BASIC EXAM SKILLS: CLUE WORDS
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An essay eam is li+e a mental game in which the lecturers tell you what you want. o play the game successfully you need to be aware of the precise meanings of the clue words in the questions. nce you have found the clue words and wor+ed out eactly what they mean, you can answer the question as clearly as possible./or eample01*ompare the goals of liberal and socialist feminism.2he clue word in this question is
.!f the question as+ed you to 1
the goals of...2, it would require a completely different answer.he following is a list of the most common clue words and their meanings in eam questions to helpyou prepare for essay eams. 3ecause the list is long, it is a good idea to read through past eam papers to familiarise yourself with the most commonly used clue words in your discipline. 4any schools have past eam papers in the library.
o find the main ideas, how they are related and why they are important
o discuss, criticise, or eplain its meaning as completely as possible
o show both the differences and the similarities.
o compare by showing the differences.
o give your judgement or reasoned opinion on something, showing its good and bad points. 5owever, it is not necessary to attac+.
o give the formal meaning by distinguishing it from related terms. his is often a matter of giving a memorised definition.
o write a detailed account or verbal picture in a logical sequence or story form.
o ma+e a graph, chart or drawing. 3e sure to label it and add a brief eplanation if necessary.
o describe, giving the details and eplaining the positives and negatives of something.