Interpreting an Assignment Brief: Additional Guidelines

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Additional Guidelines: Interpreting an assignment brief In order to interpret an assignment, you need to identify a number of key points. You need to: find the command words in each question or task determine what content is being assessed establish the context of the assignment. 1 Command words Each task in your assignment will contain a verb that indicates to you the level of the response that you are expected to give. It is important that you interpret these verbs correctly so that you fully recognize the level of demand in each task.

The interpretation of command words is addressed on the following page. 2 Content It is important to establish which theories and concepts must be covered in your assignment. Your tutor might provide you with a copy of the specification for the qualification; alternatively you could download this from the internet (http://www. Deduced. Mom/equals/historicalness/business/Pages/default. Asps). It is important to check that you have covered all of the required material to avoid needlessly resubmitting your tasks. 3 Context Your assignments will relate to a particular scenario.

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This might be something relevant to your workplace or it might be a situation relating to a case study selected by your tutor. You should normally ensure that your assignment relates closely to this context. This is because of the nature of the qualification you are studying for: you are expected to demonstrate academic knowledge in a workplace setting. Understanding command words When you read a question in your assignment brief, you should look for the verb in the sentence. This is called a command word. It tells you how you should approach the task.

Identifying and understanding the command word in a question is a vital step towards producing a good response to a task. Commonly use command words include the following: Analyses These tasks require you to explore the different aspects of an issue, considering the relative significance of each. You would normally need to explore causal relationships, examining how an action will lead to a particular reaction. This type of task would not normally require you to make judgments, but rather to drill down into an issue, exploring relationships in depth.

Assess This requires you to weigh up the positive and negative aspects of something. Alternatively it might require you to explore the important and unimportant aspects of an argument. You should build these strands into a balanced argument before reaching a final balanced conclusion. Critically analyses This is a term you are unlikely to have seen before on your Level 3 or A level courses. This is when you have to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the ideas of a theorist or claims made by a professional body before reaching a final, balanced conclusion.

You would normally begin by presenting the initial idea and arguments in favor of it, before introducing contradictory arguments. When you present the arguments, you should present their relative merits (e. G. Their strengths and weaknesses) before summarizing your arguments and reaching a final conclusion. Evaluate This type of question will require you to give an opinion on an issue, which you should support with relevant evidence. You should ensure that your response revised a balanced view of the issue, exploring points for and against your argument.

This should lead to an overall conclusion where you summaries your main arguments and explain how you have come to your final decision. Justify This requires you to provide arguments in support of a particular interpretation of or perspective on something. This should be based on the use of theoretical justifications applied to normal business practice. Discuss Write about (a topic) in detail, taking into account different issues or ideas. Discussion require you to use an essay format, rather than a report format. Avoid lists and bullet points.

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