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Athabasca University

Selected Study Skills Books in the AU Library and Some Websites

by Arlene Young, PhD, C Psyc (AB)

The following list of annotated study skills resources is organized under the headings of

In This Section
  1. Getting Started
  2. Study Skills
  3. Exam Preparation, Strategies, and Anxiety Reduction
  4. Writing and Grammar
  5. Math and Math Anxiety
  6. Graduate Studies

The materials have been selected to be useful for independent study students, and to be free or available from the Athabasca University Library.

Any opinions I express about the books and websites are my own and not those of Athabasca University. Any questions about the bibliography should be directed to me at 1-888-611-7140 (Canada and the United States), or (780) 454-1965.

1. Getting Started

Before you look for additional materials, be sure that you have examined what is available in your course materials, and from your tutor or instructor. AU course materials offer guidance on the course expectations and main ideas through the Student Manual and Study Guide. Many courses include books or pamphlets on essay writing, documenting in the correct style, and more.

These resources are a good place to start.

Nilsson, Virginia. Improve Your Study Skills. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University, 1989.
Improve Your Study Skills is a handbook in seven modules covering everything from reading to note taking, essay writing, and maintaining motivation. The modules present study skills that research has shown to be effective with adult students.

The Counselling Services website has information on study skills, reading, writing papers, career planning information, and more.

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2. Study Skills

These resources address most study skills. The websites are in addition to those identified on the Counselling Services Study Skills web page.

Apps, Jerold W. Study Skills for Adults Returning to School. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982.
Study Skills for Adults Returning to School opens with a chapter on learning to learn and includes chapters on how to improve thinking, vocabulary, reading and note taking. The book also contains advice for students beginning their graduate studies.

Carney, Tom, and Barbara Carney. Liberation Learning: Self-Directed Learning for Students. Windsor, ON: Para-Publishing, 1988.
Liberation Learning: Self-Directed Learning for Students is a comprehensive book with chapters on writing and strategies for overcoming blocks; learning and teaching styles and the relationship between them; and time management. The discussions of time management assume students are just out of high school and may not be useful to adults with multiple responsibilities.

Carter, Carol, et al. Keys to Effective Learning. Scarborough, ON: Prentice-Hall Canada, 1998.
Keys to Effective Learning is a comprehensive study skills textbook that covers time management, motivation, reading, note taking, exam preparation, lifelong learning, assessment of learning styles, developing critical thinking skills, and some excellent information about memory, how it works, and how to improve it. The book is in workbook form with exercises throughout to help readers consolidate what is learned. There are American versions of the text in the Athabasca University Library.

Deese, James and Ellin K. Deese, Eds. How to Study. New York: McGraw Hill, 1969.
How to Study. Distance education students may find the chapters on reading improvement and how to read a university textbook particularly useful. The book also covers time management, essay writing, and how to study foreign languages, math and science.

Ellis, David B. Becoming a Master Student. Fourth Canadian Edition ed. Rapid City, SD: College Survival, 2006.
Becoming a Master Student is one of the best study skills books available and pays particular attention to the needs of mature students. Ellis believes that studying is a skill that can be learned and improved and he presents chapters on time management, memory, reading, note taking, relationships, health and money. The ideas, exercises, and self-tests encourage students to become active learners.

Fleet, Joan Fiona Goodchild and Richard Zajchowski. Learning for Success. Toronto, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2006.
Learning For Success is a Canadian independent study guide with information about note taking, memory, problem solving for lab work, studying humanities and social sciences, test preparation and writing, essay writing, and presenting a seminar. The 2006 edition includes information on new technologies. The book is one of the briefest and most manageable introductions to study skills.

---. Successful Learning. London, ON: University of Western Ontario, 1988.
Successful Learning contains an inventory at the beginning to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses followed by chapters on time management, essay writing, science problem solving, exam preparation, and others. The authors advise students to "study smarter and not harder," but many find they need to do both.

Hanau , Laia. The Study Game, How to Play and Win. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1979.
The Study Game approaches studying as if it were a game that students can learn to win. It covers reading for information, conveying that information, consolidating information for exams, and writing exams. Students who like mind-mapping and take non-linear notes, will find this book helpful.

