Workshop descriptions

Workshop descriptions

Workshop descriptions

Learning Skills 60- and 90-minute workshops are free and there's no need to register. All currently enrolled Macquarie students are welcome to attend.

Click on the headings below for workshop topics and descriptions. Most workshops will suit coursework students at all levels. Workshops that offer more in-depth treatment of a topic are labelled advanced.

To find out when Learning Skills' workshops are running, view the academic language and learning workshops calendar.

Skills for academic study


Exam strategies

Do you feel anxious at the thought of your exams? Don't panic! This workshop provides:

  • practical ways you can get organised
  • useful revision techniques
  • strategies to manage anxiety and contacts for help
  • ways to approach different types of exam questions.

Habits of high achieving students

Individuals learn different things, in different ways, at different speeds — even in the same course! In this workshop, we will explore what successful students do to:

  • improve study effectiveness
  • achieve higher marks
  • avoid burnout and enjoy university more.

Managing your reading load

Feeling swamped and stressed by all the readings you have to do? Finding it hard to locate the main points in the readings? In this workshop, you'll:

  • discover techniques for reading academic texts more effectively
  • learn how to increase your concentration while reading
  • consider techniques for more effective online reading.

Reading critically

What does it mean to 'read critically'? How do I do it? Using examples and activities, this workshop will:

  • explain what reading critically is, and is not
  • present questions you can use as you read
  • show how these might be used in your writing.

Reading critically WEBINAR

What does it mean to 'read critically'? How do I do it? Using examples and activities, this workshop will:

  • explain what reading critically is (and is not)
  • suggest aspects of texts to focus on as you read
  • show how you might use your critical thoughts as you build your academic argument.

Taking better notes

Why take notes when lectures, PowerPoints and readings are available online? In this workshop, you'll:

  • learn why note-taking is an important skill for learning and exam revision
  • review the basic strategies for note-taking
  • discover new note-taking techniques for specific study purposes
  • consider strategies and tools for digital note-taking.

Researching and referencing


AGLC3: Referencing in Law

Are you worried about using the AGLC3? This workshop, presented by a law librarian in conjunction with Macquarie University Law Society students, explains the mysteries of legal citation. You'll learn:

  • how to use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (Third Edition) effectively
  • the main features of legal citation that you need to be familiar with.

APA referencing

APA is one of the most common referencing styles at university. In this nuts-and-bolts-workshop you'll learn how to:

  • use in-text referencing (citation) in APA style
  • construct an accurate reference list in APA style.

APA referencing WEBINAR

APA is one of the main referencing styles used at Macquarie. This online workshop will cover:

  • the basic principles of using APA
  • citing correctly in-text
  • formatting your APA reference list correctly.

Avoiding common plagiarism errors

Plagiarism in your assignments can result in lower marks and academic penalties. Come to this workshop to find out:

  • what plagiarism is
  • the most common types
  • how to correctly acknowledge sources to avoid plagiarism.

Finding sources for your assignment

Not sure where to begin with researching your assignment? In this workshop you’ll learn how to:

  • search efficiently for academic sources for your assignments
  • identify key databases and collections in your subject area
  • identify different types of sources and how to best use them.

Paraphrasing effectively to express your ideas

Students are told to use their own "voice" as well as to refer to the ideas of others. How is it possible to do both in one assignment? This workshop will:

  • explain what is meant by 'voice' in academic writing
  • demonstrate the difference between quoting, summarising and paraphrasing
  • give practice on paraphrasing strategies.

Referencing essentials

Has it been a long time since you had to use a reference? Is it your first time to do referencing? Learn and practice the principles that will enable you to cite effectively and create an accurate reference list.

Selecting and evaluating academic sources (advanced)

Many assignments require you to find information beyond your class readings. But how do you find information, and how do you know whether it's appropriate? This workshop will explain:

  • basic search strategies
  • advice for evaluating academic sources
  • ways to manage research for coursework assignments.

Assignments, writing and academic language


Analysing assignment questions to improve your marks

A common problem at university is understanding assignment questions. Don't lose marks because you don’t fully understand what you have to do! This workshop covers how to:

  • analyse assignment questions
  • understand different kinds of assignment questions
  • produce appropriate responses to get better marks.

Constructing effective paragraphs

Have you ever received the feedback that your ideas are not clear? Express your ideas more effectively with well-organised paragraphs. This practical workshop will cover:

  • common problems with student paragraph writing
  • how to effectively highlight your main ideas
  • how to relate your supporting sentences to your main ideas.

Developing your essay argument

Do you get marker’s feedback saying that your essays do not have an argument? This workshop will cover:

  • what is an argument?
  • how do I formulate an argument?
  • what makes an argument strong?

Essay structure

A well-structured essay provides the framework for writing a good essay. This workshop will cover:

  • steps in essay writing
  • basic essay structure
  • how to present your ideas in an organised, logical way.

Essay structure WEBINAR

This online workshop will cover:

  • the "what, why and must-haves" of an essay
  • the essay writing process
  • the importance of structure and practice.

Getting started with academic writing

If you are new to writing at the university level, this introductory workshop will give you an overview of the features and requirements of academic writing. You’ll learn about:

  • the different types of academic writing
  • academic style
  • the structure of academic texts
  • what it means to write critically.

Making your writing more academic

Myth #1: Academic writing means you have to write long, complicated sentences. Wrong! In this workshop, you'll:

  • find out what is and isn't important in academic writing
  • review common conventions of academic writing
  • practice academic writing style using simple examples.

Reflective writing

Reflective writing assignments are becoming more and more common in university courses, yet many students are unsure of how to handle this relatively new type of assignment. In this workshop, we will:

  • explain what reflective writing is
  • discuss the place of reflective writing in academic study
  • explore the structure of reflective writing.

Writing better introductions and conclusions

Although only making up about 20% of your essay, the introduction and conclusion are extremely important. This workshop will focus on:

  • the purposes of the essay's introduction and conclusions
  • creating organised and effective essay introductions and conclusions.

Writing clear sentences

Do you get feedback that your sentences are confusing and unclear? Through examples and practice activities, you'll:

  • discover common causes of unclear writing
  • practice identifying and fixing these problems.

The strategies in this workshop will also improve your skills as a reader!

Writing critically

From your first week at uni you'll be told how important it is to think critically. How do you demonstrate this in your writing? This workshop will:

  • show examples of descriptive vs critical writing
  • provide important strategies for writing critically
  • give you practice at identifying critical analysis in written texts.

Writing critically WEBINAR

This online workshop will cover:

  • descriptive vs critical writing
  • thinking, reading and writing critically
  • strategies for writing more critically.

Writing repair workshop (1.5 hours)

You’ve written the right number of words, and used the right number of sources. Yet you know your assignment could be much better. This workshop will walk you through a process to repair and improve what you’ve written. We'll discuss how to:

  • ask critical questions about your writing
  • evaluate and revise your writing
  • edit and proofread your writing.

Bring along an assignment you’re working on.

Writing workshop (1.5 hours)

Every assignment can present different challenges in writing. This practical workshop will:

  • review essay and paragraph structure
  • give you the opportunity for individual writing feedback and advice from a Learning Adviser.

Bring along an assignment you're working on.

Support for HDR students

HDR students will find targeted support at HDR workshops and learning support.

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