Palgrave Study Skills. Titles in this series by Stella Cottrell. Critical Thinking Skills (2nd edn). The Exam Skills Handbook (2nd edn). The Palgrave Student. Learning is an adventure “The Study Skills Handbook”. Article (PDF Available) · September with 8, Reads. DOI: /ope Cite this publication. The Study Skills Handbook (4th ed.) (Macmillan Study Skills series) by Stella Cottrell. Read online, or download in secure PDF format.

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To identify different strategies and skills that will benefit you as a learner;. • To understand .. Cottrell, S. The Study Skills Handbook, Palgrave, Author's. The Study Skills. Handbook. – A new approach to active learning for first-year students and beyond. 31st Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience. Albany from various academic backgrounds and have succeeded here. The successful college student either enters the university with proper study skills or.

With Mind Map Mastery, he has distilled these years of global research into the clearest and most powerful instructional work available on the Mind Map technique. Tony Buzan's Have you ever wanted to increase dramatically your reading speed, improve your comprehension and enhance your study and learning skills? Its fun as well!

An ideal tool for students, teachers, executives indeed, anyone eager to improve Book Club Associates, Each group is given the same study text and is given enough time to complete the whole book. Many prefer to use a different coloured pen for this section. One might also think that in this situation the second group would do better on questions about the themes they had been given. How to Mind Map this application stage is explained in Chapter 6. In other words the main questions and goals act as associative and linking centres to which all other information becomes easily attached.

It should be emphasized that the more accurately these questions and goals are established. It is much like a situation where a person is given so much choice that he ends up making no decision.

To the surprise of many. The reason for this is that the main themes act like great grappling hooks through the information. The group instructed to get everything had no centres at all to which they could connect new information.

Asking questions and establishing goals can be seen. Overview One of the interesting facts about people using study books is that most. Imagine that you are a fanatical jigsaw-puzzle-doer. Application This second section deals with Application and contains: Here's why.

Before continuing. It is not advisable to start reading a new study text on the first page. Now check your own answers with the following list compiled from my students: S Look at the picture on the outside of the box.

A friend arrives on your doorstep with a gigantic box wrapped in paper and tied with string. What is essential in a reasonable approach to study texts This jigsaw analogy can be applied directly to study: Areas of the book to be covered in your overview include: Speed reading is a great aid here. If the eye is unaided.

It is extremely important to note again that throughout the overview a pen. The reason for this can best be explained by reference to a graph. If a visual aid is used. Standard pattern of unguided eye movement on graph causing conflicting memory of shape of graph. Preview To preview something means just that: You need to know the terrain and decide whether to take the long scenic route or if a shortcut will suffice.

If you allow your brain to see the whole text before speed reading it by skimming. The overall recall resulting from this practice is far superior to that of a person who reads without any visual guide. If the text is describing something you know already. BOST" It is interesting to note that accountants often use their pens to guide their eyes across and down columns and rows of figures.

They do this naturally because any very rigid linear eye movement is difficult to maintain with the unaided eye. Previewing should be applied to everything you are studying including communications like exam details and emails. If done effectively it will save you an immense amount of time.

Skim read the text first to discover the core elements. Take effective notes on everything you read so that you can refer back to them in future and use your previously acquired knowledge to assess the relevance of what you are reading. The purpose of previewing material before reading it is the same as the purpose of planning a route before driving from A to B.

Having gained the essence from these sections. If you are studying a short academic paper or a complex study book.

Strategies for success The value of this section cannot be overemphasized. By the time he had reached page 4S0 he was beginning to despair because the amount of information he was 'holding on to' as he tried to get to the end was becoming too much.

A case in point is that of a student taught at Oxford who had spent four months struggling through a SOO-page tome on psychology. Results and Conclusion sections should always be read first. In the Preview.. These sections often include exactly those essences of information for which you are searching.

In other words. It is not necessarily the major reading. This involves 'filling in' those areas still left. It was a complete summary of the book! He read the section and estimated that had he done so at the beginning he would have saved himself approximately 70 hours in reading time. Inview the material. Inview After the Overview and Preview. Many people still feel obliged to read everything in a book even though they know it is not necessarily relevant to them.

It is far better to treat a book in the way most people treat lecturers. So in both the Overview and Preview you should very actively select and reject. Most readers will have experienced the examination question which they 'can't possibly answer' only to find on returning to the question later that the answer pops out and often seems ridiculously simple.

The Study Skills Handbook. Stella Cottrell. 4th edition.

Apart from its obvious advantages. The difficult sections of a study text are seldom essential to that which follows them. The block itself is seldom essential for the understanding of that which follows it.

This is because it is far better to move over particularly difficult points than to batter away at them immediately from one side only. Once again the comparison with the jigsaw puzzle becomes clear: In the same manner in which the innovator jumps over an enormous number of sequential steps.

Looking at the normal historical development of any discipline.. As they then explained their ideas step by step. The propounders of these giant new steps have in many cases 'intuited' them combining left and right cortex functions.. Galileo and Einstein are examples. In most cases you will find that not much more than 70 per cent of that initially considered relevant will finally be used Straight line mark for Curved line mark for difficult important or noteworthy or unclear material..

Notes you make in the textbook itself can include: In this stage simply fill in all those areas as yet incomplete. A note on note-taking Noting while studying should take two main forms: Preview and Inview. The growing Mind Map also allows you to refer back quickly to areas you have previously covered.

If the book is a cherished volume. The advantage of building up a Mind Map as you progress through the study text is that you externalize and integrate a lot of information that would otherwise be 'up in the air'. It will enable you.

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To learn how to develop and draw your own Mind Maps for different aspects of study. As such it will place you in the creative situation of being able to: If the pencil is soft enough. When you have completed this final stage. This graph can be warped to your advantage by reviewing just at that point where your memory starts to fall. A review here. This may sound humorous.

Once your study programme is well under way. We know that memory does not decline immediately after you have learned something.

It also shows how review can 'warp' this graph to enormous advantage. The following three skills-related chapters will impact directly on BaST. To each textbook you will bring the knowledge that. He was of course applying to its extreme. Preview can be eliminated or broken down into separate sections. In other words each subject. One student found that it was easier to read four chapters of post-degree mathematics 25 times per week for four weeks quickly.

A pictorial representation can be seen below. It should also be noted that although it seems as if the bO.. He thinks he is reading it through once only because he takes in once piece of information after another.. He does not realize that his regressions. By using BOST you will be on average reading most sections once only and will then be effectively reviewing those sections considered important..

By contrast. The following chapters show you how to incorporate Speed Reading. The study techniques that you will learn in this chapter include: Learning how to do it successfully will: The problems to overcome are: Speed reading will improve your study capabilities. There are many advantages for your brain in learning to speed read: A slower reading pace encourages more scope for pauses.

To calculate your speed in words per minute. This has the potential to increase your vocabulary from words to Once you have learned the basics. Self-test your reading speed Why not test your current reading speed right now.

In that way. It may be helpful at this point to select a book that you will use specifically for assessing your speed reading progress. How you read Have you ever stopped to think about how you read and assimilate information?

Expressed as an equation. Changing a personal belief about what is possible will help you to understand the process of speed reading. Average reading speeds are not natural. The faster reader will understand more of what is being expressed. The faster we read. We read for meaning. To which of the following statements would you reply 'True' and to which 'False'? We have the capacity to take in as many as six words at a time and as many as twenty-four words a second.

There are many different pathways by which our eyes can travel across a page and still successfully absorb information.

Buzan Tony. The Buzan Study Skills Handbook

When we read. It is possible to make an immediate improvement in your reading speed by spending less time on each pause. The majority of people would trace each line of text in straight lines from left to right. Your eyes therefore do not move smoothly in one continuous sweep across the page. Stop-start sweeps The average reader takes in approximately words per minute.

When it is still. Test this for yourself by holding a finger in front of your eyes. Taking in text line by line is an effective way to absorb information. In relation to reading.

A speed reader.. This is a critical speed reading concept This reader pauses or fixates on words for twice as long as most people. That's a time of seven seconds per line Figure C shows that the good reader. Extra pauses are caused because the reader often re-reads words. On a normal page of 12 words per line.

They can easily fixate after the beginning and before the end of the line. When your eyes pause If you use a visual aid. Take a look at the diagrams on the next page. Research has shown that. Figure B shows what happens in the eye movements of a poor reader The techniques that follow are designed to overcome the common problems of back-skipping.. Figure A: Diagram representing the stop-and-start movement or 'jumps' of the eyes during the reading process. Figure B: Diagram showing poor reading habits of a slow reader: Figure C: Diagram showing eye movements of a better and more efficient reader.

More words are taken in at each fixation, and back-skipping, regression and visual wandering are reduced. Seven steps to speed up your reading Reading is usually described as 'getting from a book what the author intended' or, 'assimilating the facts, figures and theories'; but I believe it to be more than that: At its core is a process taking place on many different levels at the same time - and it is usually related to the visual aspect of learning, that is, what we can see.

For reading to be informative and for reading methods to be effective, the following seven levels of understanding need to be absorbed. Every level must be further developed if you are to become an effective speed reader. Recognition Your knowledge of the alphabetic symbols. This step takes place before the physical aspect of reading begins. Assimilation The physical process by which light is reflected from the word and is received by the eye.

