Skip to Main Content

Home: 1. Getting started

13th June to 22nd June 2018

Getting Started


Define the task: develop your research question

Carefully read through your set task, underlying important requirements of your task. Check the rubric at the start of your research process. Use the links below to help you define your task.

Ergo - State Library of Victoria research skills.

Sometimes you will be asked to create your own research question on a particular topic. The following links provide guidance on how to create a sound research questions:

Identify Keywords: choosing keywords for your search

University of Westminster, Study Skills and Training. London, UK.

What are keywords and why are they important? Brought to you by the University of Houston Libraries.

Lloyd Sealy Library
This video covers how to: • break down your research topic into keywords • expand those keywords with synonyms and related words. City Colleges of Chicago, Wilbur Wright, USA.

Explore The Topic

As your list of keywords grows, a brainstorming session will help to expand the list of terms. Using a brainstorming tool, such as a mind map or lotus diagram will help to organise your thoughts and to identify connections and relationships between ideas, people, places and events. Remember to include synonyms and alternative spellings.

Thinking and brainstorming tool: Lotus diagram

Thinking and brainstorming tool: Mind map


Sometimes brainstorming will produce results that on reflection, are not relevant to your specific research topic. Revisit your research question and examine your brainstorming results - are there any irrelevant items that can be deleted or are there gaps where connections or relationships need to be established?