Breaking down the question


Understand the key components of your assignment task.

Activity: Identifying instruction, topic and limiting words

Practice identifying instruction words, topic words and limiting words.

Look at some of the questions below (you don't have to do them all) and try to identify the instruction, topic, and limiting words. Not all questions will have limiting words. When you have decided, click the question to see if your answer matches ours.

  1. Critically analyse the impact that terrorism has had on tourism.

    • Instruction words: Critically analyse
    • Topic words: terrorism, tourism
    • Limiting words: (none)
  2. Discuss the extent to which sustainable development is achievable in today's socio-economic and political context. In your answer include a definition of what is meant by sustainable development.

    • Instruction words: Discuss, definition
    • Topic words: sustainable development
    • Limiting words: today's socio-economic and political context
  3. Why and how do social movements resist globalisation?

    • Instruction words: Why, how
    • Topic words: social movements, globalisation
    • Limiting words: (none)
  4. To what extent do you find feminist interpretations of Genesis 1-5 successful? You must comment on at least two individual twentieth century biblical scholars' work in your answer.

    • Instruction words: To what extent do you find, comment
    • Topic words: feminist interpretations, Genesis 1-5
    • Limiting words: two individual twentieth century biblical scholars' work
  5. What evidence is there in 'The Butcher Boy' to support the claim that it is not only a novel about a boy caught between childhood and adolescence, but also a novel about a culture torn between Irish and English values?

    • Instruction words: What evidence is there
    • Topic words: a boy caught between childhood and adolescence, a culture torn between Irish and English values
    • Limiting words: (none)
  6. How free is the current international system of trade?

    • Instruction words: How
    • Topic words: free, international system of trade
    • Limiting words: current
  7. Compare and contrast the objectives and methods of criminology and criminalistics.

    • Instruction words: Compare, contrast
    • Topic words: objectives and methods, criminology and criminalistics
    • Limiting words: (none)
  8. Review critically the factors required to make community-based natural resource management successful.

    • Instruction words: Review critically
    • Topic words: factors, community-based natural resource management
    • Limiting words: (none)
  9. The European Court of Justice has recently ruled that obesity should be classified as a disability. Discuss.

    • Instruction words: Discuss
    • Topic words: European Court of Justice, obesity, disability
    • Limiting words: recently
  10. Are breakdowns in science communication primarily the fault of scientists or journalists? Use specific examples to illustrate your answer.

    • Instruction words: Use specific examples, illustrate
    • Topic words: breakdowns in science communication
    • Limiting words: 'use specific examples' might also be seen as a limiting word.

Engaging with your topic in a critical manner

Critical writing involves responding to the reading and research you have done in a way that goes beyond merely explaining what you have learnt. When you practise critical thinking you are analysing and questioning what you have read, making connections to other texts and ideas, and setting up your own position in relation to the topic which you can defend. 

To find out more about how to write critically, use the My Learning Essentials resource: Being Critical: thinking, reading and writing critically (downloadable/printable version).

Last modified: Friday, 26 Jul 2019, 10:38