The efficacy of course-specific library guides to support essay writing at the University of Cape Town

Maureen Sekayi Chiware


University of Cape Town Libraries uses the LibGuides platform to create general and subject-specific guides to provide support to its user community. The purpose of this paper is to present results of an evaluation of the use of LibGuides in essay writing for Economics undergraduate students. The evaluation was based on an online survey conducted among students in four courses. Quantitative data was analysed using Microsoft Excel while content analysis was employed on qualitative data. The findings show that targeted essay guides were used more frequently than the general Economics guides. Guide use was concentrated during the period that students were working on their essays. The results indicate a link between library instruction and guide usage. The majority of the students found the guides very helpful. The results also highlight areas that require improvement such as marketing, user-friendliness, as well as accessibility of guides through learning management systems.



South Africa; LibGuides; subject guides; evaluation; essay writing; academic writing support; economics; library guides to writing

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