Appendix B — Key Words in Instructional Objectives

This appendix contains a collection1 of verbs appropriate to developing and writing effective objectives, as well as a few words and phrases you should avoid when writing objectives. Make Objectives Explicit

Select from the words and phrases in this section to help you write concrete, specific objectives.

Memorization Behaviors

define duplicate imitate
state repeat recall

Discriminative Behaviors

choose discriminate match
collect distinguish omit
define identify order
describe indicate place
detect isolate point
differentiate list select

Study Behaviors

arrange find name
categories follow note
chart formulate organize
cite gather quote
circle itemize record
classify label reproduce
compile locate search
copy sort look
diagram map underline
document mark

Analysis Behaviors

analyze criticize generate
appraise deduce induce
combine defend infer
compare evaluate plan
conclude explain structure
contract formulate

Creative Behaviors

re-state -construct -structure
-tell -arrange -write
-group -name -organize
-order -combine -structure
predict systematize questions
design change synthesize
simplify modify paraphrase

Social Behaviors

accept dance laugh
agree disagree meet
aid allow answer
argue communicate compliment
contribute cooperate discuss
excuse greet interact
help forgive join
participate permit react
praise smile talk
thank volunteer

Language Behaviors

abbreviate accent call
alphabetize articulate capitalize
hyphenate indent outline
print pronounce punctuate
read recite say
sign speak spell
state summarize syllabicate
translate verbalize whisper

Physical Behaviors

arch hit ski
bat hop skip
bend jump somersault
carry kick stand
catch knock step
chase lift stretch
climb march swim
face pitch swing
grab push toss
grasp run walk
grip skate walk

Miscellaneous Behaviors

attempt grind send
attend guide serve
begin hold sew
bring include share
buy inform sharpen
complete lead shorten
consider lend shut
correct light signify
crush make start
designate mend store
develop miss strike
discover offer suggest
distribute position supply
end present support
erase produce switch
expand propose take
extend provide tear
find put touch
finish raise type
fit relate use
fix repeat vote
get return watch
give save

Phrases and Verbs to Avoid

The following tired phrases are commonly misunderstood to represent accurate and clear objective writing. They are in fact vague and lead to dull teaching because the participants do not understand what they are supposed to be able to accomplish. Avoid these and their brethren at all costs.

To become-- Evidence of a(n)--
acquainted with... appreciation for...
adjusted to... attitude of...
capable of... awareness of...
cognizant of... comprehension of...
conscious of... enjoyment of...
familiar with... feeling of...
knowledgeable about...
self-confident in...
knowledge of...
understanding of...
interested in...
interest in...

Avoid These Weak Verbs

Avoid the following weak verbs when writing objectives:

conceptualize self-actualize believe
memorize capacity listen
comprehend perceive depth
recognize experience see
feel thank hear
understand intelligence know

Copyright © 1981— , Brian Phelps. All rights reserved. Short portions may be excerpted for review and quotes. For copyright purposes, only introductory portions of this book are available online. Order the newest edition today.