You can use these tutorials from the University of Manchester's My Learning Essentials programme to improve your skills in finding and using information:
- Planning ahead: making your search work
- Know your sources: types of information
- Finding the good stuff: evaluating your sources
- Get a grip: understanding your task
- Never a wasted word: writing your essay
- Original thinking allowed: avoiding plagiarism
- Citing it right: introducing referencing
Many more tutorials are available from My Learning Essentials
About this guide
This guide will help you discover and use Library resources to help with your assignments, dissertations, projects and research.
The guide is divided into topics: Books, Articles, Databases, Referencing, Theses and News.
This Home page provides some general resources to help you with the research process.
You will need your DS username and password to access some eresources on campus and all eresources off campus.
Please contact the Library if you need any help or advice in using the resources.
The Research Process
Your process for finding and using information in your work will depend on the type of learning or research you are undertaking.
There are nevertheless some key stages you should be aware of when undertaking research for an assignment, project or dissertation:
- Analyse topic - identify different aspects
- Select search terms - for each concept identify broader, narrower and related terms, synonyms (terms with the same meaning) and antonyms (terms with an opposite meaning)
- Select search tools - use a variety that best suits your needs (Google and Wikipedia may be easy to use, but the Library’s databases may give better quality results and access to content unavailable elsewhere)
- Plan your search strategy - which sources will you search first? how will you follow references in your reading?
- Undertake searches - you may need to run new searches in databases as you learn more about your research topic
- Evaluate sources - who wrote it? when was it written? where (which countries) does it apply to? why was it written? what is the source? (is it relevant? is it accurate? has it been cited?)
- Record sources - this helps you keep control of the research process, avoid duplication / missing out sources and make it easier to compile references
- Reference sources - demonstrates work is properly researched and helps you avoid accusations of plagiarism