Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.
Study guide For a printer-friendly PDF version of this guide, click here To write a good essay, you Explain the essay need to have a clear understanding of what the essay question is asking you to do.
Understanding the meaning of these directive words is a vital first step in producing your essay. This glossary provides definitions of some of the more typical words that you may come across in an essay question. Please note that these definitions are meant to provide general, rather than exact guidance, and are not a substitute for reading the question carefully.
Get this wrong, and you risk the chance of writing an essay that lacks focus, or is irrelevant. You are advised to use this glossary in conjunction with the following Study Guides: Writing essays and Thought mapping written by Student Learning Development.
Essay term Definition Analyse Break an issue into its constituent parts.
Look in depth at each part using supporting arguments and evidence for and against as Explain the essay as how these interrelate to one another.
Assess Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter-arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.
Clarify Literally make something clearer and, where appropriate, simplify it. This could involve, for example, explaining in simpler terms a complex process or theory, or the relationship between two variables. Comment upon Pick out the main points on a subject and give your opinion, reinforcing your point of view using logic and reference to relevant evidence, including any wider reading you have done.
Compare Identify the similarities and differences between two or more phenomena. Say if any of the shared similarities or differences are more important than others. Consider Say what you think and have observed about something. Back up your comments using appropriate evidence from external sources, or your own experience.
Include any views which are contrary to your own and how they relate to what you originally thought. Contrast Similar to compare but concentrate on the dissimilarities between two or more phenomena, or what sets them apart.
Point out any differences which are particularly significant. Critically evaluate Give your verdict as to what extent a statement or findings within a piece of research are true, or to what extent you agree with them.
Provide evidence taken from a wide range of sources which both agree with and contradict an argument. Come to a final conclusion, basing your decision on what you judge to be the most important factors and justify how you have made your choice.
Define To give in precise terms the meaning of something. Bring to attention any problems posed with the definition and different interpretations that may exist.
Demonstrate Show how, with examples to illustrate. Describe Provide a detailed explanation as to how and why something happens. Discuss Essentially this is a written debate where you are using your skill at reasoning, backed up by carefully selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of a given context.
Remember to arrive at a conclusion. Elaborate To give in more detail, provide more information on. Examine Look in close detail and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding a topic. This should be a critical evaluation and you should try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues you have identified are the most important, as well as explain the different ways they could be construed.
Explain Clarify a topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurs, or what is meant by the use of this term in a particular context. Your writing should have clarity so that complex procedures or sequences of events can be understood, defining key terms where appropriate, and be substantiated with relevant research.
Explore Adopt a questioning approach and consider a variety of different viewpoints.Sep 05, · How to Write an Explaining Essay.
Updated on May 3, Virginia Kearney. more. However, even though an explain essay is not necessarily intended to be an argument, the way you explain something can be persuasive to the reader.
How? As you define something, you often are arguing how we should define something or Reviews: 7. Sep 05, · However, even though an explain essay is not necessarily intended to be an argument, the way you explain something can be persuasive to the reader.
How? As you define something, you often are arguing how we should define something or how people ought to see a lausannecongress2018.coms: 7. determinants of personality Essay My Original Ideas About the Determinants of Personality Kori Kline Personality Theory Penn State Capital Campus Personality is a very broad term, and my belief lies in the idea that everyone has an independent view on how they define personality.
An explanation, or expository, essay is a paper in which your objective as a writer is to explain something to your reader.
A key to writing successfully is maintaining awareness of the audience, which will influence your tone and word choice. 29 rows · Looking at the essay question in close detail will help you to identify the topic and ‘directive words’ (Dhann, ), which instruct you how to answer the question.
Understanding the meaning of these directive words . Aug 02, · Expert Reviewed. How to Write an Essay. Six Parts: Writing Your Essay Revising Your Essay Writing a Persuasive Essay Writing an Expository Essay Write a Narrative Essay Essay Help Community Q&A Throughout your academic career, you will often be asked to write essays.
You may have to work on an assigned essay for class, 74%().