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Speech Pathology: Researching a topic

A guide to resources in Speech Pathology

Planning Your Library Research

You have just received your first assignment and ask yourself the question 'where do I start?'

  • The literature search and review is the starting point for any assignment topic.
  • Analyse the topic and be sure you know the requirements of the assignment. Ask questions if you are not sure.
  • Use subject dictionaries to define terms, or encyclopedias to obtain an overview of your topic. 
  • Use keywords to search ECU WorldSearch and online journal databases for information on a topic.
  • Generally, you are expected to use research-based, scholarly resources, books and journals, in preference to information found on websites or in newspapers.
  • Start your library research as early as possible to allow time to identify the resources you need, access books in Reserve and if necessary request books on loan. Key texts may be in high demand.

Researching an Assignment Topic

The scope of the literature search and type of information required will depend on the requirements of the assignment.

  • Books provide a useful starting point for an introduction to a subject. Books generally also provide an in-depth coverage of a topic.
  • Journal articles may be the most useful, for current research or information on a very specific topic, as they are published on a regular basis. It is normally expected that you will use some journal articles in your assignment.
  • Government or research organization websites offer useful and reliable information for free. Any web publications should be carefully evaluated. You are also required to view the whole publication, not just the abstract, if using the information in your assignment.