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Your assignment for this course is to prepare an analytical essay demonstrating your digital literacies, including advanced search strategies to identify and select relevant open access resources to research, analyse, produce and present information for tertiary education purposes.

You have the option of choosing a topic that interests you for this assignment. The mini learning challenge which follows will guide you in selecting a suitable topic.


Mini challenge summary

Summary: Choose a research topic suitable for tertiary academic study to guide your search and selection of online resources in this learning pathway.
Approximately 1 hour
Course assignment

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web resources

Stimulus resources

Selecting a research topic

Analytical essay



The purpose of this mini challenge is to select a topic that is well suited for academic writing. Academic writing is based on research outputs from credible resources rather than unjustified personal opinion.

In this course, you will demonstrate the application of digital literacies in preparing and writing an analytical essay.


  1. Familiarise yourself with the purpose, format and structure of an analytical essay and how this differs from other types of essay. Remember, the purpose of an analytic essay is not to persuade the reader that your ideas are right while those of others are wrong. Instead, your goal is to provide critical interpretation using credible sources in support of your analysis of the topic.
  2. Choose a disciplinary area of focus; for example: Education, Business, Health, Agriculture, Computer Science, Economics, Law, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Law etc.
    • If you are taking this course as an elective within a designated qualification (for example, a Diploma in Tertiary Education), you may be required to select a topic in teaching and learning for this course. Consult with your education provider for acceptable topics.
    • You may be taking this course to support your learning and preparation for a designated research assignment in another course which will influence your choice of topic.
    • If you’re taking this course out of pure self interest, feel free to choose your disciplinary area.
  3. Conduct a general Internet search for “Topical issues in Business” or “Topical issues in Higher Education” and scan whether any of these issues are of personal interest. Select your topic.
  4. State your topic in the form of a question. For example:
    • How will robotics impact on the future of work?
    • What can businesses do to run successful loyalty programmes?
    • How can technology prepare learners for a future that is increasingly defined within the context of globalization and technology?
    • How will mobile technology impact on diagnosis and health care?
  5. Review your draft research question taking into account:
    • Personal interest: Does the research question interest you?
    • Suitability for academic investigation: Some questions are not possible to answer through academic enquiry, for example “How beautiful is the colour orange?” Identify a few keywords related to your proposed research question and conduct a general search to determine if there is published and accessible research outputs related to your question.
    • Attainability: Make sure that your question can be answered taking the amount of time you have. For example, “How do we solve global disease?” is too broad. Whereas, “What is my neighbour’s favourite colour” is too narrow. You will be looking to target between 8 to 15 scholarly references to prepare an annotated bibliography, including books, journal articles and reputable web site references in support of your analytical essay.




Choosing a research question is an iterative process. Your research question will evolve as you learn more about the topic. Sharing your initial ideas on the forum provides the opportunity to formulate the question in writing and to possibly get feedback from your fellow learners.

  1. Share your draft research question on (remember to tag your post with the course code: LiDA101).
  2. Tell us why you chose this topic.
  3. Justify why you think this is a good question for academic research.

Feel free to reply to posts and offer support and/or advice to your peers.