Lifestyle blog by a thirty-something city dweller

It’s the little things

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Throughout my degree course, there were a number of resources that I really could not have gone without. Most of them, thankfully, can be found on UCB Portal, the university’s one-stop shop for information which can be accessed 24/7 from any computer with internet.

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UCB Referencing Guide
This was my absolute lifeline whilst writing assignments. It explains how to reference for pretty much every type of source you’ll come across. Yes, UCB uses Harvard Referencing, but don’t just look it up online as there are quite a few variations to this particular method. The university’s specific referencing guide can be found on the portal by going to Students – Documents – HE Assessment Resources – Referencing Standard – Full Referencing Guide.

As much as I’m quite traditional in that I prefer to take out hard copy textbooks from the library than to use e-books, USearch is really helpful when searching for articles in journals, newspapers, magazines and trade publications. My dissertation used a lot more journals than textbooks and I needed to search for a particular time period and country of publication so using this function made my search so much easier and quicker. This can be found on the portal under Library and E-Resources – USearch.

My Email
The first thing I did with my university email address was to set up forwarding to my usual Hotmail account. This way any emails sent to my account automatically come through as new emails to my Hotmail account which I have linked to my phone and iPad. This includes important information from my lecturers about changes to classes or updates to lecture notes, reminders from the library that my books need renewing and also student discount updates from Unidays – don’t want to miss out on those!

The list of resources available to UCB students via Athens is extensive, so no matter what course you’re studying there is something on there for you. A few of my most-used ones include Keynote, Mintel, Dawson books and Access to many of these resources is often very expensive so make the most of the free access as the information is really invaluable for your assignments and for further reading. This can be found on the portal under Library and E-Resources – E-Resources.

Report Writing
I’d never had to write a formal report before starting my degree course. I’d only ever written essays to complete assignments. The Academic Skills Centre has so many helpful leaflets but the report writing one is definitely the one I used most often. It can be found on the portal under Students – ASC – Can I download the ASC leaflets? It explains how to format and structure a report and is concise but hugely helpful.

My Results
Gone are the days of having to go into uni to wait for results to be pinned up on a noticeboard. Now, UCB uploads our results to our individual portal accounts. Nice for a few reasons, not least that no-one else gets to find out your results before you do. With final results going live last week, I didn’t have a lot of faith in the portal and definitely thought it would crash with the traffic of so many students logging in at the same time. However, I only had to refresh my screen once before I was able to get in and that was lovely. After having to wait two months for results, I think I’d have lost my mind if I couldn’t get them as close to midday as possible!

Author: amiiat30

Marketing Communications Manager, sports coach, crochet queen

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