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How do you solve a problem like researching for assignments?: Welcome

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 be asked to complete a range of assignments. A common thread between your assignments is the information you use to guide how you answer your assigned question. You need to use high quality and relevant information and this section can help you make sure you that this is what you find. This guide is here to help you do this!

Is this the guide for me?

This guide is written to support students within their first year at Sheffield Hallam University studying within the Department of Biosciences and Chemistry. If you are studying within another College or Department, you can find about more about search skills using Search Start which is aimed at developing search skills across all subject areas.

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

The study time given does vary to factor in the range of pre existing expertise and knowledge about how library resources work and how search techniques can be used in your search for information at university.  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.

2. How this guide will help you.

Why am I working through this guide?

  • to make sure your work is based on high quality information and you have the best possibility of getting the best grades for your assignment!
  • to make sure you can find books and journal articles using Library Search.
  • to be able to identify different journal article types e.g. a review journal article and a primary journal article.
  • to ensure you maximise your use and develop expertise in using the range of specialist Biosciences and Chemistry resources available to you during your time as a Hallam student.
  • to make sure you know how to evaluate information.
  • to make sure you can cite and reference information.


How to use this guide

The guide is split into sections. You work through the guide from left to right using the sections. In each section you will find information to read, videos showing you how to do something with activities and quizzes to put your skills into practice and test your knowledge!

  • You can move through the guide using the sections at the top or the navigation buttons at the end of each page to help you move to the next and previous tabs.
  • 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 to make it clear what you are working on in that section and the boxes are numbered.
  • When you see this section  -                              Activity - this is your time to put into practice your skills and complete and activity and then return to the guide.


  • Some sections are longer than others. Each section, after this page, includes a Take a break box to encourage to take time to pause and have 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!


Before you begin, lets take a snapshot of how confident you feel researching for information at university. Click the radio button that best describes your confidence levels. All responses on the polls are anonymous clicks.

At the end of the guide, we will ask the same question at the end of the guide to see if there is any alternation 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.


This is a picture of a light bulb.                      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: 3 votes (11.11%)
Confident: 1 votes (3.7%)
OK: 14 votes (51.85%)
Not confident: 9 votes (33.33%)
Need help: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 27

3. Make the most of your library 2021/2022

Academic libraries are full of useful information! We are here to help you access the most up to date information and we have a wide range of support services that can help you maximise your time in the Library.


                              Activity 2: Watch the Welcome to your library video to make sure you do not miss out!

This video covers how to access many of our services, physical space and find out more about support that's available and information about how to visit library buildings safely.

Libraries... more than books!


Welcome to your Library

Hallam Library would like to welcome all new students to the university.

We're here to support you to become an independent learner and to be successful throughout your time at university. We will help you develop the academic skills you need and provide you with the best resources to support your learning. 

Find out the latest information and updates on your library services during COVID-19.


Great news! Your time to research is not limited to when the library is open or when you on campus!

We offer the following services and support 24/7/365.

  • You can use our physical space and print resources whenever you need.
  • You can research at the time that best suits you as online resources like eBooks, databases and e-journals are available on and off campus
  • And if you have a Library related question in the middle of the night... you can still ask us for help as Library Chat is 24/7/365!

You can find out more about all the services the Library offers and how to use the physical space using the resources below.


Lets check what you remember from the Welcome to the Library video!

This a picture of a light bulb. Activity 3: Answer the poll.

When is Library Chat available?
24/7/365: 23 votes (92%)
Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm: 2 votes (8%)
Sat and Sun - 10am - 4pm: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 25


All the answers are in Box 4 - Answers in the Build on this section!