English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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English: skills for learning

4.4 Practice understanding the essay question

In the next activity you will practise identifying instruction and content words, and rephrasing questions into a simpler format.

Activity 9

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes

Below are four essay questions. For each one complete the following tasks:

  • Find the instruction words.
  • Find the content words.
  • Rewrite the task in your own words.

At this stage, you are not expected to know the content or the authors mentioned in these questions. Your purpose for reading them is to understand what each question asks you to do. Type your notes in the boxes before comparing your answers with mine.

  1. Compare and contrast our own education to date with that of one of your parents. Which points of comparison seem important to you and why?
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Answer

The instruction words are:

  • compare and contrast
  • which important points of comparison …
  • why?

The content words are:

  • your own education
  • one of your parents' education
  • points of comparison
  • important

This question can be reworded as:

Find similarities and differences between your education and either your mother’s or your father’s education. Decide which of these similarities and differences are the most important and explain why this is the case.

  1. Decide which primate species you would prioritise for conservation action and explain how you came to this conclusion.

The instruction words are:

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Answer

The instruction words are:

  • decide which ...
  • explain

The content words are:

  • primate species
  • prioritise
  • conservation action

This question can be reworded as:

Which primate species is it essential to protect from extinction as soon as possible? Why should each of these species be prioritised?

  1. Why do people codeswitch?
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Answer

The instruction word is:

  • Why?

The content word is:

  • codeswitch

Codeswitching describes the habit bi-lingual people have of using more than one language when they talk to each other.

This question can be reworded as:

Give many reasons why people codeswitch

  1. Describe the causes of deforestation, explain its negative effects and evaluate the solutions that have been implemented to date. 
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Answer

The instruction words are:

  • describe
  • explain
  • evaluate

The content words are:

  • causes
  • deforestation
  • negative effects
  • solutions

This question can be rewording as:

What are the causes of deforestation? Write about the negative effects of deforestation. Write down your ideas about how good the solutions to the problems are.

SWE_1

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