1. University-level writing
It is expected that students will be capable of expressing themselves clearly and coherently using correct grammar, in English.
The Writing Consultants at Student Academic Success Services provide a resource frequently used by both undergraduate and graduate students. They offer free consultations with professional writers or trained upper-year students. Many resources are also available online at the Writing Centre website. Credit courses in Writing are also available through the Centre for Distance Education.
2. What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism occurs when someone uses the words, thoughts or products/designs of another person without giving them credit or seeking their permission. This is strictly forbidden at Queen’s, and is grounds for serious punishment. Plagiarism and other aspects of academic integrity are described in the Arts and Science Academic Regulations.
To avoid plagiarism, students can refer to the information on proper referencing methods from SASS or they can ask their professor what system (e.g., APA, MLA) to use.
Many students will bring their own computer, and perhaps printer, with them to Queen’s. There are a limited number of public computing sites and kiosks across campus, providing access to networked computers, software, printing and Internet services. You are encouraged to contact your department or faculty to see if your program has any specialized software requirements.
Remember to back up the system regularly and avoid the awful situation of losing all the files!
4. Working in groups
Group work is common in Engineering, Commerce, Nursing and many Arts & Science courses.
Students may be assigned to groups, choose their groups, work on only one project together, work for a year together, and be graded together or individually depending on the course and professor.
Group work can be challenging if students have different understandings of the assignment, have different work styles, and have different personal goals!
Positive experiences in working closely together to solve a common issue or problem are more likely when students:
- Organize the group:
- discuss and agree on the goal, assignment, or purpose of the group. What are you supposed to do?
- look at the timeframes, and set a reasonable working schedule to meet the deadline.
- settle where and when you will meet. Do you really need to meet starting at 11:30 p.m.?
- talk about expectations for attending group meetings, and what might happen if members are always late, don’t do their part of the work, or drop away entirely. At what point might the group talk to the professor for guidance?
- Develop a project task list, and then determine the order of completing them, by when.
- Create a work plan. Who will do what?
- talk about what each person is good at, and also what new skill he or she might specifically want to
- talk about personal work styles, and how some might fit better for some tasks than others. Last minute worker? Do the editing, not the initial research!
- Choose your battles. Avoid big blow-ups within the group by talking together about what is working well and what is not. Solve small disagreements as they come up. Some of the lessons in group work include how to cooperate, share responsibility, solve problems, and maintain a sense of humour!
5. Services for students with disabilities
The mission of Accessibility Services, in partnership with faculty, staff and students, is to promote educational equity for students with disabilities, and to assist those students in pursuing a university education.
A number of services provide support for various aspects of university life, including:
- preparing for university at the Transition Resource Guide (link: http://www.transitionresourceguide.ca/resources),
- living in residence using the Special Consideration Form,
- academic support through Accessibility Services (link: http://www.queensu.ca/studentwellness/accessibility-services),
- adaptive technology, library services, and assistive technology at the Adaptive Technology Centre (link: http://queensu.ca/atc/home), and
- learning, study and self-management skills at Learning Strategies, Student Academic Success Services (link: http://sass.queensu.ca/sass-programs-2/appointments/#LSA).
Students are encouraged to meet with the Accessibility Services Advisors as early as possible to discuss the type of support they may wish or need.
6. Services for international students
Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) staff provide information about orientation to campus and the community, banking, housing and visas. New international students are encouraged to pick up an information package about QUIC, its services and opportunities, as well as services provided by other groups to all members of the Queen’s Community.