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Study tips


Ask the librarian

Most universities modify the system slightly to suit the needs of their students, so if you consult other universities’ Harvard referencing guides you will find differences between them. For this reason, it is important you use UCA’s own Harvard Referencing guide when completing your assignments.

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Some thoughts on criticality

Critical Art can be hard to understand – it’s designed to be challenging after all – but the bracing experience of having one’s expectations re-calibrated so that we can understand everything anew, or at least from a different point of view is to be encouraged.

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Book Review: Anne D’Alleva’s 'How to Write Art History'

Writing about works of art can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to build up a body of knowledge from a standing start as well as link it — perhaps at the repeated behest of your tutor — to work that you’ve made. Finding a way to turn the experience of looking at something into meaningful text isn’t easy, but developing a way of clearly writing about the visual is an important skill to acquire when studying art.

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Getting your poetry out there: Part 2 – Blogging and online presence

So your tutors are giving you good feedback, and you’re happy with what you’re writing, but what’s the next stage in sharing that with other people? People you don’t know, people whose opinions matter, people who are part of a wider community of poets? This post is about online presence; how you can use this as a tool to promote your work, how to make the most of the free tools that are out there and how to connect with your audience digitally.

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Study tips 3: Mental health

Over the course of doing a degree, there is a lot of opportunity for life to get in the way, and finding and keeping that motivation can be difficult, particularly over the 12 years that you might be with OCA.

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Critique, Criticism (and Social Media)

Imagine if the next feedback from your tutor simply said ‘great’ or ‘I like it all, carry on’. I’m betting that you wouldn’t quite know what to do or how to progress. It’s your tutor’s job to give praise and encouragement but also to point out areas that need addressing. Feedback given by your tutor […]

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Study tips 2: Organisation

Leading on from our last article on study tips, we tackle the next item in our mini-series: organisation and preparation.

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Study tips 1: Community

Knowing that distance learning can be difficult we recently reached out to you, our students, to ask the people who know best what it’s like to study with OCA and what you have found has helped you to study effectively. So many of you came back to us with great hints and tips that we’ll run a mini-series to cover all the suggestions, plus a few of our own from the staff here at OCA HQ.

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