What Does Discuss Means In Essay


Complete glossary of key essay terms for students. The list is constantly updating – feel free to contact us if you have some other terms to add here.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  • AMA style – a citation style, set by American Medical Association (AMA), mostly used by students and professionals in the disciplines of medicine and the biological sciences.
  • Analyze – when a student is asked to analyze smth., it requires a clear exposition of the topic, breaking complex issues or ideas into component parts and explaining their connections.
  • Annotated bibliography – a list of sources used for an essay, where the summary of each entry is present. The purpose is to provide a reader with an evaluation of every source used, that’s why each annotation should give a clear idea concerning the content of this source.
  • APA style – a citation style, set by American Psychological Association, mostly used by students of social sciences. APA style is one of the most widely used styles of formatting.
  • ASA style – a citation style, set by American Sociological Association, and it deals mostly with bibliographies and footnotes arrangement in sociology.
  • Argumentative essay – a type of essays that serves to persuade a reader that some particular point of view is correct, and the others are wrong. It should contain logical arguments and facts, and it shouldn’t be a simple state of a point of view.
  • Arrangement – an order in which details are organized in your piece of writing.
  • Article – a written composition on a specific topic, usually non-fiction and presented in prose.
  • Assess – when a student is asked to assess smth., it means he should estimate its size, quality and value.
  • Assignment – a task given to a student or a piece of work allocated to him as part of his job or his course of study.
  • Bias — a loss of accuracy in your research.
  • Bibliography – a list of resources (books, websites, journals, papers, people, etc.) consulted by you during the process of essay writing.
  • Bluebook style – a citation style, mainly used by law researchers.
  • Body – a content of your essay between its introduction and conclusion, that represents and develops its main idea(s).
  • Brainstorming – the process that takes place before your essay writing, when you choose a topic, statements to talk about, points, etc.
  • Calculate – when a student is asked to calculate something in his essay, it means he should reckon or compute statements by mathematical means.
  • Case Study — when a student is asked to provide a case study, it means he should collect and present detailed information concerning a particular data or people.
  • CBEP – a citation style, mainly used in the health sciences, physics, mathematics, and biology. It includes two formats: CS – for computer sciences, math and physics, Name-Year – for biology.
  • Central idea – the main point of your essay, usually stated in its topic or thesis statement.
  • Chicago style – a citation style, that deals to bibliography and notes. When you are asked to use Chicago in your paper, it means that your footnotes and bibliography should be written in this style.
  • Citation – a reference to the source of information or quotes you used for your essay writing.
  • Classification essay– a type of essays that organizes something (concepts, ideas, objects, events) into categories. It should be supplemented by examples.
  • Cliché — an overused expression that tells a popular thought everyone knows.
  • Cluster Analysis — when a student is asked to write it, it means he should analyze data, organized according to certain characteristics.
  • Coherence – an arrangement of ideas in such a way that the reader can easily follow from one point to another.
  • Consider – when a student is asked to consider something, it means he should form a carefully reasoned account giving attention to all aspects.
  • Compare – when a student is asked to compare smth., he is expected to consider differences and similarities of some phenomena in question.
  • Composition – a process of combining all ideas into one piece of writing.
  • Conclusion – a final paragraph of an essay, where you should supply a good sense of closure by including specific elements: a thesis statement, a central idea, a brief review of the essay’s main points, and a good closing statement.
  • Context – some circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, statement or story.
  • Copyright – a legal protection for all works of creation.
  • Coursework – a type of students’ work which presupposes a deep research of a certain sphere of science. It usually involves writing various papers, speeches laboratory projects etc.
  • Cover Letter – a short letter (no more than one page), accompanying a manuscript, proposal, or resume that introduces you, your work, and your credits.
  • Critical essay – a type of essays that evaluates something and finally says whether you agree or disagree with that.
  • Clarify – when a student is asked to clarify smth., he is expected to make something clearer and, where appropriate, simplify it.
  • Comment upon – when a student is asked to comment upon smth., he is expected to pick out the main points on a subject and give his opinion, reinforcing his point of view logically and with reference to relevant evidence.
