Don't forget that one of the best ways to source relevant material for your essay is to ‘snowball’ your reading: i.e.
to use the footnotes and bibliographies of the books you already have to extend your reading list on a subject.
Your reading lists will already include many of the most important writers; by checking their bibliographies and works cited in those articles, you will have access to the most up-to-date writing on the topic.
Your search for relevant information for your essay will undoubtedly generate a mass of material and so it is essential that you develop concise note taking skills.
When you come to analyse what you have found, take great care not to simply summarise the source material (i.e.
Brown says that "MMR is absolutely safe and there is no evidence to the contrary" whereas Smith says that MMR is an "untested and dangerous vaccination".An excellent guide to notetaking for essays can be found online here: Notetaking Effectively There are two main methods of referencing articles in published journal and book publications.These are known as the Harvard (author-date) and Vancouver (author-number) reference systems.Most word processors have spelling and grammar checkers and so there is no excuse for poor spelling, grammar and punctuation!We have produced the following basic guides which cover some common problems that students experience with punctuation when writing essays: However, if you would like a free lesson in English grammar, try the Grammar Guide Online at Grammar Station - this even has a grammar checker so that you can verify sentences of up to 25 words instantly.They use an author-date format: You can download a free guide based on these British Standards here: Free Essay Referencing Guide (right click and save file as...).We have summarised this guide online here: Harvard Referencing Guide.This guide provides a detailed overview of the essay writing process with tonnes of practical advice to help you attain a better grade for your academic assignments.We've presented the chapters below so you can delve in and out at a point to suit you - but the easiest way to read the guide is to start on the first page and use the walk-through links to access the rest of the pages.A good search statement can be applied to whichever sources you might decide to use, such as specific computer databases or library catalogues.The next step will be to decide, based on your formulated search statement, which will be the most relevant, appropriate resources in your subject area.