Friday, August 26, 2016

The Writer's Diet: resources to help write better assignments

How does your academic writing rate? Is your writing, clear and concise or verbose, descriptive and long?
Would you like help to write better?
We have found some great resources to help you!

  • Learning Support - ALLaN (Academic Literacy, Learning, and Numeracy- The ALLaN team provide support with understanding the assignment questions, structure, and English language use (and many other study skills) through individual appointments, assignment feedback, online discussion board, quick question call back service and study guides.

  • The WritDiet Test - submit a 100 to 1000 word writing sample to find out how fit your writing is. This test analyses text for the use of verbs, nouns, prepositions, adjectives and adverbs, and "it, this, that, there". You'll find out if your writing is lean, fit & trim, needs toning, flabby or heart attack material.

    Cover page of the Writer's Diet
    Image used with permission from ProQuest Ebook Central
  • The Writer's Diet book (available  electronically and in print)  for tips to livelier writing and improved Writer's Diet Test results

  • The many amazing books on assignment writing in the Library - do a Primo Search for Books, journals, DVDs & more on "assignment writing" , "academic writing", or "writing skills" to find what we've got on this essential topic

Some general advice on writing at university 

Adapted from The Writers' Diet (Helen Sword, 2015)

  • Aim for clear, concise and carefully crafted writing, not vague and abstract
  • Add metaphors, concrete images, or even a sentence beginning with those helpful words, "For example..."
  • Use strong, specific, robust action verbs and limit "be-verbs'
  • Utilize nouns to show, not tell, and use real life examples
  • Minimise abstract noun use
  • Limit and vary prepositions
  • Employ adjectives and verbs to contribute new information to a clause
  • Avoid generalisations "it, this, that, and there", are frequently overused

Not sure what the above is about? 

Sounds like you need to brush up on your grammar skills!
The ALLaN team can help with this too.
And of course, the internet has heaps of resources on this too: you might like to try some of these websites:

  • How to improve your grammar (wikihow) - includes the grammar basics (parts of speech, proper word order, verb tense and punctuation) and how to avoid common mistakes
  • Grammar Revolution: a website to help learn grammar with sentence diagramming, exercises, lessons and YouTube videos
  • Grammar Girl: an informal guide to grammar usage 
  • Grammarly: an web-based browser extension correcting grammar, contextual spelling errors and poor vocabulary 

How did this blog rate in the Writer's Diet Test?

Fit and Trim!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Keep warm and fuzzy this winter!

Does the wild winter weather make you want to get crafty to keep warm?
If you'd like to knit up a storm or crochet a cover up to stop those wintry winds, come into your CSU Library and check out our cool craft section the next time you need a study break.

If browsing the shelves is your style, journey into the Library and look in the Dewey 746 section, but if you'd like help finding specific titles, come to the "Ask Us" desk where your friendly Librarians are more than happy to help!

Get crafting people, and keep warm and snug this winter!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Attending a Residential school? Visit the library!

Are you heading our way for a Residential School this August-September? CSU campus libraries will be open and our staff ready to help! Come see and use some of our newly renovated spaces.

Some of the new spaces in the Wagga library

Residential schools are a component of many of CSU's online courses.  This session they run from Monday 22 August to Sunday 4 August 2016.

During your residential school drop into the library to browse or get help:
And so much more – all you have to do is look for the AskUs desk in the library!

If you are at Bathurst or Wagga, look out for our Library Rovers between 12-2pm on the main library floors – they’re the ones in the bright green t-shirts ready to help!
Our Library Rovers are ready to help!
Albury, Wagga, Bathurst and Orange libraries will have extended opening hours during Residential Schools. Get to know your campus library by taking a virtual tour.

Find out what is available at the Albury-WodongaWaggaBathurst and Orange campus libraries.  Our Learning Commons have 24/7 spaces that offer access to PCs, Macs, wireless Internet, personal lockers, parent's room, assistive technology facilities, kitchenette and more.
Some of the new spaces in the Bathurst library
The Learning Commons also have Print/Copy/Scan facilities on all campuses which are fully integrated with your CSU card.

