Online academic skills

Studying at university will require you to develop your academic skills in a number of areas. The resources below include video tutorials and written documents that will help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tutorials include:

  • Research and evaluating evidence, referencing and academic integrity (avoiding plagiarism) 
  • Planning and managing assignments, critical thinking, posters and presentations
  • Dissertations/extended projects, and much more....

Academic and Research skills

Are you working on an assignment for your course? Do you know the difference between an essay and a report, or between a case study and a proposal? Whether you are looking for advice on essay structure or presentation techniques, have a browse through our online resources to help guide you. 

Save references, insert citations in a Word document and create a bibliography or reference list. RefWorks and EndNote Web are supported by the Library and there are also a number of other free tools that are available that you may come across.


is a web-based product, does not require you to obtain software, and can be accessed remotely.

RefWorks (New)

New RefWorks (helpguide)

Access new RefWorks to open an account or transfer an existing RefWorks account. To log in click on 'Log in with your institution's credentials' then on the arrow next to 'use login from my institution' to select University of Surrey from the drop down list.

RefWorks (Legacy)

If you already have a RefWorks account and would like to continue using this access legacy RefWorks. To log in click on the arrow next to My Institution's Credentials (Shibboleth) and select University of Surrey from the drop down list.

End Note

EndNote is installed on all Austin Pearce and Library computers. This includes EndNote Web - log in to Web of Science and follow the link to My EndNote Web.

How Do I Obtain Endnote?

The licences allow you to install the software on any computer or laptop owned by the University of Surrey. Check with your Faculty IT Manager before doing so. Contact the User Support Desk in the Library on Level 1. You will be asked to complete a form confirming that you will abide by the site licence agreement and only use the software on a computer or laptop owned by the University of Surrey.

To use the software on a computer or laptop not owned by the University of Surrey you need to purchase a personal licence.  To purchase at a discounted rate, you must use your university email address at Bilaney Consultant  

Referencing software help sheets

Training courses are held in the University Library. Below are useful help-sheets, tutorials and free webinars available for you to access:



EndNote Web

EndNote Web product information 
EndNote Web online tutorials and webinars


Types of assignment

Writing an essay is a multi-step process which will include: defining and making sense of the title, planning and identifying the scope of your main argument, refining your ideas and summarising your work into a coherent and will reasoned conclusion. 

An introduction to essay writing - Online (University of Leeds)

Planning your essay - PDF (SPLASH)

Structuring an essay - Video (University of Northampton)

Linking words - Online phrasebank (University of Manchester)

Strategies for writing - Online (University Of Nottingham)

Writing for science - Online (University of Leicester)

coming soon 

A Dissertation, Thesis or Extended Project will require higher level skills in planning and time management, as well as writing critically and succinctly. The following resources will assist your understanding of this type of assignment. 

Dissertations: research proposals, choosing a topic, choosing the framework, and writing - Online (Oxford Brookes Univeristy)

Planning and conducting a dissertation research project - Online (University of Leicester)

Developing and organising your argument - Online (Universty of Manchester; works in IE)

Dissertation checklist - Video (University of Northampton)

A literature review allows you to write and evaluate what others have said about your topic. Completing it informs the reader you have read widely, and that you have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of a particular field of research. The following resources will assist you with completing your literature review including the research, planning and writing. It is intended to cover all subject areas.

What is a Literature Review - Online (Royal Literary Fund)

Doing a Literature Review - Screencast (University of Reading)

Literature Review - Online (University of Nottingham)

A project can be referred to as an individual or collaborative undertaking that is done to achieve a particular purpose or aim. To complete this type of assignment you will require excellent skills in planning, time management, research and critical thinking amongst others. Resources for these areas can be found in the academic skills section.

Successful group projects - Online (University of Leicester)

How to do an engineering project - Online (Synopsys)

Deveploping your research project - Online (University of Southampton)

Guidelines for managing projects - PDF (Dept for Business Innovation & Skills)

Giving a presentation requires many skills from completing the research, structuring your talk, considering your audience and being confident with the dissemination of information. The following resources are purposefully designed to assist you with different areas of this assignment.

Presentation Delivery - video (University of Surrey)

Effective Communication- Online (Learn Higher)

Presentations: preparing, structuring, style, and the do's and don'ts - Online (University of Manchester)

Giving presentations - Online (University of Nottingham)

Deliver better presentations - Online (University of Leicester)

Creating a poster that visually communicates your research is an effective way to show others what you have completed. However, getting the balance right between visual and text is tricky. 

Designing and Academic Poster - Online (University of Leicester)

Posters and Presentations - Book (SPLASH)

Being reflective is vital for your learning. It will help you develop your ideas, your thinking, and your writing and is a good transferable skill that is used in employment. 

Reflective thinking & reflective writing - Video (University of Surrey)

C is for Critical thinking - Online (University of Surrey)

Critical thinking - Book (Learning Development collection)



A learning journal or reflective journal is a personal collection of your observations and your thoughts on experiences you've had, either in the classroom or in another learning setting such as a work placement. Recording these thoughts and experiences and how you felt about them can help you to reflect on what worked well and what could be improved, leading to new learning. 

Writing a reflective Journal - Online (Clinpsy)

A short guide to reflective journals - Online (University of Birmingham)

Journal writing - Video (

A Journal is a collection of written entries that document thoughts, ideas, reflections, and theories from a task or topic of research. At undergraduate level, a journal assignment allows students to document various experiences, and theories that can be evaluated to form an opinion. However, at postgraduate level, the final outcome of that journal is more succinct and can be published. 

Writing for scholarly journals - PDF (University of Glasgow)

Surrey Undergraduate Research Journal - (SPLASH) 

coming soon 

coming soon