Academic Toolkit

While it’s normal to feel stuck and unsure of your ideas while completing an assignment, it’s important to begin with a general plan to be efficient and use strategies to overcome the inevitable roadblocks. Below are helpful tools and resources you might consider when preparing to complete major assignments in this course. If you have further questions, post a question in the Q&A Forum in eClass to see if your peers have any tips.

Taking Notes

As discussed in the Academic Reading section, annotating course readings is helpful.

Consider using or another application such as Evernote to take your online notes. Before selecting a tool, test it out and see if it works for your needs. If you use pen and paper, use a strategy such as colour-coding similar themes.

Working with Course Materials (and Plagiarism)

All assignments in this course (including the online discussion) ask you to work with course materials. There are three different ways of incorporating the work and ideas of others (lectures, videos, assigned readings, comments of your peers etc.) into your work: through quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing. These are pivotal academic skills we will practice in this course.

Keep in mind: any ideas and materials of others must be referenced, otherwise, you run the risk of being accused of plagiarism. Here is a useful introduction to how to quote.

Using Chicago Style

Chicago documentation style has two versions: Author-date and Notes-Bibliography. Here is a quick video introducing the two Chicago citation styles. In this course, we are using the Author-Date style.

You can find an example of an essay using the Author-Date format and further information here. The webpage contains helpful examples for using in-text citations, structuring bibliographies, and honouring academic integrity. If you have any questions about using Chicago style, consider booking an online appointment with the U of A Centre for Writers.

Finding Resources in the Library

You can access most of the materials you need for this course on eclass or here on the website. However, at times, you might be asked to use external resources. For this, use the University Library. This short video explains how to use the library catalogue. (You can find further online tutorials that help with all aspects of research here.)

Further Academic Help

Check out the Academic Success Centre on Campus. The centre provides academic support to students through advising, group workshops and online courses, and specialized programming year-round on topics such as time management, learning strategies, note taking, presentation skills and many other topics to help students in all university programs and at all levels of study.