You need to have a broad understanding of your topic or research question to help you search for information and write your assignment. Consider the following before you start searching for information:
|What do you already know about your topic? What do you need to explore further?|
Do you need to define any terms or get an overview? Use the course readings, handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries or introductory books.
|What types of information do you need (e.g: peer reviewed articles, books, reports, protocols, guidelines etc.)?|
|Does information need to be current?|
|Do any theories apply to your topic?|
|Do you need facts and figures? Try a reliable website or a relevant database.|
Which parts of your argument need references as supporting evidence?
|What are the main concepts in your topic or research question? These will help you decide which keywords to use when searching.|
Quick guides for more help getting started:
If you are required to decide on a research question it is important to pick a topic that interests you if you can.
Focusing your question
Brainstorming and organising your ideas can be useful when trying to form a research question. This will also help you focus your question, and your search search process. Watch the following videos to help you with this process:
TIP: Even though these videos do not use health topics the same theory applies across all disciplines.
[Watch low quality version of video].
Before you start searching for information you should plan your search. Watch these 2 videos for help:
[Watch low quality version of video]
Some key steps to think about when searching for information on your research question.
Dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks and introductory texts can be good for finding background information and overviews on your topic.
Tip: Find more by searching the Library Catalogue using the keywords: dictionary, handbook or encyclopedia.
"Chemistry was the most important science for Alfred Nobel’s own work. The development of his inventions as well as the industrial processes he employed were based upon chemical knowledge. Chemistry was the second prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden." - from The Nobel Prize in Chemistry
image: van't Hoff monument