Eating veggies improves your writing and spelling

Photo of food in a bowl

Do you need help writing that lengthy essay, literature review or research report?

Sure, you could consult the handy Study Smart tutorial and read up on how to write an assignment. And we totally recommend that you do just that.

But if your brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, your output is going to be less than the sheer genius it should be. And what you eat and drink has an effect on how well your brain performs.

So what specifically should you eat come assignment-writing time? According to a recent study published in Appetite, you should consume vast quantities of sweet, sweet soft drink.

No, just messing with you.  Vegetables are the answer. But if you’re thinking that snacking on some carrot and hummus while drafting your essay is all that it takes, think again.

The 2017 study found greater consumption of vegetables with the evening meal (7 nights/week) was associated with higher test scores in the domains of spelling and writing.

That means veggies for dinner every night of the week people! And lots of them…

Now, the study didn’t mention a specific type of vegetable. We are taking that to mean you can eat any vegetable of your choice.

So whether you have a particular penchant for peas, parsnips or pumpkin, life is a bowl of cherries.

Back to the sweet beverages though, the study also found that increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with significantly lower test scores in reading, writing, grammar/punctuation, and numeracy.

Put down that can of cola and back away.

A guide to writing your assignment

You’ve unpacked the topic, gathered information, and now you’re ready to write your assignment.

If you have been staring at an open Word document for 30 minutes, trying to come up with a good opening sentence, you need to check out our guide on writing your assignment.

When you’re beginning the writing process you’ve got to work out what type of assignment you are writing. Is it a report, essay, reflective piece, or literature review? If you’re not sure, take another look at your assignment information or check with your lecturer or tutor.  This information will help inform your layout, and influence your content.

Literature reviewsreports, and reflective pieces all vary in terms of content and layout, so take a look at our guides so you know what to include and where to focus.

Now, it’s time to get writing. Most academic writing has a similar structure. You’ll need an introduction, body, and conclusion. The writing your assignment guide will give you a detailed overview of what you need to include in each of these sections, as well as how to structure each individual section.

Start writing by creating a rough outline of your structure, and what you intend to include in each section. Try using dot-points under headings to note down key information to include. Then, you can begin filling the sections in!

When you’re done, don’t forget to proofread (it always helps to get somebody else to take a look over your assignment too, as they may catch things you had missed). Don’t neglect your reference list – it needs to be proofread too!

How to ace group assignments

Not all university assessments are a solitary activity. Sometimes you will be required to work on an assignment, project or class presentation with a group of fellow students.

Group work can enhance your social skills, build self-esteem and confidence, and promote tolerance through the sharing of alternative ideas and points of view.

Working in a group will help prepare you for team environments in the workplace and teach you a range of values and competencies that employers look for in graduates.

Here’s some tips to help you work effectively in a group.

Start with introductions and set some ground rules

It takes time for a group of individuals to become a team. Meet your team members as soon as possible and get to know each other.

Decide how the group will communicate. Are you going have face-to-face meetings or communicate online through email or group discussion forums?

Whether you meet in person or virtually, create a schedule of meetings with agendas. Decide on team roles so that everyone keeps on track.

And remember, play nicely with others. Be inclusive and treat each other with respect and courtesy.

Understand the assignment requirements

Do you understand what the assignment is asking you to do? Take the time to analyse your assignment topic. Identify specific tasks and estimate the time required to complete them.

Once you have done this, you will need to prioritise the tasks, set deadlines, and allocate the tasks to team members.

This will ensure work is divided fairly and effectively. Use your meetings to regularly review progress and revise deadlines.

Use technology to collaborate

Get to know your technology. There are so many technologies available to help you collaborate online with your team mates.

From discussion boards, wikis and instant messaging to email, social media and Google Docs.

Make sure you are an active online participant: read, respond and contribute to the group’s postings.

Use effective strategies to overcome problems

Problems may arise within a group for a variety of reasons. They may result from unequal efforts from team members, disagreements about group objectives, clash of personalities, simple misunderstandings and straight-out differences of opinion.

Any issues need to be dealt with promptly and decisively. Learn to effectively manage conflict so you can facilitate discussion and come to a resolution. Contact the lecturer or tutor if a problem is not able to be resolved.

– Extract from Study Smart –

Kick start your study success by attending an earlybird workshop

Quick quiz:

  • Are you starting uni this trimester?
  • Did you find last trimester’s study a challenge?
  • Do you want to further develop your learning skills?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, our earlybird workshops are perfect for you!

Prior to Trimester 2, 2017, we are offering the following earlybird workshops free to Griffith students:

Strategies for study at university
Get an overview of university culture and expectations, and learn some helpful strategies for managing your time and studying effectively. Beginning the trimester with a head start on study and time management will make a world of difference, we promise!

