- About question analysis
- Tools for question analysis
- A practical application
- The trouble with questions
- More information
Key words: topic words, restricting words, instruction words
About question analysis
You need to use question analysis for assignments, exam essays and short answer questions. If you learn the steps for question analysis and take 10-15 minutes to think through the question in this systematic way, then you will have a good start to writing a successful essay—one that pleases the lecturer!
Tools for question analysis
The following five steps can be used to analyse ALL questions:
Click on the links to see more details.1. Read the whole question twice
2. Look for topic words
3. Look for any words that may restrict the topic in any way
4. Look for instruction words
5. Rewrite the question in your own words.
Exercise 1: Analysing a question
READ this question twice then analyse the question using the question analysis steps:
A practical application
Exercise 2: Question analysis
Click 'Start analysis' below to view the question analysis demonstration.
The trouble with questions
The trouble with questions is that they don't always follow the same pattern. Sometimes, the lecturers write a brief question and other times you may get a page of instructions about what is required. Sometimes, instruction words are like those on the ASO fact sheet: Analysing the question and at other times you need to interpret key words to match the instruction words.
For example, here are two other versions of our workshop question:
The question starts with a statement.
|Assignment essays are common assessment tasks in undergraduate tertiary coursework. Discuss why they are set and evaluate the effectiveness of assignments as an avenue for learning.|
The question doesn't use 'instruction' words.
|Why are assignment essays common assessment tasks in undergraduate tertiary coursework, and are they effective as an avenue for learning?|
You still follow the same steps but you will need to recognize the differences and spend time interpreting the question until you are satisfied that you are on the right path.