Remember, no matter what the assignment, identifying key words in guidelines can help you determine what type of thinking and ability the professor wants you to demonstrate. The following six areas of competencies are from Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- Knowledge: This becomes evident in how well you remember the subject matter, such as the major ideas, dates, places, and events. Questions may begin with identify, describe, examine, when, where, who.
- Comprehension: How well do you understand the information presented. Can you describe the information in your own words? Questions may begin with interpret, contrast, predict, discuss.
- Application: Can you use the principles learned to solve other problems in different situations? Questions may begin with illustrate, examine, modify, experiment, relate.
- Analysis: Can you recognize hidden meanings, see patterns, identify the underlying parts? Questions may begin with separate, order, connect, classify, divide, explain.
- Synthesis: Can you relate knowledge from different areas to draw conclusions? Questions may begin with modify, rearrange, substitute, design, invent, generalize.
- Evaluation: This involves verifying the value of the evidence when solving controversies, and developing opinions. Questions may begin with decide, convince, select, compare, summarize.
If you need clarification on what your instructor is looking for, do not hesitate to ask. After you have finished your paper, be sure to double-check that you have fulfilled all the requirements. Proofread your paper multiple times before handing in the final copy.