Plan and prepare

It's important to understand your assessment task and create a plan before you start searching for information.

Understanding your assessment task

A topic analysis will help you understand what your assessment question is asking you to do.

It will also help you identify the keywords that are the building blocks of your search strategy.

Your assessment task will generally have three key pieces of information:

  1. The key topic or concept words that tell you what to research.
  2. The limits or qualifiers that focus your topic or concept.
  3. The task or instruction terms that tell how to shape your response.

Brainstorm keywords

Searching in Primo and library databases is different to searching in Google. Typing in your whole assessment question or a long phrase is unlikely to give you useful results.

The first step in planning an effective search is to build a bank of keywords. Keywords are the meaningful terms that describe what your assessment is about.

To build your bank of keywords:

  1. Start with the key topic and concept words from your topic analysis.
  2. Then make a list of synonyms, spelling variations and related terms or short phrases.

The next step is to strategically combine your keywords to find better results.

Get better search results

Use these search strategies in Primo Search and other CSU Library databases to help you get more relevant results.

Create a search strategy

Other useful information

Online Library Workshops

You can either enrol in one of our workshops or watch a recorded session.

Get help from a librarian

Contact one of our friendly staff if you need help.