Analyze: Divide a concept, an event, a set of data, or a text into parts in order to explain the concept, event, data, or text.
Compare: Identify similarities and differences among two or more people, places, or things. Example: “When comparing plant and animal cells, the similarities and differences are . . .”
Contrast: Identify dissimilarities or differences among two or more people, places or things. Example: “Contrast the way three different characters react to injustice.”
Critique: Make judgments about the positive or negative aspects of something. Critical discussion may approve or disapprove or both. Example: “Which of the following statements most effectively critiques the adoption of recombinant DNA technology in agriculture?”
Define: Precisely state the meaning of a word, phrase, or concept. Determine the extent or boundary of something. Example: “The term ‘osmosis’ is best defined as . . . .”
Describe: Provide a picture or idea of something through the use of spoken or written words. Example: “Which of the following statements best describes how the addition of a catalyst affects the rate of reaction at equilibrium?”
Evaluate: By discussing advantages and limitations, judge the worth or value of something. Example: “Which of the following statements best evaluates the merits of the CANDU reactor?”
Explain: Make clear or understandable, or give reasons for something. Example: “Explain why you think joy is an essential emotion for people to experience.”
Illustrate: Make clear or understandable by using examples. Example: “Which of the following statements best illustrates the concept of natural selection?”
Interpret: To judge (e.g., persons, events) in a personal way or present you’re thinking about something. Example: “Which of the following statements best interprets the graph showing the results of the experiment?”
Justify: Show good reason, or present evidence in support of a position. Example: “Justify the actions of the protagonist.”
Prove: Show something to be true or genuine by providing evidence or logical arguments, or in mathematics to verify the accuracy of something such as a calculation.
Summarize: State or express concisely, or briefly provide the main points. Example: “Which of the following statements best summarizes Hess’s Law?”
Support or Refute: Support means to argue in favor of something; refute means to argue against something or to prove an assertion to be in error. Examples such as illustrations, quotations, and statistics help support or refute. Example: “Canadians are a dull people. Support or refute this statement.”