One of the challenges for undergraduate students during their time at university is collecting and citing research for assignments and ultimately their dissertations. With technology enabling the student to study literally anywhere, collecting and citing research whilst on the go makes this challenge harder.
One great way of collecting research is using Microsoft’s OneNote app which is included within every license of Office365 and it allows the student to copy and paste, import photos, make handwritten notes with any piece of information, and store in a way that works for the student with their own strategy for organising. The great thing about Microsoft OneNote is that everything is searchable and it is easy to find, even handwritten notes.
There is, however, a challenge with using Microsoft OneNote for this purpose and that is a lack of provision for referencing e.g Harvard style, as required by universities when quoted in assignments and dissertations.
Referencing causing some anxiety? Check out the video below:
OneNote does quote the source of information if it is copied and pasted into OneNote for example the filename, or website, but it will not cite the source using the format that universities require and so whilst the collection of information is effortless, the student then has to write the citation in the correct format if they use that information within an assignment or dissertation. This will be a problem to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the student, the course, and the requirements of coursework.
What kind of information needs to be collected and referenced?
The answer to this question will vary depending upon the types of research being collected but in general sources of information could come in printed or electronic format and could be as follows:
Sections from a book,
Sections from a research paper,
Scientific data such as graphs,
Video e.g YouTube,
Audio e.g Podcasts,
PDF instructional information.
This list is not exhaustive, but as you can see it does illustrate the wide variety of information that could be collected.
Is there a quick and easy way to collect information and log their referencing in a way that meets university requirements?
The short answer is yes!
A common solution that is often used as part of the Disabled Students Allowance offering is Pro-Study.
Pro-Study is designed with neurodiverse students in mind and seeks to take the stress out of collecting, organising, and referencing research for your assignments. Using a menu bar that always sits at the top of the screen, any research source found via the internet can be collected and referenced correctly per project. In setting up a series of colour-coded categories of the student’s choice e.g Research Papers, Internet Research, Photos, etc, one can simply select the desired information and then click the category on the toolbar, and then that reference is stored and is easily retrievable.
With the nature of student life being such that they study in different places e.g the library, home, lecture halls, etc then Pro-Study has a companion app called “Project Assist” that can be used on IOS or Android devices to collect the source and transfer to the main software on the laptop ready for further use with assignments. This app is especially useful when wanting to collate and reference research from printed media such as books and papers.
The video below explains how Project Assist works.
Want to know more about Pro-Study?
Sam Cock is Aventido’s Pro-Study product specialist and he often delivers product training webinars as well as one-to-one demonstrations. If you would like to find out more about Pro-study then click below to check out the Aventido Pro-Study webpage and contact Sam directly.