What’s up, science and IT students? And a shout-out to my fellow engineers as well! Whether you’re in first year or fourth year, you’ve probably noticed that the university is pretty much against plagiarism. I mean, I guess it’s kind of understandable. If you just steal other people’s work the whole time, you’ll get a fancy piece of paper at the end, and not learn anything to deserve it. Continue reading Harvard Referencing
Everybody loves a good 1500 word essay, but by far the best part about academic writing is the referencing that comes with it. Yes, we are kidding. But seriously, referencing is a very important skill to have when studying at university, as it ensures that your work gives credit where it’s due. Avoiding plagiarism is a very important thing when writing academia. There are a number of different referencing styles that are in use at the university, and whichever you use depends on your course. Here in this post we’ll give you a brief overview about referencing, including the styles we use, where to find help, and some of our tips on how to do it best. Continue reading The “Joys” of Academic Referencing
So if you are anything like me, you probably find referencing the absolute worst part of writing assignments. I sit there for hours trying to smash out an assignment because, as usual, I’ve left finishing it off to the last minute, then just when I think I’m done…SURPRISE!!! There is still a whole reference list to go that, for some stupid reason, fails to write itself every time.
So if this sounds like you, keep reading, because I have some wonderful solutions for you.
Believe it or not, there are some awesome phone apps that can reference for you. You just need to download the app, search for your book — or if you’re real lazy, scan its barcode — select the reference style you want and BAM! You have yourself a correctly referenced book!
Some of these apps that I know of include:
- Easybib (FREE!)
- Easy ultimate referencing ($2.49)
- RefME (FREE!)
Another way to make referencing less of a drag is to save your references in Microsoft word (convenient right?). So here’s how to do it:
- Click on the references tab up the top
- Click insert citation > new source
- Select the type of source, chuck in all the details and write in a little tag in the bottom left so you know what the reference is in your future list
Heypresto! Like magic, all the hard work is done for you. Now you just have to put the reference into your actual assignments. That is done like so:
- In-text reference
- Click references> insert citation > then just click on the reference you need!
- Reference list
- Click references> Manage sources > copy all the references you need into the ‘current list’ box
- Now click references> bibliography> references. And now a reference list should magically appear where ever your cursor was
So these are just a couple of tricks I use to make life a little bit easier when referencing. If you know of any more then comment below and we will add it in. Hope this makes everyone’s life a little bit easier.
Hey guys, it’s been three weeks since this semester began, and I hope you’re adapting well to your university life! We’re now in the middle of Check-in Week at FedUni, from August 18th to August 22nd. There will be loads of activities on all campuses, such as PASS Sessions, Library Skills Workshop and fantastic FREE Breakfasts and Lunches! Check the timetable in case you miss out!
PASS stands for Peer Assisted Study Sessions. It is non-remedial and open to all students enrolled in the nominated courses. If you want to find friends in the same course to study together, PASS is a perfect place to go! There will be small study groups in PASS, and the sessions are really fun. A senior student leader will share his/her experience with you and that could be very useful for not only your study but also your uni experience. You can find if your course is available for PASS and the timetable of all PASS sessions online:
The Library Skills Workshops are free classes offered by the Library. The program aims to support first year students or new enrolled students making the transition from secondary school or work to university study. If you have any problem with referencing, researching or writing, enrol in a session! Timetables can be checked through the link below for all campuses:
There are many other services such as chaplaincy, counselling, disability support, scholarships, international support, leadership, clubs and societies available for you. Just go and check them out! If you still have problems, come to ASK for help!
The other week, the illustrious Emma wrote a blog post about submitting assignments via Moodle, but left out any information regarding our good friend Turnitin. Apparently it’s not really used very often in “Da Business Skewl”, but I am here to tell you that it is often used elsewhere (that is to say, I know it is used in the School of Education and Arts where I am, and assume it is also used elsewhere).
So I figured a blog post on how to use Turnitin was in order!
Firstly, I guess I had best give you an overview, so that you actually know what I’m talking about. Turnitin is basically a text checking system. It is used by lecturers and tutors to check whether we (students) have referenced properly and haven’t just copied all of our information from Wikipedia. Because that would be bad. Don’t do that. Unless your assignment explicitly states: “Please copy and paste all your information from Wikipedia and just hand that in”, but I really cannot see that happening. And if it does, please tell me what course you are studying because I want in. Anyway, back to the point. Turnitin checks your assignment against all the other academic works it has in the system, and also against all of the other students’ work that has been uploaded from around the world. Which is a lot. I assume. I don’t actually have the statistics or anything.
What do I do if my percentage is super high?
Once you have submitted your assignment to Turnitin, the system will return to you what is called an ‘Originality Report’, which will give you a percentage of your work that it has determined to be similar to other works in its system. Don’t freak out if this number is quite high. This report will also highlight which areas of your work it suggests are similar, so you can go through your work and see which areas may be an issue.
Often you will find that things like the essay topic or your lecturer’s name will be highlighted. This is because other students in your course will have also submitted to Turnitin, and the same essay topic will be on their assignment too, meaning the system will have picked up that there is a similarity. This is absolutely fine and to be expected. Your lecturer or tutor should not mark you down for that because it’s not exactly something you can help, and it is not plagiarism. Turnitin occasionally also highlights some really ridiculous things as being similar to other things in its system. For example, it may highlight the word ‘the’, which is probably going to be in pretty much every single piece of work ever.
The other thing that Turnitin will often highlight will be things such as quotes, and possibly sections that you have paraphrased. If it has highlighted direct quotes, you shouldn’t need to worry as long as you have referenced those quotations properly. Make sure you have both an in text citation (or footnotes, depending on which referencing style you are using) and a works cited/bibliography/reference list at the end of your work. If it has highlighted sections that you have paraphrased, then you need to double check that there are not sections that you should instead have quoted. If it has highlighted a word or two from your paraphrasing then it shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have referenced correctly, but if it highlighted a huge chunk of your writing then you might want to either include it as a direct quote, or rephrase it further so that it is in your own words. But make sure it is properly referenced either way!
How to actually use it
Okay, here’s the exciting stuff. How to actually use this service. There are two main ways to access Turnitin, and they only vary depending on whether a tutor or lecturer has set up a specific Turnitin point for you, or if you are just accessing it generally. This may sound confusing. DON’T FREAK OUT.
If a tutor or lecturer has asked you to submit via Turnitin, then they will generally say which of these options you should use in the course description. If not, don’t stress. You can easily check yourself. If you log in to the Moodle shell for that particular course, then the link for submitting your assignment should be a Turnitin link. If you click on the link and then click submit, it will come up with Turnitin across the top of the page. If not, your tutor or lecturer may intend for you to submit it to Turnitin by yourself.
To do so, all you need to do is go to your Moodle home page, then click the ‘Study Help’ drop down link. From there you should be able to select Turnitin. If you are submitting an assignment to Turnitin this way, you will need to enrol yourself. Just click ‘Enrol Me’. It’s as simple as that.
Now for the important stuff. MAKE SURE that you do not submit your work to this general Turnitin page if you have been asked to submit it through a link in your course Moodle. It will not be submitted to your tutor or lecturer, and when you try to submit it through the proper link later it will come back as 100% plagiarised, because you have basically plagiarised yourself! If your tutor or lecturer has not given you a specific Turnitin link in Moodle, be aware that just submitting it to general Turnitin will not submit it as an assignment, it will only check it for plagiarism.
That’s all folks!
Hopefully that has given you some more of an idea of what to expect when submitting via Turnitin. If you are still unsure or have any questions, you can either ask your tutor or lecturer, or you can come and visit us on the ASK desk between 10am–2pm, Monday–Thursday. We are situated on the ground floor of the library in the Mount Helen campus and we don’t bite. I promise.
This blog post is already far too long, so I will let you get back to attempting to submit your assignments to Turnitin. Good luck!
– Tegan 🙂
Don’t forget that if you get stuck on a foundation knowledge question, you have access to a free expert tutor online who can help you work it out. Log in via Moodle and click on ‘yourtutor’, it’s as simple as that.
Ahh the library. That magical big building that holds all the answers to the universe. Okay, maybe not the universe, but it can sure help you with a whole lot of things that you probably never knew about.
Have you ever found yourself stuck on an essay question and having no idea where or how you should start your research? Not too sure about your references? Or maybe you need some help finding some books or online articles? Then look no further than the library! That’s right, the library is your one stop shop for all things essay, research, and loads more! You name it, the library will be able to help. So you’re thinking, ‘how can I access this great help and make sure my work is in tip-top shape before I submit it?’ Not to fear, because I have had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat about all things library with one of our very own Federation University librarians, Alana.
