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Brush up on all the skills you will need for your college career
Knowing how to find good information and resources is a very important skill, this is called Information Literacy. There are several techniques to help you find reliable information:CRAAP Test -- This handout outlines the CRAAP test in an easy to follow list that you can run through when evaluating new sources of information.
Currency - the timeliness of the information. Look to see when the information was published, has the resource been updated recently? Look for a copyright date on websites and books, check for the most current edition if the material is updated regularly. If the information hasn't been update, does it need to be? Some facts stay the same regardless of time, examples: the speed of light or when a vaccine was created.
Relevance - the importance of the information for your needs. How relevant is this resource to your topic, does it answer the question that you have or propose more? Pay attention to who the intended audience is, is the information intended for professionals continuing their knowledge or to publicize to the general public. This can help you judge if the information is to elementary or advanced for your needs. Always compare several resources to make sure information is being repeated, multiple sources of the same information helps weed out untrustworthy sources.
Authority - the source of the information. Who is the author, are they qualified to be an authority on the information given? A blog can be posted by anybody, because someone types the information doesn't mean its accurate even if its well written. If you're not sure about the author's credential's, look for contact information. Reliable sources have a way to contact them professionally.
· Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
· What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
· What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
· Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
· Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
Accuracy - the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content
· Where does the information come from?
· Is the information supported by evidence?
· Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
· Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
· Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
· Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?
Purpose - the reason the information exists
· What is the purpose of the information? To inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
· Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
· Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
· Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
· Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
*The CRAAP test was developed by librarians from Miriam Library at CSU Chico.
Evaluation Techniques of Internet Resources -- This website has links to dozens of techniques used by different colleges for determining reliable sources.
Stop into the Student Success Center for more information or visit the University of Wisconsin River Falls Tutoring Website (check out the bottom of the page for presentations and handouts).
Before starting any work, put yourself in a positive mood, relax, and engage your mind for a few minutes before starting. Study groups can be helpful for any subject, as long as your group is focused on the same goals.
Study tips:1) Change subjects after 45-60 minutes
2) Take a short break every 30 minutes
3) Study when you are most alert
4) Start with your most challenging subject first
5) Create flashcards or study sheets you can use for review (You can use Study Stacks to create free online flashcards)
1) Before reading: look over your reading assignment and look for questions you need to answer, also turn text headings into questions and write these down.
2) While reading, keep an eye out for any of the answers to the questions you wrote down, create flashcards of questions/answers.
3) You may also want to highlight any key chapter points while reading.
4) Read in chunks, go at a steady pace then take a short break. You can use your break time to take notes or paraphrase important information.
5) Reread difficult or confusing sections, look up definitions for key words and start a vocabulary list, recite information you want to commit to memory.
6) When finished, review your notes/flashcards and vocabulary list, try teaching the key points you read about to someone else.
1) Create Associations: associate with something or someone you already know.
2) Use the loci technique: associate the item to remember with a place, and relate similar items to objects within that place.
3) Invent word acronyms: use the first letters of a group of words to create a new word. Example: What are the important features of a goal? DAPPS: Dated, Achievable, Personal, Positive, Specific.
4) Invent sentence acronyms: use the first letters of a group of words and create a sentence. Example: What are the four qualities of effective visualization? Real People Seek Freedom: RELAX, use PRESENT tense verbs, use all five SENSES, include your FEELINGS.
5) Assign a number: when memorizing a certain number of items, assign a number. Example: 4E's = Example, Experience, Explanations, Evidence.
6) Visualize: look at the picture/graph in the book you're trying to memorize, then close your eyes and compare the two, repeat until the picture/graph in the book is the same as when you close your eyes.
7) Create a concept map: visually represents the relationships between key concepts, reinforces memorization with visualization and association.
8) Recite: say it over again and again.
Test Taking tips:
1) Write down information easily forgotten. Example: formulas or key concepts.
2) Skim the test: get a quick overview of the test, and you may notice answers to one question answered in another.
3) Read the directions twice and follow them carefully.
4) Do easy questions first, skip any you don't immediately know the answer to.
5) Review your answers: only change answers you are 100% positive are wrong.
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