Category Archives: Training & Development

Mini study guide for online research

Whether you are doing a dissertation or independent studies, it is inevitable that you will end up doing online research. If you don’t know where to start, where to look for information, or how to share your work, here is a condensed guide for you.

Have you thought about social media?

Social media can be very useful to start with when it comes to finding information, especially Twitter. If you are looking for research ideas or potential partners, you can easily follow conversations thanks to hashtags, and it can also be useful to gather data. LinkedIn can also be a way to link with businesses or professionals who can help you during your research.

Academic social what?

Yes, academic social networks, creating an account on such websites like Academia, Research Gate and Humanities Commons allows you to connect with other researchers and share your work. Academia and Research Gate can provide you with articles that you can’t automatically access via the University log in, by simply requesting them to the author. The following video introduces each of these academic social networks.

Pay attention to ethics

If you have any doubts about intellectual property and want to know how not to breach the law and how to protect your work, check out the University guide about Intellectual Property Rights to get an insight.

For further help, the Hull University skills team created a dedicated website covering topics ranging from research networking to mapping your digital world. 

Have you already tried these research techniques? Have you got a favourite way to carry out online research?

You liked it? Find more mini guides with the Mini survival guide and the Mini travel guide!

5 Essential Tips for Effective Revision

Start With a Full Stomach and Put Distractions Away!

There’s nothing worse that getting stuck into revision when your stomach starts to growl, eat before or have a bowl of finger foods to munch on as you study. Put your phone away and out of reach, and go somewhere quiet away from family or roommates that could distract you.

Plan Revision Around Your Most Productive Times

If you’re not a morning person, there’s no point trying to sit down and revise first thing. Set yourself an amount of time (preferably late morning/midday) with no interruptions or prior arrangements that could affect the quality of your work

Know What Kind of Learner You Are

There are several different types of learner and whether you learn best Visually, Verbally, or Physically, once you know you are able to perfect a revision method best suited to you. If your friends prefer the same learning methods you can even revise in groups. There are several quizzes available online to help find out what type of learner you are!

Regular Breaks and Fresh Air

Whenever you feel like reaching for your phone or procrastinating, stand up take a walk outside and get some fresh air. Small breaks are essential to effective revision and it makes sure your brain isn’t overloaded all at once.

Revise the ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’

Reading too much information can mean its easily forgotten, However, having the ‘Why’ can help you remember and add real-life examples to adapt your answers when it comes to exams.

Let me know your best revision tips in the comments section! 🙂

CV Boosting Tips for Savvy Students

Whether you’re in first year or final year, it’s always good to think about boosting your CV. Potential employers will make a decision based off an A4 sheet of paper, so be prepared to make it look good and don’t sell yourself short.



1) Google Certifications– Google have started to offer free online certifications, from Adwords, Analytics and App certifications, it’s a pretty simple way to stand out from the crowd. Not only does it show a willingness to learn outside of your degree, but it will give you basic skills in each subject that can be applied in the workplace- best of all it’s FREE!

2) Volunteer– volunteering is great as it allows you to donate your time to something you may be passionate about. From helping the homeless, to simply working in your favourite charity shop- donating as little as one hour can make all the difference. Its a great experience where you can meet different people and learn different skills, for volunteering opportunities in Hull click here.

3) Blog– Ironic, eh! But blogging can give employers a taste of your personality and show them where your interests lie. Blogs are a great way to showcase who you are and what you’re about.

Most importantly though, don’t start neglecting your studies! CV boosters should be just that, a small boost to support your university education. For more help and guidance visit The University of Hull Careers and Employability page.



Have you got any CV boosting tips? I’d love to find out!

3 tips to boost your productivity for a successful semester

Stressed out by tons of assignments coming constantly? Here are 3 tips to help you reorganise your schedule and study more effectively for a successful semester!

Prioritise based on importance and urgency

In his best-seller “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, Dr. Stephen R Covey proposed a method of prioritisation that ranks tasks to be done each week based on their levels of importance and urgency. While people normally prioritise both important and urgent tasks first, this problem-minded approach is ineffective in the long term. Instead, we should become more opportunity-minded by focusing on important yet non-urgent tasks, so that our schedule will not be clogged up in the future.

Prioritisation Chart for Effective Time Management

Focus more with the Pomodoro technique

The main principle behind this technique is to break your work time into 25-minute intervals with short breaks of 3 to 10 minutes in between. This technique helps us fully concentrate on the task at hand, especially when we are so often distracted by many things nowadays.

Steps of the Pomodoro Technique

Save time with visual book summaries

Productivity Game is a great collection of short videos which perfectly summarise books with various topics. Whereas these books normally take you weeks to finish, Productivity Game lets you get hold of the books’ most important insights with only around 20 minutes. These videos are also presented in a visually attractive way, making it much easier to follow.

Have you tried any of these methods before? Were they effective? Don’t hesitate to comment your experience below! 

Study Skills: Strategic approaches that can help you with exams

While exams are commonly acknowledged as painful and troublesome among many students, the ways to counter these problems are becoming increasingly paramount.

With this in mind, here I would like to share a step-by-step personal tactic to deal with all kinds of exam, and hopefully these might aid you with your future study!

1. Know your scope:

It is crucial to know the scope of your exam and the core areas. This is the starting point for effective and efficient revising as the time is limited and consequently you must utilise all your strength on the right direction.

2. Make a revision plan:

Once you have identified your scope and core areas, the next thing is to dissect them into sections and label them with a time frame and priority. Normally, the higher the priority the more the time you need to allocate. And the allocation of time is based on the estimation of your personal strength.

3. Be calm and follow the plan:

When the plan is created, the next step is to follow it! Make sure nothing comes in your way and stop you from reaching the daily objective.

4. Reflect and retain:

The last gap between you and the aim is reflection and retention. It would be frustrating that if you cannot remember anything when it comes to the real deal. So, try to be proactive and reflect on the previous learning at the end of each day, and the science behind this is supported by Hermann Ebbinghaus.

Start to make plans now! Please leave some comments and follow me on twitter for more information! @Chuanqi_Xu

This blog is reproduced from 2016 by Chanqi Xu