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Acknowledgement (1)

Expression of appreciation to individuals who have been helpful, placed at the beginning of a thesis.

Acknowledgement (2)

Using one of the standard referencing systems to cite the sources which have been used in the writing of an assignment.

Annotated bibliography

Article (1)

Paper written by a scholar, usually on the basis of research and on a quite specific topic, in contrast to a book (sometimes called a monograph).

Article (2)

A grammatical item (a/an or the), indicating how specific the noun it introduces is, and how it relates to the surrounding text and context.

Book Review

Written response to a publication which describes the text and then gives a considered opinion, based on one's understanding of how it contributes to the field of knowledge.


A method of freethinking you can use to gather ideas together, whereby you write or draw anything that comes into your mind about your topic

Case study

Similar to a report but focusing on a case. Tends to be one of two types: 1) the case is analysed to identify the major problems that exist and to suggest solutions to the problems; or 2). the objective is to try and understand what has happened in the case and why, and it is not necessary to identify problems or suggest solutions.


Using one of the standard referencing systems to acknowledge that you have drawn upon a particular source in the writing of your assignment. (Example of a citation: Bloggs (1998) argues …).


An abstract thought or idea which is able to group things together in the mind (in contrast to a perception, which is concerned with visualising aspects of the physical world)

Critical review

Broad term for a written response to an article, software, film, etc, which describes the text or item and then gives a considered opinion, based on one's knowledge of the field.

Editing an assignment

Stage of assignment preparation where you check structure, coverage of topic, analysis and argument, coherence, flow, and handling of sources.

Empirical study

A paper(article, report, etc) or book which is based principally on experiment or observation, rather than on theory


The traditional essay involves the written response to a topic or proposition where you present a reasoned argument in support of your view, using sources.


Higher degree by research. Can be Masters or PhD.


Method of large-group teaching, usually face to face, with an academic staff member outlining the essential information and issues relating to a topic, for students studying a particular subject

Literature Review

Traditionally provides an historical overview of the theory and the research literature, with a special emphasis on the literature specific to the thesis topic.

Marked-up text

A reading strategy whereby you write on your own text or photocopy, highlighting or underlining or adding notes in the margin.


Methodology in an academic discipline refers to the rationale underlying the choice of a particular set of methods and approaches used to find the answer to a research question


A method where you take the results of a brainstorming session and map the relationships between the ideas or key points using lines, arrows, colours and words to link them. You can then use this to begin planning the structure of your assignment


Using someone else's work without acknowledging your source (there is a Monash University policy on plagiarism).

Postgraduate study

The higher level of university study which can follow a three-year undergraduate degree. Sometimes the honours (4th) year in a degree is considered 'postgraduate'. Postgraduate study can be by coursework (assignments and/or examinations); a mixture of coursework and short thesis; or purely by thesis or dissertation.

Proof-reading an assignment

Final step before handing in assignment, involving checking the formatting, referencing, and sentence level expression.


Using one of the standard systems (eg Harvard, Vancouver) to indicate that you have used sources in the writing of your assignment.


An assignment where you are asked to report on an aspect of a topic. It is structured in sections with headings (in contrast to the traditional essay), and may involve your own research as well as your consulting of sources.


Method of small-group teaching (usually face to face) where, depending on the size of the group, an academic staff member leads a discussion of the key questions and issues relating to a topic. This may be a 'one-off' session or, for students studying a particular subject, eg at honours level, it may be a regular high-level, focused class.

Study group

Informal group set up by students, usually studying a particular subject, to share what you know with the objective of everyone increasing their knowledge, improving their approaches and their motivation to study.


Book assigned as reading for a subject, written by one or more authors. It is usually a compilation of the best-known or most significant topics in a subject area. In contrast to a journal article, it is not necessarily based on the author's research.


A theory in an academic discipline is a proposed explanation or model (of some aspect of the world) which can then be examined and discussed and (usually) tested.


Method of small-group teaching (usually face to face) where, depending on the size of the group, an academic staff member leads a discussion of the key questions and issues relating to a topic, for students studying a particular subject.

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