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FIN385 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:

  1. The key topic or concept words direct you in what to research.
  2. The limits or qualifiers tell you the specific focus of the topic or concept.
  3. 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 FIN385 Assessment item 1 is a 2,000 word report:

This report is in two parts: 

  1. Critically discuss whether and, if so, to what extent the theory of Comparative Advantage is still a useful model to explain 21st century trade.  Use relevant and explained examples to support your analysis. (900 words)
  2. Discuss the main phases that a firm passes through on its journey to be become a truly global firms.   What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?  Use relevant and explained examples to support your analysis. (900 words)

Use one introduction (100 words) and one conclusion (100 words).

Hint: Use Chapter 1 of your textbook as the starting point for your research.  

Write your answer in report format.  Follow the guides on how to write a report set out here and view the Write Your Report tab above.

You must use information sources to support your discussion, such as websites, newspaper and magazine articles, journal articles, and books. Each information source used must be referenced correctly in the body of the paper, and in a reference list. Please note that you should not use 'wiki' sites as references for this assignment. These sources may provide useful background reading, but they are not suitable as academic references.

All sources you referred to should be included in a reference list at the end of the report, conforming to APA 7th ed. style referencing. At least ten verifiable, credible and traceable English references are required. Please review the Subject Outline for further details.

Instruction words critically discuss, use examples, analysis
Qualifying words & phrases trade, globalization
Key concepts theory of Comparative Advantage model, global firm, multinational, international trade, globalization process/stages/phases, going global


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.

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.

Find more keywords