Nursing: Plan your assignment

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Your assignment question / topic has been provided

Quick guides for more help getting started:

You need to have a broad understanding of your topic to help you search for information and write your assignment.

Also, ask yourself the following:

  • What do you already know about your topic? What do you need to explore further?
  • Do you need to define any terms ore get an overview? Use the course readings, handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries or introductory books.
  • What types of information do you need (for example: peer reviewed articles, books, reports, protocols 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? These will help you decide which keywords to use when searching.


Breaking down your question

Organisng your ideas and mapping your search can be useful when thinking about how you are going to search. Watch the following video to see how to do this.

[Watch low quality version of video]

You can easily create a mind map using Microsoft Word or Power Point. Below are some web tools that you may want to try:


You have to come up with your own question / topic

If you are required to decide on a research question it is important to pick a topic that interests you if you can.

Try using one of the following instruction words to help you formulate your final question:

  • Analyse e.g. Analyse if...
  • Argue e.g. Argue whether...
  • Compare e.g. Compare the...
  • Describe e.g. Describe how...
  • Discuss e.g. Discuss the...
  • Explain e.g. Explain how...

Find more instruction words on page 2-3 of this guide:

It is important to try and focus your question as much as possible. Watch the following videos, in order, to help you with this process: