Higher Education

How to Study in College, 11th Edition

  • Walter Pauk Cornell University, Emeritus
  • Ross J.Q. Owens
  • ISBN-10: 1133960782  |  ISBN-13: 9781133960782
  • 432 Pages
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $112.00
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Over a million students have transformed adequate work into academic achievement with this best-selling text. HOW TO STUDY IN COLLEGE sets students on the path to success by helping them build a strong foundation of study skills, and learn how to gain, retain, and explain information. Based on widely tested educational and learning theories, HOW TO STUDY IN COLLEGE teaches study techniques such as visual thinking, active listening, concentration, note taking, and test taking, while also incorporating material on vocabulary building. Questions in the Margin, based on the Cornell Note Taking System, places key questions about content in the margins of the text to provide students with a means for reviewing and reciting the main ideas. Students then use this technique--the Q-System--to formulate their own questions. The Eleventh Edition maintains the straightforward and traditional academic format that has made HOW TO STUDY IN COLLEGE the leading study skills text in the market.

Features and Benefits

  • Emphasis on Gaining, retaining, explaining. The Eleventh Edition provides a focus on the three-step path to study success. For students to be successful they need to build a strong study skills foundation and then gain, retain, and explain information. Students will find it easier to gauge their progress and place their academic activity in clearer context when they think of their coursework in these terms.
  • Vocabulary in Action: This end-of-chapter feature takes three distinct approaches to vocabulary enrichment. Say What?! quotes modern thinkers and leaders and asks students to use context to pinpoint the meaning for some of the words they use. Backstory goes up close and personal with key words taken directly from each chapter, spotlighting their fascinating and sometimes surprising histories. And finally, revised Vocab-u-ladders use a word puzzle to encourage students to explore the derivations of words and their relationships by linking seemingly disconnected words together, using a ladder motif that incorporates a series of clues and provides a group of possible words that can be placed on each of the empty rungs.
  • Chapter Checkups: The end-of-chapter questions place a greater emphasis on questions that encourage students to reflect on what they have just read and apply the skills they've learned in each chapter to the work they are doing elsewhere.
  • Questions in the Margins: This feature supplies hundreds of examples of how main ideas can be used to formulate questions. This feature appeals to various learning styles and encourages students to reflect on and review content they've read.
  • It's Your Q icons: Encourage students to develop their own question, record it in the margin, and use it to review the text. This practice helps students learn to formulate these questions for themselves in subsequent academic courses.
  • Concept Maps. Concept maps continue to provide a graphical means of summarizing chapter content. Before reading a chapter, the maps supply advance organizers, which, according to David P. Ausubel, make it easier to learn and remember material in the chapter itself. After reading the chapter, the concept maps provide a bird's-eye view, showing that chapter's main concepts with linking lines that establish relationships.

Table of Contents

1. Set Clear Goals and Stay on Track.
2. Organization: Use Your Time and Space Effectively.
3. Resiliency: Learn How to Manage Stress.
4. Vocabulary: Bolster the Basis of Complex Thinking.
5. Reading: Extract the Essence from Every Text.
6. Listening: Strengthen the Unsung Key to Communication.
7. Critical Thinking: Use Questions to Zero In on Valuable Information.
8. Flexible Thinking: Learn Through Multiple Channels.
9. Remembering: Fight Back Against Forgetting.
10. The Cornell System: Take Effective Notes.
11. Mastery: Turn Your Notes into Knowledge.
12. Tests and Quizzes: Ace Your Exams.
13. Class Participation: Get the Most out of Discussions.
14. Written Assignments: Turn in a Solid Research Paper.

What's New

  • New! Goal-Setting and Concentration have been combined into a single chapter. The new chapter makes the fundamental connection between these long- and short-term strategies for focusing and adds increased emphasis on motivation, self-regulation, and implementation intentions as well as new data on the pitfalls of the ever-increasing phenomenon of multitasking.
  • New! Updated Chapter on Stress Management. Information and advice on diet, exercise, and sleep and their role in increasing resiliency to academic stress has been updated to reflect some of the latest research on these important topics. In addition the two-way connection between stress and procrastination has been strengthened with cutting-edge cognitive data.
  • New! Separate Chapter Devoted to Listening skills. Although the skills of listening and reading share many similarities, there are some fundamental differences that make listening a unique, essential, and often under-appreciated aspect of academic success. The new chapter focuses on the special challenges of listening and offers some concrete strategies for getting the most out of oral presentations.
  • New! Updated Chapter on Reading. Information on reading has been expanded to include additional emphasis on cross-disciplinary reading strategies as well as specific advice on dealing with electronic texts.
  • New! Updated Vocab-u-ladders! The-end-of-chapter word connection puzzles have been updated to provide additional word origin insights and incorporate vocabulary taken directly from the chapters they accompany.
  • New! Skill Tags Table of Contents. Alternate table of contents points the way directly to sections in the book that deal with each of the eight basic Skill Tag skills.
  • New! Feature box called "Also in this Chapter" in the chapter opener points students' to interesting and fun facts throughout the chapter!

Efficacy and Outcomes


"There is no textbook as comprehensive as the Pauk [How to Study in College] textbook! I urge students to buy the book as they would a dictionary or thesaurus AND especially if they plan to transfer. The added content that is now available electronically is perfect because there are times I have to teach this class as an independent study - due to low enrollment - and this is perfect for those students."

— Pamela Price, Mercer County Community College

"The Concept Maps work effectively to give students "advanced organizers," of the chapter ahead; I point out the concept maps early in the semester and we discuss the ways in which they can be used as a survey tool and, later, as a review tool (because the arrows visually link up the topics in a chapter and because the student can quickly find something to revisit for increased clarification and review)."

— Janet Zupan, The University of Montana, Missoula


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1285177843 | ISBN-13: 9781285177847)

Streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation using such resources as preparing a syllabus for HOW TO STUDY IN COLLEGE, multiple choice questions with answers, discussion topics, and more.

Student Supplements

Aplia™, 1 term Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285767659 | ISBN-13: 9781285767659)

Succeed in your course with Aplia's interactive learning system--featuring practice problems with immediate feedback and tools developed specifically for HOW TO STUDY IN COLLEGE, 11th Edition, including step-by-step explanations that help you improve your reasoning and skills, interactive assignments that help you understand difficult or counterintuitive concepts, and more. Aplia has already helped more than a million students succeed in college classes.

List Price = $76.00  | CengageBrain Price = $76.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $76.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Walter Pauk

A true pioneer in the field of study skills, Dr. Walter Pauk has been dispensing common-sense advice to students for more than half a century. Pauk led the way in advocating the now popular wide margin note-taking strategy commonly known as the Cornell System. A licensed psychologist and trusted teacher, Pauk was director of the Reading-Study Center at Cornell University, where he earned his PhD in Psychology and Education and remains Professor Emeritus. He is the author of more than 100 books.

Ross J.Q. Owens

A long-time collaborator with Dr. Walter Pauk, Ross Owens earned his BA cum laude in English and film at Carleton College and did graduate work in film at the University of Iowa and the University of Maryland, where he also taught film history, filmmaking, and public speaking. Since first teaming with Dr. Pauk in 1982, Owens has contributed to a number of books on reading and study skills. In addition, he has written numerous articles on Internet-related topics and is an accomplished computer programmer.