I’ve worked a lot harder this year than I did last year, partly because this year’s grades count and partly because a lot more is expected of me. With my improved work ethic I have found that I have used the library and resources far more frequently. The main differences I’ve noticed include:
- Now that I don’t have accommodation on campus I never go home in between classes. Instead, I tend to work in the library between lectures in time that I would previously spend chilling with housemates. I try to avoid cycling home with books so just use the library’s and return them at the end of the day. This routine also encourages me to use printed books rather online books for my weekly designated readings which I prefer because I tend to stay focused for longer.
- I actually try to read all the readings my tutors set me in time for my seminars rather than the night before an assignment is due at the end of term. In fact, a new phenomenon this year has been doing my readings too far in advance and not remembering them in class which has required me to make advancements to my note taking abilities.
- I use fewer resources because I know which ones work best for me but I use them to a much greater extent now that I have to do much more wider readings. Predominantly, my VLE, Google Scholar, Library Search and other books’ citations.
- I email my tutors asking for further readings.
- I now have a concrete order of doing things when completing assignments. It has meant that I am far more efficient.
How I now complete an assignment:
1. I read the core readings on our VLE
2. I read the relevant looking further reading suggestions. When getting a book out the library I’ll often also pick out books on the shelf next to the ones I’m looking for.
3. I take notes in Google Drive, if there’s an online version I am often able to copy and paste.
4. If I can’t find it in our library search I look on Google Scholar. If I can’t find it on Google Scholar I usually give up unless I’m desperate, in which case I’ll email my lecturer.
5. I write an essay plan
6. I copy and paste my notes from each reading under each header of my plan
7. I write my essay, doing further readings when necessary e.g. when I need back up to historical facts or when I need further examples/ arguments. I may also look up and read work that has been cited in the book I’m reading.