Further to last week’s exuberant announcement that we have added the Nexis database to our range of databases, I have added it to my libguides:
Do you really need all the information relayed in a lecture? Of course not, but how do you determine what is relevant and what is going to crowd out any relevant information? What gems were overlooked as a result of poor note-taking? Have you heard of active note-taking? No, neither have I…until today. But it makes perfect sense.
Apparently active learning helps you to prize meaning from what you learn whilst inferior passive learning is ‘allowing yourself to be an empty vessel into which knowledge is poured with no way of organising or making meaning from it’ (University of Reading, 2016). A mess in other words. Passive learning means you may forget what you’ve been taught, and you’ll be re-reading your notes while you’re writing assignments, and repeating the unenviable process when the exam period looms. Lectures might simply be floating over your head.
Passive note-taking includes:
- underlining words
- cutting and pasting from online documents
- trying to write everything you hear in a lecture
- copying slides from the screen
- copying lots of direct quotes rather than putting the ideas in your own words
- writing notes on everything you read, because you’re not sure what will turn out to be important
not evaluating or criticising the sources you use, but just accepting them as suitable evidence
Active note-taking means:
- thinking about what you want to get out of your research before you start
- looking for answers to any questions you may have about the topic
- looking for connections within the topic you’re studying, and to other topics on your course
- writing notes mostly in your own words – your own explanation of what something says or means
- recording direct quotes only when it’s important to have the exact words that someone else has used (i.e. when how they say something is as significant as what they say)
When I read this sound advice from the University of Reading (2016) I realise that when I was an enthusiastic undergraduate keen on absorbing as much information as possible, at most lectures I attended I comprehensively covered all the passive note-taking elements listed above. Knowing what I know now, the trick with writing essays and carrying out research is to be selective. It’s a brave step away from the security of hoarding dense notes, and adding everything to an assignment before the long adventure of redrafting. It’s not efficient to be a passive note-taker, and wastes a huge amount of time. With the amount of assignments that need to be submitted for an undergraduate degree, managing your time effectively increases your chances of submitting work on time and allows the requisite space for redrafting without the uncertainty of not knowing what was relevant from a pile of passively taken notes.
In this blog post I want to outline the process of conducting a literature review on a chosen topic, such as ‘buyer behaviour and ethical purchase intentions’. My main advice whilst carrying out this type of research is to be open-minded and explore ideas as though it’s the first time you have come across this topic.
Literature searching and the art of reviewing literature
- Allow yourself time to browse the library catalogue (library.lincoln.ac.uk > resources > Library catalogue…) http://catalogue.library.lincoln.ac.uk/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=
- Search for relevant material on your chosen topic.
- Search for ‘BA marketing’ for instance as this will bring up undergraduate dissertations. (282 titles matched)
- Search Find it at Lincoln on the Library webpage (on Find it at Lincoln you can ‘add to folder’ which makes it easier to collate your research, and send it via email then save on your student drive, memory stick, et al).
- Search the Advertising and Marketing Library subject guide: http://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/advertisingandmarketing for relevant databases like Warc.com and ABI Inform using keywords like ‘buyer behaviour and ethical purchase intentions’ (ABI Inform has some 7, 154 results).
- Identify key articles, conference papers, quality newspapers (check out the Lexis Library database), and interesting chapters relevant to your topic.
- I might amend my searches by adding ‘motivation’ or ‘actual’ to refine my research .
- Explore some ideas and focus your reading, BEFORE writing any draft (but be adaptable, open to change as your literature review may veer from its original course).
- Critically evaluate what you read; don’t take things at face value, look deeper. It is healthy to question everything but remember to be objective to form a balanced opinion.
- Look for ‘chains’ (they will make the structure easier) when you design the essay plan. How does one piece of research or set of ideas influence the next? Use a mind map or flow chart if necessary.
- Write brief notes about the development of the research over time
- Note the key 5-10 pieces of research that most influenced the subject. Briefly chart how each piece of research influenced others in the chain.
- Identify how your research will follow on from previous research. Will it add to knowledge about the topic or methods? Add this to your introduction.
(indebted to Stella Cottrell’s ever popular Study Skills Handbook, 2008). Making study easier. Incidentally, Stella’s now PVC for Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at the University of East London.
For a more detailed overview of a literature review I found it a pleasure to read the University of Leicester’s Student Learning Development webpage on Doing a Literature Review. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/literature-review which contains invaluable advice on structure, editing, remaining focused, amongst other gems. Reviewing literature can be overwhelming and it is a skill in knowing where the boundaries lay (i.e. what to leave in, what to leave out) and is a cause of many a student headache so it’s worth to remember the valuable advice from Rudestam and Newton (1992:49) when they said to ‘build an argument, not a library’.
Cottell, S. (2008). Study Skills Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Rudestam K. & Newton R. (1992). Surviving your dissertation. London:Sage.
Do you know that we have recently subscribed to Oxford University Press Journals (OUP) which is available through the Library homepage (library.lincoln.ac.uk > resources > databases > O > Oxford University Press Journals)? This presents a wonderful opportunity to browse the tabs Journals A-Z, and the Arts & Humanities, Law, Medicine & Health, Science & Mathematics, and most importantly for business, Social Sciences. The OUP is an integral part of Oxford University, which this marketing video smartly conveys:
Also, I could not resist from exploring World Literature and Roger Luckhurst from Birkbeck College discussing the readability of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which he surmises is one of the most entertaining novels ever written. What will you find in OUP?
