Research and writing skills

Research skills

Research – Research is a very important skill that is needed to practice and understand concepts and ideas for any subject. Research also involves being able to communicate your findings to a specific audience using scientific terms and conventions.

Using the CRAAP guide to give you an idea of the quality of the information you have found.

Evaluate your sources 


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Places to find information 

There are many options for this. There are amazing amounts of information online and in your library. Below are some links to some reliable websites and youtube channels.

Our Local links

YOUTUBE channels 

Science shows 

Science databases and useful websites 

Databases contain records of information. They can be can general like GOOGLE or subject specific.Below are three examples of science databases. The advantage of using these is that it only contains science-based information.

  • Sciencengage is a national database of science engagement activities.
  • ABC splash STEM resources
  • UQ university resources for secondary schools
  • Australian science channel Australia’s Science Channel is Australia’s first free and open publishing platform for science stories.On Australia’s Science Channel you’ll find compelling videos, articles, podcasts, news and events from our publishing partners and Australia’s Science Channel’s contributing editors.We work with leading minds, universities from around Australia, organisations and institutions to provide compelling science stories for everyone to watch, read, listen and share thoughts on what’s happening in science.
  • Science learning hub – online resources linked to the New Zealand science syllabus with excellent resources and videoes on many science concepts.
  • Science buddies contain a huge resource related to science skills and experiments.
  • ANSTO- information about nuclear energy and technology innovations from Australia.

Communicating in Science

Think about this:


  • Who was involved?
  • What happened?
  • Where did it take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Why did that happen?

Each question should have a factual answer. This is what you can use to begin researching for any type of assessment or writing task.

Students communicate by:

a.selecting and using in presentations, for different purposes and contexts, appropriate text types including

1. Discussions

A discussion is an action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas. This includes what ,where ,who and  why

When writing a discussion you should include an opening paragraph that introduces the topic and describes what the topic is about. The next paragraphs should expand on your topic and description and include points that are for and against the topic. Ensure that your points are backed up by evidence, not just opinions. Be careful that you read the question as some only ask for one perspective,e.g discuss advantages. A good way to organise your information is to make a table for and against.

2. Explanations

An explanation is a reason or justification given for an action or belief. It is a why question. Before you exaplin you would usually define and describe what you will be explaining. Your explanations would commonly have conjunctions that describe a cause and effect. You would use explaining in the discussion of your topic.

3. Expositions

An Exposition is a comprehensive description and explanation of an idea or theory. You would include who, what, when and why in your expositions.

  • a link n writing expositions

4. Procedures

A procedure an established or official way of doing something. This is typically found when writing methods in scientific reports or when describing how something happens.

The Science Buddies website has some excellent resources regarding writing science experiments and reports. Type in your search term of the section of the report you need help writing about.

5. Recounts or reports

A recount is a process of giving an account of events. writing a science report is an example of this. Recounts and reports tell us where and when something happened.

b.presenting scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations for specific audiences.

  • Virtual writing website- This contains a lot of information and resources for all types of writing. Click on the learning tools and explore the different guides.
  • Youtube channelJamesESL English Lessons (engVid). A huge variety of lessons on how to write better.

Persuasive and arguments in Science-essays

Persuasive writing‘ is a form of writing in which the writer uses words to convince the reader that the writer’s opinion is correct in regards to an issue. It involves putting your argument across to the reader. An argument in writing is not simply a disagreement, it is a reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory. Persuasive writing and arguments in science include includes what , where, who,  why and how.

Unlike an opinion which gives your views and is not necessarily based on facts, persuasive writing is more about convincing others to agree with your ideas. These ideas are based on evidence and facts. Your audience is who you are trying to convince. The audience could be your peers, or a local paper, or a newspaper. The tone you use will depend on who you are trying to convince.

The following includes links to help you get started and write a convincing argument.

Answering questions

Being an effective communicator will not only earn you good grades it will also allow you to express your opinion and ideas to others in society. Many questions start with a key verb. It is important that you learn to answer any question based on the keywords( usually linked to some sort of theory) and the verbs in the question. Below is an easy way to tell what level of depth you would need to go into to answer a question.

Use the guide below to understand what the question is asking.As you move closer to year 11 you will be expected to be answering questions more like the senior ALARM guide. The link to these can be found here. It also includes tutorials.


alarm older
Blaxland High School ALARM Team. (2014). ALARM Resources Suite. Blaxland High School NSW Department of Education.
Costello, C. (2015). ALARM: A learning and responding matrix. Virtual Library. Retrieved from

PEEL paragraph writing

PEEL writing paragraphs