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Finding Information: Introduction

Finding information


What you will learn

University assignments are built on scholarly evidence, so a key skill you will need to develop at University is in finding appropriate information. After completing this module, you should be confident in your ability to:


  • Understand the different sources of information typically used in assignments
  • Recognise the different search tools available and which to use to locate specific types of information
  • Identify key concepts from an assignment question and build an effective search strategy  

What am I looking for?


Once you are clear about your assignment brief, look for specific instructions in your assignment telling you what sources are appropriate. These specifications will dictate what, where and how you will look for the resources you require. This information is provided below for some of the resource types commonly required in assignments. 



For other resource types, including legal material, health and medical resources, Indigenous Australian information and more, check out the Specific resources page of this guide.


Search tools


Journal articles, books, and other academic materials are generally not available for free to the wider public. You will need to use the Library catalogue or an appropriate database to access them.



More information about searching with these tools, including video demonstrations, is provided on the Search tools page of this module. 


Identifying keywords


Regardless of which of the search tools you use, your search results are tied to the keywords you enter. It's very important that you use the right words so that you can find the right information. Start by looking for the main ideas or concepts in your research question.