Writing an essay/assignment

Main Contents Page

Before you start




STEP 4: Legal and ethical USE


- Writing an essay/assignment

Consulting sources



Audio-visual material

The Internet

Reading and making notes

Preparing the bibliography

In-text referencing

Compiling the bibliography

Writing the first draft

Revising the assignment

Writing final draft

Collating the assignment

Checking the final draft


- Tips for presentations

- Tips for posters

- Tips for brochures

- Tips for displays

- E-communication guidelines

- Writing styles

- Quiz

Consulting information sources

Books that are reference works

  • Some examples of reference material are dictionaries, encylopaedias, etc. These are discussed in more detail in Step 2 of this course.
  • These materials are shelved in the Reference section of the Library. The Dewey call number is prefaced by the letter REF. The REF stands for reference, which indicates that the materials are kept in the Reference section.
  • These materials may not be removed from the Library.

Books that you may borrow from the library

  • Use the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) in the Library to search for books that are in your Library. If you need help to search the OPAC, ask a Librarian.
  • Browse (look through the books on the shelves). This is often a worthwhile source of finding relevant and interesting information (the serendipity v. the scientific method). (Serendipity: the making of pleasant discoveries by accident.)

Books on short loan

What is short loan?

Your Library will have a Short Loan department. Materials that are in high demand are kept on short loan by lecturers or Librarians to ensure that the material can't be taken out of the Library for long periods at a time, especially when many students need access to the same items within a limited period of time.

What type of material is kept at short loan?

  • Selected books, kept on semi-permanent or permanent basis.
  • High-risk or expensive materials.
  • Lecturer's notes or photocopies, kept in files.
  • Certain test and exam papers.
  • SABS publications

Your lecturer may have put books/materials on short loan (i.e. reserved in the Short Loan section of the Library). These materials may be consulted in the library or borrowed overnight. Contact the short loan department at your Library for more information.

Books that are NOT available in your Library:

  • Use the OPAC to identify material available at the other three tertiary institutions in the Eastern Cape (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Rhodes University, Walter Sisulu University of Technology and Science).
  • Use the National Library of South Africa (Cape Town Division). For more information on the National Library click here.
  • Cape Town City Library is opposite the Grand Parade. The address: Central Library Information Service, 1st Floor, Old City Hall, Darling Street, Cape Town.
  • Find out where your nearest public library is. Register as a member and make use of the services.
  • There may be other materials which may be borrowed from other libraries on inter library loan. You may discover the existence and whereabouts of such books by consulting the bibliographies at the back of chapters and books. Contact the Inter Library Loans Department in your Library.