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Although we don’t provide programme specific assistance we can help you with:

  • Essay writing
  • Interpreting assignment questions
  • Referencing and how to acknowledge the use of other people’s ideas or intellectual property
  • Managing your time more effectively.

Once you learn the ‘secrets’ of study success, you will find your studies easier and more enjoyable. As well as giving one-to-one support, we also run class workshops and Summer School workshops. Please contact your local Student Support Advisor for further assistance.

Useful Resources

TWoA Study Skills Guide

American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing

Referencing refers to the way in which you acknowledge your sources of information for assignments. Even though there are many different referencing styles, here at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa we use APA format.


Writing Skills and Essay Writing


A thesaurus provides a list of words with similar, related, or opposite meanings. Similar or related meanings are called “synonyms”, whilst opposite meanings are called “antonyms”.  Why use a thesaurus?

When you write, it is not unusual to use certain words quite frequently. However, overuse of the same word or words can make your writing repetitive and uninteresting. As such, varying your word use when writing can keep the reader interested in what you are saying as well as having the added benefit of improving your vocabulary (word knowledge).

One way to vary your word use and increase your writing vocabulary is to use a thesaurus to gather a list of words that have the same meaning. Then, when you find that you have repeated certain words in your writing, you can choose another synonym to take the place of the original word you used. Please be aware that you should firstly understand the meaning of the words before you use them. This is to avoid selecting a word that does not fit the context of the sentence.

Because of this, we recommend that you use a dictionary in addition to a thesaurus so that you use only the most appropriate word or words. Remember, the links to these word-finding tools below will only help you find words; they will not necessarily tell you how or when to use these words. As such, you will need to learn what these words mean.

Māori Dictionaries

English Dictionaries

Dictionaries are a vital resource for all tauira (students). There are also specialised dictionaries that provide the meanings of words that are used in fields such as medicine, computing, law, art, science and the social sciences. Before going to these sites, be aware that some dictionaries will require American Spelling.

  • YourDictionary - Yourdictionary is a free online English dictionary and much more. The free dictionary search gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spelling, pronunciation, and etymology (the word’s origins) results for your word. Alternately, you can browse the dictionary alphabetically or by related terms to find meanings and synonyms. In addition, YourDictionary provides resources to help you find the best dictionary and translation sites other languages.
  • The Free Dictionary
  • Merriam Webster

Microsoft Office Programs

For those who want assistance with Microsoft Office programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, a good place to start is by viewing the “Help” files available on the menu bar at the top of the screen when you are using the program itself.

For further help, you can always go to Microsoft Online Help or try the following links:

For PowerPoint:

For Word:

For Excel: