UB Professor's Online Study Guide Makes a Great Gift That Keeps On Giving

Students around the world have found the tips help improve their grades

Release Date: December 17, 2009 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Parents looking for a meaningful gift to give their high school senior should check out an online study guide by a University at Buffalo professor who first created it as a going-away-to-college guide for his stepdaughter.

The 10th anniversary edition of "How To Study: A Brief Guide" available at http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~rapaport/howtostudy.html by William J. Rapaport, PhD, UB professor of computer science and engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has helped students around the world improve their grades.

Rapaport, an affiliated faculty member in the departments of philosophy and linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences and member of the UB Center for Cognitive Science, created it in 1999 for college freshmen, based on techniques that he found successful and on sources from the cognitive science literature.

Since then, students from throughout the U.S. and numerous foreign countries, including India, Spain, China, Sweden and Australia, have reported seeing their grades improve since applying the techniques he suggests.

Using short, easy-to-read tips, accompanied by numerous clever cartoons, the guide covers topics ranging from how students should manage their time, why they should rewrite at home the notes they took in class and why studying the hard subject first is always better.

Rapaport says he developed the ideas out of his own experience when he switched disciplines, having majored in mathematics as an undergraduate and then studying philosophy in graduate school.

"As a math major, I always read things slowly and carefully," he says. "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!"

From that experience, he realized that study techniques that worked in one discipline could be equally successful in another discipline.

And although Rapaport geared it toward the college freshman, he has heard from online users that the techniques also work for high school and middle school students; he has even heard from teachers and parents who say it is helping their elementary-school-aged children succeed.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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