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Write: Assignment Terms

Definitions of Terms Used in Assignments

Assignment terms explained

Common words you will find in assignment questions are listed below.They are organised A-Z. 


Analyse - examine (something) methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret

Compare estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between

Concept the term is the modern replacement for the older term idea

Concise giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words

Consider think carefully about (something)

Contrast a distinction between things being compared, or an emphasis on the distinction between things that are juxtaposed.

Criteria a principle or standard by which something may be judged or decided: they award a green label to products that meet certain environmental criteria

Criticise -  indicate the faults of (someone or something)

Deduction  a process of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from a set of premises

Define state or describe exactly the nature, scope or meaning of

Describe give a detailed account in words of

Discuss talk or write about (a topic) in detail, taking into account different issues or ideas

Elucidate make (something) clear; explain

Evaluate/Assessform an idea of the amount, number or value off; assess

Explain make (an idea or situation) clear to someone by describing it in more detail or revealing relevant facts

Explore inquire into or discuss (a subject) in detail

Factor a circumstance, fact or influence that contributes to a result

Illustrate explain or make (something) clear by using examples

Implications a likely consequence of something

Justify show or prove to be right or reasonable - be a good reason for

Limitations a restriction

Prove demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument

Role the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation

Scope the extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant

Significance the quality of being worthy of attention; importance

Stateexpress definitely or clearly in speech or writing

Summarise/Outlinegive a brief statement of the main points of (something)

Trace find by investigation

Valid (of an argument or point) having a sound basic in logic or fact


All definitions come from Oxford Reference Online which gives you access to over 100 dictionaries, thesaurus and reference books.

Oxford Reference Online can be accessed from the Online tab.