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Introduction to week 1

The aim this week is to explore the process by which you start to question material, in particular the lecture.
Lectures at university are a source of information, but their primary aim is to explain and explore concepts, to provide a context for issues you are studying, and to provide a framework from which you can develop your own ideas and opinions. To get the most out of a lecture, you need confidence to engage and question the material being presented.
Questioning material is not about suggesting something might be right or wrong, it’s about engaging with the debates and discussions surrounding the subject. Hopefully, you’ll have been to lectures and be inspired to study subjects in greater depth. And this, in itself, will open up new questions. Studying in an academic environment is about questioning– questioning what you’re told, what you read, questioning the thoughts and ideas of your peers.
When you enter into an argument at university, we’re not talking about people getting cross and angry with each other. We’re talking about people entering into a discussion, a debate, where what is said is supported with evidence. Having a mastery of the subject is essential to being able to take part in these discussions, and this will come primarily from your own private study. These discussions and debates are what makes university such an exciting place, and different from almost any other environment you might come across. The level to which you can enter into these debates will increase the longer you’re at university and the more you learn.

The aim this week is to explore the process by which you start to question material, in particular the lecture, and to think about what you then do to explore the questions you raise.

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