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At Endeavour College, staying updated with academic writing is very important. Students are responsible for their own work and study load, which means you are expected to organise your own independent study. There are many free online courses and tools available to help you achieve study success, and don't forget to enrol in the 'Essential Study Skills' course on LMS!

Click on the links below to work through a module or select a topic from the sidebar to learn more about an area of interest.

Academic Sources

Types of Academic Sources

At Endeavour College you are required to use reputable academic sources for your assignments. Your assignment guideline might specify the types of sources you should use in your paper, so read it carefully.

  • Primary sources include original research and experiments (like a clinical trial).
  • Secondary sources review or analyse primary sources (like a systematic review).
  • Tertiary sources organise and compile information from primary and secondary sources (like a dictionary or encyclopaedia). (Jacobsen, 2016; Polgar & Thomas, 2013).

When you use academic sources, you provide evidence to support your argument, thereby developing the skills required to become an evidence-based practitioner.

Evidence-based Medicine (pyramid, descending order)

  • Systematic Reviews
  • Critically appraised Topics (Evidence Syntheses)
  • Critically-Appraised Individual Article (Article Synopses)
  • Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs)
  • Cohort Studies
  • Case-Controlled Studies/Case Studies/Reports
  • Background Information/Expert Opinion

Note. Adapted from EBM Pyramid and EBM Page Generator, by J. Glover, D. Izzo, K. Odato and L. Wang, 2006, Trustees of Dartmouth College and Yale University. Copyright 2006 by Trustees of Dartmouth College and Yale University.

What is Evidence-Based Medicine?

“Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the conscientious, explicit, judicious and reasonable use of modern, best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. EBM integrates clinical experience and patient values with the best available research information. It is a movement which aims to increase the use of high-quality clinical research in clinical decision making” (Masic et al, 2008, p. 219)

Peer-reviewed journals, scholarly books and academic databases are important sources of information to provide evidence of research for assignments.

Our Research Design library guide can support you in learning more about quantitative and qualitative research.

A journal is a collection of articles on specific topics that is published regularly throughout the year, presenting current research.

Journals include:

  • Original research and experiments (primary sources-like randomised controlled trials)
  • A review of this type of data (secondary sources-like a systematic review).

A journal is ‘peer-reviewed’ if the articles have been examined, prior to publication, by experts in the article's field of study (Polgar & Thomas, 2013, p.22). Peer-reviewed articles are recommended for your research assignments as they are considered more authoritative. Look for filters on database result pages to limit your search results to reputable articles, such as recently published works within the last ten years, and full-text sources.

On a webpage, look on the journal homepage to see if it is peer-reviewed. Reputable journals are normally hosted by academic publishers. Example publishers include Routledge, Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Cambridge University Press, Sage, Oxford University Press, Wiley.

Wondering what journals to read for your department?

The library team have created department guides where you can find a list of recommended journals for sourcing research articles. If you are interested in creating an alert for new papers, you can follow the guide on creating journal alerts.

Looking for a specific journal article?

Use the drop-down on the Library Homepage search bar to select 'Search electronic resources' and type in the article title to see if it is available through our databases.

Searching by topic?

You can also find journals and journal articles in research databases. We recommend trying Discovery Search first, which is our largest database. Combine keywords on your topic in the search bar.

The library’s A-Z Database page lists over 50 databases to assist students with their studies. Which database you should use depends on what type of research you are conducting. You can use the filters under 'Subjects', 'Database Types' and 'Vendors/Providers' at the top of the page to find appropriate databases.

For example:

  • Clinic databases for glossaries of supplements, indexes of signs and symptoms, manufacturers of herbal and natural medicines. For example, Natural Medicines and nPod.
  • Research databases for journals and journal articles.
  • Reference databases for background research, dates, definitions and content for your topic, such as Credo reference and Cambridge histories online.

These types of databases provide powerful search tools for narrowing results to find research to provide evidence in assignments. This is why staff recommend using our databases over Google - because of the quality of the results. If you want to use Google Scholar, then add Endeavour College as your library in 'My Library'. This will show you what articles you can access through our subscriptions.

  • Authoritative information
  • Research and discussion by academics and experts
  • Information intended for academic study and research
  • Evidence based, formal arguments

Use textbooks when you require background information and related research, when you want to add depth to a topic or put your topic in context with other issues (Turner et al., 2011, p.152).

Wondering if a book is academic?

