Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Essay and report writing skills

5.4 Identifying sources

So what material do you have available to you?

  • Your materials are likely to be your first sources of information.

  • Any guidance notes you may have been given will sometimes tell you exactly which sections you need to look at. But don't forget that your course materials encompass more than just these texts.

  • Make use of any handouts you've been given.

  • Your own notes of what you have been reading or watching; from tutorials, or from observations or experiments you have been carrying out.

  • Newspaper articles or reviews, chosen carefully, can be a useful extra up-to-date source for some courses.

Of course, there are many more sources available to you through libraries or the internet. Your course materials may also provide reading lists. If you have time to undertake further research, that's fine and is good academic practice. Certainly you will not lose marks if you restrict yourself to the course materials; it is how you answer the question that gives the grade, not how much you know. You can always follow up some of the suggested extra reading once the course has finished.

At this point you are likely to have a great deal of material and many ideas to hand, most probably in note form. Now is the time to start refining and focusing. You may have been doing this already, as you have carried out your research and thought over your findings.

Let's move on to the more detailed planning.

LDT_5

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus