MEWD: Motivation

Emma Foster - ASK Blog PicMotivation is something that I really struggle with. Or rather, my motivation is one of the things that depression has stolen from me.

This is super unhelpful in all walks of life; Amelia has highlighted how important motivation is. I find it particularly hard when it comes to University since, as we all know, Uni is all about self-driven study. No one is standing over our shoulders telling us we need to attend every class, or when we need to start our assignments or study for our tests. If we don’t want to go to our lectures or our tutorials, we don’t go.


Continue reading MEWD: Motivation

Leaving it to the last minute

BecUniversity sometimes can seem like everything is going so smoothly. You’re organised, you have done most of your assignments and you are feeling oh so, great! You’re thinking ‘why not treat myself to a well-deserved study break?’ So you decide to sit back, relax and zone out from university’s study stressors. That one-day break quickly turns into two, then three, and before you know it, it has been a week and you have started to panic. That annoying, loud sarcastic voice in your head rings like an alarm telling you, ‘you’re doomed!’ Your cortisol levels rise and you are now in full stress mode! You begin to panic and those exams that have seemed so far away are right around the corner. What are you going to do?

I, Bec, am writing this blog so all of you who thought that exams were ages away and are suddenly remembering about that assignment that is due tomorrow, can get back on track to passing. I have come up with a set of rules that will reassure you that it is not too late to start getting your study back on track and making sure that the nerve-racking click to view your grades at the end of semester isn’t so daunting.

Here’s how!

Rule one. Stop stressing! A little bit of stress is ok, but overdo it and you will just get sick. So take breaks from study (not week-long ones!). Study for an hour, or what works for you, then go for a jog, paint a picture, watch a T.V. show or do whatever you want, as long as it is not study. If you overdo it and make no time for breaks it is just not going to work. Unless that does work for you. Then keep on keeping on.

Rule two. Make a timetable. I know you probably hear this all the time from all your lecturer’s and people who just want to lecture you, but seriously it works! All you have to do is get a piece of paper or whiteboard (my weapon of choice) rule out some lines and make an individual box for your days. You can choose to study an hour for one subject, have a break then study for something else. Having a timetable is great because you can follow things that have been set and it can help with making designated times for breaks so you don’t get bored.

Rule three. Change how you study. Repeating the ways you study can get boring, tiring and even make you stop studying altogether because you’ve simply lost interest. Be sure that one study session is different to the other. For example, you might use cue cards and test yourself with friends for one, and for the next one you can teach someone about what you need to know. By teaching someone else in your own words it helps reinforce the information in your head, so when it comes to that exam question, you’ll ace it!

Rule four. Drink plenty of water, get you’re your recommend 6 – 8 hours of sleep, and exercise. By combing these things with your study you’ll create a great balance that will ensure you will be on the path to success! Oh, but you can’t find any time for exercise? Or you neeeed to stay up till 2am to study? Ummm… no you don’t! Remember rule two! Make a timetable. You can incorporate these things into your timetable! Make exercise one of your study breaks and if you forget to drink water make some sticky notes or put hourly reminders in your phone. Drinking water not only hydrates you but helps with concentrating. Getting enough hours sleep also helps with concentration levels. So I know you’re not seven years old anymore, but make a bedtime. This way you have a set time, where all books shut and pens drop, for you need to get your beauty sleep so you can get the most of your timetable tomorrow!

Rule five. Because five rules makes it feel complete. If you’re really stuck and you feel like you have tried everything else, ask for help. Although this sounds very simple, it can be very effective. There are a ton of great resources out there.

So start your study timetables, drink your water and stress less. Hey, if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done!

– Bec

Submitting Assignments


Hello readers. Today I wanted to discuss one of the easiest ways of passing your courses and completing your degree. It really is a simple strategy for success! The basic premise of this strategy is that once you have completed your assignment you then submit it to be evaluated. Now, you may think I’m talking crazy talk here but put your faith in me. With this simple trick you will be passing your courses left, right, and centre!

Although this little tip is simple enough, there are a few tricks to the trade you may need to know. So now let us assume that you have completed your assignment. You may be standing there thinking to yourself “now what do I do?!”  That’s where our first trick of the trade comes into practice my friends, which is: referring to your course description. This lovely little piece of gold contains many wonders inside, not just including all the criteria you need to write your way to the coveted HD but also what to do with your work once you have completed it. The easiest of the possible ways to submit an assignment is handing it in during a tutorial. Usually when this method is requested, the actual work is done during the tutorial, which approximately multiplies the ease of submission by two (that’s mathematics for you, so you know it’s good). You’re already attending all of the tutes (riiiight?), so how easy is that?!

The second two ways of submission are almost just as easy as the first. These ways are through submitting through a physical assignment box or uploading digitally — sometimes you even get to do both at once. Submitting digitally through turnitin is a good one to keep an eye out for. If you are asked to do this for your assignment there will be a link in your moodle shell for you to upload to. If this is the case and you submit it through the general turnitin page to check it over rather than your course specific one, you’re gonna have a bad time. When you submit for assessment, it will pick it up as an exact copy to what you have already submitted through the general turnitin and show up 100% as copied. That is generally something you want to avoid.

The third way to submit your assignment is becoming less popular in this digital world we live in — but still exists for some schools — and that is submitting into an assignment box. For us psychology students we have a physical assignment box in the first floor of H building in which we submit hard copies of our assignments into. Your course description again becomes invaluable by informing you which assignment box to hand it into and where to find it if you are doing a course that asks for this submission method. In addition to this, when handing in a physical copy of an assignment there is usually a cover sheet that you will be asked to submit with it. Knowing whose work they’re marking is beneficial for tutors and often there is other information to be filled out such as word counts and a declaration that you haven’t plagiarised to sign. Personally, I find the physical submission of an assignment to be therapeutic after the long journey to completion. There’s something cathartic about watching the stapled pieces of paper (I should have probably mentioned already that stapling an assignment together with the cover sheet is a brilliant idea for obvious reasons) fall down into the depths of the box. It is almost as if the worry and stress is pulled out and down along with it.

The final bit of advice for submitting assignments that I have is possibly the most simple of all: just submit it. The odds of passing a course greatly improve when you have submitted all assignments than when you haven’t submitted any. Not submitting assignments is a pretty surefire way to not succeed. Where even a half-finished assignment will get at least some marks, a non-submitted assignment will just get you a shiny fail. As a last resort, when all other options such as course or special consideration have been exhausted and you still do not have a complete assignment to submit, something is better than nothing. It seems like a pretty easy idea, a simple practice, but it’s something that happens. So now that you know where to find the submission method and how to submit the assignment you all should have no worries with getting your assignments to where they need to go!

Catch you all on the flip side and happy submitting,

Captain Dan.

3Rs Workshops

IMG_0938With the first week of uni coming to end, it’s time to brush up on important skills that students will need when the time comes for assignments. For many of us, this means writing reports or essays. This might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a first year student and not familiar with the new expectations at uni, which include finding appropriate academic resources and referencing those resources.

Students looking to refresh their writing and research skills should look at the 3Rs (Researching, Referencing and wRiting) workshops. The 3Rs are a series of workshops that are normally run by your campus’ library in the first few weeks of a semester. They are currently being offered at the Mt Helen and Gippsland campuses. These workshops range from general library skills such as looking for journal articles to important writing skills, such as how to structure essays or reports. The 3Rs are an excellent resource to be taken advantage of early on in the semester. It’s arguably better to get on top of these skills now than waiting for the week before the assignment is due (I may be writing from experience).

If you aren’t able to attend the workshops, don’t fret, because there are a number of online resources that can be accessed via the 3Rs Moodle shell, which students are automatically enrolled in. However, attending the library workshops gives you the opportunity to ask questions in person, which is always a good thing.

Interested in getting involved? You can find a list of workshops and enrol at the Fed Uni library skills website (


Proof reading.

DanniSometimes you get to the end of an assignment, ffffinally, and you can’t wait to see the back of it. Let’s be honest, the last thing you want to do is go back over and proof read it. But we’ve all gotta remember that this is the easiest way to improve your marks. You’ve put in all the hard work already; you’re pretty much just ripping yourself off if you don’t proof it. Feel free to give yourself a rest from it for a while first though (if you have the luxury of time and your assignment isn’t due in an hour).

There will be typos and grammatical errors that are confusing to read and distort your sentences, that make it hard for your lecturer to work out what you’re trying to say – you don’t really want to work them too hard when they’re reading and marking your assignment. You want them to be happy and smiling and glad.

I had an assignment the other day that I just couldn’t get started. I forced myself to get some words on the page and basically began brainstorming my response, in sentence form. Bad sentences. But I had made a start and got on a roll. When I finally came to proof read it, it was ugly. It was U-G-L-Y.