What resources are available to students?
There are a variety of resources available to students. They range from classes that run at the start of each semester to quiet study spaces. The classes that run at the start of each semester cover everything from general library skills to how to use the catalogue to find journal articles or books. They cover referencing and even help students evaluate their information. These classes generally run up to four or six weeks depending on demand. The classes are free and you can enrol online via this link or access it through the library website.
Can the library help with referencing?
Yes, the library can definitely help with referencing and has its very own General Guide to Referencing. The library can also help you with finding and understanding subject guides that are full of course specific info.
Can the library help with using the databases (finding journal articles)?
The library can help show you how to utilise the databases online to ensure you find exactly what you are looking for. The classes at the start of each semester cover how to use the databases but if you wanted some extra information you can come in and just ask for some help. The online data bases hold 90% of the libraries journal articles.
How do I borrow a book, log on to the computers and print?
The library offers help sheets that cover all the basic library information you need to know as a student. They cover general things like borrowing a book, how to print and how to reference. These sheets are available on stands in the library and they are also available online.
Does the library offer a proofreading service?
No the library does not provide a proof reading service but they can help you with using the databases to find articles or they can refer you to a Learning Skills Advisor. The Learning Skills Advisors do not provide a proofreading service either, but do provide support and can offer some direction or help you develop your own proofreading skills.
Can I borrow a book from another university through Federation University?
Yes you can. There is a program called Bonus plus. Bonus plus has 12 participating universities and the idea of it is that you can request a book from a different university and the book will be sent here. There is also another way you can borrow books from other universities and it is called Caval Borrower. Being a Caval Borrower is ideal if you are a student that lives away from the university campus and who may live closer to another university. A Caval Borrower can go to the university that is more convenient for them to travel to, to physically borrow a book.
Does each library floor have a different purpose?
Yes, every floor does has a different purpose. Downstairs is where the multimedia is stored as well as the law collection and some journals. The ground floor is where students have access to the computers. The first floor has newspapers, fiction, and children’s literature and teaching resources. It’s also where the IT training room is. The IT training room is great if you need access to a specific computer program. The top floor is where the main collection is kept. There are two sections to this area, one being the larger books down the bottom (the quarto collection) and the other being the main collection. They both have their own labelling system.
What are the library’s opening hours?
The Libraries opening hours can be found online via the main subject guides page.
Monday- Thursday: 8:30am- 8:00pm
Friday: 8:30am- 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Are there any designated study areas in the library?
Yes. They can be found on most library floors. The downstairs floor has desks available. The ground floor has tables that can be used for group work. The first floor also offers tables and also has several rooms available for students to study. These, however, cannot be booked and are on a’ first there, first served’ basis. The top floor offers students the opportunity to study in silence at silent study bays. As a Federation University student you also have access to other study areas at other campuses. The SMB campus library offers some great study areas!
Can Federation University students borrow from any campus?
Yes, Federation University students can borrow books from any campus and return them to any campus.
What are the key things that a student at Federation University should know about the library?
- It’s not just books
- They can help with referencing and finding information
- Good study spaces
- Ask any questions (they are here to help)
Also for students who would like some extra help, after 5pm the library is less busy and they can spend more time with you helping you find what you need.
So now that your brain is full of useful information about the library, why don’t you drop on in, say hi and start using the library resources!
Anyone jumping with excitement? Who’s asleep already? How about running away and quaking at the thought of having to compile one of these for themselves?
Writing your first business report can be quite a daunting task, particularly if you have no idea what needs to be included! They’re probably going to be a bit different from anything you’ve written before, and they’re also a little different to some other types of report out there. Let me try to shine a little light on the things you need to include to write a kick-arse business report!
Firstly, as with all assignments, you’re gonna need a cover sheet. This should include:
- the title of the work you’re submitting,
- your name and student number (and your group members, for a group report),
- the course name and number,
- your lecturer/tutors name, and tutorial time,
- and the date submitted.
Next up for our business reports is an executive summary. Although this is pretty much the first thing people will read in your report, it’s going to be the last thing you write. An executive summary should be a brief overview of your entire report. Think of it as similar to the blurb of a mystery book — if the blurb told you exactly who did it, when, where and why! Someone should be able to read your executive summary and know exactly what your report is about: what you researched, what you found, recommendations you made and why you made them. It’s totally fine to dot point information in this section, as you want to try and keep it to one A4 page.
