Key terms for successful study

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If you have heard a term and you aren’t sure what it means, this list can help you decipher it. Be in the know!



Where would I find/do this?

Assessment criteria

Written statements regarding the qualities, characteristics or aspects of given assessment in order to guide markers objectively and consistently

In your module handbooks/assignment briefs

Background/ preparatory reading

Reading set by your module leader that needs to be completed before a particular date or task

Module page on Canvas or copies of the text through Discovery/Library


A list of reading you have completed in preparation for an assessment or a task, but haven’t referenced within your work

In your assignment brief – your module leader will indicate if this is required in your assignment


An in-text reference used to indicate to the reader that the ideas or words used belong to someone else

This is essential in your assignment

You will also find this in your academic reading.


A law that provides the owner of a work (i.e. book, article, image, website, painting etc) the right to stipulate how other people may use their work

In every publication, both physical and online.

Marjon Library Copyright Guide


An extended piece of research, typically on a specific topic, completed in your third year of study

Third Year Module Handbook

Abstracts can be viewed here

You can view previous years’ dissertations on the Dissertation terminals in the Library (GF)

Extenuating circumstances

Circumstances beyond your control that have impacted on your ability to study or meet a deadline date

University Handbook

Hanging indent

A convention used to layout references in an APA reference list. It indents every line after the first to make reference lists easier to navigate

Every reference list in your assignments should be presented in this way

DIT Guidance on Hanging Indents

Independent study (a.k.a Self-directed study)

The time outside of scheduled lectures and seminars dedicated to your own study. Your lectures will only cover some of the issues in your subject; you are expected to ‘fill in the gaps’ through independent study

All courses will involve an amount of independent study, in order to prepare for lectures, or research for assignments. Why not use the Library as your study space?

Learning Space

The Virtual Learning Environment used at Marjon. Contains all module and programme materials.


Digital Innovation Help for Students

Module Handbook

A guide to a module on your course. Might include important information such as reading lists, assessment briefs and deadlines, contacts throughout the University and a guide to scheduled lectures

On your programme page on Canvas

Peer reviewed

A text or resource that has been evaluated and approved by professionals in the discipline

Discovery allows you to search for items that have been peer-reviewed in the Facets menu

Personal Development Tutor

A member of staff assigned to a small group of students in order to ensure they make the most out of University

Assigned at the beginning of the academic year

PDT Guidance on Canvas


Carefully going through an assignment for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, and checking for coherence

For every assignment, make sure you leave plenty of time for a proofread before submission!

Study Skills tips on Drafting, Editing & Proofreading

Reference list

A list of sources cited throughout an assignment, included at the end of an essay. Each source type follows a different layout.

Marjon APA Referencing Guidance


A session typically dedicated to the group discussion of reading material or a topic. These sessions often require some background reading, so make sure you are prepared!

University Timetable


Software used by the University to submit assignments for marking electronically. Also has a ‘Similarity Checker’ to look for instances of plagiarism.

On your module pages


Sessions with your module lecturer or PDT, either individually or as a small group, to provide feedback on assignments and guide your progress. Preparation is required!

Organised with your lecturer or module leader


Sessions outside of the module timetable to supplement learning.

Click here for Study Skills Workshops (you will need to log in to Learning Space)