Becoming a Master Student

  • AUTHOR: Dave Ellis
  • ISBN-13: 9781111827533 
  • Grade(s): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
  • 416 Pages  Paperback 
  • 14th Edition  |  Previous Editions: 2011, 2009, 2006
  • ©2013     Published
  • Prices are valid only in the respective region


About The Product

The fourteenth edition of the bestselling BECOMING A MASTER STUDENT continues to lead the way in meeting the changing needs of today's first-year students. Through interactive journaling, a motivational writing style, and hands-on activities that students can apply right away, this text helps students succeed in college and in life. Tools like the Discovery Wheel, Discovery and Intention Journal System, Power Process articles, Master Student Profiles, and the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) deepen students' knowledge of themselves and the world around them. In this latest edition, students will discover that study skills are really life skills with the renewed emphasis on the Master Student Qualities throughout the book. Students will be challenged to apply the Master Student Qualities to new Practicing Critical Thinking exercises and planning for a career by building an effective résumé and learning interviewing strategies they can practice while in college.


  • Master Student MAP. The Master Student MAP (an acronym for Metacognitive Application Process) feature located on the opening page of each chapter provides an organizational framework that introduces each chapter and acts as a common theme throughout the text to guide students in monitoring thinking and learning. A reasoning model based on the Learning Style Inventory, the map helps students understand why the chapter matters, what is included in the chapter, how they can use the chapter, and what to think about as they read ("As you read, ask yourself what if . . . "). What makes this model so effective is that by utilizing the strengths of each learning style, students can implement the monitoring aspect of metacognition as soon as they achieve awareness.
  • Power Processes. These short, unique motivational articles appear in the beginning of every chapter emphasizing academic success in terms of life skills and behaviors. When students apply the Power Process strategies, they become empowered students in the school of academics, work, and life.
  • The Discovery Wheel. The most widely recognized feature of Becoming a Master Student, the Discovery Wheel is an activity where students think about the kind of student they are and the kind of student that they want to become. Its twelve sections correspond to the twelve chapters in the text. Assigned at the outset of the course, this exercise helps students assess their current strengths and weaknesses in different areas of student success. Students answer a series of questions and then plot their scores on their Discovery Wheel--a graphic illustration of their skill levels. The purpose of this exercise is to give students the opportunity to change their behavior. Completing the Discovery Wheel a second time allows students to see what behaviors they have changed on their journey to becoming a master student. Students can complete this exercise in the text or online.
  • Learning Style Inventory. Developed by Dr. David Kolb at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, the LSI in Chapter 1 First Steps measures a learner's preferences for perceiving information (taking it in) and processing information (making sense of what she takes in). When these preferences are plotted on two continuums, four unique modes of learning are formed. Students find that although every individual is capable of employing all four modes, each person has a preferred way of learning. The LSI helps students be more aware of their preferred learning style, discover new options for achieving goals, solving problems, listening more fully, speaking more persuasively, and resolving conflicts between people. The LSI is printed on carbonless paper for easy scoring in the text or is available in an interactive format online.
  • The Discovery and Intention Journal Entry system. As students make their way through the chapters, these journal prompts ask students to explain the whys, whats, and hows of applying the chapter skills to themselves in writing, and offers instructors a more specific and measurable form of journal writing than any other text. Students have an opportunity to reflect on their discoveries while setting a plan for action by writing their intentions.
  • Exercises. Only action makes this book work. Student exercises found throughout the chapters encourage active learning and help develop critical thinking. Becoming a Master Student is a textbook and workbook combined.
  • Master Student Profiles. Master Student Profiles in every chapter are brief articles about a real person who encompasses master student qualities, with a diverse set including Al Gore, Twyla Tharp, Mark Zuckerberg, Harvey Milk, Lisa Price, and more!
  • Skills Snapshot. The Skills Snapshot activity ends each chapter and has students link their initial Discovery Wheel answers to what they've learned about the chapter skill, and make their intentions for how they plan to implement the skill in their academic success.

