Locating, Selecting and Using Resources

Research is essential to find evidence to help you create a plausible response to any assessment task. Remember that whatever points, arguments, or ideas that you are going to use in your assignments, need to be backed up with clear, good-quality academic resources.

The  ACAP Library is a key source of evidence and information. The library has access to thousands of resources including books and journal articles that can be accessed through the on-line databases. Developing techniques to sort through this information to find what you want, is a key part of the research process. You can find out how to do this by going through one of the library's online tutorials to find reliable academic resources for your assignments here: http://libguides.navitas.com/information_skills 

Here are some useful tips for gathering relevant information:

  • Make a rough assignment plan and use it to direct your search
  • Be very selective in gathering information
  • Keep asking yourself how the information you locate fits into your assignment plan, and more importantly, how well it can help you answer the assignment question
  • Use the material suggested in the Unit Guide (available in the online class space) or in the Library’s Pathfinder assignment guides (see link below) as a starting point for your search

When you find useful information, note the source (book, journal, or website), the author/s, year of publication, the page number/s where you found the information, and the URL (Uniform Resource Locator - check out this short video for an explanation). This information will help you locate the specific source quickly when you're busy writing up your assignment. Some students like to create a seperate document to collect all of their research information in one space, so it helps to keep them organised when writing their assignments. If you are writing larger papers, like a manuscript or thesis that requires many sources, you may like to try using a free referencing software like Mendeley. To find out more on using Mendeley, check out the Mendeley website: https://www.mendeley.com/guides