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Interpretation of essay questions

Even more, it gives you the opportunity to get your own ideas and insights involved at an early stage. Without this your work can seem routine and predictable: at best just the re-cycling of ideas that dominate the subject. So, what should you be looking for when you interpret a question? All essay questions tell you two things:

1. Structure

By interpreting the question thoughtfully you will be able to unravel the structure your essay should adopt for you to deal relevantly with all the issues it raises.

2. The range of abilities

It will also reveal the range of abilities the examiner is expecting to see you use in answering the question. Otherwise you may find yourself writing an essay that is largely descriptive of the topic, when the examiner is asking you to analyse and discuss it critically.

This content has been written by Bryan Greetham, author of How to Write Better Essays.

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