The role of help books is often misunderstood by students. Some of them believe that they are utterly useless, while others think that these books can give answers to each of their questions. Overall, such books can be of great interest to people who have just started their college or university studies. If you want to learn more about citation styles, paper formats, or argumentation, you can surely read one or two of such books. Moreover, people who want to improve their learning style can also benefit from them.
Help Books: Academic Writing and Its Principles
If you have already written many essays or research papers, such books will not be of great help to you. Yet, people who are not very skilled in academic writing can learn a great deal from help books. For example, one can learn about the following issues:
- The structure of various assignments such as formal letters, reports, articles, essays, research papers, and so forth;
- The differences between citation styles like Harvard, APA, Chicago or MLA;
- The rules of academic writing and principles of argumentation.
So, these books can help you write better essays, reports, or term papers. People who don’t know much about bibliography formats or in-text citations can search for information in such books. Yet, you cannot expect help books to offer ready-made answers. In some cases, it will be necessary to look for more information on the Web. One should remember that citation styles are often modified or revised, and the examples given in help books can be out-of-date.
Help Books: Taking Exams and Tests
Help books are also useful when you prepare for your first college exam:
- Ways of improving your memory;
- Advantages and disadvantages of different learning styles;
- The use of various mnemonic devices that can help a person better memorize information;
- Strategies for taking tests or exams.
The recommendations provided in these books will show how one can study for tests or how to respond to a professor’s questions during oral exams. Freshmen who cannot overcome their fear of exams or tests can find these books very useful.
Help Books: Follow-Up Thoughts
If you are looking for the best help book on a specific topic, you may ask your professor for a recommendation. Some students seldom pay attention to printed sources of information because Internet can offer students many valuable materials. Yet, online resources are often not systematized, and not written by professionals. By contrast, a good help book is systematized and written by a professional and therefore it can always come in handy.