Don’t let your essay become a nightmare!

You might think (or hope!) that essay writing was something just for school but lots of university assignments require you to write an essay in some form; defined by Skills for Learning as “an extended piece of writing which attempts to answer a question or respond to a statement”.

To tie in with Halloween the Library will be offering help with essay writing so that it doesn’t become a nightmare for you. Look out for us in Headingley Library from 11:00 on Monday 30th October and in the Rose Bowl on Tuesday 31st also from 11:00 where we will be helping you overcome your fears by telling you all about the support available. Here’s a sneaky peak of the help on offer – if you’re scared of spiders, skeletons (or essays!) you may want to watch with a friend!

Also during the week there will be Skills for Learning workshops on essay writing, finding information and referencing to help you get started with your assignments. You can find lots of material online, pick up a book in the Library (or read an e-Book from under the covers!) or make an appointment with your Academic Librarian. There is even a Little Book of Essay Writing with lots of useful hints and tips, and software such as Inspiration or Pro-Study on the Library PCs to help you organise your work before you start writing.

In addition, Academic Librarian, Karen Fisher, will be in the Cultural Studies social learning space in Broadcasting House on Wednesday 1 November 11:30-12:30 offering extra help to students based there.

We also asked Holly Phillips, Academic Skills Tutor for her advice: “The most important thing is that you take a clear position in response to the question that is being asked, then the rest of the essay focuses on the evidence to support that position. Ultimately, the essay is an argumentative genre of writing where the author is trying to get their reader to accept their position. Make your case clearly, directly, and support it using the very best evidence you can find!”

Worth following to turn your nightmare essay into a dream high mark!

 

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If you want it, request it!

HoldWe introduced our new automatic renewal system in October, meaning that we’ll keep renewing for up to 6 months unless someone else needs the item or you finish your course. So if you want to borrow something that’s already on loan you need to request it by putting a Hold on it.

But what happens when you place a hold on something?

If the item is already on loan an email is sent to the University email of the person who has it asking them to return the item, as it has been requested by another user. They then have 7 days to return the item (Offsite students and students with disabilities have slightly different arrangements – see their web pages for more information).

Once the item has been returned our Hold teams step in! They process the item and put it on the shelves for you to collect. If you’ve requested to collect your book at another Leeds Beckett Library, they put it in a box ready to be delivered.

Once your hold has been processed by the team, you will receive an email notification to your student email account to let you know that the book is ready to be collected!

If you’re not sure how to place a hold, there is a handy step by step tutorial available that allows you to place a hold on something you need as you work through it. Or, you can watch our Library Short: How to place a hold.

 

If you have a queries, speak to Library staff and please tell us what you think about this new system.

The value of embedded Library sessions

We hope you all enjoyed the Library Inductions that Library staff delivered in September (and if you didn’t attend one, please talk to your module leader to see if one can be arranged!) These induction sessions are very much intended as a welcome and there is so much more that the Library can help you with.Karen F and Catherine 2017

One very effective way that you can benefit from Library expertise is by attending “embedded sessions” delivered by Librarians at appropriate points throughout the year.  Students find these sessions very relevant as they are timed to take place when they will be most useful, and the content is carefully chosen to closely tie in with students’ assignments.  Academic Librarians delivered many of these sessions in 2016-17, including:

A 1 hour presentation to MSc Accounting and Finance students from Academic Librarians Jennie Winterburn and Catherine Parkin. This focused on using the FAME database to find and analyse data on company financial ratios, and how to compare companies within a peer group. This helped students when completing their Financial Reporting assignment as they learnt the importance of using subscription databases for the information they needed, rather than relying on information found on the web, to ensure the information was accurate and up to date. They also found out how to properly cite financial resources in their assignments, in the Harvard style.

Level 6 Law students rated the “finding journal articles” sessions delivered by the same Academic Librarians very highly. These students worked together in small groups to evaluate the literature they were using for their dissertations and learnt how to effectively search databases using search terms and subject headings, in order to find high quality journal articles.

