Before University, you’ve probably never wrote an academic assignment. When I wrote essays in secondary school, I never had to reference the sources I used; but in University, you will need to so that you can prove you’re not using made-up facts or copying someone else’s work.
This blog will share my approach to academic writing, which should hopefully be useful when you start writing your assignments.
Different courses ask you to use different referencing systems; my course uses the Vancouver system. To help, Blackboard has a concise Vancouver referencing guide for all the different types of media we can reference. If you struggle to reference, there are teams, lecturers, and classes which can teach you referencing until you understand
Websites can generate references based on the link or journal titles. However, they aren’t always reliable. Therefore, it’s encouraged to use these to get an idea of what a reference looks like, and build your confidence.
But what will you need to reference? Anything from academic books, articles, to credible websites. The more recent the publication is, the better, especially for research.
Google Scholar is a great resource, but I find that the University’s online library is more useful. You can limit source by their type (journal, book, etc.) or publication year, and find key terms to quickly find appropriate resources. The online library allows access to resources you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access due to licensing/memberships to journals.
Most of the University’s sources have electronic copies available, so accessing them is instantaneous. However, some resources are not available online. Luckily, our Ormskirk campus’ library is open 24/7, and books can be checked out anytime. You can also reserve them online; even from another University Library (in Aintree or Manchester) to be delivered to another University library, which can be helpful if you study at home and live near those areas.
There are thousands of resources available at the University but if there’s a book that’d be very helpful but the University doesn’t have access to it, you can request that the University gets it in stock.
While referencing is difficult, the University supports us to develop the skills. In addition to this, we’re not limited to what we can cite. The University and internet includes so many resources to support our assignments.