Short Answer Responses

Short answer assignments require you to write brief responses to questions in your own words. You may incorporate information from your learning materials or other sources, but you must write in your own words (paraphrase).

Short answers in assignments need to be referenced.  Short answers in exams do not need referencing.

Good short answer responses are relevant to the question. Read each question carefully and pay attention to the instruction words like identify, explain, compare, discuss, analyse and so on. To determine exactly what the question is asking of you, it is a good idea to underline key words and phrases. Once you’ve analysed the question, brainstorm ideas for your response and look for information in your course materials to help support your ideas.

Even though your answers to each question are relatively short, it is important that they are written in full sentences using formal language. You may use bullet points or lists in place of full sentences where appropriate.