It is then transmitted via the optic nerve to your brain. Comprehension The linking together of all parts of the information being read with all other appropriate information.

This includes words, figures, concepts, facts and pictures. I call this 'intra- integration'. Knowledge The process by which you bring the whole body of your previous knowledge to the new information that you are reading, whilst making the appropriate connections. This includes analysis, criticism, appreciation, selection and rejection of information. I call this 'extra-integration'. Retention The basic storage of information. Storage can itself become a problem; most students will have experienced the anxiety of being in an examination and having trouble retrieving some of that essential information successfully.

Storage on its own is not enough - it must be accompanied by 'recall'. Recall Critically, the ability to retrieve from storage the information that is needed, ideally when it is needed. Communication The use to which the acquired information is immediately or 'eventually put: Most significantly, communication also includes that all-important function; thinking.

Now that you have understood the full definition of reading and its application to speeding up your reading, we can move on to dealing with some major reading problems. Beat reading 'problems' 'Once a problem is faced, analyzed and understood it becomes a positive energy centre for the creation ofsolutions. Take a moment to think about what you consider to be your problems with reading - the most commonly experienced being:.

These traits are not the result of lack of ability, but of negative self-belief, inappropriate teaching methods, or a lack of understanding about how your eyes and brain work together to assimilate information.

Four common reading 'problems' that with a change of perspective are positively beneficial to learning speed reading are:. The advantage of sub-vocalization is that it can reinforce what is being read. It could be a barrier to learning to speed read for some people if they were dependent upon it for understanding. Far from being a disadvantage.

The technique then becomes a positive memory aid. You can choose to use your inner voice selectively. Sub-vocalization can be of positive benefit to dyslexic readers. Regression and back-skipping Regression is the conscious process of returning to words. It is a natural stage in learning to read. Finger-pointing Most people find that they are more comfortable having a guide to follow.

I would simply recommend that you may prefer to use a slimmer. This is because the eyes are designed to follow movement. The brighter the light and the nearer the object. Re-reading material has been shown to make no difference to levels of understanding.

Although regression and back-skipping are slightly different traits. This means that the more you can generate and maintain interest in your subject. When your eye takes in a range of complex images. Your amazing eyes Each of your eyes is an amazing optical instrument. We also know that pupil size adjusts in tune with emotion.

The simplest way to force yourself to break these habits is to increase your reading speed. How do your eyes 'read' information? The retina at the back of the eye is a light receiver. They are habits that can be altered. We have known for some time that our pupils adjust their size according to the intensity of light and the nearness of the object viewed.

Back-skipping is a similar but unconscious process of re-reading material that has just been read. Exercises to increase your 'mind's eye' The next series of exercises is designed to expand your visual power so that you are able to take in more words 'at a glance' when you look at a page.

Your occipital lobe directs your eyes around the page to hunt for information that is of interest. You will need to move your arms and elbows apart as well. Look straight ahead and focus your attention on a point on the horizon as far away as possible. Measuring your horizontal and vertical vision Read through these instructions once first before trying the technique or.

The occipital lobe is located not behind the eyes. This knowledge forms the basis of the revolutionary approach to speed reading that is explained here. Now repeat the exercise. Each of your eyes has million light receivers in its retina. Does it surprise you to find out just how much and how far you can see when you are apparently focused solely on something else? How is this possible? The answer lies in the unique design of the human eye. What do I mean by the 'mind's eye'? I mean the ability to read or see with your entire brain.

It is a concept that is recognized by those who practise yoga. Fields of vision. Your central focus that part which you use to read your book. The rest. By learning to make greater use of your peripheral vision while you are reading.

The outer circle shows the peripheral vision also available. This revolutionary new approach means that. The image opposite shows clearly the two levels of vision that are available. Keeping your eyes totally focused on that central word. The inner circle of vision is the one with which we are all familiar. By this means.

Most people answer 'yes' to the majority of these questions. Three key guided reading techniques Open this book or any book at any page.

Do you think you could recognize the same page again? It will enable your peripheral vision to work better. If you doubt the truth of this.

First practise each technique at a very high reading speed Then practise each technique at normal speed It is. In this way your brain will gradually become accustomed to your faster reading speeds You may find it useful to begin by re-reading familiar material This may sound absurd.

You can shorten by taking in fewer lines or lengthen by taking in more lines your sweeps. In reading backwards you are simply 'holding' all the information you have in your mind. Each of these 'sweep' techniques can be used for o Previewing. This has the benefit of enabling you to review the text at the same time as reading it. When you master the art of concentration. Many people say that they find themselves daydreaming instead of applying themselves to the task in hand.

