Making the Grade eBook

6 month licence access

Fourth Edition

Iain Hay, Dianne Bochner, Gill Blacket, Carol Dungey

Making the Grade eBook

6 month licence access

Fourth Edition

Iain Hay, Dianne Bochner, Gill Blacket, Carol Dungey




Ebook Rental


5 Jul 2016




$38.95 AUD

$44.99 NZD

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This book is a practical guide for students, full of the essential communication and study skills that will help them 'make the grade'. Covering all the skills that will be used across a degree, the book begins with listening skills, efficient time management and working effectively with a team and takes students right through their course to the best tips for taking exams. In between, it investigates and explains all formats in which lecturers usually ask students to convey their ideas, including essays, reports, annotated bibliographies, reviews, oral presentations, posters, and figures and tables. It also offers assistance revision, referencing and using the library effectively.

Students can read the book from front to back, look up particular topics as they need to, or use just one section they find useful. Each chapter is self-contained and deals with a different aspect of the skills necessary for both successful university learning and communication, assisting students to navigate the culture, language and conventions of successful study at university.


  • Tips - margin notes highlight key concepts and tips to help students study
  • Examples and Boxes throughout illustrate concepts
  • New design and structure for this edition to better support development of skills


1. Starting out – university study and you

What is university learning all about?
Learning: how do you go about it?
Learning in lectures
Learning to listen
Taking good notes in lectures
Learning in tutorials, seminars and workshops
Learning and listening

2. Settling down – studying alone
Studying outside formal classes
Planning your study time
Studying at night
Studying as part of a group
Getting started with your university study
Reading for study
Making notes for essays and other assignments

3. Teaming up – working in groups
What is a team?
Why use teams for study and in the workplace?
What does teamwork offer individuals?
What kind of tasks are appropriate for teams rather than individuals?
What makes a team effective?
How can you make your team effective?
Maintaining an effective team
Supportive behaviour within the team
Collaborative writing of a team project
Making a team presentation

4. Finding out – becoming well informed
Why are information skills important?
Becoming familiar with the library?
Finding resources listed on a reading list
Using the library’s searching tools
Locating material in the library building
Electronic collections
Finding information for your assignment
Summing up

5. Writing up – essay writing

Why write?
What is an essay?
How do you write a good essay?
What are your essay markers looking for?
The matter of scholarship

6. Arguing through – preparing and presenting written argument
How do we define an argument?
What makes a strong inductive argument?
What is acceptable reasoning and evidence in developing an argument?
What is unacceptable reasoning or evidence?
A word of warning
A summary of the requirements for a strong argumentative essay
Some hints for planning an argumentative essay

7. Stating facts – presenting research findings
What are report readers looking for?
General layout of a report
Written expression and presentation
Writing a laboratory report

8. Making sense – writing annotated bibliographies, summaries and

Preparing an annotated bibliography
Writing summaries or précis
Writing a review

9. Writing well – language and sentence structure

What is good writing?
Achieving the goals of good functional writing
Choosing the right word
Using inclusive language
Structuring clear sentences
Finding out about correct grammar

10. Dotting ‘i’s – using punctuation correctly
Why is punctuation important?
Using abbreviations and other shortened forms of words or phrases
Using apostrophes correctly
Using capital letters
Using colons
Using semicolons
Using commas
Using ellipses
Using the full stop
Using numbers
Using quotation marks
Finding out more about punctuation

11. Owning up – acknowledging sources
The author-date (Harvard) system
The note system
The Vancouver system
Notes and note identifiers
The importance of acknowledging sources

12. Speaking out – public speaking

Why are public speaking skills important?
Preparing to give a talk
Delivering your talk
Coping with questions

13. Showing off – communicating with figures and tables
Why communicate graphically?
General guidelines for clear graphic communication
Difference types of graphs

14. Pasting up – preparing posters
Why make a poster?
How to produce a poster
What are your poster markers looking for?
Designing your poster
Visibility and colour
Acknowledging sources

15. Facing up – succeeding in exams
Why have exams?
Types of exam
Preparing for an exam
Sitting exams: a guide to technique for written exams
Specific advice for multiple choice exams
Specific advice for oral exams
Specific advice for open book exams
Specific advice for take-home exams
Online exams


Iain Hay — Professor of Human Geography at Flinders University
Dianne Bochner — Retired Lecturer in Communication Skills, Professional English, and Literary Studies, Flinders University
Gill Blacket — Digital Resources Librarian, Flinders University
Carol Dungey — Formerly Campus Librarian at University of South Australia

Student Resources

An additional online chapter for students using Making the Grade is available below:

Chapter 16: Finding ground - making maps