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Reading & Writing: Dissertations, Assignments and Projects

Why can't I just use Google for my assignments?

This video explains why you should use Library resources rather than relying on Google for researching for your assignments.

NMT Libraries, 2021. Why can't I just Google? [online]. Available from: [Accessed 12 April 2022].

The end of this video promotes another academic library's resources.

Procedure / Process Words

Process words help you to structure your essay, dissertation or project: Below is a list of most of the common process words and their definitions.


Introduction to Research and Research Methods

A workbook which is a short introduction to research and research methods outlining some key areas.

Academic Phrasebank

This resource from Manchester University draws on an approach to analysing academic texts originally pioneered by John Swales in the 1980s. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation

Guide to writing assigmments

This guide from the Open University takes you through the process of writing your assignment.

Dissertations, assignments and projects

Based on the work of expert Stella Cottrell, international bestselling author of The Study Skills Handbook, this interactive resource will help you hone and develop your study skills at your own pace. Each module has been carefully designed so you can assess your current proficiency, track your progress, become more confident and get the most out of your course.

Click on Institution Login

Sage Research Methods

SAGE Research Methods includes more than 1000 books, reference works, journal articles, datasets, case studies and instructional videos by world-leading academics from across the social sciences. The site is designed to guide users to the content they need to learn a little or a lot about their method. The Methods Map can help those less familiar with research methods to find the best technique to use in their research.

Academic Writing (10 Days of Learning)

Taught by Dr Camila Devis-Rozental (Principal Academic in Service Excellence, BU) as part of the 10 Days of Learning workshop series.

Planning and Conducting a Dissertation Research Project

This guide from Leicester University gives advice on how to devise a topic for your dissertation and then how to research and present your ideas.

CRAAP Test for evaluating sources

New in 2022 UK Government 'Take care with what you share' online campaign:

"The internet and social media are full of facts and opinions. Most are balanced and informative but others can be misleading or even harmful to share with our friends and families. Worse still, false information can often be about important things that impact whole communities, like health or the environment." (HM Government 2022).

The CRAAP test was developed by Meriam Library at California State University:

  • Currency - The timeliness of the information.
  • Relevance - The importance of the information for your needs.
  • Authority - The source of the information.
  • Accuracy - The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
  • Purpose - The reason the information exists.

Research Ethics for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students


Research ethics applications for undergraduate and taught postgraduates are initially reviewed and approved by named supervisors within Faculties or approved by Faculty Ethics Programme Teams. Guidance for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students on how to complete and submit a Research Ethics Checklist can be found here.

Post Graduate Researchers (PhD, MPhil and MRes) and members of BU Staff should consult the Research Ethics tab in the Postgraduate Researchers' guide.

Top Tips for Essay Writing

The Learning Development Team at the University of Leicester have produced a really useful slide show giving 10 top tips for essay writing. The is also a link from the page to a more in depth guide on crafting a really good essay.

This short video on critical essay writing, recorded by a lecturer at Sussex University, gives valuable tips on what to bear in mind when writing an essay. This page also includes a really useful checklist for essay writing.

Assignment planning tool

Assignment Survival Kit from University of Kent

A tool to help you plan backwards from your hand-in deadline

Linking Words and Phrases

A Guide to useful phrases to link ideas within a piece of written work. Produced by Anglia Ruskin University

Essay / Assignment Planning Workshop Recordings

Go to our Study Skills Workshops: Essay Planning page to access the following bite-sized video recordings with activities:

  • Part One: Understanding & deconstructing and essay question
  • Part Two: Strategies and techniques
  • Part Three: Structure and writing
  • Part Four: Drafting, editing and proofreading

Useful books