IELTS® Listening Practice 38

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Listening Script Vocabulary

(Section 4: You will hear a lecturer and a librarian giving an explanation on how to do research in the university library. First, you will have some time to look at questions 33 to 40 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 33 to 40.)



J: Hello everyone. Welcome to today’s lecture on the subject of how to do research in the university library. This is one in a series of lectures organized by Student Services and the Student Union for new students during orientation week to help them get the most out of their university experience. Obviously, library research is a very important subject for you all. Library research is the key to success at university, and many students have difficulty with it at first. It is my pleasure to welcome Denise Jones to the stage. Denise is a librarian here at the university. Denise is working with the Student Ambassadors team this week but has made time in her busy schedule to talk to us today. Welcome, Denise.

D: Thank you very much, Jack. It’s a pleasure to be here with you all today. Now, as Jack mentioned, having the skills to use the library for research is essential for students. The library has a vast bank of books, journals and online resources for students to use but all too often they don’t know what’s available or how to find the materials. 

Most students are working under serious time constraints when they are asked to research and write an assignment. When you are short of time, it is important to know how to access information quickly and this will help you do your research in a library more efficiently. So, first of all you should research your topic by doing some background reading. A quick look at some basic information about your chosen topic will tell you the range of information available. 

A quick way to start is to simply look up the topic in an encyclopedia to find the basic information you need to get started on your research, such as dates and events, just to get an overview of your subject. 

If your first exploratory research efforts didn’t yield much information, think about narrowing down your topic, or expanding it. This becomes more important if you have serious time constraints: if it is difficult to find broad background information on your topic, how will you find in-depth facts if you have only 2 or 3 weeks to research and write about your topic? 

Now, once you are ready to find resources you have several options. First of all, you could use the Library of Congress Subject Headings to look up keywords that apply to your topic. 

A good option is to use your library’s inter-library loan system. If we don’t have a book in stock, we can check to see if it’s available in another library and use the inter-library loan service to request the book.

Another good tip is to ask if the library has access to SAGE. This software allows students to search for sources on your topic. The search results include government documents, magazines and journals.

Finally, you can ask the reference librarian for help to get you started. Tell the librarian what you have already searched for and what search terms you used. However, don’t expect the reference librarian to do your research for you. He or she can help direct you to the resources and relevant information you need but it’s up to you to extract the information.

That’s all the advice for today. Remember, if you missed anything from today’s lecture, you can look up the PowerPoint slides on the Student Portal. Best of luck with your studies …

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