About the Contributor

  • Dave Ellis

    Dave Ellis is a leadership coach, author, educator, and philanthropist. He is a respected lecturer and electrifying workshop leader who has captivated audiences worldwide since first sharing his principles in 1979. Ellis got started in education in 1976, when he taught junior high school math. After getting a master's degree in mathematics, he taught computer science for six years at National American University, where he became Assistant Dean of Student Services. In 1979, he designed a course to improve student retention and then traveled the country for a decade conducting workshops for teachers on ways to improve student retention and test scores. He began training coaches in 1983 and started a public course for coaches in 1993. He puts into practice the principles he teaches, utilizing his remarkable system in his own life. His friends and colleagues often describe him as the happiest person they know with an amazingly wonderful life. He is president of Breakthrough Enterprises, a publishing and consulting company, as well as founder and president of The Brande Foundation, a nonprofit organization offering assistance to organizations working toward world sufficiency, environmental integrity, human rights, and personal transformation. Ellis has contributed millions of dollars to the work of his foundation and other organizations. You can visit Ellis's website at Ellis resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Trisha. They have four daughters and four grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Master Student Map. Exercise 1: TEXTBOOK RECONNAISSANCE. Power process: DISCOVER WHAT YOU WANT. Master Student Qualities. Exercise 2: The Master Student in you. This book is worthless--if you just read it. Exercise 3: COMMITMENT. Master Students in Action. Get the most out of this book. The Discovery and Intention Journal Entry system. Discovery and Intention Statement guidelines. Journal Entry 1: Declare what you want. The value of higher education. Making the transition to higher education. Rewrite this book. Succeeding in school--at any age. Enroll your instructor in your success. Meeting with your instructor. Motivation--I''m just not in the mood. Attitudes, affirmations, and visualizations. Attitude replacements. Exercise 4: Reprogram your attitude. Ways to change a habit. Classroom civility--what''s in it for you.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry: 2 Create value from this chapter. Power process: IDEAS ARE TOOLS. First Step: Truth is a key to mastery. Exercise 5: Taking the First Step. Exercise 6: The Discovery Wheel. Skills Snapshot. Learning styles: Discovering how you learn. Journal Entry 3: Prepare for the Learning Styles Inventory. Directions for completing the Learning Style Inventory. Learning Style Inventory. Taking the next steps. Scoring your Inventory. Learning Style Graph. Interpreting your Learning Style Graph. Developing all four modes of learning. Balancing your preferences. Using your learning style profile to succeed. Claim your multiple intelligences. Exercise 7: Develop your multiple intelligences. Learning by seeing, hearing, and moving: The VAK system. Master Students in Action. Journal Entry 4: Choosing your purpose. Connect to resources. Extracurricular activities: Reap the benefits. Make the career connection. You don''t need this course--but you might want it. Practicing critical thinking 1. Master Student Profiles. Master Student Profile Lalita Booth. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 1 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
2. TIME.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 5: Create value from this chapter. Power process: BE HERE NOW. You''ve got the time. Exercise 8: The Time Monitor. Setting and achieving goals. Exercise 9: Create a lifeline. Exercise 10: Get real with your goals. The ABC daily to-do list. Make choices about multitasking. More strategies for planning. Exercise 11: Master monthly calendar. Break it down, get it done: Using a long-term planner. Mastering technology: use Web-based tools to save time. Stop procrastination NOW. The 7-day antiprocrastination plan. Practicing critical thinking 2. 25 ways to get the most out of now. Setting limits on screen time. Master Students in Action. Beyond time management: Stay focused on what matters. Forget time management--just get things done. Master Student Profile: Al Gore. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 2 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 6 Intention Statement. Power process: LOVE YOUR PROBLEMS (AND EXPERIENCE YOUR BARRIERS). Take your memory out of the closet. The memory jungle. Master Students in Action. 20 memory techniques. Your mind, online. Use your computer to enhance memory. Exercise 12: Use Q-Cards to reinforce memory. Set a trap for your memory. Exercise 13: Remembering your car keys--or anything else. Your brain--its care and feeding. Mnemonic devices. Exercise 14: Get creative. Notable failures. Practicing critical thinking 3. Journal Entry 7: Discovery Statement. Exercise 15: Move from problems to solutions. Remembering names. Master Student Profile Pablo Alvarado. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 3 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 8: Intention Statement. Power process: NOTICE YOUR PICTURES AND LET THEM GO. Muscle Reading. How Muscle Reading works. PHASE 1: Before you read. PHASE 2: While you read. Five smart ways to highlight a text. PHASE 3: After you read. Muscle Reading--a leaner approach. Journal Entry 9: Discovery/Intention Statement. When reading is tough. Getting past roadblocks to reading. Reading faster. Exercise 16: Relax. Master Students in Action. Word power--expanding your vocabulary. Mastering the English Language. Developing information literacy. Muscle Reading for ebooks. Practicing critical thinking 4. Master Student Profile: Matias Manzano. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 4 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 10: Intention Statement. Power process: I CREATE IT ALL. The note-taking process flows. Observe : The note-taking process flows. Journal Entry 11: Discovery/Intention Statement Create more value from lectures. What to do when you miss a class. Record: The note-taking process flows. Review: The note-taking process flows. Journal Entry 12: Discovery Statement Reflect on your review habits. Turn PowerPoints into powerful notes. When your instructor talks quickly. Exercise 17: Taking notes under pressure. Taking notes while reading. Note this information about your sources. Get to the bones of your book with concept maps. Taking effective notes for online coursework. Practicing critical thinking 5. Master Student Profile: Harvey Milk. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 5 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 13: Intention Statement Use this chapter to transform your experience with tests. Power process: DETACH. Disarm tests. F is for feedback. Journal Entry 14: Discovery Statement Explore your feelings about tests. Journal Entry 15: Discovery/Intention Statement Notice your excuses and let them go. What to do before the test. How to cram (even though you "shouldn''t"). Ways to predict test questions. Cooperative learning: Studying in groups. Master Students in Action. What to do during the test. Words to watch for in essay question. The test isn''t over until . . .. The high costs of cheating. Perils of high-tech cheating. Let go of test anxiety. Have some FUN! Exercise 18: Twenty things I like to do. Getting ready for math tests. Exercise 19: Use learning styles for math success. Studying across the curriculum. Celebrate mistakes. Practicing critical thinking 6. Master Student Profile: Bert and John Jacobs. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 6 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 16: Intention Statement Choose to create value from this chapter. Power process: FIND A BIGGER PROBLEM. Critical thinking: A survival skill. Becoming a critical thinker. Finding "aha!"--creativity fuels critical thinking. Tangram. Ways to create ideas. Create on your feet. Exercise 20: Explore emotional reactions. Don''t fool yourself: Fifteen common mistakes in logic. Master Students in Action. Uncovering assumptions. Think critically about information on the Internet. Gaining skill at decision making. Four ways to solve problems. Exercise 21:Translating goals into action. Asking questions--learning through inquiry. 15 questions to try on for size. Thinking about your major. Journal Entry 17: Discovery/Intention Statement Reflect on choosing a major. Service-learning: The art of learning by contributing. Practicing critical thinking 7. Master Student Profile Twyla Tharp. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 7 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 18: Intention Statement Commit to create value from this chapter. Power process: EMPLOY YOUR WORD. Communicating creates our world. Communication--keeping the channels open. Exercise 22: Practice sending or receiving. Choosing to listen. Choosing to speak. Master Students in Action. Five ways to say "I." Exercise 23: Write an "I" message. Journal Entry 19: Discovery/Intention Statement Discover communication styles. Developing emotional intelligence. Collaborating for success. Managing conflict. Resolve conflicts with roommates. Journal Entry 20: Discovery/Intention Statement Re-create a relationship. Five ways to say no . . . respectfully. You deserve compliments. Exercise 24: V.I.P.s (Very Important Persons). 5 steps to effective complaints. Criticism is constructive. Mastering social networks. Text message etiquette--Five key points. Three phases of effective writing. Academic integrity: Avoid plagiarism. Mastering public speaking. Making the grade in group presentations. Ppracticing critical thinking 8. Master Student Profile: Mark Zuckerberg. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 8 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 21: Intention Statement Commit to create value from this chapter. Power process: CHOOSE YOUR CONVERSATIONS AND YOUR COMMUNITY. Waking up to diversity. Journal Entry 22: Discovery Statement Reflect on the quality of a recent conversation.Diversity is real--and valuable. Exercise 25: Explore the influence of stereotypes. Building relationships across cultures. Master Students in Action. Exercise 26: Becoming a culture learner. Overcome stereotypes with critical thinking. Students with disabilities: Know your rights. Dealing with sexism and sexual harassment. Seven strategies for nonsexist communication. Leadership in a diverse world. Journal Entry 23: Discovery/Intention Statement Removing barriers to communication. Practicing critical thinking 9. Master Student Profile: Sampson Davis. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 9 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
10. MONEY.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 24 Intention Statement Commit to a new experience of money. Power process: RISK BEING A FOOL. The end of money worries. This book is worth $1,000. Exercise 27: The Money Monitor/Money Plan. No budgeting required. Journal Entry 25: Discovery/Intention Statement: Reflect on your Money Monitor/Money Plan. Make more money. Master Students in Action. Spend less money. Exercise 28 Show me the money. Managing money during tough times. Take charge of your credit. Common credit terms. Exercise 29 Start setting money goals. If you''re in trouble … Education is worth it--and you can pay for it. Exercise 30 Education by the hour. Your learning styles and your money. Your money and your values. Free fun. Practicing critical thinking 10. Master Student Profile: Lisa Price. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 10 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 26: Discovery Statement Take a First Step about your health. Power process SURRENDER. Wake up to health. Choose your fuel. Prevent and treat eating disorders. Choose to exercise. Choose emotional health. Choose to rest. Master Students in Action. Developing a strong self-image. Asking for help. Suicide is no solution. Choose to stay safe. Observe thyself. Choose sexual health: Prevent infection. Choose sexual health: Prevent unwanted pregnancy. Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs: THE TRUTH. Exercise 31: Addiction: How do I know? Some facts .... From dependence to recovery. Succeed in quitting smoking. Warning: Advertising can be dangerous to your health. Journal Entry 27: Discovery/Intention Statement Advertisements and your health. Practicing critical thinking 11. Master Student Profile: Randy Pausch. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 11 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.
Master Student Map. Journal Entry 28: Discovery/Intention Statement Revisiting what you want and how you intend to get it. Power process: BE IT. Define your values; align your actions. Jumpstart your education with transferable skills. 65 transferable skills. Exercise 32 Recognize your skills. Create your career now. Sample career plans. Exercise 33: Create your career plan--now. Exercise 34: Make a trial choice of major. Exercise 35: Create Your Academic Plan. Transferring to a new school. Master Students in Action. Build an irresistible résumé. Fine tune your cover letter. Use job interviews to "hire" an employer. Exercise 36: The Discovery Wheel--Coming full circle. Skills snapshot. Now that you''re done--begin. "…use the following suggestions to continue…" Exercise 37: This book shouts, "Use me!" Practicing critical thinking 12. Exercise 38: Do something you can''t. Master Student Profile Lisa Ling. Put this chapter to work. Chapter 12 Quiz. Skills Snapshot.

