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Direction Words

Study Skills direction words and their meaning for writing essays.

CompareShow similarities, differences between 2 or more items
ContrastPresent only differences between 2 or more items
TraceDiscuss sequence of events in chronological order
SummarizeIdentify & discuss the main points or highlights of a subject
Evaluate/CritiqueOffer your opinion or judgement, and then back it up with facts, details, or reasons
AnalyzeIdentify the different parts of something. Discuss each part
DescribeGive a detailed description of different aspects, points of view, parts, characteristics, or qualities
DiscussTell about the parts of the topic. Give specific details
ExplainGive reasons-tell why. Show logical relationships or cause-effect
Tell/StateSimilar to discuss. Support each point with similar facts or details

Carol Houck

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