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MHP214 Research Skills Guide: Plan

This guide is designed to help you with your assessments in MHP214.

Your Assessment Task

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.

In MHP214 Assessment 2 you've been asked to report on a community development project from within your own community. You will need to discuss the following:

  • Your understanding of the impact of social, economic, cultural and/or political determinants of health on communities
  • How your chosen project has addressed issues of equity, access, empowerment and/or social justice
  • How the project has addressed the characteristics of successful community development projects

It's recommended that you use a minimum of 7 high-quality academic resources for this assessment. These requirements may feel a little overwhelming at first, but with some thought and planning, you can come up with a research plan that will suit this assessment task.

Topic Analysis

A topic analysis helps you clarify and understand what your assessment question is asking you to do.

You'll 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. The Academic Skills Team has a list explaining common instruction words

You can always watch the topic analysis video for an example. Once you've broken the question down, try to 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.

Let's use this topic as an example:

Identify the main characteristics of successful community development projects aiming to address issues of equity and empowerment.

Keyword Synonym / Similar or related terms and phrases
Community development "community work", "community action", "community programs"
Equity social equity, equality, bias, inclusion, participation

empower*, advocacy


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

Find additional keywords

Tip: Online dictionaries and thesauri can help you identify synonyms. 

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.Acknowledgement of Country

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