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Essay Test Taking Tips

Pay attention to the direction words and know what each one means.

Analyze- break into parts, show how it relates to the whole

Compare- show how two (or more) things are similar AND different

Contrast- show differences

Define- explain the meaning

Describe- give a full and detailed picture in words, include characteristics and qualities

Diagram- illustrate by drawing a picture

Evaluate- present positive and negative

Explain- provide facts and reasons

Justify- provide facts and reasons to support something

List- present information as a series of numbered points

Outline- present most important information in an organized manner

Summarize- present main ideas in a brief form

Trace- present the order in which something occurred (example- trace the events leading up to World War I)

**Adapted from