Many assignments require you to write an essay or compile a report. Preparing to write an essay or report involves gathering evidence and structuring an argument. Presenting those ideas requires good writing and accurate referencing. The following resources take you through this process and will help you to improve your written work.  
     
 
Task
According to Sage this book 'provides a practical and comprehensive guide to searching the literature on any topic within the social sciences. The book will enable the reader to search the literature effectively, identifying useful books, articles, statistics and many other sources of information'.
Using Library Resources
[ pdf ]
Source: Trodd N, 2006. Using Library Resources.
Doing a Literature Search

Source: Hart C, 2001. Doing a Literature Search. London: Sage Publications.

Task
In 1997 Trisha Greenhalgh wrote a series of papers in the British Medical Journal that explored all aspects of a scientific article - from a reader's perspective. These were later published in a book but the original papers are available from the BMJ website. Although it is based on medical papers the series provides a thorough assessment of what makes a 'good' paper.
How to Read a Paper

Source: Greenhalgh T, 2001. How to read a paper: the basics of evidence based medicine. London: BMJ. 2nd edition. URL last accessed 2005-10-8.

Task
The purpose of language is to transmit ideas. Trodd identifies good practice in writing assignments whilst Prof. Silber provides more general advice accompanied by useful links to other guides on specific issues.
Writing an Assignment

Source: Trodd N, 2006. Writing an Assignment.

Sound Advice on Academic Essay Writing

Source: Silber CA, 2005. General Sound Advice on Academic Essay-Writing. URL last accessed 2005-10-8.

Task
An intellectual hallmark of a graduate is that s/he must be able to evidence intellectual autonomy. In other words, you need to be able to argue. Being asked to present an argument is a challenge. It is probably the most difficult thing you will be asked to do at university. This useful little book takes you through the techniques of forming an academic argument, from contradictions and tensions, to empirical adequacy, structure and presentation. If you can get hold of a copy do so - and read it!
How to Argue: A Student's Guide

Source: Bonnett A, 2001. How to Argue: A Student's Guide. Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Task
Many universities adopt the Harvard system of referencing as their standard style. This guide to the Harvard system has been prepared by Coventry University's Centre for Academic Writing. It covers both in-text citations in the main body of your writing and a list of References at the end of your work.
The Harvard Style Source: Coventry University, 2005. The Harvard Style. URL last accessed 2005-10-8.