In this post we will look at the three main steps in carrying out your search for academic literature as well as where to search and how you can improve the quality of your results.

Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

Contents

Introduction

There are three steps involved in planning your search:

  1. Identify concepts and search terms.
  2. Search relevant databases for your topic/subject.
  3. Review relevant databases for your subject.

In this post we will look at each of these steps in more detail.

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Identifying concepts and search terms

You may already have been given your assignment title or question, but you still need to ensure that you fully understand it, this includes:

  • understanding all of the terms in your question
  • knowing what depth…

In this post we will explore pre-reading strategies to help you get the most from your reading.

woman sat on a window sill reading
woman sat on a window sill reading
Photo by Yuri Efremov on Unsplash

Contents

Introduction

Academic reading is fundamental to studying at University. In this post we will guide you through what to consider before you commence reading so that you can be more selective and make your reading purposeful. We will also share some strategies that will help you by showing you how to actively engage with texts.

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Identify your reading goal

Recognising what you are reading and why you are reading it is key to giving your academic reading the focus that it needs…


In this post we will look at what journal articles are and how you can find relevant journals for your area of research.

Person sitting on a chair with books and paper all around them
Person sitting on a chair with books and paper all around them
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

Contents

Introduction

A journal is similar to a magazine in that it’s a collection of articles which can be published at regular intervals. The articles in a journal are considered high quality academic sources of information.

Unlike a book which once published can be out of date quite quickly, a journal article can be the most recently published research and significantly it is written by the experts in a particular field. …


In this post you will reflect on your understanding of what feedback is and how it can be useful.

Photo of man doing butterfly stroke in swimming lane
Photo of man doing butterfly stroke in swimming lane
Photo by Gentrit Sylejmani on Unsplash

Contents

Introduction

Academic feedback is similar to any other kind of feedback that you might have seen or experienced being delivered. Consider an athlete training for the Olympic Games.

Over a period of years they prepare for the Games to be a true test of their athletic ability. During their training they will have a coach who is responsible for guiding them and advising them on the approach that they take to practising and preparing over time. The…


In this post University of Manchester staff explain how they provide feedback and outline the different kinds of feedback that you might encounter.

Two people sitting at a table talking
Two people sitting at a table talking
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Contents

Introduction

You will receive feedback at different times and in different forms throughout your time at university. It is important to seek out as many opportunities as possible to generate and gain feedback.

In this post we will look at different strategies lecturers may use to give feedback on your work. But before you find out what they said lets reflect on the feedback you have received so far whilst in education.

Consider all the types of…


In this post you will reflect on how to prioritise your feedback to create a personalised action plan.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Contents

Introduction

The final stage in making the most of your feedback is setting a plan of action for yourself.

To create a plan of action you need to actively engage with your feedback and decide what to do with your feedback. All types of feedback you receive can be fed forward to your next assignment or piece of work.

In this section we will take you through the main steps of prioritising and actioning your feedback.

The main…


In this post you will develop your understanding of marking criteria and how it relates to feedback. We will also look at how you can use marking criteria to analyse your feedback.

Person writing on a piece of paper
Person writing on a piece of paper
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Contents

Introduction

Marking criteria are often used by lecturers and tutors when marking work. They help to keep marking as consistent, fair and rigorous as possible by clearly defining expectations. They show what you need to do to achieve a 2:2, 2:1 or 1st, and the feedback you receive will be based on how closely you have met the expectations outlined in your marking criteria in your work.

However, marking criteria are…


A series of resources to help you understand and use your academic feedback to improve your work.

the word feedback written on a brick wall with two hands pointing at it
the word feedback written on a brick wall with two hands pointing at it
Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Introduction

Welcome to the My Learning Essentials resource on ‘Making the most of academic feedback’.

Throughout your academic career you will receive a considerable amount of feedback from your tutors and markers. The feedback you receive is one of the most important interactions you will have not only with your tutor, but also with your learning.

We have put together a series of posts linked below to help you:

  • Understand what feedback is and what it’s intended purpose is.
  • The best ways of analysing feedback to make it useful to you.
  • We will also introduce you to strategies you can use…


In this post we will introduce you to what special collections are, their importance, and how we can use critical analysis to get the most from them

Woman examining old photography using magnifying glass
Woman examining old photography using magnifying glass
Analysing photograph from John Ryland’s Research Institute and Library special collections.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is critical analysis?
  3. Critical analysis of special collections
  4. Examining items from our collection
  5. Comparing different sources
  6. Summary

Introduction

Using primary sources and special collections in your work can help you gain a better understanding of your research area. It will help you to identify gaps in existing research and look at your topic from alternative viewpoints, meaning you produce a well researched assignment.

In this post we will look at how to think critically when using Special Collections items so you can analyse sources in their appropriate context. …


In this podcast and activity you will learn how to question your sources.

Planner open on a desk with a hand of a person holding a pen, as if they are about to write something down.
Planner open on a desk with a hand of a person holding a pen, as if they are about to write something down.
Photo by Sarah Shaffer on Unsplash

Introduction

Evaluating your sources is all about asking questions. Listen to this podcast on evaluating your sources. There is an activity at the end which will give you an opportunity to add your own questions to the discussion board and read and comment on the questions others have posed.

Transcript

Hi, I’m Michael, a Teaching and Learning Librarian at the University of Manchester Library. In this podcast I’ll be talking about evaluating your sources.

As a librarian I like to think that there’s no such thing as a bad source: it’s what you do with it that matters! I wouldn’t use…

My Learning Essentials

MLE Manchester

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