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Analysing the question

Click on the highlighted text to see the comments.

Now that you are familiar with the terminology used in the assignment topic, you need to read the topic again to identify which words and phrases you think are important.

Sample assignment topic

Computer Systems Assignment 1

Write a report discussing the "state of the art" and predicted advances in one of the following areas of computer technology:

  • Primary memory, including cache
  • Touch screens
  • Hard Disk drives
  • Scanners

Length: 1500 — 2000 words (excluding the bibliography and appendices) You must attach an appendix consisting of photocopies or printouts of three of your most frequently used references. These references must have been published in the last two years.

Marks: 15% of the total marks for this subject

Tick the box next to words or phrases that you think are most important, then think about the phrase's meaning in the context of the whole topic.




state of the art

predicted advances

one of the following areas

computer technology

Check your answers

The words or phrases which are important in determining what you are required to do for this assignment are bolded below. Compare these with your response.

…Write a report discussing the 'state of the art' and predicted advances in one of the following areas of computer technology:…

  • report

    You are required to present this assignment in the form of a report as opposed to an essay. You will therefore need to become familiar with a typical report format which will involve the division of your assignment into appropriate sections and subsections. These sections should be organised logically and include clear sections headings and a decimal numbering system to indicate this organisation.

  • discussing

    The term discussing indicates how you should approach the assignment. To discuss is a common instruction in an assignment topic. It usually means to describe in detail, point out the issues involved, present both sides of the debate (if one exists) by examining the pros and cons, and to indicate your own views. In the case of this assignment topic, the current and future development of an area of computer technology needs to be described and the issues relating to this identified.

  • state of the art and predicted advances

    These phrases indicate the scope of the topic.

    State of the art refers to the current state of development of a particular subject or area of knowledge. This means that the report will need to describe the most recent developments in one of the areas of technology listed.

    Predicted advances refers to the future progress or developments expected in an area of computer technology. This means that the report will need to describe and discuss the most likely future directions and developments in the area you have chosen.

    In summary you are expected to discuss both the current and future developments in an area of computer technology.

  • one of the following areas of computer technology

    You must select one of these areas as the subject of your assignment:

    • primary memory
    • touch screens
    • hard disk drives
    • scanners
word outputDownload a printable version of this page (.doc)
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