Helen writes: reading to write

In the third of an occasional series, Writing Skills Advisor Helen Williams talks about how reading previous theses can contribute to your writing practice.

If you saw last month’s posts about perseverance and The Conversation, you’ll have picked up on the fact that November was #AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month) – an annual, month-long, communal attempt by academics at all career stages to focus on their writing. In thinking about what can be most helpful in both facilitating and improving writing however, I keep coming back to how important reading is as part of this process.

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot." Stephen King

Continue reading “Helen writes: reading to write”

Avoid a referencing nightmare

The University of Birmingham has extended their licence agreement for EndNote, so this post about using reference management software from Lynne Harris, Research Skills Advisor, will be equally useful for new and continuing postgraduate researchers alike.

Why do I need to use referencing software?

Keeping an accurate record of all the material you have consulted in the course of your research is essential and can help you to avoid plagiarism.  Referencing software is an excellent way to manage your research literature.  EndNote x9 logoEndNote is the referencing software recommended to researchers as it is suitable for most subject disciplines, has functionality that is especially useful to researchers, and is fully supported by the University.  Other software is available (e.g. Mendeley) so find the option that works best for you.

When can I get help with referencing?

Act now!  Continue reading “Avoid a referencing nightmare”

To EndNote or not to EndNote?

In this post, Sue Stevens from Library Services’ Research Skills Team shares her experience on reference management software, and EndNote in particular.

Citing the sources you have used in a piece of research is obviously very important, but the task of citing and referencing correctly can be an onerous task. x8_mainapp_rgb-largeOver the years I have supported many students, undergraduates and postgraduates, with referencing and the use of referencing software.  I’ve also observed a range of different reactions when I introduce students to the wonders of referencing software, ranging from fear and scepticism to joy and ecstasy!   So what can referencing software do for you, and in particular, what can EndNote offer a researcher?  Continue reading “To EndNote or not to EndNote?”