Save time researching by using our Library Guides

Are you finding that researching for your assignment takes ages? There’s just so many resources available in the library and you are spending valuable time trying to find the right ones.

Wouldn’t it be such a great time-saver if all the databases and resources for your study area were in one, easily accessible place?

Well, they are.  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. Check out their carefully curated Library Guides!

To find them, head to the Borrowing and Resources library page. You’ll see the wide range of subjects covered by our Library Guides – from criminology and law to humanities, social sciences and languages, we are pretty sure we’ve got something for everyone.

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 were wanting 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.


Bonus! More books to borrow

Searched our Griffith library catalogue like a pro and still can’t find the book you’re after? If that’s the case, how about trying BONUS+?

If you haven’t heard of BONUS+ before, that’s OK – a lot of people haven’t. But it’s certainly worth taking a look at (trust us, we’re librarians, we know books!).

BONUS+ is a resource sharing project that Griffith University staff and students can use to request books from participating University libraries in Australia and New Zealand.

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 collect it a few days later from your selected pickup location.

To access Bonus+, simply:

  • 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 Griffith University
  • Click Submit above information
  • Enter your Griffith username and password
  • Choose your Pickup Location
  • Click Submit

Check out our BONUS+ webpage for information on how to access the service, as well as what you can can borrow and for how long.


Eating veggies improves your writing and spelling

Photo of food in a bowl

Do you need help writing that lengthy essay, literature review or research report?

Sure, you could consult the handy Study Smart tutorial and read up on how to write an assignment. And we totally recommend that you do just that.

But if your brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, your output is going to be less than the sheer genius it should be. And what you eat and drink has an effect on how well your brain performs.

So what specifically should you eat come assignment-writing time? According to a recent study published in Appetite, you should consume vast quantities of sweet, sweet soft drink.

No, just messing with you.  Vegetables are the answer. But if you’re thinking that snacking on some carrot and hummus while drafting your essay is all that it takes, think again.

The 2017 study found greater consumption of vegetables with the evening meal (7 nights/week) was associated with higher test scores in the domains of spelling and writing.

That means veggies for dinner every night of the week people! And lots of them…

Now, the study didn’t mention a specific type of vegetable. We are taking that to mean you can eat any vegetable of your choice.

So whether you have a particular penchant for peas, parsnips or pumpkin, life is a bowl of cherries.

Back to the sweet beverages though, the study also found that increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with significantly lower test scores in reading, writing, grammar/punctuation, and numeracy.

Put down that can of cola and back away.


A guide to writing your assignment

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

If you have been staring at an open Word document for 30 minutes, trying to come up with a good opening sentence, you need to check out our guide on writing your assignment.

When you’re beginning the writing process you’ve got to 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 or tutor.  This information will help inform your layout, and influence your content.

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

Now, it’s time to get writing. Most academic writing has a similar structure. You’ll need an introduction, body, and conclusion. The writing your assignment guide will give you a detailed overview of what you need to include in each of these sections, as well as how to structure each individual section.

Start writing by creating a rough outline of your structure, and what you intend to include in each section. Try using dot-points under headings to note down key information to include. Then, you can begin filling the sections in!

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


How to ace group assignments

Not all university assessments are a solitary activity. Sometimes you will be required to work on an assignment, project or class presentation with a group of fellow students.

Group work can enhance your social skills, build self-esteem and confidence, and promote tolerance through the sharing of alternative ideas and points of view.

Working in a group will help prepare you for team environments in the workplace and teach you a range of values and competencies that employers look for in graduates.

Here’s some tips to help you work effectively in a group.

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.

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.

Use technology to collaborate

Get to know your technology. There are so many technologies available to help you collaborate online with your team mates.

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.

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.

– Extract from Study Smart –


Where to start your research

While Wikipedia is great for giving you a quick understanding of a topic, we don’t recommend you ever use it in an assignment. Effective researching is a critical uni skill. But where should you start? 

Course readings

Course readings are great place to start when doing research for assignments.

Find your course Reading List in Learning@Griffith. It can be found in your course profile, in the Readings section of your course site, or by searching for your course here.

Reading Lists provide you with links to online resources (eBooks, journal articles, web pages), or to the Library catalogue so you can find print resources.

Library catalogue

The Library catalogue is a great place to search for resources.

From books, journal articles and videos to conference proceedings, newspaper articles and online documents, the Library catalogue has it all, and more!

It lets you search for a huge number of resources in one place – the search box on the library home page.

Databases

To find specialised information, you will need to use online search tools, like the Library databases.

You can search databases to find specialised resources, such as:

The library also has databases for different disciplines. So if you require information on a business, law, education, health, science or social science topic, there is a database for you.

Not sure which database to search for your discipline? Check out our handy library guides.

Google Scholar

Now, you’ve probably used Google to search for information before. Whether it was for academic, work or recreational purposes, we all know how helpful the search engine can be.

But did you know Google has an academic search engine? Google Scholar is a search engine which searches a wide variety of sources including academic online journals, conference papers, dissertations, technical reports and books.

You can even use Google Scholar to find academic resources at Griffith University. It’s as simple as changing a setting. Head to the About Google Scholar webpage to find out how.

– Extract from Study Smart –


How to find funding for your research

Are you looking for a grant, fellowship, scholarship, or award to fund your research? There is a myriad of grant opportunities open to Griffith researchers, ranging from internal grant schemes to external funding.

Check out the Griffith University, Office for Research, Funding Opportunities website to keep on top of upcoming prospects.

You can also access the Research Professional grants database. It’s an online database of research funding opportunities and a source of international research policy and practice news.

If you set up a personal profile in Research Professional, you can receive automatic email alerts from the database. You can also create a personal funding opportunities calendar, save popular searches and see details of past awards from a number of funders.

The database allows you to manage and distribute funding opportunities to your Centre, Institute or Group. Discipline specific funding opportunities can be managed for distribution to members through saved searches, newsletter creation and calendar updates.

Simply, nominate a staff member to manage the membership and generate the tailored content via defined searches.

Need help? The Office for Research, Funding Opportunities website has resources which show you how to navigate Research Professional, locate funding opportunities and set up email alerts.

The Office for Research also provides specific local training for Centres, Institutes and Groups. Contact Joanne Biles or Rhiannon Campbell to organise a training session.

Have a look at the Research Professional grants database today.