A table of contents is the next section, and should be on a separate page, as should the executive summary. This will make it easier to jump directly to any section, without having to pass ‘go’ to do so. Microsoft Word has a really hand table of contents feature, under the ‘references’ tab, that makes creating tables of content a breeze! The executive summary shouldn’t be included in your table of contents, but everything from the introduction (that’s next!) onwards should be. Everything onwards should also have a numbered heading, so that your table of contents will end up looking something like this:
Now is when the main text of your report, and the part that will take you the most time, comes into play. First you start with an introduction; this will tells readers what’s being studied and why, or gives a brief run-down of the case study if the report is centred on a case study. After the introduction, and on a different page to it, the body of the report will begin. This is where all the information you’ve researched (and referenced!) goes. Check your course description as some lecturers will tell you what headings they want you to include, while others leave it up to you. To finish off the main text, we have recommendations. Similar to a conclusion, this will recap the major findings of your report, and list all the recommendations you have, and why you’re making them.
Second to last we have everyone’s favourite, references! Make sure you’ve used the correct referencing style (for Business Reports, this is almost always APA, but make sure you check your course description for what your lecturer wants).
The last thing you need to include in your business report, is an appendix. This won’t appear in all of your reports, but if you’ve used supporting material that’s too long for the main body, or isn’t appropriate to use in the main body, this is where you’ll put it. For example, if you were completing a report for marketing and have referred to specific print ads, the appendix is where you would put the picture of the advertisement. Each appendix should be given a heading, such as ‘Appendix A’, ‘Appendix B’, etc. so that when you refer to them in the report, people will know exactly which appendix you’re talking about.
So there you have it. A brief rundown of your business report needs to be super awesome! If you want some more information, or need anything clarified (or just want to read more about business reports!) this document is a really handy guide!
With the first week of uni coming to end, it’s time to brush up on important skills that students will need when the time comes for assignments. For many of us, this means writing reports or essays. This might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a first year student and not familiar with the new expectations at uni, which include finding appropriate academic resources and referencing those resources.
Students looking to refresh their writing and research skills should look at the 3Rs (Researching, Referencing and wRiting) workshops. The 3Rs are a series of workshops that are normally run by your campus’ library in the first few weeks of a semester. They are currently being offered at the Mt Helen and Gippsland campuses. These workshops range from general library skills such as looking for journal articles to important writing skills, such as how to structure essays or reports. The 3Rs are an excellent resource to be taken advantage of early on in the semester. It’s arguably better to get on top of these skills now than waiting for the week before the assignment is due (I may be writing from experience).
If you aren’t able to attend the workshops, don’t fret, because there are a number of online resources that can be accessed via the 3Rs Moodle shell, which students are automatically enrolled in. However, attending the library workshops gives you the opportunity to ask questions in person, which is always a good thing.
Interested in getting involved? You can find a list of workshops and enrol at the Fed Uni library skills website (http://federation.edu.au/library/assignment-and-research-help/skillsworkshops/library-skills).
“How the heck do I reference in APA/Chicago/MLA style?” Honestly, I swear that writing/formatting your work properly in all the different styles is one of the most common problems that ALL students have. Not just first years, even students in their fourth years go and double/triple check their work just to make sure they actually formatted it right. I know I certainly still need to check twice before submitting.
What all these people -don’t- know, is that the university’s library has actually uploaded a bunch of stuff online to help with all kinds of academic problems. Don’t know how to reference your journal article in MLA? The library has the answer. Not sure how to make subheading in APA style? The library has the answer.
If you go to the Federation University website, and click the little ‘Library’ tab up the top, all kinds of useful stuff gets thrown at you. If you look on the left, you’ll see some tabs like ‘assignment and research help’, and ‘course-related resources’. If you’re having trouble referencing, go to course-related resources and click on ‘general guide for the presentation of academic work’. If you’re having trouble actually finding resources to reference, go to ‘assignment and research help’ and check out the ‘library skills classes’ that the library runs!
If there’s anything you can’t find or aren’t quite sure of, go and ask the librarian! I know some people have a hard time asking questions to people they don’t know, but don’t underestimate librarians, they get bored just like everyone else and will often leap at the chance to use their knowledge to help a student with an honest question!
The two morals of this story are 1; the university library site has good stuff on it, and 2; librarians are super smart and often really nice, treat them with respect and use them as the fantastic resource that they are!