5 Academic Success

Last update: Jan 23/24



Scholarly Communication Notebook by OER Commons (varied licenses)

The Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN) is an IMLS grant-funded collaborative project between North Carolina State University Libraries, University of Kansas Libraries, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Information Sciences whose purpose is to host community-designed examples of teaching and doing scholarly communication that we hope will be regularly refreshed by librarians from across the field as well as LIS faculty and students completing coursework on these topics. We hope this group will become a locus of an active, inclusive, empowered community of practice for teaching scholarly communications to emerging librarians.


This is a British Columbia created resource.Reading Texts: An Interactive Workshop (CC BY-NC-SA) by KPU Learning Centres and Christina Page

Reading Texts: An Interactive Workshop guides you through a series of videos and exercises to help you read efficiently and purposefully. The workshop as a part of the Academic Skills Workshop series developed by the KPU Learning Centres.

Supplementary Materials

Independent Research Guide (CC BY-NC-SA) by Joe Dewhurst

This guide to independent research is intended to help students and scholars who lack institutional support, or anyone who might otherwise be looking for some guidance into how to conduct research. It is aimed primarily at philosophers, although several of the points outlined below may be more broadly applicable. The guide is split into three main sections: Finding academic material, critically engaging with texts, and presenting your research.


BC Campus Academic Success Textbooks   (Varies) by Various

Bridges: United States Academia for First-Generation and International College Students (CC BY) by Shawn Higgins

Bridges introduces students to a wide range of concepts, institutions, histories, and artifacts of United States college and university life. After discussing these items in easy-to-scan, concise, nuance-free prose, this textbook then offers useful lists, templates for writing and speaking in different discourses and situations, thought-provoking questions and activities for self-study and for classroom work, and pertinent hyperlinks for further information. Bridges is designed to help first-generation, first-year, English language learners, and/or culturally unfamiliarized students more fully and successfully explore their educational environments.

Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research (CC BY ) by Teaching & Learning, University Libraries

Engaging graphics, compelling examples, and easy-to-understand explanations make Choosing and Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research, your most valuable, open access resource for completing research-based writing assignments and projects.

College Success ( CC BY-NC-SA) by University of Minnesota

With the goal of helping students succeed in college, this text covers subjects like motivation, preparing for tests, and taking control of your health and finances. As of January 2024, this resource has had 1.5 million page views, 390,000 visitors and 31,000 downloads.

College Success Reading and Learning Objectives (CC BY) by by OpenNow from Cengage

Students first discover what they want from their education, then build a plan to get there. This content takes students through the steps to successfully navigate their journey in higher education. Topics include planning for success, choosing a career path, setting and attaining goals, understanding financial management, developing critical thinking skills, making healthy choices, using effective communication, managing time, developing learning strategies, developing meaningful relationships.

A Different Road to College: A Guide For Transitioning To College For Non-traditional Students (CC BY) by Alise Lamoreaux

This book is designed to introduce students to the contextual issues of college in the United States. Non-traditional students have an ever-growing presence on college campuses, especially community colleges. This open educational resource is designed to engage students in seeing themselves as college students and understanding the complexity of what that means to their lives.

This is a Canadian created resourceLibrary Skills for 2nd Year Biological Sciences (CC BY) by Lauren Stieglitz

This tutorial covers the library skills required for students in 200-level Biological Sciences courses with these objectives:

  • Understand the difference between popular and scholarly sources and know the different types of scholarly sources
  • Know how to read a scholarly article
  • Learn how to effectively search for articles and access library material from home
  • Know how to properly cite sources and avoid plagiarism

No Limits: Foundations and Strategies for College Success (CC BY) by University of Texas at Arlington Managing Editors: Christopher Martin/Denisse Avila

This textbook is used in courses that teach new students academic success skills to aid their transition to college. The goal is to help students identify their individual needs, determine what resources are appropriate, recognize the faculty role in their development, and formulate a plan for an actively engaged and enriched experience from campus to career.

Reading and Writing Successfully in College: A Guide for Students (CC BY SA) by Patricia Lynne

Produced by The Open Textbook Coordinating Council (OTCC) for the Remixing Open Textbooks through an Equity Lens (ROTEL) Grant. Students with understand both principles for understanding the intellectual work of writing tasks and guided activities for improving their reading and writing skills. While the book was designed mostly with a first-semester composition course in mind, much of the text would be appropriate for a second semester course as well, including the chapters on writing process and on finding, evaluating, and using sources. This text incorporates student work – the open pedagogy assignment used to solicit student feedback and contributions is linked in the welcome to instructors.

University Success (CC-BY-NC-SA) by N. Mahoney, B. Klassen & M. D’Eon and Mahoney, N., Klassen, B., & D’Eon, M.

Adapted by the University of Saskatchewan, our primary goal in adapting University Success from a US-based College Success textbook is to help you succeed in university. University Success has a student-friendly format arranged to help you develop the essential skills and provide the information you need to succeed in university. This is not a textbook full of theory and extensive detail that merely discusses student success; rather, this is a how-to manual for your first year of study. The book provides realistic, practical guidance ranging from study skills to personal health, from test taking to managing time and money.

University Writing  by Auburn University (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Resources that University Writing at Auburn University has developed to support students and instructors across the disciplines in their writing and writing instruction. We define writing broadly, so you will find resources on ePortfolios, visual design, professional communication, and presentations in addition to traditional writing tasks like reflective writing, literature reviews, peer review, and editing and proofing.

Writeonline.ca   by University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Write Online was designed by writing experts from three universities who work with students on a daily basis. Our guides introduce you to the particularities of these genres, provide practical strategies for you to try in your own writing, and use model texts to help you better understand the organization, format, and language used in each of these types of writing. Writing genres covered: case study report, lab report, literature review, and reflective writing.


In Your Own Words – Avoid Plagiarism (CC BY) co-created by staff and students of the University of Edinburgh.

Learn to avoid plagiarism pitfalls in this video co-created by staff and students of the University of Edinburgh.

This is a British Columbia created resource.University Skills Video Series (CC BY) by KPU Learning Center

The KPU Learning Centre’s YouTube channel with video collections on writing skills, time management, reading skills, and critical thinking.als

Media Attributions 

This chapter is adapted from Academic Success in OER by Discipline Directory by Edited by Lauri M. Aesoph and Josie Gray.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

OER by Subject Directory Copyright © 2022 by Saskatchewan Polytechnic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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