Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Looking for a place to study?

I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.
         (David Foster Wallace)

If you are revising this week
don't forget the library is open until 8pm today and tomorrow, and until 6pm on Thursday!

Monday, December 19, 2011

How do you learn?

How much do you know about your learning style?  People understand information and learn information in different ways.  Understanding your own learning style can be helpful when you are studying and revising for exams.

Myers-Briggs devised one method of understanding our own personality.  She measured our preferences on four different scales, and devised 16 main personality types based on the findings.  The four scales are:

1. Extraversion -- Introversion
Where we do get our energy?  Extraverts are energised by other people; they are social beings and they prefer to engage with other people than to be alone.  Introverts re-energise in their own space; after spending time with other people, introverts prefer some peace and quiet while they recharge their batteries.

2. Sensing -- Intuition
How do we see the world?  Sensing people are factual; they focus on current realities and they are concrete thinkers.  Intuitive people are abstract thinkers; they consider all the possibilities in a situation and they read between the lines.

3. Thinking -- Feeling
How do we make decisions?  Thinking people base their decisions on logic and facts; they are  objective and led by their heads.  Feeling people base their decisions on principles and values; they are subjective and led by their hearts.

4. Juding -- Perceiving
How do we behave?  Judging people are not the same as judgemental people!  Judging people prefer to plan things and be organised; they are ordered and systematic.  Perceiving people are flexible and spontaneous; they like to keep their options open and adapt to circumstances as they arise.

Each of us have a preference on each of these scale, e.g. ESFJ (Extraversion Sensing Feeling Judging).  You can measure your place on these scales with Texas Tech University's free Learning Style Test.  And once you have your four letter code, Naomi Rockler-Gladden outlines some of the main traits of students in each of the 16 main personality types.

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of your learning style as you revise!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Change to our opening hours

There has been a change to our opening hours.  The college will not open on Friday, 23 December.

Mon 19th: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Tues 20th: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Wed 21st: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Thurs 22nd: 9.15am - 6.00pm

Fri 23rd Dec - Mon 2nd Jan: Closed

Tues 3rd: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Wed 4th: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Thurs 5th: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Fri 6th: 9.15am - 5.00pm

 For all the latest information:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Accessing your library account from home

As the Christmas holidays approach, here is some information that might come in useful when you are not on campus.

Renew your library books

Set your library PIN

Sometimes a student may already have a PIN in their account, but they cannot remember what it is. If so, ask us to reset your PIN at the Library Desk or email us at LibraryInfo@itb.ie.

Accessing databases from off-campus

For other tutorials, please see the Library Hub!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Need to know when we are open over the holidays?

Mon 19th: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Tues 20th: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Wed 21st: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Thurs 22nd: 9.15am - 6.00pm

Fri 23rd Dec - Mon 2nd Jan: Closed

Tues 3rd: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Wed 4th: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Thurs 5th: 9.15am - 8.00pm
Fri 6th: 9.15am - 5.00pm

For all the latest information:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reading, revising and blackholes

This is a very busy time for students; are you using your study time well?  A lot of us fall into the trap of reading page after page only to realise that the information hasn't really "gone in" or that we cannot remember very much of it at all.

Here are 3 quick tips that may help:

1. Take notes
As you read, write down key phrases and definitions so that you can read through them quickly as you revise.  Bullet points are often more useful that paragraphs when writing revision notes.  Consider using colour, highlighters or images to annotate your notes; visual cues like these often help us to remember.

2. Have a dictionary close by
Use a print or an online dictionary to look up the meaning of any words that are unfamiliar.  Most academic topics contain jargon or new words; it is very very hard to remember something properly if you do not fully understand it.

3. Close the book and repeat
Every few paragraphs, close the book or turn away from the screen.  Try to summarise the passage that you just read in your own words.  Repeating information strengthens memory; recapping information in your own words reinforces your understanding of that information.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Battling your plagiarism demons

We have a double-challenge for you today!  Can you recognise examples of plagairism while battling an invasion of plagiarism goblins?

Test yourself at Lycoming College's tutorial:

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Giving presentations can be nerve-wracking!  But, designing a knockout slideshow and practicing your delivery can give you a big confidence boost before you even start to speak.  Start to prepare yourself by having a look at this...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How do I avoid plagiarism when I paraphrase information?

Students read a huge amount of information, ideas, opinions and interpretations in the course of their studies.  The ideas come from all sorts of places – lecture notes, books, websites, journals, newspapers, databases etc.  Throughout their studies, students incorporate these words and ideas into their own writings, assignments and projects.  Amongst the key skills required for writing are: knowing how to quote and knowing how to paraphrase.

What is quoting?
When we quote we take the work of another author and use it, word-for-word, in our own writing.  Quotations are punctuated by quotation marks in order to show where we have used another person’s words.

For instance:
Social media can no longer be dismissed as a fad or the preserve of the young.  “Some of the fastest-growing demographics in social media are those above the age of 40” (Evans 2010).  Innovation in this sector is vital for market leaders because of the rapidly changing nature of how internet-users chose to express themselves.

We use quotation marks to differentiate between our words and the words of another author.  We incorporate the quote into our text where it is relevant and where it supports our argument.  We must cite the quotation, i.e. create a reference to indicate the source of the quotation.

What is paraphrasing?
When we paraphrase we take the idea of another author and re-tell it in our own words.  Paraphrased information accounts for the vast majority of information that is cited in college
assignments and projects.  In order to paraphrase correctly, and to avoid plagiarising the source of the information, we must keep a few things in mind:

·         Paraphrases do not change the meaning of the information 
·         Paraphrases do change the structure of the sentences used
·         Paraphrases do change the words used

In order to ensure that we do not change the meaning of the source information, it is very important to understand what we have read.  The best way to ensure that you understand a piece of text is to read it carefully, to close the book and to repeat it in your own words (either by explaining the idea to a friend or by writing it down).   Once you have done this go back to the source of the information and check that you covered all the main points accurately.

Changing the structure of a sentence is challenging; in fact, this is where the “copy and paste” brigade usually fall short.  A proper paraphrase requires you to incorporate the idea in the source of information into the text that you are writing; information which has been copied and pasted invariably stands out because the writing style is different from the rest of the assignment.  When you read an idea, and then close the book and repeat that idea in your own words, you use your own style to repeat it.  Remember, most individuals have distinctive writing styles.

Changing the words used also demonstrates that you understand the source information sufficiently; you are able to re-explain the idea in your own words.  Again, the paraphrase should fit into your writing style; complicated terminology and phrasing may make the paraphrase stand out from the rest of your text.   Technical terms, e.g. user-generated content, should not be changed.

Social media is appreciated by people of many different ages because so many different types of social networking websites allow people to create their own content, otherwise known as user-generated content. Online networking allows group members to communicate their interactions in a variety of ways. The notion that social networking is restricted to young people is more and more untrue. Some of the most rapid increases amongst people are occurring in those over 40 years (Evans 2010).

This is not a good paraphrase; in fact it is plagiarism. Although I have not changed the meaning of the source information and I have changed some of the words used – it is plagiarism because I have not changed the sentence structure. Merely substituting some words is not paraphrasing.

Social networking is no longer restricted to students. In fact, the biggest growth area in social media use is currently among users who are older than 40 years. The ability of users to create their own content, also known as user-generated content (UCG), is proving to be a significant attraction. Online communities are now able to share information in a wide variety of ways (Evans 2010).

A proper paraphrase changes both the structure of the sentences and the words used, without losing the meaning of the source information. And remember, paraphrases must be cited!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Get more out of Google

Although Google isn't always the ideal source for academic information, there is no denying that it can be a great place to start your research, to find simple facts or familiarise yourself with a topic.  Here are some hints for searching Google more effectively:

Monday, December 5, 2011

How can a bibliography help you to find information?

Have you ever found it difficult to find information on a topic for an assignment? Maybe you have only found one book or a few journal articles on your subject?  Maybe you are at a loss as to where you will find more information?

Here's a little tip for you....
Check out the bibliography at the back of the book or journal article!

The bibliography lists the resources that the author has consulted when they wrote the article. It is a list of the information that they have referred to in support of their arguments and findings, and may include books, newspapers, journals and websites.

By a process of trial and error, you will be able to access some of these resources too; and by doing so you will be well on the way to building up your own collection of resources for your assignment.

Bear in mind that not every resource will have a bibliography, however most academic sources do.

Give it a try!

Ho ho ho!

SANTA has lots of FREE GIFTS for the good boys and girls at ITB…….

Like our Facebook page and be in with a chance to win some Christmas chocolate

Friday, December 2, 2011

Protect your privacy on Facebook

Facebook is a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with the world. It is great for sharing news, photos  and other media and allows us to keep up to date with friends and family.

However, there are pitfalls that go along with it, especially from a Job-seeking point of view.  CareerBuilder has suggested that 45% of employers use social networking sites to screen job applicants. It found  that in many cases, candidates were not hired because of content found on their social networking site.  The top examples cited include:

Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information
Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs
Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients
Candidate made discriminatory comments

So it makes sense to be careful with what we post to Facebook, Twitter and similar sites. Here are some tips:
·       Choose your words carefully when saying anything on Facebook. Is it the best place to vent your frustrations?
·       Screen all photos/videos that you post or are tagged in. Consider what you are comfortable letting others see and what you would prefer to keep private.
·       Know who you’re friends with and what they can see on your profile – do you really want your boss to know what you did on Saturday night?!
·       Treat anything you post or are tagged in as something that will remain online for good. What you post may come back to haunt you later...
·       Check your privacy settings. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Did you know that Santa will be visiting ITB on Sat 10 Dec?

He will be the guest of honour at the annual ITB Children's Christmas Party!
Join us for a christmas play, face painting, children's games and the Garda Band.  Students and staff are invited to bring their children along (there is no charge for the children of students / €5 per staff family).

Presents for Santa’s bag will be accepted at Reception in Block F until 12.00 noon on Friday 9th December. Please ensure that presents are wrapped and clearly marked with the child’s name including the surname.  Your child will not receive a present from Santa unless you supply one.  Presents for Santa should be limited in value to €10.  Please consider all children attending when supplying Santa presents.

World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day

People around the world take the opportunity to remind themselves of the facts and myths surrounding HIV and AIDS.  Students, especially, often take on the role of ambassadors for responsible sexual health. 

If a friend asked you for advice, would you be confident that you could help? Today is a good day to be informed!