Jones, Bill and Roy Johnson. Making the Grade. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1990.
In two volumes, Making the Grade shows how to improve study skills. Volume I examines input, learning new information, and Volume II examines output, presenting ideas in papers and exams. The books are organized in brief sections that contain anecdotes, and prescribe rest and reflection to aid learning consolidation.

Nilsson, Virginia. Improve Your Study Skills. Athabasca, Alberta: Athabasca University, 1988.
Improve Your Study Skills is a handbook in seven modules covering everything from reading to note taking, essay writing, and maintaining motivation. The modules present study skills that research has shown to be effective with adult students.

Nist, Sherrie L, and William Diehl. Developing Textbook Thinking. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
Developing Textbook Thinking focuses on improving textbook reading. The first chapter helps learners assess their strengths and weaknesses in reading. Topics later in the book include motivation, time management, note taking, vocabulary development, flexible and efficient studying, and exam preparation. The book also includes a discussion of the Internet and e-mail. The table of contents and index are thorough.

Pauk, Walter. How to Study in College. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
How To Study In College covers a wide range of study skills, from improving memory to answering specific types of exam questions. It is particularly strong in dealing with reading and note taking skills.

Robertson, Heather. Bridge to College Success : Intensive Academic Preparation for Advanced Students. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle, 1991.
Bridge to college success presents college survival skills for ESL and foreign students entering American colleges and universities. The information is comprehensive, the book is well organized, and the layout is appealing. There are also two videotapes on the same subject (volumes 1 and 2).

Talbot, Christine. Studying at a Distance. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press, 2003.
Studying at a Distance is one of the few books developed with the needs of first-time, distance learners in mind. Topics covered include learning styles, e-learning, getting support, and doing research projects. There is an excellent table of contents, and thorough index, plus recommended additional resources.

University of Victoria. Strategies for Studying. Victoria, BC: Orca, 1996.
Strategies for Studying was written especially for part-time adult students. There are three broad topics covered in depth: goal setting and time management, reading and memory, and consolidating learning to prepare for examinations.

Walter, Tim and Al Siebert. Student Success. New York: Rinehart and Winston, 1987.
Student Success, is subtitled "How to Succeed in College and Still Have Time for Your Friends". The book is aimed at high school entrants to university, but the exercises and information are relevant to students of any age.

Witherspoon, Del and Eugenie Nickell. Back to School at My Age? Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1991.
Back to school at my age? is written primarily for mothers returning to school. The authors are women who discuss how to negotiate entrance requirements, organize study time and family time, and reduce guilt. The discussions are introduced with first person narratives with which most women will identify.

Study Skills Websites

Academic Development. ( Fast Facts. [Web Page]. URL http://www.cmu.edu/academic-development/
publications/fastfacts.shtml
[2005, September 26].
The site lists a number of pamphlets that can be downloaded. The topics deal with many aspects of studying, and the ideas within each pamphlet are clearly presented and comprehensive.

Center for Learning and Teaching. ( Study Skills Resources. [Web Page]. URL http://www.clt.cornell.edu/campus/learn/ SSWorkshops/SKResources.html [2005, September 26].
This easy to navigate website contains excellent information on every aspect of studying. Much of the information is in workbooks in printable files with exercises and charts to encourage readers' active engagement with the ideas.

Student Development Centre. ( Learning Skills Handouts & Advice. [Web Page]. URL http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/ learning/index.html?topics [2005, September 26].
The site has good handouts on most aspects of studying. The sections on exams, memory, and thinking skills are particularly useful. There is helpful information on how to approach essay and multiple-choice exams.

Student Learning Centre. ( Online Study Skills. [Web Page]. URL http://slc.otago.ac.nz/studyskills/studyskills.asp [2005, September 13].
A good well organized site with information on most common study skills issues.

Student Learning Support Service. ( Writing Your Assignment. [Web Page]. URL http://www.vuw.ac.nz/st_Services/slss/study/assignment.aspx [2005, September 13].
This site emphasizes study skills from the perspective of writing assignments. The front page examines the steps in the essay writing process, with links to details on each step. This is a useful and well-organized site.

Student Services. ( Academic Skills Guide. [Web Page]. URL http://www.ballarat.edu.au/aasp/student/learning_support/acskills/TOC.shtml [2005, September 26].
A well organized site with comprehensive and concise information on most study skills topics. The modules are thorough, informal, and at times, amusing.

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3. Exam Preparation, Strategies, and Anxiety Reduction

If you are baffled about writing multiple choice or essay exams, or are so anxious you cannot concentrate, one of these books or sites will help you to set your studies in a positive, new direction.

Divine, James H. and David W. Kylen. How to Best Test Anxiety and Score Higher on Your Exams. Woodbury, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 1979.
How to Beat Test Anxiety and Score Higher on Your Exams begins by helping students to understand how they experience test anxiety before helping them take steps to reduce it. The second half of the book focuses on developing test taking-skills, especially those required for multiple choice questions.

Jones, Bill and Roy Johnson. Making the Grade. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1990.
In two volumes, Making the Grade shows how to improve study skills. Volume I considers input, learning new information, and Volume II examines output, presenting ideas in papers and exams.

Millman, Jason, and Walter Pauk. How to Take Tests. New York: McGraw-Hill , 1969.
Don't be put off by this book's publication date. If you have trouble writing exams, or writing particular types of exams, this book can help you to increase your test 'wiseness.' How to Take Tests does not focus on studying per se, but rather, on the principles of taking both teacher-made and standardized tests. The authors review study skills within the context of preparing for exams and then cover reviewing exams and determining how to use your time, being sure you understand the questions and directions, using good reasoning to at least attempt every question, and approaches to addressing specific types of questions. There are four appendixes describing in detail the vocabulary used to ask exam questions and give directions, common prefixes, the roots of words and how they may be combined, and common suffixes, all of which can be baffling. The book is clearly laid out and helps readers identify the most useful topics.

Richardson, Frank C. Coping With Exam Anxiety. Ed. Arlene Young. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University, 1990.
Coping With Exam Anxiety uses an informational learning approach to help students understand and reduce their exam anxiety. The book will help students understand the extent to which their difficulty with exams is due to preparation or anxiety. For many students, reading the book and doing the exercises will be sufficient to reduce their anxiety. Others may also wish to seek the help of a counsellor.

Exams and Exam Anxiety Websites

Grosse, T. ( Tim's Tips for Making Mathematics Your Friend. [Web Page]. URL http://jcc.sunyjefferson. edu/tgrosse/ [2005, September 22].
The site has brief but effective tips for studying math, and reducing anxiety about exams and tests.

Student Development Centre. ( Learning Skills Handouts & Advice. [Web Page]. URL http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/ learning/index.html?topics [2005, September 26].
The site has good handouts on most aspects of studying. The sections on exams, and memory and thinking skills are particularly useful. Both of the latter topics are clear and concise. There is helpful information on how to approach essay and multiple-choice exams.

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4. Writing and Grammar

Students complain of difficulties with writing more than any other study skill. These books and websites address aspects of writing from paragraph construction and grammar, to developing a thesis for an essay.

Baker, Sheridan. The Practical Stylist. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1991.
The Practical Stylist examines essay writing from determining a thesis statement to writing grammatical sentences. The chapter on writing a thesis is particularly effective. There is a good section on revision and examples of essays for different disciplines.

Buckley, Joanne. Checkmate: A Writing Reference for Canadians. Scarborough, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2003.
This is a Canadian reference book on just about everything a writer could want to know, from a discussion of the writing process itself, writing for a specific audience, basic grammar, writing correct sentences, spelling, word usage, and documentation in MLA, Chicago, and APA styles. There is an excellent table of contents and index, plus a topical list of contents on the inside cover, and a list of editors symbols inside the back cover. This is a book that is meant to accompany all of your writing projects and you will probably want to buy your own copy to keep at hand. Choosing this book or the similar one by Finbogason and Valleau will be a matter of trying them out, seeing which one meets your needs.

