The Jumpstart guide links you to the most important information available on the Library website. This guide will introduce you to our services, resources, the assignment writing process and help you with your referencing. There are three tabs in this guide, with each tab dedicated to a different part of the assignment writing process.
Jump Start @ UWS Library
Introduction to UWS Library services and resources
Approaches to research for assessment tasks
Important information about referencing
Search the Catalogue, Databases, Journals & Ebooks
Stuff to know
Tutorial Central Access both general and subject specific online library tutorials.
Citing Resources Referencing instructions and examples of all of the UWS supported styles.
RefWorks Use RefWorks to create and copy formatted citations into your assignments as you write!
Subject guides Not sure which database/journal to use? The Library Subject Guides will help you decide.
Requesting an item Need a book from a different UWS campus? See a short video about requesting.
My Library Check your loans, penalty fees and renew items.
Consider the following when starting your research:
Which resources will provide the information needed i.e reference books, text books, journal articles, information from the Internet?
What types of resources will your tutor/lecturer expect you to use?
How will you keep track of your references? Do you know about RefWorks?
1. Choose topic, types of resources and key concepts
The topic you choose may depend on the resources available about that topic.
Think about the types of resources that could give you the information you need. If you have an essay about a current event in relation to a theory, then you will probably need resources such as text books, topic-specific books, newspaper articles and journal articles.
Decide on the two or three main concepts within the question. Use these concepts to search the library collection.
NOTE: Beware of choosing concepts that are too broad or too narrow as this can make it difficult to address the topic. See the video on the Introduction page of this guide.
Be careful when searching the Web as documents or information can be published by anyone with or without authority on the subject. It is important to critically evaluate all information found on the Internet. Consider the following:
Who wrote it?
Has the author(s) used references and do these appear scholarly?
Is the information up to date?
Could the source have a biased point of view? Who sponsors it?
If you need Internet sources try:
Education, government or organisation websites i.e. often have URLs ending in .edu.au, .gov.au,or .org
How about Wikipedia? Remember that the authors may or may not be subject specialists and may or may not have used scholarly resources in writing Wikipedia articles.
4. Write up your assignment
What format is required i.e. business report, essay, etc? See the Language and Learning Links section of the Online Study Resources page for information about formats.
Think critically about your topic to develop your argument or discussion. See the section called Critical Thinking at the Online Study Resources page.
Acknowledge the sources you use throughout your writing and avoid plagiarism by using the proper referencing style (check with your lecturer if you are unsure which one to use). Try using tools such as RefWorks. See the Jump Start page "Writing and Referencing" for more information.
3. Writing and Referencing
The UWS Online Study Resources page provides a range of resources to assist with writing your assessment tasks.
Plagiarism is to use others' ideas or words as your own without appropriate acknowledgement. Plagiarism is a serious academic offence and can result in disciplinary action. Please see the University of Western Sydney Calendar section, "Misconduct - Student Academic Misconduct Policy", for basic definitions and University policies relating to intellectual honesty, cheating and plagiarism.
Avoid plagiarsm by learning about and correctly using the appropriate referencing style for each unit that you study.
Turnitin from iParadigms is an online, web-based text-matching software that identifies and reports on similarities between documents and is widely utilised as a tool to improve academic writing skills i.e avoiding plagiarism.
Please remember that while reports for first submissions through Turnitin are generated quickly, reports for subsequent submissions may take up to 24 hours to be generated so it's best to give yourself plenty of time to make amendments.
Turnitin is available only through vUWS unit pages where the unit coordinator has set up a Turnitin assignment link. If you are unsure if you need to submit your assignment through Turnitin please consult your unit outline, lecturer or unit coordinator.