Study Skills and Report writing for Scientists.
tutor Mike Horne FGS
Warning - I am a Scientist, I am dyslexic, I don't write essays, I do write reports.
"Dear Science Agony Aunt,every book I read about study skills and everybody I ask gives me different advice, what should I do? Yours faithfully Confused Student."
"Dear Confused Student, I suggest that you ignore all the advice that people give you and ... blah, blah, blah. Yours reassuringly, Science Agony Aunt.
OK, the above is modified from a real Agony Aunt column that was printed in a newspaper and presumably the Agony Aunt did not see the irony in advising the enquirer to ignore the advice of strangers, but it hints at a few important points:-
To take it further and to put it more bluntly -
In short there is not a right way to do it - but there are some wrong ones, and it is by learning from our mistakes and the mistakes of others that we make progress. Perhaps like me you are an independent learner. I do need to try things out for myself, but if I had followed some fo the advice of others it would have been easier! So I pass on to you these snippets of advice because I have learnt them the hard way!
Well in fact I am probably tackling these things in the wrong order - organisational and planning skills are probably the most important, but from a practical point of view you need to know how to make notes about them to be able to learn from them!
So ... just follow these links (some are written for other courses so it is best to use the back button on your browser rather than and back buttons on the pages)
report writing -
study management skills
planning research projects
The 6 Ws of studying
Resouces for Courses
some things they don't tell you about University study.
my Top Ten hints for studying
Recommended reading -
Cottrell S, 1999. The study skills handbook. Palgrave, Basingstoke. 236pp.
Cottrell S 2001. Teaching study skills and supporting learning. Palgrave, Basingstoke. 356pp.
Cryer P, 2000. The research student's guide to success. Open University Press, Buckingham. 276pp.
Manser M & S Curtis, 2002. The Penguin Writer's Guide. Penguin Books Ltd., London. 344pp.
Moran A P, 1997. Managing your own learning at University. University College Dublin Press, 165pp.
Northedge A, 1990. The good study guide. Open University Press, Buckingham. 248pp.
Citing References: a guide for users (5th ed) David Fisher and Terry Hanstock, Nottingham Trent University.
Online Academic Skills Resources - The University of New South Wales, Australia
University of Hull Study Skills web-pages
Many thanks to Avril Johnson (Disability Services), Nik Kirkman (Disability Services) and Tina Overton (Chemistry Department) at Hull University for their help and advice.
Overton T 2006, Chemical and Professional Skills - Written Communication. (unpublished course notes, University of Hull)
Overton T 2004. Successful study - A Brief Guide to Study Skills for Higher Education (unpublished course notes, University of Hull)
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Mike Horne 2007