What do I need to know about my assignment topic?

Throughout these modules, the following example assignment question will be used to explore the process of preparing, finding, evaluating and using information at university.

Our example assignment topic

"Discuss how the development of artificial intelligence will impact University Libraries in the next 5 years."

After analysing your assignment task, the next step is to analyse the assignment question to identify the topic and any subtopics, task words and limiting words.

Watch the video below to see how you might go about analysing our example assignment question.

  • Task words / directive words: indicate what you need to do, and can be related to the type of assignment, for example: Discuss
  • Keywords / key concepts / topic words are the words, terms and concepts that you need to research. Keep a list of these as the foundation of your search strategy (see Module 2 Find), for example: Artificial intelligence, University, Libraries
  • Limiting words: provide scope to make your task more specific. They can include general limitations such as 'discuss one aspect', specify importance such as 'what is the main cause', or indicate specific timeframes, such as 'in the last two years' or a Geographic limit of Australia

Build on your list of keywords by exploring lecture and tutorial notes, QUT Blackboard Unit sites, QUT Readings lists, and Library Guides - these resources will provide you with a head start on your research.