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BMS105/132 Research Skills Guide: Identify

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.

Watch the video to learn more about the process of analysing your topic.


Let's say your assignment was about the following topic:

The diet and lifestyle choices of Australian people are impacted by their socioeconomic status. Discuss.

You would organise each part of the topic statement into its appropriate area, like we've done below:

Identify Definition Example
Instruction words Tell you what to do Discuss
Qualifying word(s) and phrase(s) Limit the scope of the topic Australia
Key concept(s) Show you what to research

socioeconomic status, diet, lifestyle

Topic analysis


Perform a topic analysis on your own research question. You might like to use your chosen topic for your second assessment task. Identify the instruction words, qualifying words and phrases, and the key concepts.

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.

Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. CRICOS Provider: 00005F.