BA: An Insider's Guide

Rebecca Jury


My daughter is heading to university next year and thought it was the best guide she had read, particularly as it was local and a real person’s experience, rather than a generic guide. – Crissi Blair, The School Library


BA: An Insider’s Guide is a practical, honest introduction to getting the most out of your arts degree at a New Zealand university. Author Rebecca Jury has just emerged from the maelstrom of university and offers her personal take on how to ace your BA.

Jury introduces readers to everything from choosing your courses (just like putting together a personalised gourmet sandwich), setting up a study space and doing part-time work, to turning up at lectures and tutorials and actually reading your ‘readings’, she offers ten steps on how to make university a more rewarding and enjoyable experience. In particular, she focuses on planning, work–life balance, study habits, succeeding at essays and exams, and sorting out a life after the degree.

If you’re not afraid to be a nerd, polish up your essays until they shine and master exam-taking techniques, Jury suggests, you’ll emerge from the university experience a better thinker, a more employable worker and a wiser person.

BA: An Insider’s Guide is an essential reader for all those considering study or about to embark on their arts degree. Among all the guides to essay writing and research available to undergraduates, this book distinguishes itself by its coverage of the full range of student life, by its rootedness in recent experience at a New Zealand university, and by its clear, engaging, personal style.


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Rebecca Jury graduated with a BA in English and Mass Communication from Canterbury University in 2008 with an A+ grade average. Since completing her degree she has worked as a university tutor, a youth counsellor and, most recently, a high school teacher. BA: An Insider’s Guide is her first book.

Rebecca came up the idea of a study guide in the final year of her BA. Although she was sitting on an A+ average, many of her peers were still developing skills to cope with the demands of tertiary study. She decided to produce a small study skills leaflet for distribution amongst her peers, which became the Insider’s Guide.


A blog to accompany the book may be found at


February 2012, 190 x 140 mm, 200 pages
Paperback, ISBN 9781869405779, $29.99