Study Skills

In addition to the academic peer support offered by LRC, we also have several suggestions for things that you can do by yourself to develop study skill competency.

The skills required to successfully complete your degree at UMass Amherst cannot be learned overnight. Some skills may already be in place, others will only come with practice and experience. These skills also continue to be relevant after you have left the university. The sources contained on this web page will attempt to form the basis for development of key academic skills.

Note Taking / Concept Mapping / Time Management / Stress Management / Problem Solving

Research Skills

At some point in your college career you will probably have to do some research. There are a series of steps that the research process will follow. First, research is usually based on finding a solution to a problem. Typically, your professor will give you an assignment that involves a question that you need to answer. Answering this question leads to the second step of the research process, which is searching for sources of information on your topic. Typically you should look in library catalogs, internet search engines and go to experts such as your professor for direction in seeking information sources. Third, after gathering information, it is necessary to assess what you have found. Fourth, you'll need to organize the materials you have found by grouping together similar information. Fifth, you need to create a synthesis of your findings, usually this is the step where you write your paper or create a presentation, communicating to an audience what you have found. Finally, the sixth step is to evaluate your final product as a solution to the original problem in step one. Was your research a success? Do you need to go back and find more information on a particular area? Have you integrated all of your findings into an understandable paper or presentation?

Developing research skills takes time and practice. There are numerous books on the market to help you through each step of the process but you can also ask your professor or librarian for help getting started. Overall, the more organized you are, the better your outcomes will be!

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