Deakin University Library

Deakin University Library

Study skills

Language and Learning Advisers

You can make an appointment or drop in and talk with the Language and Learning Advisers. They can help you with a range of academic study skills:

  • assignment writing
  • referencing
  • critical analysis
  • time management
  • oral presentations
  • note taking in lectures
  • working in groups
  • and lots more.

Library staff at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus and the Geelong Waterfront Campus can make an appointment for you at the service desk.


Language and Learning Advisers can help you with referencing your assignments. They are experienced in guiding students in the use of various reference styles used at the University and can advise you on how to avoid plagiarism. Some of the most used styles are:



During the year, Language and Learning Advisers offer a range of workshops and seminars where you can improve your academic skills.

Library staff also hold workshops for specific units or faculties, as well as structured information sessions for Higher Degree Research students which you need to register for.

Searching the web

Save time by using our search tips on how to search the web effectively, and how to evaluate what you find.

Search tips

You will usually find help files, information pages, FAQs or guides to searching on individual search engine homepages.

  • Try to keep your search queries simple
  • Carefully choose your keywords, and remember to think about alternate terms that could be used e.g. 'greenhouse effect' or 'global warming'
  • If you need to search on a single term, make the term as specific as possible
  • Enclose "exact phrases" in quotation marks
  • Leave out common words, such as the, and, in and at
  • Search tools usually look for word variations, including single and plural terms e.g. australia will match to australian, australia's, australians etc.
  • Use domains to limit your search to material on specific websites, e.g. for Australian government sites
  • Don't worry about using capital letters.

Evaluating what you find

How do you know if the information you find is reliable and accurate?

It’s always important to consider the quality of the information you use. It is especially important to critically evaluate web resources, as there is no quality control on the Internet. No single person or organisation has the task of verifying the authenticity and accuracy of sites. As a student, the responsibility for assessing the merit of information lies with you.

Some questions to ask yourself when evaluating online sources are:

  • Can you tell who the author is?
  • What authority does the author have?
  • Do they have affiliations, credentials or a specific reason for publishing the information?
Type of Information
  • Look at the URL or address. Where did the document originate?
  • Is the information scholarly, governmental, from a private business or association, or an advertisement?
  • Do other reputable Internet sites point to this one?
  • Is the author making an argument for personal gain, offering an opinion, giving a factual report or relaying a personal observation?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information from original research, experiments, observation, interviews, books or documents?
  • Are references provided?
  • How old is the information?
  • Has the content been updated recently?

If you can't find the answer to these questions, that may be reason enough not to use a particular website or resource.

If you do use a website for an assignment, make sure you record the URL and the date you visited it. This information is essential for referencing in your assignments.


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23rd October 2012