What are Words That Appear Most Frequently in Essay Questions



  • Analyze – To dissect something or break it down into its different parts. To examine relationships among the parts.
  • Choose – To select freely and after consideration. To state a preference for something. You will usually need to defend your choice; in other words, you will need to back your choice up with specific examples and personal opinions.
  • Compare – To examine the qualities of two things to discover the differences between them.
  • Contrast – To examine the qualities of two things to discover the similarities between them.
  • Criticize – To consider the merits and demerits of something and judge it accordingly. To give your judgment or opinion about something. When you criticize, you look at both the good and the bad. Constructive criticism means that you might make negative comments, but that you do so as feedback to help the other person improve or change his behavior. Criticism can be predominantly positive.
  • Define – To set forth the meaning of a word or an idea.
  • Describe – To write a detailed account or verbal picture. To tell everything you know about a subject.


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