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Essay Exams

An answer to an essay question is a brief composition. Instead of trying to remember many details, you need to concentrate on significant ideas and their supporting information. Your job is to reduce a large amount of information into the most important (main) ideas.

Key words

Understanding the intent of the exam question is as important as being prepared for the exam. “Key words” are used to tell you what you are expected to do with your response to an essay question.


Exercise:

Match the following key words to the action expected.

a. analyze __ present main point in general sentences
b. evaluate __ explain by using examples or demonstrations
c. explain __ break into parts; explain them & their importance
d. enumerate __ point out characteristics two or more items have in
common and their differences.
e. summarize __ to make clear or comprehensible
f. discuss __ list several ideas, events, aspects, etc. briefly
g. compare __ to point out both good and bad features along with
a summary statement, comment, or opinion.
a. analyze E present main point in general sentences
b. evaluate F explain by using examples or demonstrations
c. explain A break into parts; explain them & their importance
d. enumerate G point out characteristics two or more items have in
common and their differences.
e. summarize C to make clear or comprehensible
f. discuss D list several ideas, events, aspects, etc. briefly
g. compare B to point out both good and bad features along with
a summary statement, comment, or opinion.