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Early Start

A collborative guide for Early Start program (Woodard and Harris/SRI) from STEM & FYE Librarians for Willis Library tour and summer study space

Tips (courtesy of Erin O'Toole)

Hi Early Start Students!
 Whether you’re majoring in science, math, engineering, or computer science or only taking courses in those departments [your subject librarian] is the person to contact with your library questions.  Normally, I would also be able to meet with you in person, but in these COVID-19 times, I can offer you Zoom meetings instead.

An important tip for your success is to ask me your questions whether you think they’re about the library or not. If I can’t help, I’ll refer you to a person who can. Check out my other tips and for additional help, see the Early Start library guide at

Schedule plenty of time to study. Reading and studying for college-level [STEM] courses usually takes longer than you expect in your first year. It doesn’t need to be in long blocks, but start out by giving yourself two times the amount of time you think you need and adjust from there.

Consult reference works while you read. Don’t skip over terms and concepts you don’t understand. Use the dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other textbooks listed on the Early Start guide to find explanations, and even better, images.

Chunk information when you’re studying. Chunking is learning information in categories, rather than trying to memorize a boatload of individual facts. The human brain has about 7 slots in the short-term memory, so you want to put more than a single fact in each slot. Some category examples are functions of the cell membrane, levels in the food chain, and phases of meiosis. The more you can link and connect facts, the more easily you’ll remember them.

Prepare for exams by testing yourself. Don’t prepare for an exam by simply reading over your notes. Quiz yourself on science topics and do lots of problem sets for math. See the Early Start guide for recommended study tools.

Be bold and ask for help. Most people struggle with college-level [STEM courses] at first. Reach out and ask for help from the many people in the Early Start program who want you to be a success, including me! 

These tips are located on the Library Help tabs as a word document on both tabs. These tips are courtesy of Librarian Erin O'Toole.


Librarian Erin:  My email address is Normally, I would also be able to meet with you in person, but in these COVID-19 times, I can offer you Zoom meetings instead.

Librarian Diane: My email address is Feel free to contact me for a Zoom meeting or DM me on the UNT College of Engineering Discord server ( 

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