A topic analysis will help you to clarify and understand what your research question is asking you to do.
You will generally be given three key pieces of information:
Imagine you are given the following essay question:
Describe how you would create a beef herd in either the temperate or the tropical areas of Australia, and explain the decisions you would making in planning the herd's major husbandry and health management events.
|Instruction words||Describe; create; explain|
|Qualifying words & phrases||temperate; tropical; Australia|
|Key concepts||beef; husbandry; health management|
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.
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.
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.