Posts about: Academic Skills

Sage Research Methods Videos

9 May 2018

Looking to undertake some research this year? Need some expert help and guidance? SAGE Research Methods is the essential online resource for anyone doing research or learning how to do research. With more than 800 books, reference works, journal articles, and videos, it provides information on writing a research question, conducting a literature review, choosing a research method, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up the findings. SAGE Research Methods’ coverage spans the full range of research methods used in the social and behavioral sciences, plus a wide range of methods commonly used in science, technology, medicine, and the humanities. read more

Exams… preparation is the key!

4 May 2018
Tracy Breheny

Tracy tells you how to find past exam papers to help with your exam preparation.

Got exams coming up?  Looking over past exam papers can be really useful when preparing for an exam.   The Library has a collection of past exam papers which are all available electronically.

To find past exam papers, you need to:

  1. Go to our past exam paper webpage here: http://www.salford.ac.uk/library/research/exam-papers
  2. Type in a couple of keywords to limit your search; often words from the module title bring back useful results.
  3. You will then be presented with a list of past exam papers we have access to that match your search. When you find the one you would like to look at, click on the title and you will be able to open it.
  4. If you are off-campus, you will be requested to sign in with your network username and password to view them.

Want to see how to find them?  Check out this video:

If you have any problem accessing past exam papers, please contact your Academic Support Librarian for further help: http://www.salford.ac.uk/library/help/academic-support

There is also lots of help with exam preparation and revision tecniques available on our Skills for Learning webpage here: http://www.salford.ac.uk/skills-for-learning/home/assessment-revision-and-exams so take a look! read more

Exercise, sleep and study – you need to get the balance right

30 April 2018

Daley O’Neal is back with some more advice about living well for learning.

Last week I blogged about the relationship between exercise and staying well for your studies, something that is particularly important as we approach exams and assessment deadlines. Exercise and the resulting release of endorphins helps you to manage the feelings of stress and anxiety associated with the pressure of studying. The problem is that when you are studying hard you may not be getting enough sleep. The temptation to work into the night and get up early can lead to significantly reduced sleep levels. Drinking that extra energy drink, or your 5th cup of coffee only provides temporary relief from exhaustion. read more

Managing exam stress and anxiety levels with exercise – it’s all about the endorphins!

26 April 2018

Daley O’Neal from the University Sports Centre has written about the connection between exercise and managing exam stress and anxiety.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Buddha.

One of the prevalent feelings for many around exams is anxiety. That feeling of unease and apprehension can leave you worried or fearful about the exam process and your results. All of these feelings are perfectly normal during the exam period.

Did you know that exercise can help you to manage these feelings?

  1. Exercise is a proven method to help facilitate a person’s ability to perform, succeed and accomplish goals, which of course, is exactly what you want to do in an exam!
  2. Studies around Social Cognitive Theory have indicated a strong relationship between exercise and managing anxiety levels. Undertaking regular levels of physical activity can positively impact on our coping mechanisms and helps us to regulate our emotions.
  3. While exercise cannot solve all the complex issues and causes of anxiety, it is a proven mechanism for increasing levels of self-belief within challenging situations, positively impacting our self-confidence and resilience levels.
  4. Engaging in physical activity on a consistent basis creates a release of endorphins in the body, which provides the platform for increased levels of self-confidence. This endorphin release also improves mood and feelings of self-worth and accomplishment.

This graphic might be taken from a BBC page about improving children’s intelligence, but it’s never too late to start you know! Just look at the brain benefits of exercise…

Do you currently exercise?

Is your current level of exercise maintainable?

Here are a few pointers from the Sports Centre on how we can help to manage stress and anxiety levels as we head into this busy exam period.

  1. Exercise consistency and sustainability are of vital importance, and two of the most fundamental elements of ensuring that you can remain physically active. Regular exercise should play a fundamental role within your everyday life .
  2. Ensure to remain active throughout the exam period. The endorphins released through short bouts of exercise may provide that added benefit for you.
  3. Breaking away from your studies just to go for a brisk walk could be the perfect tonic for success!
  4. Ensure that you are adequately hydrated, and that you are getting the required amounts of protein to help you recover from your workouts.

Need help?

