your topic, such as PowerPoint slides, charts or graphs.

  • Provide Examples

Whenever possible, provide examples to explain the material. This will not only show your professor that you understand what you’re talking about, but it also helps your audience to better understand course concepts.

  • Adapt Your Work

Often, you will be asked to present a seminar that has developed from a paper or an article either written by you or written by someone else. It’s important to transition the information from a formal academic written piece to a presentation.  Generally, the written paper or article will include more information than your seminar, so presenting a seminar requires you to decide what the main points or the big ideas of your topic are (Rolls, 2003). You won’t be able to cover everything from the original paper, so pick the most important points to share with the audience.

In addition to adapting the ideas, it’s important to adapt the language from your paper as well. If the paper was written in a formal academic tone, you are generally safe to make it more casual for your seminar (Hay, Bochner, Dungey & Perret, 2012). For example, most academic writing avoids using the first person or contractions; in your seminar you have the freedom to speak more casually and use these ways of communicating. Of course, you still want to remain professional.

  • Practice Improves Product

It is so important to practice your seminar in advance. You will be able to see if you need to add or cut parts of the seminar depending on the length when you practice it. As a general guideline, Hay et al (2012) suggest that a good pace is about 100 words per minute. So if you’re asked to speak for 10 minutes, you’ll need about 1000 words. Of course, you’ll want to leave time for questions as well.

If you’re able to, practice in front of someone else, as they will be able to offer you the audience’s perspective. If a part of the presentation is unclear or confusing, they will be able let you know ahead of the actual seminar so you can make the appropriate adjustments.

  • Be Clear and Concise

In seminar presentations, it is especially important to clearly explain your ideas to the audience. If your audience is confused about or unsure of what you’re arguing, it will make discussion challenging. As I mentioned earlier, your best bet is to stick to the big ideas and explain them with strong analysis. This will show your professor that you have a well-developed understanding of your topic and also give your audience a clear idea of the concepts. Of course, how many ideas you cover and the level of detail will depend on the length of your seminar presentation.

Listeners

More often than not, students think that the most important part of a seminar assignment is their own presentation. Not so fast. For seminars, the listeners have an important role. Without active listeners in the audience, a seminar will really fall flat. Not only does this let down your classmate who has probably worked hard to prepare the material, but it impedes your learning as well.

  • Read Ahead of Time

As I mentioned in my tips for seminar leaders, leaders won’t be able to cover everything on their topic. For listeners, this means that it’s important to read before the seminar to have a good understanding of the topic being discussed, just in case the leader doesn’t get to everything.

  • Listen Actively and Be Engaged

In seminars, it is really important to be listening actively. There’s a good chance that the seminar leader will have questions for the class that you won’t be able to answer if you’re not giving the presenter/leader your full attention.  It might be helpful to make some notes throughout the seminar to prompt you when it’s time for questions.  If you are unsure of something the seminar leader is discussing, it is acceptable to ask for clarification politely during the seminar.

  • Be an Active Participant

There is nothing worse than leading a seminar where no one participates. When it’s your turn to lead the seminar, you’ll want your classmates to add to your discussion; be courteous and contribute to theirs as well.  Seminars are a great way to see many perspectives on a topic and to share your ideas with your classmates.

 

With these simple tips to help guide you, seminars can be enjoyable for both leaders and listeners. If you need help developing your presentation skills, feel free to book an appointment here at the Centre for Student Success and we can help you prepare for your next presentation or sign up for our Presenting with Confidence workshop series.

Appointment booking/workshop registration: https://web.wlu.ca/studentsuccess/portal/

 

Chelsey Kerr

Summer Intern

 

 

References

Hay, I., Bochner, D., Dungey, C. & Perret, N. (2012). Making the grade: A guide to study and success, Canadian Edition. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.

Rolls, J.A. (2003). Public speaking made easy. Scarborough, Ontario: Thomson Nelson.

