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English: Texts, Culture and Values


Research Databases

JStor is a digital library of academic journals, books and primary sources. To gain access students must create an account. This database is particularly useful for senior students wanting to access academic journals for authoritative content. 

Using Google

Google Scholar Search
Google Book Search




Citemaker Bibliography Maker


Developing A Research Question

Developing a strong research question takes time and effort. You will need to keep coming back to the question and ask yourself is this feasible? Use the following example to draft your question.

This investigation + explores/reports on/seeks to understand + how/what/why + idea/problem/activity + for who + at where

Another approach is to  apply Backward Design Principles to question drafting:
What is the answer/outcome/learning we want to get? How will we get there? What do I need to specifically ask to get to that answer (question parameters)?

Literature Searches

Literature Searches Require a Strategy

1. Define parameters:

  • From research question: identify key search term
  • Use synonyms and antonyms to broaden scope
  • Read articles to find alternative terms used in other countries/contexts/fields
  • Watch for definitions of key terms - these impact on what you identify as worth examining, how you examine it and what you mean when you talk about it.

2. Determine scope:

  • how many articles
  • how old (date range)
  • how comprehensive/wide will the search be (Australian only/multiple countries)

3. What types of articles: theoretical, review, commentary, empirically based, historical - blogs, websites, videos etc

4. Use databases!

5. Begin the seach

6. Generate articles, begin notetaking and create a reference list


Bloom's Literature is a great resource for students when studying authors and texts in-depth. 


There is no single way of taking notes. Browse these resources to find what suits you.

Analysis and Criticism of Related Texts

State Library NSW

Good Reads

Goodreads is a website where you can save booklists and share what you are reading with friends. You can write reviews and read what other people think of books you are interested in reading. You can also explore Listopia where thousands of booklists are created for you to delve into.

Short Stories

Books in the CBL