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Terms used in Psychology Writing Assignments

TERMS USED IN PSYCHOLOGY WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
GERALD
INTERCOAST COLLEGE, WEST COVINA,CA

Compare: Write about the ways in which two or more things are similar and the ways in which they are different.

Contrast: Focus on the ways in which two or more things are different

Criticize/Critique: Make a detailed judgment. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the thing you are judging? Is it correct? Is it morally acceptable? Does it make sense? Is it too costly? Include any judgment that is relevant to what you are critiquing. Your judgment or conclusion must be backed up with evidence.

Define: Tell the reader what a term means using words that are already familiar to the reader. Definitions should be brief and to the point. The word being defined should not be part of the definition.

Enumerate: See List.

Evaluate: An evaluation is similar to a critique, although it may imply a more general discussion of a program or theory's strengths and weaknesses. See criticize/critique.

List: Be sure to identify what it is you are listing. Provide your list in brief form using numbers or bullets unless the question indicates otherwise. A list is less detailed than an outline.

Outline: An outline is a brief, organized overview that includes main points and important subpoints, but omits minor details. Use numbers and letters, or bullets, to organize your outline; but the traditional outline format is not always necessary. See our handout on how to make an outline.

Review: Give a brief, organized, critical overview of important points. Based on this overview, you should draw a conclusion.

Summarize: A summary consists of a condensed version of the main points that have been (or will be) covered. No details, examples, or elaboration should be included.

Synthesize: Combine parts to form a whole. A synthesis goes beyond a list or summary in that you should not only summarize each of the points to be included, but also explain how they relate to each other.

Describe: Explain the subject in such a way that the reader experiences it secondhand. A description usually is a list of relevant facts or a summary of a line of evidence.

Diagram: Present the requested information in a visual way. Diagrams include drawings, charts, and graphs. Labels often are needed for the reader to understand the information.

Discuss: Provide a complete, detailed, in-depth analysis. Discussions often include comparison and criticism.

Elaborate: Go beyond a brief statement -- include additional comments, descriptions, explanations, or examples.

Explain: The emphasis in an explanation is on the why and/or the how of the thing that is being explained, as opposed to a simple statement or description.

Illustrate: Provide either a concrete example or a diagram, whichever is appropriate.

Interpret: Translate or explain the subject in your own words and give your opinion about it. See also criticize/critique.

Justify: Tell the reader why you think your answer or position makes sense (see also criticize/critique).

Relate: Describe any connections or associations between two or more things (see also compare).

Trace : To trace means to describe a course of events, in order, from beginning to end.

Different Meanings
Julia
Intercoast Colleges, West Covina, CA

Some of these terms may have different meanings in different contexts. When in doubt, ask your instructor for clarification.

Terms
Amber Jackson
Intercoast college, West Covina, Ca

These terms are very useful and helpful.It helps to understand when writing a assignment, what they are looking for when they ask you to answer certain questions.They explain how to write the answer to the question. These terms makes it very easier to write what they are asking for.

These terms can come in handy for me. I sometimes get confused on what type of question they want me to answer.This article breaks down everything for me. Thanks

Terms used in Psychology Writing Assignments
Nancy Guzman
Intercoast college, West Covina,CA

This is useful because it explain the terms most use and why they are use in psychology.The most common are compare - write about the ways in which two or more things are similar and the ways in which they are different. Contrast:Focus on the ways in which two or more things are different. Criticize/Critique: Make a detailed judgment. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the thing you are judging? Is it correct? Is it morally acceptable? Does it make sense? Is it too costly? Include any judgment that is relevant to what you are critiquing. Your judgment or conclusion must be backed up with evidence.Define: Tell the reader what a term means using words that are already familiar to the reader. Definitions should be brief and to the point. The word being defined should not be part of the definition. Enumerate: See List. Evaluate: An evaluation is similar to a critique, although it may imply a more general discussion of a program or theory's strengths and weaknesses. See criticize/critique. List: Be sure to identify what it is you are listing. Provide your list in brief form using numbers or bullets unless the question indicates otherwise. A list is less detailed than an outline.


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