Understand what your assignment is about

Understand what your assignment is about

To focus your research and writing, you first need to know what you are being asked to do. Save yourself time and effort.

Work through these 4 steps:

  1. Read the question and assessment criteria carefully - ask your lecturer or tutor for clarification if needed.
  2. Look for instruction or task words.
  3. Write down any obvious topic keywords to search with and make sure you know what they mean.
    Use lecture material, textbooks, recommended readings and subject dictionaries or encyclopedias to help you understand what the keywords mean in the context of your assignment.
  4. Check your task word meaning below:

Task words are one of 3 types:

Information words Relation words Interpretation words
  • define
  • explain
  • compare
  • contrast
  • analyse
  • argue


Activity: Find out what your task word means





Last reviewed: 13 October, 2014
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