You may be wondering what the new Academic Writing team (Judith Elkin, Cheryl Cliffe and myself) are doing over the summer? One of our objectives is to dive into the Library’s vast collection of grammar books, which includes Harrison et al (2012) Improve your Grammar (found at 425 har on the 1st floor). Harrison et al (2012) naturally covers speech, sentence clauses, and everything you would expect from a grammar book but what I found most helpful was commonly misused words (pp. 112-113) and the appropriate selection of phrasal verbs in writing more academically (pp. 110-111), as well as Palgrave’s effective layout and subtle use of colours to highlight themes. This opening statement about practical accessibility does justice to our extensive range of Palgrave Study Skills books (49 titles!) held in the Library:
“‘Improve Your Grammar’ is a study and practice book for students attending or planning to attend a UK university. It concentrates on the specific areas of grammar and coherence where students frequently make mistakes, and deal with these in a straightforward, accessible way” (Harrison et al, 2012, 1).
That said, French novelist and linguistic conjurer Gustav Flaubert sparked a revolutionary approach in grammatical use by writing sensuously about what he felt, what he imagined, rather than adhere to strict rules that he considered claustrophobic and detrimental to his art; an unorthodox approach praised by fellow great novelist Proust when he noted Flaubert’s grammar elicited a beauty in itself. Perhaps that is the answer? Once you feel comfortable with expressing yourself grammatically then you have attained the ultimate goal and have to voyage beyond conventions…
Harrison, M., Jakeman, V. & Paterson, K. (2012). Improve Your Grammar. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
#YourLibrary invites you to a discussion about the Library’s eating and drinking policy on Thursday 28th May, 4pm, The Library, Ground Floor 1.5. This is an open meeting for all Library users, which of course includes staff and students, and is your chance to discuss and influence current policy.
After earlier recommending Elif Varol’s fabulous problem-solving blog called Thought Cloud I thought it would be a good idea to circulate one of her most popular posts about email problems in Outlook which received several encouraging comments.
Whenever we run one of our Library workshops on the referencing software Refworks we always need to remember to answer the ubiquitous question ‘How do I insert page numbers within Refworks?’. Fortunately, this is precisely what Elif Varol (Electronic Resources Library Assistant) has done as part of our Just Ask facility where students ask any question to the Library team – for the answer see below for a series of step-by-step screenshots. Also, why not check out Elif’s informative Thought Cloud blog at: http://elif.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/.
The University of Lincoln’s highly recommended Institutional Repository is our permanent deposit of research outputs which can be browsed or searched through this website or through searching the internet. Wherever possible, repository content is freely available for download and use according to our Copyright and Use Notice. The Lincoln Business School holds some 885 articles (browse by University structure > College of Social Sciences > Lincoln Business School) whose impressive archive stretches back to 1989. Alternatively you can browse by year, subject or creator (via an a-z of surnames). For instance, Geeta Lakshmi currently has 7 articles with more in the pipeline, and Juliana Siwale has 8 articles in the Repository as members of the Business School.
As Martin and I are splitting our subject responsibilities on 1st June this year I have published six new subject guides which cover my areas. These guides will shortly be added to the a-z list via http://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/ .
(new) Academic Subject Librarian for Accountancy & Finance, Advertising and Marketing, Economics, Events management, International Business, Tourism
Whilst looking forward to a new Economics course starting this September I found last night’s Radio 4 programme called Start the Week which discussed inequality worth listening to. During the first half of the programme broadcaster and journalist Andrew Marr chairs an interesting debate with PM David Cameron’s former senior adviser, Steve Hilton, who believes our governments and institutions are too big, and argues for a more human-focused society. The US economist Joseph Stiglitz tackles rising inequality in the West and blames the unjust and misguided priorities of neoliberalism. Amongst the topics in the programme discussed includes whether ‘trickle down economics’ actually works, the opaque accountability of multinationals, the upcoming EU referendum and whether Scotland continues to be a member of the United Kingdom. The programme is found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05v7tbr .
If you are registered for our free Inter Library Loan service it is always recommended that you update your personal details just to make sure the Library knows your existing address, current email address, etc. Users can do this by logging into Inter-library loans http://library.lincoln.ac.uk/home/resources/inter-library-loans/ choosing the ‘Edit Personal Details’ in the left hand menu, updating their address and clicking update. This is especially important if a user is requesting a photocopy journal article.
Users can also track and view recent/current requests by choosing ‘View your Requests’ and using the drop down menus.
Perhaps the most frequently asked question is how many requests you can submit per academic year:
Although this message was originally posted in March this year, I thought it was important to re-announce that from 1st June 2015 subject support for the Business School will be split along the following lines:
Daren will support…Accountancy and Finance, Advertising and Marketing, Economics, Events Management, International Business, Languages, Tourism, Lincoln College.
Martin will support…Business, Business & Management, Management, MBA, Professional Development, North Lindsey College .
Our (amicable) separation is not divorce though, as both Daren and Martin will continue to work closely together as we remain part-time and unable to cover the week individually. A range of libguides will shortly be published to support these various subjects.
During this season of high octane exam stress students are considering how to argue critically and structure a logical argument. One of the best blogs (and certainly one of my favourites) to investigate with this in mind is Maria Popova’s brilliant Brain Pickings which covers book reviews and discusses philosophical ideas (and a blog one can only aspire to). You can also follow Maria on @brainpicker on Twitter or her enlightening blog on @brainpickings. In How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently post Dennett suggests how to compose a successful critical commentary:
- You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way”.
