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MHP314 Research Skills Guide: Plan your search

Your Assessment Task

It is important to break down the requirements of your assessment task before you start searching for information so that you can plan your approach.

Let's take a look at the subject outline:

Assessment item 3 - Annotated Bibliography

Annotate 5 peer reviewed journal articles on a contemporary indigenous health topic that has impact on the social and emotional wellbeing of family and lifestyles.


At first you may feel a little overwhelmed by all of these requirements. However, with some thought and planning, you can come up with a research plan that will suit this assessment task.

Topic Analysis

Let's start thinking about what terms you will use when searching for information. To do this:

  • Identify the key concepts of your topic (watch the topic analysis video for assistance); and then
  • Brainstorm as many synonyms and similar terms/phrases as you can.

This is a useful exercise because the language used to describe your topic may vary from source to source, and you don't want to miss out on a good source because it uses a different term to the one you are searching on.

Let's use Assessment 3 as an example:

Keyword Synonym/Similar term or phrase Search tips
Mental health
mental health, mental illness, mental disorder, psychiatric disorder "mental health", "mental illness", "mental disorder", "psychiatric disorder"


Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, First Nations Aborigin*, “Torres Strait Islander”, "First Nations"
Social and emotional wellbeing Family, Lifestyle, wellbeing, social aspects Famil*, “social aspects”



Write down the key concepts from your topic and have a go at brainstorming as many alternative keywords and phrases as possible.

Find additional keywords

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.Acknowledgement of Country

Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. CRICOS Provider: 00005F.