Academic writing and study technique
There is a lot to think about when you are to write an academic text. When you use something that you have taken from another text, such as facts, ideas of images, it is important to clearly state this by referring to the source. If you do not refer to your sources, you are guilty of plagiarism. It is also important to be able to find the right information and know how to assess it.
Academic writing tips
Find out what has been published on a subject. LTH Libraries can help you and give guidance on how to search for information for your degree project.
In the LTH Master’s student guide you find useful tips regarding the information retrieval process, plagiarism, source criticism, reference management, etc.
Think about the search queries, keywords, synonyms, and relevant subject headings that you want to use. Use the help texts of the various databases or see the LTH Master’s student guide for information about phrase searching, truncation, etc.
Information sources can be different types of documents (e.g. books, journal articles or reports) and different types of media (e.g. printed or electronic). More and more documents today are published electronically and are accessible online. You can find plenty of useful materials online: information from public authorities, companies and organisations, news, web portals, blogs, scientific information through databases, etc.
There are a number of different search tools that you can use, depending on what source you wish to use.
- LTH subject guides (LTH Library's website)
- Consult LUBsearch to search for electronic articles, e-books, conference reports, etc. (Lund University Libraries' website)
- Lund University library catalogue LUBCAT (Lund University Libraries database)
- National Library of Sweden catalogue LIBRIS (LIBRIS website)
Evaluate your sources critically. Online sources vary greatly in terms of content and quality, making critical awareness extremely important. Regardless of whether the literature is printed or available online, you must always ask yourself who the author of the book/article/website is. Another important issue is to consider what knowledge the author has on the subject. The easiest way to keep track of your sources is to use a reference management program. Lund University has licenses to RefWorks and EndNote, and there are also several free programs.
In Uppsök you can search for complete degree projects and papers from more than 20 of the higher education institutions in Sweden.
In Lund University Publications (LUP) you can find papers and degree projects from Lund University. This is where information about your degree project is to be entered and where your completed project report is uploaded. LUP is part of the national search engine for degree projects, Uppsök.
When writing at university you must specify all your sources. Failure to do so will be considered plagiarism.
There are several reasons why you must refer to your sources. The reader must be able to clearly determine what ideas are yours and what has been retrieved from other authors. The reader must also be able to access the original sources.
The sources are to be stated in a reference list or bibliography. There are several different established styles that can be applied when referring to sources and writing references. Some of the most used styles are Harvard, MLA, APA, and IEEE. Consult your supervisor or department which reference style applies to your subject.
Read more about referencing:
- Reference Management at LTH (Lund University Libraries's website)
- Reference management at Lund University (Lund University libraries' website)
- Academic integrity (Lund University libraries' website)
- Student papers and Copyright (Lund University libraries)
Presentation on plagiarism
See the presentation held by Ladaea Rylander, language educator at Lund University.
You also find more information at the end of this page.
Writing academic texts and getting the right study technique is often something you have to practice. There is help to get through the Academic Support Centre at Lund University, but also support and education through LTH.
Study in groups - SI
Supplemental Instruction, collaborative learning, is offered in a number of subjects during the first year of study at the educational programs at LTH. The SI pass is in the schedule and is led by a specially trained student who has previously read the current course.