Directional or instructional words

Directional or instructional words

These are the words that tell you what to do, they are action words. 

Example question:

Describe the basic operating principle of a fuel cell, taking one specific fuel cell type as your example. Discuss the inherent advantages and disadvantages of the fuel cell in comparison with a conventional internal combustion engine.

Other action words would include:

analyse
examine the main issues

argue
to give reasons for and against

compare
look at, identify similarities

contrast
consider differences

define
to make clear, to specify distinctly, to mark limits

describe
to give an account of

discuss
examine key points, arguments for and against

evaluate
determine the significance or worth

examine
to study carefully or critically; test knowledge

justify
to demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid

outline
to give the main features or various aspects of

review
to examine and look at, or look over again

identify
to ascertain the origin, nature, or definitive characteristics of

illustrate
to present a clarification, example, or explanation

interpret
to provide the meaning of; explain something

summarise
to express in concise terms

Dictionary.com [online] (accessed 14/04/07 http://dictionary.reference.com/) 
First Year Experience Series: ANALYSING AN ESSAY QUESTION ã 2001 Learning Centre, University of Sydney [online] (accessed 14/04/07) http://www.usyd.edu.au/stuserv/documents/learning_centre/AnalyseEssayQuestion.doc)The Learning Centre [online] (accessed 14/04/07 http://www.ncistudent.net/StudySkills/WritingSkills/Essay1.htm#2000

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SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Marion Kelt Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.