Topics: Logic, Critical thinking, Question Pages: 2 (592 words) Published: February 1, 2014
The vocabulary of questions
Here is a list of the most common assignment instruction key-words with an explanation for each. Note: The explanations given for these words can be a rough guide only. You must always go by the total meaning of the title or question. Read the question carefully: do not jump to conclusions about what is required on the basis of these words only. Account for

requires an answer that gives the reasons for the subject of the question. Analyse
requires an answer that takes apart an idea, concept or statement in order to consider all the factors it consists of. Answers of this type should be very methodical and logically organised. Compare

requires an answer that sets items side by side and shows their similarities and differences. A balanced (fair, objective) answer is expected. Consider
requires an answer in which the students describe and give their thoughts on the subject. Contrast
requires an answer that points out only the differences between two items. Criticise
requires an answer that points out mistakes or weaknesses, and that also indicates any favourable aspects of the subject of the question. It requires a balanced answer. Define
requires an answer that explains the precise meaning of a concep. A definition answer will include a definition, probably expanded. Describe
requires an answer that says what something is like, how it works and so on. Discuss
requires an answer that explains an item or concept, and then gives details about it with supportive information, examples, points for and against, and explanations for the facts put forward. It is important to give both sides of an argument and come to a conclusion. Elucidate

requires an answer that explains what something means, makes it clear (lucid). Evaluate/Assess
require an answer that decides and explains how great, valuable or important something is. The judgement should be backed by a discussion of the evidence or reasoning involved. Explain
requires an answer...
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