Since completing an undergraduate degree in 2016 I’ve been preparing for MA study at the Open University. As the first module guidance suggests reflecting on study via blogging I’m starting with a post about my preparation.
I’m finding Microsoft OneNote an excellent tool for recording detailed summaries of (hopefully relevant) books that I’ve been reading. I’ve created sections to represent different books and pages for each chapter within the book. As it stores the data in the cloud it’s also great for working in multiple locations.
Creating notes is a good way of digesting the contents and also produces a personalised reference source. I’m hoping that the detailed index of ideas and summary text will be beneficial when I come to re-visit the books in preparation for specific assignments!
I’ve been trying out a new tool … and created this Microsoft ‘Sway’ presentation to show how to use Microsoft Word to manage references and citations in your documents. These tips may save you time and help to reduce errors – they did for me.
LINK: View the Sway presentation – using MS Word for referencing
RE: Open University (OU) referencing format:
The OU version of Harvard referencing – which I am now using – is different from the reference list output produced by Microsoft’s Harvard settings. However, the other benefits still make it good to use:
- you collect the source referencing data correctly as you write (or at least sufficient to find it again),
- your inline citation text is formatted and easy to spot,
- the reference list is automatically updatable,
- at the end of the writing process you can see at a glance which sources are in use and which have been edited out.
Reformatting to meet OU referencing criteria means that after the final edit, you need to manually copy and paste the reference list and make the minor alterations necessary to reformat in the OU style (according to the OU guidance document).
Also note that an OU module guide that I read stated that for secondary referencing (which is demonstrated in the Sway presentation) you should not list the original source in the reference list as it would imply that the original source had been read.
Other comment: Microsoft Sway is a very visual tool. Since recently studying the topic of accessibility in learning, and without re-visiting this tool to study it further, I think that I probably won’t use it again to distribute information.