- We are planning to buy a new photocopier. Here are the details that three companies have provided us about their models. Can you put together a report comparing them on the basis of the features, initial costs and lifecycle costs (including consumables and maintenance) and make a recommendation?
The vocabulary used for giving directions is fairly standard, but sometimes we may not understand exactly what we are being asked for.
To help you interpret such directions, here’s a list of common words used in questions and simple definitions.
[col 10 first] [table format=1]
|Analyse||Divide the issue into its main parts and discuss each part. Consider how the parts interact and how they work together to form the whole.|
|Argue||Express your opinion about the subject, and support it with evidence, examples, and details.|
|Classify||Organise the subject into groups and explain why the groupings make sense.|
|Compare||Point out similarities.|
|Contrast||Point out differences.|
|Define||Give the meaning of the subject.|
|Describe||Show readers what the subject is like; give an account of the subject.|
|Discuss||Point out the main issues or characteristics of the subject and elaborate.|
|Evaluate||Make a judgment about the effectiveness and success of the subject. What is good and bad about it? Why? Describe your criteria for your judgment.|
|Explain||Make your position, issue, process, etc. clear by analysing, defining, comparing, contrasting, or illustrating.|
|Identify||Name and describe.|
|Illustrate||Provide examples of the subject.|
|Indicate||Explain what you think the subject means and how you came to that interpretation (what makes you conclude that it means X).|
|Relate||Point out and discuss any connections.|
|Summarise||Describe the main ideas or points|