Even students who have been exceptionally doing well studying at school face variety of quite new challenges at University, where they are likely to approach knowledge in new and more sophisticated way. Many study techniques are subject-specific; your tutors are the best source of advice and support. What follows are some general points for you to consider.
Time management as student at Oxford you will be liable for handling your own time, possibly for the first time ever. But how many hours per week must you be studying? Be sure to assign time for recreation as well. It is really significant that you do not feel out of control about the work and time it is taking, or you will start to resent it and/or feel driven by it in a negative way. You may find it helpful to make yourself schedule and use this to arrangement ahead, setting aside time for attending lectures, tutorials, library visits, reading extracurricular activity and essay-writing. You will rapidly make a lot of paperwork. Take time to obtain these papers prepared. Once you have got system, stick to it.
Attendance at lectures is necessary component of course work. Most of the lecturers at Oxford can place you in contact with state-of-the-art study. Others will be able to give you with broad interpretative framework, filling in gaps between what can be isolated pools of knowledge given by tutorials. Others are merely entertaining. This is not that all lecturers are expert communicators; you must take advice of tutor. You must shop around a bit in first week for what is inspiring and educational. You must feel free to go in lectures in other faculties if curiosity is stimulated.
It is tricky to provide suggestion on methods for taking notes in lectures as style of individual lecturers differs. Though, similar principles as for taking notes from books and articles must apply. Try to recognize central thrust of lecturer’s argument, and sub-arguments with which it is supported. Be very careful in recording of descriptive material: it is vital that you focus on shape of argument. A few lecturers will make things easier by providing hand-outs that outline argument. Ensure that lecture notes are readable and file them methodically together with all material handed out in lecture.
Seminars and Classes
If you are partaking in seminar or class, you will frequently be asked to make something, either some core readings or presentation. It is very important to effective learning which you make properly. If you don’t, you will be left behind, debate will be unaware, and you will be left feeling inadequate.
If you are needed to make oral presentation, make a decision what you desire to say before you go into meeting, write some short notes, and if essential practise it. Keep in mind that you are in position of communicating set of ideas to other members of group, not showing off what you have read to tutor. Start by drawing key points and then demonstrate them in turn. Speak evidently and slowly, but not boringly; always finish your sentences; learn to vary your voice to emphasize main words and phrases;
Reading lists are planned to give you with all information you might desire. It is more significant to decide cleverly what to read, and to read wittily than it is to read a lot. Tutor must also provide you direction as to order in which to read different texts. As general rule, you must make use of textbooks for first orientation, and then go for monographs and journal articles, if possible looking at as many as possible in brief to determine which will be most useful for questions you are talking.
Effective note-taking doesn’t mean copying out long passages from text. And it surely doesn’t mean cutting and pasting chunks into laptop. You must start by reading through chapter or article devoid of taking notes to get idea of overall framework. Sum up in couple of sentences and in your own words - key points/arguments of article/chapter, and then organize your notes around each of sub-arguments, noting suitable.
Use of Libraries In Oxford you are very advantaged as compared with students at other universities, who regularly have only one source of books; you have at least three
Essay planning: Planning essay is necessary, and you must make sure that you leave sufficient time to do it correctly. Some students discover it helpful to make lists of main points and ideas; others employ spider diagrams or mind maps. You require finding what method works best for you.
Essay-writing: Essays differ in scope. Some subjects may need clear description of process or subject area; others may be looking for personal engagement and opinion based on critical assessment of a variety of authoritative sources and evidence.
Introductions should be brief, to point and written in such a way as to illustrate reader’s attention. But they must also be used to recognize issues which question raises, to explain key terms in essay title and point to briefly how you mean to structure your answer. Your essay must be evidently prepared into paragraphs. Cluster together facts and ideas in logical ways. Each paragraph must have argument which is clearly related to previous paragraph and is somehow related to main question. Do not waste conclusion. This is your opportunity to remind reader of key issues explained in essay, also you own arguments. Your essay must be brief (generally 2,000 – 3,000 words) and plainly presented. You must always include list of books, journal articles and web-based sources which you have used at the ending of each essay.