By Stefanie Wittenbach
It’s getting to be that time of the semester — that time when students assess what has to be done in order to complete all coursework, which causes a bit of stress and panic.
Students who have papers, presentations and other projects to do must pace themselves, ensuring they are meeting course deadlines, meeting with others for group projects and staying on top of Blackboard assignments.
Here are some tools and techniques that can help students manage their workload through the end of the semester:
- Start with a calendar or day planner. Students should run through their course syllabus and list all assignment deadlines on their calendar. Planning backwards from those deadlines and adding your own deadlines to complete portions of projects will help keep you on track to meet professors’ deadlines. For example, when preparing an annotated bibliography that is part of a research paper will require two to three weeks to research, gather and read the articles before actually starting the writing.
- Review the requirements for upcoming assignments. Go back to the assignment and double-check the requirements for the assignment to make sure you are using enough sources and formatting the paper or project correctly. If you are doing a paper in American Psychological Association (APA) format, check out the library’s online tutorial that guides you through the format. Or, there’s one last in-person APA workshop this semester Nov. 11 at Brooks City-Base Campus. Register online for this class. Both the online tutorial and in-person class provide a certificate of completion. Some professors are offering credit for attending the class. There is information on the library’s website about other citation styles.
- Keep track of sources. An important aspect of doing research is keeping track of the sources that are used for a particular assignment. The best way to do that is to jot down the citation for each source at the time that you are using it. The citation includes the creator (author, photographer, etc.), publication source (e.g., journal or book title), title (article, book chapter, photograph, etc.), date of publication, and page numbers or other location of the source. One useful tool for keeping track of sources is Evernote.com. This free website allows you to set up a number of documents. It’s easy to type in citations and then add notes about the source, including material in quotes that is relevant for your paper or presentation. Evernote is convenient because you can access it from anywhere. It’s very important to remember to provide a citation to anyone else’s ideas, words, images or graphics that you have used in your project.
- Visit the library. Remember that the library is here to help. Subject librarians can assist you in finding sources for your specific topic. Library staff at the information desk can also help with formatting papers and presentations, finding sources and using software and Blackboard.
Good luck with your projects!