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Academic tip sheets

Strategies to Overcome Procrastination tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Academic essay tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Plagiarism tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Annotated bibliography tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

APA style tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Assignments tip sheet Thumbnail


  • 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 tip sheet Thumbnail

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 Thumbnail

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.

Blackboard (MyECU) tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Effective writing tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Exam techniques tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Exegesis tip sheet Thumbnail


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

Lectures tip sheet Thumbnail


  • 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.

Literature review tip sheet Thumbnail

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 tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Podcasting tip sheet Thumbnail


  • 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.

Reading effectively tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Referencing tip sheet Thumbnail


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

Relation and Stress Reduction tip sheet Thumbnail

Relaxation and Stress Reduction Techniques (Progressive Muscle Relaxation)

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.

Report writing tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Research management tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Staying Calm during Exams tip sheet Thumbnail

Staying Calm During Exams

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

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Study Tips

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

Time Management - Semester Planner Thumbnail

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.

Time Management - Weekly Planner Thumbnail

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.

Time Management tip sheet Thumbnail

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.

Tutorial tip sheet Thumbnail


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

Written assessments tip sheet Thumbnail

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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