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SP4363: Study Skills And Principles Of Research

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SP4363: Study Skills And Principles Of Research

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Course Code: SP4363
University: University Of Gloucestershire

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Country: United Kingdom

Question:

As an Educational Consultant you have been asked to write an academic report designed to help students improve their study skills.
 
It is proposed that your report will be circulated to teachers and tutors in all schools and colleges in your locality.
 
The academic report the overall structure of your report; the content in each section of your report addressing the assignment tasks.

 
An outline of the differences between academic report writing and academic essay writing in the context of the assignment question.

Answer:

Introduction 
Academic skills are such an aspect through which one is able to think and solve a problem critically. The skills required for the process of communication, as well as digital literacy, fall under this category. Academic skills, also known as study skills are mostly utilised by students. A student’s performance is dependent on these set of skills. However, there are many times when skills are not up to the mark and the students have to face the consequences. Therefore, proper assessment of methods is needed to be done so that various students can perform in a better manner as well as increase their grades for good results.
Understanding Study skills
Study skills are an important factor which is required by a student in order to perform in their academic fields. Some of the most important areas of academic skills include proper management of time, concentration, prioritisation, as well as organisation and motivation. According to Persky, Henry and Campbell (2015), academic skills help in the formulation of study strategies through which a student is able to acquire good grades and perform well.
Areas for improvement
It is not possible for each and every student to possess every academic skill. However, in order for a student to excel in one must try to possess such skills for good performance in exams and other fields. As opined by Dweck, Walton and Cohen (2014), improvement is a must for achieving a certain performance. In order to do so, a student is needed to focus on the aspects they are lacking so that those areas can be focused on improvement. One of the most common factors which need improvement in an aspect of students is proper concentration and motivation. It has been observed that many students lack the patience which is required for a proper focused study. Some students are not organized which also adds to the disadvantage (AlHassan and Wood, 2015). Even if they motivated enough to study, their lack of organization consumes most of their time. Therefore, it is important to access the methods through which students can be better in their academic performances.  
Methods for Improvement
The aspect of improvement is needed for a student to excel in their academic fields. The aspect of improvement can be thoroughly understood through the aid of Maslow Motivation Theory, also known as the hierarchy of needs. As asserted by York, Gibson and Rankin (2015), the need for motivation is by far the most important aspect which is needed to be focused upon.
Maslow Motivation Theory is divided into three key factors. The first one contains basic needs, the second psychological needs and the third self-fulfilment needs. Through the application of this theory, a student can realise their full potential. The aspect of esteem and self-actualisation needs is the ones which are deemed the most important in this case This would not only encourage them to study in a more focused manner but will also encourage them enough to continue with the process. The last step which is self-actualising would help the student to understand what skills he or she is capable of. It would help the student to focus more on these positive aspects which would help them gain grades.
Maslow Motivation Theory can be integrated with the PDCA cycle in order to bring out the effective results. Assessment of the PDCA cycle is a vital four process step through which a student can be motivated to raise in the academic field.

Plan

The first step includes the setting of goals and objectives. One way through which this can be achieved by implementation of giving and take theory (Broadbent and Poon, 2015). In simple words, if students are given certain awards if they achieve a set goal, their motivation level would increase significantly. Another of the significant aspect is through setting up of a schedule which is creative and not too overbearing. This would keep the lessons enjoyable for the students so that they are able to understand the different aspects of a subject. SMART classes are also an effective means to keep the students engage through the lessons so that they can perform better in their academic fields.

Do

The second step includes the implementation of the processes which have been planned. It requires formulation of a proper schedule through which the students can brush up their academic skills. In this factor, assessment of drawbacks of various students can be understood (Wernersbach et al. 2014). Through this proper measurements can be taken to improve that certain aspect or aspects.

Check

The third step includes checking of the implementation action. SMART classes can be properly evaluated and see if they are helping the students or not.

