Command Words For Economics

The following is the list of command words which students taking economics tuition at Economics Cafe are expected to understand in order to excel in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics.

Command Word

Explanation

Account for

Students are asked to provide an explanation of how an event or situation came about.

Analyse

Students are asked to break down an argument or information into its component parts and identify ways in which the parts are related. Students are required to recognize the underlying assumptions. If this command word is augmented by “the extent to which”, then a judgment is also sought.

Assess

Students are asked to make a judgment about the magnitude or the relative importance of the issue raised in the essay question, taking into account the influence of other factors or events on the issue.

Compare

Students are asked to describe two or more situations or economic concepts and show the similarities and the differences between them.

Criticise

Students are asked to present a view on an argument, point of view or theory, based on the evidence available.

Define

Students are asked to provide the meaning of an economic concept, using examples and formulas to illustrate understanding where appropriate.

Describe

Students are asked to give a portrayal of an event or situation. This command word does not have any undertone and hence a critical review is not expected.

Discuss

Students are asked to offer a considered review of the issue raised in the essay question, giving the arguments for and against.

Distinguish

Students are asked to make clear an understanding of similar economic concepts, showing both the similarities and the differences.

Evaluate

Students are asked to make an appraisal of an argument or statement, making a reasoned judgment about the validity of the argument or statement with evidence as far as possible.

Examine

Students are asked to unravel the events that lead to a particular set of circumstances or the validity of the reasoning that underlies a particular point of view, stressing the relative importance of the different arguments and their relevance to the issue raised in the question.

Explain

Students are asked to make plain an economic concept, using examples to illustrate understanding where appropriate.

Outline

Students are asked to provide a brief description. This may be the case due to a follow-up to the second part of the essay question.

To what extent

Students are asked to present both sides of the argument and make a judgment by stressing the strength of some arguments over others.

 

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