Letters to a New Student is a study skills book with a twist. You decide how to read it.
Based on a series of short, informal, problem page letters that you can read in any order, the book uses principles of human psychology, teaching, and coaching practice to offer a refreshing approach to study skills and learning techniques. The letters form a brief ‘survive and thrive’ study guide to work smarter not harder and offer advice on topics such as motivation, stress, revision, and assignments. It’s a tried-and-tested, blueprint to make information stick with less effort.
The book takes a holistic approach to learning. It covers health and wellbeing, the ‘nuts-and-bolts’ shortcuts, the obstacles, and the pitfalls. It also includes short learning principles and cross-references to other entries, with practical advice in response to the frequently asked questions many students ask during their studies.
Letters to a New Student is for any student under pressure, parents and family who want to offer support, or anyone with interest in lifelong learning. It’s written by a psychologist, teacher, academic coach, and advice columnist, with over 20 years professional experience.
Table of Contents
1. An intro of sorts. . .
A bit of an outro
Dr Gary Wood is a Chartered Psychologist, solution-focused life coach and broadcaster. He is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has taught psychology, research methods and learning skills in several UK universities. Gary appears in the media offering expert analysis and coaching tips and as an agony uncle (advice columnist). To find out more visit: www.drgarywood.co.uk
‘Best years of our lives? Hardly. Being a student these days is no picnic. It’s hard work; it’s emotionally draining; it’s complicated; it’s expensive. This book is written by a guy who wants you to enjoy your student experience, to get the best out of it and – at the very least – to survive your higher education experience with no permanent scars. The book is easy to read and packed with the kind of tips that come from someone who has lived through his share of problems and learned from them. Highly recommended.’ – Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, University of Oxford, UK.
"Letters to a New Student has an answer to most questions and worries about studying: “Is my addictive personality getting in the way of my learning?”; “How can I clear my head and boost my mood?”; and, most importantly, “Should I be using highlighter pens?” Dr Wood also knows better than to just focus on the act of studying itself and dedicates a generous number of pages to the student’s general wellbeing and how this can impact one’s academic performance.
Moreover, Letters to a New Student is aimed not only at students themselves but also parents or relatives looking for ways to support their close ones. Informative and insightful, this is also a dynamic and entertaining read that is sure to keep all readers engaged." – Teodora Aldea, The Student Newspaper (University of Edinburgh)
"Letters to a New Student is a short but extremely helpful guide not only for new and current students, but for their parents and family, to get new ideas and advice on how to study better and how to help other people... Dr. Wood’s advice is supported with human psychology given in 12 clear sections with questions from real students, answers from Dr. Wood, and clear-cut action points and take away messages." - Aditi Jain, Edinburgh University Science Magazine.
"Letters to a New Student is one of the most enjoyable, broad, and useful university preparation books I’ve read. I suspect that many students will enjoy dipping into the book and may ultimately get more from it because of its quirky approach. Wood is entirely correct when he says in his introduction that a long and dense book about studying is the last thing a student needs when faced with working through their daunting 1st-year reading list. This book is easy to navigate, written at a good and engaging level, accurate and evidence-informed, and genuinely useful."
- Jonathan Firth, Teaching Fellow, University of Strathclyde, UK (Review for The British Journal of Psychology).
"Wood's style is an eloquent balance between the motivating style of a life-coach and the no-nonsense approach of an experienced learner.
As a Master's student in their fifth year of study, I can confidently say it has taken me five years to learn some of the strategies addressed in this book. For this reason, I would recommend this book to any student seeking to take a hard look at how they approach learning and put in the work to improve."
- Rebecca Johnson, MSc Research Methods in Psychology Student, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. For 'The Psychology Teaching Review'.