Hi. I'm Kathryn, your embedded librarian and I've created this guide to help you with your research for NRS160. 

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 helpful information and quality resources. 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

Assessment 2: The first thing is to make sure you clearly understand the assessment task and what topic you are seeking information for, this is called topic analysis. Check your assessment task details in your Subject Outline.

To begin with look to identify the common instruction words for your task. Additionally, if you choose to use other sources of information to build your response to this task, identifying keywords, synonyms and related terms will help you to search for information. 


Instructions words List, analyse, identify, describe, discuss 
Keywords Synonyms or related terms 
Professional Competent, efficient, experienced, licensed,  qualified
Nurse Healthcare provider, healthcare personnel, nursing professional, medical professional, practitioner
Disease Sickness, infection, disorder, ill health, condition, syndrome

What are the instruction words for your task? Have you been asked to define or identify or discuss? The common instruction words guide below will help you.   

Does your assessment task place any limits or qualifiers? These might be "in the last X years" or Australian content or peer-reviewed. Check your assessment task details in your Subject Outline.

For guidance in topic analysis check out:

Choose the right place to search

Assessment 2: Before you start searching, think about what types of information you need and where you can search to find those types of resources. Check out the information links listed below .

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.

Google Scholar

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.

Library databases

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

I recommend trying the following databases:

The Nursing database list has more databases you can search. 

Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:

Create a search strategy

Assessment 2: If you use other sources of information to build your response, consider the keywords and limits you identified above to create your Primo or database search. Combine the keywords with Boolean Operators or "search operators", rather than searching with a whole sentence or question. Search operators tell Primo Search or the database how to search with your keywords.

Example: Creating search strings using identified keywords, synonyms and related terms.

  • (nurse OR "nurse practitioner") AND qualification

  • nurse AND (qualification OR experience OR licensed) AND Australia* 

  • (syndrome OR disorder) AND (infection OR sickness) AND "ill health"

To understand how search operators work check out:


Assessment 2: Knowing how to identify and/or use 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 identify peer reviewed, academic or refereed articles? 

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

And understanding the parts of the citations can help you to identify what type of resource it is, where to look to for it, and provide you with a better understanding of how to create references in your assignments.

Book citations should have the following structure: Author/s. Year of publication in parentheses. Book title in italics. Edition in parentheses. Place of publication and publisher.

Book section/chapter citations should have the following structure: Author/s. Year of publication in parentheses. Chapter title. Editor name/s. Book title in italics. Page numbers. Place of publication and publisher.

Journal article citations should have the following structure: Author/s. Year of publication in parentheses. Article title. Journal title in italics. Volume. Issue in parentheses. Page numbers. Retrieval information.


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 textbooks

Good news!

Your textbooks are available online through the library!

Important Note: You must register to log in and use ClinicalKey Student Nursing. Register to log in with Cambridge eBooks to access additional features.  

Please note: When accessing Cambridge eBooks (The road to nursing 6th ed.) from your Reading and Resources list, you will need to select the 'open in web browser' option to open the eBook.

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.