Where to start researching for your assignment

It’s about that time of trimester where you’re probably getting started (or have already started) on researching for your assignments. It may seem like a monumental task. Maybe the thought of starting is overwhelming you? We mean, where do you even start? (hint: it’s not Facebook. Close that tab.)

Master procrastinators, it’s time to listen up (and get started)! Below are some key places you can start your research:

1. Course Readings

Course readings are a great place to start when doing research for assignments. You can find your course Reading List in Learning@Griffith, in the Readings section of your course site. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Get free tutoring and feedback on drafts

Did you know that you can get free personalised tutoring and feedback on drafts, 24/7, with expert online tutors?

We know, sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s not! It’s Smarthinking.

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service, available to all Griffith students via Learning@Griffith. You can submit your writing for detailed review, request an appointment or submit questions offline, at any time of the day or night, and a tutor will respond within 24 hours.

The tutors can review your assessment pieces, and provide you with comments and suggestions for your writing including:

  • paragraph, standard essay or long essay review
  • grammar and documentation review.

Please note that they’re not gonna edit, proofread and fix your work though. That’s up to you! And an essential uni skill.

You can also request tutoring on demand, or schedule a time with a tutor, for subject specific help.

To access Smarthinking:

  1. Login to Learning@Griffith using your student username and password.
  2. Click on the Organisations tab at the top right of the screen.
  3. In the Organisation Search box on the left, type ‘Smarthinking’ and click Go.
  4. Hover your mouse cursor over this Organisation ID ‘SMARTHINKING’, until you see a small arrow appear.
  5. Click the small arrow and click on the word Enrol in the drop down box.
  6. Check that the details onscreen reflect those of the Organisation you want to enrol in.
  7. Click the Submit button.
  8. Click on the Smarthinking Login link.

*note: Pop ups will need to be enabled in your browser and you will need the latest version of Flash Player installed.

In addition to the Smarthinking service, the library also has a range of online self-help resources available, such as:


Have you used our Referencing Tool yet? #Timesaver

It seems that referencing is the bane of many students’ existence.

But really, it’s just like shoving 10 marshmallows in your mouth. Intimidating, until you actually start to do it. Then you realise it’s actually not so hard.

If you’re a weirdo like us, you may even come to enjoy it (referencing, not the marshmallows, that is). In fact, it’s often an area where you can score some easy marks if done properly. And truly, it’s not that hard.

To make referencing easier, Griffith has developed a super-handy Referencing Tool.

Using the Referencing Tool is as easy as 1, 2, 3! You simply select your reference style, media type and format and the handy little tool will give you an example for both the in-text citation and reference list entry.

Just be aware that if you need to know about the intricacies of authors (including how many you should show in the in-text citation) you will need to look up the details under books in your preferred citation style.

If you’re still feeling a bit perplexed, check out our Study Smart guide to referencing. Maybe grab some marshmallows while you’re at it…


Make yourself futureproof: Hone your academic, information and digital literacy skills

You’re probably at uni with an ultimate aim to get employed in a particular field. With an overload of lectures, readings, assessments and the like though, you may find it easy to get caught up in the study haze and forget about the bigger picture.

We’re here to help keep you on track and ensure you develop the skills you’ll require for the future workforce.

We’ve created an Academic Skills Workbook designed to help you develop and apply academic, information and digital literacy skills, and smooth the road for your success as you move toward your exciting future careers.

As you work through the Academic Skills Workbook, you’ll also have the opportunity to incorporate the skills you’ve developed into an ePortfolio. This means you can document your credentials and skills online, and even create folios targeted to particular audiences, such as employers, to showcase your skills.

The Academic Skills Workbook has been broken into five sub Workbooks:

  • Academic Literacies
  • Information Literacies
  • Digital Literacies
  • ePortfolios
  • Professional Networks.

If you’re a commencing student, you’ll probably want to start at the beginning and work through the contents. Continuing students, you may like to jump to specific areas to revise and further develop your skills.

The Academic Skills Workbook is accessible via PebblePad. You can view our online guides if you need any help in getting started using PebblePad.

Your reading lists have gotten a facelift!

An essential part of uni is caffeine study, and an important aspect of staying on top of course content is ensuring you are completing any assigned readings. Luckily, Griffith have made keeping on top of this super easy by ensuring all of your course readings are in one easily accessible place.

Under your course in Learning@Griffith, you’ll see a Readings link in the left hand menu. This will direct you to your course reading list. Here, you’ll find all your course readings clearly laid out. If you’re a returning student we’re sure you’re pretty familiar with this.

However, when you check your trimester 1 reading lists from today (14 February) onwards, you’re gonna see a brand new, modern interface.

For newbies, you will be able to get started right away planning your study and accessing your readings. And returning students–you’ll be able to take advantage of all the great functionality you are used to in a more dynamic layout.

Highlights include:

  • More visual with icons, and book jackets (so you can see what the book actually looks like!).
  • A View Online button has replaced the red Online Resource button. Just one click and it’ll take you directly to the online resource.
  • The new dynamic view means you’ll have less clicks to get to all the information you need. For example, if you want to know if the print book is in the library and at which campus, just click on the title to expand the view.
  • You can change the view to the citation style of your choice (super handy when referencing!).
  • Better sizing and functionality on mobile devices.
  • And don’t worry, all the other cool stuff like setting reading intentions, personal notes and exporting to a citation manager are all still there.

Any questions?

Try Ask Us 24/7 or contact our friendly library staff.

Get a head start with 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 1, 2018, we are offering the following Earlybird workshops free to Griffith students:

Strategies for study at university

Get an overview of university culture and expectations, and learn some helpful strategies for managing your time and studying effectively. Beginning the trimester with a head start on study and time management will make a world of difference, we promise!

Getting started on an ePortfolio with PebblePad

Learn about Griffith’s personal learning environment – PebblePad.

Researching and Referencing for your assignments

Being able to research and reference is a kinda crucial part of uni. If this seems daunting, come along to this workshop. You’ll 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.

Check out the times, dates, and locations, come along to a workshop, and start trimester one prepared for success!

How to become a referencing pro

It’s a word that often sends shudders down the spines of students: referencing.

We see so many students leave referencing until the very last minute, then scramble to organise all of their references and cite them correctly. It often seems like a daunting, confusing task.

But we’re about to drop a truth bomb that you’re probably not going to believe: It’s not that scary.

Really. Please believe us. Kinda like riding a bike or pretending your problems don’t exist, once you get the hang of it, it’s a skill you’ll keep.

Then you can totally impress the next person you’re trying to pick up with your ability to correctly cite the closest book using AGPS Harvard off the top of your head. Oh, are we the only ones who find that attractive?…

So, how do you take the steps to master this skill?

As an undergraduate student where you’re generally writing shorter assignments (I know, 2000 words isn’t that short – but hey, it’s shorter than a dissertation!) we suggest you use our referencing tool to guide you with your referencing.

The referencing tool is designed to provide you with examples of direct quotations, paraphrasing and full references for a range of resources you may have used when researching a topic. Over time you’ll build up your skills in this area, and know what a reference should look like.

As you move towards more lengthy assignments, research papers, and so forth, you may be struggling to stay on top of the massive array of resources you’ve used.

Enter: EndNote.

EndNote is Griffith’s recommended bibliographic management software, and enables you to easily:

  • Collect references
  • Organise references and documents in a searchable library
  • Create instant reference lists and/or bibliographies

It’s super handy if you have a large amount of research you need to organise. You are able to store all citations in one place, and insert them straight into your document. And, as soon as you insert an in-text reference into word, the full reference will be added to the document’s Reference List section.

Best part – it updates. If you decide to remove a section of text, which may have had an in text reference used nowhere else, this reference will automatically be removed from your Reference List too #timesaver.

Ok, another best part. It’s free!

To get EndNote, follow the instructions on the EndNote page to download it.

For more information on referencing, check out our referencing study smart page.