Uni Tips | Referencing, Reading & Deadlines

When I was at university, all I heard was people moaning about referencing, reading, meeting deadlines and paying to read journals online. As many of you will be starting university this month, I thought I would put together a post with all of the tips and tricks I picked up over my time at university. 

1. Referencing 

The biggest complaint I hear is about referencing. I watched as so many students manually wrote out their references and put them in alphabetical order, after they had completed their report or essay. If this is something you tend to do, this little trick will save you hours of searching for the books and journals you've used to complete your work. 

1 - Go to the 'References' tab on word.

2 - Chose the relevant referencing style (in my case, my university used Harvard). 

3 - Click 'Insert Citation' - input the relevant information (i.e. the name, date and publisher) - this will then display at the end of your sentence as an in-text citation. e.g. 'This is supported by the theory .... (Kotler, 2017).'

4 - Once you have added all of your in-text citations and you are ready to create your references/bibliography at the end, click the 'Bibliography' button and it will automatically put your references in alphabetical order. 

This is a great way to ensure that you are keeping track of all of the journals and books you have used throughout the report. 
2. Reading / Accessing Books and Journals Online

I was told at the start of me degree, 'Only the students that take books out of the library will get a first class honours degree.' I definitely proved them wrong. I don't think I took a single book out of the library at uni and I ended up with a first class degree and an award for the best dissertation. I simply used books that I had bought (and also hand-me-downs from my sister, as she did the same degree), and also used Google Books/Journals as much as physically possible. 

Google Books will be your life saver, most books will have preview pages or even the full book for free online. You can use the search bar on the left-hand side to find specifics about a certain theory or topic, to save you having to read a full book.

Some journals online will ask for you to pay to read the rest of the article, or to create an account. The will often stop halfway down the page, and the rest will simply be squiggles where the text would be. To save you creating an account, simply highlight the whole page and right click and click 'Search in Google'. The rest of the text should now display on Google, without you needing to create an account. 

3. Meeting Deadlines

One main thing everyone struggles with, whether that be at university or work, is meeting deadlines. My deadlines usually fell on the same week, especially in my third year where I'd find myself having to hand in around 4 pieces of work, including my dissertation all in the same week. One trick that I found useful and still find useful to this day, is creating my own deadlines. For example, if a report is due on the 14th September, in my plan I would make it due on the 7th September. This ensured I got the report finished a week before it was due, and therefore had time to make any last minute changes or focus on my other reports, essays and presentations. 

So there are my handful of tips and tricks when tackling the endless amounts of university work. If you are starting university this month, good luck! I hope these tips will help you throughout the years. 

Remember to share this with anyone who is starting university this year!


  1. Macey @ Brine & Books11 September 2019 at 21:19

    Still can't get over how pretty your new site looks!! Where have I been on that referencing tip? Definitely going to be using that for the myriad of papers that I will be writing for the rest of my college career. I really should make earlier deadlines for myself, and I'm gonna aim to do that this year. xxxxx


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