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Terms and Definitions

To succeed at university make sure you understand the words that are used in different situations.

5 things you need to know...

  1. At university you should be extending your vocabulary - you may not have heard some of the terms before.  Listen carefully to when and how they are used.
     
  2. Before you start to use new terms look up the definition and understand the context within which they are used.
     
  3. Use a good dictionary and thesaurus - this may be printed or online but make sure it is an advanced version.
     
  4. For assignments understand the process words - such as discuss, critically evaluate or compare and contrast which are used in assignment briefs and learning outcomes.
     
  5. See our Factsheet on ‘Terms and Definitions’ and ‘Commonly Confused Words’.

Need to know more...

We have produced resources to help you to develop your skills in this area.  You will find a factsheet on this topic below, plus others you may find useful.  See also the Online and Books tabs above.  

Related factsheets

Need more advice?

You can also discuss your development of this skill with a member of the Academic Skills Team.

Make an appointment for an online discussion or email support  by using our online booking form.

Personalising your device and using assistive tools

There are many assistive technology tools which can help you choose how you want to access material and these can really improve your productivity.

The University has made some applications available on the student PCs within the library and IT Centres; others are free for you to download and use on your own devices (phone, tablet, laptop or computer) .  Find out more on our personalising standard software guide and our assistive tools and software guide.