Act

In the final step, all the implementation actions are accessed and proper alternatives an also be assessed. One thing which should be kept in mind is that without a positive mental attitude, a goal cannot be reached a head-on.
Therefore, continuous practising as well as making a daily or weekly planner would undoubtedly help a student to keep up with the curriculum. Making more time for revision is also a must but most importantly the study should be done in a creative and fun manner so that the students can continuously be kept engaged (education.cu-portland.edu, 2018).
Conclusion
Academic or study skills are the most aspect through which students would be able to perform well in their academic field. There are many aspects of academic skills which include proper organisation as well as motivation. In this report, these aspects have been accessed with the help of various theories. One such theory is the Maslow Motivation Theory through which the importance of motivation has been accessed. It is important because, through this, a student can more encourage to earn and therefore it would help them in performing better later. Other theories such as PDCA cycle also helps in understanding the step by step process which is needed to be accessed.  Through the usage of these methods, proper recommendations can be formulated which would essentially benefit students in performing better in their academic fields and get good grades.
Outline how the format of the above document would be different if it was to be written as an academic essay rather than an academic report.
Academic essays are written in a linear format, that is, an idea is presented which is elaborated and evaluated so that it makes proper sense. On the other hand, an academic report follows a slightly different structure (gcu.ac.uk, 2018). In academic reports, the purpose is to provide readers with specific information about the given topic. One of the main differences in academic essay and report is the presence of executive summary in a report. The function of the executive summary is to comprehensively explain the main factors which have been accessed throughout the entire report. However, if this given topic would be written in an essay format, there would be a thesis statement in the introduction part instead of an executive summary before the introduction.
There are various other aspects through which an academic essay and report can be distinguished. The report on study skills would not require any kind of heading or sub-heading if it was written in essay format. However, as it is written in report format, it contains the essential headings through which each section can be identified. Another one of the aspects which are needed to be kept in mind is that essays do not utilise bullet points (unilearning.uow.edu.au, 2018). It is strict no to use bullets in essays. In fact, every paragraph is written in such a format that one is linked to the other in a concise manner. This would have been the format if this report would have been written in the essay structure.
This report contains adequate information about the given topic and can be scanned quickly to understand the main aspects. However, if this report on study skills was written in an essay format, it would have required a more thorough assessment. One of the key elements which are present in the essay is an explicit argument. Usually, different views are highlighted upon which the main topic is discussed. This report has described the required study skills and what methods can be utilised for its improvement. However, if this was written as an essay, it would assess existing methods, followed by thorough analysis. On the basis of this, the shortcomings of the existing method could be accessed and proper methods required for academic skills can be evaluated.
This report contains a graphical representation of the models and theories used for accessing academic skills and performances. However, if this was written in an essay format, no graphics would have been allowed to be used. Also, this report ended with a few recommendations through which academic skills can be achieved in a better method (learnline.cdu.edu.au, 2018). Although it is not always necessary an essay does not contain this factor. If this was written has essay it would have concluded with the closing of the argument. Therefore, through the assessment of these aspects, the difference of this piece of writing is written in an essay format has been through understood.
References
AlHassan, L. and Wood, D., 2015. The effectiveness of focused instruction of formulaic sequences in augmenting L2 learners’ academic writing skills: A quantitative research study. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 17(1), pp.51-62.
Broadbent, J. and Poon, W.L., 2015. Self-regulated learning strategies & academic achievement in online higher education learning environments: A systematic review. The Internet and Higher Education, 27(3), pp.1-13.
Dweck, C.S., Walton, G.M. and Cohen, G.L., 2014. Academic Tenacity: Mindsets and Skills that Promote Long-Term Learning. 1st ed. Seattle: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
education.cu-portland.edu, 2018, Strategies to Improve Classroom Behavior and Academic Outcomes, Available at: https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/strategies-to-improve-classroom-behavior-and-academic-outcomes/ [Accessed on: 16-07-2018]
gcu.ac.uk, 2018, How does an essay differ from a report?, Available at: https://www.gcu.ac.uk/gsbs/ldc/academicwriting/structuringdifferenttypesofcoursework/howdoesanessaydifferfromareport/ [Accessed on: 18-07-2018]
learnline.cdu.edu.au, 2018, Reports, Available at: https://learnline.cdu.edu.au/studyskills/studyskills/reports.html [Accessed on: 15-07-2018]
Persky, A.M., Henry, T. and Campbell, A., 2015. An exploratory analysis of personality, attitudes, and study skills on the learning curve within a team-based learning environment. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 79(2), pp.20-24.
simplypsychology.org, 2018, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Available at: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html [Accessed on: 17-07-2018]
tocinstitute.org, 2018, The Five Focusing Steps, Available at: https://www.tocinstitute.org/five-focusing-steps.html [Accessed on: 15-07-2018]
unilearning.uow.edu.au, 2018, Report Writing, Available at: https://unilearning.uow.edu.au/report/1b.html [Accessed on: 18-07-2018]
Wernersbach, B.M., Crowley, S.L., Bates, S.C. and Rosenthal, C., 2014. Study skills course impact on academic self-efficacy. Journal of Developmental Education, 1(1), pp.14-33.
York, T.T., Gibson, C. and Rankin, S., 2015. Defining and Measuring Academic Success. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 20(1), pp.12-17.

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