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Writing Support for IAC Students
In-Person or distance tutoring for students taking IAC classes.
Flexible day, evening, and weekend appointments are available during the fall and spring semesters.
To schedule an appointment
Email: Chris Miles, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Call: Toll-free: (888) 474-5207, Local: (907) 474-2709
Study Skill Tips
Click on each topic below for more information:
- Notebook. Buy an extra notebook for each subject at the beginning of the year. When you finish a chapter immediately write notes and summaries in the notebook. Write down key points, vocabulary words and diagrams. On weekends make up cue cards and get friends and family to quiz you on the information.
- Recorder. Record your voice on a recorder or phone. Listen to your words in your spare time, during drives or just before bed.
- Mind Maps. Learn to make mind maps, Vinn diagrams, cluster maps, power points or other memory aids. These tools are great for flash carding and memory retrieval.
- Library. After you have completed a topic, take out a book from the library or look up information on the internet and read more about the subject. Take notes and write out questions.
- Essays. Write essays without making a rough draft. Just practice writing using good vocabulary and sentence structure from the very beginning. Take time to proof read your essay and make sure the punctuation and spelling is correct.
- Timetable. Make a timetable for exams and quizzes. Mark these dates on a calendar so that you can be well prepared for any tests.
- Make lists of your classes and the topics which are to be covered within that class. Keep track of which topics have been covered in class.
- Study Time. Set aside study time for a part of everyday. Make sure it is not at a time which you will be tired or hungry. Remember to take a short break every 20 minutes.
- Study Group. Study groups share notes, thoughts and ideas. They can also brain storm problems and help to diffuse confusion. However, sometimes a large group can waste your time. Figure out the right balance between individual study and group study.
- Trial exams Re-do a past exam or quiz.
- Sleep. Get enough sleep. Aim for 8-10 hours of sleep.
- Most difficult first.Get the hard stuff done first. It will be easier to then go on to easier topics. Sometimes this is not possible with computerized tests. In that case, just follow through the exam sequentially.
- Timetable. Follow a daily timetable. First day it will be difficult, second day it will be practice and the third day it will become habit.
- What do you have to do? The best way to get control of your time is to make it an important goal.
- Decide right now that you are going to make a positive change in your life. Firmly commit yourself to making a real improvement in managing your time. You won’t go very far unless you have resolved to make changes.
- Startwith a specific goal that you are capable of monitoring and measuring. Make the goal simple and obtainable.
- Now with your goal in mind, bring together all the commitments you have currently accepted. Take a close look at the totality of the tasks in your life. Start by writing down a list of all the tasks you need to complete. This is a To-Do list. To make your list work for you, it needs to be time bound and relevant.
- For each of the goals you listed, determine when you need to complete it and why.
- Make it a habit to everyday make a To-Do list and make sure you carefully consider when the task can be completed. After you have gotten comfortable with making To-do lists, you don’t have to list the “why” of those lists because you will understand the relevancy. Crossing items off the list after they have been completed can give a sense of completion.
- After you have begun the process of making To-Do lists, take the next step of prioritizing items on your list. Assign each goal a letter and put them in alphabetical order. Prioritize urgent versus important items. Treat your time as a precious resource and make sure you get the urgent things done first. You can place the goals in four categories: Urgent and Important, Important but Not Urgent, Urgent and Not Important, and Not Urgent and Not Important. This will help you to decide which goals need to have the most attention.
- Remember there is never enough time in one day to make everything happen. You will have to actively choose to not do certain things because of the lack of time.
- Creating a schedulewill help you plan and defend your time. By creating a daily and weekly schedule you can identify the time you want to make available for work. Then plan your use of time so that you can get your important jobs done. At the same time, you need to leave a little time to deal with urgent activities and interruptions.
- Delegation of duties may need to occur if you are to succeed.
- Breaking Poor time habits. Whatever your habits are it’s important that you identify them and look for ways to change yourself and your environment to minimize their distraction factor.
- Busting Procrastination! There is no easy way around procrastination. It is a nasty habit to break once you are used to it. Like any bad habit the first step in breaking it is acknowledgement. If you are a procrastinator, take some time to think about the consequences of procrastination. What has happened to you in the past because of this habit? Now consider the benefits that you will receive when you complete this task. What can you expect to enjoy as soon as the job is finished? By recognizing that you procrastinate you are in a better position to face it and change it. The most effective means to overcome procrastination is to break the task down into small pieces and whittle away at the small pieces till the task is complete.
- Once you start to whittle away at your task, you need to provide a reason to continue. Remind yourself of the benefits of completing your goals and the consequences of failure.
- Reward yourself for a job well done.
- Finally, as a way to tie together your procrastination- busting plans, you can make a personal contract. By writing out a contract and signing it you are promising yourself to accomplish this goal.
- It’s time to get it done! Dig in and get busy. When you are fully committed to working hard and working smart then the results will come. It’s all about being disciplined and recognizing what you can do to improve your time management. Take small steps, plan out your strategy, reward yourself for successes and start over again if you fail. Old habits are hard to change, but new habits can be formed with resolution.
- Always give yourself a break time. Plan your studies out one at a time. Never try to worry about three tests at once.
- Everybody gets frustrated at times. Ask for help. Never quit till after your problem is solved.
- Do the subject you don’t like first and then move to your easier tasks.
- Listening to music can enhance your study ability.
- Have a regular study place and time.
- If you suspect you have learning handicaps, talk to your instructors.
