Just a short video wishing all the students from the Business School, and everyone else, good luck and every success in their exams.
Month: May 2012
Chat to us on Meebo
Meebo Messenger is a social messaging web-based platform that allows us, the Business Librarians, to answer queries in a more informal way and to extend our interaction with users. If you would like to use this facility then please be assured that correspondence is not seen by anyone else. To everyone else, the screen will appear clear of any text.
If we are logged onto Meebo it will say ‘Business Librarian is online’. Alternatively, if we are out of the office for whatever reason, Meebo will say ‘Business Librarian is offline’.
To find out more about Meebo and how it can be used with other applications like Facebook, please see Pierce Jason Jonota’s two-minute screencast video available on YouTube:
RefWorks – importing records from the UoL library catalogue
Further to enquiries about getting the RefWorks catalogue search working again, our esteemed colleague Elif Varol has written an excellent step-by-step guide, with screenshots, on using the catalogue search.
There’s more information on the Thought Cloud blog: http://elif.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/tag/refworks/
If you would like help with Refworks please email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help. It’s easier than you may think!
Book of the Month: Stella Cottrell’s Critical Thinking Skills (2005)
Everyone’s a critic now, allegedly, but developing an academic critique is a different skill, which is why I have chosen Stella Cottrell’s (2005) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument as May’s fabled Book of the Month. Many of us believe that we possess relevant critical skills, without analysing them. I believe that Stella Cottrell ‘s practical, accessible approach unlocks the natural processes that lead to such intellectual development, which is why her books prove so popular within universities. Barely a library workshop is planned without referring to her work (although I cannot empirically support such a claim, of course!). By reading this book your critical thinking skills should develop, and the more you read, the more these faculties will grow.
This is not just a work on the processes of critical thinking, but it also encourages you to think critically. And it’s so easy! Such as…usefully including reflections such as emotional self-management over controversial subjects, personal influences and challenging opinion: ‘For me, the things I find most difficult about challenging the opinions of other people are….’ (Cottrell, 2005: 6). There are also reflections from lecturers about their approaches to critical thinking, after reading and adopting a step-by-step critical thinking approach: ‘I then then create my own position, and check my own point of view is convincing…could I support it if I was challenged?’ (Cottrell, 2005: 7).
Cottrell (2005) considers critical thinking as a logical process, constructing an argument and line of reasoning, reasoning and associated rational thought, analysing academic argument, sourcing reliable evidence, developing understanding, weighing strengths and weaknesses, deciding upon the objectivity of non-dualism of grey areas; acknowledging that arguments may not be right or wrong. The paradoxical frustration and creativity of realising, like philosophical debate, that there are only questions, only interim conclusions, atop further questions. This is the lifeblood of academic study. Nothing concrete, only shifting paradigms.
Cottrell (2005) prompts the reader to consider various styles of writing to deliver a message and critiques passages through multiple-choice answers to assess your thinking skills; one method employed to identify the skills of comparison, sequence, categorising, following directions, close reading and recognising similarities. Through reading short (and interesting) passages we are required to identify arguments through reason, understanding messages, implicit and explicit arguments and assumptions. By fathoming causal links, correlations and false correlations, and by identifying flaws in an argument like a text called The Great Chain of Being about the power of The Enlightenment to challenge old ideas, we recognise the courage to raise alternative ideas, challenge personal barriers such as criticising academic research, and think sequentially to construct a logical framework of debate and discussion.
Located at 370.152 cot on the 1st floor of the GCW, there are several copies available of Stella Cottrell’s Critical Thinking Skills (2005) waiting to be borrowed and digested.