Study Happy Student Tips

The cold, dark nights of winter are finally upon us and despite Halloween being over I, like many students, am still feeling a little on edge… Not because of ghosts or ghouls but something more terrifying…assignment season is well and truly upon us.

Even as a third year the dreaded assignment deadlines looming ever closer tend to fill me with dread and panic. Despite having the best intentions, by starting early and doing plenty of reading, I somehow have days until my deadline and I am yet to start writing.  

If you’re like me and seem to get yourself into a bit of a tizz, worry not, as there are a multitude of ways to chase the assignment worries away…

Dark sky lit up by full moon with tree and birds in front.

1. GET YOURSELF A HARVARD REFERENCE GUIDE (shouty caps because it’s important!)

This is arguably one of the easiest ways to improve your academic skills and a great one to have under your belt!  It massively helps the flow of your assignment to have supporting evidence and references fitting in seamlessly with your own writing, rather than inserted randomly at the end. I’d recommend printing off a reference guide…mine never leaves my bag! Grab your Harvard Reference Guide here!

2. Proofread

I know it’s boring and can be long winded, especially after you’ve spent weeks reading and writing on the same subject, all you want to do is submit that assignment and have a well-deserved rest. BUT. Proofreading is a sure way to spot any little mistakes within your writing. I love using a text to voice converter or the read aloud feature in Word. You can also get a friend or family member to read over as a second (fresh!) pair of eyes, this is a good way to help spot those small annoying grammatical errors.

3. Use Google Docs, or a memory stick, not just Word

I discovered this the hard way after a 3500 word assignment deleted itself ☹ BACK UP YOUR WORK! I now use Google Docs to write my assignments as it’s free, can be used anywhere and all changes are automatically saved onto the cloud, meaning I don’t have to worry about deleting Word or losing my pen stick …and I’m not having to hawk my laptop around with me. Google Docs is also super helpful for group projects as it allows everyone in your group to see and edit the work wherever you are making collaborations – 1000x less stressful!

4. Explore your references, references (aka wider reading!)

I find looking at the reference list of the articles and books I am reading, especially of my core texts, a great starting to point to help me delve deeper into the subject area. Not only does this enhance your knowledge with wider reading but it also allows you to boost your references and showing depth of reading allowing you to access those higher grades! Also, when reading a source write your reference in your reference style (e.g. Edge Hill Harvard) right away, so when it comes to creating your reference list it’s a simple copy, paste and quick check over!

5. Ask for help when you need it

Although we’re at university to learn, and tutors can’t write your assignments for you, they are there to help us. If you’re unsure I find emailing the module lead or my personal tutor a great place to start. If you have non-subject specific query, such as how to find the right information, or how to be critical, Catalyst is where you need to be. UniSkills offer a range of workshops and 1-2-1 appointments. Check out our upcoming events and workshops at ehu.ac.uk/workshops. We also offer more casual drop in support sessions every weekday, 11am-2pm, for any quick queries you have – visit the Catalyst Helpdesk for more information.

I hope these tips have helped you feel a bit less spooked about your upcoming assignments…if you want any more help and support please get in touch via Ask Us, visit the Catalyst Helpdesk or you can find us (Student Advisors) all this week on the ground floor of Catalyst for Study Happy week!

Thank you for reading my blog – Student Advisor Maisie 😊


Maisie Masterman
BSc Primary Education with QTS – 3rd Year

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