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WS1006 Self in Professional Helping Guide: 3. Finding Information

Assignment workshop

Searching tips and tricks to save you time

Before you begin searching

  • Determine your keywords - this is critical to effective searching.
  • Decide which keywords would combine well to narrow your search.

Search strategies

Combining words: some databases assume each word is joined with an AND; some databases require the AND.

  • One Search and Google assume an AND
  • Informit requires an AND

Phrase searching: to force a phrase search put your phrase in "inverted commas"

  • "social work"
  • "domestic violence"

Finding words with different spelling: Replace letters in word with a wildcard symbol - usually a ?

  • organi?ation will find organization and organisation
  • wom?n will find woman and women

Finding words with multiple endings: Use an * at the end of the word stem

  • ethic* will find ethic, ethics, ethical
  • aborigin* will find aboriginal, aborigine, aboriginality, aborigines, aboriginals

Combining strategies

  • counsel?or AND "ethical practice"
  • (indigenous OR aboriginal OR "torres strait islander") AND australia

Analysing results

  • Too many results: add more keywords
  • Too few results: make your search more simple - remove keywords

Gathering background information

Ok so you've been here 5 minutes and now you're expected to know all about the terminolgy or language associated with Sociology.  Use relevant reference materials to find definitions and background information.   Don't worry JCU has a great collection of print and online reference materials to help you get started:

Reference materials are factual works and include:

  • Dictionaries
  • Subject specific dictionaries
  • Directories
  • Encyclopedias

Use these materials to:

  • Define terms in your lecture materials or assignment questions
  • Confirm facts and figures

Credo Reference is a great place to start your research with access to the world's best citable information, wherever you are.   You can also try out the concept map tool to help you visualise your topic. Search for terms, topics, images or concepts.

Getting started - Journal articles

There are some fantastic databases available for finding information for Social Work. I would recommend getting started with the following for this assignment:

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country