Hi. I'm June, your embedded librarian and I've created this guide to help you with your research for EPT127. 

Each section introduces the steps you should take when researching for an assessment. You'll find links to videos and resources that will give you the tools to find great information. Use the activities on the test your knowledge tab to see what you need to revise.

If you would like an introduction to our Library website and services check out:

Getting started with your assessment

The first thing is to make sure you clearly understand the task and what topic you are seeking information for, this is called topic analysis. Remember to check your Subject Outline for detailed information about each task. 

With an understanding of your task, you then need to plan how you will search for information. This starts with identifying and brainstorming keywords.

Let's take a look at  Assessment 1, which asks you to explain and defend your approach to teaching literacies in a clear and succinct way. 

The keywords below are taken from your Subject Outline and have been expanded here to cover synonyms and related concepts. Identifying your keywords and thinking of synonyms and related concepts is a key step in completing a topic analysis and will help you with your searching. 

Keywords Synonyms or related terms
Models of Pedagogy Teaching, learning
Early years Kindergarten, early childhood, young children
Development Formation, growth
Literacy Oral, vocabulary, phonemic awareness, comprehension, grammar, spelling
Technology digital literacy, ICT

For guidance in topic analysis check out:

Create a search strategy

When you search using Primo Search or a library database use the keywords and limits you identified above to create your search. Combine the keywords with search operators, rather than searching with a whole sentence or question. Search operators tell Primo or the database how to search with your keywords.

For your assessment topic potential search strings could include:

  • (pedagogy OR teach*) AND "phonemic awareness"
  • Teach* AND ("early childhood" OR kindergarten) AND phonemic
  • (teach* OR educat*) AND (kindergarten OR "young children") AND "text comprehension"
  • pedagog* AND "Early years" AND "literacy develop* AND digital

Remember: you will need to try a range of searches. Don't stop after just one.

To understand how search operators work check out:

Choose the right place to search

Before you start searching, think about what types of information you need and where you can search to find those types of resources. There are several different resources that you can use for this assessment, and it's good to know what these different resources involve. 

Books & eBooks Provide broad information on topics and useful background research
Journal Articles Focus on specific aspects of a topic and latest research. May be peer reviewed
Trade/Professional Journals Written for practitioners in a field. Not peer reviewed
Reference resources Dictionaries, encyclopaedias. Useful to clarify definitions and when brainstorming keywords
Media resources Perspective on current events/popular attitudes. Not scholarly, so evaluate carefully
Web resources Always evaluate. Try domains like .gov and .edu 

Primo Search

Primo Search is a good place to start as it allows you to use one search box to bring back results from most of our Library collection including books, eBooks, journal articles, newspaper articles and more. You may get a large number of results and some of these will be from outside your subject or discipline area. Check the content is relevant to your assessment task before you use it.

Library databases

Databases will help you find academic resources and are often subject specific. You will get fewer results than Primo, but they will be more relevant to your subject or discipline. 

I recommend trying the following databases:

The Education & Teaching list has more databases you can search.


Using credible information will improve the quality of your assessment and may result in better marks, but how can you tell whether the resources you've found are credible and suitable for your assessment? Have you been asked to use peer reviewed, academic or refereed articles? Are you using authoritative websites?

The information below will help you evaluate the information you find, in books, journal articles, or online to make sure it’s reliable.

Reading, writing and referencing

The Academic Skills team can help you to build your writing, referencing and reading skills to be successful at Charles Sturt.

Explore resources from the Academic Skills team in the Learning Skills section of the Student Portal.

Here are some pages to get you started:

Your textbook

Good news!

Your textbook is available online through the library!

However access to your textbooks is limited. Follow the best practice in the video below to ensure you have access to what you need without disadvantaging other students in your subject.

Using AI

Have you been asked to use Generative AI Tools (GAITs) in your assessment? Or are you thinking of using GAITs for research and study? 

Make sure you are aware of the risks associated with using GAITs:

  • Academic integrity
  • Plagiarism
  • Inaccurate content
  • Intellectual property
  • Privacy concerns.

For more information see:

Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft Copilot is a chat interface that uses ChatGPT 4 to generate answers based on questions or prompts that you write.

Copilot is free, does not require a login and provides real-time information and citations. To learn more check out the Digital Skills modules.

Keen for more?

If you're interested in finding out more, check out the following: