Books to read if you’re writing your student thesis

It’s spring term and high season for thesis writing, which can be both scary, hard, interesting, and fun at once – here you will find tips on books that can help you in the process of writing your thesis. They cover the topics research methods and academic writing.

As for the method, this is a central part of the process: What method do you use in your studies, and how do you describe this in the thesis? This is where the method books come to rescue. Some of you have had method courses earlier; others will have a method course just before the thesis writing starts. And you will, of course, get some tips on good books in these courses, but there are other books than the course literature, and you’ll find plenty of books at the library. The largest part of all books on quantitative and qualitative methods can be found at department 300 on level 2.5 in the library.

There are also some good books to read on writing in general, and on academic writing in particular. These books will give you tips and advice when it comes to language (for example how to write in a passive voice instead of in first person), how to formulate different parts of the thesis (how to write the introduction), etcetera. You will find most of these books on shelf 808.066 on floor 4 in the library.

Text & photo: Katharina Nordling

Things to consider when reading a scientific text

To sit down and read a text may seem like a simple thing to do, but there is a difference between texts and texts – here are some tips on how to think when you’re reading a scientific text. 

Scientific texts have often the following structure IMR(A)D: Introduction, Method, Results (Analysis) and Discussion. But first in all scientific articles is the abstract. The abstract is a summary with the purpose to give you a quick indication on whether the article is of interest to you or not. It should contain some type of purpose for the study, how the study was done, what results were found and what conclusions could be drawn.

  • Then, the introduction follows, with two purposes: To create interest as well as to put the study into a general context by presenting previous research.
  • The method section describes which methods have been used to answer the questions. This section is important to read carefully so that you can determine the validity, that is how reasonable and correct the conclusions are.
  • Results present what the research data shows and it can be visualised with figures and tables.
  • In the ending discussion section the current study is related back to previous research and the current results are put in context. In the discussion, you should also find the conclusions made from the study.

When reading a text try to find the main points in the text. Perhaps you can also find what is surprising, unexpected or different from previous research or if there is something that is rarely focused on other research.

When you read a scientific text, you can consider and answer the following questions:

  • What is the problem that this text is trying to answer? Why is this question important to answer?
  • Is the used method the best to answer the questions or is there a better method?
  • What are the specific results? Can I summarize them in a couple of sentences?
  • Are the results supported by the research data?
  • Are there other ways to interpret the research data which the authors didn’t address?
  • In which way are the results unique/new/unusual/ or supporting compared to other related research in the area?
  • How can the results be related to what I am interested in? To other texts I’ve read?
  • Are there some specific applications presented in the text? Which future experiments could be done? Are there unanswered questions or are the results open for new questions?

You can also draw inferences, like in this example:

“Rett Syndrome is a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder and one of the most common causes of mental retardation in females with an incidence of 1 in 10000-15000.”[1]

Comment: Hmmm…can it be related to a gene on the X-chromosome since its one of the most common causes in females… How common is that?

You should also take notes while reading. The best case scenario is that you take notes electronically, because you probably will find a specific note much easier later on. One way to do this is to create a template that you fill in for each text you are reading. Then your reading will be systematically documented and it may also help you in reading. The Library has also created a Google Drive document that you can download and use. You can download the template in a couple of different formats (Choose File and the Download as…).

Text: Pieta Eklund & Katharina Nordling
Photo: Mostphotos

[1] Ballestar, E., Yusufzai, T.M., & Wolffe, A.P. (2000) Effects of Rett Syndrome Mutations of the Methyl-CpG Binding Domain of the Transcriptional Repressor MeCP2
on Selectivity for Association with Methylated DNA. Biochemistry, 31, 7100-7106

Forward your student mail!

Here’s a tip for you who easily forget to keep track of your student mail: Be sure to forward it – in this blog post we explain how you do it!

The University Library, but also other parts of the University, often use your student mail to send information to you. From the University Library you’ll get reminders, messages that your requested books are waiting for you, or claims (if you have delayed books). Are you having trouble reminding to check your student mail? Then why don’t you forward it to your regular mail?

Here’s how you do it (you can click on the images to make them easier to read):

1. Log in to your student mail – mail.student.hb.se (use your S-number and password to log in).
2. Click the little gear on the right side of the window.
3. Choose Settings – Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Then press the button Add a forwarding address.4. Enter the e-mail address you want to forward your student mail to and press Next.
5. Make sure you have typed your e-mail address correct, then press Proceed.
6. Now you need to check your other mail, to find the confirmation code you need to connect your two mail accounts.

