Hi. I'm Yasmine, your embedded librarian and I've created this guide to help you with your research for JST204. 

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.

Let's take a look at your assessment task for JST204 Assessment item 4, a research essay on the three common responses to youth crime.

Keywords Synonyms or related terms
youth juvenile, teen, teenager, adolescent, young person...
youth crime juvenile delinquency, youth offending, adolescent criminality...
justice court, detention, legislation, sanction, punishment, remand, custody...
welfare community, community correction, rehabilitation...
restorative conferencing, community-orientated, reparation...

Does your task place any limits? These might be "in the last X years" or Australian content.

Remember to refer to your textbook, particularly Chapter 11: Detention and Community Corrections and Chapter 13: Restorative Justice and Juvenile Conferencing. These chapters provide an overview of the three common responses to youth crime. They highlight the key characteristics of these responses and explore the differences between them.

For guidance in topic analysis 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

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.

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/discipline. 

I recommend trying the following database:

The Law & Justice Studies list has more databases you can search.

Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:

News and media databases

In JST204 Assessment item 2 - Young People and Crime Media Analysis, you've been asked to analyse a media piece such as a news report, TV show, or movie. You can use the Library's News and Current Affairs databases to search for a suitable media piece.  Using a database (rather than a search engine) can give you more control over the logic of your search and direct you to resources with full-text availability.

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:

  • youth crime AND response*
  • "youth crime" AND Australia*
  • (youth OR juvenile) AND "restorative justice"

Or try an advanced search, where each stacked row represents a different concept in your search:

  • 1st row: youth OR teen* OR adolescent OR juvenile
  • 2nd row: crime OR delinquen* OR criminality OR offender
  • 3rd row: response OR justice OR consequence
  • 4th row: Australia*

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

To understand how search operators work check out:

Using field searching and limiters in Primo and the databases will allow you to narrow your search and obtain more precise results.


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.

Your textbook

Good news!

Your textbook is 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.

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:

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:

Keen for more?

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