Academic Success

academic icon.pngCollege success requires more than just showing up. Learn the strategies that will help you succeed with resources full of tips on academic writing, doing college-level research, taking tests, participating in your classes and more.

  1. Books
  2. Online Videos
  3. Websites

Success Strategies

What the Best College Students Do by Ken Bain
LA229 .B24 2012
Doable and inspiring help for students who want to get the most out of college—and every other educational enterprise, too.

Ownership: Accountability by Megan Stone
LB2395 .S758 2014
The Ownership series teaches Students ownership of concepts, so they are more likely to take responsibility for their successes and failures and “own” their learning.

Ownership: Effective Planning by Megan Stone
LB2395.4 .S76 2014
The Ownership series teaches Students ownership of concepts, so they are more likely to take responsibility for their successes and failures and “own” their learning.

100% Student Success by Amy Solomon
LB2343.3 .S664 2012
A comprehensive resource for student academic success.

Choosing Success in Community College and Beyond by Rhonda Atkinson and Debbie Longman
LB2343.32 .A77 2012
By incorporating a decision-making focus into every chapter, Choosing Success in Community College and Beyond emphasizes accountability and conveys to students how important they are in their own success.

Academic Writing

Write it Right: The Secrets of Effective Writing
PE1408 .P423 2012
Covers everyday tasks and academic writing, offering user-friendly advice on how students can make the most of simple, practical methods for tackling essays and longer pieces of work.

How to Write Better Essays
PE1429 .G74 2013
How to: analyze essay questions and break down difficult terms and concepts; brainstorm effectively; evaluate and criticize arguments; express thoughts coherently and develop a personal style of writing; and plan and structure essays from introduction to conclusion.

Improve Your Writing by Ron Fry
LB1047.3 .F796 2012
From selecting a topic and conducting research to developing an outline, writing drafts, proofreading, and more,Improve Your Writing takes you step-by-step through the creation of a successful research paper.

Macmillan Writing Series by Dorothy E. Zamach
The Macmillan Writing Series provides students who have little experience of academic writing with the fundamental tools required including: brainstorming ideas, arranging ideas, writing short and long texts, and sharing the finished product with classmates.
Writing Sentences : The Basics of Writing
PE1408 .Z465 2011
Writing Paragraphs : From Sentence to Paragraph
PE1408 .Z463 2011
Writing Essays : From Paragraph to Essay
PE1408 .Z462 2011
Writing Research Papers : From Essay to Research Paper
PE1406 .Z464 2011


The Curious Researcher: A Guide to Writing Research Papers by Bruce Ballenger
Reference LB2369 .B246 2012
Offering a wide variety of examples from student and professional writers, this popular guide shows that good research and lively writing do not have to be mutually exclusive. Students are encouraged to find ways to bring their writing to life, even though they are writing with “facts.”

Bookmarks: A Guide to Research and Writing by John Ruszkiewicz, Janice R. Walker, and Michael A. Pemberton
LB2369 .R88 2006
Offers concrete strategies and models to help students select a topic, refine it, and develop it into a full-fledged research hypothesis; find and position sources; use sources in appropriate and responsible ways to further their projects; and document and complete their final projects for print or electronic publication.

Writing Research Papers

McGraw-Hill's Concise Guide to Writing Research Papers by Carol Ellison
LB2369 .E35 2010
The words “research paper” may send a chill down your spine. You're thinking about the hours of research and the days of writing ahead-and that's after wringing your hands about the topic! Never fear, this concise resource will guide you through the process step-by-step and make the experience painless.


14 Days to Exam Success
LB3051 .B37 2010
A practical guide to effective revision and success in exams, taking the reader through a fourteen-day programme which ensures maximum results in the time available.

Ace Any Test by Ron Fry
LB3060.57 .F79 2012
Ace Any Test offers proven step-by-step strategies you can use in any testing situation, from classroom quizzes to standardized exams.

The Anxious Test-Taker's Guide to Cracking Any Test / by the Staff of The Princeton Review
LB3060.57 .A59 2009
Presenting specific test-taking tips that students can apply to any test--from high school through college--"The Anxious Test-Taker's Guide to Cracking Any Test" provides the philosophy and science behind studying for and taking tests. video courses are made up of a series of instructional videos - you can watch all the videos in the course, or pick and choose topics that fit your needs.

COD students, faculty and staff have free access to - simply register using your or email address and you will have access to Lynda's vast online library of instructional videos covering a variety of topics such as software training, business and creative skills, and study skills.

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College Prep: Writing a Strong Essay Course duration: 1h 54m
Given today's competitive college admissions process, a strong essay is critical. It can be the difference between acceptance and rejection. In this course, writing instructor Leigh Ann Chow covers planning, drafting, editing, and polishing an unforgettable college essay. She explains how the essay is used in determining acceptance and reviews good and bad essay examples. These lessons will not only help improve your chances of getting into a top-choice school, but also make you a better writer once you get there.
Topics include:

  • Understanding the essay purpose and audience
  • Reviewing common and unusual essay prompts
  • Starting with a strong opening statement
  • Showing, not telling
  • Adhering to word limits
  • Organizing the essay
  • Varying sentence structure
  • Revising the essay
  • Communicating sincerity and enthusiasm

Writing Research Papers Course duration: 1h 56m
Have to write a research paper? Learn tips for writing an A+ paper that will wow your professors. In this course, author and Kelley School of Business faculty member Judy Steiner-Williams shows you how to prepare for, and write, polished research papers for high school and college classes. Discover how to brainstorm, select your best ideas, collect and categorize research, and write the paper, while following along with Judy's practical, real-world examples.
Topics include:

  • Understanding the different types of research papers
  • Researching the topic
  • Brainstorming your focus
  • Developing a thesis statement
  • Writing topic sentences
  • Composing a title
  • Using a style guide
  • Formatting your paper

Academic Writing and Research

General Writing Resources- Purdue University's OWL
These OWL resources will help you with the writing process: pre-writing (invention), developing research questions and outlines, composing thesis statements, and proofreading. While the writing process may be different for each person and for each particular assignment, the resources contained in this section follow the general work flow of pre-writing, organizing, and revising. For resources and examples on specific types of writing assignments, please go to our Common Writing Assignments area.

Research and Citation Sources- Purdue University's OWL
These OWL resources will help you conduct research using primary source methods, such as interviews and observations, and secondary source methods, such as books, journals, and the Internet. This area also includes materials on evaluating research sources.

Test Taking

Ace Your Exams: Study Tactics of the Successful Gentleman Scholar
A humorous but informative guide to studying from the Art of Manliness blog.

Class Participation

Class Participation: Making Contributions that Count
Participating in class doesn’t come easily to everyone. Some students feel comfortable speaking up in class, asserting their ideas and opinions, and taking center stage. Other students find it harder to hold the floor. But if the aim of class discussion is to learn from others and allow them to learn from you, lots of contributions count, including questioning, listening, and responding.

Class Participation: More than Just Raising Your Hand[PDF]
College courses are meant to advance knowledge. Learning on the college level requires that you connect yourself with information and materials and actively participate in class. This tutorial will help you evaluate your own participation and will provide you with tips on how to participate more.