Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
Seminars. The word alone can spark a little fear into everyone, and why wouldn’t it? Publicly speaking about serious academic and cultural issues can most definitely be not only intimidating, but scary. But what if it didn’t have too be so scary? What if you found an article that told you about some great tips to make seminars not so scary, and
maybe even fun.
1.Read the weekly material(s)
To get a good grade in your seminars, it’s important to have a good grasp on seminar material that will be discussed. Having a good grasp on the seminar material will help you contribute meaningful ideas during seminar. By reading the material, you’ll also have a foundation to form your own educated opinion on the material which will allow you to build on or argue other ideas being presented. This is what TA’s and Professors look for. By having a general foundation and formulated opinions you are showing them your understanding and knowledge about the readings and work that was assigned to you. Doing this will almost ensure that you walk out of that seminar with a grade that shows off the time and effort you put into it.
2.Write your ideas down
When you’re reading your weekly materials, it may be a good idea to write down any thoughts or opinions you have down. This will help you innot forgetting them and may even help you contribute to any ideas your peers present. One of the hardest things about first year seminars is getting the ball rolling; no one usually likes to speak first. By having your ideas written down, this may be a good way to help build your confidence and present your ideas first which is a great way to begin your seminar.
3.Don’t overthink it
Many students make the mistake of overthinking what to say. As long as you are saying something relevant to the seminar material you’ll be okay. Sometimes the most memorable ideas are the ones that just come to us. You get graded for every time you contribute meaningful input to the conversation. The more you talk the better.
4.Talk to your peers
Having someone to discuss your thoughts and ideas with before the seminar is a great way to increase your confidence in your ideas. Make sure to come up with your own original thoughts and ideas beforehand though. Try talking to as many people in your seminar as possible. The more familiar you are with them, the easier it’ll be to discuss academic topics with them.
5.Do additional research
This tip is most beneficial for social science majors but can be applied to any student in any field. Once you’re done reading your seminar material and making your notes, do some additional research. Additional research can be most beneficial if you can find ways in which your seminar material is impacting any aspect of our
For example, if you have a political science seminar, do some additional research and find real-life events that you can bring up to bridge the knowledge you learned from your textbook with real-life events. Not only is this a great way to earn marks during the seminar, but doing additional research can strengthen your critical thinking skills.
Seminars can be intimidating for anyone, but with the right approach and an open mind, they can be an incredibly productive and worthwhile part of your time here at Brock University!