We all have information gaps; holes in our knowledge about a particular topic.
These gaps inspire us to:
Once you know that you need information, you need to ask yourself, what information do I need?
Look at your assessment task and find the keywords; the significant words in the question (usually only two or three words or phrases).
To work out if it is a keyword, look at the word in the context of the topic. Words like 'advantages', 'influence' or 'relationship' may have many meanings in different contexts. They are not keywords, but they can tell you the nature of the information you need to find.
If you are unsure of the meaning of a word, use a dictionary to find the definition.
Consider these examples:
|Task||Instruction word||Keywords||Limiting words|
|Explain the concepts of lawful and unlawful discrimination in Australia.||Explain||Lawful discrimination
|Discuss three in which exercise can improve the mental health of teenagers.||Discuss||exercise
Limiting words help you decide where to start and stop your research, such as:
Different authors use different words to describe the same thing, so use a thesaurus to find alternative keywords. It helps to write them down, whether as a list, table, concept map or pictures. You should consider:
For example, if the keyword is mental health you might write down: