11. How to stagger an enemy
Power melee attacks (hold the attack button) will often stagger enemies - especially if you've invested perk points in one and two-handed combat.
You can also stagger an enemy by using the Unrelenting Force shout, the first one you get in the game. This also has the bonus effect of interrupting a mage's casting, leaving him helpless against the fury of your sword.
Another way to stagger foes is to dual-cast impact spells like firebolt. The charged-up blast of power will make your enemy fall to their knees.
12. How to keep your companion alive
When your companion's health reaches its lowest point, they'll go into 'stagger' mode and fall to their knees. The instant this happens, all enemies attacking them will switch their attention to you. This means that the only thing that will finish your partner off is splash damage from spells, or a badly-aimed arrow.
If your partner is staggered and you're fighting mages, draw them away. Getting some distance between your crippled partner and the enemies will protect them from stray spells, or wide area ones like fireball.
13. How to mine faster
You can actually speed up the laborious mining animation by dual-wielding pickaxes and 'attacking' the ore vein. You can find a unique pickaxe at the very top of the Throat of the World called the 'Notched Pickaxe' (a reference to the Minecraft designer, maybe?) This increases your smithing skills and does shock damage to enemies.