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Natural Sciences Tripos: Study Skills

Developing your study skills

How to Get the Most From Your Lectures (online course)

This online course helps get first year sciences students off to a good start with advice on how to survive lectures, taking effective notes, structuring your first essay, and lots of other helpful resources to support you throughout your first year.

While aimed at Part IA students, this course is open to anyone who wishes to use it so if you need to refresh your skills after some time away from university, enjoy!

Finding resources to support your studies in Biological Sciences (live session)

In this session we will help you translate recommended readings from your lectures and how to find them, all while showing you the tips and tricks that librarians use to find things, freeing you up to get on with studying and finishing that piece of work quicker! More information can be found on the University Training Booking System (UTBS).

Getting started with critical reading in Biological Sciences (live session)

Being able to critically evaluate the science that you are reading about as part of your studies is a key skill to develop, and this live introductory session will help get you started. You can find out more information about the session and booking your place on the University Training Booking System (UTBS).

Finding and managing your references with Zotero (live session)

Finding and managing any reading that you need to do is another useful skill to develop. In our live introductory session we will introduce you to reference management tools, with a focused look at Zotero, to get you off to a good start. You can find further information on UTBS.

Many of our libraries offer specialised training in managing your references, such as the Psychology Library's online guide to APA Citations

Introduction to literature searching for your dissertation or project (online and live sessions)

Our online course introduces those working on final year dissertations or projects to the fundamentals of building up your search strategy, searching effectively using a range of different methods and resources, managing what you find, as well as advice on how to critically evaluate what you find and its relevance to your work. We also offer live introductory sessions so you can ask questions and get help as you start your own searches.

We also run regular literature searching workshops to go through some of the above introductory topics in more detail with live demonstrations of key databases, troubleshooting common issues, and lots of time for questions and discussion so you can get the most out of the session. Great for once you've done some searching and have some things you want to pick our brains about further.

These sessions are aimed at final year biological sciences undergraduates but resources and support are open to anyone who needs them, including first year postgraduate researchers.

Engaging critically with your literature: reading, writing and referencing productively at Part II (live course)

This live session is designed to help students moving up to their third year to start building skills in reading and assessing research articles for Part II studies in biological sciences. We cover how to approach reading for different purposes such as lectures versus project work, how apply different reading strategies, and critically evaluate articles. We also look at techniques for managing what you’ve read (or not yet read) as well as writing your literature review, plus how to select items to include and reference them properly. 

How to prepare and present an academic poster

Presenting your work in the form of an academic poster is something many undergraduates have a chance to do but getting started can be a bit daunting. We'll help you work out what your key message is, give you some advice on what to include (and what to cut out), how to make everything look visually appealing as well as accessible for a diverse range of audiences. Further information can be found on UTBS.

Building your presentation skills with confidence

Giving a presentation is something everyone has to do whether it is for your course, for an extracurricular activity or society event, or even in the workplace. In this session we'll take you through planning your presentation, how to make everything look good as well as accessible for a diverse range of audiences, as well as introducing you to techniques to present with confidence. As with all our other sessions, you can book onto this course via UTBS.

All live sessions will be delivered via Zoom unless otherwise timetabled for specific cohorts. 

If you require any help before any of our live sessions, such as accessibility support, please email George Cronin, Library Manager for Biological Sciences. 


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