Make sure you bring your CSU card so you can access your on-campus accommodation and the Learning Commons 24/7, borrow books and print.  Haven’t applied for your CSU card yet? Apply online today.

Follow us on Social Media to keep up to date with what is happening at CSU Library.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Education Students - Professional Experience Placements are approaching!

Are you a Bachelor of Education student, getting ready to do your Professional Experience Placement in October? Let us help you get organised!
The CSU Campus Libraries at Wagga and Bathurst  have bright and colourful Children's Collections to cater for the needs of pre-service teachers. Our collections have a range of classroom teaching resources available for loan to help you with lesson planning and programming.  There are also a range of kits, games and other classroom teaching resources to use in the classroom when teaching in Primary Schools. 
These are searchable in Primo. Search by key learning area, for example Mathematics, and refine the search result by Kits, Games, Audio Visual or 3D objects.  We also have a range of puppets, Big Books, puzzles, games, and musical instruments for other key learning areas!
You can also search Primo to find Board of Studies Syllabus documents and other books with classroom teaching tips and ideas for lesson plans.

You can browse these collections on Level 3 of the Wagga Library, and Level 5 at Bathurst when you are on campus.

Before leaving for your Professional Experience Placement you can:
  • Borrow items such as AV material, kits, DVDs and books for the length of your Professional Experience Placement
  • Borrow items up to one week prior to leaving your campus.
While you are on Professional Experience Placement:
  • Request items such as AV material, kits, DVDs and books, scanned book chapters and journal articles
  • Receive your requested items from the Library via Australia Post for free (within Australia)
  • Submit your requests using the Workplace Learning Form
And if you're not having any luck finding what you're after, as always, Contact Us! Our friendly staff will be more than happy to help!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Librarian tips: the insiders' guide to the best of the CSU library

This week: a blog post on some of the great services library staff have discovered since they started working here.


  • Library Resource Guides (these contain subject specific resources, give you tips on how to search for different types of information, plus latest news and research). I think they are awesome, I wish I'd known about them when I was still studying.
  • The awesome services for distance education students (we scan and post books out to your home address).


  • The huge collection of LP records in the Bathurst library


  • The study room in the Bathurst Library set up with a television, DVD/VHS (video) player, and stereo with record player (use it to listen to LP records from our collection or videos from the archives)


  • Tablets (Surface Pros) can be borrowed for to do your work on (borrow them for up to 4 hours from the AskUs desk)
  • Renewing your loans online through the library website (our video shows you how)
  • Whiteboard markers (use in the learning commons, or anywhere there is a whiteboard)


  • 24 hour access to the Learning Commons areas on all campuses with your CSU student card.


  • Our online chat service giving you instant help (operating Monday to Friday 9:00am - 7:00pm, Friday 9:00am - 4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 1:30pm - 5:00pm)
  • Library Youtube videos for 24 hour help, (these include tutorials introducing the library website, how to use Primo Search, journal databases, general research strategies, endnote, plus many others)
  • Online Workshops at the start of each semester, (online and at selected campuses, developed to help you find the resources you need for your studies)


  • The fantastic new spaces and furniture in the library - much more room to study in a quiet spot!


  • All the new quiet study areas in the new Port Macquarie Learning Commons
  • The "CSU Safe app"- for students studying late on campus - you can request security staff to escort your to your car


  • All the new books in the new Port Macquarie Library.
  • The 24/7 library space, which allows you to pick up your holds (book requests, that is) from the holds locker and borrow library items day or night from the smart blade machine.


  • Lots and lots of films on DVD available for loan (when in the library check out the DVDs around the Dewey number 791.4372), or do a Primo Search by a movie title, or just use "movie", "film" or "DVD" in your search and refine your results to DVDs.
So, make sure you're making the most of all your CSU Library has to offer!