Uni Skills

Uni Skills

Uni Skills is a brand new package of workshops, hands-on support and online resources created to help you develop a range of essential academic skills and to enable you to produce high quality University assignments.

Whatever your subject or level of study, Uni Skills has something to offer! Whether you’re just starting your very first assignment and want to learn about planning and structure, or are writing your final dissertation and need help with referencing, we can help you to boost your Uni Skills! Have a look at our Uni Skills video trailer to find out more!

10 tips for achieving assignment success

Assignment Planning

Planning should be a crucial part of your overall approach to academic writing. By planning your assignments thoroughly, you ensure that your work has a consistent, balanced structure and your arguments follow a logical flow with respect to the assignment question. The resources on this page will introduce you to useful techniques to help you with your plan and provide you with practical advice about essay structure.

To start, why not take a look at our Understanding your Learning Outcomes video.

Online Toolkits:

Guides:

Study Apps:

  • Evernote takes notes, creates to-do lists, and saves online information and content. It has the functionality to sync everything between your phone, tablet, and computer automatically.
  • Go Conqr allows you to create Mind Maps, Flashcards, Quizzes, Slides and Notes for study and learning. You create resources on the website version then sync using the mobile app to revise and study offline and on-the-go. Share your resources with classmates or search for ready-made resources to learn collaboratively with others.
  • For more information about Study Apps, download this Apps handout

Face to face support:

If you would like to drop-in and speak to one of the Academic Support team face to face, please visit the Ask desk (1st floor University Library, Ormskirk) or the help desks at Aintree LIRC and Manchester libraries.

Academic Writing

Writing at university may seem different to other writing experiences you’ve had, however it is important to realise that it is a process which you develop over time (and not overnight!). Using the resources on these pages can help you to improve your understanding of what is meant by key terms (such as ‘academic writing’ and ‘critical analysis’) and assist you to develop and enhance your own style of writing, whatever your subject or level of study

For help with dissertations, please visit the Uni Skills dissertation tab.

Online Toolkits:

Guides:

Face to face support:

If you would like to drop-in and speak to one of the Academic Support team face to face, please visit the Ask desk (1st floor University Library, Ormskirk) or the help desks at Aintree LIRC and Manchester libraries.

Presentations

During your time at University, you may be expected to deliver a presentation which will form part of your course assessment. For many students, standing up and delivering a presentation to a group can be a challenging experience, but by giving yourself plenty of time for preparation and practice, you can learn how to deliver with confidence and make an impact with your chosen topic. Use the resources on this page to help you learn how to design and deliver a clear, informative and visually appealing presentation

Online Toolkits:

Guides:

Face to Face Support:

If you would like to drop-in and speak to one of the Academic Support team face to face, please visit the Ask desk (1st floor University Library, Ormskirk) or the help desks at Aintree LIRC and Manchester libraries.

Finding Books

The University library contains over 370,000 books and ebooks which can be found by searching the library catalogue. When you have chosen a book, make a note of the Location (e.g. University Library 2nd Floor) and the shelfmark including any letters (e.g. 006.696 MEN). Use these details to find the book on the shelf. If all copies of the book you require are out on loan you can choose ‘reserve this item’. As soon as a copy is available you’ll receive an email to your University email account.

If you need help searching for a book or locating one on the shelf, our team of Student Advisors are on hand to help you! Simply come to the Ask Desk with your query

Guides:

Face to Face Support:

If you would like to drop-in and speak to one of the Academic Support team face to face, please visit the Ask desk (1st floor University Library, Ormskirk) or the help desks at Aintree LIRC and Manchester libraries.

Finding eResources

Staff and students have access to a wide range of online electronic resources including e-books, e-journals, journal databases and subject-specific resources. You can access high quality academic materials online by searching Discover More or visiting the ‘My Library‘ tab in Learning Edge for specialist subject support. Access to online resources is provided using your staff or student log-in. For further information about locating and accessing these resources, please refer to the guidance below

Online Toolkit:

Launch our online interactive learning package for Finding Academic Information

Guides:

Study Apps:

  • Instapaper is the simplest way to save and store articles for reading offline, on-the-go, anytime, anywhere. Articles are perfectly formatted and the app allows readers to change the font and background style. The speak function allows you to listen to articles on the go and the archive ensures you can manage what you have read.
  • For more information about Study Apps, download this Apps handout

Face to Face Support:

If you would like to drop-in and speak to one of the Academic Support team face to face, please visit the Ask desk (1st floor University Library, Ormskirk) or the help desks at Aintree LIRC and Manchester libraries.