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Managing the Intersession Workload

Spring is upon us and in university life that means intersession courses. Intersession courses can be an amazing way to lighten your course load during the school year or to complete some of your program requirements ahead of schedule. With that being said, intersession courses bring unique challenges for students, as the course requirements must be completed in half the amount of time of a traditional 12-week course. This fast-paced structure makes it easy for students to fall behind, so I thought I would share some tips for managing the intersession course workload.

  1. Don’t wait to get organized

The earlier you get organized for your intersession courses, the better experience you’ll have. Here at the Centre for Student Success we can help you become and stay organized. In addition to writing appointments, we also offer study skills appointments that can include working one-on-one to develop a personalized study schedule. The personalized study schedule can be whatever works for you; it could be a term calendar to keep track of assignment due dates or maybe a reading schedule to help guide your weekly readings. It could also be a detailed weekly schedule to help you outline dedicated study time while making time for fun as well.

If you want to develop a weekly schedule, start by plotting the fixed events first. These would include events that are consistent in your schedule such as lectures or extra-curricular activities. Then add in study time. Remember, the general rule is that every 1 hour of lecture should be followed with 2-3 hours of studying. You can begin with outlining general study time and then use a prioritized task list every week to further specify what you’ll use your study time for. The prioritized task list will be explained more later on in this post.

Here is an example of a weekly schedule for intersession courses:

weekly study schedule

  1. Prioritize

Although intersession courses require more of a time commitment, they are short term and the increased workload doesn’t last forever. However if you decide to commit to intersession courses, they will need to be a priority so that you don’t fall behind. In Practicing College Study Skills, Carolyn Hopper (2001) suggests that developing a daily task list and ordering it from most pressing to least pressing can be helpful. This will not only show you what you need to work on, but also help you determine how your time should be spent. This daily (or weekly) task list works well in combination with the term calendars we offer in the centre, as you can develop your daily task list based upon your due dates.

Example task list:

1= Most pressing 6= Least pressing

Task Priority
Complete week 3 readings for BF199 5
Get a head start on CC100 assignment due June 8th 6
Study for LY101 midterm- May 16th 2
Review  lecture notes from BF190 1
Review lecture notes from CC100 3
Review lecture notes from LY101 4
  1. Be specific with your studying

Intersession courses fly by, which means you’ll have to make the most of your time in order to keep up with the pace of the course. In order to make the most of your time, your study time has to be specific and purposeful. Rather than just schedule study time, make a point to outline what exactly you will use that time for. This can be to study a specific chapter, or get to a certain point in an assignment; it doesn’t matter, as long as you have a plan. This approach is much more goal-oriented and will prevent you from deciding your study time is finished when it’s really not (come on, we are all guilty of this!). The prioritized task list is a great tool to help you get started on this, as you will be able to see what’s most important and direct your study time to match.

You can see how this weekly schedule differs from the one posted above. Rather than just including general study time, this schedule has incorporated the prioritized task list and specified what each block of study time will be used to complete to help ensure that your study time will be used effectively.

Weekly schedule incorporating prioritized task list:

weekly schedule with tasks

  1. Be aware of “time wasters”

With half as much time to complete course requirements, procrastination can really get in the way of success. Hopper outlines “time wasters”, which are situations that can throw your study time off track (Hopper, 2001). These might include things like browsing the internet, texting or taking naps (Hopper, 2001). In order to deal with these “time wasters”, Hopper suggests that it’s a good idea to make a plan of action if you do find yourself resorting to familiar procrastination or distraction tactics (Hopper, 2001). For most of us, we already know how we procrastinate or what most distracts us. Write these down and make a plan for what to do if you see these happening (Hopper, 2001). For example if you find that texting is a form of procrastination for you, your plan could be to put your phone notifications on silent during your study time or put the phone in another room so it’s not so tempting. Simply being aware of your personal “time wasters” and developing a plan to stop them can really help you stay on track.

With hard work and dedication you will be able to cruise through your intersession courses this spring! Remember, the Centre for Student Success is always here for all of your writing and study skill concerns. Feel free to stop by the centre or to use our online booking system to schedule a one-on-one appointment.

Happy studying!

Chelsey
Summer Intern

References

Hopper, C.H. (2001). Practicing college study skills (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

 

 

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