ANALYZE
When you are asked to analyze, you must separate a thing or idea into its parts to explain their relationship to each other.

COMMENT
When you're asked to comment, you should explore the importance and meaning of something, or write a note of explanation, or write a criticism or example of something written or said. You may also write a remark or make a critical observation or express your opinion.

COMPARE
Here, you must look for similarities. The term compare is usually stated as compare with, and it means that you are to emphasize similarities, although differences may be mentioned.

CONTRAST

Show the differences between two or more topics.

CRITIQUE
Express your opinion with respect to the correctness or merits of the factors under consideration. Give the results of your own analysis and discuss the limitations and good points or contributions of the plan or work in question.

DEFINE
When asked to define something, your definition must contain concise, clear, and authoritative meanings. Details are not required, but boundaries or limitations of the definition should be given. Keep in mind the group/class/category to which a thing belongs and whatever differentiates the particular object from all others in the group/class/category.

DIAGRAM
You must draw a chart, a plan or a graphic representation in your answer. You may be expected to label the diagram or add a brief explanation or description.

DISCUSS
Examine the topic, analyze it carefully and then present detailed considerations pro and con regarding the problems or items involved. This type of essay question is common.

EVALUATE
Present a careful analysis of the problem, and stress both the advantages and limitations. Evaluation means an authoritative and personal appraisal of both contributions and limitations.

EXPLAIN
Clarify and interpret the material you present. State the "how" or "why," explain differences of opinion or experimental results, and state any causes if it's possible. In short, tell how it all happened!

JUSTIFY, PROVE
To justify your answer, provide factual evidence or logical reasons. In this type of answer, the evidence should be presented in a convincing form. Establish your answer with certainty by evaluating and giving evidence or by logical reasoning.

LIST, ENUMERATE
Write an itemized list, series or tabulation. Be concise.

OUTLINE
Give the main points and essential supplementary materials. Leave out the minor details and present the information in a clear systematic arrangement or classification.

SUMMARIZE
Give the main points or facts in condensed form. Brief examples can help make your summary more specific.

TRACE
Give a description of the progress, historical sequence or development from the point of origin. This type of essay may require probing or deductions.