Skills for Learning

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Read a study guide

We have produced a series of easy to read Study Basics Guides in response to many of our common queries. Click on one of the subjects below to view a guide.

Approaching Exams [MS Word]

Understand how to prepare and produce a well written discussion or argument on a given topic.


Harvard (APA6th) [MS Word]

When you’re writing your assignments, you’ll inevitably use books, journals, websites and so on to find information. ‘Referencing’ means that you are showing the person marking your assignment where the information you’ve used in it has come from. Learn more in this basics guide.


Business Style Reports [MS Word]

Writing a business-style report is different from writing an essay. Reports are based on a style of writing that you would usually use in business and are set out in a more structured, concise manner. This guide outlines some requirements and things you should consider when writing a business style report.


Critical analysis of a journal article [MS Word]

During your time at university, it is likely that you will be asked to critique or analyse a journal article. But what does this actually mean? In order to write a critical analysis of an article, you need to take several things into consideration. This guide will look at these things in detail.


Group work [MS Word]

At some point in your degree, you will be expected to work in a group to produce a piece of work. This could be a presentation, a research project, or a demonstration. This guide answers some of your frequently asked questions about group work.


Making the most of Feedback

It is not uncommon for there to be confusion about what actually counts as ‘feedback’, and in particular how it can help you develop your own skills of evaluation so that you get better and better at judging the quality of your work. This guide should help answer some of the questions you may have.


Reflective writing [MS Word]

It is likely that you will be asked to write at least one reflective essay. Many students find this difficult, because reflective writing is quite different from other assignments and discussing your own feelings and performance in academic work can be tricky at first. This help guide will take you through the process of producing a reflective essay.


Reviewing Literature and Paraphrasing [MS Word]

Whether it is part of a larger assignment, or a standalone piece in itself, a literature review covers the process of reading, reviewing, and evaluating a selection of sources about a particular topic. You are being asked to look at what other authors have said and to analyse and assess their contributions. This guide will help you to get started.


Proof Reading [MS Word]

You may think that proofreading is just a ten minute job which involves checking for typos and spelling mistakes. It is so much more than that, and done properly, can mean the difference between a pass and a fail. This guide explains all.


Revision [MS Word]

Understand how to prepare and produce a well written discussion or argument on a given topic.


Reading and note making [MS Word]

You will spend a lot of your study time reading about your subject and taking notes from books, lectures, journals and other sources. This is a guide to how to get the most from your reading and notes.


Spelling and apostrophes [MS Word]

There are many words in the English language which are commonly misspelt. It’s important to check your spelling and to be accurate in your academic work, and when applying for jobs. This guide will show you how to avoid some of the most common errors.


Scientific Writing Skills [MS Word]

Writing for scientific purposes calls for precision, clarity and a logical approach. To be able to write effectively you must be able to anticipate the needs of the reader and be able to make what can be a complex area easy to understand. This guide offers guidance on this.


Scientific Report Writing [MS Word]

A report is the result of an investigation, experiment, or research that presents the findings in one document. You may be asked to write a short report of 1000 words, or you might undertake a research project of 20,000 words (or more). This guide explains how a report is different from an essay and outlines what information you should include.


Poster Presentations [MS Word]

This guide will help you to develop the skills needed to produce a poster presentation that documents the research that you have undertaken including poster design, the selection of appropriate font and colour, and the ability to give a clear and concise oral presentation within a limited time.


Presentation Skills [MS Word]

You will probably have to give at least one presentation during your time at University. It’s also a skill you might need in your chosen career, or you could be asked to give a presentation at a future job interview. Many people find this a daunting prospect, but there are some things you can do to make the experience a little less painful. This guide will run through some tips to help you do your best in presentations.


Time Management [MS Word]

Learn how to manage your time effectively will help you feel more relaxed, focused and in control.


Writing your assignment [MS Word]

An assignment is something you’ll be asked to produce as part of your course, and is usually assessed. There are many different types of assignment, so make sure you understand which kind you have been told to do. This guide will give you some tips to help you get started.


Writing a Scientific Paper [MS Word]

As you progress in your studies you may be required to write a scientific paper. This is your opportunity to showcase the research you have carried out and demonstrate your skills as a researcher and writer to potential employers, fellow academics or funding bodies. This guide will show you how to plan your approach and have clear focus.


Writing at Masters level [MS Word]

Doing a Master’s degree involves a lot of aspects which will be familiar from a Bachelor’s degree programme, but there are some crucial differences. This is a guide to how to approach a Master’s degree and the work involved, which will highlight the areas that Master’s students should be concentrating on in order to succeed.


Writing your dissertation [MS Word]

Writing a dissertation is a long but often very rewarding process in which you will produce a piece of work looking in depth at an area of your subject. A dissertation is longer than a normal assignment, although a lot of the lessons you have learned in your time at university will still be relevant when researching, writing and redrafting. A dissertation is a chance to show off your knowledge and research.This guide has been written to help you get the most from your dissertation.


Writing your research proposal [MS Word]

At some stage in your academic life, it is likely that you will need to produce a research proposal. This guide runs through the various things you will need to include in your proposal.