Book Reviews

Book by Stella Cottrell
Review by Eleazar Ortega
Advising & Career Center
Great Falls College Montana State University

Academic Advisors looking for a handbook to outline multiple academic tips for college students will find just that in The Study Skills Handbook. This book gives many tips for college students to be successful in a broad range of topics including studying, time management, and writing research papers. The 376 pages of tips can apply to college students with test anxiety, those who need help with their writing style, and those who work full-time or are parents and need ideas to efficiently complete their assignments.

While The Study Skills Handbook offers a variety of examples for college students to take action to be successful students, it may be too overwhelming for the typical college student. The tips cover such a wide variety of areas that it seems like too much at first glance. The best audience for this book may be an advisor or instructor who can comb through the tips, advice, and suggestions to incorporate the important information in an advising session or their classroom to give to college students. It is difficult to imagine a college student sorting through all of the information, but perhaps they could keep it handy for when they need specific assistance. Since students who would most benefit from this book would be those at-risk, it is probably in the best interest of the student to have their advisor or instructor show them how to incorporate the tips from the book into their study habits. 

The Study Skills Handbook can be an easy tool to use to help students reflect on areas they need improvement on in regards to their college coursework, like reading strategies and time management. However, it seems unlikely that a student would be able to sort through what they need because of how overwhelming the information feels. This book, however, could be a helpful tool to advisors who teach a university seminar or student success course to incorporate the self-reflections and assessments into that course to use with students. However this book is used, it is essentially an activity book to get students thinking on what actions they can take to take the initiative to be a successful student. I would recommend this book to advisors who teach courses so that they can use some of the tools from the book in their course activities


The Study Skills Handbook. (2012). Book by Stella Cottrell. Review by Eleazar Ortega.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan.376 pp. $25.00. ISBN # 978-0-230-36968-9

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