This page gives you 9 tools for finding and using information for your assignment.
Make sure you understand the topic.
1) Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question
2) Work out why the topic is being offered, and what makes the topic interesting.
3) What parts of the topic do you already know plenty about? Where are the gaps in your understanding or knowledge?
Answering the above questions will help you formulate a search strategy.
Reading about the topic will give you further ideas -you may want to come back and define your topic a little more later.
Use dictionaries and encyclopaedias to find definitions and background information.
Articles from specialized subject encyclopaedias are authoritative and often substantial.
If you don't understand what you have to do for an assignment, ask your lecturer, your tutor or someone at the Academic Skills Centre
Search the Library catalogue:
The internet has a lot of information, but not all of it is useful or reliable. Consider the source of the page. Suitable sources are
Use the Advanced Search features of Google to restrict your search to results from reputable sources.
Do not use articles directly from Wikipedia, although you can use its content (eg keywords or phrases) to search other sources
Use Google Scholar to find reliable journal articles. Adjust the Scholar Preference to recongnise the University of Canterbury, and you will get full text whenever it is available through our library subscriptions.
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evaluating your sources
Make a note of the sources that you are using as you write, including page numbers for any quotations.
This will make it easier and quicker to create your bibliography.
Cite all the sources of information you use in your essay, using the appropriate citation style.
Remember to avoid plagiarism by citing all the sources of information you use in your essay.
See also the Library's online tutorial:
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