Scholarly books are normally published by academic or university publishers, and the content is referenced with evidence (look for citations and footnotes). Look for statistics, figures, and tables that show evidence of research. Start with your Prescribed and Recommended Readings (listed on the LMS on the subject overview page), and look through weekly pre-readings for your subject.

Example eBooks:

Each campus has a physical collection of books, and the library website has a digital collection of eBooks. Search by subject code or by title in the search bar.

The library also has an eBooks Library Guide to help you find relevant eBooks for your studies. Most of your prescribed and recommended readings can be accessed online through your subject guides. Inside each guide, you can simply click on the book cover to go directly to the digital version of the book.

Evidence-based Medicine Tutorials and Resources

Information Literacy

Information literacy is the over-arching concept promoting the ability for individuals to learn and process information independently (Andretta, 2006; Australian Information and Library Association [ALIA], 2006).

We aim to develop resources (including library guides, webinars, and handouts) which are conducive to accessing and understanding resources in the natural health industry (Ellis et al., 2017).

Digital Literacy

Every time you access the internet, you are exposed to a diverse collection of information. How you interact with websites online, what you search and how you read, are important choices that will affect what you learn. When researching online, it’s important to keep in mind:

  1. Can you search, navigate, and locate information in digital environments?
  2. Can you evaluate, analyse, and apply critical thinking to check whether it is relevant?
  3. Can you organise, manage, and curate information?
  4. Can you create, construct, and generate digital documents and presentations?
  5. Can you communicate, connect, and collaborate with others to share information?

(Deakin Library, 2018).

These digital literacy skills are essential to your success during your time studying at Endeavour College. The College is able to support the development of student’s digital literacy through the provision of digital items through our library website (ALIA, 2022).

Digital Health Literacy

“Digital health literacy is an important skillset for all Australians to make appropriate and informed health decisions. According to the national library of medicine it means it ‘includes the ability to understand instructions on prescription drug bottles, appointment slips, medical education brochures, doctor’s directions and consent forms, and the ability to negotiate complex health care systems’” (ALIA, n.d., para. 1).
Academic Writing

What is Academic Writing

Academic writing is a formal style of writing used in academic works or scholarly publications. This means that the language should be objective and impersonal, and you should avoid personal pre-conceptions and opinions. When writing in an academic style, it’s important to adhere to the guidelines of the discipline or subject you are writing for, as some disciplines have different expectations for structure and style. Academic writing should be fact-based arguments, and you should refrain from bias or generalisations, and prioritise supporting your perspective with research and references. If you’re feeling unsure of what’s expected for your assessments, read texts within your discipline to learn how scholars communicate.

Guidelines at Endeavour College

  • Formality and Expressions: Formal vocabulary and expression. Objective and cautious language. No short-forms, shot-hand, or slang. Write in the third person (impersonal), unless it is a personal reflection (in which case, write in the first person).
  • Variations of English: The spelling in titles in your reference list should be exactly as they appear in the source that you used. If they use American spelling of a word, then that is the spelling you are required to use.
  • Numbers: One to nine should be spelt out in full, when used in headings and when beginning a sentence. Use numerals for 10 and above. Spell out simple fractions and hyphenate (e.g. one-quarter).
  • Acronyms: When using an acronym, write the organisation name in full the first time, followed by the acronym in brackets. The acronym can then be used on its own throughout the rest of the work.
  • Edited and proofread: Free of grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors. Spell words using Australian of UK English. Do not use the American version of words.
  • Foreign Languages: All words in a foreign language used in-text are to be in italics. Scientific names of botanical and zoological genus and species should be italicised.

Be sure to consult your assessment specifications for varying requirements, and refer to the APA referencing guide to learn how to include evidence in your assignments!

Assignment Examples

Reading examples of student assignments can provide guidance for how to construct paragraphs, what language to use, and how to introduce evidence. Find themhere.

Writing resources:

Submit assignment drafts to Studiosity for feedback!

Journal Alerts

Journal alerts are a useful tool for keeping updated on the most recent research available in your field. As it is an important part of being an evidence-based practitioner, it is worth your time to select two to three journals from your disciplines library guide to ensure you are up to date with current research.

How to create Journal alerts:

How to set up email alerts while studying with Endeavour:

How to set up email alerts post-graduation (open-access databases):

How to create an EBSCO account
Free Image Resources

Images are called figures in assignments. If you’re including figures in your assignment, read through the APA guide for formatting guidelines.

For copyright-free images to use in your assignments, click through the links below: