Librarians say that most students start their research by using
This is understandable — it gives you the feeling that you’re
in control, for a bit, anyway. The tip here is to realise that
basic information can often be quicker and easier to find in a
book and encyclopaedia.
Librarians say that students often ask for information, and then
say they’re not sure what they want.
Be really sure that you understand the question you’re answering.
If you find it difficult to explain it to someone else, then go
back to your tutor and check your understanding. You have a better
chance of good grades if you feel confident that you understand
what’s expected of you.
Librarians say that if the title of the book doesn’t appear
to relate exactly to a student’s research question, then
the book isn’t thought relevant.
If you’re feeling stressed, this is understandable - you
want good sources, quickly. The tip here is to look through the
index — a small amount of information can be as useful as
a large amount.
Librarians say that when tutors recommended a particular journal
or other source, then students use it.
Check whether your tutor is able to recommend particular journals.
Check whether there is a reading list for the subject you’re
Librarians say that when students are unsure how the library cataloguing
system works, they are less likely to use books as a source.
Even if you’ve been shown how to use the catalogue, it’s
easy to forget. Do ask for advice and help — it feels good
when you know how.
Librarians say that students don’t always note down the
details of the books or journals that they’ve used. They
also report that many students don’t know why they need
Have you ever experienced the hassle of not having the information
to complete your bibliography? Develop a routine of writing down
the author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication
and page numbers for articles from magazines, newspapers, encyclopaedias
or in anthologies. That way you’ll build a thorough bibliography
as you go along.
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