Identifying Key Terms
writing assignments—especially those involving analysis, synthesis,
and/or argument—usually require you to use the key terms and
concepts of a discipline. For example, an analysis of the significance
of a memorable learning experience might include the use of an
important educational concept, as in:
"Beyond the obvious lesson that students are expected
to learn, what is the hidden curriculum of this learning situation?"
Or an actual writing assignment for a computer science course
"In your own words, what is the concept of downward
compatibility and what is an example using specific operating
systems and application software?"
As you analyze an assignment:
- Circle or highlight the key terms that you are expected to
- Explain the term in your own words in order to further understand
- Consult your class notes and/or your textbook
For more on the use of specialized terms in academic writing,
see "Connections: RLC 110-111 and Other Courses."