- Stay away from distractions while you study. This could include, noisy places, TV’s, non-soothing music etc.
- Don’t study if you are tired. Take a break, exercise, take a nap, then come back and start again.
- If you are going to attend a party, plan ahead. Budget time for both the party and the after party hangover time in your schedule.
- Do not cram. You will end up remembering very little. It won’t help your future career because you’ll have poor recall of that material.
- Don’t study all night. Stay up late but make sure you budget time for at least 6 hours of sleep. Your brain processes what you’ve learned in your sleep.
- Don’t abuse substances. Caffeine will often lead to the jitters making it impossible to study.
1) Set goals that motivate you. Make sure the goal is important to you. Goal achievement requires commitment. Be determined to carry out the needed actions to accomplish the goal.
2) Set Smart Goals.
S - Specific. Set goals that are clear and well defined.
M - Measurable. Include precise amounts and dates so that you can measure your degree of success.
A - Attainable. Make sure the goal is possible to attain.
R - Relevant. Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take.
T - Time bound. Your goals must have a deadline.
3) Set goals in writing. Write your goals forcefully. “I will accomplish this goal by …” Instead of writing “I would like to finish my goal by…”Post these goals in visible places.
4) Make an action plan. Plan out the steps you need to take to complete the goal. Write out the individual steps and cross each one off the list as you complete it. This is especially important if obtaining your goal will be a lengthy process.
5) Stick with it! Build in reminders to help keep yourself on track. Review your goals and action plans regularly. Have family members and friends help you stay accountable.
- Review lesson plan prior to class.
- Take quick notes in class.
- If you have already looked at the lesson plan you can formulate questions beforehand.
- Don’t make notes on what’s already in the book.
- If it’s repeated more than twice it’s going to be on the test.
- Study for an hour a day before the next class.
- Don’t let special activities take priority over studying.
- Plan your breaks in short and loan term.
- Study groups help remember material, and clarify difficult points.
- If your friends are in different classes. Make plans to get together for stress busting periods.
- If you are not used to concentrating, try to lighten your class load.
- Always memorize bolded vocabulary words.
Writing in a journal or keeping a diary can be an intimidating process for some people. However, if you have never tried to learn by this method of introspection then now is the time to try it! Real education must begin on the inside. Reflection and introspection can help to solidify the knowledge gained in your studies. Confusing principles can be clarified and understood.
- Sometimes starting with a prompt can help the process along.
- Begin writing your thoughts down after a class.
- What was the main concept of the discussion? Did I agree with what was said?
- Some people have found that short quick notes immediately following a learning session really helps sort out their thoughts.
- Other people journal with long rambling notes which considers all the points of discussion.
- Some students have used computer write-up of their notes. This is alright if there is also time for reflection and not just mindless copying.
- Writing and reflection are both needed to help reach deeper levels of understanding.
Journal prompts that may help you get started:
- What does the teacher want me to believe about this subject?
- What was the major point of today’s learning?
- Do I have a different conclusion about the topic?
- What are the issues and the conclusions?
- What are the reasons?
- How good is the evidence presented?
1. Select a topic. Choose a place, event or an experience that has influenced your life in some way. Make a list of people, places or events which have stood out in your memory. Jot down key details, regarding your senses such as sights, sounds, smells and feelings that the thoughts evoke. Review your list and choose the topic that you’d most like to re-visit.
2. Get the big Picture. Once you have chosen your topic begin to ask key questions to bring out the details of your memory.
- What are the key moments of the experience?
- What led up to the moments? Why? What happened?
- What were you thinking at the time? What was your perspective of the event?
- What did you learn?
- How did this event end?
- What conflicts, lessons or insights occurred as a result of this experience?
- How do your feelings now differ from your feelings then?
3. Get Organized. Review your brainstorm ideas. Highlight key details or events. Draft a
brief outline that shows where your story details and events belong. List the main events
in chronological order. Use a cluster diagram to organize details around each main event.
4. Deepen the description. List sensory details such as sights, sounds, tastes and textures.
- Develop comparisons by describing your topic with similes, metaphors, and analogies.
- Think of quotes and examples that may better illustrate your main themes.
5. Write out the first draft. Compare the draft against your outline.
6. Review and revise. Take a break after your first draft. Then when you return to work test the accuracy of your work. Do you find any weak areas of the essay?
7. Test your writing. Does the tone fit the content of the essay? Have you established our viewpoint? Will your readers understand the subject?
8. Get feedback. Ask a classmate or friend to read the essay. Does it have an opening which pulls the reader into the story? Are the experiences describes with sharp details? Is there an explanation about why the experience was important to you? Do you have smooth transitions between the ideas and is there a conclusion which clearly states the purpose of the essay?
9. Edit and proofread your essay. Carefully check grammar, usage, and mechanics of your paper.
Click on each topic below for more information:
Clicking the button below and it will direct you to a form where you can submit a writing sample that will help UAF writing faculty find the right writing class for you.
The assessment will consist of 8 short answer questions and one writing prompt that should take you about 45 minutes to complete. Please follow directions carefully.
Your writing response will not be graded, nor will it count towards your grade in a class or GPA. It will be used to help determine which writing class to enroll in. If you have questions about this process, please let your advisor know.
Enjoy this selection of videos curated to support students towards success in their academic, career, and personal lives.
"Sleep and Learning," with Dani' Sheppard, PhD & Jen Peterson, PhD.
Department of Psychology, UAF. October 21, 2021