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JST495 Research Skills Guide: Keywords (Topic Analysis)


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

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.

Your Assessment 1 task is:

To write an essay that examines current debates relating to intelligence, data and analytics that you are learning about in class. 

Select ONE of the six questions below and write an essay of 2000 words only that addresses all aspects of the question.

1.The trade-off, if any, between individual protections and collective security needs required to effectively employ data analytics for intelligence purposes
2.Any difference in the privacy implications of data monitoring or data mining for intelligence purposes
3.The “whistle-blower” protections, if any, which apply to analysts working with intelligence for or on behalf of government entities in the single Five Eyes country of your choice
4.The limitations, if any, which apply to the use of open source intelligence in monitoring Persons of Interest (POIs) by a government entity in a single Five Eyes country of your choice
5.The (potential) use of metadata in a surveillance operation conducted by an intelligence or law enforcement entity within Australia
6.The ethical or privacy concerns, if any, which would follow from routinely text-mining unspecified social media accounts (i.e. accounts belonging to the general public rather than specific individuals)

These topics are controversial intelligence issues and are subject to wide debate in both scholarly literature and the media.

The essay must present a balanced approach to framing the issue.


Instruction words examine
Qualifying words & phrases balanced, scholarly, media
Key concepts

intelligence, data, analytics, **


**don't forget to include keywords for the question you are responding to

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.

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