How to Get a First : The Essential Guide to Academic Success book cover
1st Edition

How to Get a First
The Essential Guide to Academic Success

ISBN 9780415317337
Published September 26, 2004 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

In this informative guide, Thomas Dixon argues that you do not have to be a genius to get a first at university. He sets out to de-mystify first-class degrees in the arts, humanities and social sciences, clearly articulating the difference between the excellent and the merely competent in undergraduate work.

This concise, no-nonsense guidebook will give prospective and current students advice on teaching and learning styles that prevail in university and on how to manage their two most important resources - their time and their lecturers. In an accessible and entertaining style, the author looks at subjects such as:

  • making the transition from school to university
  • developing transferable skills
  • making use of lectures and seminars
  • using libraries and the Internet
  • note-taking, essays, seminars and presentations
  • common mistakes to avoid
  • writing with clarity and style
  • revision and examinations.

Illustrated with many examples from a range of academic disciplines, How to Get a First is an all-purpose guide to success in academic life. Visit the companion website

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Taking Aim: The Task and the Resources  3. Lectures, Classes and Seminars  4. Libraries and Reading Lists  5. Reading and Taking Notes from Books and Articles  6. Using the Internet  7. Planning Essays, Presentations and Dissertations  8. Giving a Presentation  9. Writing Essays and Dissertation I: The Basics  10. Writing Essays and Dissertations II: Arguing with Style  11. Revision and Exams  12. How to Get a First

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Thomas Dixon has taught at the Universities of Cambridge and London, and is now a Lecturer in History at Lancaster University.


'[How to Get a First] is the title of an excellent guide by Thomas Dixon ... it is a compilation of what he wishes he had known before he went to university.' - The Daily Telegraph

'This is not some sort of get rich (top grades) quick scheme but a collection of good advice.' - Physical Sciences Educational Reviews