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Senior: 11 & 12: Unit 2: Infectious Diseases (IA3)

What is a Claim?

According to the QCAA Syllabus glossary: 

  • Claim is an assertion made without any accompanying evidence to support it. 
  • A Research Question and Hypothesis can be developed from the Claim by identifying its underlying scientific concepts and variables.

CLAIM 1: Organ donation is too risky to be a widely used medical treatment

Type in the term 'Risks of Organ Transplants'.

There are excellent articles on organ donation in this database.

CLAIM 3: Vaccines will eradicate all infectious diseases

Look up the terms 'vaccine' and 'infectious diseases' here.

Web Searching Tips

1. Use 'Ctrl F' (Control + Find) to search for particular terms easily in a long document, whether from a website or a database article.

2. Use a Google command to limit results to a CERTAIN DOMAIN

  • 'edu'  - for educational sites from universities and schools:
    eg  biodiesel site:edu
  • 'gov' - for government sites:

             eg ethanol site:gov

3. To check the authority of a website when it is not clear, go to the end of the URL in the Google search box, cut back to the first forward slash (/) and hit 'Enter'. This will take you to the Home Page of the website, and you can see the full name of the source.

4.  Use a Google command to limit results to the MOST RECENT: After you get your results, choose the Google Menu Bar, and choose 'Tools'. Then on the far left, at the drop-down menu next to 'Any Time', you can choose 'Within the last year' (or less, if you prefer), but generally, you can choose 'Custom Range' at the bottom, as often the last 3 years would be sufficient for a recent search.

Relevant Cognitive Verbs


Dissect to ascertain and examine constituent parts and / or their relationships; break down or examine in order to identify the essential elements, features, components or structure; determine the logic and reasonableness of information;

Examine or consider something in order to explain and interpret it, for the purpose of finding meaning or relationships and identifying patterns, similarities and differences.

Apply Use knowledge and understanding in response to a given situation or circumstance; carry out or use a procedure in a given or particular situation.
Communicate Convey knowledge and/or understandings to others; make known; transmit.
Evaluate Make an appraisal by weighing up or assessing strengths, implications and limitations; make judgments about ideas, works, solutions or methods in relation to selected criteria; examine and determine the merit, value or significance of something, based on criteria.
Investigate Carry out an examination or formal inquiry in order to establish or obtain facts and reach new conclusions; search, inquire into, interpret and draw conclusions about data and information.

Zotero Online Referencing Tool

Zotero can be set to the same Harvard AGPS (Australia) style that CiteAce uses, called 'Melbourne Polytechnic - Harvard'. Please read the instructions carefully.

Any issues - see your Library Staff

QCAA Examples and Exemplars

CLAIM 2: Vaccines are ineffective in preventing pandemics

Look up the terms 'Vaccines' and 'Pandemics' here.

Academic Websites - Excellent!

An American website that aggregates press releases and publishes lightly edited press releases about science


The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.


Breaks down the stories behind the most interesting news and photos on the Internet.


Search for news articles which come from trusted news outlets, such as the Associated Press (AP) and The Atlantic, and other sources chosen for use in the classroom.
Regarded as a 'porthole' site, SciTech Daily offers the best intelligent, informed science and technology coverage and analysis you can find on a daily basis, sourcing a huge range of great writers and excellent research institutes.
Gateway to the best Science news sources.

A global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals.
The world’s largest biomedical library.
Web-based medical and health news service.

Google Books can be very frustrating because often much of the book is missing and you are expected to purchase it to read the full content. So after you put in your search term you are interested in (eg biodiesel), and get some results up,  you should then go immediately to the search box (on the left - above 'About this box') undefined and type in a particular word or term you are interested in (eg CO2 emissions OR methanol) you should get a number of pages pop up. Choose one that looks useful - you should get some good results this way!

How to Develop a Research Question From a Claim

Dictionary of Biology Ebook


The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Library can now be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.

Online Journals

Data Sets

C.R.A.A.P. Test for Evaluating Websites

Check the quality of your websites using these criteria (adapted from QUT Library):

Currency: Timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published, posted or last updated?
  • Is the information current for your topic and field of study? How recent does it have to be? Can older sources work just as well?
Relevance: Importance of the information for your needs
  • Is the information appropriate for a senior secondary course?
  • Is this an adequately in-depth examination or a quick summary of the topic?
  • Who's the intended audience? Is it the general public, a student, a researcher or industry?
  • Is the level of information too basic or too advanced for your needs?

Authority: Source of the information

  • Is the author/authoring body (individual person, or institution, or organisation) established and reputable?
  • Are their qualifications, credentials, expertise, experience, educational background and previous work (if any) relevant and do they add credibility to the source?
  • Has the piece been published by a well-known and respected publisher or organisation?
  • Do references to other sources support the writing ie is a Bibliography or Reference List provided?

Accuracy: Reliability and correctness of the information

  • Where does the information come from, and is it supported by evidence?
  • Does it have a Reference List or Bibliography so you can easily find and verify the sources used?
  • Are there any spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: Reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Why was it written?
  • Does the point of view appear objective, unbiased and impartial?
  • Is the viewpoint of the author's affiliation/ sponsors reflected in the message or content?
  • Does the author acknowledge alternative versions of the issues or facts?

How To Write In-Text References for Science