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Middle/Senior School: Research Tips

Middle & Senior School Resources

Research Skills


The Inquiry Process


This diagram shows you the inquiry process and the questions you can ask to ensure you complete your assignments to a high standard.  Please remember that the library can help you locate relevant resources online and within the library itself.

Keeping a research journal



Have you ever felt like you're going around in circles when searching a topic?

An excellent way to avoid this is to keep a research journal.  This can be as simple as writing down what databases or books you have searched. When searching online databases be sure to record the search terms you used and what limiters you used (if any) such as date and resource type.  Remember, the bibliography is an excellent source of information as it can lead you to more resources on your topic. 

A research journal can help you: 

1. Define your search terms and identify synonyms. A thesaurus is an excellent tool for helping you identify synonyms.  Click here and see how many different synonyms you can find for your key search terms. 

2. Keep track of the key search terms you've used. 

3. Identify what search terms worked and what didn't.

4. Keep track of where the search terms took you.

5. Record where you located your information for referencing purposes.

The Web


This image illustrates how specialised databases can access a far greater amount of information than just using Google and other search engines alone.  Dive deep into Redlands College databasesIf you require the password to this webpage please email the library.

How does a Google search work?

This YouTube video by Google explains how a Google search works.  As you watch this video remember that Google can access less than 20% of information on the web.  Google is often a good starting point and can help you identify search terms you may not have thought of.  However, please consider using a specialised database as they ​provide reliable, authoritative, accurate information that can assist you in completing your next assignment.  

Why can't I just Google?

This 3 minute YouTube video has been created by LaTrobe University.  It explains why you shouldn't just 'Google' information for your assignments. It's aimed at university students however please take the time to watch it as it's still relevant and you may even find it funny!

How to use Google Scholar

This 1 minute YouTube video explains how to conduct a basic search using Google Scholar. Google Scholar is an excellent search engine for locating peer reviewed journal articles and authoritative information.  Please note, not all full text articles are free to access.