Keys to Effective Learning Study Skills and Habits for Success

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-01-03
  • Publisher: Pearson
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This text is geared to students who are academically underprepared for college-level studies, especially first-generation and at-risk students. The sixth edition ofKeys to Effective Learningtext helps students build habits for success and develop the thinking, self-management, and study skills they need to succeed academically. This edition is streamlined to focus more on essential study skills, with greater coverage of memory, studying, reading, and test-taking. It retains its acclaimed simple-to-use Critical and Creative Thinking coverage, and adds relevance by addressing the two greatest barriers to staying in school-time and money management. Recognizing that the first step in developing the independent thinking skills needed for college-level work is understandinghowyou think, this revision builds studentsrs" self-awareness in three ways: embedded in-chapter self-assessments, "powerful question" features, and learning preferences grids that asks them to think about how they learn in a variety of situations. The text offers a pre- and post-course assessment. The Habits for Success theme is now more integrated and practical. Students assess which habits theyrs"ll need in college and how to form those habits so they have the tools to increase their preparedness, confidence, and commitment to learning.

Author Biography

Carol Carter was a C student in high school. During her senior year, she got a wake up call when her brother told her that she had intelligence, but she wouldn’t go far in life unless she believed in herself enough to work hard. She began college knowing she was “behind the 8-ball” in terms of her skills. What she lacked in experience, she made up for with elbow grease and persistence. She maximized her strength as an interpersonal and intrapersonal learner. The work paid off and she graduated college with honors and a desire to help other students.

                Carol is committed to helping students turn on their brains, get motivated, and discover their abilities. As President of her own company, LifeBound, she teaches study, interpersonal, and career skills to middle school and high school students in order to help them become competitive in today’s global world. She trains and certifies coaches in academic coaching skills, and focuses on at-risk students with her volunteer teaching at the federal prison and her LifeBound work in the Denver housing projects. “All students are at-risk for something whether it is academic, emotional, social, or economic,” says Carol. “If each of us is allowed to be human and accept our flaws, we can overcome our limitations and be the best for ourselves and others.” 

                Carol also speaks on educational topics nationally and internationally.  Her first book, Majoring in the Rest of Your Life, launched her writing career and opened the door to her work on the Keys to Success series.


Joyce Bishop has taught college students for more than twenty years.  After struggling with a learning disability as a student, she focused on her visual and logical-mathematical learning abilities and went on to earn a PhD in psychology. Right now, she is in her dream job as Staff Development Coordinator at Golden West College, while still teaching three classes.  She enjoys training other faculty in effective teaching and learning strategies and also in how to teach online.  For five years Joyce was voted “favorite teacher,” she was Teacher of the Year for 1995 and 2000, and in 2008 received the Hayward Award, a State Teaching Award.

            Joyce co-founded a program 19 years ago for poor women from abusive backgrounds.  Since that time, the Pathways to Independence non-profit foundation has sent 255 young women to college, and 195 have graduated into gainful employment.  While the young women have come from backgrounds as diverse as prison, extreme poverty, abuse, or psychological disorders, Joyce has been their champion.  One of her Pathways graduates is Valerie, who obtained her degree in nursing and is now working at a major university hospital as a pediatric nurse.  “It is so inspiring to see what these girls do with their lives,” says Joyce, “once they know that they can do anything.”


Sarah Lyman Kravits lives the strategies for success she writes about.  As an author and mother of three children aged 10, 8, and 4, she faces the challenges of time management, goal achievement, and fulfilling responsibilities (not to mention eating right and getting enough sleep).  In her writing and research, she works to keep up with technology and the growth of knowledge.  In her relationships with work colleagues all over the country, she strives for integrity, effective communication, productive teamwork and, most of all, flexibility.  Creativity also plays a dominant role.  Along with her husband, an actor and musician, she promotes creative ideas and actions in the home as well as during her writing hours at the computer.

    Unlike Carol and Joyce, Sarah thrived in school from an early age based on her strength in verbal-linguisticand logical-mathematical learning.  A few years after graduating from the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar, she worked as program director for LifeSkills, Inc., a nonprofit organization that aims to further the career and personal development of high school students.  This work led her into co-authoring her first student success text and the realization she was driven to empower students to reach their goals.  "Lifelong learning is the essential success skill," says Sarah.  "Learning gives you a chance to go beyond just thinking about your dreams so that you can make them happen."

