Study smarter not harder with Study Smart

When it comes to study skills, the library is here to help!

Our brand spankin’ new Study Tips webpage will help you start the year on the right foot and prepare for study in 2019 by getting on top of:

Once you delve into your study, our online Study Smart tutorial covers everything you’ll need to know to ace the trimester! There’s info on:

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.

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.


Holiday reading inspo – book recommendations from our library staff

Not sure what to do over the end-of-year break?

We’ve got the answer for you: read! You can read at the beach, at home in the air-con, in our libraries (come visit! Check our opening hours here).

But, what should you read? We asked our library staff to answer that question for you! Here’s what they had to say:

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

Recommended by Michael Banks, Curator – Griffith Archive
I have read the Hobbit every summer holidays since my Grade 3 teacher read it to our class during the teaching year. It remains as magical to me today as it was back then. My kids ask me all the time to read them ‘The Hobbit’. Can you get a better book recommendation than that?

Eggshell skull – Bri Lee

Recommended by Yuri Banens, Digital Capability Adviser
Eggshell Skull
, by Griffith Law graduate Bri Lee, is the story about Bri as a young talented lawyer, taking her own journey through the legal system trying to bring her childhood sexual abuser to justice. Here’s a recent article by Bri.

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee & Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan

Recommended by Kelly Johnson, Team Leader – Scholarly Resource Services
The long holiday break is the perfect time for engrossing, epic, historical family sagas! Two of my recent favourites are Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. Pachinko is a moving story of Korean families struggling with life as outsiders in Japan. Manhattan Beach’s main character is a fiercely intelligent young woman working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WW2 who fights to become the only female deep sea diver.

Homo deus: A brief history of tomorrow – Yuval Noah Harari

Recommended by Belinda Weaver, Manager – Library Academic Engagement
The book is great for people who want to understand what is going on in the world around IT, algorithms, medical advances, etc. It was a follow on from the author’s book Sapiens, which was also a cracker. I also really liked The silk roads: A new history of the world by Peter Frankopan – there seems to be a newer version called The new silk roads – but either would do – he can write brilliantly. All these books might sound intimidating but they were amazingly engaging and readable despite the complex content.

The museum of modern love – Heather Rose

Recommended by Rebecca Heath, Campus Library Coordinator
This year has been a great year of reads so I have chosen this based on a holiday read. The 2017 Stella Prize winner; a fictional story about a real-life moving art performance by Marina Abramovic called ‘The Artist is Present’ in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I fell in love with Marina in this novel… and this is the one ‘character’ that has really stayed with me this year. Her effect on the fictional characters, who were all taking a break from their ‘normal lives’ in the novel was profound. This was entertaining, beautiful and light enough to enjoy on the beach!

Boys keep swinging: A memoir – Jame Shears

Recommended by Donald Jeffrey, Library Service Management Officer
It is fun, frank, friendly and just a little bit naughty – just like the author!

The first man in Rome – Colleen McCullough

Recommended by Matthew Taylor, Library Campus Services Team Member
Historical fiction. Just enough of the truth to make a good story.


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.


Are you assignment ready?

 

You ever finally build up the motivation to start the assignment that you’ve been putting off for what feels like 3 years? We know the ‘if it’s not the due date, it’s not the do date’ motto all too well. That feeling of last-minute panic, more stressful than the Bachelor finale; palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. Well, adhering to that motto never ends well, does it? Not a good time, not a good feeling and definitely not a good result. So, we’re here to offer you 4 simple preparation tactics to help you tackle your assignments, and tackle them on time!

 

1. Get the bigger picture

It’s really important that you understand exactly 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 how they relate to your assignment.

Understanding the overall connection will help you find the specific focus of the assignment.

 

2. Gather all the assignment information

The course profile in myGriffith should provide all necessary assignment details. Identify when the assignment is due, the percentage of your final grade it’s worth, the word limit and the correct format.

You will be asked to submit assignments in different formats; essay, literature reviews, reports or perhaps 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 such as ‘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 questions 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.

 

 

In addition to these steps, course reading lists, the library catalogue, Google Scholar and Library Guide’s Databases are handy platforms to check out once you’re ready to start researching.

 

So…let’s get started!