Summer is fast-approaching, but there’s one final hurdle to jump before those three months of freedom. Up until now your biggest worries have probably been arguing with your housemates over washing-up, making your student loan stretch for a whole term, or wondering whose Netflix account you can hijack next. Now deadlines and exams have crept up on you out of nowhere – or so you tell yourself in spite of multiple one-on-one sessions with your tutor and all those helpful lectures about time management – still, someone could have warned you right?
Currently in the midst of applying finishing touches, or attempting to cram a whole essay into an all-night session? Following our previous post on how to ‘Exceed Your Dissertation Expectations’, we’ve got a few final tips to ensure you get those top grades that reflect all your hard work.
If you haven’t started compiling your bibliography yet, then prioritise setting aside some time to collate all of the sources that have contributed to your work. Let’s be frank, in an ideal world you’d have listened to your lecturer’s words of wisdom to ‘reference as you go’. But if my experience is anything to go by, in reality your bibliography is an elusive, mythical creature that dwells in the dark recesses of your mind… until you wake up in the middle of the night and it hits you: hand-in day is round the corner and you haven’t even begun to reference. If that is the case then you’re in luck because referencing management tool, RefME, lets you add any source to your bibliography with just a click or scan. Crisis averted. Phew.
There’s nothing worse than losing work you’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into, especially when deadlines are looming. USB sticks, hard copies, and even your laptop can all be unreliable ways of saving your references and bibliography. Throughout your research journey references tend to accumulate in a variety of forms: on lecture notes, in notebooks, and on scraps of paper. These can be easily mislaid, causing unnecessary stress when hours before hand-in you can’t find the right page number, publication date or other essential source information. Building a digital footprint of your research is a foolproof way of ensuring your references cannot be lost. RefME stores all of your references in a web-based cloud, so whether you’re working in the library or at home you can access them at any time, from any device.
Whilst it may be easier said than done, the worst thing you can do right now is start to panic. In the last-minute rush, it’s tempting to take shortcuts and let the quality of your work slip. So take regular breaks; go outside and breathe in that sweet spring air or eat a decent meal with friends – anything that gives you a change of scenery. Eating a soggy sandwich and chugging an espresso whilst hunched over your laptop is not a break. Don’t work yourself to the bone; a frazzled brain fuelled by caffeine and adrenaline is neither productive nor efficient.
Using RefME’s web tool or iOS & Android apps brings you one step closer to crossing the finish line. Simply select your local site to start creating your citations now: UK | US | Worldwide. Let RefME take the weight off your shoulders so you can focus on completing your assignments to the best of your ability (and on time!).