Don’t get lost on your dissertation journey

There are many steps in writing the perfect dissertation and Library staff are on hand to help you on your journey, especially if you’re just starting out.

Skills for Learning are running a themed week of workshops 20-24 November covering topics such as Finding Information for your Dissertation, Organising your Research using Pro-Study and Referencing Refreshers.

25DE18F2-E049-441F-9BF0-291BC29A8F95As part of the week Library staff will be out and about offering advice, support and signposting help on all aspects of writing your dissertation. There will also be a chance to win a £20 Blackwell voucher.

On Tuesday 21 November Academic Librarian, Karen Fisher, will be in Broadcasting Place 13:00-15:00.

On Thursday 23 November  Karen Croft from the Skills for Learning team will be in Headingley Library from 11:30 – 13:30.

One of our Information Services Librarians, Karen Carney, will also be on hand to offer advice and support.

And there are lots of Library staff not called Karen who can also help you!

The Library website includes information about finding past dissertations in the Library or obtaining Interlibrary Loans if you need to read something as part of your literature review that isn’t available in the Library.

You can also use our Beckett Books Extra scheme to request a book that you think should be in stock – just click Recommend on the web page.

Searching Discover gives you access to thousands of resources for whatever topic you pick or you can use the Subject Guides to point you in the right direction. These are created by your Academic Librarian who has expert knowledge of all the journals, databases and other material available to you.

As well as workshops Skills for Learning has lots of guidance on their website and they can also help if the subject you’re studying means you need to produce a dissertation based on a product. Their Dissertation IT Kit provides a really good guide on how to produce a professional looking document and avoid the potential formatting errors.

You can book an appointment with your Academic Librarian for one-to-one support on finding resources for your dissertation or project – see their contact information on your subject guide. And, of course, you can always contact the Library 24/7 and we’ll do our best to help.

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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.

Getting organised for Semester Two

As Semester Two gets underway we thought we’d pass on some reminders about making the most of the Library and being organised in your studies:

Get extra help in essay writing, finding information, referencing, analysing data or IT Skills via the Skills for Learning  programme of free workshops – just book via their website. Alternatively you could watch or listen to one of their recorded workshops or podcasts or take a look at their web resources.

If you’re searching for information for your assignments or dissertations take a look the Subject Guides on the Library website. These will direct you to the right information for your topic and if you still need help you can book a one-to-one appointment with your Academic Librarian.

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Connect your mobile devices to eduroam for the fastest and most secure access to the internet when you’re on campus and  download Microsoft Office 365 and SPSS so you have the software you need wherever you are working. But always save and back up your work so you don’t lose it and have to do it all again!

 

Don’t leave sorting our your references and bibliographies until the very end of your piece of work – keep a record as you go along and use Quote Unquote as a guide.

If you ever get stuck with MyBeckett or Turnitin we have online guides to talk you through finding your way around and submitting assignments and when it comes to submitting your Semester 2 Turnitin assignments, remember to check your file type and file size against Turnitin’s rules and requirements before submitting.

Searching for information, writing and printing your assignments can often take more time than you think – use the Assignment Calculator to help you plan. And book your Student Meeting Room in plenty of time to get together to discuss any group assignments.

If you’ve forgotten your Library PIN or you’re not sure how to collect a Hold or access an eBook our YouTube Library Shorts will give you quick and easy guidance on using the Library and all the services and support available to you.  But remember you can always Contact Us for help as well.

 

Dissertations – don’t let them daunt you…

If you are starting to think about your dissertation or final year project there is lots of help available for you from the Library:

Skills for Learning has lots of guidance on their website and they are providing a wide range of workshops and support for research in February. They can also help if the subject you’re studying means you need to produce a dissertation based on a product.

The Library website includes information about finding past dissertations in the Library or obtaining Interlibrary Loans if you need to read something as part of your literature review that isn’t available in the Library.

You can also use our Beckett Books Extra scheme to request a book that you think should be in stock – just fill in the form on the Library Tab of MyBeckett.

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Searching Discover gives you access to thousands of resources for whatever topic you pick or you can use the Subject Guides to point you in the right direction. These are created by your Academic Librarian who has expert knowledge of all the journals, databases and other material available to you. One, of these, Laurence Morris, who looks after many of the health courses, gives us an insight into his role in this Library Behind the Scenes article.

You can book an appointment with your Academic Librarian for one-to-one support on finding resources for your dissertation or project – see their contact information on your subject guide. And, of course, you can always contact the Library 24/7 and we’ll do our best to help.

Going home for Easter? Did you know you can study in another university library?

sconulAs a student or staff member of Leeds Beckett University you can use other university libraries via the SCONUL Access scheme, and you might be eligible to borrow books. You can apply online via the SCONUL website http://www.sconul.ac.uk/sconul-access – watch our short video to see how.  You just need to make sure you pay any outstanding fines on your Leeds Beckett Library Account before you apply.  Visit the SCONUL website to find lots of useful information about the scheme, and check out which University Libraries you can visit.

Once you have applied, Leeds Beckett Library staff will authorise your application by email within 3 working days.  You can then take your Campus Card and the authorised email, and off you go to the libraries of your choice. You don’t need to print the email – you can show it on your phone or mobile device.

Your email will tell you whether you have reference access or borrowing rights. SCONUL Access doesn’t automatically give you access to PCs and electronic resources – check this beforehand with the library you’re visiting. eduroam_120pix You can however access the eduroam wireless network when visiting other university libraries; before you go make sure you configure your device here and log in to eduroam with your Leeds Beckett login.

It is also worthwhile to plan your visit beforehand; check the website of the library you intend to visit for opening times, guest user facilities and any possible restrictions. You are representing our University when you do visit, so please respect the other institution’s code of behaviour.

And don’t forget if you are looking for specific resources we can help here at Leeds Beckett Library – contact your friendly Academic Librarian, they are always happy to help you find the key resources you need for your subject.  You can find a link to your subject pages here http://libguides.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/subject_support

Best wishes for your visit – bon voyage!