How to boost your postgrad research skills

 

A little extra help goes a long way in the world of researching, more specifically higher degree research, and we want your work to have impact!

The Research and Publishing webpage covers all your researching needs and assists with getting started, managing your research and of course, getting published.

The webpage covers topics such as:

Free workshops on topics like publishing during your PhD, EndNote, developing your academic argument, editing your writing, managing your research data and many more.

  • Postgraduate Research Information Skills Modules designed to guide you through every stage of your research journey.
  • Strategic publishing guidelines that show you where to get published, how to get published and how to reach the widest audience.
  • How to measure your academic impact using citation performance indicators and altmetrics.
  • Best practice data guidelines.
  • Plus much more.

Are you a Higher Degree Research student and need assisting with a specific research need? You can book a free consultation with a specialist Librarian for support. Just scroll on down to ‘Consultations with a Specialist’ on the Research and Publishing webpage.


Fastrack your research using our Library Guides

 

Imagine a place that had all your study guides ready to go; key information, databases, resources at your fingertips.

Well, lucky the trusty Griffith librarians are on it. Two words.

Library. Guides.

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.

You can select a broad discipline, such as science and technology, or further narrow your selection to a specific subject, such as information technology.

This will help to ensure you’re not wasting time on research that isn’t the exact piece of information you need. Yep, we can hear you asking, ‘where has this been my whole life?!’

We have library guides for the below disciplines; click within the discipline for further subject-specific guides.


4 reasons to visit the library this Summer

What better place to be than at the library this Summer? Let us convince you why…

1. Escape the heat

Want to chill out (literally) this season without breaking the bank? Well…the library has you covered! If Griffith library isn’t currently your favourite place (and why wouldn’t it be?), it sure is about to be, especially during these warmer months. Our air conditioning (which by the way, you’re not paying for unlike that one at home!) teamed with our comfy chill out spots, is hands down the perfect summer combo.

2. WiFi and computers

Okay, well while we’re on the topic of free stuff…did someone say WiFi? Borrow a laptop from the library for free, or bring your own device and get connectedCommon-use computers are also available in the library. Perfect to use to download your lecture notes from Learning@Griffith, or to catch up on social media.

3. Study and chill out spaces

Whether you’re a silent studier, a quiet studier, a social studier or literally just want to sit here and enjoy the atmosphere, the library has dedicated areas for all of you. Once entering those main doors into the heavenly, air-conditioned world with countless study spaces which we call the library, working at home is just not going to cut it. Don’t forget to book your group space, just in case!

4. Escape the crowds

Summer. Crazy Christmas crowds, traffics jams and busy beaches. Stress o’metre? High! The library is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle and relax. We have plenty of books and magazines on offer for your entertainment. Plus, you’ll be saving money – bonus! Check out our hours, we’re basically open every day!


How to get started on your essays

 

Is the assignment’s title the only thing that’s been written on your word doc for hours? Well, we can help you fix this. Essay structure and layout is one of the most crucial things to help get you started. Trust us, squinting at your screen casting some form of a spell unfortunately isn’t going to make the words appear. The only magic you will need is that essay structure; introduction, body and conclusion.

Introduction

You wouldn’t start a movie or TV show halfway through, would you? Just like the opening of a film, the introduction of an essay sets the scene. Roughly 10-15% of the essay length, the intro acts as a roadmap to your reader. It helps them to understand where you’re going in your assignment, how you will get there and what they will see along the way. So, what should you include?

  • 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).

Body

The body is basically the whole movie; this is where all the good stuff happens, where the explanations and #spoilers unfold! Different movie scenes? Different paragraph in the essay! Roughly 80% of the essay length, the body paragraphs will make different points to support your essay 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, a concluding sentence and be around 150 – 200 words each:

  • Topic sentence to introduce the main idea of the paragraph
  • Supporting sentences, which include evidence, arguments, and examples.
  • Concluding/linking sentence.

Conclusion

The finale! This is what you’ve been waiting for folks. You know on the last episode of The Bachelor how they recap everything you’ve already seen throughout the series to summarise everything (slow-mo beach running and all)? Yep, you guessed it, that’s a conclusion. The conclusion is a summary of all the main points discussed in the assignment. It’s also where recommendations may be made, your argument is evaluated, or future patterns of change are forecasted. Restate your argument or position, so the reader is clear what you were stating.

Roughly 5-10% of the essay length, it’s important that your conclusion should:

  • contain no new ideas or information
  • briefly list your key points
  • relate key points directly back to the question or argument.

For more information, have a look at our writing your assignment webpage.


Get a head start on study by attending our Earlybird workshops

Quick quiz:

  • Are you starting uni this trimester?
  • Did you find last trimester’s study a challenge?
  • Do you want to further develop your learning skills?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, our Earlybird workshops are perfect for you!

