Study Skills for 6th Format Newcastle University Library

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Choosing words in your essay question

Word choice

When deciding upon your question you will notice a number of words are frequently used.

The glossary below may be of help when putting together your question:

Account for to explain or give reasons why
Analyse to study in detail
Assess to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses
Demonstrate to show your reasoning, argument
Describe to ‘tell the story’ or give an account
Discuss to explain the viewpoints about a given topic
Evaluate to study or judge the evidence and come to a conclusion
Examine to look in detail at the facts
Explain to make clear
Identify to show your facts and/or reasoning
Investigate to study in detail
Outline to explain the main points
To what extent to come to a judgement, outlining the thinking in reaching that judgement

Test yourself: drag-and-drop words

Play the drag-and-drop game to match up the words with their definitions.