Analyse – examine the main ideas and issues of a topic, look at arguments for or against, and show their relationships.
Argue – Present a case for or against a point of view.
Comment on – Criticise or point out the important features of something.
Compare – Look for and discuss the similarities or differences between two (or more) things.
Contrast – Discuss the differences between two (or more) things.
Criticise – (or critique; critically discuss) Identify and judge the merit of an issue, theory, or claim, including the strengths and weaknesses.
Define – Give a clear, concise meaning. Give the limits of the definition.
Describe – (or identify, state) Give a detailed account or outline of the key features of a subject.
Discuss – Examine and carefully analyse all aspects of a topic. Give reasons for and against both sides and examine the implications.
Evaluate – Assess the merits and limitations of something. Weigh up the evidence and give your own judgement. This must be backed up by argument and justification.
Examine – Investigate or research a topic and discuss in detail.
Explain – Clarify or make clear the meaning or significance of something. Give the reasons, causes, and why or how something has developed or occurred.
Illustrate – Explain or clarify something using a diagram, figure or concrete example.
Interpret – Show what you believe is the meaning or significance of something.
Justify – Give reasons and evidence for your decisions or conclusions. Support it with evidence.
Outline – Briefly describe and give the main features of a subject. Omit minor details.
Review – Examine a subject critically. Analyse and discuss the key points or issues.
State – Briefly present the main points or facts.
Suggest – Give possibilities.
Summarise – (or outline) Give the main points or facts in a condensed form. Don’t include details, evidence or examples.