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Lectures in the School of History

Advice, tips and how to prepare – by Priya

Lectures at university may seem daunting. This short article will offer some tips and advice on how to get the most out of your lectures at Queen Mary. 

What is a lecture? 

Lectures are usually 50 minutes long (with a 5 minute moving period before and after to ensure you aren’t late to your next class). They take place in a lecture theatre and are directed at a large number of students. The lecturer will stand at the front of the room and will usually go through a presentation, discussing all of the key topics, facts and arguments from the specific weeks content. The structure of these lectures usually take the form of an introduction, where what will be covered in today’s class is highlighted, the main body, where most of the core information is derived from and finally a conclusion, where the key content and points form the lecture are re-examined for you to remember. There is minimal interaction with lecturers in this session and it’s a chance for them to talk through the content. There may be time for a few short questions at the end. If you do have a question, seminars are usually the best place to raise these. 

How to prepare

By completing the weekly readings available on QMPlus, the official university portal, you will be more than prepared to understand the content covered in the lectures. These readings will come from a range of sources, first-hand accounts, diaries all the way up to historians contemporary arguments will be covered. Having a general understanding of what content will be covered in the lecture will make you well prepared for the deeper analysis that will be discussed by the lecturer. 

What to bring

I bring my laptop to type up notes on a blank word document. But you can bring a notepad, highlighters and pens. Use whatever you feel most comfortable with and can use to note take at speed as lectures can be quite high paced.

Advice and how to make the most from the lecture 

When you go home, re-read through your notes, you even might want to rewrite and consolidate them. This will leave you best prepared for possible exams and essays in the near future. 

Try to and arrive 5 mins early or at least on time to lectures. not only is it going to benefit you as you will not miss any important points, but it also will prevent distractions for the rest of the class and the lecturers too. 

Go a step further, delve into further research of areas of particular interest and find books, journal articles and ask questions. on QMPlus, a list of wider reading materials will be made available to you. If you find an area particularly interesting, don’t hold back keep researching. 

QREVIEW is a recording of the lecture that has taken place and is made available to students through the online through QMPlus. With QREVIEW you can go back through the lecture and add to your notes if you had forgotten something or even re-watch the lecture as a way of consolidating the important information.

I hope this has cleared up any queries on lectures at Queen Mary. 

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