This document contains all text in the 5 Communication and Research Skills (cars) modules

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This document contains all text in the 5 Communication and Research Skills (CARS) modules

Communication and Research Skills (CARS) Module 1 - Start Your Assignment Right


Unpack the Question

Not sure what to do with your assignment?
Get started by unpacking the question!


By the end of this section you should be able to:

  • Understand the expectations of
    academic writing at UWA

  • Understand how assignment questions are framed

  • Generate questions based on an assignment task


Before you begin the task of unpacking your question it is a good idea to review your unit outline so that you understand your unit requirements and assessment.


Contact details

Check the LMS site often! The Unit Coordinator will use LMS

to distribute important messages about the Unit.

If you have a question about the unit, post your questions to the

Discussion Forum in your LMS unit. The Forum is monitored by
lecturers and tutors

Students should only email the Unit Coordinator about personal

matters. Professor Jane Xyz:

Be sure to check your instructors' communication


Unit description


This unit offers an introduction to climate change, with particular
emphasis on popular opinion. It aims to assist you in separating
fact from fiction and better communicating this issue.

Look for clues about the purpose of your assessment.

Learning Outcomes

Unit description

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this unit, you will be able to:

1. Describe the key debates about climate change

2. Evaluate depictions of climate change issues in the
mass media

3. Construct a clear, logical and concise written argument,

backed up by appropriate scientific evidence

Review the learning outcomes before starting your

assignments. These indicate what your instructors
think are the most important parts of the unit.

Unit Structures

Unit description

Unit Structure

There is one lecture per week over 10 weeks, and two tutorials,
focussing on group discussion of the lecture/readings content and
on your assignment preparation

Your unit structure will contain information about

the context of the unit.



Students demonstrate achievement of the outcomes in a variety
of ways; class participation (15%), written essays (40%),
tutorial presentations (25%) and examinations (20%)

It is very important to note details such as

weighting and due dates of assignments.

Academic Conduct

Academic Conduct

The University takes very seriously the matter of academic
conduct by students. Policies are in place defining misconduct
(including plagiarism) and the penalties that apply. The conseq-
uences can be severe, including exclusion from the University.

All students are to make themselves aware of the

definitions and policies relating to academic misconduct, and
with any additional requirements or stipulations provided by
individual coordinators.

Learn more about the importance of academic

integrity in the Academic Conduct Essentials unit

Textbooks and Resources

From the University Library website, access Course Materials

Online (CMO) for a list of digitalised materials (such as book
chapters) for this unit. Search OneSearch to find materials that
are on High Demand (three hour loan) in the subject libraries.

All lecture slides, lecture notes, lecture handouts and any

recommended or supplementary readings will be accessible via
the unit website on the University's Learning Management
System (LMS).

Your suggested resources and reading lists may be

a good starting point for your assignment research.


Example Question:

Throughout this module we will be using this typical assignment question for first year students:


In the Australian mass media, climate change is

often described as being the rise in global
temperatures. However, some would argue
that climate change is not just about global warming.
Discuss, citing examples from the last 10 years.


Unpack the question

Successful students approach an assignment by breaking down the question into its key parts:

1 Task

2 Topic

3 Scope

Watch this video to see how this is done.

Video transcript

Unpack the question

(From How to answer assignment questions)

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