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:
You have a better chance of finding information and answering your assessment question if you have a clear idea of the concept of your assessment. For example, let's take a look at the following task:
The diet and nutrition of school-age children in Australia has changed. Discuss
|Key concepts||The diet and nutrition of children|
|Qualifying words and phrases||Australia and "school-age children"|
For more information about this process, watch the Topic Analysis video on the right.
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.
Let's start thinking about what terms you will use when searching for information. To do this:
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.
Here's another example - your 4th assessment asks you to choose one of the following topics:
Your academic also asks you to:
Make a 200-300 word post (word limit does not include references) to the relevant discussion board on i2 that describes another country's implementation of the strategy of your choice. Please provide references where appropriate (references are not included in the word count).
|Keyword||Synonym / Similar term or phrase|
|"sugar tax"||sweetener*, levy, tariff|
You'll notice the use of the asterisk (*), and inverted commas (" ") in these terms - find out more information about using these search tools on our Search Strategies page.
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