Laboratory Medicine: Assignment Help: MEDI 1009

Assessment Overview

This workshop will get you started finding resources and completing Assessment 1 & 2.

Read all the information related to your assessment to understand what your lecturers and tutors are looking for when they are marking your assessments!!

  • Learnonline site
  • Assignment feedback sheet
  • Course Outline

This will help you gain an overall understanding of the assessment and will help you plan the structure and the content of your assignment based on assessment marking criteria.

Assessment 1

Part A: Definition of the topic

Topics for this assignment will be allocated to you by your lecturer.

Searching for books with known titles

Have a look at the Books section in the Laboratory Medicines Subject Guide for type of information that you can gain from books.

To find books in the Library you can search the Library Catalogue


To access ebook click on the online link

Use the call number to find the book on the shelves and you can place a request if the book is out on loan or at another campus

Your task:

1. Search for the suggested reference books in the catalogue.

2. See Referencing Reminders sections to see how to format  your references using the Harvard author-date style.

This part of the exercise is designed to reinforce the value of using information from textbooks to construct an information sheet about a disease or condition that would be understandable by the general public.

Searching for books using the Catalogue

To find books in the Library you can search the Library Catalogue


Use double quotes to keep to words together as a phrase.

Limit by books on the left hand side once you have done a search.

Your task: 

1. Find further information about your topic from at least 4 standard textbooks (different editions of a book do not count as separate books). Do not use the same sources as in part A.

2. Use the information in "Assignment 1: Evaluating and selecting resources" section below to pick out textbooks and reference books rather than ‘popular works’


Assignment 1: Evaluating and selecting resources

Books can be scholarly (also called academic); they provide in-depth information on a topic or subject area.

  Watch this video to learn how to identify scholarly and academic books and articles.

Your task: Assess the references that you selected for assessment 1 to ensure that they are scholarly resources

Referencing reminders

Academic writing is based on wide reading of academic sources and for this assignment you MUST acknowledge the writings and ideas of other people by using a referencing system. You need to make sure that all the references are formatted using the Harvard UniSA style. 

The referencing in your assignment shows two things:

§  the range of ideas and approaches to a topic that you have found and thought about

§  your acknowledgement of where these ideas came from.

Three main rules

 Each reference must appear in two places i.e. the Harvard referencing system is a TWO part system:

 1. shown in the text of your assignment each time it is used (the in-text reference)

 2. listed once in the reference list at the end of the assignment. This listing has full details so that your reader can find the reference. 

 3. A reference must be included every time you use someone else’s ideas or information. When you:

  • paraphrase (express someone else's idea in your own words)
  • summarise (express someone else's idea in a reduced form in your own words
  • quote (express someone else's idea in their exact words) or
  • copy (reproduce a diagram, graph or table from someone else's work).

Harvard UniSA referencing resources and guides

Use the Harvard UniSA referencing system as explained in the UniSA resources. See:

  • Roadmap to Referencing - an online resource that helps you decide what your source is, and how to reference it according to Harvard-UniSA

Your task: Format your references using the Harvard UniSA style.

Assessment 2

Have a look at the Journals box in the Laboratory Medicine Guide to learn why journals are the primary medium for scholarly communication.

Journals consist of:

  • content published before books
  • up to date information and debate
  • specialised /specific information, not available elsewhere
  • may contain research findings or opinions of experts in their field
  • source of information for new areas of research
  • content is usually indexed in databases and other resources
  • includes a reference list
  • may be peer reviewed (refereed)

In comparison to books, use scholarly journals articles

  • when you need original research on a topic
  • articles written by scholars or subject experts
  • factual documented information to reinforce a position
  • to find references lists that point you to other relevant research.

Scholarly journals take less time to publish than books, but the peer-review process can be lengthy.

Have a look at the Keywords, Develop a search plan and Searching for articles sections to learn how to find journal articles.

Your task: have a look at the "Concepts", "Keywords" and "Develop a search plan" tabs to learn good searching techniques.

Identify key concepts from your assignment question.

Before searching, identify the key concepts in your topic. These are often used as your search terms.

Watch this video to learn how to identify concepts from your assignment.

Lets apply what we learnt from the video to an example assignment question

  Concept 1 (Topic assigned to you) Concept 2 (Aspect for assignment 2)
Example Celiac disease pathogenesis
Your task: Identify key concepts from your assignment question

For each key concept that you identified think of any alternative keywords (synonyms) you could also use when searching. This is important as not everyone refers to the same ideas in the same way.