  • Contrast – when a student is asked to contrast smth., it is similar to compare but concentrate on the dissimilarities between two or more phenomena, or what sets them apart.
  • Credibility – your ability to demonstrate that the object of your research is described in a way the study was conducted itself.
  • Data – a factual information used as a basis for discussion, research, or calculation.
  • Dead copy – a copy that has already been proofread with changes, being copied to a new copy.
  • Deadline – the latest date you can submit your essay or other assignment.
  • Deductive essay – a type of essays where you should come to a certain conclusion by means of logical reasoning along the following scheme: premises – evidence – conclusion.
  • Definition essay – a type of essays where you should explain what this or that word or concept means.
  • Describe – when a student is asked to describe smth., he is expected to give a detailed or graphic account of it.
  • Demonstrate – when a student is asked to demonstrate smth., he is expected to show how it appeared and prove it by giving examples.
  • Develop – when a student is asked to develop smth., he is expected to expand on something, taking it further.
  • Dialectic essay – sort of a debate or argumentative dialogue, specific essay type where you write a thesis and use various arguments and counterarguments to prove this thesis’ verity.
  • Dissertation – a type of papers submitted to support your candidature for Ph or MA degree. It should present your research and findings in a particular field of science.
  • Distinguish – when a student is asked to distinguish smth., he is expected to explain the differences between some things, approaches, data, etc.
  • Discuss – when a student is asked to discuss smth., he is expected to present and consider several positions in a debate.
  • Diagram – a drawing, a chart, a plan, or a graphic representation a student uses to prove his answer. Generally, a diagram goes with a brief explanation or description.
  • Draft – a version of your writing that may be rewritten, revised, or polished if needed.
  • Edit – to review an essay and correct its grammatical, spelling, or factual errors. The process of editing includes shortening or lengthening to fit an available space before publication.
  • Essay – a piece of writing which presents, explains, argues, or describe a single topic or idea(s).
  • Evaluate – when a student is asked to evaluate smth., he is expected to consider the strengths and weakness of a particular approach / contention.
  • Examine – when a student is asked to examine smth., he is expected to investigate the essential elements of an issue and the relationship between them.
  • Explain – when a student is asked to explain smth., he is expected to briefly describe, interpret and give reasons for a particular phenomenon/framework.
  • Exploratory essay – a type of essays that is written to come to a conclusion, not to prove something.
  • Expository essay – a type of essays that presents someone else’s point of view without expressing your personal opinion.
  • Enumerate – when a student is asked to enumerate smth., he is expected to specify a list or outline form of reply. Here you should recount the points required, one by one.
  • Elaborate – when a student is asked to elaborate smth., he is expected to give more details or provide more information on the topic.
  • Expand – when a student is asked to expand smth., he is expected to go into more details.
  • Focus – a concentration on a specific subject to give it importance.
  • Footnotes – a type of notes, mainly placed at the botton of every page to give a comment or cite a reference for a designated part of the text.
  • Form – a way in which your writing is arranged or organized.
  • Format – a manner in which your writing is prepared and presented.
  • Framework – a structure that may be used as both the launching point and the on-going guidelines, when you are asked to investigate some problem in your essay.
  • Galley – a first printed proof of a document.
  • Generalization – a statement that emphasizes general characteristics of a phenomenon rather than its specific manifestations.
  • Give an account of – when a student is asked to give an account for smth., he is expected to give its detailed description. But don’t be confused with ‘account for’ which asks you not only what, but why something happened.
  • GPO style – a writing style, set by the United States Government Printing Office Style Manual, mainly used for government printing.
  • Grammar – a study of some language structure, a set of rules and standards to follow in order to produce acceptable writing and speaking.
  • Harvard style – the citation style, in which all citations are placed in round brackets and embedded in the text.
  • Essay hook – a writing trick in the first paragraph of your writing, used to grab your readers’ attention in order to keep them reading.
  • How far/ To what extent – when a student is asked such questions, he is expected to present and evaluate the evidence for and against a particular statement or approach.
  • Identify – when a student is asked to identify smth., he is expected to pick out the key features.
  • Illustrate – when a student is asked to illustrate smth., he is expected to provide examples to explain a statement.
  • Informal essay – a type of essays written in relaxed manner, mainly to amuse both readers and the author. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t neglect the organization.
  • Interpret – when a student is asked to interpret smth., he is expected to expound the meaning of it, make it clear and explicit, usually giving his own judgments.
  • Introduction – the very first paragraph of your essay where you should capture readers’ attention, provide a background information about the topic, and motivate people to continue reading. If your essay is formal, it should contain a statement of the thesis.
  • ISBN – a unique number assigned to each book by its publisher to help you identify it. It looks like ISBN 0-221-03232-1, but a 13-digit number format can be also met today.
  • Justify – when a student is asked to justify smth., he is expected to give the reasons/grounds for or against a particular position.
  • Lab Report – a part of your laboratory courses, where you should explain what you did in experiment, what you learned, and what the results you’ve got.
  • List – written relevant items, in a note form usually.
  • Literature essay – a type of essays where you should deal with a piece of writing (a short story, an article, a novel, whatever). It usually presupposes some kind of analysis, a linguistic one for example.
  • Loaded words – words used for or against some subject.
  • Margin – a distance between the edge of the page and the main content. You can change margins in File menu of your Word document if needed. By default, they are 1 inch (top and bottom) and 1.25 inches (left and right).
  • MLA style – a citation style, used for the majority of essays and research papers. It’s considered the simplest one of other styles, and it helps authors create alphabetical list of works cited at the end.
  • Meta-Analysis – an analysis that combines the results of several studies that address a set of related hypotheses.
  • Methods — approaches you use to make a research and write your paper. Your methods may include steps of procedure, application of techniques, systems of reasoning or analysis, and the modes of inquiry employed by a science or discipline.
  • Methodology – is a chapter of dissertation that gives a full description of how the research paper was performed, analyzing the material which was used to make a research. The term “methodology” may also be used to refer to the study of various methods and not the methods themselves.
  • MS – an abbreviation for manuscript
  • Narration – a type of writing that tells a story or describes some event.
  • Norm — an average or usual performance.
  • Objective – a relating information without expressing any feelings or personal opinions.
  • Outline – when a student is asked to outline smth., he is expected to give main features or general principles of a subject, omitting minor details.
  • Overview – a general idea of what you should cover in your piece of writing.
  • Pacing — a rate at which main ideas are presented in your paper.
  • Paper – a piece of writing written by one person. It can be an essay, a diary, commercial documents of a certain value.
  • Paragraphs – a formatting that divides your text into logical parts.
  • Peer Review – a process when you give your essay to some experts in the field for them to evaluate it prior to publication. This procedure is standard in scholarly publishing.
  • Plagiarism – an attempt to use someone’s idea or piece of writing as if it was your own.
  • Premise — a question or a problem that is the basic idea of your essay.
  • Presentation – a lecture or a speech, that is set forth for an audience.
  • Prewriting — an initial stage of writing, where you formulate your ideas, gather the information needed, and consider the way to organize them.
  • Proofreading — a process of close reading of your work, when you look for mistakes and try to fix them.
  • Proposal – a type of papers that serves for you to be approved to do a project. It may include such documents as results of your survey, your recommendations, technical background etc.
  • Prove – when a student is asked to prove smth., he is expected to demonstrate the truth of something and offer evidences of that.
  • Questionnaire — a set of questions on specified subjects that are used to gather information, attitudes, or opinions.
  • Punctuation – a set of rules to use symbols like full stops, commas, colons, etc. in a text.
  • Relate – when a student is asked to relate smth., he is expected to show how one thing is connected to another.
  • Reliability — a degree to which a measure yields consistent results. Reliability is a prerequisite for validity. An unreliable indicator cannot produce trustworthy results.
  • Persuasion – a type of writing that is meant to change the way a reader thinks or acts.
