As a continuation of my previous post, 8 Test Taking Tips: Essay Exam , I thought it would be helpful to those who will be facing an essay exam in the near future or who shudder at the thought of taking one to create a quick reference tool itemizing key words and transitional terms.
First, identifying key words is extremely important. Key words are the clarifier, the clue as to how the question’s response should be angled.
In “8 Test Taking Tips,” I gave an example of the two key words “compare” and “contrast.” To the unprepared student, they look like the same thing. To the prepared student, one means find similarities and the other means find differences.
ANALYZE-Break into separate parts and discuss or interpret.
COMPARE-Examine qualities or characteristics in order to discover resemblances. This usually refers to similarities more than differences.
CONTRAST-Show differences between two or more ideas, topics, concepts, etc.
CRITICIZE-Make judgments as to a given topic or evaluate its worth by backing up your statement with specific examples.
DEFINE-Give a clear, specific meaning.
DESCRIBE-Give a detailed account. Include characteristics and qualities.
DIAGRAM-Present a chart, plan, or graphic representation.
DISCUSS-Examine an issue and present or argue its pros and cons with details and examples.
ENUMERATE-List several ideas, aspects, events, reasons, etc.
EVALUATE-Give your opinion or the opinion of an expert. Include both advantages and limitations.
EXPLAIN-Clarify and interpret material presented, state “who,” what,” “where,” and “why.”
ILLUSTRATE-Give concrete examples.
INTERPRET-Comment upon, give examples, and describe relationships.
JUSTIFY-Give reasons or prove.
LIST-Present an itemized series.
OUTLINE-Give main points and necessary supplementary material, omitting details.
PROVE-Support with facts or evidence.
RELATE-Show how things interconnect.
SUMMARIZE-Give the main points or facts in condensed form.
SUPPORT-Back up statements with facts and proof.
TRACE-Show the order or progress of events.
This list was excerpted from: see link
Secondly, tip number 6 in gave instructions on the importance of using transitional terms or wording that connect your main point and supporting details together in a fluid form. However, too many or too much of the same transitional word can overload and muddle your answer.
I have included a list of transitional terms that may help you:
|Accordingly||First of all||Nonetheless|
|Additionally||Followed by||On the other hand|
|After that||For that reason||Once and for all|
|All the same||From this time||Plus|
|As a result||In addition||So therefore|
|As a final point||In conclusion||Still|
|At any rate||In consequence||Subsequently|
|At least||In due course||To begin with|
|At that time/moment||In summary||To end with|
|At the end of the day||In the end||To that end|
|At the outset||In view of that||Together with|
|Before I finish||Initially||Then|
|Before I go||Irrevocably||Therefore|
|Conclusively||Last but not least||Thus far|
|Consequently||Last of all||Ultimately|
|Even so||More to the point||Up til now|
|Finally||Nevertheless||What is more|
Have something to say? Feel free to add comments or additional information.