Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MRS120 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 MRS120 question is:

Reflection is a fundamental tool in the world of healthcare. Reflection is a valuable way of learning about yourself, about the way you learn, and about professional practice. Analysing learning events that have occurred on campus, in your personal study, and in the clinical setting, and understanding how these events have helped in the development of required professional attributes, is a proven way of discovering what you have yet to learn, and deciding on improved strategies for future learning. Using relevant literature, in 1200 words address the following questions;

  • Define reflection.
  • What is something you have learned that you believe will help you to become a better MRS practitioner? How and why do you believe that this has helped?
  • What is something you have learned about the way that you learn?
  • What is a new strategy that you believe will help you to learn more effectively? Why do you think this strategy will work for you? In what way do you think your learning will be enhanced?
  • Discuss the importance of reflection in lifelong learning.


Instruction words Address, Define, Discuss
Qualifying words & phrases MRS practitioner, Learning strategies, Lifelong learning
Key concepts Definition of reflection, Methods of learning, New strategies to become an effective learner, importance of reflection in lifelong learning.


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.