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Skills Guides: Workshops at Library

Workshops at Library logo with students viewing documents

Workshops at Library sessions are designed to support Essex students and researchers in their studies and future careers. They are offered as part of the Academic Skills  programme available to current Essex students via CareerHub . (Workshops for PGRs and Early Career Researchers can be found on our Newcomers   page.)

Workshops at Library are recommended for undergraduates and new starters, but they are also suitable for all members of the University of Essex; whether you're a new student, new to Essex, doing post-graduate research, or member of staff that is interested in what the Library offers. This page gives an overview of the workshops offered regularly each term that cover the basics like finding information and developing a search strategy, checking sources, managing information, and publishing tips.

View upcoming workshops


Workshops at Library Overview

Workshops can be attended in any order and no background knowledge is required to attend. To get the most out of these sessions, we recommend coming along to the core sessions listed below in bold.

 Finding and researching:

  • Introduction to the library
  • Literature search skills: finding sources
  • Google search skills
  • Finding news and media sources for assignments

 Checking:

  • Fact checking for assignments: social media
  • Fact checking for assignments: news media
  • Fact checking for assignments: academic sources

 Managing:

  • Introduction to referencing

 Sharing your work:

  • Current undergraduate students have the opportunity to publish their work open access in the Essex Student Journal.
  • Our Research Support guide provides support on publishing, online research profiles, and more. Click here to view upcoming workshops for Newcomers (Network for Early Career Essex Researchers).

Workshop Menu

 Overview

This 30 minute session provides an interactive introduction to the Library and the resources we offer. If you are unsure how to search for resources, this session is for you!

 Key areas covered

  • Navigating the Library website to search for information and support
  • Introduction to reading lists, subject guides, and referencing guidance
  • Using a physical Library and finding books on the shelves

 Duration

30 minutes

 Context

This session is recommended for all new starters at Essex, especially students in their first year of study. It will help you become familiar with the Library, and the services available to help you throughout your studies and research.

 Supporting Online Resources

  • Our Getting Started pages provide information on the Library building and the services offered.
  • 'Making the most of your Online Library' is an interactive tutorial aiming to familiarise students with the online Library. There is a version for undergraduates  and a version for postgraduates .
  • If you're based at Colchester Campus, we also have a have a self-guided tour   of the physical library space that can be completed online or in person at the Albert Sloman Library.

 Overview

This session is a practical introduction to advanced techniques that can be used when researching for an assignment, finding e-resources, as well as how to access material the Library doesn't have.

Key areas covered

  • Developing a search strategy
  • Making searches more efficient using advanced search techniques
  • Where to search

Duration

45 minutes

Context

This session is recommended for undergraduate students, as well as postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students. It is aimed at those who may need to undertake more advanced searches for assignments or research.

Supporting Online Resources

  • Our Search Skills guide  covers how to develop an effective search strategy, and the search techniques that can be used to improve searches and get better results. This guide also covers other important topics that will help students develop their search skills.
  • Our advanced search skills webinar introduces students to developing a search strategy and provides tips to help make searches more efficient. There is an alternative version for postgraduates which also talks about open access materials and saving searches.

 Overview

This session provides an introduction to how to use Google in a more advanced way, including specific tips and shortcuts.

Key areas covered

  • What Google actually searches
  • Advanced search techniques in Google and Google Scholar
  • Alternatives to Google

Duration

45 min

Context

This session is recommended for everyone who uses Google or Google Scholar for assignments. It is suitable for undergraduate students and postgraduate taught/research students.

Supporting Online Resources

  • Our Google Search Skills  tutorial gives students tips on conducting advanced searches using Google and Google Scholar, as well as highlighting some alternative search engines.
  • Our Search Skills guide  covers ways that students can get the most out of Google as a search engine. This guide also covers other important topics that will help students develop their search skills.

Our series of fact checking workshops cover social media, news media, and academic sources. Each session is 30 minutes long, and uses different examples to demonstrate the unique challenges presented across social media, news media, and academic environments.

 Overview

This session provides students with a "hands-on" introduction to evaluating resources for use in academic work.

Key areas covered

  • Why we need to evaluate resources 
  • Different types of sources and how they can be used
  • How to critically evaluate resources using the CRAAP test

Duration

30 minutes

Context

This session is recommended for first or second year undergraduate students.

Supporting Online Resources

  • Our Search Skills guide  covers evaluating information, as well as other important topics that will help students develop their search skills.
  • Our Evaluating Resources  tutorial is a great interactive introduction to this topic, where students can learn about the CRAAP test, avoiding predatory journals, and spotting fake news.

 Overview

This session introduces students to the principles of referencing for academic work through Lego and other "hands on" activities.

Key areas covered

  • What referencing is
  • Why referencing is important
  • How to construct references in the departmental style
  • Where to find support from the Library on referencing

Duration

45 minutes

Context

This session is recommended for undergraduate students.

Supporting Online Resources

  • Our referencing pages  provides students with general guidance on referencing, and highlight resources for more information on their departmental style.
  • Our online referencing tutorial  is a great, interactive introduction to referencing which gives the opportunity for students to practice creating referencing.
  • For law students, we have a series of short videos introducing the general principles of OSCOLA.

 Overview

News & media sources can be incredibly useful across many areas of the social sciences & humanities, whether for current or historical research topics. This session will share with some of the key resources available and how they might be relevant to your students.

Key areas covered

  • Importance of news and media
  • Contemporary and historical sources
  • Social media
  • Data

Duration

50 minutes

Context

This session is aimed at students on modules involving study of news and media, or undertaking research requiring knowledge of news and media sources. It can be adapted for undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Supporting Online Resources

  • Our Subject Guides provide subject specific guidance, highlighting key resources for each discipline. Where news and media resources are relevant to the discipline, these are highlighted in the subject guide. Examples can be seen in the Sociology, Politics and History subject guides.

 Overview

This session provides an introduction to special collections and archives, and how they may be useful in an academic context. We can provide tailored sessions, so please do contact us with your requirements and we will do our best to accommodate them!

Key areas covered

  • What are special collections
  • Special collections at the Albert Sloman Library
  • Finding special collections and archives elsewhere

Duration

50 minutes

Context

This session is recommended for any level of study.

Supporting Online Resources

  • Our Art and Special Collections pages provide an overview of the collections that we have here at the Albert Sloman Library.
  • We have a short video which introduces using primary source materials and special collections in research.