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Skills at Library: 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.

If you want the latest information about our workshops delivered straight to your inbox, you can sign up to our monthly Workshops At Library Newsletter here.

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 (30 minutes)
  • Literature search skills: finding sources (45 minutes)
  • Google search skills (45 minutes)
  • Finding news and media sources for assignments (1 hour)

 Checking Sources:

  • Checking sources for assignments (covers academic, news media, and social media sources - 45 minutes)
  • Fact checking for assignments: social media (30 minutes)
  • Fact checking for assignments: news media (30 minutes)
  • Fact checking for assignments: academic sources (30 minutes)

 Managing Information:

  • Introduction to referencing (45 minutes)

 Digital Skills:

  • Making the most of your digital readings (45 minutes)

 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).

If you want the latest information about our workshops delivered straight to your inbox, you can sign up to our monthly Workshops At Library Newsletter here.

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.
  • 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.

 Overview

The quality of your dissertation or assignment is directly related to the quality of the sources you use, so knowing how to fact check and evaluate is important to your success at University, as well as future jobs. This workshop covers how to avoid 'fake' academic journals and investigate academic, news media, and social media sources using the SIFT method.

 Key areas covered

  • Advantages of using academic sources in assignments​
  • How to spot predatory journals or fake academic publications​
  • Using the SIFT fact checking method​
  • Digital skills for verifying information found via academic, news media, and social media sources 
  • Where to look for reliable sources

 Duration

45 minutes

 Context

Understanding how to locate and choose appropriate information sources for academic work is essential for academic success. This session is recommended for first or second year undergraduate students, but can be useful for anyone interested in developing critical thinking and evaluating skills.

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.

This session can also be offered as a series of three fact-checking workshops which take a more in-depth look at 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 45 minute session provides an interactive introduction to the key digital reading platforms available through the Library. Learn how to get the most out of your online readings found on your reading list or when searching the Library. We'll cover tips and digital skills to help you screen-read efficiently, and highlight additional tools and resources you can use to improve your online reading experience.

 Key areas covered

  • Using digital reading platforms
  • Strategies for efficient reading
  • Digital skills for screen-reading
  • Using accessibility features
  • Additional resources and support

 Duration

45 minutes

 Context

This session is recommended for undergraduate students, as well as postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students who would like to build confidence using digital reading platforms. It is aimed at those who will use digital readings for coursework (ie ‘essential’ readings on reading lists) or research.

 Supporting Online Resources

 Overview

How to reference properly is something that causes students a lot of stress – but it doesn’t need to be difficult. This session will introduce you to referencing and why it is important when writing your assignments. You will also learn what to reference, how to construct your references, and where to go for help and support.

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

This session will cover how to search Google and Google Scholar effectively. You will discover how to find high quality academic material through the use of advanced search techniques.

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.

 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 research.

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.

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.

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Except where otherwise noted, this work by University of Essex Library and Cultural Services is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.