So, you’ve got an assignment coming up, you’ve already read over the task sheet and figured out which type of assignment you need to produce. 

The next step is to start preparing to search: 

  • Identify the main topics or concepts in your task. 
  • Brainstorm keywords and related words for each concept. 
  • Use search techniques including Boolean, truncation and phrase searching to create a search statement. 

Your search statement doesn’t need to be perfect at the beginning. Start with something simple and improve it as you go. 

Your next port of call will be the Library catalogue. Here you can find and access: 

  • journals and journal articles 
  • books and ebooks 
  • conference proceedings and papers 
  • streaming videos and DVDs 
  • streaming audio and CDs 
  • music scores. 

If you are looking for specialised resources including case law, clinical information, standards and company information you can access these via our databases. 

The next step is to critically evaluate the resources you find. Consider: 


  • Is the information current or out of date? 


  • Is the level of information too basic or advanced? 


  • Can you identify the author? 
  • Are they an expert in their field? 


  • Is there a reference list citing their supporting evidence? 
  • Do they outline the methods and data used in their analysis? 


  • Is the intention of the information to entertain, inform, educate or perhaps sell an idea or product? 

With these steps you’ll be off and running! 

If you have any questions or need more information, contact the Library.