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Research and Study help

Research Your Assignment in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Identify key words in your topic question to use in your searches.
  2. Find background information in encyclopedias etc. to help you understand the topic.
  3. Look for Books, DVDs etc in TAFEcat.
  4. Find up to date and full text magazine Articles in Journal Databases.
  5. Find useful Internet sites.
  6. Reference your sources!

Step 1 - Identify key words


What are the benefits of studying in Australia?

What causes anorexia in teenage girls?

What are the advantages & disadvantages of using Facebook?

Think of other words with similar meanings to the key words.

e.g    "Facebook" &

          "social networking"

          "Anorexia & "eating disorder"

Step 3 - Search Library Catalogue

Limit to  
My library
Sydney Institute

Step 5 - Find Useful Websites

How to evaluate a resource

Here are some points to consider -


  • Who is the author?
  • what are his/her qualifications?
  • Is the author an expert in the field?


  • Who has the web page been written for? (Students, researchers, professionals, general public)
  • Does the web page meet your information needs? 


  • What is the purpose of the information? 
    Support an argument, informative, entertain, sell, influence
  • Is the information biased or an opinion?  
  • Is there a list of references used by the creator?


  • Is the website out of date? 

Step 4: Search our major magazine databases.


For current and reliable information, journal articles are an important resource.

Full-text journal articles can be found in our online databases.

You need your TAFE Username and Password to access these databases

The following databases are useful for searching general information.

For more sources try the Catalogue, Databases and eResources page.

6. Reference your work

A bibliography or reference list is a complete list of all the books, articles, and other information sources you have used to help you write your essay or assignment.

It should be arranged alphabetically by author's surname.

Why should I reference my work?

  • Demonstrates that you have researched and considered the ideas of others in developing your argument.
  • Provides the person marking the work with the specific names, dates and location of the information sources that you have used.
  • Ensures that you are not guilty of plagiarising.

A guide to referencing and annotated referencing:

Bibliographies and Referencing in Harvard / APA Style.




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