Tag Archives: study

5 Effective Study Techniques to Try

a girl is sitting in front of her computer screen

You might think that there is nothing more to add to your study routine. How can studying be different from what you are used to? However, this is not really true. There are multiple study techniques that you should definitely try to achieve maximum effectiveness when spending less time. Let’s find out more about the coolest study techniques.

Studying Before Sleep

A simple technique that you might be using all the time without even knowing is studying right before you go to sleep. The trick is simple, just study for a few hours in the evening and then review your notes when you wake up. While you are asleep, your brain analyzes the information you received during the day and organizes it to make it easier for you to use later when you need it. Sleep also helps to structure the information and understand it better.

So, that’s why it’s much better for your memory and routine to avoid pulling all-nighters. Get the rest that you need at night and save your time by studying in the evening. 

The PQ4R Technique

This study technique’s name is an abbreviation to “Preview – Question – Read – Reflect – Recite – Review.” Let’s find out what that means.

The first step is to preview the material. What you do is skimming the information, how long the text is and what it is about. At this step, you read only headers and introduction without getting into details of the text; look through the footers and illustration if there are any.

The next step is to question yourself if you understand what this topic is about and if there is anything that you already know regarding the subject. After that, you read information for the first time without rushing through it. Reflect on what you have just read – think of what you have learned and take some notes to structure the main points. After that, you should be able to recite the information – summarize it using your own words. And, finally, review the material and your notes one more time.

When using this method, students usually are much more likely to understand the material and remember it.

Spaced Practice

The trick with the spaced practice method is all about our memory and the time needed to remember information for a long time or even forever. It basically provides you with a scheme of study sessions that you need to take in order to remember information.

The scheme according to the spaced practice method is the following:

  • Step 1: You learn new material in class;
  • Step 2: You review your notes and reread material on the next day;
  • Step 3: You repeat step 2 on the third day, after one week, and after two weeks.

This scheme allows you to avoid cramming before an important test or exam. Instead, you spend around an hour through the larger period of time revisiting your notes and material. This gives you a better understanding of information and better memorizing. 

Try this method when you start your new semester, and you will find that it works great – you spend way less time studying and feel much more confident about your memory. Though this method requires you to plan your studies ahead and work on your study schedule more, it’s one of the best ways to get ready for the test.

The Feynman Method

If you find it hard to comprehend the material that you need to memorize because of the complexity of the concept or terminology, the Feynman method is just for you. What you can try when learning new material is to try to summarize it with your own words.

Basically, this technique is all about trying to explain complex material in your own words. You might also find it useful to try to find some examples that will help understand theory in practical cases. For example, it’s way easier to understand various economic definitions by breaking them down into smaller pieces and finding some simpler words or everyday examples to project the material onto.

If you find it hard to use this method, try to imagine that you need to explain the material to someone who is not that much acknowledged with the topic or subject as you are. So, you will have to start with basic knowledge of the topic and less specific terminology. This is what the Feynman technique is about. 

Later, you will be able to use this technique more frequently, and it will be no problem for you to break complex concepts into smaller parts, explaining them with your own words.

This method works great for everyone, though it requires you to understand that sometimes during tests or exams, you will have to face the need to use not your own explanation but the official terms, which might cause some difficulties.

Studying After Exercising

Noy only studying before sleep makes you retain information better. You can also increase your productivity if you study right after you exercise. Exercising can boost your creativity and brain activity by increasing your energy and hormone serotonin levels, improving your mood and well-being.

So, basically, you feel happier and more productive right after your workout. This is the perfect timing for studying and gives you a lot of various benefits such as:

  • Better focus
  • Less stress
  • Good memory
  • Faster thinking process

Make sure you spend an hour or two after each workout on your homework, and you will see that your studying routine has significantly improved. And if you need some extra help, you should definitely turn to our team of writers. Don’t let homework knock you down!

