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DWC Tip Sheet

(From previous O.A.S. Workshop Presentations)

Tutor's/Graduate Student's Tips

General Tips

  • Rewrite the notes the day of the class.
  • Learn the professor’s testing style.
  • Fill out the study sheets that are given to you by the professor.
  • Condense the notes to form ideas and themes (these are usually stated in the first five minutes and the last five minutes of the class).
  • Put the readings into your own words (when possible) and try to do them right after class.
  • Write down questions when doing the reading.
  • Assemble a study sheet when going over your notes/readings.
  • Look for connections at the beginning and ending parts of the lecture.
  • Use a chart of philosophers to remember their ideas and theories (this good for comparing/contrasting them).
  • When reading and you have no idea what is being said stop reading and wait and listen to the lecture and then go back and read the material.
  • When studying (a few days ahead of time) organize everything into separate disciplines.
  • Take breaks in between reading (this will help your concentration when you go back to your work).
  • Use shorthand when taking notes (you cannot write down everything the professor says).
  • Make lists of character when going over your notes.
  • Keep up with the reading as much as possible because it provides repetition.
  • Spread your reading out, try not to read it all at once.
  • Try to do the larger readings earlier in the day.
  • Start studying at least three days prior to the exam.
  • After each class go over your notes (same day). Write down what you think will on the test. At the end of the week, then take the quiz and look over what you got wrong and then fill-in the information from your notes. You have now created a review sheet for the week.
  • Some helpful websites: and
  • If there are gaps in your notes listen to the D.W.C Tapes located in Feinstein 310.
  • Hours: Monday through Thursday: 8am to 10pm; Friday: 8am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday: 1pm to 5pm

Exam Tips

  • Most of the multiple-choice questions come from the reading assignments.
  • For multiple choice exams cross out the answers that you know are wrong immediately.
  • Essay exams come from connections and the main ideas.
  • Professors like to see in your essay what they said in class.
  • List two to three good arguments for each point to accompany your thesis statement.
  • Outline your essay before you take the exam.
  • When writing your essay assume that the reader (professor) does not know anything about the topic.
  • Treat each multiple-choice answer as if it were a true/false statement.
  • When studying (and answering an exam question/essay) make sure you know the: who, what, when, where, why, and the results of that specific item being asked.

Professor's Tips

General Tips

  • ASK FOR HELP! The professors are not going to seek you out.
  • Know the quotes that the professor mentions in class.
  • Make a study guide on the day that you have the class (from those days’ notes).
  • Do not be afraid to contact your professor via the email.
  • Take actual notes from the readings (do not highlight).
  • Study and review on your own (and write out some questions) before meeting with a study group.
  • Pay attention to the terms that are on the blackboard.
  • History questions usually come from the book not the lecture.
  • Cliff/Spark Notes may help you understand the general principles of the book but not the specific information.
  • After you get a quiz back, compare it with the handouts (try to detect a pattern for questions from the professor).
  • Handouts are vital because it can be a clue to what may be on the exam.
  • Gauge your time on the tests especially if you have multiple choice and essay questions.
  • As a guide try to spend 1 minute per multiple choice question (example: 20 questions=20 minutes).
  • Use note cards on topics/questions and review them at least once per week.
  • Make connections with the four subgroups when going over the material/topic (Connect the themes of Literature, Philosophy, Theology, and History).
  • Always do your reading before class even if you do not understand the material.
  • Note where the professors get their test questions from (example: lecture or text)

Paper Tips

  • Every time you rewrite your paper you improve it.
  • Try to talk to the professor after you have done an outline to make sure you are on the right track.
  • Try to finish the assignment early so you can meet with a D.W.C. tutor (from a content standpoint) and with a tutor from the Writing Center (from a structure/grammatical standpoint).
  • The essay must be clear, coherent and complete.
  • You should use the following steps:
    1. Read the assignment.
    2. Determine the expectations of the professor/assignment.
    3. Brainstorm the topic.
    4. Know your facts (names and battles).
    5. Organize your thoughts.
    6. Determine the order of points that you want to make.
    7. Use the connections from the different areas and use original examples
      (do not regurgitate the information back to the professor).

Exam Tips

  • Always outline your essay before writing it.
  • After wiring a paragraph make sure to re-read your paragraph and re-read the essay question! Are you answering what is being asked of you?
  • Study your quizzes because they will probably be on the exam.
  • Define the terms in the essay topic; this will not allow you to drift from the topic.
  • Sometimes the multiple-choice answers can be used in the essay.
  • Make sure you answer the essay question directly.
  • Be prepared on essay exams to write comparative essays (compare/contrast).
  • Analyze your quizzes-figure out which sections you are getting wrong.
  • Outline the essay first and list all the answers to the question. Then write the paragraphs but always keep in mind what is the question asking you.
  • Learn how to spell correctly the people and places (you can lose points on this).
  • Make sure to include in your thesis statement: the essay you have chosen; back up the thought and give the professor an overview of what the essay is going to contain.
  • Be specific-back up each point with two examples (prove to the reader that you know what you are talking about).
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