Referencing

Referencing the sources of information you use is an essential part of academic writing and your research so it’s important to get it right. Referencing is the acknowledgment of all the sources that have been cited in your assignment, whether you have quoted them directly or paraphrased. Accurate referencing in your assignment helps to direct your readers to the information you have used and enables you to show that you have researched your topic thoroughly

Online Toolkit:

Launch our online interactive learning package for Harvard Referencing

Guides:

Important information if you are a RefMe user:  You need to take action before 28th February 2017.  Please take a look in AskUS

Face to Face Support:

If you would like to drop-in and speak to one of the Academic Support team face to face, please visit the Ask desk (1st floor University Library, Ormskirk) or the help desks at Aintree LIRC and Manchester libraries.

Online Submission

We know that when a deadline is approaching, submitting your final piece of work can be stressful enough without unexpected hitches, so try not to leave your submission till the last minute. Remember to give yourself space to breathe by preparing in advance and following the hints and tips below. If done correctly, this will ensure that the final moments before you click ‘Submit’ will be as worry-free as possible

Online Toolkits:

Launch our online interactive learning package: the Turnitin toolkit

Launch our online interactive learning package: the Blackboard Assignment tool

Guide:

Help and Tips for Turnitin Submissions:

Before You Begin

1. Before you begin, read the guidelines first and keep in touch!Before you begin, if you have any doubts about your expected submission through Learning Edge, please ensure you follow the guidelines you have been provided with. These will either be located within your module handbook or detailed within your module area within Learning Edge. It may have been that your tutor covered this in a session, so make sure you’re up to speed with any information you may have missed.

If for any reason you can’t locate your submission drop-box or if you don’t understand what you need to do then simply contact your tutor for further support. Keep your tutor informed of any problems you may have, especially in the days leading up to a deadline – it helps them to keep track of your progress and ensures they can help you quickly if need arises.

Plenty of Time

2. Why is it you get a technical problem right at a critical moment? If you have given yourself time, you should be able to try another PC if you run into problems. We know that anything could happen at any moment; internet dropping out, PC crashing, wireless not connecting the list goes on, so give yourself a break and some time to try out another computer – in university, in work or even your mate’s PC.

It is often the case that tutors will allow multiple submissions to an online drop-box, so you may be able to use this to your advantage. Check with your tutor and if this is the case, try submitting your work, even if not quite finished yet, to the drop-box a few days before the deadline just so you’re up to speed with the process before your final submission. Waiting until 1 minute before the deadline isn’t the time to start figuring out how everything works!

Final Submission

3. It may come to the time of doing your ‘final’ submission but if you have submitted an earlier version to Turnitin you will find that when you submit everything looks the same…for at least 24 hours. You will have to wait until the next day to see your new originality report and the preview of your updated document – another good reason to be organised and get your work in early!

Remember at the second stage of submitting to Turnitin you can check what you are about to submit just to be certain you’ve attached the right file.

Technical Difficulties

4. Have you ever encountered a Learning Edge or Turnitin issue during submission? If you think this issue could be system related, we do have preferred Twitter feeds for you to follow that will highlight any known issues:

@EdgeHillVLE provides scheduled Learning Edge maintenance alerts and up to date system notices around different technologies used within the VLE such as Turnitin.

@Turnitinstatus is the official feed for Turnitin system status, you may find that Learning Edge is fine but Turnitin is unavailable. Checking this feed will help you diagnose an issue around Turnitin submissions.

Online Support:

If you have a more general issue around the online submission process and Learning Edge a good starting point would be to consult the Ask Us service and see if your question can be answered there. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can simply type in your question and we will discuss it with you in real time using our live chat facility.

Face to Face Support:

If you would like to drop-in and speak to one of the Academic Support team face to face, please visit the Ask desk (1st floor University Library, Ormskirk) or the help desks at Aintree LIRC and Manchester libraries.

Dissertations

A dissertation differs from an essay at undergraduate level in that it will focus on a subject that you choose for yourself. However, while original thinking may be expected, it is unlikely that your dissertation will be based on a completely new topic. You are more likely to take an original perspective on an existing topic. Read through all module guidelines carefully and start thinking early about your choices for possible themes or topics. Importantly, the topic you choose should be something which you find interesting!

Here you will find a range of resources to help you with planning and writing your dissertation, however you should also discuss your ideas with your tutor who will be able to give you further advice.

Online Toolkit:

Launch our online interactive learning package for Dissertations.

Guides:

Face to Face Support:

If you would like to drop-in and speak to one of the Academic Support team face to face, please visit the Ask desk (1st floor University Library, Ormskirk) or the help desks at Aintree LIRC and Manchester libraries.

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