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Professional Policing: Develop your skills

Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

Library skills

Take a look at our Library skills page which will direct you to all the help and support information available from Library Services.

This is the place to find out about the Library skills sessions available to all students at USW: 

  1. Library skills: getting started - a session aimed at students new to USW.
  2. Library skills: the next step - a session aimed at preparing students for undertaking a substantial piece of individual research, such as a dissertation. 

Or try our Library skills guide which will get you started, with the basics like finding a book, an article or journal. 

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If you require individual support, you can book an appointment with your Faculty Librarian or you can use our 24/7 chat service for a quick response to your question.

'How to...' video guides

Study skills books

Academic success : a student's guide to studying at university

This hands-on book introduces students to the demands of university study in a clear and accessible way and helps them to understand what is expected of them. It helps students to develop the core skills they need to succeed at university, and gives guidance on the key forms of academic writing, including essays, reports, reflective assignments and exam papers. It shows students how to recognise opinions, positions and bias in academic texts from a range of genres, develop their own 'voice' and refer to others' ideas in an appropriate way. It also features authentic examples of academic texts and engaging activities throughout to aid understanding. Packed with practical guidance and self-study activities, this book will be an essential resource for all students new to university-level study.

Cite them right : the essential referencing guide. 12th ed

The the leading guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism, covering everything from understanding plagiarism and identifying sources to setting out quotations and creating a reference list. Comprehensive and accessible, it provides readers with detailed examples of print and electronic sources, business, government, technical and legal publications, works of art, images and much more. The fully revised and updated 12th edition contains: Expanded guidance on the key principles of referencing and avoiding plagiarism, including new sections on collecting evidence to use in your work; reading, listening and taking notes; and using other people's work in your writing. New reference examples for Tik Tok, blog posts, Zoom and Teams, recorded lectures and online seminars.

Critical thinking skills developing effective analysis and argument. 3rd ed.

Written by internationally renowned author Stella Cottrell, this is an essential resource for students looking to refine their thinking, reading and writing skills. Stella Cottrell's student-centred approach demystifies critical thinking and breaks down a complex subject into manageable chunks. With clear explanations, relevant examples and plenty of exercises throughout, this book helps students to develop their analytical reasoning skills and apply them to a range of tasks including reading, note-making and writing. This text will turn even the most hesitant student into a proficient critical thinker. This is an ideal companion for students of study skills, humanities, social sciences, business and arts programmes, where assessment includes essay and report writing. It is suitable for students of all levels. 

Dissertations and project reports a step by step guide

The book breaks the process into manageable chunks and covers everything from preparation and planning through to conducting research and writing up the finished article. Packed with dozens of hands-on activities and quotes from real students, this book demystifies dissertations and project reports and helps ensure that the process is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. This is an invaluable resource for students of all levels embarking on a dissertation, project report or other piece of extended writing. Its interdisciplinary approach means it is the ideal companion for students of all disciplines.

How to write your literature review

This engaging guide by bestselling author Bryan Greetham takes students step-by-step through the process of writing a literature review, and equips them with practical strategies to help them navigate each stage. Each bite-sized chapter focuses on a specific aspect of the process, from generating ideas and pinning down the research problem through to searching for sources, citing references and planning, writing and editing the review. Chapters feature examples and exercises to help students apply ideas to their own work. Whether your students are writing a stand-alone review or one that is part of a dissertation or thesis, this guide is their essential companion.

The Study Skills Handbook. 5th ed.

This is the ultimate guide to study skills, written by million copy bestselling author Stella Cottrell. Her tried and tested approach, based on over twenty years' experience of working with students, has helped over a million students to achieve their potential.  When it comes to studying, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. This engaging and accessible guide shows students how to tailor their learning to their individual needs in order to boost their grades, build their confidence and increase their employability. Fully revised for the fifth edition, it contains everything students need to succeed. This is an invaluable resource for undergraduate students of all disciplines, and is also ideal for postgraduates, mature students and international students. It prepares students for what to expect before, during and after their studies at university.

Skills for success : personal development and employability. 4th ed

Now in its fourth edition, this indispensable guide helps students to create their own personal development programme and build the skills and capabilities today's employers want. Step by step, it takes students from the initial stages of setting goals and defining success through to the application process for their dream job.

Presentation Skills for Students.

Presentation Skills for Students, is a practical, accessible guide for all students in further or higher education. 

Types of assignments

This guide will explain the types of assignment required at USW.


Types of assignment guide button link

Literature Review Guide

This guide is an introduction to the Literature Review process - including its purpose and strategies, guidelines, and resources to get you started.


Literature Review Guide download

Referencing guides

All the USW guides can be found on the Referencing guides page:

  • USW Harvard Referencing - the style recommended for the majority of courses at USW.

The exceptions are:

  • USW APA referencing - referencing style required for Psychology students.
  • USW MHRA referencing - referencing style required for History students.
  • USW Numeric referencing - referencing style required for Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Science and Forensic Science students.
  • USW OSCOLA referencing - referencing style required for Law students.  

We also have a Referencing tools guide which outlines the main tools supported at USW and the most commonly used free tools.

Further help

If you would like a more comprehensive guide to referencing, the eBook below will help with all the styles listed above.
You can also make an appointment with a study skills tutor. 


Blackboard Ally

Learn your way with ALLY

Have you ever found content in your course that was difficult to read, or you wish came in a different format? Blackboard ALLY is the  answer. 

The ALLY alternative formats tool allows you to convert files uploaded to Blackboard by your lecturers into a wide range of different formats, including Audio/MP3  ePub, Electronic braille and PDF.

Prefer to read in your first language? ALLY can translate course documents into 30 different languages.

You can download your favourite format anywhere you see the ALLY alternative format icon on Blackboard - great for learning your way on the go.

Look out for the icon in Blackboard. blackboard ally icon

Find out more -