Buckley, Joanne. Fit to Print. Toronto, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2004.
Fit to Print is a brief guide to essay writing that covers the essentials. As an aid to writing essays it follows the process from selecting a topic to revising and proof reading. The 2004 edition of the book also contains information on using Internet resources effectively, and the discussion of documentation is consistent with the current APA, MLA, and Chicago style manuals.

Finnbogason, Jack, and Al Valleau. A Canadian Writer's Guide. Toronto, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2006.
This Canadian reference book is meant to be a companion to all of your writing projects. It covers topics from the writing process, to grammar, sentences, paragraphs, word usage, punctuation, writing for specific audiences, and documenting in several styles, MLA, APA, Chicago, CBE, and Columbia Online. There is an excellent table of contents, index, and a topical list of contents inside the front cover, and a list of correction abbreviations and symbols inside the back cover. You will probably want to buy your own copy to keep at hand. Choosing this book or the similar one by Buckley will be a matter of trying them out, seeing which one meets your needs.

Frew, Robert, Richard Guches, and Robert Mehaffy. Writer's Workshop. Palo Alto, Ca: Peek Publication, 1984.
Writer's Workshop provides information and exercises on every aspect of writing from sentences to formal essays. The book is effective for acquiring new skills or as a reference book for writers. There are practice tests accompanying each chapter although some of the test questions are not addressed in the answer keys.

Good, Steve, and Bill Jensen. The Student's Only Survival Guide to Essay Writing. Victoria, BC: Orca Books, 1995.
The Student's Only Survival Guide to Essay Writing provides students with guidance on writing essays. If you have used the Athabasca University modules, Improve Your Study Skills, and need more detailed help, this book would be a good choice. The authors consider audience, generating ideas, narrowing topics and defining a thesis or purpose for writing, define the multiple unit essay (one that uses many pieces of evidence in support of an idea), examine various types of essays (expository, process, compare & contrast, cause & effect, narration, and description), and also provide chapters on basic writing skills and errors.

Gulston, Lawrence. Nelson Guide to Report Writing. Toronto, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2004.
This guide focuses on writing scientific and technical reports in university and the workplace but is not a substitute for the style manual of the particular discipline. The authors state that one goal of report writing is to clearly delineate facts from opinions, and to convey the importance and implications of the information to the various audiences. The book examines the types and purposes for writing reports, the writing process whether individual or in teams, format, preparing manuscripts, and the use of documentation with reference to three style manuals, CSE, APA, and MLA. There is a tutorial for using Microsoft Word XP in the appendices.

Heckman, Grant. The Nelson Guide to Essay Writing. Scarborough, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2002.
This is a thorough, but brief, book on essay writing. The author examines different types of essays: critical/analytical, descriptive, summary, critical book review, research papers, and reports. The book examines the writing process from determining a topic, writing paragraphs and sentences, using and documenting information sources in MLA, APA, and with directions for websites for Chicago and CBE styles, and contains many examples for each topic.

Heckman, Grant. Thomson Nelson Guide to Web Research 2005-2006. Toronto, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2006.
This is the revised version of an earlier publication by the same name and author. It covers the structure of the Internet, how to search for information on the web, including understanding URLs, the use of boolean operators, and using meta search tools, searching both free and subscribed journal databases. Many of the subscribed databases are freely available to Athabasca University students through the Athabasca University Library. There is a section of the book on documenting Internet resources in MLA, APA, and CBE styles, and a list of discipline-specific websites. An older version is also in the AU Library.

Kennedy, Mary Lynch and Hadley M. Smith. Academic Writing. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.
Academic Writing examines, analyzes and gives exercises for understanding university readings and for writing many types of assignments. The book also discusses how to approach various kinds of essay topics.

Lewis, Roger, and John Inglis. Report Writing. Cambridge: National Extension College, 1982.
Report Writing is a clear and concise book that demonstrates an approach to writing effective reports for school or business. The book contains numerous examples and exercises.

Lipschutz, Gary, John Roberts, Sandra Scarry and John Scarry. Canadian Writer's Workplace. Toronto: Thomson-Nelson, 2004.
The Canadian Writer's Workplace provides a solid foundation to the rules and approaches to essay writing. It discusses grammar, writing strategies and provides model essays.

Norton, Sarah, and Brian Green. The Bare Essentials, Form A and Form B. Toronto, ON: Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada, 2006.
The Bare Essentials, Form A or Form B, is an excellent source of information on spelling, grammar, and essay writing. The spelling section addresses the most common errors with recommendations of how to avoid them. The authors use standard Canadian spellings. The book describes a conventional, top down approach to essay writing: defining a thesis, writing an outline and draft, and polishing your final draft. The most recent editions (2006 and 2004) have access to a website. The Form A website is open access, and exercises are computer marked. There is an excellent chapter on revision with an editing checklist that most writers would find useful.

---. Essay Essentials. Toronto, ON: Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada, 2003.
Essay Essentials is a thorough guide to planning, researching, writing, and revising essays combining the "bottom up" and "top down" approaches to essay writing. The bottom up approach uses free writing and brainstorming whereas the top down proceeds from defining a topic, to writing, revision, and a final draft. There are chapters on documentation, including Internet resources, presentation, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. There is a thorough table of contents, and index, a guide to revision, and an answer key for some of the review questions. Older editions contain much of the same information without reference to the Internet.

Pauk, Walter. Six-Way Paragraphs. Providence, RI: Jamestown, 1983.
If your tutor or instructor has told you that your paragraph structure is poor, this book may help. The author outlines the essential elements of a paragraph and provides examples of paragraphs for students to read and questions to test their understanding.

Rosenwasser, David, Jill Stephen, and Doug Babington. Writing Analytically. Toronto, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2006.
The book focuses on analysis in writing. The authors begin by examining a number of ideas about teaching and learning: banking, generalizing, judging, debating, binary thinking, personalizing, and differentiating opinions from ideas. They provide a description of five steps in analysis that involve locating repetitions of words or details, strands of similar words and details, suggestions of binary opposites, ranking key repetitions or strands and binaries, writing lists arising from those observations, and writing a paragraph to explain your choice of one or the other of the repetitions for further exploration. The ideas are well explained and the book would be a good supplement for courses with essay requirements.

Roth, Audrey J. The Research Paper: Process, Form, and Content. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 1986.
The Research Paper: Process, Form, and Content takes you through the process of writing a research paper beginning with a planning guide and proceeding to examine each topic in detail. The information on library searches is dated, but otherwise the information is sound and helpful.

Skwire, David. Writing With a Thesis: A Rhetoric and Reader. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1985.
The author examines specific kinds of essays: process, compare and contrast, cause and effect, division and classification, definition, description, narration, and argumentation. There are examples of each kind of essay to help you address your specific writing needs.

Skwire, Sarah E., and David Skwire. Writing With a Thesis. Boston, MA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.
The authors insist that the "persuasive principle" is something inherent in all effective writing and they demonstrate that idea throughout the book. The authors approach each topic clearly, with many examples, and with review questions and exercises. The authors do a thorough and often amusing job of explaining each topic. The book directs readers to specific classes of topics at the outset. David Skwire wrote an earlier effective book on the same topic available from the AU Library.

Smith, H. Wendell. Readable Writing. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 1985.
If the final draft of your essays fails to live up to yours or your professor's expectations, Readable Writing may help. The author uses a step-by-step approach to manuscript preparation examining everything from writing the first draft, to revising for substance, order, and clarity. There is a detailed table of contents and index, and check lists for revising drafts.

Strunk, William, and E. B Strunk, William, and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. New York: Macmillan , 2000.
If you read only one book on writing, make it this little gem. The 2000 edition has some contemporary examples. Other than that the book remains essentially unchanged, and students will find the old and new editions equally beneficial. There are is an especially useful chapter on word usage that could save students from embarrassing errors.

Sullivan, Tony. Grammar. Cambridge: The National Extension College, 1979.
Grammar is an introduction to the subject for those who have never studied it formally, or don't remember what they studied.

Truss, Lynne. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Toronto, ON: Gotham Books , 2004.
The author proves that even punctuation can be made interesting. You will enjoy reading the whole book so much that you'll forget you may be learning something.

