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This study examined the effectiveness of providing instructional support for the self-regulation of a self-directed homework assignment. Across four parallel experiments, university students completed an online module on critical thinking. In Experiment 1, participants who were prompted on a broad spectrum of study strategies showed superior performance on a subsequent test of application relative to a control group. In Experiment 2, participants were prompted to use two specific strategies: generation of explanations and summarization. The former improved performance, whereas the latter did not. In Experiment 3, instructional aids designed to facilitate planning improved some aspects of performance relative to the control group. In Experiment 4, attempts to encourage self-feedback impaired performance. In conclusion, beyond encouraging a broad spectrum of study strategies, the generation of explanations and planning particularly improve learning without overburdening working memory.