Expository: Understanding the Question Requirements

To ensure that your writing effectively answers the given question, it is important to first unpack what the question is asking. The first step is to identify the keywords and degree words. Each paragraph in your essay has to address these keywords and degree words.


    Keywords tell you what main topic your essay should focus on.

    Using the 5W (Who, What, When, Where, Why) questions can help you identify the key words.


    Degree words indicate the intensity to which the topic applies.

    Look out for words that indicate
    quantity (how much), frequency (how often), and quality (how good).

    Common examples
    Quantity: all, most, few
    Frequency: often, never, always
    Quality: best, strongest, fastest


Pop music today is better than before. What are your views?

    What “pop music”

    Without this keyword: You might focus on a different music genre.

    When “today”, “than before”

    Without these keywords: You miss out comparing time periods.


    Quality: “better”

    Without this keyword: You do not make a comparison/judgment on the quality of pop music.

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