How to think critically

With the prevalence of ‘fake news‘ and the rise of ‘citizen journalism‘, the ability to think critically about the information you take in or believe has become incredibly important.

Critical thinking refers to thoughtfully reasoned consideration. E.g. ‘Do I believe this article from the Beetota Advocate to be true? Maybe it’s fake news?’

Besides applying it to everyday life (particularly when scrolling your social feeds), you will need to think critically when reading, note taking, doing assignments, preparing for exams, organising your time, and attending lectures and tutorials.

Critical thinking involves seven steps. Let’s say, for example, you had to make a decision about which university to attend. You would ultimately do the following:

1. Analyse and interpret the question
E.g. Ask: ‘Which university should I attend?’

2. Immerse yourself in the topic
E.g. Seek information about different universities.

3. Ask questions
E.g. Ask questions about University services, programs of study, and potential career paths.

4. Make links
E.g. Make a link between Griffith University and its impact on a future career in education.

5. Understand the different perspectives
E.g. Synthesise information from a range of sources, such as University open days; guidance counsellors; current students; and professionals in the field.

6. Understand the theoretical frameworks
E.g. Familiarise yourself with terminology and concepts relevant to universities, such as undergrad, postgrad, entry requirementsand pre-requisites.

7. Develop a position and arguments to support it
E.g. Make an informed decision about which university to attend. It was Griffith University, right?

– Extract from Study Smart –

You can borrow books from other uni libraries for free – Bonus!

Did you know you can borrow books from other university libraries for free? You don’t have to join their library, and you certainly don’t have to pay a membership fee.

How is this possible you ask? Well, Griffith University is part of the BONUS+ initiative, formed by multiple universities around Australia and New Zealand. Other participating university libraries include Victoria University, the University of Sydney, Australian National University and many more!

If the book you need is not held at any of our Griffith University Libraries or is out on loan, you can request it online from another BONUS+ library, and they’ll pick it off their shelves and mail it over to your selected Griffith library ready for you to collect!

So how do you request an item? It’s simple!

  • Search the library catalogue.
  • Click the Menu icon (it’s three horizontal lines at the top right).
  • Select Can’t find that book? BONUS+ (look for the little green button!).
  • Search for the book you want in the BONUS+ catalogue.
  • Select Request this item if the book is available at a BONUS+ library.
  • Select the campus you’d like to collect the book from under Pickup location.
  • Click Submit.

Hone your post-grad research skills

Are you a postgraduate student or Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidate? Wondering how to get the skills to achieve at University? The Postgraduate Research Information Skills Modules are the resources you need!  

The online training modules will help you navigate your way through the research cycle. There are three sections: discover, manage and publish.  Each section will help you build your knowledge base and direct you to additional resources.

The Discover section is a ‘pre-flight check’ to help you focus on conducting independent research using Griffith University library resources. It will also teach you how to keep up-to-date in your field. You can get an overview on:

  • Research questions
  • How to find the literature you need
  • Authors and alerts
  • How to use the literature

Manage looks at best practices and tools for managing your information and research data. It includes tips on how to organise and manage your literature. Find sections on:

  • Organising your research
  • Research integrity
  • Managing research data
  • Being an author

Publish looks at networks and technologies to support collaboration with other researchers, find the best publishing outlets, measure research impact and discover opportunities for research funding. There’s info on:

  • How to get published
  • Collaborating
  • Scholarly impact
  • Obtaining funding

If you need further support, you can book a one-hour one-on-one session with a library specialist.  

Your guide to easily writing your assignment

You’ve unpacked the topic, gathered information, and now you’re ready to write your assignment.

Have you been staring at an empty Word document for 30 minutes, trying to come up with a good opening sentence while The Pixies’ Where is my mind? runs through your pained brain? Then it’s definitely time to check out our guide on writing your assignment. We’ll get you started!

Step 1

Work out what type of assignment you are writing. Is it a report, essay, reflective piece or literature review? If you’re not sure, take another look at your assignment information or check with your lecturer/tutor. This information will help inform your layout and influence your content.

Literature reviews, reports and reflective pieces all vary in terms of content and layout, so take a look at our guides to ensure you know what to include and focus on.

Most academic writing follows a similar structure. You’ll need an introduction, body, and conclusion. The writing your assignment guide provides a detailed overview of what to include in and how to structure each individual section.

Step 2

Start by creating a rough outline of your structure, noting down what you intend to include in each section. Try using dot-points under headings to highlight key information. Revisit your notes from researching your topic as this can also help you determine which sections you may need to research more. Look, your empty word document now reflects some hard work.

