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GER102 Research Skills Guide: Assignment One

What are you being asked to do?

In this assignment you are being asked to demonstrate your critical understanding of TWO gerontological perspectives and discuss how these perspectives relate to an aspect of ageing.

  1. Choose a topic relating to ageing that resonates with your interests, work, discipline or practices
  2. Discuss your topic drawing on TWO gerontological perspectives (biological, social or psychological)
  3. Structure this discussion in an essay
  4. Reference the resources you used to inform your understanding.

Please refer to your Subject Outline for more comprehensive instructions. Be sure to read your Subject Outline carefully, as well as any information about the assignment provided by your Subject Coordinator.

STEP 1: Choose Your Topic

Choose a topic relating to ageing that resonates with your work, interest, discipline or practice.

There are some suggested topics in your Subject Outline that can help get you started and you can discuss other potential topics with your Subject Coordinator. You can use this topic again in Assignment Two.

Since you are required to discuss your topic in relation to TWO gerontological perspectives (biological, social, psychological), be sure to select perspectives that have the most relevance to your chosen topic.


Background information

While you're deciding what topic and perspectives to use, it will be useful to look for background information. This might seem like doing more work when you could just jump straight into in-depth research, but it actually provides you with important context that can make the rest of your research project more efficient.

There are a number of places to find background information:

  • Reference resources like encyclopedias and dictionaries
  • Reliable websites (from informed or authoritative sources; see the Evaluate tab for how to check)
  • Some types of news articles including reviews, feature articles and explainers.

While you shouldn't use Wikipedia as a source in an academic paper, it can be a fairly useful source for background information. Citations in Wikipedia articles can sometimes lead you to other good sources, especially on contemporary topics. Wikipedia can also be useful for finding relevant keywords to use when searching other resources.

Step 2: Discuss your topic drawing on TWO gerontological perspectives

Once you have chosen your topic and gerontological perspectives, you will need to conduct more in-depth research and are required to use at least 10 academic sources. 


Academic sources of information

Different sources of information can assist you with each part of your assignment.

  • Books and eBooks are the best type of source for gaining an overview of each perspective and are good resources to use in your assignment. They can be found using Primo Search.
  • Journal articles will enable to you demonstrate your understanding of the perspectives and can be found by using Primo Search, Journal Databases and Google Scholar.
  • Reports from reputable sources can also be used to demonstrate your understanding of the different disciplines and can be found using Google Search.
  • Websites can be used for background reading, though not all will be suitable to use in your assignment.

See the Identify tab for information about Keyword Analysis and applying search strategies.

STEPS 3 & 4: Essay writing & Referencing

Use the resources on the Write & Reference tab for guidance on how to structure your essay and reference the academic resources you have used.