Time management – Thursday tips

Regular followers of our blog will realise this post is late !   So, in a change to the plan, let’s look at time management hints and tips …

  1. Time is a valuable resource so approach it with the same care and effort you would use to manage your money or your career.  
  2. Prioritise your activities and create a personal plan to fit in everything you need to do along with things you want to do.
  3. Break it down, turn large projects into a series of smaller tasks which are easier to manage.
  4. Be flexible, remember that your plans may change to accommodate unexpected demands or exciting new opportunities.
  5. Take a shortcut, find ways to save time using software and apps. Also learning how to use technology more effectively when you have some spare time can prevent you wasting time in future when you are under pressure to meet deadlines.  
  6. Say *no*, it’s ok to turn down requests which are neither urgent nor important. Your plan will stop you taking on more than you can achieve in the time you have available. 

As always, we have a Time Management LibGuide with more information, online tutorial and example plan.  

Referencing- Last minute checks!

We get a lot of referencing questions through our Learning Hub and in tutorials.  Unsurprisingly, recent enquiries have included more examples of online resources. So here are some quick  Thursday tips for those of you working hard to finish assignments.  

Cite Them Right

Don’t forget that you have online access to Cite Them Right. You can find guidance and examples by searching for the type of resource, for example ‘website’, ‘ebook’ or ‘journal article’.  Just follow the link from the Library website and log in using your University details.


How do I reference information on a website which doesn’t have an author?

Firstly  make sure you are satisfied the information is reliable, accurate and legitimate.  Then you need to include enough information to enable your reader to find your source, including a link and the date you accessed the material.

For example, where the page belongs to an organisation, institution or company you would follow the format below for a Harvard style reference:

  • Organisation
  • Year that the site was published/last updated (in round brackets)
  • Title of web page (in italics)
  • Available at: URL (Accessed: date)

This means that a Harvard reference to the BBC News page would look like this:

BBC (2020) News. Available at:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news  (Accessed: 14 May 2020)  

The Accessed date is the day you last accessed the website. This is important because online information is frequently updated so you need to tell your reader when you viewed it.

And if the website has no author, organisation or title?  In that case you would follow this format in Harvard:

  • URL
  • Year that the site was published/last updated (in round brackets)
  • (Accessed: date)


What about ebooks?

Happily, if the ebook includes all the information you would find in a print copy, such as publisher and place of publication, you can follow the same format as a print book.

If you do not have publisher and location details you should include enough information to direct your reader to the source you used.  In Harvard style, this would be:

  • Author/editor
  • Year of publication (in round brackets)
  • Title of book (in italics)
  • DOI or Available at: URL (Accessed: date)

For example:

Adams, D. (1979) The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-ebooks (Accessed: 29 January 2020).


Where can I get more help?

You can find information, more examples and online tutorials on our Referencing LibGuide

You can send questions direct to our Learning Hub on Teams using this address:


Or you can book a virtual tutorial with your academic librarians, just follow the links on our Tutorial booking page



Top Tips for Tuesday: Coping with Presentation Nerves

Improvisation techniques can be used as a way of helping with presentation nerves. A fun warm up exercise to try:

  • Make a lemon face – screw up your face really small as though you’ve just eaten a lemon
  • Make a pumpkin face – make your face as wide as you can – open your mouth wide (these two are to relax your face and remove tension)
  • Breathing exercise – in for a count of 4, hold for 4, out for 4
    Yawn really loudly (to open up your throat)
  • Brain exercises – say the days of the week to yourself quickly, then backwards, or try the same with the months of the year or try to give a name to each letter of the alphabet (this is to keep you in the moment and to stop your mind racing).


This is a key life skill.  You’re often asked to include reflective elements in your academic work, and it can be hugely beneficial in your personal or professional life.

But what is it?

Well, imagine a virtual mirror which you can use to look at a particular aspect of yourself.  So instead of gazing lovingly at your own face you would focus on your experiences, skills and knowledge.  And, just as you would do in the bathroom mirror, you’re looking to see what has changed, what you like and which bits you would improve.  