Step 3

Time to start writing. Just get your initial ideas down and begin filling in the sections you’ve mapped out, using our guides to help with content. Once you have written a paragraph or more, go back and begin polishing your work by adding some academic words you have learnt during your studies.

When you’re done, don’t forget to proofread! It always helps to get somebody else to look over your assignment too, as they may catch things you have missed. Don’t neglect your reference list – it needs to be proofread too!

Meet your library staff: Steph Banovic

Our library staff are integral to the functioning of our libraries. We have a large array of staff spread over our six libraries and they’re much more than just smiling faces. They’re also full of interesting information, helpful wisdom, and some quirks here and there.

Want to get to know our staff better? Check out our profile on Library and Learning Services Team Member, Steph Banovic.

Quick overview

  • Find me at:  Nathan Campus Library Monday to Thursday and Logan on Friday.
  • What I do: I work in Library Frontline Services which involves answering a whole range of different questions from students and staff about the library. I spend a lot of time helping students connect to Wi Fi, resetting passwords and helping find books and resources.
  • My Griffith story: I started at Griffith in November 2017 and am currently here on a short term contract until July. I love working at Griffith so I am hoping that I can stay much longer than that.

Steal Steph’s widsom

  • Best study tip for students: Plan Plan Plan! I am a big fan of Excel spreadsheets so each semester as soon as you know what assignments you have and when they are due, put them in a spreadsheet. You can then plan your study around the due dates. Make sure you schedule in some down time as well.
  • Biggest blunder I see – and how to avoid: Don’t leave assignments until the last minute. It breaks my heart to see students coming up to the counter with an assignment due in 20 minutes and something has gone wrong – they have lost their USB, or they can’t connect to Wi Fi. Be kind to yourself and finish your assignments early!!
  • Advice I’d give my 18-year-old self: There will be ups and downs, but you’ll be OK. Also, he’s a jerk, spend your time and money travelling instead.
  • Best thing I’ve learnt working at Griffith Uni: There are actually some really nice people in the world.

Get to know Steph

  • Describe yourself in three words: Kind, quiet, conscientious.
  • Growing up I wanted to be: I had no clue what I wanted to be when I was younger. I have only discovered this in the last few years.
  • Greatest accomplishment: Raising 2 children to become decent human beings as adults.
  • Fun fact: I like my red wine cold.

Save time researching by using our library guides

Are you finding it hard to find the information you need for your assignment? Are you spending more time trying to research than Troy from Married at First Sight spends taking selfies?

Never fear! Our librarians are here to save you.

They have worked hard to compile all the databases and key information resources you’ll need for your subject area into one centralised area.

Simply visit our borrowing and resources library page and select your subject area under Library guides.

You can select a broad area, such as Health, to see all relevant databases. Or you can further narrow your selection to a specific discipline area, such as Nursing and Midwifery for more detailed information.

Using the resources in these subject guides can help ensure you’re finding information relevant to your specific subject area.

For example, if you wanted to find information on the chemistry of heavy metals, you’d take a squiz at the Chemistry guide. However, if you wanted to find information on the musical genre of heavy metal, you’d want to be looking at the Music guide.

For further help with researching, check out our Study Smart tutorial.

Where should you store your files?

You’ve worked hard on your study notes and assignments, so you want to make sure you are saving those files in a secure space. Which, by the way, is not to the desktop of our computers.

So, where should you store these files? Let us tell you!

When you’re using the common-use computers on campus, you’ve got two main options: H Drive and Google Drive.

H Drive

H Drive is available from common use computers via My Computer on the desktop. If you save your files here, you will be able to access them from any common use computer at any campus.

Though if you’re using one of our library laptops, you’ll need to use FileWay to access H Drive.

If you want to access files saved to H Drive off campus it does get a tad tricky. You’ll need to login to Griffith’s VPN first. You get a quota of 50 MB storage space for H Drive.

Google Drive

Google Drive is connected to your student email account. It’s accessible from any computer browser and most mobile devices. All you need is a connection to the internet and you’re sweet to access it anywhere.

You also get unlimited storage space on your Google Drive – that’s right, unlimited.

It’s also important to remember

  • Saving your work to any other location on common use computers (e.g. the desktop or My Documents) will result in deletion when you log out or turn off the computer.
  • Backup, backup, backup your files! Along with Google Drive and H Drive, you could save to a USB or email the file to yourself.

For further information, check out our Storing your files webpage.