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Grace Fleming

How to Use a Syllabus

By January 18, 2009

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Most college professors and some teachers will give you a course syllabus in the first or second meeting of a new class. A syllabus is an outline or overview of a course, which details important dates, facts, and expectations. If you're smart, you'll use the syllabus as a road map to success.

The first thing you should do when you receive a syllabus is enter each and every important date in your planner. Don't let any important assignments go unnoticed!

You should also observe and understand the policies outlined by the professor. Does he or she have an attendance policy? If you're expected to be in your seat right on time every day, don't risk a grade reduction! Manage your time to avoid lateness for this class.

On the other hand, some professors don't actually care whether you show up for class. They let you sink or swim on your own self-discipline when it comes to keeping up with information provided in class. Be careful if your professor gives you too much rope! Lots of students get hung up like this.

Next time you receive a syllabus for a new class you're attending, treat it like the valuable tool it really is. Heed every word and take advantage of the information it contains to give yourself every possible advantage.


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