Command or Process Words for Essay Writing


Flashcards for identifying process and command words in essay questions.
Flashcards by Bekki, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Bekki over 9 years ago

Resource summary

Question Answer
Describe Give a detailed account of.
Define State the exact meaning of a word or phrase.
Depict Show
Identify Find and describe and example or issue.
Illustrate Make clear and explicit.
State Present in a brief, clear way.
What is/are... Identify and describe.
Outline Give the main features or general principles of a subject omitting minor details and emphasizing structure and arrangement.
Summarize Give a concise, clear account of a subject, presenting the chief factors and omitting minor details and examples.
What are the main features of... Select the more significant features and present them coherently.
Compare Look for similarities and differences between.
Contrast Set in opposition in order to bring out the differences sharply.
Compare and Contrast Find some points of common ground between x and y and show where or how they differ.
Distinguish or differentiate between... Show differences between...
Consider Look at two (or more) sides of an argument, and present the logic, evidence, etc. of both sides.
Debate Set up a claim or argument, presenting evidence for and against.
Discuss Present two (or more) sides of an issue or argument and any implications.
What arguments can be made for and against the view that... Look at both sides of an argument.
Account for Explain, clarify, give reasons for.
Explain Give details about how and why it is so.
How/Why is it... Give an explanation, including the reasons for or cause of.
Assess Determine the value of, weigh up.
Criticize Make a judgement about the merit of theories or opinions or about the facts of a matter.
Evaluate Make an appraisal of the worth/validity/effectiveness of something in the light of its accuracy or usefulness.
How far.../To what extent... Usually involves looking at evidence/arguments - for and against - and weighing them up.
Justify Show adequate grounds for decisions or conclusions, answer the main objections likely to be made about them.
Analyze Resolve into its component parts. Examine critically or minutely.
Examine the... Look in detail at this line of argument.
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