Study Skills and Strategies

Student Success Strategies Workshop

Workshops on developing effective study strategies will be offered four times this semester. But don't wait -- go to the next available session! Each hands-on, customized-for-you workshop will take place on in the Biddle House Advising Lounge from 12:15-1:00. You are welcome to bring a bag lunch from the Caf's "Grab 'n Go." RSVPs to are appreciated.

To supplement these workshops, students can call SOAR (717-245-1734) or see a Peer Advisor at the Academic Advising desk in Biddle House to request one-on-one time management, organizational, and/or study strategyl sessions with trained Peer Advisors, any weekday noon to 4pm.

Sage Guidance

Study Skills RESOURCES:

(Click a heading below to learn more!) 


Each year, Dickinson hosts a one-week workshop given by the Baldridge Reading and Study Strategy Program. Historically, Dickinson students who attend the program have substantially increased their reading comprehension and many have more than doubled their reading speed. For a complete overview and registration information, visit our Baldridge page.

READ&WRITE® (Reads aloud any text--and more!)

Dickinson has a site license enabling all students to download this multi-faceted software program. Some of Read&Write's best features include:

  • Speech-Maker, which lets you convert any digital text to MP3 format and then save it to an iTunes li
  • Reading any digital text aloud, including internet sites, Word docs, online articles, and even scanned pdfs. (Here's how to read a pdf using a Mac or using a PC.)
  • Study techniques that enable users to select and highlight any text and then extract what you’ve highlighted into an outline (it imports the citation, too)
  • Advanced spell check, that catches homonyms (like there and there), plus word prediction and other writing/proofreading tools
  • A “Vocabulary Builder” feature that lets you highlight any new words in a text and then, with the click of a mouse, extract all those words into a new document with the words, definitions, a picture of each, and a “notes” section (pretty cool, huh?)
  • Screen Masking, so you can block out everything on the page that you don't want to focus on (including ads on webpages) and just see what you need to read. A great feature for eliminating superfluous distractions!

Want guidance on how to use Read&Write? You can watch video tutorials for each of the above features (and more) by clicking these links for Mac users, PC users, or Read&Write for Google Chrome. Once you download Read&Write, you can also find video tutorials by clicking "Help" (or the “rw” icon) located on the tool bar, and then "Video Tours." Finally, you can access Quick Start, Training, and Reference Guides by going to TextHelp’s website, where they also host public training webinars.

To download Read&Write to your computer:

  • Go to the new Gateway
  • Click on the “Academic Resources” in the black box on the left side of the screen
  • On the right side under Read&Write, you'll see download instructions and the download links for Mac or PC

Way Of Life is a habit-building app can help you identify and track your habits with charts and notes, which you can share with others helping you on the "good habit-building" path.


Self-Control: If you find yourself checking Facebook when you should be writing a paper, Self-Control may be the app you need. Set it to prevent access to (or only allow) certain sites for a set amount of time. Works with iOS.

Freedom: Formerly called "Anti-Social." Like Self-Control, but works with Macs and PCs and comes pre-equipped with a black list of blockable sites (which you can edit) that includes: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Digg, Reddit, YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, and all standard web email programs.

Evernote Clearly: Ever feel distracted by having too many items on your screen? When you download Evernote Clearly in Google Chrome or Firefox, you can eliminate from the screen all but that which you need to read and focus on.


Evernote: Downloading Evernote enables you to save every website, document, picture, etc. to your Evernote collection and organize them with tags. Works with practically every computer, phone, and mobile device there it. Use Evernote to save your course syllabus, articles, notes, and power points so that you can access all that you may need for a given course in one location. Here is an excellent, comprehensive Evernote tutorial.

Trello is a powerful tool for managing and organizing large projects, with a visual presentation that allows you to see everything you need to do at a glance. Trello is also ideal for managing team projects and multi-user collaboration. Download to all devices is free.


Brightstorm: A collection of video explanations of math and science concepts presented by teachers and professors skilled at taking that which is complex and breaking it down to provide clarity.

Khan Academy: Looking for a little extra guidance with understanding a concept, strategy, or equations? Khan Academy features a library of over 3,000 learning videos covering everything from math to physics to finance to history.

Wolfram/Alpha: An answer engine whose answers are computed based on data, rather than linking to other web pages. It can answer specific questions such as "How old was Barack Obama in 1972?" and can answer almost any math and science question thrown at it.

For apps that can help you plan your study time (and remind you of what you need to do) see the Time Management and Organization page.