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ACC200 Research Skills Guide: Keywords (Topic Analysis)

Topic Analysis

A topic analysis will help you to clarify and understand what your assessment question is asking you to do.

You will generally be given three key pieces of information:

  • The key topic or concept words direct you in what to research.
  • The limits or qualifiers tell you the specific focus of the topic or concept.
  • The task or instruction terms tell how you are to deal with the content.

Charles Sturt University has a list of explanations for common instruction words

Assessment item 3 asks you write a 1,500 word business report on the following:

Barbara from Bee Aussie was impressed by the systems documentation you prepared for Assessment Item 2. As she continues to research and plan for the implementation of a new system, Barbara has engaged you to review Bee Aussie's proposed revenue cycle, focussing on the processes from order to invoicing, and to undertake research into systems implementation and potential issues. To facilitate this, Barbara has provided you with an overview of the revenue cycle, available in your Interact site under Assessment Resources, Assessment Item 3 as well as a 2020 article she read in CIO magazine (

Using the information provided to you and undertaking research as required, prepare a business report for Barbara including the following:

  1. Critical analysis of five (5) internal control weaknesses in Bee Aussies revenue cycle, from order to invoicing and the impact these weaknesses could have on the organisation; 
  2. Recommendation of specific internal controls which could be implemented by Bee Aussie in the coming months to mitigate the risks posed by each of the internal control weaknesses you have identified. The owners do not want theoretical controls suggested, they want practical controls that they can implement; 
  3. Advice relating to the implementation of a new ERP system, including:
    • an overview of the Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC) (as covered in your Romney text) that you believe Bee Aussie should utilise in the implementation of a new ERP system. 
    • A review of the 1999 systems implementation by Hersheys (note that you will need to conduct further research beyond the CIO article provided). The review must include
      1. an overview of the failed ERP implementation for Hersheys.
      2. an analysis of three (3) systems implementation deficiencies for Hersheys, including discussion of where each falls within the five stages of the SDLC.
    • provision of three (3) recommendations to Bee Aussie on how they could manage and overcome the deficiencies you identified above in their implementation of an ERP system.

(See your Subject Outline for full details of the assessment and marking criteria.)

Instruction words Critical analysis, recommend, advise, review
Qualifying words & phrases Proposed revenue cycle, order to invoicing, systems implementation
Key concepts Internal controls, internal control weaknesses, Systems Development Life-cycle, Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, ERP implementation

Topic analysis

Find additional keywords

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias can help you to find additional keywords and get an overview of the concept.

Oxford Reference Online is a huge repository of subject-specific dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and other reference-type material.


Write down the key concepts from your topic and have a go at brainstorming as many alternative keywords and phrases as possible.

Thinking about your topic in this way forces you to describe your topic in "other words", which will provide you with some useful keyword alternatives as well as help you to cement your understanding of the topic.

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