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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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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.