Our fitness instructors are always around to help you develop a personalised, long-term plan.

And finally…

Always try to make a conscious effort to remain active and dedicate time to prioritise your own health. As you head into the exam period and beyond, physical activity will play a fundamental role in helping you achieve your learning goals. read more

Introducing our new discussion forum – Ask, discuss and share

8 March 2018
celebration

Ask, discuss and share

We have introduced a new Skills for Learning Discussion Forum. You can use the space to ask questions about study, research and IT skills. One of the Skills for Learning team will respond but we would also encourage you to get involved with the discussion – if you have an answer to a question or can add to the conversation then please join in!

Got some study ideas to share?

It is also a great place to share your own study tips, resources and ideas – if you have found something particularly useful, share with others. read more

Revision, exams and looking after yourself

7 March 2018

We all know that revising is tough. It is difficult to know where to start and very easy to get drawn into other things. Here are a few tips, tools and apps to help you ace your revision and exams!

  1. Check out our revision tips
  2. Learn how to improve your study concentration and cope with exam nerves
  3. Have a look at our study guides on revision and exams
  4. Access past exam papers. Have a look at Tracy’s blog post to learn how to do this.
  5. Come to our Revision and Exam Techniques workshop on the 2nd May 1-3 pm.
  6. Don’t forget to live well for learning. Revision and exams can be stressful and time consuming. Make sure you find time for yourself!

Apps and Online Tools

If you like your technology then you might find these apps and online tools helpful.

ThingLink

With ThingLink you can make your images come alive with video, text, images, links and music. Such a great tool for revision if you are a visual learner. Pick an image that you associate with the topic and then add text, links, videos to it that cover the key information. When you need to recall the topic you can mentally work your way around the image and visualise the information you added to it. You can download the app or access it online. Simply go to the ThingLink website to get started. read more

O Reference, reference, wherefore art thou, reference?

12 February 2018

In honour of both our plagiarism week, and Valentine’s day, Romeo soliloquises on the subjects of loving good academic practice, referencing and avoiding plagiarism…

Picture or romeo and juliet

ROMEO: But soft! What quote through yonder sentence breaks?

It is the best, and the essay is done.

Arise, assignment two is begun, too late,

I am already sick and pale with grief

That such books unread mar more clear design.

Be not a reader, since time is grievous.

Internet cut and paste is both slick and clean,

And none but fools do shun it. Print it off. read more

Getting through a boring book…

17 November 2017

Hope is one of our English students. She is blogging about reading boring books!

Reading is great…mostly, and if you’re on an English based course like I am, you’ll know that reading is not so much a fun, leisurely pastime as it is a necessity. I don’t know much about other courses reading requirements, but what I do know is that at one point or another, we all have to read a pretty boring book…or two…three…ten?

The problem here is, that when you read for fun, if the book doesn’t grab your attention straight away, or a couple of chapters in you just cannot for the life of you get into it, you can simply put it down and pick up the next on your list of want-to-reads. When you’re required to read for a course, however, it’s not that easy (unfortunately). read more

Need to get some reading done? Here are Ella’s 5 favourite places to read on campus.

9 October 2017

Another academic year is upon us which many will see as a fresh start. You may be just beginning your degree; or you may see this year as an opportunity to change last year’s habits. One thing we all have in common is we have new reading lists this year! If you are new to University of Salford, you may want to see the previous post Reading Lists and How To Use Them. To mark the occasion, I’ve toured my camera around campus to show you what are, in my opinion, the top 5 reading locations on campus. read more

Need to get a task done? Me too. I’m going to put the Pomodoro Technique to the test

5 October 2017

How many pomodoros did it take for Amy to write this blog post?

My email and phone are off, I’ve got a brew and the tomato is counting down from 25 minutes. I’m going to see how long it takes me to write this blog post. I’m reckon I can get it finished within one pomodoro but it may take two.

Confused? Then read on to learn all about managing your time and tasks using the Pomodoro Technique.

What it the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is all about breaking time down into intervals by using a timer. When Francesco Cirillo developed the method in the 1980’s he used a tomato shaped kitchen timer. Francesco is Italian, pomodoro is the Italian name for tomato and so the Pomodoro Technique was born. read more