Wyrick, Jean. Steps to Writing Well. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.
Wyrick's book begins by stating that writing is a skill that can be learned. This is a book intended to be a textbook in a writing course, but the explanations are clear enough, with lots of examples, that it could be useful to distance students. The book begins with getting started and overcoming writer's block; finding a topic and thesis, writing paragraphs, beginnings and endings; drafting and revising; effective sentences; word logic; and the reading writing connection. The later sections focus on specific writing issues such as the logic of the argument; writing different types of essays; considering arguments, narrations, and descriptions; and has chapters devoted to improving grammar and punctuation.

Writing and Grammar Websites

Centre for Learning Developments. ( Communications: Essay Writing. [Web Page]. URL http://www.surrey. ac.uk/Skills/pack/essay.html [2005, September 13].
Of particular interest in this site is a list of words commonly used to describe an essay assignment, e.g., account for, evaluate, examine, summarize, trace, etc. Each of the words is discussed in the section, "Understanding the Task," so that students gain a better idea what it is they are expected to address in their essay.

Davis , T. ( How to write an essay. [Web Page]. URL http://www.english.bham.ac.uk/staff/tom/teaching/ howto/essay.htm [2005, September 15].
The site is well organized and all of the basic topics are listed with hot links to the particular topic. This site is comprehensive, informative, and user friendly.

Procter, M. (Coordinator, Writing Support). ( Advice on Academic Writing. [Web Page]. URL http://www.utoronto.ca/writing/advise.html [2005, September 13].
This is a Canadian website with useful information on essay writing.

Roberts, A. ( ABC of Academic Writing & ABC of Essays. [Web Page]. URL http://www.mdx.ac.uk/www/study/glolan.htm [2005, September 15].
This website is full of basic and advanced information on writing, thinking, essays and more. There are discussions of different types of essays, and various approaches to writing about topics. This site is so comprehensive that you may not need another.

Student Learning Support Service. ( Writing Your Assignment. [Web Page]. URL http://www.vuw.ac.nz/st_Services/slss/study/
assignment.aspx
[2005, September 13].
This useful and well organized site emphasizes study skills from the perspective of writing assignments.

The Writer's Complex. ( Essay Writing Workshop. [Web Page]. URL http://www.esc.edu/esconline/across_esc/writerscomplex.nsf/wholeshortlinks2/Essay+Writing+Menu?opendocument [2005, September 13].
If you are having trouble getting started on your essay, this site may help. It includes suggestions on how to develop idea for an essay and has good discussions about defining a thesis, and what a good thesis contains, as well as information on organizing, writing, and revising your essay.

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5. Math and Math Anxiety

If you have forgotten the math you once knew, or become anxious when you look at a math question, some of these books may be helpful. There are also some excellent resources on the AU Counselling Services site.

Appling, Jeffrey R., and Jean C. Richardson. Math Survival Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley, 2004.
This guide is intended to refresh math skills and be used as a reference throughout a college science program. The book has a detailed explanation of how to use a scientific calculator whether basic or graphing. Topics in the book include numbers, ratios, powers and roots, scientific notation, logarithms, equations, units, graphing, geometry and trigonometry, and solving problems. There is an earlier version of this book available in the AU library.

Arem, Cynthia. Conquering Math Anxiety. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/ Cole, 2003.
The author helps readers differentiate math and test anxiety, examines a number of sources of anxiety and explodes cultural myths such as the "math mind." The author provides exercises to help individuals visualize their experiences with math anxiety, and shows how to replace such visions with positive self talk, positive visualizations, and how to make the best use of an individual learning style. Chapters examine test anxiety, present well researched strategies for reducing it, present approaches to solving various kinds of problems in step-by-step detail, and the final chapter looks at the importance of math in education and various occupations. The book comes with a CD with relaxation and visualization exercises.

Ashley, Ruth. Background Math for a Computer World. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1980.
Background Math for a Computer World introduces those with a limited background to the math needed to work in the machine language of computer programming. This self-teaching guide introduces the binary number system, computer logic, and linear equations.

