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Boost your research skills for your Built Environment dissertation

This is an image of a stack of books.

You should now be more likely to understand how to research and find the information you need for your dissertation than when you began the guide!  In this section of the guide you can find ways to get more help and a short evaluation survey.

  • Whether your confidence has improved from when you began using this guide to when you finished using the guide.
  • What actions to take to get further support or help extend your learning based on your confidence levels.
  • How to get more help from the Library.

1. How confident do you feel about finding the information you need for your dissertation?

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 1: At the start of the guide, we asked you how confident do you feel about finding the information you need for your dissertation? 

Click the radio button that now best describes your confidence levels. All responses on the polls are anonymous clicks.

How confident do you feel about finding the information you need for your dissertation?
Very confident: 0 votes (0%)
Confident: 0 votes (0%)
OK: 0 votes (0%)
Not confident: 0 votes (0%)
Need help: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0

2. How to get more help

For all students regardless of confidence levels, we recommend:

If you feel very confident or confident:  

If you feel OK: 

If you feel not very confident or need help:

3. Have your say and how you can get more help from the Library.

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 2: Have your say!

We are keen to know if the guide has helped and have included a short survey below for you to complete.

There are 3 questions, all answers are anonymous and it should take less than 1 minute to complete!

How to get more help from the Library.

Take a look at the following resources, guides and webpages. If you need help, just ask! Don't forget you can use Library Chat to get immediate help - 24/7/365!

4. Answers

Here you can find all the answers to questions asked in the guide.


Strategic Reading section.

Box 3. How to make sense of different sources of information: Activity 1: Know your terms!

  • What is grey literature?
  • It is literature that is harder to find and may not be published in mainstream ways.

  • What is a review article?
  • It is a specific type of article that collects and analyses previous research on a specific topic, to create a overview of the current state of knowledge on that topic.

  • A conference paper is...
  • Based on a presentation delivered at a conference. They are frequently work-in-progress reports from a longer, incomplete piece of research. They can be published in journals or in books. They are often not subject to peer-review.

  • A trade magazine or publication is...
  • A publication that a person working in the specific profession would read on a regular basis.


Make a plan section.

Box 1. Make a plan. Activity 1: Answer the poll!

Here are the options:

  • It will make the process feel more manageable and achievable.
  • To maximise the time we have!
  • To be able to cope if anything goes wrong.
  • We don't need a plan, I can find a few sources, ask a few questions and connect the information! All will be fine!
  • You can break down you time into sections and plan how long you need for each time.
  • You are less likely to caught out by anything unexpected.
  • It will be fine. I can research without a plan as there is lots of information available in Library Search and popular search engines.

All of the above apart from the options in italics and blue font colouring are sound academic reasons to make a plan. If you selected the italic answers, this may work and you may hear people saying they took these approaches and all went well! But its your dissertation, would you want to choose this route? It may cause you more stress than taking a structed approach!


Evaluation section 

Box 1. Why it is important to choose high quality information for your dissertation? Activity 1: The importance of choosing high quality information

Rank these reasons in order of importance.

All the answers are valid reasons. Take a look at this handy evaluation checklist to help you evaluate each new source or evidence.

Acknowledge your sources section.

Box 2. Lets check our referencing understanding! Activity 1: Answer these poll based questions to check your understanding about referencing.

  • Question 1: Accurate referencing is important because...
  • All answers are correct.

  • Question 2: I am confident that I am using the following referencing style...
  • The answer is APA 7.

  • Question 3: Citing is...
  • The answer is: referring to someone else’s work or ideas in the text of your work.

  • Question 4: References to the information I use are put...
  • The answer is: at the end of my work.

  • Question 5: I create my citations and references by...
  • All answers are valid but you may find you save time if you use an automated process like RefWorks.

All that is left to say...

We wish you the best success with your dissertation and we hope you really enjoy the opportunity to explore an area of your course that is of real interest to you!

Enjoy the process and get in contact if you need library help!