8 out 10 students wanted to know! Do you?


We asked students which three academic skills they would like to develop over the next semester  and 8 out 10 students wanted assistance with referencing. Are you in the eight or are you interested in developing some of the other top five academic skills students wanted to develop? The top five academic skills included:

Griffith University uses a variety of referencing styles however the most common styles are found on the Referencing Tool. Knowing when to quote or paraphrase from a resource will depend on the assessment task you are undertaking. When quoting text, page numbers must be included in the in-text citations.

LibrarySearch is the new search engine which allows you to search across multiple databases. LibrarySearch is a great way to find scholarly, peer-reviewed research for your assessment tasks easily and efficiently.

Essay structure means different things to different people. Each discipline has its own way of writing and as you progress through your chosen programs you will develop and adapt to the style of writing that is required. A good place to start is always use good academic conventions by including an introduction even if it is only one or two sentences introducing the topic and its importance. Secondly, have a body which elaborates and provides evidence as to the importance of the topic. Lastly, include a conclusion this may be one sentence summing up the sentences above. The key is to always include an: Introduction, Body with evidence and have a conclusion which provides a flow to your writing.

Reading efficiently! Well to read efficiently means to read with purpose, know why you are reading! What is the purpose you are reading! And do something with the reading do not double handle your readings. This takes practise. When reading a journal article it is advisable to read the Title, Abstract and then the Conclusion. If the abstract and conclusion marry up and are relevant to your question then you may want to read further and take notes for your assessment.

Efficiently reading texts is not too dissimilar to reading journal articles. You may start with the chapter summary and conclusion, skimming over any headings or sub headings, along with images or tables that may be relevant to you. Staying on track and on task can be the difficulty as many texts are written so you want to read more! Again, take notes as you go highlighting page numbers of relevance saving you time and energy later when it is time to include them in your in-text citations.

The best way for you to note take will depend on your learning style [1] and your own preference. Try doing something with your lecture notes within 24 hours of making them, then again in a week, and re-engage with your notes each month. Using your notes this way will mean you will not have to relearn the lecture content when it comes to exam time.

By having a purpose when researching, reading and writing you will save many hours of frustration and end up with a quality assessment item. Till the next time – happy studying.


[1] Do a Google search on VARK: Complete the questionnaire and find out which learning style bests suits you. This resource also includes a range of learning strategies that maybe helpful.