Hi. I'm Sandra, your embedded librarian and I've created this guide to help you with your research for MHP115.
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.
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. Check your assessment task details in your Subject Outline.
With an understanding of your task you then need to plan how you will search for information. This starts with identifying and brainstorming keywords.
From your assessment task:
Synonyms or Related terms
painkillers, opiates, narcotics
Aboriginal Australians, Indigenous Australians
wellbeing, mental well-being
|New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory...|
What are the instruction words for your task? Have you been asked to define or identify or discuss? The Common instruction words guide below may help. Does your task place any limits? E.g. recent, current or peer-reviewed sources.
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:
- (opioid OR narcotic) AND affect
- (opioid OR narcotic) AND affect AND Australia*
- (opioid OR narcotic) AND affect AND Australia* AND "mental health"
- (opioid OR narcotic) AND "mental health" AND Indigenous
- Indigenous OR Aboriginal Australians AND (opioid OR narcotic) AND "health care"
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.
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/discipline area. Check the content is relevant to your assessment task before you use it.
Google Scholar allows you to locate resources such as articles, theses and books.
Unlike Primo Search, which is set to search the Library's holdings only, Google Scholar searches beyond Charles Sturt University Library and will include resources that are not available to you.
Set up library links to access the Library's online resources using these instructions.
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/discipline.
I recommend trying the following database:
Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:
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.
We'd love your feedback!
Complete our 2 min survey to let us know what you think of this guide.
Your recommended textbooks are available online through the library!
However access to your textbook 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.
Reading, writing and referencing
The Academic Skills team help you build your writing, referencing and reading skills to be successful at Uni.
Check out their support and resources under Learning Skills in the Student Portal.
Here are some pages to get you started:
GETTING STARTED WITH ENDNOTE
EndNote is a referencing tool that can be used to:
- store and manage your references
- store and annotate attached PDF files
- add citations and
- generate a list of references in Microsoft Word.
EndNote is available for students and staff to download, install and use whilst enrolled and/or working at Charles Sturt University.
Keen for more?
If you're interested in finding out more, check out the following: