Do you ever feel overwhelmed when starting to research for a topic? Kinda like you’re getting more results than annoying notifications from that group chat you’re totally over.
I mean, you search for Nirvana in terms of their influence on the early ‘90s grunge scene, but instead you get heaps of useless results on liberation from rebirth?? [insert confused emoji here]
Wouldn’t it be super convenient if you could just go to one webpage that listed all the databases and resources you needed for your study area. So you’re not searching for music history and getting Buddhist philosophy?
Well, you totally can!
Our discipline librarians have worked hard to compile all the databases and key information resources you’ll need for your subject area into one centralised area. Just go to the 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 further help with researching, check out our Study Smart tutorial.
How’s your trimester going?
With the end of year break just around the corner, now’s the time to
run away and never come back brush up on your study skills!
Have you checked out our Study Smart tutorial yet?
We have a range of self-help materials to help you totally nail your studies!
Now – become a pro at uni assessment, following our tutorials for preparing for your assignment, writing your assignment, referencing (trust us, it’s super important to be on top of this – and not nearly as daunting as it seems!) and exam prep.
We’ve even got info to help you brush up your social media skills. We know, you’re Millennials, what can we teach you? But take a squiz, you might actually learn something – like how to use social media to help land a job!
Have you heard of Open Access? If so, you already know what a marvellous initiative it is. And, if you’re one of our super smart research students, than you should definitely consider submitting your research to some Open Access journals. Share the love, share the knowledge and together we can create amazing things!
Quite a few science Open Access journals were pioneers in the domain of Open Access and are worth considering when searching for places to submit your research article. Some to consider are:
PLOS (Public Library of Service)
All PLOS publications are peer-reviewed, you can even check out a full list of titles of that PLOS publishes. These include:
Dovepress (a New Zealand-based publisher) also publish a range of open access journals in the biomedical and technical fields. They include:
- Drug Design, Development and Therapy
- Energy and Emission Control Technologies
- International Journal of Nanomedicine.
You can check the peer review status of all of these journals on UlrichsWeb. Don’t forget, we’re always here to help. If you need a touch more guidance, or are confused about finding an appropriate journal to publish in, book an appointment with your Discipline Librarian or attend an HDR workshop.
First thing’s first: turn off the Netflix (just kidding, but you should prob do that anyway).
The first step to getting your assignment done is to understand what you need to do – you need to pull your assignment question apart to figure out how to put an answer together that will score you top marks.
So how do you analyse your assignment question? Simply follow the four steps below:
1. Get the bigger picture
Do you know what the learning outcomes of the course are? You need to know how your assignment fits in with the course learning outcomes and aims. Head to the course profile in myGriffith to find out what they are, and then ask yourself ‘how do they relate to the assignment?’ Understanding the connection will help you find the focus of the assignment.
3. Gather all information
You should be able to find all the assignment details in the course profile in myGriffith. Identify when the assignment is due, how much it’s worth (e.g. 50% of your overall course grade), how long it has to be (i.e. the word limit) and what format it should take. You will be asked to submit assignments in different formats, such as essays, literature reviews, reports or oral presentations. The Writing your Assignment Study Smart module introduces you to the different formats and provides an outline of what they could include. Finally, be sure to check the marking criteria. It will show you how many marks each section is worth and how your work will be assessed. If you understand the marking criteria, you can write an assignment that ticks all the boxes for your course.
3. Decipher the assignment task
You need to identify directive, topic and limiting words in the assignment question. These important words help you figure out how to research and write the assignment.
- The assignment task will contain directive words like ‘examine’, ‘analyse’ or ‘compare’. Directive words tell you how to approach the assignment.
- Topic words identify the major concepts in your task. These will come in handy when you are looking for resources, and help you stay focused on your topic.
- Limiting words help narrow the scope of your assignment. They set boundaries for you and are often dates, locations or populations.
4. Ask a lot of questions
Now that you understand what you are being asked to do, it’s time to break the task into mini questions. Having a series of questions to answer will help you focus your research and writing, as well as develop a logical response to the topic. The assignment task itself may contain mini questions. It may have a primary question and a number of secondary questions. The answer to the primary question is your overall argument. The secondary questions could be descriptive or analytical. A descriptive question asks for background information or context to the primary question. Whereas, an analytical question prompts you to dig deeper into the assignment topic.
For further help, check out our Study Smart tutorial.
Essays. We know, the word ‘essay’ alone can sound daunting, but we promise: they’re easy to master once you get on top of them.
Just like riding a bike, once you practice and learn, you’ll have it down pat for good. And soon, you’ll be riding along with no hands (but a helmet of course, because you’re responsible, right?). Uh, we mean writing, not riding…
All essays have a set structure, this includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. What should be included in each section is further detailed below.
This should be roughly 10 – 15% of the essay length and follow the below structure:
- Introduce the topic – why is this topic interesting from the perspective of the discipline/field?
- Indicate the focus or your essay.
- Signpost the structure of your essay.
- Indicate your thesis statement (this is your main line of argument, or your position on the topic).
This should be roughly 80% of the essay length, and will include multiple body paragraphs. Each individual body paragraph should be between 100 – 200 words, focus on one main idea, and follow the below structure:
- Topic sentence to introduce the main idea of the paragraph
- Supporting sentences, which include evidence, arguments, and examples.
- Concluding/linking sentence
This should be roughly 5-10% of the essay length and follow the below structure:
- Draw together your findings/analysis from each section of your argument.
- State your conclusion based on your research and findings.
- Consider the implications of your evaluation for the problem in your discipline or field.
For further information, check out the writing your assignment webpage.
Working in a group is a large part of your academic ‘career’. The good news is these sometimes frustrating team situations assist in learning negotiation and communication skills, which all employers are super keen on.
But just because something is good for us doesn’t mean it’s easy to do (yoga anyone?) or that we will automatically enjoy doing it (healthy eating, anyone?). Lucky for you, we have a few tips and tricks to make your group work go as smoothly as the lovely drop into savasana*
1. Set clear objectives
First things first: what do you have to do? Similar to how you ‘unpack your question’ in individual assignments and plan a course of action (if this is news to you, no time like the present to start), figure out a plan of attack early.
2. Set ground rules and communicate effectively
Ever heard the expression, ‘not my zoo, not my monkeys’? Avoid the whole situation turning into a zoo full of unruly monkeys by setting out rules for communication and dealing with issues. Effective communication is key.
3. Build consensus and define roles
Make sure everyone gets a say, so you can figure out who is good at what and allocate roles accordingly. Letting people work to their strengths can only help your grades!
4. Keep records
Who was doing what now? Make sure you record all the important things.
5. Stick to the plan and monitor progress
Make sure your plan is clear and you actually follow it. What’s the point of it otherwise? And monitor your progress so you know you’re on track to that winning grade!
And most importantly, always treat your group members with respect and courtesy. You know, like Grandma would want you to.
You can find further information and help on our Study Smart webpage.
*fancy yoga term for lying on the ground, the one part of yoga everyone is good at.