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Study Skills - Writing Lab Tips and Strategies: Home

Just Say NO to Distractions


-Turn off the cell phone or put it somewhere else

-Learn to say "No" to things

-Avoid noise (radio, TV, people, anything that you might pay attention to instead of your work)

-Manage interruptions (let others in your life know that you are studying and do not wish to be interrupted unless there is an emergency)

-Pay attention to your attention level--if your mind starts to wander you may need a short break

-DO NOT turn on the computer unless you are researching or writing

Join Us in the Learning Center!

The Learning Center Is Open:

Monday - Friday: 9:00 - 4:30

Writing Lab Walk-In Hours:

Monday             10am-6pm

Tuesday            10am-8pm

Wednesday       12pm-6pm

Thursday           12pm-6pm

Friday                12pm-4pm

Writing Lab Email:

Email us your paper ( along with the specific description of the assignment.  We will comment on the paper in regards to purpose, organizational structure, internal organization, format, and patterns of grammatical error.

Writing Lab Purpose

The goal of the Writing Lab is to equip students with the communication tools necessary to develop stronger academic writing.  Tutors do not correct, revise or edit student writing.  They aim to guide and empower students toward becoming better independent writers.  The Writing Lab is a student-to-student help available to all students desiring help with writing, including ESL tutoring.  All services are offered at no cost to students.

The Writing Lab is available to students from any discipline for help with any stage of the writing process.

Tutors focus on assignment fulfillment, content, organization, and areas for which suggestions on improvement can be made.

The Writing Lab does not proofread papers; tutors help students learn how to recognize problems or errors and self-edit.  Help is available with MLA, APA and other formatting as well as with grammar skills.

Writing resources (style/formatting manuals) and skills software are available for student use as well.

Establish a Specific Study Place

The Library
An inviting, quiet place to study

An Empty Classroom
You'll remember the information if you study AND get tested in the same kind of place

Study Skills Description

Success with studying is not based on who is doing the studying, but rather it is based on when, where, how often, and what skills are used to study.

Study for Shorter Periods of Time, But Study More Often

Study During Daylight Hours for Peak Awareness
Find the times of day when you are most alert.  Pay attention to how you feel at different times of day.

Schedule Specific Times
Don't assume you will study when you have time.  Set aside certain times when you will study.

Study "In Between"
If you have half an hour between lunch and class, get some reading done!

DO NOT Cram for Exams!
You will not retain information learned in this way.  Study for understanding and retention.

Schedule Different Types of Review

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition 
Repetition leads to habit.

Timely Review
Reviewing notes and ideas immediately after each section helps build memory.

important concepts on post-it notes or notecards.  Attach them to the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, etc. . .

Review regularly.

If it is a longer session take 10 minute breaks every hour.  Rejuvenate the mind. . . get up!

Flash Cards 
Use flash cards.

Try to link ideas from one class to another, from one aspect of thought to another.

Try to relate the material to your everyday life and incorporate it in conversation.

Make Use of the Wait
Always carry a book for class to fill in times when you have to wait.

Stay Alert

Change It Up
what you are studying.

Know What You Are Doing
Create a study checklist to stay involved and goal-oriented.

Work It Out
For math and science. . .probably less review, more graphing or working out of problems.  If you get stuck, move on to the next one.

Jot It Down
Take notes, highlight, and underline while you read.

Subject Guide

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Writing Lab Consultants
Morgan Library Learning Center
574-372-5100 ext. 6427

Create a Study Group or Sign Up for Tutoring

It's easier to remember ideas that you've talked about with others.

Seek out people with different backgrounds or learning styles to get a more well-rounded group.  Other students may have new ways of looking at things that will help you have a better understanding of the subject.

Make sure the group has direction.  Plan a course of action (review, note-taking, research, reading discussion).

Do a trial run to make sure it works out and is profitable to everyone involved.  Don't waste anyone's time trying to continue something that isn't helpful.

Look for reliable and dedicated students to study with.


Fight the temptation to cram the night before the test.  There's only so much new information your brain can process at one time.  Instead, get a few extra hours of sleep and face the test with a clear mind.  A clear mind will serve you much better than a few extra memorized facts.


Assume College Is Hard Work
You're no longer in high school!  Generally plan for two hours of studying for every credit hour you take.

Go To Class
Even if your professor doesn't have an attendance policy, class time is for learning!

Use Class Time for Learning
Take good notes

in discussions

pertinent questions

Be Prepared for Class
Do the readings/assignments

Come with questions
Get enough sleep the night before so you can focus

Take time to eat beforehand so hunger doesn't distract you

Understand General Principles
Try to understand the reasoning behind what you are learning.  If you understand how something works, it is easier to learn specific facts, whereas if you don't understand it you may be frustrated trying to memorize seemingly unrelated facts.