- You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
- You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
- Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
Moreover, Daniel also has suggested seven famous tools for thinking available at: http://schoolofthinking.org/2013/06/daniel-dennetts-seven-tools-for-thinking/ which include use your mistakes, respect your opponent, don’t waste your time on rubbish and Employ Occam’s Razor (you’ll have to select the link for an explanation better than I could ever attempt)…
Daniel, critically voyaging into consciousness
Twitter is amazing facility where you can keep up to date with the latest news about anything you’re interested in (without saying of course, but I had to start somewhere). But do you know that you can follow the Library @GCWLibrary on Twitter to catch up with our news? Real-time. Recent posts cover the More Books service, pertinent exam support, 24 hr opening which lasts until 15th May, and the #JustAsk enquiry service. There’s also a Twitter feed on this blog too.
At this time many students at Lincoln, and without doubt elsewhere, are strenuously revising for exams and submitting voluminous dissertations. It might be useful to peruse what the HE sector at large offers in terms of advice and support during this hectic period. Jorum qualifies as the UK’s largest repository for discovering and sharing Open Educational Resources for HE, FE and Skills. After browsing the substantial archive (a search for exam skills elicits 47 results, whilst a search for critical thinking receives 225 results), I chose Robert Falmer’s (from the University of Northampton) Critical Thinking: Exploring Flaws and Weaknesses in Arguments Xertes video from last year available through the Creative Commons licence. Mostly suitable for first year undergraduate students, Robert explains the flaws and weaknesses in arguments within a critical thinking context by presenting three sets of three flawed arguments, with questions and feedback for each argument.
I find it always worth looking or…(let’s be honest) rather investigate what materials are being produced in the Higher Education sector, and particularly those made by university teams (in this case ‘My Library Essentials Team’) who win awards for their valuable work. Last year, the University of Manchester won the prestigious Blackboard Catalyst Award for their amazing portfolio of study skills articulate videos, amassing some seventeen options embedded on their webpage ranging from booking a workshop to advice on writing and revising for exams. You can browse or search their workshops and online resources, and filter your results by selecting or deselecting the tags. As you can see below I’ve chosen their ‘Being Critical: Thinking, reading and writing critically’ video which can also be downloaded as a pdf, as well as Better safe than sorry: proofreading your work, and Down to Business: finding business information…
Being critical: thinking, reading and writing critically
This resource explores how to be critical, highlighting practical strategies you can use in your academic reading and writing that will enable you to demonstrate critical analysis in your assignments.
Better safe than sorry: proofreading your work
This resource explores three vital elements to review when proofreading your work – flow, clarity and accuracy – and gives you a chance to learn about and apply some techniques to ensure that you check your work properly.
- Duration: 15 minutes
- Format: Online tutorial
and then this….
Down to business: finding business information
This set of resources introduces a number of powerful research tools you can use to get a range of business information. It includes practical demonstrations of the Fame (company information), Passport (market research) and Factiva (trade and industry news) databases.
- Duration: 15 minutes (each)
- Format: Video
An interesting book caught my eye this week written about the industry of ghost tourism which is neatly defined as ‘any form of leisure or travel that involves encounters with or the pursuit of knowledge of the ghostly or haunted’ (Hanks, 2015: 13). Michele Hanks’ Haunted Heritage is located at 306.4819 han on the first floor and covers the subject of commercial and non-profit ghost walks. So-called dark tourism has really taken off in recent years, with several students over the past few years writing dissertations about the topic (even Lincoln offers its own ghost walk). I have no doubt that a few tourism and events students will find this book interesting. Naturally there is caution surrounding this area, particularly in academic circles, as Hanks (2015, 177) suggests that there is no certainty that a ‘ghost haunts a particular site’ and ‘it is always a matter of belief, speculation, or legend’. Not known to be staunch believer himself ( il n’y a pas de hors-texte, “there is no outside-text”), French Algerian philosopher Jacques Derrida (1994, 11 cited in Hanks, 2015) reiterated this position when he famously outlined academic convention after observing that:
‘there has never been a scholar who really, and as a scholar, deals with ghosts. A traditional scholar does not believe in ghosts – nor in all that could be called the critical space of spectrality. There has never been a scholar who, as such, does not believe in the sharp distinction between the real and unreal, the actual and the inactual, the living and the non-living, being and non-being’.
Even if one does not believe in ghosts, it is unquestionable that a thriving ghost tourism industry is alive and well!
In addition to my earlier post about EthOs, the British Library’s digitised theses service where over 140,000 theses are available for download, the British Library launched a prestigious #ShareMyThesis competition where competitors challenged each other on Twitter to inventively summarise their thesis in 140 characters and write a 600 word summary. The top prize went to Sarah Wiseman, who now works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University College London and Open University for the passionate tweet #ShareMyThesis Typing numbers wrongly in hospitals can kill people. Understanding why it happens can help design better systems and stop it! Sarah’s outstanding thesis is available here…yet another reason why EthOs is worth exploring, which is found under our database section (library.lincoln.ac.uk > resources > databases > E > EthOs…)
Sarah Wiseman, winner of #Sharemythesis competition.