Writing university assignments
Does your assignment writing process involve opening a new word document, and staring at an empty page for 30 minutes trying to come up with an opening sentence? Don’t let assignments get the better of you! This workshop will cover the basics of getting started on structuring and writing assignments, and will help prepare you to smash the next assignment you get!

Researching and Referencing for your assignments
Being able to research and reference is a kinda crucial part of uni. If this seems daunting, come along to this workshop. You’ll gain awareness of the wide range of information resources available at Griffith and learn to identify the principles of referencing and the process of applying them within academic work.

Check out the times, dates, and locations, come along to a workshop, and start trimester two prepared for success!

Assignment submission goes online in 2017

The future is here! Online assignment submission goes online 2017.

The future is here! Assignment submission goes online in 2017.

Assignments. Not so long ago they were the bane of your existence. Many a late night was spent trying to put together a gazillion word essay with minimal research, maximum caffeine, and zero motivation.

But since you submitted your final paper in week 16, you haven’t given them a moments thought. In fact, you’ve mentally blocked out anything to do with essays, reports, case studies or critical reviews.

And you are probably wondering why we’ve brought up such a stressful topic, especially when you are smack-bang in the middle of exams.

While it’s old news to some of you, we still have some awesome news. Assignment submissions are going online in 2017! From Trimester 1, you can submit university assignments online through such channels as Turnitin, SafeAssign, or the Blackboard submission tool.

No longer will you have to wrestle your report from the printer, or remember to put on pants to hand them in at the library.

In the new year, you’ll just need to complete your assignment, select your online submission tool, click a few buttons, and puff, it’s submitted.

Keep in mind that some assignments may still need to be physically submitted to your school. See your course profile for more details.

Need help? Contact your friendly IT Service Centre, check out these helpful student guides, or simply ASK US.

Free Earlybird workshops 18-20 July


A little preparation before you start university makes your study experience easier. Prior to Semester 2, 2016, Griffith University is offering the following Earlybird workshops.


These are all free and you only need to register* for one of them!

18 July (Mon) 19 July (Tues) 20 July (Wed)
Gold Coast 10 am
Strategies for study at university (2hrs)
Learning Commons (G11_4.29)1pm
Introduction to Griffith’s online environment (1.5hrs)*
Library (G10_2.04
10 am
Researching and Referencing for your assignment (2hrs)
Learning Commons (G1_4.29)1 pm
Getting started on your assignment (2hrs)
Learning Commons (G11_4.29)
10 am
Introduction to Griffith’s online environment (1.5hrs)*
Library (G10_2.04
Logan 10 am
Getting started on your assignment (2hrs)
Library (LO3_3.30)
10 am
Researching and Referencing for your assignment (2hrs)
Lecture Theatre 1 (LO8_LT1)
Nathan 10 am
Strategies for study at university (2hrs)
Central Theatre (N18_LT2)10 am
Introduction to Griffith’s online environment (1.5hrs)*
Library (N53_1.50
10 am
Reading and note-taking (2hrs)
Central Theatre (N18_LT2)
10 am
Researching and Referencing for your assignment (2hrs)
Health Sciences (N48_0.14)1 pm
Getting started on your assignment (2hrs)
Health Sciences (N48_0.14)1.30 pm
Introduction to Griffith’s online environment (1.5hrs)*
Library (N53_1.50
*Registration required, please use book-it to ensure your place or join the waiting list.

Curious learners have better recall

Research discussed in an article in The Conversation indicates that the more curious you are about a topic and motivated you are to learn about it, the more likely you are to remember the information. It discusses the increased ability of research participants to remember more information about a topic when they are curious about the subject matter, and to recall information unrelated to the topic when presented at the same time. This suggests that memory is more receptive to retaining information when the brain is actively engaged and curiosity is sparked. Changes in the hippocampus of the brain, which is associated with memory, were observed during learning and recall.

It follows that when you, as a Griffith student, have a choice in topics for an assessment task, you can apply this principle by selecting the one that interests you. Engaging with a particular topic in your essay, report or presentation could assist in your recall of other related and even unrelated facts or images for exams or other assessment tasks. When presented with a choice in topics, choose one that you find interesting, since it could help you remember more than you expected.

The article continues to talk about motivation. It explains that intrinsic motivation is performing the task out of your own interest or benefit. Therefore, when you are curious about a topic you are more likely to be engaged, intrinsically motivated and more likely to be able to retain and recall the information.

For information on Academic Skills resources that might be useful for planning and structuring your assignment, exam strategies or postgraduate study, click on the links below:

For help with academic writing, book a consultation with one of our Learning Advisers in the library.