Study skills online

An electronic guide to some of the best ways to study

    1. This document has not been formally approved by Brunel University and has no legal status; it contains the personal views of Martin Greenhow. I hope you find them useful during your studies.


    1. Most of the users of this site are from the UK and USA, but the rest of the world figures in the log too - welcome to users from some very exotic places like Viet Nam, Chile etc. In order to be more helpful, I have added Google's automatic translator at the top of each page.

      I do not accept any responsibility for these translations but it might be better than nothing. On the other hand, if you plan to study in English, you should be able to read this in English and you might prefer to do that anyway.

THE QUICK GUIDE for those in too much of a hurry to read the contents of these pages!

    1. 1 Work/Life balance: do not let your studies get in the way of the reasons why you went to university in the first place! Danger signals to watch out for are: a) attending 9am lectures, b) doing any work that isn't marked.
    2. 2Attending lectures: be sure to avoid the trap of attending lectures simply because they are there. If you MUST attend, be sure to a) take your mobile phone so you can text people, b) sit near your friends for a cosy chat. However, it is far better to arrange for a friend to collect the handouts for you.
    3. 3Taking lecture notes is a waste of time, of course. Everything you need can be downloaded from the internet. Science students should watch the Discovery channel; arts students should watch the History channel; everyone should watch The Simpsons (your lecturers will have and so this avoids embarrassing silences in tutorials).
    4. 4Attempting problem sheets, especially those given out by maths lecturers, is likely to cause depression. It is far better to simply wait for the answers and simply check that you could have done them really, had you bothered.

    5. 5The trick with all written work is to download and tweak material from the internet; be sure to include a reference or two - your marker will be so relieved that he/she doesn't have to investigate possible plagiarism that you'll get good marks in gratitude. Curiously academics still believe in books, so consider including a few randomly chosen but serious sounding references from the university catalogue (it is of course completely unnecessary to read them, or even know where the library is). Regardless of the subject, you must include lots of long words (e.g. postmodernism, decontextualised etc) in your writing.
    6. 6 Only sad geeky types ever talk to their tutors. They seem to believe that academics are interested in students ...

    7. 7 Rather than take out a student loan, you have two much better options: a) get a full-time job - at least you'll have something interesting to say on your CV and nobody will notice that you are not at university, or b) borrow money on your credit cards and declare yourself bankrupt at the end of the course.
    8. 8Obviously the sole purpose of doing the first(second) year is to be allowed to doss about in the second(third) year; unfortunately this requires you to pass your exams - or does it? It might be far more efficient to pass just one or two and do resits for the others at a later stage.

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