Griffith University Library is here to help you fly into your research!
We’ve created a Research and Publishing webpage to assist you through this process. The Research and Publishing webpage covers everything from getting started on your research journey to getting published and attaining academic impact.
You’ll find links to:
- Free workshops on topics like EndNote, developing your academic argument, editing your writing, managing your research data, publishing during your PhD and many more.
- Postgraduate Research Information Skills Modules designed to guide you through every stage of your research journey.
- Strategic publishing guidelines to assist you through publishing.
- Academic impact resources.
- Best practice data guidelines.
- Plus much more.
Remember, Griffith Library is here to help you succeed in your research. Need more help? If you’re a Higher Degree Research candidate or academic you can book in for a free consultation with a specialist Discipline Librarian to assist you with your research specific information needs.
- 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 free Earlybird workshops are perfect for you!
During O Week for Trimester 2, 2018, we are offering the following Earlybird workshops free to Griffith students:
Writing university assignments
This workshop covers the basics of getting started, structuring and writing assignments.
Gold Coast: Wed 4 July, 9.30 am – G16 Lecture Theatre 1
Logan: Thurs 5 July, 9.30 am – L08 Lecture Theatre 2
Nathan: Thurs 5 July, 9.30 am – N18 Central Theatre 1
Getting started on an ePortfolio with PebblePad
Learn about Griffith’s personal learning environment – PebblePad. Don’t forget your login details and a device!
Gold Coast: Wed 4 July, 11.45 am – G16 Lecture Theatre 1
Logan: Thurs 5 July, 11.45 am – L08 Lecture Theatre 2
Nathan: Thurs 5 July, 11.45 am – N18 Central Theatre 1
Researching and referencing for your assignments
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.
Gold Coast: Wed 4 July, 1.30 pm – G16 Lecture Theatre 1
Logan: Thurs 5 July, 1.30 pm – L08 Lecture Theatre 2
Nathan: Thurs 5 July, 1.30 pm – N18 Central Theatre 1
Have you ever spent ages researching, only to run out of time or lose sight of the overall picture by the time you are ready to write your assignment?
Could it be that your literature review has taken too long to finalise or your research has moved away from the core of the assignment question?
If you are collaborating with other students, maybe your group members have unknowingly moved their focus. You realise the deadline is looming and you need to present your supervisor or lecturer with a coherent ‘story’.
This is where storyboarding can be of assistance when used from the beginning of your work.
Storyboarding basically comprises laying out the structure of your assignment, before starting to write it. Doing this helps you to capture, organise and compile your thoughts and research, as well as structure your work, right from the beginning.
There are a variety of tools you can use to storyboard your writing.
Scrivener has a free trial and can be purchased for a cheaper subscription if you are a student or academic with an institutional affiliation.
For people who like sticky notes/corkboards, the free Index Cards tool is available on Windows. A similar app called Index Card 4 is downloadable for a small fee on your iPhone and iPad. If you use both Mac OS and iOS devices, Index Card 4 can also sync projects with the Scrivener app for Mac, making it easy to capture ideas on your iPhone/iPad while on the run and sync them with your Mac computer later.
There are many more apps available. Have a look at this recent teachthought blog post for a list of 11 storyboarding apps for writers.
You’ve unpacked the topic, gathered information, and now you’re ready to write your assignment.
Have you been staring at an empty Word document for 30 minutes, trying to come up with a good opening sentence while The Pixies’ Where is my mind? runs through your pained brain? Then it’s definitely time to check out our guide on writing your assignment. We’ll get you started!
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/tutor. This information will help inform your layout and influence your content.
Most academic writing follows a similar structure. You’ll need an introduction, body, and conclusion. The writing your assignment guide provides a detailed overview of what to include in and how to structure each individual section.
Start by creating a rough outline of your structure, noting down what you intend to include in each section. Try using dot-points under headings to highlight key information. Revisit your notes from researching your topic as this can also help you determine which sections you may need to research more. Look, your empty word document now reflects some hard work.
Time to start writing. Just get your initial ideas down and begin filling in the sections you’ve mapped out, using our guides to help with content. Once you have written a paragraph or more, go back and begin polishing your work by adding some academic words you have learnt during your studies.
When you’re done, don’t forget to proofread! It always helps to get somebody else to look over your assignment too, as they may catch things you have missed. Don’t neglect your reference list – it needs to be proofread too!
1. Unpack the question
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 the four simple steps on our preparing for your assignment webpage.
Now you know what you need to be focusing on, it’s time to start researching. Not sure where to begin? Check out our online modules on:
- where to search
- searching more effectively
- types of sources
- evaluating sources, and
- academic integrity.
Once all your research is done, (sorry, but it is inevitable) you’ve got to start writing. No, that doesn’t mean staring at an open word document for an hour, typing in a title, saving the document and returning to Reddit. You’ve actually got to start writing. Trust us, the sooner you start, the better you’ll feel. Future you will thank past you. Then current you can thank us ;).
We’ve got an online guide to writing your assignments. Not sure where to start? Use the online guide and plan out your assignment structure in the word document. Then you can save it with a title and a structure. We’ll high-five to that.
Once you’ve powered through the writing process–probably with the aid of coffee or Red Bull, and possibly with a few Netflix or stress breaks–it’s time to ensure all your work is referenced properly and to give it a good proof read.
Essays. We know, the word ‘essay’ alone can sound daunting, but we promise: they’re easy to master once you get on top of them.
Just like riding a bike, once you practice and learn, you’ll have it down pat for good. And soon, you’ll be riding along with no hands (but a helmet of course, because you’re responsible, right?). Uh, we mean writing, not riding…
All essays have a set structure, this includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. What should be included in each section is further detailed below.
This should be roughly 10 – 15% of the essay length and follow the below structure:
- 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).
This should be roughly 80% of the essay length, and will include multiple body paragraphs. Each individual body paragraph should be between 100 – 200 words, focus on one main idea, and follow the below structure:
- Topic sentence to introduce the main idea of the paragraph
- Supporting sentences, which include evidence, arguments, and examples.
- Concluding/linking sentence
This should be roughly 5-10% of the essay length and follow the below structure:
- Draw together your findings/analysis from each section of your argument.
- State your conclusion based on your research and findings.
- Consider the implications of your evaluation for the problem in your discipline or field.
For further information, check out the writing your assignment webpage.
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.
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!