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2020 Success in second year and beyond


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Understanding how to find and use good quality academic sources is essential to becoming an independent learner.

Use your online module resource lists to find sources recommended by your lecturers. To succeed in your course you are expected to read widely and find your own resources too. You'll need to develop independent search strategies, and explore our books, ebooks and articles on Library Search. Discover more about finding sources and evaluating sources or browse subject specific resources, including specialist databases, on our subject guides.

For help with building an effective library search or finding specialist resources for assignments, including your independent study, join a Discovery Session or consider booking an appointment with your Academic Liaison Librarian.

To succeed in second year and beyond, you will need to evaluate arguments you read and make connections between different sources; this is called critical reading. Learn more about developing a reading strategy to help you engage with resources, ask questions and develop your own arguments.   

There are lots of ways to make reading easier. Enhance your individual reading experience using tools to help with reading or try converting your documents into different formats, such as audio or Epub using SensusAccess. If you have a print disability, request an account with RNIB Bookshare.

Our list of books about qualitative and quantitative research will help you if you need to find research or are conducting your own.

Referencing is an essential part of academic study and helps you avoid plagiarism. Whatever your experience with referencing in your first year, you may find tutors provide more feedback on referencing in your second year.
Different subjects use different systems for referencing. Whichever system your subject requires, the key is to be consistent and make sure your reader can trace everything you reference. 

Cite Them Right tells you the basics of referencing, including a tutorial and a glossary. For Harvard, it also gives examples of how to reference just about any source, from books and articles to films and lecture slides.

Many referencing tools are available to help you. One of the simplest is ZoteroBib. It helps you quickly create a reference list in any citation style. Many students also use Zotero or Mendeley, tools that can help you store and manage what you read and create reference lists for your assignments as you write.

Know what you want to write but unsure how to write it? 

The Centre for Academic English and Skills and the Academic Writers in Residence can help with planning, structure, grammar and academic argument. Additionally, the University’s study skills portal has a fantastic page on planning assignments, and you can also find out more about criticality and reflection and reflective writing. An essential skill is learning how to use feedback from previous assignments to improve your work.

We recommend you Investigate the many ebooks on writing successful assignments available via Library Services.

Our subject guides offer a large range of databases and websites to help you find primary sources and research. If you need further help, sign up for Study Skills Live: refresh your search skills, make sure you are getting the best information, find out about specialist resources or get to grips with referencing.

For one-to-one advice make an appointment with one of the Liaison Librarians for your subject.

If you are in Worcester, we have study spaces for you in The Hive, our joint University and County library. We have different types of study spaces for you on all levels of The Hive.

You’ll find most of our print books on level 3 (pdf). Our self-guided tour and top tips (pdf) show you where things are and how to make the most of our resources.

University of Worcester printing, copying and EduRoam wifi are available throughout the building.

Visit Explore the Past Archive and Archaeology service on level 2, or use the Children’s Library and Teaching Collection on level 1.

It’s not all work, work, work. You can get a student discount on drinks, snacks and all your cake needs in our café.

We can help you find the resources you need to complete your assignments successfully.

Browse our online guides for help with finding sourcesevaluating sources and referencing. To find out more, book a place on Study Skills Live.

Our subject guides include a large range of databases and websites to help you with your studies. 

If you have a query, email Ask a Librarian, ask us a question using live chat or search our Frequently Asked Questions

Have a look at our study skills page, particularly starting at university (coming soon) to find out more about becoming a student in higher education.

If you need guidance on writing, the Centre for Academic English and Skills and the Academic Writers in Residence can help with planning, structure, grammar and academic argument. Browse our ebook collection for more advice and guidance on how to get the best grades in your writing.