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Library Subject Guides

Russian: Assignment Research

A guide for UC students and staff

I am here to help

I am available to help you throughout the academic year. Please e-mail me with a requested date and time, and a brief description of your topic. I'd be delighted to meet you

Recommended Databases

These indexing databases are recommended for this subject - see also: Databases for Russian.

UC Skills

1. Define your topic

It might seem obvious, but the first step is to make sure you understand the topic.

1) Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question to help you develop a search strategy.

2) Work out why the topic is being offered. Is it:

controversial ? complicated? what makes the topic interesting?

2. Gather background information

Use dictionaries and encyclopaedias to find definitions and background information. Articles from specialized subject encyclopaedias are authoritative and often substantial.

Read more on:

3. Think about what information you need

  • How much information do you need? Lecturers often give guidelines on the number of sources you should use.
  • Do you need current information or is older material relevant? Sometimes you might need both, as you might have to give both the historic background and the current thinking on a topic.
  • Do you need primary sources that give an original accounts from the time and place, or secondary sources which are interpretations of someone else's work?

If you don't understand what you have to do for an assignment, ask your lecturer, your tutor or someone at the Learning Skills Centre.

4. Find books

Search the Library catalogue:

  • Check for books on Restricted Loan for the course.
  • Use Title and Keyword anywhere searches to find additional material.
  • When you find a useful title, click on its subject headings to find books on similar subjects.
  •  Browse the library shelves in the classification sequence for Russian

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5. Find journal articles

The catalogue lists journal titles, but not the titles of the articles inside the journals. To find these you'll need to search the recommended databases for Russian (see above left).

If you can't find the kind of information you want on these databases, ask a subject librarian - we can help you choose the right database and the right keywords to use.

6. Find information on the internet

 The internet has a lot of information, but not all of it is useful or reliable. Consider the source of the page. Suitable sources are

  • a government department
  • an academic or university department
  • a research institute

Use the Advanced Search features of Google to restrict your search to results from reputable sources.

Do not use articles directly from Wikipedia, although you can use its content (eg keywords or phrases) to search other sources

Use Google Scholar to find reliable journal articles. Adjust the Scholar Preference to recongnise the University of Canterbury, and you will get full text whenever it is available through our library subscriptions.

7. Evaluate your sources

References recommended on reading lists will already have been evaluated for quality. You'll need to evaluate sources that you find yourself. Think critically about the information you find. The quality of your information has an effect on the quality of your assignment.


Read more on:
evaluating your sources

8. Write your assignment

The Library has some useful writing guides for this subject.


Visit the Learning Skills Centre for workshops and/or personal help with writing your essay.

9. Cite your sources

 Look professional and keep out of trouble by citing all the sources of information you use in your essay, using the MLA citation style.

Liaison Librarian

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Kim Hall
Email me with questions about Business, European Union, French, German, Spanish or Russian
Level 5
Puaka James Hight
(03) 3693 918

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