Prior to Trimester 3, 2018, we are offering the following Earlybird workshops free to Griffith students. Find out more at our Library Orientation webpage.

Writing university assignments (2hrs) 

Covers the basics of getting started, structuring and writing assignments.

Monday 22 October 2018
Wednesday 24 October 2018
Gold Coast
Nathan
9.30 am
9.30 am
Clinical Sciences 2 (G16_1.07)
Environment 2 (N13_0.05)

Getting started on an ePortfolio on PebblePad (45 mins)

Learn about Griffith’s personal learning environment – PebblePad.  Bring along a device and your login details.

Monday 22 October 2018
Wednesday 24 October 2018
Gold Coast
Nathan
11.45 am
11.45 am
Clinical Sciences 2 (G16_1.07)
Environment 2 (N13_0.05)

Researching and referencing for your assignment (2hrs)

Gain awareness of the wide range of information resources available at Griffith and learn to identify the principles of referencing and the process of applying them within academic work.

Monday 22 October 2018
Wednesday 24 October 2018
Gold Coast
Nathan
1.30 pm
1.30 pm
Clinical Sciences 2 (G16_1.07)
Environment 2 (N13_0.05)

Library orientation

The library is so much more than books on the shelves.

You can take a 15 minute tour of your library during orientation week. Getting to know your library will make studying at university so much easier.

5 tips to survive exam day

Eek – it’s almost time!

Exam block hits this Thursday. Though these words may do nothing: try not to stress too much!

When the big day arrives, remember the hard part is over. The content is in your head—it’s ready and waiting to be unleashed onto your exam paper, you just need to set it free. Follow our exam day tips below to help you perform your best.

1. Pack your bag

Pack everything you need for the exam. You don’t want to rock up to the exam without your student ID, or a pen. Whether you will need a calculator, ruler or protractor, organise all your stuff the night before the exam. Exams are thirsty work, so be sure to include a water bottle as well.

2. Get there early

Make sure you arrive early so that you have time to get settled. Arriving late can cause anxiety and get you started on the wrong foot. Use the time to double check the equipment you can bring into the exam.

3. Answer what you want, when you want

You don’t have to answer the questions in the order they are presented. Be a rebel and do the last ones first, or first ones last. You may be less anxious if you answer all the easy questions first and then allocate the remaining time to the more difficult ones.

4. Read exam questions carefully

Under stressful exam conditions, you may be tempted to skim over the question quickly so you can get on with drafting an answer. The danger with this is that you may misunderstand, misread or simply miss a vital part of the question. Take your time and make sure you know exactly what you are being asked for.

5. Review your answers

Finished your exam with minutes to spare? Don’t leave early. Instead, use that time to review your answers. You will kick yourself if you accidentally missed a multiple choice question, or the short essay question on the back page that you didn’t see because you rushed out of the exam room.

—Extract from Study Smart—


Welcome to study period! Here’s what you need to do to ace exams…

Study period starts tomorrow. A few days to go over what you’ve learnt throughout the trimester and prepare for exams.

It can be a stressful time for students, so we’ve put together a few tips to keep you on track.

Confirm exam details

Check your myGriffith exam timetable to discover the date, time and location of your exam.

The exam timetable is usually released a good few weeks before the commencement of Study Week. But just a heads up, venues are subject to change, so be sure to double check the details 24 hours prior to the exam.

Also, your exam may be in a place you are unfamiliar with. Check your campus map to locate the building.

Schedule your life

Set out a study schedule and stick to it. There are loads of daily and weekly planners available you can use to help with this. You can also find free planners online.

Handy hint: sleeping and eating are important activities to schedule into your busy days. Your brain works best after rest and nourishment.

Set exam goals

Setting unrealistic goals is just as bad as not setting them at all.

Check how you are travelling so far. The results of all your completed assessment items should be available in Learning@Griffith. Calculate how many marks you need to achieve your desired overall course grade—that’s what you should work towards. Start thinking of all the ways you can reward yourself when you reach this goal.

Prepare your study notes

This is the moment when you’ll be super pleased with yourself for going to class and taking awesome notes. Go grab those notes: it’s time to make them work for you.

Basically, you want to condense your notes and present them in a visual format. Have you heard of a mind map, concept map or flowchart? According to Patrick Sharrat in Passing Exams for Dummies (2013), your brain thinks in pictures, so creating keyword pictures and patterns can help with memory retention.

For more tips, check out this Buzzfeed video for eight essential study hacks or Wengies video on seven study tips to help you ace your exams.

Teach the topic to someone

Teach the topic to your mum, friend or flatmate’s dog. The best way to test your understanding of a topic is to try to teach it to someone else—even a class of stuffed animals will do.

—Extract from Study Smart—