Essay command words

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Analyse- separate something into its parts or major components;

of what is something composed ? (Very common command word)

Assess- judge the value of something
Compare- examine for the purposes of noting similarities and differences; in what ways are two things alike and different?
Contrast- compare in order to show unlikeness or points of difference; NB note the difference with ‘compare’
Criticise- make judgments as to merits and faults; criticism may approve or disapprove
Define- give the meaning of a word, phrase or concept; determine or fix the boundaries or extent of
Describe- provide an account of; tell about; give a word picture of
Discuss- this usually requires you to analyse and evaluate
Evaluate- give the good points and the bad ones, appraise; give an opinion regarding the value; discuss the advantages and disadvantages of
Explain- make clear or plain; make known in detail; tell the meaning of; make clear the cause or reason of
Identify and-(with another command word such as "Identify and evaluate the relative importance of each of the following") define and give the significance
Illustrate- make clear or intelligible by examples
Justify- show good reasons for a choice, by commenting on the strengths of the choice over other options that weren’t chosen, i.e. there must be some comparison of the options
Summarise- state or express in concise form; give the main points briefly

Mrs. L Greene APUSH 8/29/2017

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