Congratulations on being accepted to St Anne's! We're looking forward to welcoming you to the College and hope that you will have a happy and fulfilling time here.
Moving from school to university can be a bit of a shock to the system so we've created these pages to help equip you with some of the skills you need to help you succeed in academic life. We recommend taking time before you arrive to read over this study skills page, as it will give you a head start when you arrive in October as life can get very busy in the first few weeks of term!
One of the first differences you'll notice between university and school is that you won't have anyone dictating what you should be doing at a given time. Whilst this may sound like a dream come true it does mean that it is down to you to organise yourself and make best use of your time. With such short terms at Oxford it is therefore imperative to learn how to manage your time well!
Top time management tips include:
Take a look at the University's video below for further advice about how to successfully manage your time.
Taking effective notes in a lecture requires a certain amount of concentration and skill. If handouts are given out it can be tempting to switch off and think that using the handout or other people's notes will be sufficient when it comes to revision. However, following the tips below can help you get the most out of your lectures, as well as getting you ready for exam time:
At university you will be expected to do a great deal of independent reading to prepare for tutorial discussion, to write essays and to prepare for exams. Learning to take notes effectively is therefore an indispensable skill!
Here are some top tips for taking notes when reading:
For an example of how to take notes from a journal article watch an Oxford student's video below.
Mind maps are a different way of making notes that can help you grasp connections between ideas and improve your memory. Instead of a traditional linear approach to notes, mind maps start with the central idea or question and then other points radiate outwards on branches. The creative process involved in making mind maps stimulates your brain in a way that will make recalling the information at a later time easier. Mind maps can be especially helpful if you are a visual learner and are useful tools for essay planning and revision, as well as general note taking.
For more information on how to make mind maps watch Tony Buzan's video below. You can also borrow Buzan's book on Mind Maps from the Library. It's located in the Welfare section in Hartland House Library (shelfmark = Welfare 807 BUZ:Min).
When you get your first reading list you may find it a bit overwhelming and wonder how you can possibly read so much in a short space of time! The secret is that you don't need to read every word of every item listed. Some reading lists will indicate which texts are the most important so clearly you should start with these.
When it comes to reading effectively here are some top tips:
For more tips on how to read effectively watch an Oxford student's guide in the video below.
Plagiarism is when you use someone else's ideas or works and deliberately pass them off as your own, or directly quote or paraphrase another person's work without acknowledging them. You acknowledge other people's ideas or works by referencing them throughout your own work (see section on referencing in this LibGuide). The University takes plagiarism very seriously and it is treated as a major disciplinary offence.
The University has a great webpage that explains plagiarism in more detail & why you need to take it seriously: https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills/plagiarism
There is also a plagiarism tutorial that you should do on WebLearn: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/portal/site/:skills:generic:avoidplag
(You won't be able to do this until you get to St Anne's, as you will need your Single Sign On username & password to log on).
N.B. There are many websites offering to scan your work in order to detect plagiarism - don't do this! Many of these sites will steal your work to use on essay writing websites.
The Library has many books to help you develop your study skills. Topics include time management, mind mapping, note taking, reading with dyslexia, writing in exams, referencing etc. Many of these can be found in the Welfare section in Hartland House Library (in the entrance area on the left by the photocopier). Others are scattered throughout different sections of the Library. You can look for them on the Library catalogue SOLO. If there are books you would find useful that we don't have speak to Sally or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.