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How to make the most of your time academically at UCB

How to make the most of your time academically at UCB

Hi everyone,

I know it seems a little early to be talking about assignments but as term has started and lectures are in full swing, you might begin to get assignment briefs from your lecturers. This means you should be starting to work on them. If not, this post also has general tips on how to make the most of your time academically at UCB.


My first piece of advice is to PLAN your assignments. When I first get an assignment brief I highlight any important details and put the due date in my diary. Read carefully through what needs to go into the assignment and make a list of all of these things. Then take a look at the UCB academic skills centre resources for the type of assignment you are writing (report, essay etc) and there should be a handout telling you how to structure it. When writing your piece of coursework always check your writing against the list you made earlier, the structure given by the skills centre and UCB’s grade descriptors.


If you are stuck on assignments, ask your lecturer for help. My first ever assignment in first year was pretty terrible if I’m honest, because I didn’t really know what I was doing but never asked anyone for help. All lecturers have an email address that you can use and they should reply within three working days. Many lecturers are also happy for you to visit them in their office and talk through your assignment with you if you ask.


If you have questions about your assignment that are more generally about your writing, then the academic skills centre above the library are available for every student for half an hour a week. They can help you unpack your assignment brief and if you struggle with referencing they can help you with that too. The content of your assignment is very important, but the way that it is written is also taken into account when deciding your grade.


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The UCB library is an amazing academic resource and the more familiar you become with it as early as possible, the better your assignments will be (in my experience). The HE library is on the 5th floor of the summer row building and is also a great space for quiet study. Each area of study has a subject librarian that will be an expert in the resources available for your course and you can ask them questions as well as asking for books to be ordered in. Assignments with a variety of different sources are much better than ones who have just used the same source throughout.


Hope this was helpful- good luck with your assignments this year!


Until next time,

Ellie x

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