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Your Assignment

Take some time to make sure that you understand your assignment question.

  • It is helpful to highlight the keywords in the question and to think about the wider concepts that are relevant to the topic.
  • These keywords and concepts will help you search for information.

Equal access to education for girls
















Why are you being asked to write an assignment on this topic?

  • Is the assignment topic controversial?
  • Is the assignment topic complicated? What makes it complicated?
  • Are there opposing points of view about the topic?
 Once you have a good understanding of what the assignment question is about, ask yourself:
  • What do you already know about the topic?
  • Are there parts of the topic that you need to learn about?
  • Do you need to understand the topic better before you can determine your own viewpoint?

Tip! You might think differently about your topic once you have started researching it – this is normal! If necessary, you can redefine your topic as you go.

Reading definitions and background information helps you to understand the topic better. 

It also helps you develop keywords that are needed for searching in catalogues and databases.

You can use Dictionaries to find definitions.

You can use Encylopaedias to find background information. Articles from specialised subject encyclopaedias are authoritative and often substantial.


Your lecturer may ask you to use only peer-reviewed journals.

Peer review is a formal process whereby articles are submitted for scrutiny and appraisal by recognised academics or authorities in the appropriate field.

These academics or experts may recommend that the paper be accepted as it stands, or that specific revisions be made, or that the paper be rejected for publication. This process of refereeing is known as peer review.



 Peer-reviewed icon





Why are peer reviewed journal articles important?

Peer reviewed articles are authoritative because they have been assessed prior to publication by specialists or experts within academic and/or industry fields.

How to determine if an article is peer reviewed.

MultiSearch and some databases, such as Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) and LLBA (Proquest), allow you to filter your search results to only include peer reviewed articles. 

Ulrichsweb global serials directory will also verify if a journal title is peer-reviewed.

In this directory, Refereed items are marked with an icon  (which is a representation of a referees shirt.)

Use MultiSearch as a starting point to search for journal articles.

To research further on your topic, use Library databases which may be subject-specific or cover many different topic areas. 

These links are for specific databases for Linguistics:

The quality of the information you use in your assignment, as well as your understanding and interpretation of this information, is essential to your essay.

You should always critically analyse information.

The internet gives you access to lots of information, but it is not always reliable. You need to evaluate what you find on the internet.

There are several support services available through the university if you need assistance with writing your assignment. These include:



Ulrich's to check for Peer-reviewed Journals

Help with writing your assignment