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IKC100 Library 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 IKC100 question is:

Present: You will develop an information package in a format of your choosing. The audience in this scenario is a group of your colleagues in a Health service ( for example, Medical or Research Laboratory, Allied Health service, Community Health organisation, hospital setting).

Your Information Package will address the following prompts:

What are social determinants of health and how do they impact on the health of Indigenous Australians?

For further information about the assessment please refer to your subject outline and your Rubric.

Instruction words Address, present
Qualifying words & phrases Indigenous Australians
Key concepts social determinants, health, impact


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.

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.