Advanced Placement European History Essay Directive Words


These directive words are very important.

Please study the significance of each directive word. Apply them accordingly when answering essays or document based questions.


Analyze: determine the component parts; examine their nature and relationship. "Analyze the major social and technological changes that took place in European warfare between 1789 and 1871."


Assess/evaluate: judge the value or character of something; appraise; evaluate the positive points and the negative ones; give an opinion regarding the value of; discuss the advantages and disadvantages of. "'Luther was both a revolutionary and a conservative.' Evaluate this statement with respect to Luther's responses to the political and social questions of his day."


Compare: examine for the purpose of noting similarities and differences. "Compare the rise to power of fascism in Italy and in Germany."


Contrast: examine in order to show dissimilarities or points of difference. "Contrast the ways in which European skilled artisans of the mid-eighteenth century and European factory workers of the late nineteenth century differed in their work behavior and in their attitudes toward work."


Describe: give an account of; tell about; give a word picture of. "Describe and analyze how overseas expansion by European states affected global trade and international relations from 1600 to 1715."


Discuss: talk over; write about; consider or examine by argument or from various points of view; debate; present the different sides of. "Discuss the extent to which nineteenth-century Romanticism was or was not a conservative cultural and intellectual movement."


Explain: make clear or plain; make clear the causes or reasons for; make known in detail; tell the meaning of. "Explain how economic, political, and religious factors promoted European explorations from about 1450 to about 1525."


Identify: cite specific events, phenomena, and show a connection. "Identify the social and economic factors in preindustrial England that explain why England was the first country to industrialize."