So I frowned a little bit first, then I printed it out and plodded along scribbling on it (and cussing on it) and reading sentences aloud. I reckon printing my assignments out, scribbling on and editing them is a pretty effective way of proofing and improving my work, cos it essentially provides two proofing opportunities. First when I’m going to town scribbling on it and then again when I’m inputting my changes onto my word doc.

Reading your work out-aloud is really great for picking up grammatical errors, especially if you have a pal available to listen and give you some pointers 😉 For particularly difficult, fluffy, confusing sentences I speak aloud and pretend to explain to someone what I’m actually trying to say, what I meant by the sentence. This usually gives me some clues as to how I could structure my sentence to get my message across a bit more efficiently.

Another way to have your work read aloud is to use the program WYNN, that’s on all the Uni computers. This program is pretty nifty. It reads and highlights the text from documents you upload (or even webpages) so you can then listen and pick up any errors or areas for improvement. You can also type straight into this program and it will predict the next word of your sentence (sort of like Android predictive text on a mobile), this can be handy for reducing grammatical errors in expression, especially for international students.

Anyway, they’re the methods I used to proof read this particularly bad assignment I had written. I got through it and was pretty glad for it to be over once I’d finally finished. I definitely knew though that the work I submitted was MUCH better than if I had have neglected the proofing/editing process and felt much happier with the result. Smile.

So from me to you, do yourself a solid and proof read ya work.

P.S. I ended up getting 34/35 for this assignment… Wow, proof reading huh. What magic.



SharelleComing fresh from high school to uni I’ve had to adapt to what university like to call ‘adult learning’. You don’t have your teacher there constantly reminding you of that upcoming assignment or online quiz, its up to you as ‘adults’ to read the course descriptor and figure it our for yourself.

Academic writing has a completely different meaning compared to what it did in high school. We have to think critically, comprehensively research our topic, and reference accordingly. However, the one thing many newbies forget, and even sometimes myself, is to READ THE MARKING GUIDE. When it comes to writing an essay cling to your marking guide and use it as your bible! Making sure you address each criteria, and have a look at what each criteria is worth.

Once you’ve written your essay and addressed all the areas on the study guide try marking your own assignment, and use it to reflect on any improvements that could be made to your work- this works for me anyways! I find it very helpful and often reflects the grade I end up getting 🙂



Essay Structure

RyanYou know what’s fun? Essay structure.

Said no-one ever.

Essay structure is something that seems like it should be easy but isn’t. At all. It lulls you into a false sense of security with the fond high-school memories of TEEL and then smacks you around when your back is turned. There’s no one trick to nailing essay structure, but I’ll try and give you a basic breakdown. As in an explanation. I’m sure we’re all experiencing enough of the other kind of breakdown over the semester.

To start with, you need to make sure your essay holds a clear introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction and conclusion are typically one paragraph, while the body refers to the majority of the content. It’s worth stating that it will be really hard to write these if you don’t have a really clear idea of what you’re writing on, so make sure you understand the question and have a rough idea of your response.

The introduction, surprisingly, introduces the reader to the topic. It should start with a broad overview of the field and then narrow down until it explicitly states what the essay is dealing with. This should culminate in what we call a ‘thesis statement’. The thesis statement is a sentence or two that says exactly what you’re trying to do in this essay and it should be the last sentence of your introduction. The key with the introduction is to start broad and narrow down. But don’t go so broad that you lose all relevance. If your topic has to do with the development of the communist movement then you don’t have to go back to the Triassic period. After the introduction, your readers should know exactly what to expect from your essay. Nothing should surprise them. This is an academic paper not an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

The body paragraphs are the meat of your essay. This is where it all happens. Your readers have been introduced to what you’re going to do and now you’re going to do it. Each paragraph should be a topic of its own. Don’t try to deal with more than one major point at once. This is where planning comes in handy. Think about what the key points are that you want to address and devote a paragraph to each of them. Within the body paragraphs themselves, you want to start off by introducing your paragraph topic, then discussing the topic, then closing it off and leading into the next paragraph topic.

The conclusion is essentially the opposite of the introduction. Start narrow and broaden out. You typically want to start by restating your thesis statement and then look at the broader implications or the wider scope. You should not introduce any new information in the conclusion. This should be a summary of what has occurred and that is all.

A super easy way to think of the three sections is this:

     Introduction: Tell them what you’re going to do

     Body: Do it

     Conclusion: Tell them what you did

Hopefully that helps you folks somewhat. Remember, if you’re really struggling with essay structure you can contact the ASK service at

Have fun and try not to stress!