Unpacking the Question

Do you find your assignment questions long and confusing? Sometimes they can appear that way! Knowing what you are being asked to do is half the battle. The first step to making sure that you offer an appropriate, well-rounded response is fully understanding the question.  

This Unpacking the Question session will cover techniques for unpacking the assignment requirements for clear understanding so that you can be confident about developing your response. It will show you how to take your assignment brief and decode it allowing you to plan your answer in a clear and succinct way.  

One of the key areas for you to understand is the directions that a question imposes on you. The words are chosen with care and it is important that you craft your response to the question ensuring that you have fully understood what you are being asked to do. This glossary of directional words should help to guide you in this area.

Is this session not on the skills sessions timetable? Would you or a group be interested in attending this session, but the Skills Centre is currently not offering it? Let us know! We would be happy to know what session students look forward to the most, so the Skills Centre can cater to all of your academic needs, simply email us skillscentre@ucc.ie about the sessions you or a group would like to attend.

Check out our downloadable handouts on unpacking the question!

These downloadable handouts cover important guidelines for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. These resources are based on common questions about academic writing, general skills and research, exam preparation and specific assignments within your course. When availing of these resources, they will help you unlock YOUR Potential!

Check out the full suite of resources here.

Listen to our Write Here, Write Now Podcast episode on Unpacking the Question!


Watch our Gimme Two Minutes Video on Unpacking the Question!

The Skills Centre 'Gimme Two Minutes' video series, available for viewing on YouTube, focuses on very basic concepts related to the academic writing and preparation skills, delivered by the University College Cork Skills Centre in a short and visual format. These videos can be used as self-learning tools and give you a taste of what sessions and workshops the Skills Centre offers to UCC students.