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PSY203/PSY453 Research Skills Guide: Planning

Topic Analysis

Your task for Assessment Item 3 is to write an essay on the following topic:

Critically analyse the universality of social identity theory by assessing its real-world application for indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. In doing so examine the applicability of this theory to Indigenous social identity in Australia.

In this topic we can identify the following concepts:

Key concepts: social identity, social identity theory, Indigenous Australians  

Identifying Synonyms

Brainstorming synonyms (similar words) or related terms will help you to identify words that can be used to start searching with.

Draw up a table with two columns: in the left column you will write the keywords from your topic; and in the right column you will enter as many synonyms or similar terms as you can.

Keyword Synonym/Similar or Related Term
Indigenous Australians Aboriginal Australians
social identity social status, perceived membership, social group

Two Benefits of Brainstorming Keywords

1. The language used to describe your topic may vary from source to source, and you don't want to miss out on a good source because it uses a different term to the one you are using in your search.

2. 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 while helping 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.

In the Oxford Reference search box below, enter some of the keywords you've identified from your assessment question and note down any alternate keywords that you find.

Find your definitions by searching Oxford Reference Online