Not waving but drowning: 5 ways to learn to tackle assignments better

The ocean of informationIt’s a big, wide ocean of information out there and fishing for the things you want for your particular assignment can be challenging.  That’s where the Library can help.  Check out our top five tips below for getting on and getting ahead.

  1. Explore the ‘ocean of information’ before your first assignment arrives.  Knowing what sorts of resources are out there, when they are useful, and how to start searching for them makes it much easier to start looking for what you want.  This quick interactive guide makes for a fun introduction to the different types of resources you might use at University.
  2. Watch this video short introducing the Discovery Service.  Available from the search box on the library homepage, the Discovery Service is the fastest way to find results for resources for most subjects.*  Think of it as Google but for academic research: our answer to finding all the information you need in one place.  Click here for the 60 second introductory video.
  3. Check out your subject pages.  Written by our subject teams, the subject pages help you find the best resources for your subject and give advice on when each is most useful for different subjects.  You can use all of these pages, not just those most obviously relevant to your course.  Find them listed under “Subjects” on the Library homepage.
  4. Ask us for a demo.  We are really happy to chat to you in person or online about which resources might be best for your assignment and give you (individually or with your friends) a quick demo of any resources that interest you at the Library Help Desk in the Atrium at any time the desk is staffed.  If you are studying at a distance, we have a host of video shorts and guides and are happy to help by phone or online chat 24/7.
  5. Get personalised top tips on finding what you want.  We love helping people getting started, getting on or getting stuck find the information they need.  Whether this is the first time you have had to find high quality scholarly information, you are confused by one or more of our resources, you just don’t know where to start or you are frustrated by not being able to find what you are looking for, chatting to a librarian in person or online can help.  Library staff are experts in finding, evaluating and referencing information and we are here to help you.

* There are some subjects for which the Discovery Service is not recommended.  In particular If you are studying Law or a creative subject (art, literature, fashion, architecture, and suchlike), you are best served by going straight to your subject pages – see top tip no. 3 above.  There are also business/market reports available through the Business subject pages that are not covered by the Discovery Service.  Remember you can always chat to us about the best places to go for information of any kind.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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