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FIN531 Research Skills Guide CSU: 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.CSU has a list of explanations for common instruction words.

Your Assessment item 1 is:                                                                              

This assessment is an initial look at financial investments and in particular, at recent ethical issues as it relates to investments.


For this assessment please look back to the beginning of this Subject Outline and reread the intentions of the subject (Overview), the areas to be studied (Subject Schedule) and what the outcomes will be (Overview). Now that you have a clear idea of the intentions of this subject, complete Topic 1 (Overview to Investment) and research and identify one area of this subject that is currently, or recently, in the news and also relates to an ethical issue. A good place to start is the newspapers, in particular the Australian Financial Review, and the Internet. Given the last year and recent events, there are numerous events that you can choose from. You are expected to think broadly over various investments and the role of ethics in investment decisions. You may find there are often no right or wrong answers.


Your task is divided into two parts.

Task 1 – Write a blog post (maximum 500 words) in Interact succinctly stating the issue, your views on the issue, its relevance to this subject and to the ethical issue. These postings can be company, industry or country specific but please make sure you distinguish between unethical and illegal.

Task 2 – Comment on two blogs written by other students (a total of two peer reviews). Each of your peer review should not be more than 150 words.

Instruction words discuss, evaluate
Qualifying words & phrases current issue in the news
Key concepts ethics, ethical practices, investors, investment decisions

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.