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Research skills tutorial

Example 1 - Analyse the task

Assignment topic: "Chocolate can make you happy. Discuss."

  • Main keywords are chocolate and happy
  • This question implies that it relates to humans
  • Look at definitions of happiness, joy, satisfaction and pleasure
  • Related topics may include: endorphins, serotonin, antioxidants, and the "chocoholic" syndrome
  • Look at behavioural, psychological and physiological changes after consuming chocolate
  • Chocolate may include white, milk and dark chocolate, and you could look at different brands

It doesn't matter how you display your keywords, so long as you write them down and organise them.  See the list (in a table) and concept map below.


A list is the simplest way to organise your keywords.  Just start writing everything you currently know about the topic, and use a thesaurus to find alternative words.

Chocolate Happy
  • Cocoa, Cacao
  • milk, white, dark, percentage of cocoa
  • Cadbury, Darrel Lea, Nestle
  • sugar content, fat content
  • flavour, flavor, additives
  • fulfilment (emotional, physical)
  • joy, enjoyment, pleasure, satisfaction, satisfied
  • mood, emotions, comfort food, depression
  • endorphins, antioxidants, brain chemicals, blood sugar levels


Concept map

You might create a concept map to group your keywords.

Mindmap about chocolate



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