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Analyse the brief: Home

Analyse the brief

Introduction

What you will learn

Lecturers and tutors will tell you that the single biggest mistake students make with their early assignments is to misinterpret what the assignment is asking them to do. The first step in successful assignments is to analyse and understand the assignment brief. After completing this module, you should feel confident to: 

 

  • Understand the assignment journey
  • Recognise the components included in your assignment question
  • Organise your thoughts on a topic through brainstorming
  • Write an initial thesis statement, which is a one sentence draft overview of the main idea of the assignment.

The assignment journey

Completing assignments at university is a lot like undertaking a road trip. There's a few destinations you will have to pass through: researching, reading, writing and referencing, but at times you might find yourself doubling back and revisiting some of the same tasks. It's not necessarily going to be a linear progression.

 

The map below gives you a sense of what this journey might look like and also gives you some ideas of what you will discover in future modules. 

Page-1 Sheet.1102 Sheet.1059 Sheet.1058 Sheet.1032 When finished with middle paragraphs write introduction and c... When finished with middle paragraphs · write introduction and conclusion· wait 24 hours, then edit and proof read.· Check all source material and in-text citations are referenced. Sheet.1038 Sheet.1013 Sheet.98 Sheet.99 Sheet.100 Sheet.101 Sheet.102 Sheet.103 Sheet.1012 Reading Reading Sheet.1014 Read, take notes and evaluate Read, take notes and evaluate Sheet.1015 Take Module Take Module Sheet.1041 Sheet.1018 Sheet.93 Sheet.94 Sheet.95 Sheet.96 Sheet.97 Sheet.1016 Referencing guides Referencing guides Sheet.1017 Referencing Referencing Sheet.1019 Discover the ins and outs of referencing Discover the ins and outs of referencing Sheet.1047 Sheet.1025 Sheet.104 Sheet.105 Sheet.106 Sheet.107 Sheet.108 Sheet.109 Sheet.1024 Citing Citing Sheet.1026 Master paraphrasing, summarising, synthesising and quoting Master paraphrasing, summarising, synthesising and quoting Sheet.1027 Take Module Take Module Sheet.1060 Sheet.1002 Unpack and understand your assignment question Unpack and understand your assignment question Sheet.1001 Sheet.110 Sheet.111 Sheet.112 Sheet.1000 Analysing Analysing Sheet.1003 Take Module Take Module Sheet.1061 Sheet.1062 Sheet.1063 Sheet.1064 Sheet.1065 Sheet.1066 Sheet.1067 Sheet.1068 Sheet.1069 Sheet.1070 Sheet.1071 Sheet.1072 Sheet.1073 Sheet.1074 Sheet.1075 Sheet.1076 Sheet.1077 Sheet.1078 Sheet.1079 Sheet.1080 Sheet.1081 Sheet.1082 Sheet.1083 Sheet.1084 Sheet.1085 Sheet.1086 Sheet.1087 Sheet.1088 Sheet.1105 Sheet.1101 Sheet.1100 Sheet.1043 Based on everything produced so far, Write the middle paragra... Based on everything produced so far, Write the middle paragraphs, incorporating source material through Citing. Sheet.1122 Sheet.1123 Sheet.1124 Sheet.1125 Sheet.1126 Sheet.1127 Sheet.1128 Sheet.1136 Sheet.1134 Sheet.1135 Sheet.1036 To create the middle paragraphs effectively, academic writing... To create the middle paragraphs effectively, academic writing needs several repeat cycles of Sheet.1056 Sheet.1046 Sheet.1044 Analysing Analysing Sheet.1051 Sheet.1055 Writing Writing Sheet.1050 Sheet.1054 Citing Citing Sheet.1049 Sheet.1053 Reading Reading Sheet.1048 Sheet.1052 Finding Finding Sheet.1037 Sheet.1011 Sheet.87 Sheet.88 Sheet.89 Sheet.90 Sheet.91 Sheet.92 Sheet.1008 Finding Finding Sheet.1009 Learn how to search effectively Learn how to search effectively Sheet.1010 Take Module Take Module Sheet.1040 Sheet.1021 Sheet.80 Sheet.81 Sheet.82 Sheet.83 Sheet.84 Sheet.85 Sheet.86 Sheet.1020 Writing Writing Sheet.1022 Write with confidence and clarity Write with confidence and clarity Sheet.1023 Take Module Take Module Sheet.1137 Sheet.1138 Sheet.1139 Sheet.1140 Sheet.1141 Sheet.1142 Sheet.1143 Sheet.1144 Sheet.1145 Sheet.1146 Sheet.1147 Sheet.1148 Sheet.1149 Sheet.1150 Sheet.1151 Sheet.1152 Sheet.1153 Sheet.1154 Sheet.1155 Sheet.1156 Sheet.1157 Sheet.1158 Sheet.1159 Sheet.1160 START! START! Sheet.1161 Sheet.1162 Sheet.1163 Sheet.1164 Sheet.1165 Sheet.1166 Sheet.1167 Sheet.1168 Sheet.1169 FINISH! FINISH! Sheet.1170 Sheet.1097 Sheet.1028 By Analysing, you start to form a provisional thesis statemen... By Analysing, you start to form a provisional thesis statement - the subject or main idea Sheet.1171 Sheet.1099 Sheet.1098 Sheet.1029 With the provisional thesis statement in mind, Finding and Re... With the provisional thesis statement in mind, Finding and Reading will give· a collection of notes· summaries· concept maps. · bibliographic source details, recorded along the way, not all left to do at the end.

The assignment question (aka 'the brief')

The assignment question will include:

 

  • Keywords - the concepts which form the basis for your research
  • Directive verb(s) - providing direction for what you need to demonstrate in your assignment
  • Additional information - from the type of assignment, word limit, number and type of sources and more

Analyse the following assignment brief and work through the three activities to identify the keywords, directive verbs, and additional information that you will need to consider. 

 

Directive verbs

Directive verbs are those that give instructions about what you are required to do in an assignment. Below are five commonly used directive verbs.

 

  • Analyse
  • Compare
  • Contrast
  • Discuss
  • Illustrate
  • Summarise

 

 

The five directive verbs presented above are only some of those that may appear in your assignment question. Attached is a list of common directive verbs. If the verb used in your question is not listed and you're not sure of its meaning, look it up in a dictionary.

 

Academic writing

Academic writing can take many forms, each presented in its own way. Navigate through the activity below to find out more about essays, reports, reflective journals, and literature reviews.

 

 

Fast forward


You'll learn more about the different forms of academic writing including essays, reports, reflective writing, case studies and literature reviews in our Writing module