Student Learning

Tēnā koutou katoa!

Congratulations on making it to tertiary education. Your time at Victoria University will be an exciting one. At times, you will have your ups and downs. When it gets hard, there are lots of people here to support you — all you need to do is ask. If you are unsure of what services could help you, ask a friend or tutor, or come and ask us at Student Learning.

How can I write a good essay?

Academic writing has a special framework. You just need to learn what the framework is — first an introduction, then the arguments in the middle, then the conclusion. That's the framework. Then you will learn how to add more timber or words. For example, the introduction needs context. It should let the reader know where you will take them, and it should have a thesis statement. The body paragraphs need topic sentences, and the conclusion should not contain any new material. If this sounds hard — no worries — we will help you build it one plank at a time.

Notetaking and reading – there's heaps of it!

Taking notes and reading are all skills that can be learnt — the main thing is to keep at it. Taking notes and reading well can be hard, but no matter what happens, make sure you attend class. Skipping class can become a habit and is easy to do. However, catching up on notes and reading is very difficult. When you are behind, motivation drops, you think you can't do it, and you risk failing. You can do it but you need to keep going. Again, ask for help. If you think you are not good at skills like note taking and reading, come and see us.

What is plagiarism — it sounds like a disease? Is it lethal?

Plagiarism is not a disease, but it can be lethal to your studies. Plagiarism means copying material and presenting it as your own work without giving credit to the original author. Plagiarism is the same as cheating. The University takes plagiarism very seriously and you can be kicked out for it. Don't worry — you will learn how to give credit. It's called referencing, and each school follows a particular style. Again, if you are having trouble, we will help you with it.

What services do we offer at Student Learning?

You can visit the Māori learning adviser at Student Learning at any time. The service is free and confidential. You can book one-to-one appoitments or take part in workshops. In individual sessions, we will look at how things are going with your studies and how you might improve. This could include things like time management or your latest essay topic. Workshops are small group sessions that meet for about an hour and discuss a particular topic — including how to start essays or how to research.


Check out Come paddle this waka for tips on how to balance commitments, uni skills, and stickability.

come paddle this waka

Victoria University expects good academic performance. Your performance is assessed in essays and exams. If you want support with these, make an appointment with the Māori learning adviser. To make an appointment, please contact Student Learning, phone: 04-463 5999 or email:

For information on other support available to you, checkout the Māori Student Support page.

Ka nui te mihi,

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa!