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Library Guides

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New to the University

A series of guides for students new to university.

There's nothing embarassing about getting support with your studies

Although university is a new and different environment you are allowed to ask for help and support just as you would have done at school or in a workplace. Asking for extra support or clarification about what you are being expected to do will show your tutors that you are serious about your studies. There are many places where you can get extra help with your studies. You can speak to your subject tutors or your personal tutor. We provide a variety of workshops that can help you to get to grips with your studies. You can also request one to one tutorials with academic skills tutors who can help you with your writing or with Academic Services Librarians who can help you with researching and referencing your work.

For more information about what support you can get academically, go to:

To book a one to one tutorial go to: and select a tutor or the Academic Service Librarian covering your faculty.

No one arrives at university knowing how to write academically

Academic English is something that has to be learned by everyone who comes to university. There are certain rules that you will be expected to follow when you complete written tasks. These include writing in a formal style, being objective ( looking at things from a a variety of viewpoints and not just giving your own personal opinion) , using books, journals and other sources in your written work and referencing the sources you have used.

You are not expected to become a professor overnight

You have done well to gain your place at university and it shows you have the potential to achieve what is necessary to gain a degree. This does not, however, mean that you will be expected to become a professor overnight. Some students think that once they arrive at university they have to change and suddenly become an expert. Your main priority should be learning how to think and write clearly. You do not have to suddenly use lots of academic sounding words. You just have to make sure that you have researched your work thoroughly and explained your thoughts and viewpoints in a way that is easy for a reader to understand.

You'll have to do more work alone

One thing you will have to get accustomed to is doing more unsupervised work, at home. You will also have to do more independent study. You will spend a lot less time than you might think in lectures and tutorials. This may make you feel that you have a lot of free time but these non-taught periods are the times you will be expected to work independently reading, or preparing for assignments.

You'll have to do more work in groups

On many courses there will be an element of group work.You will often be expected to take part in a seminar, which is a form of group discussion where you will be able to discuss research and opinions. Sometimes you may asked to participate in group presentations, and in other cases you might be expected to do practical tasks together with a group. Group work of any kind teaches you skills that future employees will want to see, so it is important that you participate as fully as you can.

Things to make sure of when you are working in a group

Respect the other people in your group.

Make sure you do an equal share of the work.

Don't be afraid to give your opinions.

Make sure that your group knows exactly what they have got to do and when they have got to do it by.

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