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Super quick advice

red line dividerThe Super Quick Skills series provides the essential building blocks you need to succeed at university - fast

Written by experienced Sage study skills and research methods authors, Super Quick Skills is here to the rescue with tried and tested advice to help you on your university journey.

In this free Study Skills eBook, you'll find Super Quick Advice from our Super Quick Skills authors on


Essay planning

Critical thinking

Study skills for dyslexic students

Great note-taking

Money management

Academic writing

Stress management

Avoiding plagiarism

Presentation skills


Passing exams

Critical reading


CV writing

Lab report writing

Beating writer's block


Building arguments


Creating research posters


Dissertation planning

Working well in groups


What mistake should you avoid making? What can you do to improve a particular skill and, consequently, your grades? Download our booklet to find out.

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Want a taster of what our free eBook and Super Quick Skills series has to offer? Check out our top 10 Study Skills tips.


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Think Critically: a top tip from Tom Chatfield 

"Slow down. Engage with work selectively and strategically. Don't try to read everything: focus on understanding over information. Try to create a calm, uncluttered workspace - and some calm, uncluttered time in each day when you're not multitasking and can think clearly."



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Polish Your Academic Writing: a top tip from Helen Coleman 

"Planning and giving yourself time to polish your academic writing and proofread your work means your marks and your reputation as a serious student will both improve vastly."



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Read Critically: a top tip from Alex Baratta

"Students spend too much time in their assessments simply referring to, if not cutting and pasting, lecture notes/class handouts/the lecturer's words - this should be used as a springboard to develop your own argument. In short, telling us what you've already been told in class does not show critical thinking; telling the reader what you think about what you've been told or read, does."



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Be a Brilliant Dyslexic Student: a top tip from Sarah Myhill

"Get the 'big picture' or 'preview' of your reading, writing, organising of your life or any task before going into the detail. For example:

  • Flick through and get the big picture of a whole book – look at its content page, introduction, and conclusion – before reading in more detail
  • Plan the outline of your essay and paragraphs before writing in more detail
  • Get a large wall planner for the whole year and attach it to your wall to work in combination with your phone and/or laptop"



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Avoid Plagiarism: a top tip from Thomas Lancaster 

"Rather than copying and pasting text, read the source you're using, think about what it means in relation to your essay or assignment, then write this by hand using your own words. That way you have to think about the material and you can make sure it relates closely to what you've been asked to address. By doing this and referencing straight away, you can better avoid plagiarism."



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Take Great Notes: a top tip from Mal Leicester and Denise Taylor

"Remember three purposes of your notetaking. You need to produce a record of your learning, good material for your assignments and an aid memoir for your revision. "



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Build Your Argument: a top tip from Dave Rush

"Have a very clear idea of what you want to say overall before you start writing or speaking. Try summarising your argument in one or two sentences – and if you can’t, that means you need to put some more thought in first."



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Proofread Your Essay: a top tip from Louise Connolly

"Proofread your essay several times and each time have a particular focus, such as spelling and grammar, criticality, clarity, or formatting. It’s hard to focus on everything all at the same time, and having a specific focus will enable you to concentrate on and improve particular aspects of your writing and ensure your proofreading is effective."



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Write a Brilliant CV: a top tip from Lucinda Becker 

"Make every line count, target every word to suit where you want to be, and get to know yourself as a professional. Once you recognise that you’re valuable to an organisation, you’ll be in a great place to secure the perfect career move for you."



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Manage Your Stress: a top tip from Clare Wilson

"Ask for help and experiment until you discover what works best for you. Every source of stress at university has been experienced and coped with by thousands of others, so ask them how they coped, and if what they did doesn't work for you, ask someone else. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about and everything to be gained by getting help."



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