Writing essays

Understanding essay questions

Recognise the topic of the question

The topic is the main idea, concept or process:

"Compare and contrast two equipment testing techniques ...”

“Describe the development of HTML ...”

“Discuss British Imperialism in South Asia ...”

Look out for certain kinds of words:

  • Names of people;
  • Names of places;
  • Names of theories;
  • Names of processes;
  • Scientific terms;
  • Mathematical terms;
  • Specific terms related to your subject.

How to recognise topics:

  • Know your area;
  • Go back to your lecture notes;
  • Ask your classmates;
  • Use your reading list;
  • Use your myCourse module;
  • Use your course outline.