There’s also a fascinating OUP blog piece entitled ‘A timeline of academic publishing at Oxford University Press‘ that illustrates the history of printing the written word in England from 1450. For the 42 journals we have access to as part of our subscription please select this link: http://atoz.ebsco.com/Titles/Provider/1710?lang=en&lang.menu=en&lang.subject=en&providerId=494&providerName=Oxford%20University%20Press&resourceType=all&resourceTypeName=allTitles
Now that we are well into the new academic year it’s a good time to send out the first review of More Books for the period of August to October.
More Books for Undergraduates was re-opened on 28th September 2015 and has already experienced its most popular period so far. In the period September-October 2015, we have received 142 requests from 86 Undergraduates. Of these, we ordered 123 in print and 19 in eBook format. Already this academic year, we have spent in the region of £4,800. This is a huge increase on last year’s spend at this time for 65 requests from 40 individual Undergraduates of just under £2,000. There are a lot more requests from a wider range of students rather than more requests by the same few students is a positive indication that the Service is becoming more effectively far-reaching.
More Books for Research
More Books for Research has continued steadily throughout the summer and into the new academic year. Since August 2015, we have received 112 requests from 48 Researchers, both students and staff. 100 of these were ordered in print and 12 in ebook format. We have spent in the region of £4,600 on our Researchers’ requests so far. This is compared to just under £2,000 which we spent on 58 requests for 21 Researchers for the same time period last year. October 2015 has been our busiest month yet with a spend of just over £7,000. This illustrates a much higher response to the service than ever before, which is obvious in the charts below:
August – October 2014 August – October 2015
As part of a series about how Business schools operate in the modern economy, The Financial Times site (library.lincoln.ac.uk > resources > databases > FT) publishes many interesting interviews. In this video, Pro-Vice Chancellor Maury Peiperl from the Cranfield School of Management talks about the need to create entrepreneurial space, with business schools working with owners of small businesses, how work meshes with the curriculum. He discusses his experience of executives and their ongoing ‘need to learn’, how blended learning supports those in business still able to study. It’s also worth checking out the MBA blog too for further insight.
Owing to student demand for a more flexible service, Martin and I are splitting the Wednesday morning drop-in service to one-hour slots from 10-11 every Wednesday and Thursday mornings (the original drop-in session was 9.30-11.30 on Wednesdays). They will still take place on the ground floor of the Business & Law building near the Book & Latte cafe, but with me leading the Wednesday session, and Martin the Thursday session.
Owing to student demand for greater flexibility around our drop-in sessions taking place at the Business School building, Martin and I will be delivering separate 1 hr sessions on the ground floor, opposite Starbucks (the Book & Latte) from 10-11am on Wednesday (Daren) and 10-11am on Thursday (Martin). Although we support different subjects we are keen to meet any student in the Business School with a library-related query such as researching the library databases, Harvard referencing and essay writing (such as essay planning, how considerate research relates to structuring and assignment, etc).
- New entry gates which will make access a lot easier;
- New improved thin client PCs with updated software and much better processing power so they can handle video at full screen;
- Twelve replacement Macs;
- Increased budget – additional £30k for Reading List books;
- More 24/7 opening – starting 5th October;
- A better organised and more up-to-date stock (thanks to extensive weeding and stock moves);
- Permanent display case on the Ground Floor – coming soon ‘Steampunks’;
- 2nd edition of the Harvard Referencing Handbook released;
- Online 3D Maps – currently under development;
- Better water fountain on the Ground Floor (+ possibility of water on upper floors too);
- Office 2016 (the mac version of 365) has already been rolled out to the Macs on the 1st floor;
- More ‘user friendly’ Eating and Drinking policy.
Courtesy of the on-screen recording software Camtasia, I’ve recorded a presentation with an embedded video which includes my overdubbed narration. This presentation will be rolled out during the Freshers’ Week in a few days’ time to various subjects I support.
for students: This is a reminder that resit week is taking place the week commencing Monday 3rd August. If you have a resit exam this will be taking place between Monday 3rd August and Friday 7th August. The date and time of the exam will be available on your timetable now. All resit coursework must be uploaded to Blackboard via turnitin by 23.59m on Monday 3rd August. Please note hard copies will not be accepted.
If you are submitting a languages resit assessment a hard copy must be handed in only. You do not need to submit via turnitin.
If you have any questions about resits please contact UGadminfirstname.lastname@example.org
What will happen to the Eurozone today? Be the first to find out using liveblogs and Twitter. To continually support students by following the latest trends in the financial world, the Business Librarian Blog is always keen to be aware of the latest business news. Using Twitter (our address is @) is great for receiving real-time news and developments. It’s how many journalists keep up to date afterall. But why not follow a blog too? For those studying the dramatic Eurozone crisis following a live blog is one of the best ways to keep up to date in a 24/7 digital culture; especially today when Greece is entering such a critical phase in its history. My favourite is the Guardian’s liveblog which sends minute-by-minute updates.