Essay Writing Checklist

1. Finding items in the Library

Make sure you know how to use Goldsmiths library catalogue to find the  resources you need for your essay. You can always ask a librarian at the  library enquiry desk if you need help or check our VLE page,  Library@learn.gold, for links to interactive resources such as ‘Deadline at  Dawn’, a detective themed Library guide.

2. Library Subject Guides

Have a look at the subject guides on the library web pages. There are subject guides for each academic department or programme which list useful online
databases and journals you can use for your research.

3. Subject Librarians

If you need extra help finding information and researching your essay topic you can make an appointment with your subject librarian. Each department has one. There may also be a scheduled teaching session run by your subject librarian. Find out who to contact on the subject guide pages.

4. Other Libraries

Make sure you know which other libraries you are able to use, in case you need specialised material we don’t hold at Goldsmiths. All Goldsmiths students can join Senate House Library, the main University of London Library. You can also ask for a SCONUL card at the Library enquiry desk. This allows you to use other academic libraries who participate in the scheme. For more info see our pages on Using Other Libraries.

5. Help with Academic Writing

Check your course handbook for advice from your department. For extra help with academic writing skills, such as structuring and planning your essay, you can go to The Centre for English Language and Academic Writing (CELAW).  CELAW hold drop in sessions every Thursday 4-5pm (RHB307) and Friday  2-3pm (RHB353). There are useful online writing guides on CELAW’s learn.gold pages. The Library also stocks books on academic writing. Ask at the enquiry  desk for details or search the catalogue.

6. Referencing and Citations

Check whether your department have a recommended referencing style. There are lots of different systems to choose from, e.g. Harvard, APA for Psychology, MLA….  For online style guides use the ‘Research Skills and Referencing Link’ on the Library VLE, Library@learn.gold. Books on referencing are at the shelf number 029.6. Cite Them Right by Richard Pears and Graham Shields is particularly clear and easy to use.

7. Saving your work

Remember to save and back up your work regularly in a compatible format (not .docx). Work saved on your desktop could be lost if the computer crashes. If you are using a USB stick write your name on it. Lost USB sticks are often handed in at the Library helpdesk. Check your course handbook for formatting requirements such as line spacing, printing single or double sided.

8. Printing and Binding your essay

Finally, you can print and bind your essay in the library but remember it could be very busy around hand in time so make sure you leave plenty of time. For more details see the IT Services printing pages.

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