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Analyse the brief: Home

Analyse the Brief

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. 


The assignment question

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. Fill in the blanks, matching the descriptions provided with the following words:

  • 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.