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The study skills handbook

The study skills handbook

Cottrell, Stella, author

This title introduces higher-level study skills and allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the learning process itself, encouraging a reflective and well-informed approach to study

Paperback, Book. English.
Fourth edition.
All formats and editions (8)
Published Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
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Statement of responsibility: Stella Cottrell
ISBN: 1137289252, 9781137289254
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Previous edition: 2008.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: vi, 426 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Series: Palgrave study skills
Subject: Education.; Study skills.
Series Title: Palgrave study skills.


  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Introducing The Study Skills Handbook
  4. 1. Success as a Student
  5. 2. Developing Your Skills
  6. 3. Successful Study: Intelligence, Strategy and Personalised Learning
  7. 4. The CREAM Strategy for Learning
  8. 5. Time Management as a Student
  10. 6. Core Research Skills: Reading, Note-Making and Managing Information
  11. 7. Critical Analytical Thinking
  12. 8. Memory
  13. 9. Confidence with Numbers
  15. 10. Working with Others: Collaborative Study
  17. 11. Writing at University Level
  18. 12. Developing Academic Writing
  19. 13. Research Projects, Case Studies and Dissertations
  20. 14. Revision and Exams
  22. 15. Planning Your Next Move
  23. Appendix 1 Quick Multiplier
  24. Appendix 2 Online Research Tools
  25. Appendix 3 Further Resources on Managing and Studying as a Student
  26. Glossary of Terms Useful to Know in Higher Education
  27. Answers to Activities
  28. References
  29. Index

Author note

Stella Cottrell is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at the University of East London, UK and was formerly the Director of Lifelong Learning at the university of Leeds, UK. She is an international bestselling author, with over a million sales worldwide. Her other titles include Critical Thinking Skills, The Palgrave Student Planner, Skills for Success, and Dissertations & Project Reports.



If you are serious about succeeding with your studies, The Study Skills Handbook is for you! Stella Cottrell has helped hundreds of thousands of students to make learning easier, faster and more enjoyable. Recognising that we all have our own unique formula for success, her tried and trusted approach allows you to find the key to unlock your potential and develop the skills you need to improve your grades, build your confidence and plan for the future you want.

This fully revised fourth edition features:
Chapters on all the core study skills - including research, critical thinking, academic writing, revision, team work and more
E-learning coverage throughout
Illustrations and a strong visual design - acting as memory joggers, reinforcing learning and making the book more accessible, fun and engaging
Lots of new material including brand new chapters on student success and time management

No matter whether you have just left school or college, whether you are a mature, part-time or international student, The Study Skills Handbook is your passport to success.

Description for teachers

The essential study skills guide written by international bestselling author Stella Cottrell. Recognising that we all have our own unique formula for success, her tried and tested approach allows students to unlock their potential and develop the core skills they need to improve their grades, build their confidence and plan for the future.


Praise for the fourth edition:
'Superbly organised and beautifully laid out, with really helpful worked examples and lots of practical tips, this guide is sensitive to the variety of students' learning styles and the different tasks demanded of them. It's essential reading for students, but it's also an invaluable resource for instructors looking for strategies to enrich their teaching.' - Dr Ian W. Archer, Fellow and Tutor in History, Keble College, University of Oxford, UK

'It was a challenge to update a classic, but Cottrell's guide just gets better and better.' - Tracy Johnson, Skills Development Officer, Careers Service, University of Bristol, UK

'A comprehensive, practical and extremely user-friendly guide to studying at university and a crucial addition to any student's book list. This indispensable resource is full of useful suggestions, checklists and examples, with advice on how the latest technology can enhance and support study. Taking a holistic view of what being a student involves, this book empowers, informs and guides students to use the personal and physical resources at their disposal to become reflective, active and independent learners.' - Sarah McCarthy, Academic Skills Adviser, University of Exeter, UK

'The book offers a "one-stop shop" for the wide and varying area of study skills. It successfully and clearly pulls together a broad range of skills from personal to academic. Although aimed specifically at students in HE, readers from most levels of study would find sections of this text helpful in understanding and broadening their skills... The ability to encompass the diverse needs and capabilities of students across sectors and disciplines is a real achievement... As a study skills 'starter for 10' readers would be hard pushed to find a better beginning.' - Emma Nelson, Student Experience Manager (Sociology & Social Policy), University of Leeds, UK

'This latest edition brings an already-excellent resource up-to-date, with information about apps for study, mobile learning, and balancing work and study. The Handbook is like an ideal mentor for new students - accessible, informed, friendly, and full of warmth, wisdom, and good advice. Supportive without being patronising, and informative without being bossy, this guide is of direct use for anyone setting out on the adventure of higher education.' - Dr Tim Herrick, Director of Part-time Studies, Institute for Lifelong Learning, University of Sheffield, UK

'Stella Cottrell's The Study Skills Handbook is an accessible and highly user-friendly manual for learning and teaching study skills in higher education. It is set out in an easy to understand manner which makes using it straightforward, with practical exercises throughout, with helpful tables, checklists, e-learning exercises and suggestions on study techniques. The book is already well-known from its previous three editions and is widely used in a broad range of higher education institutions for good reason. The Study Skills Handbook combines excellent pedagogic knowledge on how to study with practical applications. The fourth edition has been extensively revised and includes new materials on research projects, case studies, creative problem-solving and a new chapter on time management. Overall, this is an excellent handbook that should be widely used in higher education by students and teachers of skills alike as an accessible yet comprehensive resource.' - Neil Winn, Senior Lecturer in European Studies, School of Politics & International Studies, University of Leeds, UK

'The fourth edition of The Study Skills Handbook offers friendly, accessible and adaptable advice on a variety of learning styles, intellectual instincts and self-development trajectories, effectively encouraging students to take an active interest in identifying, acquiring and honing those study skills optimal for sustaining their individual appreciation of a rigorous liberal arts and sciences programme.' - Dr Cissie Fu, Director of Studies, Leiden University College The Hague, Netherlands

Praise for the third edition:

"Thoroughly deserving of its reputation as the key text in essential study skills." - Dr Murray Simpson, School of Education, Social Work and Community Education, University of Dundee, UK

"Brilliant book - essential for any undergraduate." - Jenny Fisher, Division of Psychology and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

"This book just gets better and better. Probably the most user friendly study skills handbook on the market. The extra sections just add to its 'must have' status." - Margo Learmouth, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Robert Gordon University, UK

"Without this book you can get by just fine with your education, but with it you could be exceptional." - Zac (student)

"This book literally wills you to succeed, it's inspirational." - Anon (student)

"Among similar books I think that Cottrell's book stands out in its innovative presentation, common sense approach and practicality...The job of Universities is changing as we can no longer assume that students know how to learn - and so we must guide them. This book is an excellent support for that mission." - Dr Keith Pond, The Business School, Loughborough University, UK

"Now in its third edition and part of the highly regarded Palgrave Study Skills series, this easy-to-follow guide to university-style study is the perfect first book for new undergraduates." - The Daily Telegraph, UK