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Peer Point

Peer Point - UM Library

Your Guide to Writing and Research

Peer Point provides free research assistance to students studying at Maastricht University. Peer Point is staffed by students trained at responding critically and constructively to the work of their peers. Our mission is to help you improve your research skills.

Who or what is Peer Point?

Peer Point is a service offered by the Maastricht University Library for the student community. It is staffed by students who are very interested in academic writing and research.

Since November 2011 we are being trained how to find relevant and suitable sources among the books, journals, databases, bibliographies and audiovisual material which are offered by our University Library. And really, it is a jungle out there!

Peer Point is an helpful tool for clarify your doubts concerning research and use of the sources. The individual face to face meeting approach makes your spent time really valuable. And is free!

How can Peer Point help you?

Every student struggles with an assignment at one time or another, whether it’s for his thesis or answering a research question. Peer Point is your emergency line for any difficulties you encounter while doing research for an assignment, a paper or your thesis.

We can show you how to make use of the library resources effectively, help you create a research strategy or refer you to other people who can offer valuable support in your writing process. Drop in for a visit if any of the following problems sound familiar:

  • I am struggling with how to start my assignment / thesis outline
  • I have been told that my assignment needs better / more sources
  • I have started a paper successfully only to find that I am now stuck
  • I want to improve my finished assignment or thesis
  • I want to ensure that I have found the necessary articles there are to find on a given topic
  • I need to learn how to quickly and effectively order my resources and put them into a particular style
  • I need help creating a research question or research plan as part of my thesis or another writing assignment
  • I want to learn all there is to know about effectively finding resources through the library
  • I want to improve my writing style
  • I am running behind on my bachelor / master thesis, because of difficulties in time-management or motivation

I was lost for starting because I did not do it before and I had no structure. After I met Peer Point I got the clue and I tried to follow exactly what they said and it really helped.

 

How can you get in touch with Peer Point?

To guarantee you a basically effortless access to Peer Point you can contact us through various channels. Just choose what suits you best:

  • Send us an email at peerpoint-ub@maastrichtuniversity.nl
  • Contact us
    • via facebook
    • via Skype: peerpoint-ub (in case of need, e.g. if you are abroad)
  • Stop by and see us in the library.
    • Peer Point opening hours are not fixed. They vary each week and you can find them on our facebook page.

Once you got in touch with us, we will assess if we can help you with an email or if it would be more effective to meet you in person. If so, we schedule an appointment at a time that suits you best.

Easy to make an appointment, easy to find in the library, good experience.

What are Peer Point’s opening hours and where are we located?

You may send us an email 24/7 and we will reply to you asap. If you prefer to speak to us in person, you can visit us during our opening hours. You can find them on our facebook page.

We have two offices, which are both located next to the Information desk in both library locations.

Easy to make an appointment, easy to find in the library, good experience.

What kind of help could you expect from us?

If you come to us during our drop-in session, we will first determine what the problem is and try to help you then and there. If necessary we can arrange another session with you, or continue to support you through email or Skype. If you send us an email or contact us through another channel, we determine what your problem is and then either reply to you with tips and comments or arrange a session with you to meet in person.

In general, we will help you with the following:

  • Effective researching: we do not want you to waste time in the jungle of sources the University Library offers and will therefore show you where to find what
  • Setting up a suitable research strategy for your writing assignment: thereby we can ensure that you do not get lost while researching
  • Choosing suitable sources and help you interpreting them correctly
  • Refer you to the right people at the University Library or the Language Centre who can help you with your writing style or language skills
  • Overcoming your “writer’s block”. Although we don’t offer workshops in soft skills such as time-management, a lot of students find that a talk about their work motivates them and helps them become more effective
  • Properly organizing your references: we can provide support about how to use EndNote

I learned how to search articles in an efficient way. They gave me confidence in doing research. And they send me to the Writing Studio.

 

What kind of help could you not expect from us?

Obviously, we will not write your assignment, paper or thesis for you. We also cannot go and mediate between you and your professor / tutor about your writing assignment, or tell a professor he or she needs to make easier assignments. Also, we are in no position to tell you if the content of your paper is good or what grade you will get for it. Additionally we do not proofread papers.

Is there a difference between getting assistance through Skype or email and getting assistance in person?

Generally, no. You will receive the same quality of service whether you contact us electronically or come in for an appointment. However, you should realize that certain things cannot be done electronically, such as showing you how to access the various databases. Also, if you need more extensive support we will ask you to come in for an appointment, instead of typing up multiple pages with the answer to your problem. Generally, we will strive for the most effective solution, and the one that fits best.

Do you have to have a finished assignment, paper or thesis before getting in touch with Peer Point?

Not at all. You may contact us at any stage of your writing or research process. Naturally, the earlier you come in the more valuable our help might be in the course of your research.

I am very happy to have the service of Peer Point. This way I am more motivated to continue my work independently, I know when I am stuck I will get a valuable tip there.

Will your professor know that you made use of Peer Point for your assignment, paper or thesis?

No, although you are welcome to tell him/her and praise us, of course.

I am really really happy about this service and I thank the library that it has this amazing help for students. I talked about it to my friends here and abroad and everybody says “wow this is so cool”. Yes it is.


 

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