Academics News

Academic Success Tip

What if I am on top of my reading, but feel clueless about some of the material?

  • Go through your class notes and try to determine what specific questions you have about the course.
  • Write down your questions and where the reference is in your notes/casebook so that you can find the spot quickly if you need to refer back to it.
  • Read a study aid to gain more understanding about the specific topic.
  • Some learners clear up their confusion by outlining the material.  By “pulling it together” for inclusion in an outline, the material is no longer abstract or confusing.
  • If you still have questions, ask for help from your classmates or your professor. 
  • The more specific you can be about your questions, the easier it will be for someone to help you.
  • Have your class notes/casebook with you when you ask for help so that you can show the person the material that is confusing you.

Academic Success Tip -

What if I am behind on my course outlines?

  • For each course, calculate how many weeks behind you are in the outline. 
  • Start with the course that is most caught up and finish that outline first.  Then work on the next outline that has the fewest weeks to catch up and so forth.
  • If you are equally behind in several outlines, start with the course that you think you can do most quickly. 
  • If you have not started any outlines, decide which outline will be the easiest to do and complete it first.  Next easiest and so forth.
  • Block off time in your schedule to work on each outline over several days rather than expect to find 8 or 10 hours straight for outlining.
  • Set goals for when each outline will be current.  Try to have all outlines completed within 10 days – the earlier the better.
  • You will need to sacrifice weekend “fun” time to get on top of your outlining so that you only have to add new material each week.

Academic Success Tip - Catch Up on Reading

You are in your seventh week of classes now.  This week's tips are based on student questions that have been asked recently.

What is the best way to catch up if I am behind in my reading for one or more courses?

  • Make your priority staying on top of the current readings for class.  You will then be able to follow the class discussions.
  • Fit in back reading as you can in small chunks (1 case or 5 pages at a time). 
  • On the weekend, read first for your Monday and Tuesday classes for the upcoming week.  Then use extra time for catch-up reading.

Trandafir International Business Writing Competition

Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, a journal of the University of Iowa College of Law, is pleased to announce the 2009-10 Trandafir International Business Writing Competition. The competition is open to all graduate and law students. The winning student will receive a cash prize of $2,000, and the journal will publish the winning submission in an upcoming edition. Submissions should address a contemporary international business or economic issue with a legal nexus.

Submissions must arrive at our office, via e-mail or U.S. mail only, no later than 5:00 PM CST on February 1, 2010.  A panel of journal editors and university professors will select the winning submission by early April 2010.  

Please address all inquiries to: law-trandafir@iowa.uiowa.edu. Submissions can be mailed to Trandafir International Business Writing Competition, University of Iowa College of Law, Boyd Law Building, Room 185, Iowa City, IA 52242.

Academic Success Tip - Handling Pressure

Do not give up hope.  It is not too late to become more efficient and effective this semester.  It is not too late to catch up if you are behind.  Start today to solve the problems.  Moaning and groaning are counter-productive.  If you need help in planning strategies to turn things around, contact the Academic Success Office.

Winner - Academic Success Drawing

Thank you to all first-year law students who completed an evaluation for the Structured Study Group program.  The winner of two tickets to Lawlapalooza on October 1, 2009, at Phoenix Hill Tavern is Joe Lambert.  Tickets for the drawing this week were provided courtesy of Dean Chen.  Please claim your prize from the Academic Success Office, Room 212, by Monday.

Winner - Academic Success Drawing

Thank you to all first-year law students who completed an evaluation for the Structured Study Group program.  The winner of two tickets to Lawlapalooza on October 1, 2009, at Phoenix Hill Tavern is Sadaf Aulakh.  Tickets for the drawing this week were provided courtesy of Dean Chen.  Please claim your prize from the Academic Success Office, Room 212, by Friday.  

Academic Success Tip - Handling Pressure

Use a reward system to keep your motivation up.  Decide small rewards for yourself for completion of small tasks.  Small rewards might be: a bubble bath; one ½-hour television show; one computer game; popcorn; a walk with the dog; a play break with your child.  Decide large rewards for yourself for completion of large tasks: a night at the movies; dinner with friends at a nice restaurant; two hours reading a novel; a new outfit. When you have a reward to look forward to, you are more likely to stay motivated in completing your work.

Winner - Academic Success Drawing

Thank you to all first-year law students who completed an evaluation for the Structured Study Group program.  The winner of two tickets to Lawlapalooza on October 1, 2009, at Phoenix Hill Tavern is Brooke McCord.  Tickets for the drawing this week were provided courtesy of Dean Chen.  Please claim your prize from the Academic Success Office, Room 212, by Thursday.  

Academic Success Tip - Handling Pressure

Determine your current areas of confusion and get help now.  Concepts often build on one another – if you wait too long, you will be hopelessly lost.  Review your briefs and class notes and determine what questions you have at this time.  Talk with classmates who understand the material.  Ask professors questions.  Use a study aid to clarify a topic.