Even though referencing may seem a monumental task, it is important for many reasons. It shows what you have read, enables your reader to locate your referred sources, supports and strengthens your argument and
demonstrates academic integrity. It’s also an essential part of many assignments.
If thinking about referencing seems overwhelming, it’s OK. To make the task easier, Griffith University has developed a Referencing Tool.
And it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to use!
- 1. Select the reference style.
- 2. Select the media type.
- 3. Select the format.
Then BAM – the tool provides you an example. For both the in-text citation and the reference list entry.
This tool is also mobile device friendly for any ‘on the move’ referencing queries.
If you’re still feeling a bit perplexed, check out our Study Smart guide to referencing.
When it comes to study skills, the library is here to help!
Our online Study Smart tutorial covers everything from preparing for university, writing assignments, acing exams and even selling yourself on social media.
Take a look from start to finish, or pick and choose the information that will help you.
Study Smart includes the following topics:
- preparing for university
- writing your assignment
- booking a study space
- social media skills
- exam prep.
You can even quiz yourself at the end, to test your understanding of academic writing.
Need more help? You’ll also find helpful links to other online training and support, such as:
- Microsoft Virtual Academy – free online training in the various versions of Microsoft Office. Step-by-step instructions and videos are available in Word, Excel and other Microsoft Office products that allow you to improve your digital skills.
- Smarthinking – a free 24/7 online tutoring service available to all Griffith students seeking advice on improving their writing skills. Students can also submit their assignment draft for review and receive a response in 24 hours.
Here, in the library, we’re a big fan of anything that makes researching more efficient.
That’s why our Discipline Librarians have created Library Guides for you.
Our Library Guides 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 discipline under Library guides.
All the key databases you’ll need for your research will be, literally, just a click away!
We have library guides for the below disciplines; click within the discipline for further subject-specific guides.
- business and government
- criminology and law
- science and technology
- humanities, social sciences and languages
- visual and creative arts.
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, or that we will automatically enjoy doing it.
Lucky for you, we have a few tips and tricks to make your group work as drama free as having a sea-monkey as a pet.
1. Start with introductions and set some ground rules
It takes time for a group of individuals to become a team. Meet your team members as soon as possible and get to know each other.
Decide how the group will communicate. Are you going have face-to-face meetings or communicate online through email or group discussion forums?
Whether you meet in person or virtually, create a schedule of meetings with agendas. Decide on team roles so that everyone keeps on track.
And remember, play nicely with others. Be inclusive and treat each other with respect and courtesy.
2. Understand the assignment requirements
Do you understand what the assignment is asking you to do? Take the time to analyse your assignment topic. Identify specific tasks and estimate the time required to complete them.
Once you have done this, you will need to prioritise the tasks set deadlines, and allocate the tasks to team members.
This will ensure work is divided fairly and effectively. Use your meetings to regularly review progress and revise deadlines.
3. Use technology to collaborate
Get to know your technology. There are so many technologies available to help you collaborate online with your teammates.
From discussion boards, wikis and instant messaging to email, social media and Google Docs.
Make sure you are an active online participant: read, respond and contribute to the group’s postings.
4. Use effective strategies to overcome problems
Problems may arise within a group for a variety of reasons. They may result from unequal efforts from team members, disagreements about group objectives, clash of personalities, simple misunderstandings and straight-out differences of opinion.
Any issues need to be dealt with promptly and decisively. Learn to effectively manage conflict so you can facilitate discussion and come to a resolution. Contact the lecturer or tutor if a problem is not able to be resolved.
Are you a budding researcher?
If you’re looking for tools that’ll make researching tons easier, or just want to know about the latest digital tools being used in research, then you’ll want to come along to our Digital Tools for Research workshop.
From research, to data collation and visualisation, to writing and collaboration–this hands-on workshop will introduce you to new ways of tackling old problems. It will cover everything from high-end data storage and compute through to basic note-taking.
What will it teach me?
The workshop will allow you to:
- identify the different stages in your research workflow and identify modern digital tools that you can use at each stage
- identify new tools to apply to one or more of your workflow stages and determine its suitability for your research
- learn the fundamentals of your selected tool.
Session dates and booking:
- Date: Wednesday 3 September
- Time: 1 – 3 pm
- Location: G10 (Library), 2.04
- Register here
- Date: Tuesday 18 September
- Time: 10 am – 12 pm
- Location: N53 (Library), 1.50
- Register here
Places are limited so book early!
You’ve unpacked the topic, gathered information, and now you’re ready to write your assignment. Most academic writing has a similar structure. Whether it’s an essay, a case study or a literature review, you will have to write an introduction, body and conclusion.
An introduction acts as a ‘roadmap’ to your reader. It helps them to understand where you are going in your assignment, how you will get there, and what they will see along the way. There are several distinct parts to an introduction:
- Introducing the topic or subject area – The main aim of the first part of any introduction is to introduce the topic or subject area, and the most important concept(s) relevant to answering the question.
- Aim or purpose – Indicate the aim or purpose of the assignment.
- Structure or overall plan – Signal how you will present information in the assignment. In what order will the key points appear?
- Limits or scope of the assignment – Mention any limits of your assignment. What will you emphasise? Will you be intentionally leaving anything out?
- Argument or thesis statement – The final part of the introduction needs to clearly identify your argument or thesis statement. Some useful ways to signal your argument include: ‘This paper argues that…’; This essay contends that…’; ‘It will be argued that…’.
The body is where you make points to support your argument. It consists of paragraphs structured to reflect your critical thinking about the question and the chosen order for presenting your argument.
Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, a body, and a concluding sentence. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence. This is just a sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph.
The body of the paragraph contains explanations, evidence and examples to support the key point of the paragraph. Supporting evidence is used to justify, explain or develop your argument.
A concluding sentence links the main idea of the paragraph back to your argument and to the assignment topic.
The conclusion is a summary of all the main points discussed in the assignment. It is also where recommendations may be made, your argument is evaluated, or future patterns of change are forecast.
Importantly, your conclusion should:
- contain no new ideas or information
- briefly list your key points
- relate key points directly back to the question/argument.
For more information, check out our Writing your assignment study smart tutorial which includes:
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 an assignment question? Follow these 4 steps.
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. How do they relate to your assignment?
Understanding the connection will help you find the focus of the assignment.
2. Gather all the assignment 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 module introduces you to the different formats and provides an outline of what they could include.
Be sure to check the marking criteria. It will tell 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.
- Directive words – The assignment task will contain directive words like ‘examine’, ‘analyse’ or ‘compare’. Directive words tell you how to approach the assignment. Not sure what the directive word is asking you to do? Look it up in a dictionary or consult this handy Definition of Directive Words from California Polytechnic State University.
- Topic words – 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 – 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 down the task into mini questions. Having a series of question to answer will help you focus your research and writing. It also helps you 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.