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1. Assessment 2

This assignment help is designed to help you with your:

  • Assessment 2 on writing a literature review
  • Critiquing using Critical Appraisal Tools                                                   

For full assessment details, please refer to your course outline.


Using a framework such as PICO or PICo is useful for developing an answerable clinical question. 



Population or patient or problem










Population or patient or problem


Interest area



The PICO/PICo elements are then your key concepts when developing your search strategy. 

For each of your key words you will also need to think of alternative concepts

Combine all the search terms for the same concept using OR

Combine different concepts using AND

Use "quotation marks" to keep phrases together

For more on how to search, read How to plan your search [pdf].

Example question: How does speech therapy compare to cognitive behavioural therapy in improving speech fluency in adolescents?


Population OR Patient OR Problem
What are the characteristics of the patient or population? OR
What is the condition or disease you are interested in?

teenager with a stutter


Intervention OR Exposure
What do you want to do with the patient (e.g. treat, diagnose, observe etc.)?

speech therapy


Comparison OR Comparator
What is the alternative to the treatment (e.g.placebo, different drug, surgery)?

cognitive behavioural therapy


What is the relevant outcome (e.g. morbidity, complications)?

speech fluency

Step 3: Identify alternative keywords

Once you've identified the key concepts in your assignment topic, you will need to find similar or alternative keywords. You may want to consider:

  • Pluralsdifferent word forms (stutter, stuttering)
  • Different spellings (behavior, behaviour)
  • Hyphenated words (self-esteem, self esteem)
  • Acronyms or abbreviations (cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT

Use the following operator words (ORs / ANDs) to indicate how you want your keywords to be searched:

  • OR to connect different terms within the same concept
  • AND to connect different concepts

Step 4: connect your key concepts and alternative keywords

The following special symbols may further improve your search:

An asterisk * finds a word with alternative endings. E.g. adolescen*adolescent, adolescents, adolescence

"double quotation marks" keep two or more words together in the exact order. E.g. "speech therapy"

Search all the variations of a word separately. E.g. well-being/wellbeing or healthcare/health care

Step 5: modify your search with symbols

3. How to read a paper

4. Critical appraisal

Once you have found evidence you need to appraise it. If you are not familiar with critical appraisal, the below video and resources may assist you to understand what is required.

5. Critical appraisal tools

"Critical Appraisal Tools are structured checklists that allow you to check the methodological quality of a study against a set criteria. An advantage of using a CAT is that you can apply a level of consistency when reviewing a number of studies. However a potential disadvantage is that they may not ask about a potential source of bias that is important for the specific research questions being asked."

-- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, UniSA

Critical appraisal tools are often used within medicine and health sciences to assess evidence but they can also be used in other disciplines. What critical appraisal tool you use depends on the study type you are looking at.

For more help see:

7. More help


If you need help, just ask! (standard)

Navigate to the Ask the Library webpage. Navigate to the UniSA study help pals webpage. Navigate to the Studiosity webpage. Navigate to the Learning Advisors' webpage.
Contact: Ask the Library Ask: the Study Help PALs Use: Studiosity Talk to: Learning Adviser