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.