Category: Study Tips

Personalized Research Coaching with a UMKC Librarian

By , April 8, 2014 10:41 am

Search Consult Promo ULIBS ScreenSign up for a Free Research Coaching Sessions with a UMKC Librarian

We all need to use an Ask the Expert lifeline once in a while. Lucky for you, UMKC Librarians are expert researchers and are always happy to help.

Sign up for a free 15, 30, or 60-minute coaching session for your study group or just for yourself. During your session, you can expect the librarian to help you develop a search strategy, choose the best databases, locate both popular and scholarly/peer reviewed sources, and give you insider search tips.

Whether you have no idea how to start your research or you’re struggling to find relevant sources, a Research Coaching Session is just what you need to write a stress-free, A+ paper!

Plan Now to Enjoy Spring Break

By , March 11, 2014 9:44 am

maui01Spring break is in TWO WEEKS!  Going from mid-January to the end of March with no breaks is tough, but it’s tougher to take a week off with no plan for when you get back!

First things first–sit down with your calendar and class syllabi and make a list of all the assignments due for the rest of the semester.  This will help you put everything into perspective and give you set of short-term and long-term goals.  For each assignment, think about how long it will take you to complete it–you should now have an idea of your study habits and how long it takes to read class materials.  And by thinking about this now, nothing should sneak up on you after break!

So, right now you should also be thinking about those assignments due just after break.  Take some time now to work ahead and finish these assignments before you leave or make other plans for the week.  That way, if something does come up, you can go without feeling stressed about all the work you have left!

Spring Break is supposed to be relaxing, spending time with friends and family.  But if you do need to catch up on classwork, make sure you plan some time to take a break. One idea is to work on assignments in the morning and then take the rest of the day to relax and get outside.  It’s always best to do your work first–then you can reward yourself with an afternoon movie or dinner out with friends.

Careful planning can make Spring Break a true break, no matter where you go or stay.  Plan now and you can come back to school refreshed and energized!

Study tips for Mid-Terms

By , March 4, 2014 9:17 am

study groupsHello fellow UMKC students. I am Kathleen Ramo, a Bachelor of Health Sciences student in the School of Nursing here at the university. As mid-terms approach I would like to share some study tips that I find useful. Before you get started it’s helpful to find out what your learning style is so your time is used effectively. There are many short quizzes online! To find out your learning style click here: Below are some tips I find useful and I hope they are helpful for you as well! Good luck on your mid-terms!

  • Give yourself plenty of time with the amount of material you have to study for.
  • Take a short break when things no longer start to make sense. When you go back to the question after a short break you may find you know the answer with a clear head.
  • Don’t pull “all nighters”. It always ends in regret and your brain doesn’t function at its full capacity without sleep.
  • Eat! Don’t skip meals to cram for exams. Your body needs energy to focus.
  • Ask questions. If something doesn’t make sense don’t hesitate to e-mail your professor or another student. Material that you may not understand maybe someone else can lend helpful hints
  • Study without distractions. Yes, this means turning off your cell phone if you have to and shutting your computer down. You know how tempting social media is.
  • Make “to-do” lists for each class you need to study for and put time frames on each item.
  • Focus on one task at a time. During mid-terms your list of “to-dos” grows and can get quite overwhelming. Cross one thing off at a time so you feel accomplished.
  • Use tables and/or diagrams; draw pictures, use arrows and label. 
  • Make flash cards for key terms.
  • Have someone else quiz you after you are confident with the material. Any questions you cannot answer confidently is material you should go back over.
  • Be organized
  • Highlight and/or use different colored writing materials.
  • Drink plenty of water!
  • Be prepared for your exam. The night before make sure you have everything you need ready to go. No one needs the extra stress of lost car keys the morning of an exam.
  • Details, Details, Details!

Study Tips for classes with a study guide:

  1. Handwrite the questions and the answers. This helps to retain the question and the answer as a whole.
  2. If you prepare you study guide in advance don’t just fill it out and set it aside, go over it! Multiple times!
  3. If you prefer to work in groups make sure you discuss solutions to the answers because just writing down answers does not help with information retention. Always write your own answers after group discussion so each person is learning and working.
  4. Highlight and use different colored writing materials for each chapter or question on the study guide. This helps when you are going back over your study guide so you understand what you’ve written and what material coincides.
  5. If your instructor has prepared lecture notes, use them to help fill out your study guide. If they have taken the time to prepare notes it’s probably important to them.
  6. Watch for reoccurring themes throughout the material. If it appears more than once it’s probably important.

Ready for Finals?

By , November 12, 2013 4:36 pm

study groupsSo here’s the countdown:  this week, next week, Thanksgiving break, first week of December, finals week…are you ready??

Are you starting to stress about the end of the semester?  A little stress is good, but here are some simple suggestions that will make a world of difference in managing the stress of these last few weeks!

First, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep.  All-nighters are really not that productive, and in fact can make your memory even worse by focusing too much on the immediate and not enough on long-term retention.  Instead, set aside time each day to review your notes, read a chapter or two, and take time to absorb the material.  Studying with a friend will make the time go faster and you can help each other out by explaining key concepts.  There are great group-study spaces at Miller Nichols Library–and you’ll be close to any resource you might need!

Don’t forget to make some time for yourself–go for a walk or run at Swinney, go to a museum, or go out to dinner with friends.  College is all about balance, and that includes making time to put the focus on you and your mental health.  Sometimes, you just need a break–try meditating or any deep-breathing relaxation techniques.  To get you started, you can check out some of the online resources available on the Counseling Center’s website.  There are also some great free apps for iPad and iPhone that can help.  The MindBody Connection in the Student Success Center can also help you work in some balance and stress relief.

You too can reduce your stress levels!   By taking care of yourself–mentally and physically–and looking at all projects and papers as smaller parts of a puzzle, these next few weeks will breeze by and you will be well-prepared and ready for the final paper, presentation, or exam.

Create your virtual bookshelf for Journals on iPad or Android tablet

By , September 9, 2013 11:15 am

BrowZineBrowZine lets you turn Android tablets and iPads into a virtual bookshelf for journals.

BrowZine is the easy way to stay current with the journals you read most.

BrowZine lets you:

  • Read scholarly journals in a format that is optimized for tablets.
  • Create a personal bookshelf of favorite journals.
  • Be alerted when new issues of a journal are available.
  • Bookmark articles for reading later.
  • Easily save to Zotero, Dropbox, or Mendeley.

Watch this video demo to see BrowZine in action.

To get started, download BrowZine for Android* from the Google Play, for Kindle Fire from Amazon, or for iPad from the iTunes AppStore. The first time you use it select “University of Missouri – Kansas City” in the list of institutions, then enter your UMKC username and password. After that you will remain logged in on your device.

Not all of the library’s journals are currently available, but the developer is working with publishers to add content. Check the list of participating publishers often if you are looking for a particular journal.

BrowZine is brought to you by the UMKC Libraries. You can visit the Libraries’ BrowZine web page or contact the Libraries for more information.

*Browzine is compatible with Android version 4.0 and later.

Research Assistance — Workshops at the Library

By , September 4, 2013 3:57 pm


UMKC Libraries provide free workshops geared to students seeking help using library services and resources. Workshops are single, 60 minute sessions, typically comprised of 5-10 students. Preregistration is required.

Workshops are open to all UMKC students and include:

Library Basics – Did you know you can reserve a room for group study?  Text or chat with a librarian?  Do research and read articles and books from your dorm or apartment in your fuzzy slippers at 3:00 AM?  Come learn about these services and more, and take a short library tour!

Library Research – Is your paper due?  Learn how to select and narrow your topic, develop a search strategy, and save time by using the library efficiently and effectively!

Managing and Formatting Citations – Two separate workshops, for Zotero or EndNote Web users, teach you how to begin using these tools.  Import, organize, and manage references.  Create a bibliography, change style formats, and learn how to incorporate citations into your paper!

Microsoft Office – Ask Gloria – Gloria provides individualized, one-on-one instruction helping you to use MS Office programs effectively.  Workshops include:

  • MS Word
  • MS PowerPoint
  • MS Excel

Workshops especially for graduate students include:

How to Write a Literature Review – You may never have written a literature review.  This session gets you ready to succeed!

How to Do a Poster Presentation – Learn the elements of effective presentation and be ready for your first conference poster session!

Using WorldCat to Expand Your Research – Find resources beyond UMKC Libraries using this important research tool, and learn how to access them!

Conducting Interdisciplinary Research – Literature searching across multiple fields can be daunting. Let us help you get started!

Multiple sessions of each workshop will be offered throughout the term.  For workshop dates, locations, and to preregister visit the Research Workshops page.  For more information, contact UMKC Librarian Gloria Tibbs or 816-235-1540.

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