Level 6 Dance students undertake a final year module called “Publishing Project” that is focused upon the development of the students’ academic skills in reading, writing and independent critical ability. The module is designed to enable students to develop their research skills in order to produce an extended piece of academic writing. Academic Librarians Alison Park and Karen Fisher deliver a session every year as part of this module, showing the students the research process, helping them to select an area of interest for their extended essay, and assisting them in conducting their own research and enquiries.

Journals

Level 5 Architecture students were set a short critical review assignment in Semester 2, which required them to research a building allocated to them. Students were asked to research their case study in books and architecture magazines, and submit their research in the form of printed and digital copies of plans, elevations, axonometrics, collages and other visual and technical information, as well as excerpts collected from relevant sources. The aim of the assignment was to develop independent research skills by using the Library and the main printed sources of architectural knowledge, and to familiarise and practice writing critical analysis and commentary on a project/building.

Every subject has an Academic Librarian, and sessions can be delivered for all subjects throughout the year. If you are unsure who your Librarian is, check the Library Guide for your Subject.

 Catherine Parkin, Academic Librarian for Law, Accounting & Finance, Economics, Analytics and International, Leadership, Governance and People Management.

Celebrating Libraries Week

Libraries Week takes place 9-14 October and is a chance to showcase some of the amazing things that your Library offers such as:

And if you decide to take a break from studying why not listen to our latest Spotify playlist “The Great Library Songbook” full of library and literature related songs! Or come along to Leeds Beckett Book Club’s meeting on Wednesday 11 October to discuss The Famished Road by Ben Okri.

 

 

 

Positive about Dyslexia

This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week 2017, and this year’s theme is ‘Positive about Dyslexia’. The Library has a wide range of support available for students with dyslexia to help you succeed at University.

If you think you might have dyslexia but you have not yet been diagnosed, you can complete QuickScan – an online questionnaire which identifies whether you have any indicators of dyslexia and provides advice on the next steps to take. This is accessed via the Support tab in MyBeckett (under Disability Support).

Students who have dyslexia can register with our University’s Disability Advice service who arrange tailored support on an individual basis. When you have registered with Disability Advice, you can use the Disability Resource Areas in the Libraries. These are comfortable silent study spaces for students with disabilities or dyslexia which contain a range of equipment, including larger desks and PCs with dual monitors.

IMG_20170925_132111595The Library has a wide range of books and eBooks about study skills and disability in higher education, including dyslexia. Look out for some of these on our Dyslexia Awareness Week book displays. There is also a collection of reference books on these topics in each Disability Resource Area.

Students registered with Disability Advice can borrow books for longer and place 10 items on hold at once instead of the usual 5, so you can use the Holds system to have books retrieved for you if you have difficulty locating them on the shelves.

We have an ever increasing collection of eBooks. If you find eBooks difficult to use due to dyslexia, we have information on how you can customise the settings to make them more accessible. This includes changing the text size and colour, changing the background colour, and listening to eBooks in audio format. Eligible students can also have their reading list titles obtained in accessible format through the Library’s Alternative Formats service.

A variety of assistive software is available, most of which is installed on all PCs in the Library. This includes Read & Write, which has tools for reading on-screen text aloud (text-to-speech), advanced spelling and grammar support and applying a digital coloured overlay to your computer screen. You can access a web-based version of Read & Write for Google Chrome off campus. There is also software for mind mapping to help you organise your ideas visually, and we have recently subscribed to Pro-Study software which helps you to collect, categorise and organise research from various different sources. We particularly recommend this for students with dyslexia. You can also use SensusAccess to convert documents into more accessible formats, including audio, so you can listen to them rather than reading. If you’d like to know more about the assistive software available in the Library you can come to a workshop – see our Software page for further details, and if you are looking for free software and apps we have several recommendations.

If you prefer to read printed text on a coloured background, coloured paper for printing is available on request free of charge at the Advice Point on the ground floor of each Library. You can choose from six different colours.

For help with study skills including academic writing, Skills for Learning offer online resources, workshops and tutorials.

Photo of SueStudents with disabilities or dyslexia can book a one-to-one appointment with the Library’s Learning Support Officer (Disability and Dyslexia) for help with a wide range of disability related issues in the Library, including using Library resources, assistive software, equipment and more. You can also contact Library staff for advice by phone, email and online chat.