7. In your mail there will be a confirmation code:
8. Copy the code and enter it at the student mail:
9. Then you need to make sure that the forwarding alternative is chosen:

10. And last, but not least, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and press Save Changes.

Text: Katharina Nordling
Photo: rawpixel, Unsplash

Welcome to a new semester at the Library!

Now the autumn semester 2017 is starting and we want to welcome you to the Library as a student, old or new! Come to us if you need help to find books, information searching, find a nice place to sit and study or maybe just read a journal in the lounge . You can get tips on how to search for scientific material, write references, and how to copy and print. Our web offers a wide range of databases, journals, e-books and much more and it is always open 24/7. The library itself has the following opening hours during the semester and did you know that you can also return books when the library is closed?

Psst, please follow us in social media and get tips, you find us on Facebook and Instagram.

Welcome to the library!

Text: Lena Holmberg
Bild: Anna Sigge

 

Start of spring semester 2017

Today is the first day of spring semester 2017 – we welcome former students as well as those of you who just entered your studies at the University of Borås. Whether you are new or experienced students, we want to tell you this: Do not forget to use the library and the librarians in your studies! Why? Well, research shows that students who use the library in their studies get better results. Take the information you use in your studies seriously, and make sure that your information search is thorough, and you will come a long way. And this is something the library and the librarians can help you with. Moreover, we can help with more fundamental things than that; such as to lend whiteboard markers, explaining how to write references, show how to find the books you need, helping to print or point you the direction to the nearest restroom.

If you have any questions – come and ask! We are always available at the Information Point near the entrance to the library, as well as on e-mail: biblioteket@hb.se.

Welcome to the library!

Text: Katharina Nordling

Is it time to think about you final student thesis?

Is it time to think about which topic you want to write about in you final thesis? Then it’s also good to start thinking about how to find information to your thesis, and of course, about your research questions. Keep reading this blog post and you will get information about how you can approach these things.

The point of the research question is to develop meaningful and relevant results. The idea is to formulate questions which will give you meaningful and relevant results and also to describe your work in a consist manner. Research questions can be descriptive (what is happening, what exists), relational (relationship between two or more variables) or causal (whether one or more variables causes one or more outcome variables).

How do you search for information effectively?
You can always start with Summon, which is the library search service. Here you can find anything from books and articles to e-books etc.

You can also search directly in a subject database. Here you can make specific searches that are focused to your particular subject and you also have more detailed search options.

You can access all of the library´s electronic resources from home – just log in with your username and password (the same as you use in PING PONG).

Libris (the Swedish Library catalogue) can be relevant for your search. Maybe other libraries have good books about your topic, in that case you can make an interlibrary loan which means that we will request the book/article for you. Interlibrary loans of books are free of charge but articles costs 40 SEK (80 SEK if we have to order outside Scandinavia).

Do you want to know more about student thesis writing and information seeking?

  • Call the Library at 033-435 40 50
  • E-mail the Library at biblioteket@hb.se
  • Come and get help at the information desk
  • Visit the Search Lab in J441 every Thursday at 12:00-15:00 and get help from a librarian.

Text: Tandis Talay
Picture: Colourbox

Connecting to WiFi? Use eduroam!

eduroam_trans_450pix

When you, student or employee at the university, connect your device to WiFi at the university – be sure to choose eduroam – a network that’s available not only at the University of Borås, but also at a variety of other locations in Sweden and around the world.

Eduroam is a collaborative between universities around the world with purpose to simplify the use of each other’s wireless networks. By choosing eduroam when you go online, you will be able to surf wirelessly even when you are at another university connected to eduroam (and there are many). But not only that, you will also have free access to wifi at all train stations, airports and ports in Sweden (if you are logged in correctly), since eduroam cooperates with the WiFi-provider The Cloud.

So how do you connect correctly? Well, when you select eduroam and to log in, type in [your username]@hb.se and then your regular password. Now you are ready to surf! Do you have a problem? Read more about Eduroam on IT supports side of the service.

 

Så hur gör man då? Jo, när du valt eduroam och ska logga in skriver du in [ditt användarnamn]@hb.se och sedan ditt vanliga lösenord. Sedan är du redo att surfa. Har du problem? Läs mer om Eduroam på IT-supports sida om tjänsten.

Text: Katharina Nordling