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ASC202 Research Skills Guide: Plan

Getting Started

It is important to break down the requirements of your assessment task before you start searching for information so that you can plan your approach.

For example, let's take a look at the task for Assessment 2 in the Subject Outline:

The aim of this report is to analyse a horse's conformation qualitatively and quantitatively in reference to the horse's movement. You are expected to analyse normal and abnormal equine movement anatomically, biomechanically and physiologically, in addition to identify and analyse the anatomical, management and environmental factors that can impact equine biomechanics in terms of performance and injury risk.

At first, you may feel a little overwhelmed by these requirements. However, with some thought and planning, you can come up with a research plan that suits your assessment tasks.

Topic Analysis

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.

This is a useful exercise because 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 searching on. Your prescribed texts and recommended readings are good places to start gathering terms.

Let's use this topic as an example:

Analyse a horse's conformation qualitatively and quantitatively in reference to the horse's movement

Keyword Synonym / Similar term or phrase
Horse equine, mare, stallion
Conformation bone structure
Movement gallop, trot, gait, posture

Topic Analysis

Recommended Readings


Write down the key concepts from your topic and have a go at brainstorming as many alternative keywords and phrases as possible.

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