5 apps to help you study better

There’s an app for almost everything, nowadays, isn’t there? So, have you ever thought about using an app to help you study? I mean, it is study week.

Below, we’ve listed some handy apps to help you with your study this exam period.

1. SelfControl
Developer: Charlie Stigler & Steve Lambert
Available: Online for Mac OSX
Cost: Free

Super skilled at procrastinating? Can’t resist the urge to check your social media news feed, or trying to avoid calculus by watching YouTube videos of kittens? SelfControl lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the internet.  Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click start. Until that timer expires, you’ll be unable to access those sites – even if you restart your computer or delete the app! A necessary evil, possibly?

2. Dragon Dictation
Developer: Nuance Communications
Available: App store 
Cost: Free

Fingers hurt from typing too much (It’s a real problem!)? No worries. Get Dragon Dictation and use your voice to dictate your study notes – simply speak and see your content appear on screen.

3. Flashcards+
Developer: Chegg
Available: App  store and Google Play
Cost: Free

Memorise info like a pro using this flashcards app, designed to help you learn.

4. The Oxford Dictionary of English
Developer: MobiSystems
Available: App store and Google Play
Cost: Free

Because everybody needs a good dictionary in their life.

5. Write or Die
Developer: Dr Wicked
Available: Online or App store
Cost: $9.99 – $20

Struggling to find the motivation to write your assignment, unless there’s a looming deadline no more than 24 hours away? Meet: Write or Die. Write or Die is an online app (which you can also download to your iPhone) that gives consequences for distraction and procrastination. As long as you keep writing, everything is fine, but if you become distracted there are customisable consequences.

6. The Hemingway App
Developer: Adam Long & Ben Long
Available: Online
Cost: $19.99

Ready to be judged? This app allows you to paste in content you have written and have it critiqued, to make your writing bold and clear. The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors. It’s especially handy if you have a problem with verbosity (don’t know what that means? Refer to app #4).


Library hours for study and exam period

You’re almost there! Just a few more weeks and the trimester will be over. You can sleep in under your doona without the pressing urgency of attending lectures, working on assignments, or studying for exams.

But we’re not quite there yet.

Next week is study week, a week long break between teaching and end of trimester exam period to allow you to study for exams.

However, we get students will often want to use the library more than usual during Weeks 12, 13 & 14 to assist with study (into the early morning even – how do you do it! Young blood?).

Books, study spots, printers, vending machines in close proximity – we’ve got you.

So, for the next three weeks, Nathan and Gold Coast libraries will open 7am Monday, and remain open 24 hours until midnight on Fridays with extended weekend hours to accommodate this. 

  • Monday: 7am-12am (services open 8am – 7pm)
  • Tuesday – Friday: 24 hours (services open 8am – 7pm)
  • Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 10pm (services open 9am – 5pm)

Check out the opening hours for Logan, Mt Gravatt and South Bank campuses here.

And don’t forget to take a look at our handy information on exam prep during study week and on exam day, as well as tips to beat exam anxiety.


Check out our Library Twitter

Library Twitter

Us library staff like to think we’re a little hip (we’re not all cats and cups of tea, you know). And, even though we may not always be, our Twitter certainly is.

Yep, our Twitter. In case you didn’t already know, Griffith library is on Twitter. And most other major social media, too: FacebookInstagram, our wonderful blogs like this one.

Just like you use different social media for different things, so do we. While our library blog here is full of useful (and fun!) information which may go into a little more depth, our Twitter page is great for getting a quick snapshot of info. And it’s awash with funny gifs too!

So, if you’re a fellow Twitter user – come on over and follow us. Like us, retweet us, do all the twitter stuff! Or just follow our page quietly. Really, it’s your choice.  

And if you’re not a Twitter user, why not consider joining? It’s a great way to stay on top of information!


How to keep on top of your referencing

Person writing list

Referencing is a big part of uni. It’s how you clearly and consistently acknowledge all the information sources you have used in your work.

Being such an essential skill, we recommend you become proficient at it.

As an undergraduate student where you’re generally writing shorter assignments (I know, 2000 words isn’t that short – but hey, it’s shorter than a dissertation!) we suggest you use our referencing tool to guide you with your referencing. The referencing tool is designed to provide you with examples of direct quotations, paraphrasing and full references for a range of resources you may have used when researching a topic. Over time you’ll build up your skills in this area, and know what a reference should look like.

As you move towards more lengthy assignments, research papers, and so forth, you may be struggling to stay on top of the massive array of resources you’ve used.

Enter: EndNote.

EndNote is Griffith’s recommended bibliographic management software, and enables you to easily:

  • Collect references
  • Organise references and documents in a searchable library
  • Create instant reference lists and/or bibliographies

It’s super handy if you have a large amount of research you need to organise. You are able to store all the citations in one place, and easily insert them straight into Word. And, as soon as you insert an in-text reference into word, the full reference will be added to the document’s Reference List section.

Best part – it updates. If you decide to remove a section of text, which may have had an in text reference used nowhere else, this reference will automatically be removed from your Reference List too #timesaver.

Ok, another best part. It’s free!

To get EndNote, follow the instructions on the EndNote page to download it.

For more information on referencing, check out our referencing study smart page.

 


Tips to improve your time management

What do Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, and Sigmund Freud have in common? Well, apart from being dead… They’re all great at time management.

Time management is a key factor to a balanced life – and, academic success.

For example, if you start your assignment the night before, chances are (a) you’re not gonna get a HD, and (b) you’re not great at time management. And, I’ll guess you probably spent the week beforehand stressing about the assignment a little? (#notfun) 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of time management tips to help you stay on top of things and avoid turning into a stress-head.

Plan things early
Have an assignment due in three weeks, or an exam coming up? Start two to three weeks beforehand. By working incrementally on the assignment, you’ll feel better knowing it’s started, and will surprise yourself with the progress you make! Stick the dates in your calendar, and maybe even include deadlines for progress.

Write a to-do list
Get your task list out of your brain and onto a piece of paper. But make sure it’s attainable. You’re not going to finish 10 separate readings and write the introduction, methodology, and discussion of an assignment piece all in one day. Be realistic, and space it out. This will help you achieve goals and stay on track, plus ticking off an item always feels good.

Prioritise your work
Complete the most pressing tasks first. Yes, you may need to buy a Fathers Day present eventually, but it can probably wait until after you’ve finished your class readings for the week.

Take a break
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (it’s a proverb, look it up). Don’t spend all your time studying, you’ll go mad. Take a break, got outside. Sunlight’s always good. Or check out our post on movies to take a break to. But don’t start watching 13 Reasons Why in your break, because trust us, you won’t stop.


Check out our video conferencing spaces

In the 21st century, people are using libraries for so much more than simply retrieving books.

All of our Griffith libraries have different types of spaces for you to use. We have shelves filled with books (obvs); sometimes tired students nap in the aisles between these, but we suggest you don’t – it’s an OH&S hazard.

We’ve got silent study spaces so you can buckle down and study, quiet study spaces ‘cause sometimes you’ve gotta make a little bit of noise, social study spaces for collaboration, and bookable group study areas if you need a bit more privacy.

But, did you know that we also have private student video conferencing spaces at Gold Coast and Nathan campuses?

You can book these rooms online, just like the group study rooms. But though the booking method may be the same, the uses are actually very different.

You can use the student video conferencing spaces to:

  • Present and share information to a large screen via your laptop (or a borrowed library laptop).
  • Make a call to another Griffith Student Video Conference pod or staff member.
  • Skype, using your personal Skype details.

If all this sounds super fancy, but a little confusing – never fear!  We have how-to guides on the basics of using the video conferencing spaces, how to use Skype in the spaces, and how to present information on the screen.

Remember though, if you’re having a meeting that doesn’t require video conference technology, use a group study room instead.


How to improve your study skills

Photo of study station

Study skills are essential to academic success.

But there are oh so many facets: critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, effective note taking, assignment preparation, assignment writing, referencing, exam preparation…

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a guide to all this? With strategies and resources designed to help you succeed in your studies?

Oh, lucky – there is!

The library’s study skills page is full of self-help resources to help you achieve academic success.

To start off, you can take an interactive tutorial on preparing for university, and learn to maximise your study time through tips on critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, and effective note taking.

Now we’re getting to the gritty end of the trimester, you might find our tutorials on preparing for your assignment and writing your assignment super handy. Trust us, good preparation and planning will make writing your assignment so much easier (give it a shot!).

We’ve also got tips to help you become a referencing guru. Almost all assessment pieces have dedicated marks for referencing, so it’s worth taking the time to get good at referencing.

And with the exam block looming, we recommend you take a look at our information on exam preparation to help you ace exams.

There are even tips on improving your social media skills. I know, you’re a millennial, what can we teach you that you don’t already know, right? But check it out, you might learn a thing a two. Like how to use social media to help land a job.