New to the Glossary: Essay Question Words

dictionary and thesaurusThank you to those of you who keep submitting suggestions for our Glossary of Confusing Words.  We actually have a bunch of words to get to, so if you submitted a word and we haven’t defined it yet, sorry for the delay, but we’ll get to it eventually!

Recently we had two separate submissions asking about words you’re likely to hear as part of a question on a test.  So if you’re planning to take a standardized test for admission to a U.S. college or university, pay attention.  The words are:

Establish, construct, build and assess

You’ll usually hear these words on essay-based exams, when you are being asked to write an essay to support a position or thesis.

So you might be asked to “establish” that something is true, or to “construct” an argument in favor of something. You may also be asked to “discuss” a certain topic, “develop” an argument, “assess” a particular claim, or “support” a position.

Have a word to submit for our Glossary of Confusing Words? Let us know using the form below or in the comments section. Make sure to tell us why you thought it was confusing or why it might be confusing to others!