Improve Your Writing With This Book Display

From completing job application to finishing up assignments for courses, most of us have hit one of the busiest times in the semester. With the opportunity to apply new skills first-hand to current projects, now is the perfect time to acquire new study and writing skills! To help with this, our March book display, “Writing Success,” is sure to come in handy.

Whether you’re looking for grammar tips or step-by-step guides, this book display has all the tools you need to elevate your writing.

Below are a few picks from the March book display. For the full collection, check out the in-person display at the McLennan-Redpath Library.

A Mind For Numbers by Barbara Oakley

Whether you are a student struggling to fulfill a math or science requirement, or you are embarking on a career change that requires a new skill set, A Mind for Numbers offers the tools you need to get a better grasp of that intimidating material.

English Grammar For Dummies by Wendy M. Anderson

Graceless with grammar? Perplexed by punctuation? Have no fear! This second Australian edition of English Grammar For Dummies explains everything from basic sentence structure to the finer points of grammar. Packed with expert advice, this book will help you to communicate more effectively and make the right impression every time.

How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens

The key to good and efficient writing lies in the intelligent organisation of ideas and notes. This book helps students, academics and nonfiction writers to get more done, write intelligent texts and learn for the long run. It teaches you how to take smart notes and ensure they bring you and your projects forward.

The Study Skills Guide by Jacqueline Connelly and Patrick Forsyth

The Study Skills Guide covers the essential skills that lead to success at university. With advice on how to work efficiently and achieve great results, this comprehensive guide offers practical and proven ways to cope with the challenges you will face.

How to Write a Thesis by Rowena Murray

This invaluable book covers issues such as working out the criteria for your thesis, writer’s block, writing a literature review, making notes into a draft and much more. 

Library Vocab 102: What are datasets and databases?

As a McGill student working at the library, I understand that navigating the vast world of information can be challenging, especially when encountering terms like “dataset” and “database.” In this short blog post, I try to simplify these concepts for fellow students, providing a clearer understanding of what they entail.

Let’s start with Datasets:

A dataset is essentially a collection of organized information or data. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet with rows and columns or as complex as a massive compilation of data points related to a specific topic. Datasets serve as raw materials for research and analysis, allowing researchers to draw meaningful conclusions based on patterns, trends, and relationships within the data.

For example, a dataset on climate change might include information on temperature variations, greenhouse gas emissions, and sea level rise over a specific time period. McGill’s library provides access to various datasets through platforms like ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research), where you can explore datasets related to social sciences.

Now let’s try understanding Databases:

On the other hand, a database is a structured collection of data organized for efficient retrieval and management. Databases store and organize information in a way that allows users to search, retrieve, and manipulate data easily. Think of it as a digital filing cabinet where information is stored in a systematic manner.

McGill’s library offers access to numerous databases, including academic databases like JSTOR, PubMed, and ProQuest. These databases cover a wide range of disciplines, providing students with scholarly articles, research papers, and other academic resources to support their studies.

To rephrase here are the key differences:

   – Datasets: Raw, unprocessed information.

   – Databases: Organized and processed information.

   – Datasets: Used for analysis, research, and drawing conclusions.

   – Databases: Used for efficient storage, retrieval, and management of information.

As a McGill student, you have access to a wealth of datasets and databases through the library, empowering you to explore, learn, and excel in your academic journey.

Remember to leverage resources like lib guides and platforms recommended by the McGill library to make the most of these valuable tools in your studies. Happy exploring!

Library Vocab 101: What is a Catalogue Record?

When using the McGill Libraries, it can be useful to know what the various terms on the website mean in order to become more efficient in your work. However, terms such as “Catalogue” and “Catalogue Record” may come up – but what exactly do these words mean?

What is the library Catalogue?

The library catalogue is the collection of all the materials available through the McGill Libraries, whether it be books, articles, movies, or any other resources. For a better searching experience, the Sofia Discovery Tool allows you to browse the library catalogue for materials in our collection, as well as materials in other libraries worldwide.

What is a Catalogue Record?

Now that we have a better grasp on what the catalogue is, it’s time to turn to catalogue records. When you search something in the catalogue, all the results that come up are individual (catalogue) records.

To see more information on a particular record, simply click on it. This will show you all of the metadata within that catalogue record, such as the author, date of publication, and ISBN number. Each search result is its own individual catalogue record, with information on the selected record stored within it!

If you have any questions about how to use the library or more, contact