Academic Skills Building
Online Study Skills Tools
Throughout the year, you can access the Bureau of Study Counsel’s handouts or external links that cover academic topics such as anxiety, concentration, memory, motivation, note-taking, and procrastination.
You can also access the Career and Academic Resource Center to take either a study skills assessment or a longer set of modules, Becoming a Strategic Learner, designed as a diagnostic tool to help students improve their learning and study strategies. Both tools have been created after extensive research, development, and testing by the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI).
Online Writing Resources
The Harvard College Writing Program provides a number of writing resources. Sources include HarvardWrites, where Harvard faculty talk about academic writing, handouts on various aspects of the essay writing process (e.g., developing a thesis, tips on grammar, conclusions), and discipline-specific writing guides (e.g., brief guide to writing the history paper, brief guide to writing the psychology paper, and a guide to philosophical writing).
Courses on Study Strategies
The Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies, offered by the Bureau of Study Counsel (BSC), focuses on reading comprehension and speed-reading skills. The course meets for two weeks every semester (fall, spring, and summer) for one hour a day (Monday–Friday). Ordinarily, you can choose an early morning (8–9 am) or late afternoon (4–5 pm) session. The fee is $150 (discounted rate of $75 for admitted HES degree candidates). Please visit the BSC’s website for more information and schedule, or call (617) 495-2581.
We also recommend contacting your teaching fellow or instructor and forming a study group.
Degree Candidate Resources
The BSC provides subject-matter tutoring and individual academic counseling to a limited number of degree candidates on a referral basis. Talk to your academic advisor.
Counseling: You can explore potential difficulties and blocks to your learning with a trained counselor. This can be particularly helpful if you are having trouble with procrastination, test anxiety, or perfectionism.
Tutoring: You can be matched with a Harvard College student to support your basic economics, foreign language, math, and science learning. Maximum tutoring hours per week is four hours.
In addition, the BSC reading and study strategies course is available to degree candidates for half price ($75). For more information, please review the Bureau of Study Counsel Information and Referral Form.
Many Extension School graduate degree programs require students to write a thesis. And most programs offer their own thesis workshops (visit your program office to learn more). You can also find a collection of thesis books in the CARC reference library.
For individual help with thesis issues related to time management, procrastination, and writer’s block, get a referral for one to three meetings with a BSC counselor.