Answering Exam Questions


Analyze in a test question usually means "take this concept apart and look at the relationships among parts." Sometimes the analysis focuses on causes and effects, as, for example, if you were to write about media coverage and election turnout. Sometimes the analysis will focus on a time sequence, as it might in tracking the progress of a degenerative disease.

Writing tip: Because we can look at relationships among parts in several different ways, be sure to signal your reader how you're "slicing the pie." If you're writing about cause-effect relationships among parts, use key transitional words and phrases such as "because" and "as a result" to show the causal relationship. If your analysis is based on a process, use transitions that indicate an appropriate time or developmental sequence. If your analysis looks at functional relationships, clearly indicate the functions and their interactions. In short, make clear not just the parts you're looking at but why you're looking at them the ways you are in your response.

Substitute key words: examine

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