I have found that the vast majority of people believe that they suffer from regular periods of poor concentration. If you think about it. The problem is not your powers of concentration. Improving concentration In my experience of teaching and lecturing around the world. In fact. Daydreaming occurs naturally every few minutes and it is your brain's way of taking a break in order to absorb what it has learnt. This approach is actually counter-productive and.

To get past this obstacle. If you come across a word that you don't understand when reading. Pauses to look up words or to ponder will break your concentration and slow your understanding of the whole.

If you skim. You probably found that hard work because your brain is not designed to take in information at such a slow pace. To check this out. Read it 'slowly and carefully': Speed read ing has be en found to be bet ter for understand ing than slow read ing.

It has been discovered that the human brain with the help of its eyes takes in information far more easily when the information is conveniently grouped in meaningful bundles. Now read the following sentence. Reading slowly and carefully encourages your brain to read more and more slowly. For example.

If you find yourself getting easily distracted. An increase in the speed of reading leads to an automatic increase in comprehension. If you apply the speed reading techniques outlined in this book. It's an obvious thing to say. If you don't know why you are reading a study text it can be hard to motivate yourself to be interested in reading it. Review your goals.. In that way you will be drawn in.

It is worth trying to solve these related issues first and then. Get annoyed with the material you are trying to read. Constant distractions make it harder to build the impetus to begin again.

The answer is simple: Having begun to read. For example: Use scanning and skimming Scanning and skimming are designed to combine your recently acquired skill of guided reading with special emphasis on the way your brain can pre-select information automatically your mental set. It is used to gain a general overview of information so that the 'bricks and mortar'. You use scanning when the eye glances over a range of material to find a very specific piece of information.

As long as you know what you are looking for in advance and understand how the information is organized for example. You use it when you are scanning a crowd for a face that you know.

If you want to find particular information.

See a Problem?

Efficient skim reading can be done at speeds of words per minute or more. Skimming is a more complex method than scanning and is similar to the guided reading skill explained earlier. Scanning is a natural skill. If you are using a desktop or laptop computer. If you are feeling negative or unwell. If you want to acquire a general overview of material. Environmental influences Without doubt: It therefore makes sense to ensure that your environment is as positive and conducive to study as possible.

At other times. Placement and intensity of light Whenever possible. The lamp should be bright enough to illuminate the material being read.

It will help you fee. The chair should be adjustable and high enough to allow your thighs to be parallel with the floor. The desk should be approximately 20 cm 8 inches above the seat of the chair.

Swivel and office chairs especially should support you comfortably. Height of chair and desk Making yourself too comfortable is counter-productive. This makes it easier for your eyes to focus on groups of words and lessens the possibility of eye strain or headaches.

If you sit up either too 'straight' or slumped. Sitting correctly has a number of physiological benefits for studying: Your posture Ideally your feet should be flat on the floor.

There are 'larks' who work best between 5 a. Finding your optimum studying time We all have peaks and troughs of concentration and each of us is likely to find that we read or concentrate best at different times of the day. Try either holding the book. External interruptions. You may not know what is your optimum time. Minimize interruptions It is as important to minimize external interruptions when you are reading as it is to minimize the pauses while you read. And turn your computer off.

So divert your phone to voicemail. These are: Most of us have more than one vocabulary. In theory our conversational vocabulary should be as large as our recognition vocabulary. It is possible. We understand many more words than we use. Our conversational vocabulary tends to be limited to a maximum of words per person. The person with a broad vocabulary is at a greater advantage when it comes to study.

They are mini words with power. You will increase your potential vocabulary instantly by at least Be on the lookout for them as you read from now on. The power of prefixes Prefixes are letters. They are powerful shortcuts to increasing your language and vocabulary. Learning just a few prefixes will expand your vocabulary enormously. Many of them are concerned with position. The list of prefixes following is a selection of some of the most common ones. Eye-cue vocabulary exercise.

Now refer to page for the answers.

Examinations Reviewing Comprehension Prepare Depress Progress 1 In order to be ready for a meeting or other event it is always best to New Yorker -ism E quality or doctrine of realism.

The strength of suffixes Suffixes are letters.. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime. Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation?

Why not share! An annual anal Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here.You may find it useful to begin by re-reading familiar material In many cases just drawing the central image will get your mind going again.

The Study Skills Handbook. Stella Cottrell. 4th edition.

The beginning and end points show the highest level of recall With each period of recall. Imagine that you are a fanatical jigsaw-puzzle-doer. You can be sure that each time you practise..

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