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					Interpreting assignments and
     finding information

  2010/11
Skills@Library
 Skills@Library


   Aims of this workshop

   To help you to:
   •   analyse and interpret your assignments
   •   plan your literature search to find information for your
       assignments
   •   search for books and journal articles for your
       assignments
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 Skills@Library


   Interpreting your assignment titles
   Activity 1: The UK floods of 2007 were primarily a
   result of ineffective government policy. Discuss.
   This essay should be no more than 3000 words
     Instructional   Topic/Content Limiting words   Other factors
        words           words                        to consider
   Discuss           Floods of     Floods           3000 words
                     2007                           Essay
                                    2007
                     government
                     policy         UK
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 Skills@Library


Activity 2: Interpreting your assignment titles


      In groups, discuss the sample
       questions in your handout and prepare
       to feedback your views on how to
       answer them to the class
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 Skills@Library


   Activity 2: answers
   1. Prepare a 10 minute presentation for a class
      debate, argue for the proposition that performance
      enhancing drugs are a necessary part of competition
      in major sporting events.

     Instructional   Topic/Content Limiting words    Other factors
        words           words                         to consider
    Argue            Performance    Major           Presentation,
                     enhancing      sporting        debate
                     drugs,         events          10 minutes
                     sport
                     competition,
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 Skills@Library


   2. Water is a scarce resource in many parts of the
      world. Discuss the privatisation of water as a
      response to the situation. Refer to specific projects
      in developing countries to illustrate your answer.
      (3500 word essay)
     Instructional   Topic/Content Limiting words   Other factors
        words           words                        to consider
   Discuss           Privatisation   Specific       Essay
   Illustrate        of water        projects in    3500
                                     developing     words
                                     countries
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 Skills@Library



   3. Review the literature on nutrition therapy for eating
   disorders in the past five years



     Instructional   Topic/Content Limiting words   Other factors
        words           words                        to consider
   Review            Nutrition      past five       Literature
                     therapy        years           review
                     eating
                     disorders
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 Skills@Library




           Finding information:
           Planning
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 Skills@Library


   Things to think about
   •   What do I already know?
   •   How does the question link to what I am covering in lectures?
   •   How much research do I need to do?
   •   What do I need to find out about?
   •   What kind of information do I need?
   •   Where will I find this information?
   •   What keywords will I search with?
   •   How will I search these tools?
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 Skills@Library

   How can a Mind Map help your literature
   searching?
   • Identify what you already know
   • Identify gaps in knowledge
   • Brainstorm keywords
   • Come up with ideas & link ideas together
   • A ‘mistake’ may turn out to be a great insight
   • Boost your confidence by showing you how much
     you already know
   • Keep adding to it
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 Skills@Library
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 Skills@Library


  Mind map
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 Skills@Library
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   Activity 3: Planning a search

      Try mind mapping assignment 1 activity 2, or choose
      an assignment you have been set in your own
      module. Then discuss your mind map in pairs.
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 Skills@Library




           Finding information:
           Search tools
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 Skills@Library

  Activity 4
   Last time you researched a piece of work:

        Which resources did you    Why did you use them?
        use to find information?
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 Skills@Library


   Information sources:
   separate handout
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 Skills@Library




           Finding information:
           Search tips and
           techniques
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 Skills@Library


   Searching for specific books and journals:
   Reading lists:
   • Good starting point
   • Access your lists online
   • Links straight to Catalogue (time saver)
   • See Activity 5a

   Library Catalogue:
   • For known books/journals: search by Title, ( or Author for books)
   • Note down location and shelf mark
   • Most journals and some books available online
   • Can reserve books out on loan
   • See activity 5b
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 Skills@Library


  Searching for books and journals beyond your
  reading list:
  Books:
  • Library Catalogue
  • Use keywords not title search
  • Search with broad keywords

  Journal articles:
  • Use a database
  • References and abstracts
  • Databases can be multi-disciplinary e.g. Web of Science
  • Or subject specific e.g. Engineering Village
  • Find databases for your subject from the subject pages
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 Skills@Library


   Tips and tricks for searching beyond your
   reading list
   • From your mind map identify keywords and phrases
     (think about synonyms, abbreviations, US/UK
     spelling) e.g. floods, government, policy, strategy
     climate change, UK, United Kingdom
   • Use truncation (usually *) to find the variants of words
     flood* = flood, floods, flooding
   • Identify phrases e.g. “climate change”
   • For catalogue searches use broad keywords
   • Can be more specific when searching for articles
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 Skills@Library


    Combine keywords and phrases together


     Link your keywords and phrases together using the
        Boolean operators:


            AND
            OR
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 Skills@Library


   AND

    Used to narrow a search
    It decreases the number of references
    It makes your search more specific



 e.g. floods AND government
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 Skills@Library


   OR

    Used to combine related terms / synonyms
    It increases the number of references
    It makes your search more comprehensive



 e.g. UK OR United Kingdom
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 Skills@Library


   I’ve found too few articles and want to increase
   the number of hits I get. How should I search?

   1. policy AND strategy

   2. policy OR strategy
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 Skills@Library
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 Skills@Library


   Activity 5 and 6: Searching

      Activity 5 (optional)
      Accessing your reading list, basic search of the
      Library catalogue

      Activity 6
      Searching beyond your reading list: Library
      Catalogue and Web of Science
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 Skills@Library


                  The Main Message!
      Thinking and planning at the beginning
                        =
          better assignment in the end!

              NO!                  YES!
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 Skills@Library

Skills@Library: supporting
students, researchers and staff
to enhance their learning,
teaching and research

 Workshops

 Online resources

 One to one advice

 Rooms you can book for
  group working activities and
  to practise presentations
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 Skills@Library


Contact us

                  Skills@Library
                  15 Blenheim Terrace
                  University of Leeds
                  T 0113 343 4096
                  W http://skills.library.leeds.ac.uk
                  E skills@library.leeds.ac.uk
                      skills_library

                  We’re just down the road from
                  the banks, opposite Halo
                  nightclub!

				
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posted:8/1/2012
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