  • Research essay – a type of essays where you try to prove some idea or point of view. It may be considered a persuasive essay, but it presupposes the presence of original author’s idea.
  • Response essay – a type of essay where you should express your reaction to something (most often a piece of writing, but it may also be a movie, a show, a trend in fashion, etc.)
  • Review – when a student is asked to review smth., he is expected to make a survey or examine the subject carefully and come to a judgment.
  • Revision – a process of changing a piece of writing to improve its style or content.
  • Rigor – a degree to which your research methods are scrupulously and meticulously carried out.
  • Scholarship essay – a type of papers you give to a scholarship committee when you apply for the scholarship. Its most important element is a subject: everything you mention there should impress a person who reads it. Such essays are short and relatively focused.
  • Speech – a type of writing which is presented for the audience. It should have an introduction, a main part and a conclusion, as well as any other essay. Strong opening and closing are important in a speech to keep the audience interested. Some personal stories and examples to attract readers’ attention are welcome.
  • State – when a student is asked to state smth., he is expected to express the main points of some topic or idea.
  • Statistics project – a type of writing where you should express the vitality and the activity of two projects, collecting and presenting statistical data. Such a paper usually consists of introduction, methods, results, discussion, summary, conclusions, and appendices.
  • Structure — the organization of ideas and content within a piece of writing at the sentence or paragraph level.
  • Stylistics – the study of styles, stylistic devices and the way they are used in different types of writing.
  • Summarize – when a student is asked to summarize smth., he is expected to give a brief account of its main points.
  • Show how – when a student is asked to show how smth. happens, he is expected to present, in a logical order and with reference to relevant evidence, the stages of something.
  • Term paper – a type of research papers, where you describe events and concepts, or where you argue a certain point. Term paper is usually written at the end of each semester, and it intends to discuss a topic in details.
  • Thesis – a type of papers where you present your research and findings in certain field of science. Thesis is written to get a Ph or MA degree. It has a title, an abstract, a table of contents, a body with several chapters, and a bibliography.
  • Topic — a subject used by a writer to work in a particular piece of writing.
  • Trace – when you are asked to trace while writing, it means you should follow the development or history of a topic from some point of origin.
  • Translate – when a student is asked to translate smth., he is expected to express it in a different form, or convert the information from one language to another.
  • Turabian style – a citation style used for arrangement and punctuation of footnotes and bibliographies in your papers. It focuses on providing guidelines for essays, research papers, theses and other types of academic writing.
  • Vancouver style – a citation style used for writing references in academic papers. It is mostly used in physical sciences.
  • Validity – a degree to which a study accurately reflects or assesses the specific concept that the researcher is attempting to measure.
  • Verify – when a student is asked to verify smth., he is expected to show how it can be true or confirmed.
  • Vocabulary – words and terms used in a particular style of writing.
  • Word count – an estimated number of words in your piece of writing.
  • Writer – a person engaged in writing something, especially as an occupation or profession. He can be called an author or a journalist as well.
  • Writer’s block – a condition when a writer finds himself unable to produce creative writing.
  • Writer’s guidelines – a set of guidelines to which a publication wants its writers to adhere.
Essay question words. What are they? What do they mean? How should you answer them? If you've come here in search of answers to these questions, you've come to the right place.

Now, we may be experts in essay writing, but we’re also the first to admit that tackling essay questions can be, well, a bit of a challenge. Essays first require copious amounts of background reading and research so you can include accurate facts in your writing. You then have to figure out how to present those facts in a convincing and systematic argument. No mean feat.

But the silver lining here is that presenting your argument doesn’t have to be stressful. This goes even if you’re a new student without much experience and ability. To write a coherent and well-structured essay, you just have to really understand the requirements of the question. And to understand the requirements of the question, you need to have a good hold on all the different question words. For example, 'justify', 'examine', and 'discuss', to name a few.

Lacking this understanding is a pitfall many students tumble into. But our guide on essay question words below should keep you firmly above on safe, essay-acing ground.

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