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Assignment Help: VSAR 3016

1. Assignment 1: Written essay

This assessment requires you to choose a topic from the assessment 1 essay topics and instructions page and write a formal, academic essay which includes references to scholarly texts and a reference list and/or bibliography.

Remember to read all the information on the learnonline site related to your assessment to understand what you need to do.

2. Understand your topic

Use the course readings, an encyclopedia, general dictionary, or reliable websites to gain an understanding your topic. Consider:

  • What do you need to do?
  • What do you know? Or need to explore further?
  • Do you need to define any terms?
  • What types of evidence do you need?
  • Does information need to be current?
  • Do any theories apply to your topic?

3. Plan your search

Before you start searching you should:

  • Identify the main concepts within your topic or question.
  • Consider any alternative words or synonyms you could also search for.

This video (2 min 26 sec) will guide you through this process:

Learn more about searching with the below resource:

4. Consider alternate keywords

Now you've identified the keywords in your assignment question, try doing the following to help you understand your keywords and find similar or alternative keywords:

  • Use a thesaurus to help you find similar or alternative keywords.
  • Do some initial searching using the keywords you've already identified to see what other words are used in the papers you find.

Also consider:

  • Pluralsdifferent word forms (identity vs identities)
  • Different spellings (labour vs labor) and hyphenated words (self-identity vs self identity)
  • Acronyms and abbreviations (United States of America vs United States vs US vs USA)

You can create a mindmap or table to help you brainstorm alternative keywords.

5. Connect your keywords

Once you have identified your keywords and found alternative keywords, you need to connect these to put your search together.

Use the following operator words, which most search tools will permit, to indicate how you want the tool to search for your keywords:

  • OR: connects similar keywords
  • AND: connects different keywords

You can use "quotation marks" to keep phrases together.

6. What are academic references?

Each of the topics for assessment 1 requires you to support your critique using scholarly sources.

Scholarly sources can also be referred to as academic references or peer-reviewed (refereed). These can include journal articles, books, book chapters, reports, and other sources. To find out more about academic references look at the resources below:

Tip: When searching in the Library Collection you can filter your results to show only 'peer-reviewed'.

7. Where to search

The Library Collection can be a useful starting point in locating academic references.

Screenshot of Library search bar with search string: (abject OR abjection) AND ("female body" OR "maternal body").

Use the options to Refine my results in the right hand menu. Select Peer-reviewed Journals to see only scholarly articles.

Google Scholar searches only within academic or scholarly sites, rather than the whole internet.

By accessing Google Scholar from within the Library website, you will be able to link directly to articles that the Library has access to by clicking on the Full-text at UniSA link. Use the Google Scholar link from the Library website for best access to full-text references

Want to learn more?

Watch the videos below for more searching tips.

Or test your knowledge of searching Google Scholar with the following interactive tutorial:

Google Scholar search tutorial

Journals are publications similar to magazines. They have issues which are published regularly (e.g., monthly, quarterly, annually) and which focus on a particular subject. 

BrowZine allows you to explore and browse a range of journals on broad topics, such as Arts and Humanities, or specific subject areas, such as Film and Media or Fine Arts.

Databases are online collections of resources, including articles, papers, book chapters, and reports. Databases have advanced search options, helping you to focus your search and find more relevant, scholarly references quickly.

You can access all the Creative databases available through the Library, or browse the sub-sections, including:

Want to know more?

8. Finding artefacts

Part of this assessment requires you to find at least two artefacts you are interested in discussing in your assessment. Here are some suggested resources for you to explore.

Galleries & Museums

  • Galleries and museums offer a wide selection of artworks and artefacts in a range of mediums including - images, paintings, sculptures, film, fashion, and more. See the list of galleries and museums in the Find and attribute images for your work document (PDF, 238 KB).

  • Google Arts & Culture Project allows you to explore museums, galleries, exhibitions, artworks, and more online. You can search for a particular item, or browse by theme, artist, medium, or art movement.

Image Databases

For a complete list of Art image databases that the Library subscribes to, see the Art images databases tab.

9. How to write an essay

To understand your assignment, you need to understand what academic writing is and how formal essays are structured. Check out these resources for help:

Tip: These resources are designed to provide a general overview of academic writing and writing styles. Please refer to your course assessment tab for more resources to support your assessment.

Attend online academic skills workshops

The Student Engagement Unit is offering free online academic skills workshops which are designed to help you understand assignment types, assignment writing, and referencing.

See the Study Help site for more details, including dates and times for sessions. 

10. Referencing Support

The Chicago Referencing Style Guide
This guide helps you apply the Chicago notes and bibliography referencing system and is designed to help you understand the conventions and principles of this style.

11. Need Library support?

Ask the library