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5.3 Technique 3: Visualisation

Creating calming pictures or images in your mind, or 'visualising', can really help you to relax.


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5.1.1 Technique 1: Self-talk—turning negative statements into positive ones

You can guide your thinking away from general worry and self-doubt by turning negative self-statements into positive ones. This strategy is useful in all aspects of life. Figure 5 relates to an unsuccessful job interview and illustrates the process.

Figure 5Author(s): The Open University

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4.2.4 Plan your time

When planning to use the time available, you should:

  • make sure that you are answering the right number of questions

  • divide your time according to the weighting of the questions

  • write down the finishing time for each question

  • try to allow for 10 minutes checking time at the end.

Stick to your plan. Evidence indicates that two half-answered questions obtain more marks than one completed
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3.8 Stage 6: Rehearsing answering exam questions

Just like assignment questions, exam questions should be read carefully, because you need to demonstrate in your answer that you have understood the question. Examiners frequently complain that students lose vital marks through failing to read and interpret the questions properly.


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3.6.2 Making learning posters

You may find that, rather than reducing notes to small summary cards, you prefer to produce large posters detailing key points on particular topics. Use pattern, colour, diagrams and drawings in your posters, and display them in parts of your home where you might have an opportunity to gaze at them for some time and absorb the information. One student we know put them around the bathroom! If you have a strong visual memory, then lively posters really help the remembering process.


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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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5.1.6 Are the conclusions justified?

Though I was interested in the idea of treating high incomes as ‘pollution’, I did wonder whether taxing people to pay for the pollution caused by their rising incomes would work. In general though I was reasonably convinced by the conclusions Layard drew. On the other hand, if I was studying the subject more seriously, I might find that wider reading and further thought would make some of the conclusions seem less convincing.


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5.1.3 Does the argument follow logically?

As I was making sense of paragraph 3, I did pause to consider whether it was logically possible to say that on average richer people are happier, yet getting richer has not made us happier. Later, when I read that women in the US were less happy since their incomes had come closer to men's, it occurred to me that they would be unlikely to volunteer to revert to previous levels of inequality. This made me question what happiness really means, if it is not necessarily a state that a person woul
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5.1.2 In what context was the text published?

This amounts to asking, when was it written and for what audience. Academic texts are written to make a contribution to the debates going on within the field. To understand where an author is coming from and why arguments are being presented in a particular way, you need to be able to place the text in context. Layard's article was published in 2003 in the UK, and was drawn from a prestigious series of public lectures. So the context is a major statement by a prominent academic
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4.1.1 Too much underlining and highlighting

The challenge, especially when you are new to a subject, is to avoid underlining or highlighting everything. Everything seems important, so how do you know what to leave out?

If you make too many markings, you defea
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4.1 Underlining and highlighting

To be able to make sense of what you are reading, you need to read actively. One method that can help is to use a pen.

Activity 2

Did you underline or highlight any words as you read the Layard article? If not
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2.2 The ‘academic’ style

You might also be put off by the ‘academic’ style of writing. In everyday life, what you read is usually written to grab your attention and get a message across quickly before you ‘switch channels’. By contrast, academic texts often raise broad, abstract questions and are unconcerned about arriving at quick answers. For example, where a newspaper headline might say:

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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to thinking skills. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance, and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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10 Reflecting on tutor feedback

When you have taken the assignment as far as you can, you will benefit more from the feedback from your tutor than you will from further polishing.

  • If you have worked hard to become involved with your subject you will really appreciate having a captive audience. Someone with as much interest in the subject (and presumably greater knowledge) as you, will take time to read what you have written and to understand what you are trying to say.


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7.4.2 The introduction of an essay

What is the introduction of an essay and what is its purpose?

Activity 18

Write down your own understanding of the term ‘introduction’ in relation to essays.


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6.3.1 Stage 1 Brainstorm

To begin your planning, you need to generate ideas or brainstorm. At this stage, you are including everything that you think may be relevant. Nothing should be dismissed yet; this part is about gathering your resources and your thoughts.

For instance, using the essay title ‘There are advantages to studying as a mature student. Do you agree?’, we tried to brainstorm for ideas and produced this list (but, of course, it wasn't this tidy):


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6.3 Planning stages

Having discussed the reasons to plan writing and the impact planning may have, now we need to look at planning itself and its two stages.


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4.3 Analysis and interpretation

We have got to the point of recognising that this is a lyric poem, and of thinking that it is probably about a lovers’ meeting. But you cannot reach firmer conclusions about a text's meanings until you have looked at as many aspects of it as you can. I think we need to go back again to the detail of the poem, because the analysis is not full enough yet.

For one thing, there is something odd about the poem's syntax. If you look at the verbs in the first verse you'll see that they are a
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1.3.1 Cultural traditions

Just now I said quite confidently that you already know a lot about the subjects that make up the arts and humanities even if you have not studied them before. But how can I be so sure? What makes me certain is that, like everyone else, you were born into a human culture. As you were growing up within that culture you were hearing and seeing all the things the people around you were busy saying, doing and making. And you were learning to think and understand, do, say and make similar kinds of
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Acknowledgements

Course image: Simon Law in Flickr made available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.

All materials included in this course are derived from content originated at the Open University.

Don't miss out:

If reading
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