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FIN530 Research Skills Guide: Assessment - Written Assignment

Topic Analysis

Planning an effective search strategy can save you time and retrieve more relevant results.

At this first stage, you need to work out:

  • what the assessment is asking you to do
  • how you are going to search for answers to the question

If you are confused or unsure about the assessment topic, ask your lecturer or tutor who will be happy to talk it through with you.

Let's start thinking about what terms you will use when searching for information. To do this:

  • Identify the key concepts of your topic (watch the topic analysis video for assistance); and then
  • Brainstorm as many synonyms and similar terms/phrases as you can.

One assessment question is:

An upward sloping yield curve is given the title of ‘normal’. Provide a summary of each of the expectations theory, segmented markets theory and the liquidity premium theory as an explanation of why the yield curve is ‘normally’ upward sloping. Assemble monthly data (which you are to provide in an appendix) for yields on Australian Government Bonds (of 2, 3, 5 and 10 year duration) between January 2005 and the present (latest data available) which can be used assess the use of the term ‘normal’. In the body of your answer, provide a written summation of the data and, in particular, identify periods since January 2005 when the yield curve was not 'normal' for Australian Government Bonds and draw a conclusion about the stability of bond yields over time. How does each of the three theories you have previously discussed explain these exceptions? Indicate which of the three theories you find to be the most convincing and why?

Instruction words summary, discuss, explanation
Qualifying words & phrases Australia, January 2005 to present
Key concepts theories of term structure of interest rates, expectations theory, segmented markets theory, liquidity premium theory, bond markets, government bonds, yield curve, yields


Check your Subject Outline and the marking criteria for more details and further assessment questions.

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.

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