high school seniors applying to college, there are a lot of things to consider:
which school to go to, whether to live on campus or commute, and what to do
about the rising cost of tuition. However, what they might not consider is the
prospect of having to carry studying skills into an entirely new learning
environment. Fortunately, a UB professor has some suggestions for students who
are looking into pursuing higher education.
1999, William J. Rapaport, PhD., a computer science and engineering professor
and affiliated philosophy and linguistics professor at UB, wrote a guide to
help his stepdaughter prepare for college. Today, it has helped students from
countries all over the world get better grades. Rapaport’s 10th anniversary edition of this manual, “How to Study: A Brief Guide”, is available
for public use at this site.
guide is presented in an easy-to-read format with short paragraphs and comics
that illustrate each of his individual points. Rapaport includes tips that
advise students how to manage their time, read textbooks effectively, do
research for and write essays, and more. Since he published the guide, students
in the US, Spain, China, India, Sweden, Australia, and other countries have
used the tips to improve their own study habits and grades.
said that he based his techniques on skills that he learned by branching out
from his original field of mathematics in college. He majored in math as an
undergraduate, but studied philosophy in graduate school. Rapaport’s techniques
in the guide are mostly based on information in cognitive science literature,
but he said that his experience in multiple fields let him see that what works
in math can work in other fields as well.
a math major, I always read things slowly and carefully,” Rapaport said.
“Because of the cumulative nature of math, I made sure I understood everything
before going on to a new topic. When I started to study philosophy, I just
applied the same techniques–and they worked!”
geared his guide toward educating and helping college freshmen. However, he
said that he has heard of students in high school, middle school, and even
elementary school benefiting from his information as well, based on comments
that he has received from online readers, parents, and teachers in various
grade levels. Regardless of what age a student is, Rapport’s guide may very
well prove to be a useful read.