Planning: Home

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Planning resources in

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Search Essentials

The research process has a number of stages.  The four this guide focuses on are:

Plan | Search l  Evaluate  |  Record

Most people ignore planning and jump straight into searching, yet planning is essential for effective searching.  As part of the planning process consider:

  • What do you already know about the topic?  What do you need to explore further?
  • Use the course readings, handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries or reliable websites to understand your topic.
    -   example topic is  'Education'
  • What types of information do you need?  Does it need to be current can you use websites?
  • What relevant theories apply to your topic?
  • Which parts of your argument need references as supporting evidence?
  • Identify key concepts in your topic.  These will help you decide which keywords to use when searching.  Think of synonyms (related keywords) you could also use when searching.

Video icon by no real name given CCLicence Attribution 2.0 Generic, Image source: flickr - Think. Plan. Discover. Why Keywords Matter for tips about choosing keywords and searching for information (1 min 30 sec).

Need scholarly information? Not sure what that means or how to find it? 

Watch or read  

Is your information relevant or reliable?  Not sure whether to use the information you have found?   There are some simple ways to evaluate your results.



Referencing and Academic Skills

Jason Grant 'Roadmap to referencing', January 2013 [Image source: UniSA Library]

Need help referencing? Follow the roadmap!

What do you do with all those references you have found?  The Library has two bibliographic management tools that you can use to keep your references in order and all in the one location. 

The Library supports two Referencing tools:

Watch Manage your references - tools that can help you, decide which tool is best for you and then get started. 

Need advice on writing or presenting? Not sure how to organise your ideas? Try the Study Help: Online Resources!

For specific help related to your courses see the Education, Arts and Social Sciences page.

The Library collection also includes many resources on academic writing and study skills - example search


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