Do you sometimes feel lost when trying to research for your assignments? You don’t have to wander the wilderness of information alone! The Library’s here to help and we’ve gathered the following resources and tips to help you find your way:
Where to search
Think of the Library website as your compass: it can point you in the direction of many different resources and search tools. Here are some good places to start your search:
- The Library catalogue: Use the catalogue search box on the Library homepage to search all available resources, which includes both physical and electronic resources, across all Library campuses.
- Reading lists: Check whether any of the required or recommended readings for your course could be useful for your assignment—they might even reference other relevant resources!
- Library guides: Browse our online Library guides, which collect subject-specific resources all in one place.
- Library databases: Find specialised information via the Library’s wide variety of open-access and subscribed databases.
- Google Scholar: Use Google’s academic search engine to find full text articles and more.
And remember, if a specific item isn’t available in the Library catalogue, you can request a copy through the BONUS+ catalogue.
How to search effectively
The next step of your research trek is navigating the wilderness of information that’s out there! Preparation is key when it comes to searching effectively. Here are some tips to help you find what you’re searching for:
- Identify keywords: Analyse your assignment question to develop a list of keywords to use as search terms. But don’t stop there—brainstorm more keywords and find synonyms for your existing keywords!
- Combine your keywords: Use Boolean operators ‘AND’ and ‘OR’ to create search strings from your keywords. This is your chance to pack together those synonyms!
- Limit your search: Use the filters in your search tool to limit your results. You may want to limit your results by resource type, publication date or whether they’ve been peer-reviewed.
- Take notes: Keep a record of the keyword combinations and search strings you’ve used, including which have been successful and which haven’t. Taking good notes during the research phase will make preparing for your assignment less stressful and more efficient.
To see these search tools and strategies in action, you can register to attend our upcoming ‘Introduction to Researching’ workshop or watch the ‘Start Assignments’ video from our Earlybird workshop.
If you still feel a bit lost, you can book a consultation with one of our Library specialists using the ‘Get help from the Library’ form to receive further assistance with searching.