This page provides a brief overview of the research process and tips that:
Online resources for a range of different writing considerations:
The Writing Centre provides instruction on various writing criteria, such as formatting, sentence structure, word use, and individual consultations which you can book in advance or during their drop-in hours for your specific need.
APA style is the standard citation style for all students in the Faculty of Environment.
There are a few points to make about citing:
For APA style the title of the manual is Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition. This item is only available in print, however, there are a few reliable online sources that students have found helpful:
Bibliometric tools are automated programs that perform multiple tasks for students and scholars, and they can save you quite a bit of time. Keep in mind to proofread your references (as well as your paper), to make sure the italics, brackets, doi, etc. are all in the right place.
These tools can:
There are many bibliometric tools to choose from, some you pay for, others are free. Talk to your colleagues and faculty to find out what they use to organize their references. Although they all perform the same basic functions you will develop a preference. Always ensure that you can export your references into another program if you decide to change. It is hard to lose all the work that amassing thousands of references would take.
Some programs to consider are:
RefWorks (you can sign up for an account through the library website, and there is librarian support should you have any difficulties)
Information on EndNote and Zotero can also be found on the RefWorks webpage.
PLS are a growing trend in research. These summaries simplify scientific and jargon-based peer-reviewed literature into a form of writing that everyone can understand.
Articles of interest:
Rosenberg, A. (2021, November 16). Guest post -- Towards standardizing plain summaries: The Open Pharma recommendations [blog post]. The Scholarly Kitchen.
Soft skills are identified as professional skills, professional in your career, in academia, and how you live your life in-between. Essentially, they are communication skills. These are the expressions that form your reputation:
There are several units on campus that aim to help you succeed. Most notably is the
Throughout your academic career qualities to build on involve ethics, leadership, teamwork, career development, and more,
Time management is the bane of most people's existence regardless of your station or location in life. It is not something to be mastered, but it can be managed if you are serious about it and work hard. Help is available through the resources already mentioned. The last 'time management' workshop I attended, one piece of advice stood out. Get yourself a timer, a kitchen timer will do, but not your phone. The timer needed for this exercise can be a low-tech timer as long as it functions only as a timer (and does not provide other functions. A kitchen timer is a good example for what is required for this exercise. Experiment by conducting your own research on how long it takes you to perform a task, for example, to read 20 pages of light reading, 20 pages of tasked reading, and 20 pages of challenged reading.
Perform a writing experiment by setting aside part of your day to write for a 25-minute period. It does not matter what you write; it is the act of writing that's important. The idea, through these exercises, is not only to gain a realistic sense of time spent, but to train yourself to manage time more methodically, and hopefully with less stress. Developing these habits of reading and writing for a set period of time will help you master your academic objectives and goals. Aristotle, the famed philosoper and scientist, is attributed with saying "we are the sum of our habits".
In addition, the library has an Assignment Planner based on due dates. Another tool to add to your research toolkit.
Omni, the library catalogue, links to the physical book records, e-books, e-journal titles, reference material, individual articles, conferences, technical reports, working papers, government information, databases and more.
There is always more.
When it comes to research, the library catalogue is your new best friend.
Sign in with your WatIAM credentials to:
For current, up-to-date, reliable, and trustworthy information on your topic search databases.
Research databases provide:
Create an account in the database with your @uwaterloo email and a unique password (please DO NOT USE your WatIAM password) to access more options:
Over the course of your academic career you may have saved thousands of references. As previously mentioned, bibliometric tools can help save and organize this information. Another tip that some scholars have found useful is to use a naming convention when labelling their documents, for example: last name of first author (all in lowercase), then date of publication:
If there are two authors, list both, then date:
If there are more than two authors use etal, then date:
How you create your naming convention is a personal choice. Consistency is key.
Throughout your academic career at the University of Waterloo you will be exposed to a wide variety of databases. This is a good thing. There will be a time when you will want to search for dissertations only, for grey literature, for health information, government policies, etc. But over time, once you have stored up many skills and insights on how things work, you might settle in to using only a few preferred databases. These are your go-to databases, and for now we are not talking about Google, or Google Scholar. We are talking about sophisticated technologies that are transparent in detailing how it is you got to that information in the first place. By their definition, databases are sophisticated, but with publicly available databases we do not know how we get the results that show up, nor can we find out. We do not know how the system works. Once you learn how a system works you can instruct it to work for you in very specific ways. This is exciting, and a very powerful type of knowledge. The library subscribed databases offer the learning and training opportunities to understand how 'search' works.
If you can spend one to two hours with your librarian to learn more about a database of interest, you will save yourself many hours in the long run. Consider the following:
When you research consider the type of information and its purpose. Different types include: