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Academic tip sheets

20 strategies to overcome procrastination

The harder and more unpleasant a task is, the better it is to do it immediately and get it out of the way. This is particularly true of big pieces of assessment which can seem overwhelming and require more time.

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Academic essay

  • Explains the academic essay as an academic style of writing;
  • looks at the structure of an academic essay;
  • looks at the main types of academic essays;
  • explains how to write an academic essay; and
  • provides you with a quick checklist that covers most aspects of writing an academic essay.

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Academic tip sheet: Plagiarism

  • Defines plagiarism;
  • explains why it is important to avoid plagiarism;
  • looks at common areas that students find confusing;
  • outlines a three-step process you can use to avoid plagiarism; and
  • provides a checklist you can use to avoid unintentionally plagiarising.

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Annotated bibliography

  • Explains what is meant by an annotated bibliography;
  • examines how an annotated bibliography differs from a literature review;
  • describes how annotations differ from abstracts;
  • looks at the purpose of an annotated bibliography; and
  • examines the main features of an annotated bibliography.

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APA style

  • Questions whether you should be using APA style; 
  • reviews the use of punctuation; 
  • examines the heading types used; 
  • discusses how to format quotations;
  • looks at a range of stylistic conventions (punctuation, footnotes, capitalisation, abbreviations, numbers metrication, decimal fractions and italics); and 
  • shows how to display graphs and tables.

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Assignments

  • Provides a few hints to help you grasp what’s expected;
  • explains the key components of an assignment task; and
  • outlines some techniques and strategies for doing assignments.

Avoiding burnout

Attempting to balance study, work and extracurricular activities is a challenge and students are now more at risk of burnout than ever before due to ever increasing and competing demands.

Balance tip sheet

Balancing life and university

Maintaining a balance between life and study/work can enable you to remain productive and happy. It can also help you sustain wellbeing during stressful periods of the semester.

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Blackboard (MyECU)

  • Introduces you to Blackboard;
  • provides you with instructions on how to access Blackboard;
  • gives you a breakdown of the Blackboard sections;
  • explains the various functions within Blackboard; and
  • lists the Blackboard system requirements.

Blogs journals et al tip sheet Thumbnail

Blogs journals et al.

  • Looks at how writing changes over time;
  • describes how to write a blog;
  • looks at the learning portfolio; and
  • discusses the use of reflective journals.

Chemistry lab report tip sheet Thumbnail

Chemistry lab report

  • Outlines the guidelines for writing a laboratory report; and
  • lists the benefits of assessment;
  • looks at what you should write in each section.

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Effective writing

  • Examines the factors that affect the style you use;
  • discusses paragraphs and their role in effective writing; and
  • looks at how to improve your paragraphs.

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Exam techniques

  • Explains what you should do on the day of the exam;
  • explains what you should do during the exam; and
  • looks at what to do when things go wrong.

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Exegesis

  • Explains what is meant by an exegesis;
  • looks at what can you include in an exegesis; and
  • discusses what traps you should avoid.

Getting help with appealing results and academic concessions

If your personal situation stops you from completing an assignment, sitting your final exams or continuing with the same workload after the census date, we may be able to support you with an application for academic concessions on personal grounds.

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Groupwork

  • Explains what groupwork is;
  • outlines what is meant by ‘people skills’;
  • examines how to create an effective working group; and
  • reviews the general processes to follow in a group project.

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Lectures

  • Explains the purpose of lectures within the university;
  • explains why you should attend lectures;
  • reviews effective note taking strategies; and
  • provides practical solutions to common problems that occur.

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Literature review

  • Explains what is meant by a literature review;
  • identifies ‘the literature’;
  • describes some of the conventions to follow when doing a literature review; and
  • looks at the process of developing a literature review.

Managing stress

Stress is the term we use to describe our emotional, physical and psychological response to (external) demands. Stress can be helpful or unhelpful: Helpful stress is part of everyday living.

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Podcasting

  • Explains what is meant by a podcast;
  • looks at the different types of podcasts;
  • describes how to get access to podcasts; and
  • explains how to make a podcast.

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Presentations

  • Explains why you may be asked to give an oral presentation;
  • looks at the basic components of an oral presentation;
  • outlines the process you could follow when developing an oral presentation; and
  • describes what to do when making the presentation.

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Reading effectively

  • Describes the reading expectations of universities;
  • explains how to develop good reading habits;
  • looks at effective reading strategies;
  • describes how to make your reading active; and
  • examines how you can learn to evaluate what you read.

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Referencing

  • Defines referencing;
  • explains why we reference;
  • looks at the referencing system we use at ECU; and
  • explains how to reference in your academic work.

Relaxation and stress reduction techniques

There are many physical, biological and psychological benefits to be gained from using relaxation techniques. These benefits have been widely documented, with immediate effects including (to name just a mere few) lowered heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels.

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Report writing

  • Explains what a report is;
  • describes the features of the most common types of reports;
  • provides some guidelines for the structure and organisation of reports; and
  • reviews some of the common problems associated with report writing.

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Research paper

  • Explains what a research paper is;
  • outlines what is expected in a research paper; and
  • provides guidelines for developing each section within a research paper.

Returning to study

Commencing university studies after some time away from school and tertiary education can be a daunting task for many students. Given the many demands of life, it is likely a lot of thought has been put into your decision to return to study. For some of you this time will be exciting,

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Self management

  • Looks at how study fits in with the rest of your life;
  • outlines the importance of self-management; and
  • examines how you can manage your time better.

Staying calm during exams

Here are some tips to help you stay calm during exams, so that you can reach your potential.

Study tips

Here are some basic tips to help you study effectively, manage your time and avoid unnecessary stress.

Time Management - Semester Planner

Time management - semester planner

A semester plan is a record of important dates for the semester related to your study.  It allows you to keep track of what pieces of assessment are due and how much they are worth at one glance.  It can help you to manage your time more effectively by allowing you to identify your peak study load times so that you can make sure that you have plenty of time to get all your assignments done.

Time Management - Weekly Planner

Time management - weekly planner

A weekly planner allows you to keep track of your different responsibilities, and schedule your time appropriately to meet those responsibilities, including your study.  It is important to remember that most of the time that you will require for your university studies will occur outside of lectures and tutorials. 

Tips for successful time management

A weekly planner allows you to keep track of your different responsibilities, and schedule your time appropriately to meet those responsibilities, including your study. It is important to remember that most of the time that you will require for your university studies will occur outside of lectures and tutorials.

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Tutorials

  • Looks at the role of tutorials;
  • explains how to get the best out of tutorials; and
  • outlines some techniques for taking notes in tutorials.

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Written assessments

  • Explains why we assess student learning;
  • lists the benefits of assessment;
  • explains how to approach assessments;
  • looks at the role of critical thinking in assessments; and
  • outlines a checklist that covers most aspects of writing an assessment.

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