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INSEARCH SATC001 : Prework

In this guide:

Mapping out your topic

Creating a mind map from your reading can be useful. The best tools for mindmapping are some paper and a pencil, but if you prefer something electronic, there are some free tools and apps - google is your friend for finding these :)

Mapping out your topic can help to identify the different concepts of your overall topic. For example, if we did a mind map for 'mobile phones', it would help us to identify different concepts like: 

  • What is a mobile phone made of? (materials)
  • How does a mobile phone network work? (communication technologies)
  • How has mobile phone technology impacted society? (social impacts)


Remember, things often have more than one name/ways to say it, and it may also be called differently in different countries - these are called synonyms.

A great example is mobile phone, which is what we say in Australia, but what is referred to as a 'cell' phone in America and other parts of the world. If you are having trouble finding information on your topic, it might be time to go back to your reference books, including a thesaurus, and see if there are other words you could be using.  


Using the Library Catalogue 



Finding articles

Reference materials 

Reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias will help you understand the basic concepts of your topic and help you to determine which aspect you want to focus on for your assignments.

Reference and handbooks can online via Find Databases

  • AccessScience - has over 7,000 articles and over 115,000 scientific and technological definitions 
  • Knovel -  3,000 leading reference works and databases from over 70 international publishers 
  • Oxford Reference Online - contains facts, figures, definitions and translations on a range of topics, including science and technology