A quick refresher on finding a variety of resources for your assignments

If you’ve got an assignment to submit – maybe before Christmas, maybe afterwards in the new year, this post is for you. Did you know that one criterion that your assignments are marked against is your ability to select and critically evaluate a range of resources, particularly academic resources?

Think about the types of sources you use and include in your assignments. Do you use a good range of relevant and appropriate sources or do you tend to mostly use books and ebooks? Do you consult quite a few websites? Have you ever included academic journal articles?

If you’ve submitted previous assignments, think about feedback you may have received. was your lecturer looking for more academic sources?

So what kind of resources should you be including in your assignments? Explore the sections below for some ideas:

Literature assessment criteria

Books and ebooks are great for developing your understanding of a topic and you will definitely need to consult some key texts and include them your references but you probably don’t want books to make up 100% of your references.

Books/ebooks tip: look for titles beyond your reading list. You can search for books/ebooks from the library web page and all you need are a few keywords.

Not sure how to search for books and ebooks. Watch this video for a quick demonstration:

If you’re a member of the Institute of Hospitality you will be able to search their collection of ebooks too. Contact the tourism librarian, Leanne Young to find out how you can join the Institute of Hospitality for free.

The latest research on your topic is likely to be published in academic journal articles and you should aim to use some relevant academic journal articles to help you write your assignments. It is definitely a good idea to ensure you have some academic journal articles in your reference lists.

So where do you find academic journal articles?

There are a few places you can look but your starting point should be the University of Sunderland library web page. Our subscriptions include many of the main journals for tourism, hospitality and events research including:

  • Annals of Tourism research
  • Journal of Travel Research
  • Current Issues in Tourism
  • International Journal of Hospitality Management
  • International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
  • Event Management
  • International Journal of Event and Festival Management.

We subscribe to a lot more journals too. You can view a list of the most relevant journals on a My Module Resources list but keep in mind journal articles about other less obvious subjects can be relevant too for example marketing, human resources, service marketing and sports.

So how do you find relevant journal articles?

Start at the library web page. Think of some keywords on your topic and search for them – make sure you select the journal article tick box. You may choose to do an advanced search which gives you a bit more control. On an advanced search you can look for various combinations of your keywords and be more specific about which field to look for your keyword in. It’s easier than it sounds. Here’s an example advanced search using a combination of keywords:

Tourism advanced search

Not sure how to find journal articles – watch this short demonstration:

Whether you need to know more about a particular company or you need to analyse the impact of tourism on a particular city, market research data and analysis can be valuable additions to your assignments. It is definitely worth checking whether there is any market research on your topic.

We subscribe to two market research databases Euromonitor Passport and IbisWorld. To access them you can go to the Databases A-Z list on the library web page. They both have good help sections that will help you learn how to use them but you can also contact the tourism librarian Leanne Young.

Here are just a few examples of market research that can enrich your assignments:

  • Company profiles for example for hotels such as the Marriott
  • Top hotels in any country using defined criteria (such as earnings)
  • The impact of Brexit on industries
  • Trends in global tourism
  • How much tourists spend on activities
  • Adoption of social media by travel industry
Passport help

There are some great sources of data and statistics including:

The Office of National Statistics https://www.ons.gov.uk/

The ONS even have a particular page of official data on Travel and Leisure: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism

Visit Britain https://www.visitbritain.org/  

Visit Britain publish many reports on the British tourism industry for example England Visitor Satisfaction research and future trends in the tourism industry.

You may also find statistical data on market research databases.
If you’ve got questions about accessing any library resources and finding information for your assignment pop into the library and ask or book a one-to-one with the tourism librarian Leanne Young.

Visit britain

If you’ve got any questions about using library resources in your assignment or would like some help from the tourism librarian Leanne, email leanne.young@sunderland.ac.uk 

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