University of Southampton

Skills guides

At the University of Southampton you will learn from active researchers using a variety of innovative methods. To help you to get the most out of university learning, download our Academic Skills Guides from the links below.

Our Academic Skills Guides will assist your transition to university study and allow you to make the most of your university experience. They help develop the academic skills needed to be successful in lectures, seminars, research, essay writing and examinations.

The guides provided here have been written exclusively for our Learn with US programme, which is designed to help students make the transition to Higher Education. They are free for you to use, copy and disseminate.

The guides have been created to give an accessible introduction to the essential academic skills students need in Higher Education.

Engaging your mind: An academic guide to lectures & seminars

This guide will help you prepare for effective listening and note-taking in lectures, as well as giving hints and tips on how to get the most from seminars.

Hammering the prose: An academic guide to writing essays

This guide covers how to structure your essay and develop an argument. It also gives advice on suitable academic writing styles, and how to go about the all important editing of your work.

Making the case: An academic guide to research

This guide gives advice on the best ways to find and select the most useful, reliable and relevant information to support an argument in your essay.

Navigating the page: An academic guide to effective reading

This guide introduces you to the various reading styles that will help you get through your research most effectively. It gives tips on how to skim read, and also how to read critically.

Picking your profile: An academic guide to learning styles

This guide provides a brief overview on different learning styles, along with the best way to approach study for each type.

Posing the question: An academic guide to planning essays

This guide will give you advice on picking your subject, question and methodology for an extended essay. It will also give you hints and tips on how to research for and structure the essay.

Getting your point across: An academic guide to giving presentations

This guide gives advice on how to plan, deliver and reflect upon an academic presentation.

Acknowledging knowledge: An academic guide to referencing

This guide explains why referencing in essays is so important, and provides clear examples of exactly how to reference a wide variety of sources from books to YouTube clips.