Instructive/Direction keywords What sort of essay do I have to write?



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Instructive/Direction keywords


What sort of essay do I have to write?
In an essay topic, these words tell you what type of essay your lecturer wants you to write. Different instructive or task words have different meanings, so different instructive or task words tell you to write different types of essays.


Instructive keyword

Meaning

A straight question with a question mark

An implicit discussion essay – see Discuss

Analyse

Break down the topic into its parts, explain the nature or relative importance of components, definitions or concepts and explain how they are interrelated and why certain outcomes occurred.

Comment

Express an opinion on the issue or topic drawing upon both supporting and opposing evidence with your preference stated

Compare

Look for similarities and differences between idea

Contrast

Identify aspects or characteristics of two or more concepts or entities; discuss how they are similar and how they are different & then present your own evaluation

Critically analyse

Break down the topic into its component parts, explain the nature or relative importance of components, definitions or concepts and explain how they are interrelated. Also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the definitions and concepts.

Criticise

Evaluate the merit and point out the strengths and weaknesses of opinions, propositions and theories; evaluate the degree of truth observed and support with evidence.

Define

Set down the precise meaning and establish the boundaries of a topic. Show that the distinctions implied in the definition are necessary.

Describe

To give a detailed account of the different aspects of the topic.

Discuss

To consider a topic from various points of view; to reveal, consider and represent aspects of an issue in general terms.

Enumerate

Provide a listing of the representative facts or elements of a topic.

Evaluate

Pass judgement on the worth on something. Such judgement should be extensively supported by pertinent evidence.

Examine critically

Present in depth and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the topic.

Explain

To make plain or clear; to advise the meaning; to interpret.

Illustrate

Make clear or explain using examples, comparisons, diagrams or graphs.

Interpret

To bring out the meaning of a topic or proposition, usually also giving your own judgement.

Justify

Provide adequate grounds or examples to support conclusions or decisions.

Outline

Briefly identify and present systemically the most important aspects or elements of a topic.

Relate

Show how the facts are connected or interrelated.

Review

Make a summary examining the topic critically.

State

Present a topic succinctly and clearly.

Summarise

Give a concise account, omitting details and examples.

Why

See Discuss



If you are ever uncertain about what you are being asked to do, drop-in to the ASC and we can guide you



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