Concept 1 Concept 2
celiac disease pathogenesis

coeliac disease

autoimmune disorder

digestive disease

small intestine disease



Watch this video to learn how to do this:

Your task: For each key concept think of any alternative keywords (synonyms) you could also use when searching.

Sources of alternate terms:

  • Dictionaries, Encyclopaedias, Handbooks (online and hardcopy)
  • Thesaurus feature in MS Word, databases
  • Articles/books that you have already found on the topic

Here is how you combine the search terms that you identified before you start searching in databases.

First watch this video to learn how to connect and combine search terms

Lets apply what we learnt from the video to our example assignment topic

celiac disease OR coeliac disease OR autoimmune disorder OR digestive disease OR small intestine disease


pathogenesis OR pathology OR pathophysiology

Your task: Develop a search strategy by combining the concepts and keywords that you identified

Assignment 2: Searching for articles

Recommended databases for searching

Example search: Academic search premier database

Stage 1 – AND (connects different concepts to narrow search) as well as phrase searching “…”

Stage 2 – OR (connects your synonyms / similar keywords to expand your search). NOTE more results.

Stage 3 – could use truncation pathogen* (finds alternative word endings pathogenic,  pathogeny…). NOTE more results found.

Limit by:

  • Scholarly (Peer reviewed) Journals
  • Subject: Thesaurus Term > celiac disease (may need to select Show more)
  • 2012 – present (last 5 years)

Never limit by full text:

  • you may miss relevant articles
  • the full text may be available in a different database or on the shelves.



  • Note – subject terms in record (find alternative keywords to possibly use)
  • Full text availability
    •  Select Find it button – follow through to article pdf
    • TIP – copy and paste title in Google Scholar or Library catalogue if not found
    • Add both to temp folder, Folder view  – print, email, cite etc.

Many databases contain a mixture of full text and bibliographic records.

First look for links or buttons with PDF or HTML labels. Select these to see the full article. A PDF of the article usually appears as it would in a print version of the journal (best for printing and quoting from).

If the full text is not available you will sometimes see a button. Click on Find it button to automatically search to see if the full text is available through another Library database.

For more help with using the Find It button look at this short guide - How to find full text articles using Find it.

Saving your search results ensures that you have the citation details you will need when referencing (acknowledging the sources that you have drawn upon in completing your essay).

You can save or print your results from the Library catalogue by using these buttons  

Many databases also allow you to save, print or email your search results.

Databases do not automatically keep a record of the searches you have made and the articles you have found - this will generally be lost once you log off a database.

EbscoHost databases

click on Add to folder icon (to the right of each title)EbscoHost databases allow you to mark the useful references, then save, print, email the results. To do this

  • once you have finished marking the references of interest, click on Folder View (top of the screen on the right)
  • only your selected references will appear. Tick the box next to those references that you want to save, email, or print

  • if emailing the results, be sure to include your full email address. Within a few minutes the results, and any full text documents if available, will be sent to your email.

Assessment 2: Evaluating and selecting journal articles

Articles from Peer reviewed journals are of high quality and can be used to support the argument that you are presenting. Articles in peer reviewed journals must go through an evaluation process with experts in the field before being published. The term refereed is also used.

The terms scholarly and academic are also sometimes used to indicate quality journals.

Watch the below video Peer Review in 3 minutes by NCSU Libraries. Published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.

Your task: Assess the references that you selected for assessment 2 to ensure that they are scholarly and peer reviewed 

Assessment 2: Writing your journal review article

Discuss the designated aspect of your allocated disease topic using information obtained in Part A above. Construct this as a journal review article with introduction (brief description of the topic); and under subheadings, the major aspects of the topic; and with a conclusion to bring the discussion together. (word limit 750)


    • Approximately 10% of the total word length = 75 words
    • Provide general background to the topic
    • Outline the focus and structure of your journal review article


    • Approximately 80% of the total length = 600 words
    • Divide into 'chunks' of information - one topic/area of analysis per paragraph (one paragraph could be around 125-200 words depending on the focus, so aim for around 3-4 body paragraphs)


    • Approximately 10% of total length = 75 words
    • Summarise the main points discussed throughout your journal review article

NOTE:  Some students like to start writing their essays by drafting an introduction first to get the structure clear.  Others like to draft the Body paragraphs to get a clearer understanding of their content and then write the introduction and conclusion.  Do what suits you best!

Your task:

1. Write your journal review article ensuring that you adhere to the assessment 2 guidelines

2. Ensure that you format your references according to the Harvard author-date style.

Study help: Online resources hub: Find a range of resources and guides to help you with completing your Assignments and succeeding at university.