Understanding the Questions

It is imperative to note the directive word(s) used in the question, as this/these word(s) state(s) exactly what the question is asking and how the response should be structured.

Below are some of the most frequently used directives:

- Analyse :  Identify and examine the main components, how they are related and the significance of the relationship.

- Compare and Contrast :  Identify the main ideas (have to be two or more) of the topic, stating their similarities and differences.

- Define :  State the meaning of a term.

- Discuss :  Examine the topic, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses, at the end of which a conclusion should be made.

- Evaluate :  Determine the significance, worth or quality of something, which must be substantiated by evidence.

- Explain :  Make known in detail, the causes of an event or the steps involved in a process.

- Illustrate :  Clarify a point using examples or comparisons.

- Outline :  Give the main points or summary of the topic.

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