Instructors often face an ongoing battle to keep college students motivated to study all semester long. The same students that show up bright-eyed and eager to learn on day one are not typically the same come November!  Sometimes motivation can come from unexpected places, such as famous quotes you may have overlooked. They may seem obvious, but they can be quite actionable when related to your students’ unique needs. Try our advice for showing your students how to get motivated to study. 

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

– Woody Allen

While this may sound a bit cut and dry, for students there is certainly some truth to this fun quote from Woody Allen. Encourage your students to “show up” at every opportunity they need to succeed. This includes not only every class session, but also every tutoring lesson, study group and office hour as needed for their goals. Skipping out on learning opportunities is never worth getting a poor grade and potentially having to retake a failed course. For more ideas on encouraging participation, visit our post “Tips for Students: Participate with Confidence!

“Life is trying things to see if they work.”

– Ray Bradbury

And as Einstein taught us, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. For these reasons, have your students take a step back when it comes to their study habits this semester. Has cramming the night before an exam really worked for them in the past? Has waiting until the final days to write a research paper gotten them the grade they had their heart set on? Perhaps flashcards are more time consuming to create, for example, but if that’s what garners the best results, that’s how they should plan to study. Try our list of top study tips for more suggestions.

“If you learn only methods, you’ll be tied to your methods. But if you learn principles, you can devise your own methods.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is where the value of critical thinking skills come into play. Ensure that your students engage in deeper learning by studying not only how things work, but also why they work and how it might relate to them. For more hints on teaching critical thinking skills to your students, visit our recent blog post, “Facilitating Discussions that Inspire Deeper Thinking.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle

Make sure your students develop good study habits early on and they’ll find them much easier to stick with. Make sure they know that skipping assignments is simply not an option, and they won’t be as tempted to try. Make sure they feel welcome and see the value of class discussion, and they’ll be more inclined to share their thoughts as they pop up. You can also share our twelve strategies for academic success.

Looking for even more tips to get your students motivated? Have them check out the post “Need some motivation? How to make yourself study” at‘s blog for students.

What do you find inspires you and your students most to stay motivated all semester long? Share your thoughts below!