SCL3003 Corrective Exercise Prescription and Injury Management: Getting started on your assignment

What are keywords?

Keywords are words in a question that tell you the approach you should take when answering an assignment question. 

Keywords can include:

Content Words  tell you what the topic area is, help you to focus, think about synonyms. For example, cryotherapy or ice or cold therapy.

Limiting Words  define the topic area further, indicate aspects of the topic area on which to concentrate. For example, cryotherapy in sports injuries.

Task Words tell you what to do; the action(s) you need to perform, for example, compare, describe, summarise, analyse.

How can you identify if the article is original research?

An original research article or primary research article is a report of a study written by researchers who carried out the study/research.

Most original research articles will contain the following sections:

  • Abstract (summary of the article)
  • Literature review or Background
  • Methods/Methodology
  • Results/Findings
  • Discussions/Analysis
  • Conclusions

Always read through the abstract of the article before finding the full text.The abstract of an original research article usually contains the summary of the above sections. Below is an example of an abstract in an original research article:

Keyword search strategies

Apply the following search strategies when conducting a search using Library search or in most Library databases

Search Strategy Example

Boolean logic – using AND, OR and NOT

Sports injury AND prevention

Synonyms – possible synonyms and related words or phrases

cryotherapy OR ice OR cold therapy

Phrase searching - search exact phrases by enclosing the phrase in quotations marks “ ”

"cold therapy"

Truncation – find all forms of a word by using an asterisk *

injur* (will find injury, injuries and injuring)

Wildcard – search for various spelling by using a hash (#)

behavio#r (will find both behavior and behaviour)

Parenthesis – group search  terms together

(sports OR physical activity) AND injur*

Transcript for Google vs Library video

My course assignment is due in a couple of weeks. Where do I start? How do I find what I need? Should I just use ‘Google’ and hope what comes up will be good enough? Or should I try using the VU Library’s Search tool instead? Hmm, which information search tool should I use? The Google or the Library? Maybe both?

The search for reliable and credible resources can be both paralysing and baffling. The Librarian also said I need to critically evaluate what I find. When conducting an academic research, researching is one of the crucial steps in writing academic papers and assignments. There are advantages to using both Google and the Library.

The Internet should never be your only research tool.You can use the Internet. However Google and other search engines don’t have everything you need. What’s missing is the deep web content, which is the web content that is not indexed by typical search engines. This includes password protected academic library subscriptions to journals or newspapers, book collections and databases. By browsing the Internet you can access a wealth of information. The difficulty lies in sorting through it as there is often too much information.

VU Library, on the other hand, will already have the academic and peer-reviewed content you require. The authority and trustworthiness of the articles don’t need to be questioned. This saves a lot of time sifting through questionable material.The Library Search tool and many academic databases VU library subscribes to can filter out (irrelevant) search terms so you have a smaller search result. This saves even more time as you don’t have to sift through unwanted material. Another advantage of using the VU Library Search tool is the option of being able to cite resources used through the Quick Citation tool. References used can be copied and pasted directly into word processing software, or they can be exported into bibliographic management software such as EndNote or Refworks. As you will see, the VU Library web pages have links to a variety of resources to support your studies. Way to go Library- That’s the way to do the research!

View this video

Transcript for keyword and search strategies video

Before you start researching on a topic…it is vital that you identify the keywords and apply some of the search techniques to retrieve the best results! So what are keywords? Keywords are search terms that represent main ideas and concepts in an assignment question or topic. Library database looks for keywords anywhere in the record such as title, abstract, keywords and subject headings.The first step is to identify keywords or ideas from the assignment question or topic.For instance, if your assignment topic is ‘What effects do physical activities have on the overall health of women?’ Your keywords or concepts are Physical activity , Health and Women. Once keywords are identified, the next step is to think of some of the synonyms or alternative words or related words.The third step is to use the search tips or strategies to make your search more efficient! Such as using Truncation, Wildcard and Boolean operators. The Truncation symbol represented by an asterisk finds a term with various endings in a library search or the databases. A Wildcard feature allows you to find words with different spellings. For instance, if you want to find terms containing both the British spelling and the American spelling. Combine keywords in a search using the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT Use of the operators AND and NOT will narrow a search while the OR operator will broaden it! If you are not getting the right kind of results change your keywords or refinements to broaden out or further narrow the results. For further information, you can contact us online or talk to a library staff member if on campus.