If you have a question for the LDC, have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions to see if the answer can found here.
What style of referencing should I use?
Different disciplines use different systems. Generally, business and social sciences students will be expected to use Harvard referencing while history or law may use a numeric system. Check your module or programme handbooks for guidelines on what system you should use.
How many references do I need?
There is no definitive number of references required for a particular piece of coursework. As you go through your programme you are expected to demonstrate increased depth of reading so a level 4 coursework would have significantly more references than a level 1 or 2 coursework. In level 3 and 4 the expectation will also be that you will be drawing on a greater range of articles from journal publications - see guidance on What Do I Need to Read
How do you reference information taken from a video/tv interview or web site or newspaper articles?
Guidelines on how to reference different types of information can be found in the University’s Harvard referencing guide.
How do I reference multiple sources?
Citing multiple sources in text shows that you have read broadly and identified that a number of sources are saying the same thing. The sources are cited in alphabetic order in brackets.
Example: (Brown 2009; Green 2000; Young et al 2013)
Using multiple references can also indicate critical analysis as they allow you to identify a longstanding issue, researched over a number of years. They can also be common in introductions where you are providing an outline of the essay topic e.g. Effective management of organisational change has changed considerably in the last 30 years (Brown 1999; Green 2008; Young eta l. 2013)
How do I cite a reference in text?
The basic rule is that you cite the author (or name of organisation if it's a document or website produced by an organisation) followed by the date. The two most common ways to reference in text are:
A. You directly use the author or organisation in a sentence to report what you have read:
Example: According to the Scottish Government (2016) it is essential that........
Example: Green (2000) argues that.....
Example: Young et al (2013) claim that........
B. The sentence is a paraphrase of the information you have read. You place the source of this information - author or organisation and year - in brackets before the full stop:
Example: It is viewed as essential that .............(Scottish Government 2016).
Example: One argument in support of X is that ................(Green 2000)
Example: However, this view is contested on the grounds that...............(Young et al. 2013)
Please read further information on these citation formats.
How can I prepare for an exam?
Don’t leave it until the last minute! Revision should start several weeks before the exam.
To know what to revise you could look at the module learning outcomes, the lecture schedule, past papers and any other information your module tutors has provided. By considering all of these things, you should be able to establish the scope of the exam and from that the things you should study.
To summarise your notes and other information for a module, go through it and summarise the essential elements into eg bulleted lists, sentences, mind maps or other method. Repeat this process until you have information in a format where it is small enough to be memorised. Then practice unpacking this information by writing sample paragraphs or answering past exam questions.
In the weeks running up the exam period, the Learning Development Centre runs exam workshops. Look out for emails about these workshops and book a place.
How can I improve my exam marks?
Be prepared! Practice summarising information (packing) and then unpacking it into paragraphs that can be used within exam answers. See further information on exam revision
What am I allowed to take into an exam?
You can only take certain items, depending on the type of exam. Your module handbook or other exam guidance from module tutors should explain what items are allowed. For example, you may be allowed a calculator or you may be allowed to take notes or books if it is a ‘seen’ or ‘case study’ exam. However, please make sure that you check this out well in advance of the exam date.
The use of multimedia equipment or phones is not allowed and you will be instructed to turn them off and store them away from your desk.
You will not normally be allowed food or drink, except water.
Further information can be found on the university web site exam pages and University Assessment Regulations.
How do I write critically?
Critical writing begins by reading a variety of sources which cover the topic from a range of different perspectives. Asking questions such as What? How? Why? and So What? will allow you to analyse rather than describe information. Following strategies for critical reading will guide you to ask the correct questions. Then writing critically about definitions as well as theories and models will help demonstrate critical analysis.
I have to write an essay question but don’t know where to start
Good writing requires good reading. To focus on the correct reading, you must firstly understand the question and read credible sources. Reading the correct materials and asking critical questions of it, will often provide you with themes which will form the basis of the structure of the essay.
What should be included in an introduction and conclusion?
This will depend on the type of coursework as well as the coursework requirements – so please check the module handbook or other guidance that has been provided by your module tutor. Generally, introductions should provide some background on the topic and a rationale for this piece of writing as well as the aim and scope of the work. Conclusions should focus on the issues or points raised such as what the main arguments or deductions are, and possibly recommendations for the future. The conclusion should not merely state how the piece of writing has been structured. This guide provides further information and examples.
What’s the difference between an essay and a report?
These differ in terms of layout and focus; in general reports tend to be more structured and include headings and subheadings while essays progressively develop and build an argument. This guide provides an overview of the main differences.
University is an exciting time but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and sometimes you need additional support. The University Student Counselling Service offers free, confidential support when you need it most.