There are many ways you can use reflective thinking to develop your academic ability and personal effectiveness.

Here are some quick examples to get you going:

  • look back on your last assignment and consider how you approached it. Did you give yourself enough time or rush through it, were you happy with the results and what would you do differently?
  • think about a placement or work situation and whether you were able to put theories into practice. What did you learn from your experience, what were the limitations, how did you contribute and how can you apply this learning in the future?
  • consider the skills and knowledge you have developed over the last year. How have you improved and what do you still need to work on, think about your ‘highs and lows’ and how you feel now you can look back on them, what will you change going forward?

Remember to focus on what you did, how you felt, what you learned about yourself and others, most importantly, consider how you will apply the learning in future. Find out more on our Reflective Writing LibGuide and use our Skills Audit  to help you reflect on your academic work.

Abstracts and summaries

Today we’re giving you some help with writing an abstract or a summary.  You may be asked to include an abstract as part of your assignment or provide an executive summary in a report, if that’s the case we have resources to help.  We’ve given you some hints and tips below, you can also find our online tutorial and more information on the Writing Abstracts LibGuide.

Remember! Always follow the guidelines for your assignment or project.  

Wait until last – write it when you have finished your assignment so that you have a clear idea of what to include, the key points and your conclusion.

Grab attention – use it to engage your reader, get them interested in what you have to say and why they should read it.

Less is more – be concise, provide an overview without going into lots of detail. Stick to the key points you want to make.  

What, Why, So What – include a clear outline of your topic, research aims, findings and conclusion. You may also need to include your methodology and any limitations to your research.  

Leave it out – don’t include new information which is not covered in your work; or graphs and tables; or details from your literature review.

Ask a friend – let someone else read it. Is it clear and do they want to read more? Let them read the rest of your work to see if they think it is an accurate summary.

Do it yourself – read abstracts and summaries of articles and reports as examples. What makes them interesting and how are they structured?

Don’t forget! You can book an online tutorial with Sue or Yvonne, our Learning Advisors, if you need help with your academic writing. More details on our Tutorial booking page

Navigating the infodemic – analysis and resources

Information Overload

We know that the virtual world is now full of competing analysis and experts so it is more important than ever that you evaluate information and sources. The good news is that you can find help on spotting fake news and to develop your critical thinking skills.

We have updated our Facts Matter LibGuide  which now includes this info graphic from IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations, on how to spot fake news. They have produced it in response to what has been described as the global ‘infodemic’ of inaccurate or misleading communication, find out more on the IFLA website.

One of the best approaches you can take is to focus on the most reliable and relevant sources for the information you need.  Sounds easy but it can be difficult to navigate your way through opinions, analysis and data. This is where our specialist resources can help. Many of our subscription services are providing regular subject specific updates on the wider impact of Covid 19.

Today we’re highlighting just four examples of the specialist analysis available to businesses and industry in the current situation. As a student at Teesside you have free access to these and a much wider range of resources.

Follow the link below to our Business and Management LibGuide page for more information and direct links to our four featured subscriptions

Business and Management databases

Or you can find a full list of subject specific resources on the A-Z databases list

IBISWorld offers specific industry analysis and forecasts for the UK and China. They have updated their reports to include the potential impact of Covid 19 on future performance and industry recovery.

Fitch Connect provides macroeconomic data, risk and industry research for 22 industries across 200 countries. The specialist analysis now includes regular forecasts and economic responses to Covid 19.

Mintel is a source of marketing and buying patterns based on geographic, demographic and economic data.  The database includes updated analysis on a range of industries such as travel, food, retail and leisure.

WARC provides marketing and advertising information which now includes analysis of the impact on current and future strategies across global and national markets.

And if you need help to  find or use any of our resources you can contact the academic librarians New! Ask the Learning Hub



Proofreading top tips and a Report Writing workshop

Today we have a bumper edition of top tips and a virtual workshop running tomorrow.

Help with profreading proofeeding proofreading!