Goldish, Dorothy M. Basic Mathematics for Beginning Chemistry. New York: Macmillan, 1983.
Basic Mathematics For Beginning Chemistry is intended to refresh students' mathematical memory for university chemistry. The book introduces mathematical concepts, illustrated with examples, and provides exercises and answer keys.

Hartkopf, Roy. Math Without Tears. Boston: MA : G.K. Hall, 1971.
Math Without Tears will expand students' knowledge of mathematical languages and show the relationships between them, e.g., the relationship of trigonometry to calculus. The book explores and refutes the common idea that mathematics yields one correct answer. The author shows that, depending upon the mathematical system you are using, one plus one could equal two, three, or more.

Hosking, Stuart. Mathematics: Self-Rescue Kit. Melbourne, Australia: Longman Chesire, 1983.
Readers who have forgotten their basic math skills, and need practice, will find this book very helpful. The book begins with a self test, answer key provided, and then reviews the concept and method related to each question. It facilitates reviewing only what you need to know via the self-test and a thorough table of contents.

Parsons, Ted. Demystifying Math. Victoria, BC : University of Victoria, 1985.
Demystifying Math is a workbook to refresh math skills. The book begins with arithmetic and proceeds to algebra, sets and Cartesian products, graphing linear equations and inequalities, systems of linear equations, exponents, and quadratic equations. There are exercises and self-tests throughout. Students who find these words familiar but cannot remember what they mean may find this book useful.

Reudy, Elisabeth, and Sue Nirenberg. Where Do I Put the Decimal Point? New York: Avon, 1990.
Math anxiety is learned, and can be unlearned. This book aims to help students learn that math is manageable, useful, and creative. These authors acknowledge that there are many approaches to mathematical problem solving. The book helps readers determine the source of their anxiety, examine the myths and blocks around mathematical competence, learn skills to cope with anxiety and build confidence, relearn basic math skills, apply math to everyday situations, and assess their progress.

Selby, Peter H. Quick Algebra Review. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1983.
Quick Algebra Review is intended as a refresher for those who studied algebra in high school. There are brief explanations, examples, and many exercises with answer keys.

Thompson, J. E. Trigonometry for the Practical Worker. New York: Nostrand Reinhold, 1982.
Trigonometry For The Practical Worker contains just about everything students would want to know about plane trigonometry from the basic ideas to their application to measurement. The book has exercises with answer keys.

Tobias, Sheila. Overcoming Math Anxiety. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1980.
Overcoming Math Anxiety examines the cause of the difficulty paying special attention to the biases that make women feel incapable of learning and using math. The author explores the problems in words and illustrates the ideas with examples and drawings. The book also has explanations and exercises to help readers overcome common mathematical stumbling blocks.

Tobias, Sheila, and Carl T. Tomizuka. Breaking the Science Barrier. New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 1992.
If you are dreading the science requirement in your university program, this may be the book for you. The authors discuss the differences between high school and college science, examining the fundamentals of the disciplines, discussing terms that students will encounter, and most of all, helping students understand the kind of study and thinking their professors will expect. Specific topics include various disciplines' vocabularies, problem solving approaches, mathematical models and measurements, and a consideration of future developments in science.

Tussy, Alan S., and R. David Gustafson. Basic Mathematics for College Students. Belmont, CA: Thomson, Brooks/Cole, 2006.
This book reviews high school mathematics clearly beginning with the basics. Each chapter begins with a self test, states some study tips and informs about on-line resources available from the publisher's website. The topics to be studied include whole numbers; integers; fractions and mixed numbers; decimals; percent; ratio, proportion and measurement; descriptive statistics; and an introduction to algebra. There are numerous examples and exercises throughout, and an answer key.

Williams, Richard. Basic Mathematics. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1984.
A good book to brush up basic math. The content includes integers, fractions and mixed numbers, decimals, percents, exponents, polynomials, linear equations, word problems, graphs, linear systems, products and factors, square roots and quadratic equations, and geometry. This book at 417 pages may be more extensive than many readers need. A good table of contents and index will help you to locate the topics you need.

Math Websites

Freedman, E. ( Professor Freedman's Math Help. [Web Page]. URL http://www.mathpower. com/index.htm [2005, September 21].
This is an excellent site with reviews of basic math skills, and help for those who are math anxious. The explanations of various problems are useful. A major annoyance on the site was that clicking on the title for each topic invokes an advertisement for something unrelated to math.

Grosse, T. ( Tim's Tips for Making Mathematics Your Friend. [Web Page]. URL http://jcc.sunyjefferson.edu/tgrosse/ [2005, September 22].
The site has brief but effective tips for studying math and reducing anxiety about exams and tests. The site also has links to other sites dealing with the same topics.

Hopper, C. H. ( Help for Math Anxiety. [Web Page]. URL http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11064/anxiety.html [2005, September 22].
The site has good information about math, math anxiety, and studying math. There is also a self-test of math anxiety that may help to determine the sources of difficulties.

Logan, R. H. ( Basic Math Concepts and Fundamentals. [Web Page]. URL http://members.aol.com/profchm/basicmth.html [2005, September 21].
This is a great website that covers many basic concepts in math and chemistry, and links to other good sites. The explanations are clear with lots of examples to illustrate the point, and self tests with answer keys.

Platonic Realms MiniTexts. ( Coping With Math Anxiety. [Web Page]. URL http://www.mathacademy.com/ pr/minitext/anxiety/ [2005, September 20].
The site examines some myths about math anxiety, and considers how students can study math in spite of their anxiety. There are strategies for both classroom and independent study. The site is well organized.

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6. Graduate Studies

These books are written especially for graduate students. You may need to refresh skills and adapt what you already know to a new situation. These books will help you whether you are having difficulty understanding the expectations for research papers, conducting your research, or writing your thesis.

Apps, Jerold W. Study Skills for Adults Returning to School. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982.
Study Skills for Adults Returning to School is an introduction to study skills that opens with a chapter on learning to learn. There are chapters on how to improve thinking, vocabulary, reading and note taking. The book also contains advice for students beginning their graduate studies.

Bolker, Joan. Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day. New York: Henry Holt, 1998.
The author recommends that you make writing your first task of the day, suggests you set a specific daily goal for yourself, and that you write in your journal to discuss how the day's writing went. She advises breaking the overwhelming job of writing a major work into manageable tasks, and helps you to devise your own strategies for doing so. If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of writing your project, thesis, or dissertation, this book can help.

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
The Craft of Research is aimed at new and experienced researchers. The authors discuss the interaction of researching and writing stressing that planning, researching, and writing happen in sequence and together. The authors stress the back and forth nature of research and writing and focus on everyday research issues. This is a dense book that requires commitment on behalf of the reader who, in turn, will be rewarded with useful information to shape their research project, and present it in a formal report.

Brause, Rita S. Writing Your Doctoral Dissertation: Invisible Rules for Success. New York: Falmer Press, 2000.
If you find this book early in your doctoral studies, I expect that you'll want to read it all. The author discusses the culture of the university and doctoral studies, what is expected of a doctoral student, the roles of the dissertations committee and chair, as well as writing dissertation proposals, and the dissertation itself. It is available in print form as well as from NetLibrary via the Athabasca University Library.

Locke, L. F., W. W. Spirduso, and S. J. Silverman. Proposals that work: A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, c2000.
This is a newer edition of the book that helped me to write my dissertation proposal. The authors examine proposals of various types: experimental, quasi-experimental, and to a lesser extent, qualitative. It also examines proposals for research, funding, and for academic dissertations or theses.

Pyrczak, Fred, and Randall R. Bruce. Writing Empirical Research Reports. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing, 1992.
The authors warn that the book is not a substitute for a style manual, neither is it a course in grammar, but rather "presents principles frequently followed by writers of reports of empirical research designed for publication in academic journals" (p. v). Topics include writing hypotheses, research questions or objectives, titles, literature reviews, definitions, assumptions and limitations, method, analysis, results, and discussion. Writers of theses and dissertations will get good suggestions in only 112 pages.

Wolcott, Harry F. Writing Up Qualitative Research. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE, 1990.
Writing Up Qualitative Research is a treasure for qualitative researchers who want to write about their projects and do not know where to begin. Wolcott has many practical suggestions for getting started.

Updated November 09 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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