New to this Edition

  • BECOMING A MASTER STUDENT is not just about study skills, it's about life skills. The Master Student Qualities are the guiding force behind BECOMING A MASTER STUDENT. These are not just behaviors that every student should strive for, but every person should strive for. To put a renewed emphasis on these qualities, The Master Student article that outlines these qualities has been moved to the Introduction as the first article students encounter in the book. Students will be reminded of these qualities throughout their BECOMING A MASTER STUDENT journey as the behaviors are now stressed as qualities to continually build and mold within yourself. To be a good person is to also be a good student.
  • The Power Process articles have moved to the beginning of each chapter to motivate students and illustrate how simple behaviors can lead to great changes and successes in their academic as well as personal lives. Students see upfront how the skills they are learning about in the chapter are just as much about life skills as they are about academic skills. Becoming a Master Student is just as much about shaping master people is it is about shaping master students.
  • New! Emphasis on Bloom's Taxonomy and all new Practicing Critical Thinking Exercises. To help develop students' critical thinking skills, Chapter 7 Thinking now introduces students to the six different levels of higher thought with Bloom's Taxonomy. The Practicing Critical Thinking exercises that appear in every chapter are brand new and have been developed to step students through the levels of critical thinking. Beginning with the earlier levels of remembering, understanding, and applying, students progress through the chapter exercises and are given more responsibility and exposure to the higher levels of analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Special attention has been given to these exercises to ensure that students and instructors will be comfortable completing the exercises while authentically practicing critical thought, an essential skill for Master Students.
  • The articles and organization of Chapter 12 Next Steps has seen many revises to ensure a better flow of relevant content. Exercises on career planning (Exercise 34: Make a trial choice of major and Exercise 35: Create an academic plan),and articles on résumé building (Build an irresistible résumé and Fine tune your cover letter) and interviewing (Use job interviews to "hire" an employer) have been revised to ensure the focus is appropriate for first-year students, with a focus of how to build your résumé for potential employers while in school and how to showcase Master Student qualities in your work experience and on your résumé.
  • NEW! Put This Chapter To Work features have been fully revised to focus on the application of chapter skills to the first-year student--how to apply the chapter skill to your current job, how to apply skills to getting a job, and then real-life application of the skill to once you've attained your desired career position.
  • Learning Styles Inventory directions and explanations have been simplified and made more apparent, stepping students through how to take the test, as well as clearer explanations of what the test results mean and how students can apply that new knowledge about themselves to their academic coursework and success.
  • Skills Snapshots now include a reminder for students to include how they scored on the Discovery Wheel for that particular skill so that they can actively think about how well they are learning and applying the chapter skills and make a plan for how they want to do better and get a higher score for this skill when they retake the Discovery Wheel at the end of their Becoming a Master Student journey.