We know that many of you are finishing work off ready for submission, although we don’t offer a proofreading service we do have online help and information. Take a look at the tutorial, video and guidance on our Proofreading LibGuide

Here are 5 top tips to get you started, you can find more of these in our helpsheet of Proofreading tips

1) Plan – give yourself enough time to proofread carefully, allowing an hour for each 1000 words is a good guide but you may need to spend longer.

2) Basics – start by checking your work meets the criteria, word count, guidelines and format requirements.

3) Sections – break your work up into sections rather than tackling it all at once, check each section fully before moving on to the next.  

4) Details – focus on one aspect at a time, for example, check your punctuation first, then check spelling, next check your grammar and so on.

5) Sense – read through your work to check it makes sense, answers the question and you haven’t repeated yourself.

Remember to proofread your in text citations and references with the same amount of care!

Report Writing workshop 

The next Succeed@Tees session to run via BlackBoard Collaborate will give you hints and tips on the basics of report writing. It will cover:

  • purpose
  • structure
  • writing style

This information will not be subject specific and is aimed at undergraduate students who are new to report writing in an academic context.

When: Wednesday 22 April

Time: 15.00 – 16.00 (3 – 4pm)

Where: join via this  Blackboard link

Or find out more on our Succeed@Tees page


New! Ask the Learning Hub

Post questions and comments on our new Padlet. Or you can email us direct on Teams.

We hope you managed to relax over the long weekend and enjoy a spot of sunshine.

To help you get back on track with your studies we’ve set up an open access Padlet with some of our top Learning Hub resources.  You can post questions, see what others have asked and share your own top tips.  

Remember that this is an open forum so please don’t include any personal information in your post, and keep your comments professional !

Take a look at our Ask the Learning Hub Padlet

Would you rather send an individual query? 

You can now send an email direct to the Learning Hub on Teams.  Just click this address to open up a new email or, if that doesn’t work, copy it into the ‘To’ box of your email to send us your question:


We’re monitoring these every day (except weekends and Bank Holidays) and we’ll usually reply by email within 24 hours.

Virtual tutorials 

You can still book an online tutorial for help including academic writing, literature searches and referencing. Find out more on our tutorials page.

If you’re not sure who to contact with your Library query, you can email libraryhelp@tees.ac.uk



Independent study

Today’s top tips are designed to help you stay in control of your learning.  So what do we mean by ‘independent study’?  Basically it’s the combination of confidence and ability to answer 3 questions.

What do I want to learn?

This is the ability to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses to decide what will help you achieve the best results.  You could also use feedback to help identify areas for improvement.  For example, you may be new to online learning so do you need to develop your technical knowledge in order to use apps or do you need to improve your time management?

What’s the best way for me to learn it?

Some people prefer to learn quietly, reading or working through tutorials at their own pace. Others feel happier when they learn as a group, discussing ideas and solving problems together.  Each has merit and using a blend of both is usually the most effective. For example, you may start with a video tutorial to show you how an app works then ask others for help if you have a problem. Your skill is deciding which method is best for what you need to learn and who will give you the best answer!


How will I measure my learning?

This is the ability to judge how effective your learning has been.  It doesn’t mean you need to become an expert in everything. For example, you may just need to learn the basics of using an app in order to take part in an online session, rather than being able to deliver the session yourself.  Set yourself realistic and measurable learning goals. Reflect on what you achieve and learn from what doesn’t go to plan – did you choose the best method, did you aim too high or did you learn something else from the experience?

When you’re ready to find out more, take a look at our Studying Independently LibGuide

Research methods

Quantitative data

Whether you are completing your dissertation this year or preparing your proposal for next year, we have plenty of resources to help.

Our Quantitative data collection and analysis LibGuide is packed full of information to help you design your research, collect the data and analyse results. Follow the link for more information:


What is quantitative research?

Quantitative research is concerned with gathering and interpreting numerical data. This data can be ranked (ordered), measured or categorised through statistical analysis. This analysis assists with uncovering patterns (or relationships) and for making wider generalisations. 

Why would I use it?

This type of research is useful for finding out:

  • how many?
  • how much?
  • how often?
  • to what extent something occurs?