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The Thinking Student's Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education (Chicago Guides to Academic Life) Paperback – September 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0226721156 ISBN-10: 9780226721156

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Product Details

  • Series: Chicago Guides to Academic Life
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780226721156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226721156
  • ASIN: 0226721159
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Andrew Roberts has a light touch, gives students excellent advice, and writes in a direct, engaging style. What I find particularly interesting is the perspective from which he counsels students, that of a serious academic who seems fully dedicated to his profession despite what he sees as its flaws and who knows his way around a university. A student who took his tips to heart could hardly go wrong, for Professor Roberts’ advice is based on good, solid academic values.”
(Michael Koppisch, Michigan State University 2010-02-04)

The Thinking Student’s Guide to College addresses a neglected topic with force and persuasiveness. This valuable book, aimed at high achieving students at selective universities who want to get a quality education, offers genuinely practical advice. By addressing students directly, drawing on his experience and observations in academic life, Andrew Roberts provides an accessible and credible account of how to make college a valuable experience educationally.”

(Michael McPherson, President of the Spencer Foundation, former president of Maca 2010-02-05)

"Every selective college offers a high quality academic experience to the student who knows how to get it, but none give you a map, let alone instructions. Andrew Roberts has written the perfect travel guide to the best things on offer: an undergraduate who took just a third of his advice would double the value of her time in college. Every prospective freshman should read this book, and every parent of a prospective freshman has to read it. Easy and fun to read, with pages of advice."
(Harry Brighouse, University of Wisconsin 2010-03-25)

“In fact I don’t currently have a copy of the book, because each copy I get goes to the next high school senior who walks through the door (which an alarming number of them seem to be doing these days). As suggested by this, 75 Tips would be a great Christmas present for the college-bound high school seniors and college freshmen of your acquaintance.”

(Crooked Timber 2010-11-28)

“I want to nominate a book for this summer's college reading lists that I think represents the best possible selection: The Thinking Student’s Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education. Andrew Roberts, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University, wrote this great book that can help students squeeze far more value out of their college years than any other book that I've read.”

(Lynne O'Shaughnessy U.S. News and World Report)

About the Author

 

 

 

Andrew Roberts is assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University and fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. He is the author of The Quality of Democracy in Eastern Europe: Public Preferences and Policy Reforms.

 

 

 


More About the Author

Andrew Roberts was born in Albany, NY but grew up in Lawrenceville, NJ and went to the same high school as Jon Stewart (though he has never met him). He attended Williams College where he majored in economics. After teaching algebra to seventh and eighth graders in Kansas City and English as a Second Language in Brno, Czech Republic, he completed a doctorate in politics at Princeton University. Since 2003, he has taught political science at Northwestern University.

Customer Reviews

Personally speaking, I found much of his advice to be trite, if not common sense.
Anita L
I will admit that I stopped reading halfway through, because I was just so fed up with the quality of the book, which varied from *yawn* to irritating.
Scholumba
As suggested by this, 75 Tips would be a great Christmas present for the college-bound high school seniors and college freshmen of your acquaintance.
Harry Brighouse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Harry Brighouse on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
The other night I got one of those emails from unknown students which just starts "Hey" and continues with some request (usually to be admitted to one of my oversubscribed classes). My immediate reaction is to ignore (that was my wife's advice) but this time I just decided to do something different. I wrote back explaining the over-subscription situation, and finished with this "By the way, you might want to address people you haven't met more formally in future: I don't find it irritating but many will" (which is a lie, I do find it irritating, but there's no need to tell her that). My original version had more verbiage in it, but my 14 year old (whose missives to teachers are like business letters) told me to take it out on the grounds that "she'll never do it again, but she'll be scared to meet you".

I was prompted to do this by Andrew Roberts' The Thinking Student's Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education (see tip 53). The central idea is that students need a map of how to get the most out of college, and that lots of them arrive not understanding key things. Why not just make it explicit for her?

In fact I don't currently have a copy of the book, because each copy I get goes to the next high school senior who walks through the door (which an alarming number of them seem to be doing these days). As suggested by this, 75 Tips would be a great Christmas present for the college-bound high school seniors and college freshmen of your acquaintance.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anita L on October 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
I attend a liberal arts college, so many of the tips to take classes across a broad range of subjects, to take classes outside your comfort zone, etc. are already well-known to me. I skipped about a quarter of the book because of this, but I enjoy the love-of-learning message espoused by a large chunk of the book. The lukewarm rating reflects my feeling that this could help students not exposed to the same ideals, but also my frustration with the simplicity and vagueness of many of the tips in The Thinking Student's Guide to College.

There are some good ideas in this book. I particularly liked the tip about ways to think critically, in which Roberts describes four questions to ask whenever you encounter an argument in the reading:
(1. Ask whether there are other possible explanations of the phenomenon in question that the author has not considered,
2. Ask whether things could actually be working in the opposite direction.
3. Consider how the author has chosen his or her evidence. (what data she has, what sources she has consulted, has she considered all possible evidence?)
4. Ask how the explanation works.
5. Consider the assumptions behind the argument.)

Roberts doesn't fail to mention the importance of sleep and diet, and even quotes Michael Pollan's "Eat food. Mostly plants" so he gets major points for that.

The best, most original and useful section was Learning Outside the Classroom. I found two gems here, one being his tip to read academic blogs (he lists several) and to subscribe to an intellectual magazine.

In all, the gems were few. Personally speaking, I found much of his advice to be trite, if not common sense. For instance: Tip 61- Ask for recommendations from professors who know you well..
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Amos on June 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book has some helpful advice for students going into undergraduate programs on being successful in school, including helpful information about progressing to graduate school. So, if you are an undergrad student or soon to be undergrad student with the goal of going to graduate school at some point, this book has information you can use to make the most of your undergrad experience with the intent of putting you in a good position come graduate school application time.

If you are already a graduate student and are wondering if this book can help you, it really depends on the program that you are in. While most doctorate programs, by their nature, require involvement and personal interaction with faculty, many master's degree programs do not. This book has some useful tips on how to connect more with your professors and get the most out of your time with them.

I will admit that in the earlier chapters some of it seemed repetitive. The author reiterates a bit too often that how much a student gets out of college is dependent more on the student than the school. Despite the repetitiveness, some of the supporting evidence is very interesting. One of the most interesting pieces was on the U.S. News Ratings that are released each year. The author provides information showing that college rating systems are not very objective or reliable. I found most of the book interesting and the advice useful. However, I don't agree with the author on his tip "Don't Worry Too Much about the Job Prospects of the Major" though. While I agree that most companies expect to train you how to do the job, where I disagree is the suggestion that you should disregard the meaningfulness of a major entirely.
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