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 — Habits for Success:  Reality Check

Habit for Success:  Persist

Take Action: Prepare to Change a Habit

Real People Persist: Yvette Gomez, Graduate of the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Powerful Questions about Persisting

Inside Tips from Sarah, Self-Management Coach

Habit Summary: Persist


Chapter 2 — Learning Styles: Building and Using Self-Knowledge

Habit for Success: Keep Learning

Real People Keep Learning: Dr. Joyce Bishop, Professor of Psychology at Golden West College

Take Action: Link How You Learn to Coursework and Major

Inside Tips from Carol, Career Coach

Powerful Questions about Continuing to Learn


Chapter 3 — Time and Money: Managing Important Resources

Habit for Success: Think Before You Act

Take Action: Make a To-Do List

Inside Tips from Joyce, Technology Coach

Powerful Questions about Thinking Before You Act

Real People Think Before They Act: Drs. Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt, and George Jenkins, Graduates of Seton Hall University

Take Action: Map Out Your Budget

Habit Summary: Think Before You Act


Chapter 4 — Setting and Reaching Goals: Using Values, Stress Management, and Teamwork

Habit for Success: Reach Out to Others

Take Action: Explore Your Core Values

Take Action: Create a SMART Goal Achievement Plan

Powerful Questions about Reaching Out to Others

Real People Reach Out to Others: Louise Gaile Edrozo, Graduate of the Registered Nursing Program at Highline Community College, Des Moines, Washington

Habit Summary: Reach Out to Others


Chapter 5 — Critical and Creative Thinking: Solving Problems and Making Decisions

Habit for Success: Create and Imagine

Take Action: Analyze a Statement

Real People Create and Imagine: Charlie Reinhardt, Graduate Student in Hotel Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Powerful Questions about Creating and Imagining

Take Action: Gather Evidence of Your Creativity

Inside Tips from Carol, Career Coach

Habit Summary: Create and Imagine


Chapter 6 — Memory: Maximizing Recall for Test Success

Habit for Success: Put Your Senses to Work

Real People Put Their Senses to Work Through the Power of Memory: Henry Gustav Molaison, a Man Without a Memory

Take Action: Linking Memorization and Critical Thinking

Inside Tips from Joyce, Technology Coach

Take Action: Create Your Own Mnemonic

Powerful Questions about Putting Your Senses to Work

Habit Summary: Put Your Sense to Work


Chapter 7 — Reading and Studying: Focusing on Print and Online Materials

Habit for Success: Ask Questions

Take Action: Survey a Text

Inside Tips from Sarah, Self-Management

Real People Ask Questions: Candace Payne, George Washington University, Pre-Med Student

Take Action: Mark Up a Page to Learn

Powerful Questions about Asking Questions

Habit Summary: Ask Questions


Chapter 8 — Reading Across the Disciplines: Math, Science, Social Science, and Literacy Texts

Habit for Success: Use What You Know

Powerful Questions about Using What You Know

Inside Tips from Joyce, Technology Coach

Real People Use What They Know to Learn and Solve Problems: Laban Seyoum, Political Science Graduate Student, Southern Connecticut State University

Take Action: Connect Courses in Different Disciplines to Your Own Success

Habit Summary: Use What You Know


Chapter 9 — Active Listening and Note Taking: Taking In and Recording Information

Habit for Success: Listen Actively

Powerful Questions about Listening Actively

Real People Listen Actively: Ismael Valenzuela, Iraq War Veteran and Student at the Borough of Manhattan Community College

Inside Tips from Carol, Career Coach

Take Action: Prepare to Listen and Take Notes in Your Hardest Class

Take Action: Combine Class and Text Notes

Habit Summary: Listen Actively


Chapter 10 — Test Taking I: Test Preparation and Objective Tests

Habit for Success: Take Responsible Risks

Take Action: Organize for Test Success

Powerful Questions about Responsible Risk

Inside Tips from Sarah, Self-Management

Real People Take Responsible Risks: Carla Baku, Stanford University English Major

Take Action: Learn from Your Mistakes

Habit Summary: Take Responsible Risks


Chapter 11 — Test Taking II: Getting Results on Essay Tests and Graded Projects

Habit for Success: Be Flexible

Inside Tips from Carol, Career Coach

Take Action: Write to the Action Verb

Real People Think Flexibly: Abigail Holtz, Transferred to Tufts University from Art School

Powerful Questions about Flexibility

Take Action: Be Part of a Virtual Team

Habit Summary: Be Flexible


Chapter 12 — Moving Toward Success: Putting Habits to Work

How Do the Habits for Success Keep You Moving Ahead?

How Can You Apply Each Habit Toward Positive Change?

How Will the Habits Power Your Successful Future?


Appendix A — Guide to Library and Internet Research

Appendix B — Communicating Ideas Through Writing

Appendix C — Problem-Solving Strategies for Math and Science Courses



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