Your Guide to Writing and Research
Peer Point provides free research assistance to students studying at Maastricht University. Peer Point is staffed by master 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?
- How can Peer Point help you?
- How can you get in touch with Peer Point?
- What are Peer Point’s opening hours and where are we located?
- What kind of help could you expect from us?
- What kind of help could you not expect from us?
- Is there a difference between getting assistance through Skype or email and getting assistance in person?
- Do you have to have a finished assignment, paper or thesis before getting in touch with Peer Point?
- Will your professor know that you made use of Peer Point for your assignment, paper or thesis?
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 two master 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!
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
- 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 all the 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
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 email@example.com
- Contact us
- via facebook
- via skype: peerpoint-ub
- Stop by and see us in the library. You will find the Peer Point opening hours on our facebook page.
Once you got in touch with us we will assess if we can help you with an email or telephone call 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.
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 call us or to speak to us in person you can do that during our regular opening hours (see question How can you get in touch with Peer Point?)
We operate a so-called ‘Walking Desk’, which means that we cannot be found at one fixed spot every time, but that we will move within the University Library. So, how do you find us? Don’t worry – we won’t exactly be hiding ourselves. When walking into the library just take a look at the information screens and the posters we will put up to see where we are located that day.
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 book 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 book 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
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.
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.
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.