A topic analysis will help you to clarify and understand what your assessment question is asking you to do.
You should be able to break down the assessment task into three components:
Imagine you are writing an essay with instructions as follows:
Discuss the role of adrenaline in the pre-hospital care of a patient with anaphylaxis.
|Qualifying words & phrases||Pre-hospital care|
|Key concept||Role of adrenaline in anaphylaxis|
Let's take this further. Before carrying out any searching you should try to identify actual words and phrases to use as search terms. In this example, they might be:
You should also try to identify synonyms (alternative terms) to use in your search:
|pre-hospital care||emergency care / paramedicine|
And, if you apply truncation and phrase-searching, your search string might be:
(adrenaline OR epinephrine) AND anaphylacti* AND ("pre-hospital care" OR "emergency care" OR paramedic*) [See also the page in this guide on General Search Techniques].
If you are confused or unsure about the assessment topic, check with your lecturer or tutor.
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.