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ACC539 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

Your ACC539 assessment 3 is to prepare a 1,400 word business report.

Using the information provided to you in your subject outline, prepare a business report addressing the following:

  1. Critical analysis of four (4) internal control weaknesses relating to TUA’s cash payments process and the impact these weaknesses could have on the organisation; 
  2. Recommendation of specific application controls TUA could implement to minimise the impact of each of the potential weaknesses you have identified above. Note that your client is seeking practical controls they can implement in the coming months, not theoretical controls; 
  3. Advice relating to the implementation of a new ERP system, including:
    1. an overview of the Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC) (as covered in your Romney text) that you believe TUA should utilise in the implementation of their new ERP system.
    2. a review of the ERP implementation issues for Nestle (note that you will need to conduct further research beyond the article provided). The review must include:
      1. an overview of the failed ERP implementation for Nestle; 
      2. an analysis of four (4) systems implementation deficiencies for Nestle, including discussion of where each falls within the five stages of the SDLC and; 
    3. provision of four (4) recommendations to TUA on how they could manage and overcome the deficiencies you identified above in their implementation of an ERP system.

All parts of question 1 must be answered a table in your report. Please see your subject outline for more details.

Instruction words Prepare, business report, analyse, recommend
Qualifying words & phrases  
Key concepts internal control weakness, internal controls, ERP implementation, Nestle ERP implementation, SDLC

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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