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The Importance of Action Verbs

Action verbs result in overt behavior that can be observed and measured. Sample action verbs are:

  • Analyze, apply, argue, arrange, assemble, assess, calculate, categorize, choose, classify, compare, compile, computer, create, criticize, critique, defend, define, demonstrate, describe, design, develop, differentiate, discuss, distinguish, estimate, examine, explain, formulate, identify, illustrate, indicate, interpret, label, list, locate, manage, memorize, order, operate, organize, plan, practice, predict, prepare, propose, question, rate, recognize, repeat, report, reproduce, review, revise, schedule, select, solve, state, translate, use, utilize, write
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy: Bloom’s Taxonomy is a useful classification of learning objectives within education that educators set for student learning. The Bloom’s Taxonomy Wheel provides examples of verbs and student artifacts to be used as evidence of student learning. Also refer to the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon University’s Verbs for Bloom’s Taxonomy as a helpful reference when creating measurable learning outcomes statements.

Certain verbs are unclear and call for covert, internal behavior that cannot be observed or measured. These types of verbs should be avoided:

  • appreciate, become aware of, become familiar with, know, learn, understand




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