Discuss A Longer Detail

Directive Words

-- Descriptive Essay –

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” –

Friedrich Neitzsche

Education and Literacy

“Directive Words”

• Essay question words. What are they? What do they mean? How should we answer them?

According to Oxbridge Essays tackling essay questions can be a bit of a challenge. Firstly essays require profuse amounts of previous knowledge and research so one can integrate the facts , data and all the important knowledge into a coherent whole by cohesively joining the data sequentially.

• Directive words – what are they?

To answer an essay question one need to have a distinct interpretation of the significance of directive words. Some important directive words are ‘explain’, ‘illustrate’, ‘analyse’ and ‘contrast’ etc. These directive words hints how to integrate the essay in a constructive whole and give it a structured framework.

• Directive words in essay questions : Definitions1 and Examples

  1. Identification Terms:

These terms are used to represent the facts and truths such as a name, a phrase, a date, etc.

Examples: define, enumerate, identify, state and indicate.

 DEFINEGive an accurate definition of the theme.

“Define education and literacy”

 IDENTIFY Point out what’s important and needed.

“Identify each key point that needed to address to improve the situation of

Education and literacy.”


 STATE State what is required briefly.

“State the key factors pertaining to education and literacy.”

  1. Description Terms:

Provide some detail about the topic.

Examples: describe, discuss, summarize, outline, and illustrate.

 DESCRIBE Give a brief account of significant features and highlight the similarities and differences if any. It’s about Tell and show!

“Describe education and literacy in detail.”“Describe the impact of being educated and being literate”

 Discuss A longer detail where one talks about different aspects and viewpoints sometimes.

“Discuss the factors to be considered relating to why sometimes education is preferredimportant while the other times literacy.”

 SUMMARIZE Give a brief overview of every important detail precisely.

“Summarize education and literacy.”

 OUTLINE Structure and highlight the important data through bullets in an organized way.

“Outline crucial details regarding education and literacy.”

 ILLUSTRATE Demonstrate what has been told via figures or pie charts.

“Illustrate how education and literacy are different using real life example.”

  1. Relation Terms:

These terms basically represents close relations in terms of similarity or differences etc.

Examples: analyze, compare and contrast and relate.

 ANALYZE Examine closely what are the key factors and consider all domains to explain.

“Analyze the role of education and literacy in human development and success.”

 COMPARE Highlight both similarities and differences.

“Compare education and literacy.”

 CONTRAST Mention the differences.

“Contrast education and literacy.”

  1. Demonstration Terms:

True or not true facts are manifested by these terms.

Examples: Explain, justify, show, and demonstrate.

 EXPLAIN Answer ‘How’ and ‘Why’ to clarify the conflicts, facts and data.

“Explain how and why education is more important.”

 JUSTIFY Give logical support to the argument and present facts .Give reason.

“Justify why being educated is different and more important than being literate.”

 DEMONSTRATE Show and tell by giving some example.

“Demonstrate the difference by giving some real life example.”“For example, Master Ayub, a street teacher based in Islamabad educates the unprivileged .He is using his education to make a difference. While an old man who could speak English discovered by an actor just knows a language but he might not be able to reproduce what an English teacher can.”

  1. Evaluation Term:

These terms mainly focus on how one assesses and judges something.

Examples: evaluate, criticize, comment upon, interpret, and assess.

 EVALUATE Give an opinion by presenting the merits and demerits.

“Evaluate the programs based on education and literacy.”

 CRITICIZE Give verdict on what’s good and what’s bad. Approval and disapproval.

“Criticize the modern viewpoints of people regarding education and literacy.”

 INTERPRET Translate, solve, or comment on a subject, usually giving your own judgment about it.

“Interpret laws and policy making regarding education and literacy.”

 COMMENT Express your own opinion to the subject without holding back.

“Comment on the education and literacy standards.