Before you start searching for information, it's essential to spend time planning your search. Start by making sure you understand your assignment question before planning an effective search strategy. 

Understand the question

Read the assignment topic carefully, then summarise the research topic in your own words, focussing on the main concepts and noting the specific points to be answered or discussed. Rewrite the topic as a thesis statement to prove or disprove.

For example:

The research topic is "Does advertising encourage teenagers to take up smoking?".

Depending on your argument's point of view, your thesis statement could be:

"Advertising encourages teenagers to take up smoking"


"Advertising does not encourage teenagers to take up smoking"

Plan a search strategy

Once you understand the question you will need to plan your search strategy, which will guide your literature search and help you with finding relevant resources. The process for developing your search strategy is shown in the diagram below.

Diagram - TBC

Watch the video for an overview, or proceed to the next page for guidance on creating searches.

Need help?

Librarians can help you with planning a search strategy: Ask our Librarians.

If you need help with understanding the question, contact your unit coordinator or supervisor or see the Peer Academic Coaches at the Geoffrey Bolton Library.