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Research Strategies & Resources

How to strategically read a journal article?


It is possible to get through all the readings in a university module (and some) if you learn to read with an effective strategy. Here are some pointers every university student should have to master the art of reading 'strategically':

  • Keep in mind not all journal articles are good. Academia is also susceptible to poor practices even if an article is peer reviewed this does not guarantee that it is 'good'. If you see spelling mistakes, or cannot locate the evidence cited then it's not a good article find something else.
  • The abstract is your best guide for sorting content that might be useful for you. Often the title is not enough to depend on, so be sure you can relate to most of the information in the abstract. Using the keyterms are also an indicator of how to continue your search for similiar resources.
  • What to skip in the article? It's not expected that you would understand everything in any given article. Often this is the first discouragement students face (not relating to all of the material), it takes many people two or three reads to get there. So read smart. Read through the introduction, conclusion and findings (in that order). I always recommend skipping the methodology if you are intererested in just what was found rather than how it was found.
  • Keep a reading log. Often students do not make a connection that what they learn in one module is connected to other courses on their degree programme. Everything you read can help inform your understanding, and help you develop new ideas (which might come in handy for dissertation or graduate projects).
DOWNLOAD A READING LOG WATCH VIDEO ON READING LOG




Why should I "cite" that in my writing?


Coming soon ...




Need to improve your academic referencing skills?


Coming soon ...




How to make 'groupwork' great again?


Coming soon ...




Suggestions for better time management?


Coming soon ...




How to 'efficiently' & 'effectively' prepare for a univeristy exam?


The word 'examination' usually generates feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, further introspection of these feelings will show that 'preparation' is essential for reducing both anxiety and uncertainty. So how can you best prepare? Efficient examination preparation does not mean cramming everything that has been covered in a 11 to 12 week university module. Students who use an on-going strategy to prepare find themselves more certain about the material that is covered and feel a boost of confidence for showing their engagement with the topics and reading. Effective preparation means being able to access your keynotes and critical material which, when done diligently, means you have a document which is populated with your weekly contributions, but it will also enable you to determine your strengths in some topics over others. Using a strategy:

  • A frequent mistake with examination preparation is to use your main notes are your revision notes. It is more efficent to do weekly reflections and use your combined knowledge gained from attendance at the session, engagement with the weekly reading and your notes to build a revision resource. Download and personalise your own EXAM REVISION RESOURCE
In many ways, unseen examinations in the social sciences are quite advantageous as there are additional considerations taken into account when allocating marks and efforts for written responses which showcase evidence of reading (referencing) and deliberation of thought (critical thinking) is highly valued. If this resource was useful for you please be sure to let me know. Best of luck in your exams, remember you've got this!





© Melissa R. Jogie, October 2020