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Starting your research

We have lots of ways to help you get started with your studies and to support you throughout your time at Staffs.

Assignment Survival Kit (ASK)

It may seem daunting to begin your first university assignment but it's never as bad as it seems once you follow some simple steps.  Some of the issues might be meeting deadlines, knowing how to structure your essay or write in the appropriate style.

Some students find our Assignment Survival Kit  useful as it provides hints and tips to successful research and helps you to keep to a timetable.

Also go to the "Help and Support" page in this guide to identify the people and resources who are here to help.

Library Catalogue

You will usually be given a reading list by your tutor as your starting point for essential reading and the Library Catalogue can help you locate items on this list. 

You can search the Library Catalogue online for physical stock in our libraries. For example, books, journals, DVD's, equipment (and some of our eBooks). It will show you where to find items on the shelf and whether they are already on loan. If so, you can reserve the book so it is saved for you once it is returned.

 Visit the Library CatalogueCheck out our podcasts which will explain more about the various features.

E Books

The Library has a growing collection of full-text electronic books (e-books) to support all subject areas. Many e-books allow you to make notes (using an online marker pen), download to portable devices or save to your own virtual bookshelf. Our e-books are an important additional resource to our printed stock and of course have the convenience of being available 24/7 wherever you are. When accessing the e-books if you prompted for a username and password use your university username and password.


You may wish to use the library search engine Summon. With one search you can find books and articles.  Use the filters on the left of the screen to refine your search if required - for example narrow your search to types of resources or by particular dates.  We have video guides to help you get started.


You will find lots of good material on the web but you will be expected to ensure that any information you use within your assignments are from sites of sound academic quality.  For some guidance on what to look for contact your Subject Librarian. online training Library is a huge library of high-quality online video courses supporting a wide range of  topics, including software tutorials, study skills, digital skills, business skills, employability skills and lots more. The tutorials are subtitled and include exercise files. On-screen controls mean you decide the pace of your learning, plus you can view content on any device either via your browser or by downloading the app.  You can also download courses to study offline - such as when you are travelling to Uni!  Log in with your normal username and password, and create your own account to keep track of what you have viewed.  Get certificates of completion when you have viewed all of a course! Access