How to Study at University

Practical tips and general thoughts on how to study at a Western university

Once more, with feeling

Point: Improve your subject and language knowledge at the same time There is a fundamental problem when you are trying to learn stuff in a language that you are also trying to learn. If you are trying, for example, to learn sociology in French while trying to learn French. Or learning mechanical engineering in Spanish […]

Ben’s Way

Point: Learn to write well by imitating the best If my father found some emails I’d written to a friend, read them, and criticised my writing style – said it wasn’t elegant or clear, that my line of reasoning was weak, and that my friend wrote better – I wouldn’t be very happy. I’d probably say something like, “What? […]

Draw the undrawable

Point: Draw ideas to help you understand them better Which makes a deeper impression on you; a poem about love, or a picture about love? For me, I think I’d rather read a poem than look at a picture. You might be different. I am a word person. I’m not very visual. I get lost easily. I have no […]

You can quote me on this!

Point: When to quote and when not to quote There are some things in life that are so tempting that you want to do them even when you know they may be bad for you. For me, some of those things are … eating five bars of chocolate one after the other; staying out late on […]

Summarise in grunts

Point: Focus on what is important when you summarise You’ve read the article or chapter. It seems relevant to your essay topic. You think, “I want to make a summary of this.” (Or maybe you don’t want to but your tutor tells you to.) You look at the article, all 2,376 words of it, and […]

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