A Full Guide to Qualitative Research

two women talking

Every student faces two types of research through their study years. If you haven’t checked our guide to quantitative research yet, you definitely should as we cover a lot of important points there. Now, let’s find out what qualitative research is, how it differs from quantitative research, and how to implement one to use the results for your academic work.

Definition

Qualitative research is the process of collection descriptive data through conversing, questioning, and observing. While quantitative research aims to get numerical data, qualitative research focuses on the data that characterizes particular phenomena, behavior, objects, and events. It can’t be measured but can provide useful insights and a foundation for quantitative research.

Qualitative research is often used in various sociology and psychology studies as it can help understand the behavior and preferences of particular groups of people. It’s also commonly used in marketing management to determine what marketing strategies a business should implement to draw the attention of their target audience.

Characteristics

Qualitative research has particular specifics that one should consider when deciding on what type of research to use for their study:

  1. Qualitative research requires gathering lots of data from various sources in order to get the most reliable results. That’s why it might be time-consuming. However, if you need to conduct research for your paper, you can surely turn to a professional team that will nail it.
  2. The data needed for research should often be collected at sight. For example, if researchers want to learn more about the nature of nightmares, they should work with people who are experiencing them at the moment and not used to in the past. That means that sometimes searching for the right group of participants might be challenging.
  3. The complex problems that a researcher wants to solve should be broken into smaller segments in order to make it possible to explore the problem, its cause, and its effects.

Data Gathering Methods

There are a few types of qualitative research methods that one can use for their studies.

Interviews

Interviews (often one-on-one type) are one of the most common methods of qualitative research that are used for various studies. Interviews are usually held in order to get an opinion from a group of participants but without their communication with each other. Such interviews are preferred in psychology studies as they allow to avoid biases and gather precise data that is not affected by the answers of other participants.

Interviews can be conducted not only face-to-face but also by phone or video calls. This method has a particular advantage: a researcher can control the process and choose the questions to ask according to the previous answer. This is what differs this method from written questionnaires or surveys with a specific set of questions where a personalized approach can’t be applied.

Observation

If the researchers want to collect information from the participants without changing their natural setting, the method of observation is applied. It is a process of collecting data by observing and through involvement in the activities led by the participants themselves. In other words, when observing, researchers can make conclusions about the setting and behavior of the participants without intruding in their lives.

Observations are important as they allow gathering the data that wouldn’t be that reliable if asked in an interview. Many people might not give the answer to a particular question, but their behavior in their natural setting will provide such an answer to the researchers.

Focus groups

The group of participants that is used to explore and study a phenomenon is called a focus group. Research that uses such a method aims to collect information from a particular group of people that might (or might not) share some common qualities.

Often, focus groups are gathered to have group discussions and therefore determine similarities and correlations. It’s important to create the right environment for such discussions in order to gather truthful and reliable data.

Criticism

Though qualitative research methods are frequently used in various studies and researches, there are particular characteristics that should be paid attention to.

Reliability

As qualitative data is commonly collected from the information that participants give themselves, it’s hard to call it totally reliable. Such research should always consider possible biases and deviations as it’s hard to sort and test this information.

Some participants might not give honest answers or try to give the answers that are expected or requested. Other participants might be not aware of their biases due to various circumstances and even the presence of researchers themselves. So, it’s one of the main issues that one might face when conducting qualitative research.

Analysis

Another difficulty that many researchers face is the step after the collection of the data – the data analysis. Unlike the quantitative research that deals with raw numbers, the qualitative data is much more diverse, thus it is hard to analyze it and interpret it appropriately and stay unbiased.

The same data can be interpreted differently depending on the aims of the research, experience of the researcher, instruments used, etc. That’s why it’s so important to combine various methods of research in order to collect as much data as possible and use different methods of analysis.

Wrapping Up

So, this was our guide to qualitative research. We hope you find it useful for your studies. Remember that the combination of various research types and methods usually get the most reliable results. It requires time and effort, but if done right, such researches can give very useful insights and even provide a fresh look at the problem.