Posted on January 4, 2023 by Cheapest Assignment

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  1. Consider the question throughout – how does each point you make contribute to an answer to this question.
  2. Know what you are talking about – do not include technical terms, names, quotes from books, just to impress the reader – only if you find them useful to help you express your answer to the question.
  3. Quote research evidence (with names and dates in brackets if possible) to back up your points wherever you can. Spend a few lines explaining what the particular author(s) did or said and then another couple of lines explaining what their work proves or disapproves in connection with the question you are answering.
  4. Be critical. If you consider that someone's theory or experiment is inadequate or faulty in some way, say so and say why – do not make a big thing of it; just do it clearly and simply, then move on.
  5. Make sure your essay has some sort of structure to it: ie have at least a beginning, middle and end. Start by explaining what the question means, if necessary; sketch out the way you are going to tackle it. Then move into the main body of the essay making your points, and backing them up with research evidence. Then, finally, always draw some conclusion "Thus it can be seen that …….." or "Overall then, the evidence does not allow researchers to ………." are typical ways to start your concluding paragraphs.
  6. Get used to the idea that in psychology there is rarely just one generally accepted answer. Many essays will require a "on the one hand …….. but then on the other …….." sort of approach.

1. Clarity (no woffle, no mindless use of technical terms).
2. Conciseness (short, sharp, clean).
3. Relevance (every point helps to answer the question).
4. Evidence (no unsupported opinions).
5. Structure (beginning, middle and end).


  • Avoid using: ‘I’, ‘ we’, ‘you’, ‘our’, in objective essays.
  • You are expected to use a wide range of references in your text (e.g. journal and book articles). All written work has to be accompanied by a reference page.


  • DEMAND WORDS – in examinations, the general instructions on the demands that are made of students and the conditions of the assessments.
  • TOPIC WORDS – what aspect of the syllabus material the question is addressing.
  • COMMAND WORDS – how individuals should address the topics in the questions.


ACCOUNT FOR – explain clearly, give reasons for

ANALYSE – describe the main ideas, showing their relationships and significance

ARGUE – make a case, based on appropriate evidence, for the proposition that

ASSESS – consider the value of, paying attention to positive/negative aspects

COMMENT – write explanatory notes OR criticise

COMPARE – look for similarities and differences, perhaps decide on a preference

CONTRAST – set in opposition in order to bring out the differences

CRITICISE – spell out your judgement about the merit of theories/opinions/research, using your criteria, backing judgements by discussing the evidence and reasoning involved. This does not mean that you have to be negative

DEFINE – set down the precise meaning of a word or phrase. Sometimes it may be necessary to examine different or often used definitions

DESCRIBE – give a detained and accurate account, with clear examples

DISCUSS – investigate or examine by argument, sift and debate in the light of arguments for and against, examine the implications and give your view

ENUMERATE – write a list of the main points in order, with a brief explanation

EVALUATE – make an appraisal of the worth of something, in the lights of its truth or usefulness. Include to a lesser degree, your opinion

EXAMINE – make known in detail, looking closely at some or all aspects

EXPLAIN – make plain, interpret and account, give reasons for, make clear the features and logic of

GIVE EXAMPLES OF – identify and select examples which should be representative ones that you can write about at some length. A number of examples may be specified. It so then keep to that number

GIVE REASONS WHY – give your reasons in support of

HOW WOULD YOU…? – Give your view, with plenty of supporting evidence

IDENTIFY – point out the key features of, giving your criteria

ILLUSTRATE – make clear by means of examples with which you are familiar, use a figure or a diagram to explain or clarify a point or theory

INTERPRET – give an account of the meaning of, expound or clarify

JUSTIFY – demonstrate adequate grounds in support of decisions or conclusions, answering the main objections likely to be made to them

OUTLINE – set out in order. Write a list of the main points, features, or general principles of a subject, omitting minor details and emphasising structure and arrangement

RELATE – narrate, make clear the features and logic of

RELATE X TO Y – show how they are connected to each other and to what extent they are alike or affect each other

REPORT – give a factual account of

REVIEW – write a survey of the whole field, examining the subject carefully and giving your own view

STATE – present in a brief and clear form

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