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How to solve a problem like researching for your first science assignment!

1. How do you solve a problem like researching for assignments?

This is an image of books stacked in front of book shelves.

At university, you will complete a range of assignments.

You need to draw on high quality and academic information to help you answer your assigned question. In each section of this guide, you have information to read, videos showing you how to do something with activities and quizzes to put your skills into practice and test your knowledge!

This guide represents between one and two hours of study time.

The study time for each student may vary as we all have different levels of research knowledge and search skills. Some tasks may take longer than others and if you read all the resources that are linked to from the guide and the journal articles, then the study time may be longer.

Is this the guide for me?

This guide is written to support students within the Department of Biosciences and Chemistry

  • students on the foundation degree
  • students in the first year of their undergraduate students
  • MSc students returning to study after a break

If you are studying within another College or Department, you can find about more about search skills using Search Start.

2. How this guide will help you

You will find out:

  • how to make sure your work is based on high quality information.
  • how to find books and journal articles using Library Search.
  • how to identify different journal article types e.g. a review journal article and a primary journal article.
  • how to find specialist Biosciences and Chemistry resources using the Biosciences and Chemistry subject guide.
  • how to evaluate information.
  • how to cite and reference information.


How to use this guide

The guide is split into sections with a navigation menu with navigation buttons at the end of each page to move to the next and previous sections.

In each section, the content is arranged in linear order and you scroll down the screen box by box. All the boxes include a title and number.

When you see this icon -                              Activity - this is your time to put into practice your skills and complete and activity.


Be study kind to yourself!

Each section, includes a Take a break box to encourage you to be study kind and take time a break or a rest from the screen! Maybe stand up and take a walk in the fresh air or maybe grab something to eat or drink, Remember drink to think!

3. Lets begin with an activity

We are going to take a snapshot of how confident you feel about searching for information for assignments at university.

All you need to do is to select the radio button that best describes your confidence levels. All responses on the polls are anonymous.

At the end of the guide, we will ask the same question to see if there are any changes to confidence levels.  There will also be recommendations for you to follow to build and develop your skills further depending where your confidence levels are at the end of this process.

                              Activity 1: Answer the poll

How confident do you feel in being able to find a review journal article published in the last 5 years in a high quality academic journal?
Very confident: 7 votes (6.36%)
Confident: 5 votes (4.55%)
OK: 34 votes (30.91%)
Not confident: 35 votes (31.82%)
Need help: 29 votes (26.36%)
Total Votes: 110