ANALYSING ASSIGNMENTQUESTIONS • Centre for Teaching and Learning Services • Analysing questions • Building a paragraph frameworkEmail: email@example.com Phone: (09) 441 8143
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3 crucial questions to askabout any assignment What is it about? Topic What do I include? Focus What do I have to do? Task
These questions are your weapons as you _ the question in your fight
Example questionanalysisChoose ONE environmental issue and examine whatthe national government of ONE country is doing toimprove the situation. Evaluate the extent to whichthe government has been successful and justify yourargument with evidence and examples. Topic One environmental issue Focus What ONE national government is doing to improve the situation Task Evaluate (success) & Justify (your argument)
Use the TOPIC as the key search term inyour research AND use it throughout theessay itself to make sure you areanswering the questionOpening sentences from an introduction paragraph(introducing the topic, putting it into context andshowing why it’s important)Globalisation has led to the accidental or deliberate introduction ofspecies into ecologies where they had previously been absent. Theseinvasive species can cause not only ecological damage (forinstance, in forcing native plants into extinction), but economic hard(by damaging agricultural production and the tourism industry). In theUS alone, it has been estimated that invasive species caused nearly$100bn in economic damage between 1906 and 1991(Cook, Thomas, Cunningham, Anderson & De Barro, 2007). Countrieslike New Zealand, whose ecology has been isolated for millions ofyears, are especially vulnerable to invasive species.
Use the FOCUS as a secondary search termin your research, to choose relevant examplesAND use the TASK words to help you structurethe essay into different parts.Preview sentence from anintroduction paragraph The New Zealand Government aims to reduce the damage caused by invasive species in three ways: Biosecurity, control and elimination. This essay evaluates the success of each approach in relation to three different invasive species.
Common Task WordsIdentify Give a clear definition and explanation of an issue or conceptInvestigate Present relevant facts and figures about the causes and effects of something/ Examine Present evidence for and against aConsider proposal First, define a topic or concept and refer toDiscuss a range of opinions on it, giving the evidence or arguments for each opinion. Identify the purpose(s) of X, describe theEvaluate actual outcome and describe how far X achieved its purpose(s)
Question analysispracticeThe availability of items such as telecommunication andcomputer technologies may either endanger or enhance theculture of an indigenous society. From your study of oneindigenous group, examine why the preservation of aculture is important, and discuss how this culture has beenaffected by the introduction of technology into the society.Consider how technology may be used to enablepreservation of the culture for future generations. Topic Preservation of Indigenous Culture Focus (modern) technology Task Examine (past impact) & Consider (future potential))
News items regularly draw our attention to theconcerns expressed by medical experts about thestartling increase in diagnoses of diabetes and allergy sensitivityin our population. Amongst suggestions offered to combat theseepidemics are stricter governmental controls on foodstuffsavailable, education about healthy food, and the application ofextra taxes on unhealthy items. From your reading on one healthissue, consider what measures the government has taken toeducate the population, and how effective these measures havebeen. Outline a model of public education about this health issuethat may support the government and the medical profession incoping with such health issues in our population. Topic Health Education Focus One health issue Task Consider (effectiveness of past education) & Outline (an appropriate model)
New Zealand has regularly marketed itself as ‘pure’,‘clean’ and ‘green’. Now that image is being called into question.Our farmers, our drivers, and our tourists are amongst thosebeing blamed for this situation. From your reading examine thedamage which one sector of New Zealand society has done to theenvironment. Consider whether continuing to market thiscountry as ‘pure, clean, and green’ is appropriate. Outline amodel to improve one aspect of the environment that could beundertaken by the sector of society which you have chosen tofocus on. Topic New Zealand’s environmental marketing Focus One Sector of NZ society Examine (damage to environment) Task Consider (appropriateness of marketing) & Outline (an model to improve one aspect)
Building a paragraphframework Step 1: Convert your word count into paragraphs How many paragraphs would you use for a 1200 word essay? Between 6 and 10 (120 – 200 words each)
Step 2: Use your question analysis toidentify the different parts you’ll needin your essay Approach 1 (biosecurity): What is it? How successful has it been Approach 2 (control): What is it? How successful has it been Approach 3 (elimination): What is it? How successful has it been
Step 3: Decide how many paragraphs touse for each part and add on your introand conclusion Paragraph 1: Introduction Paragraph 2: NZ Biosecurity Paragraph 3: Evaluation of Biosecurity (fish) Paragraph 4: Control Paragraph 5: Evaluation of Control (didymo) Paragraph 6: Elimination Paragraph 7: Evaluation of Elimination (birds) Paragraph 8: Conclusion