English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

English: skills for learning

4.3 Identifying key content words

Having understood what type of task is required, you need to find out what content you have to focus on. This is done by identifying the content words.

The content words are words that express key ideas that you are expected to write about. In the following example of an essay title, the content words are highlighted:

Using examples from Chapter 3, describe some biological factors that influence the health of the individual (approximately 600 words).

Once the content words and the instruction words (in this case, using examples and describe) are clear, you should be able to rephrase the title to clarify it:

What are the biological factors that influence people’s health? I need to identify and give details about a few biological factors, and explain how each can affect health. I need to give some examples from Chapter 3 of my module materials to illustrate my explanations.

SWE_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus