OCR A Level – Vocabulary to use in your essays

Words to use when discussing arguments (Critical analysis)

  • Intelligible (easily understandable)
  • Unintelligible
  • Tenable (able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection.)
  • Untenable
  • Parsimonious/Ockham’s Razor (Simplicity)
  • Elegant
  • Plausible (superficially fair, reasonable)
  • Implausible
  • Empirical (based on observation or experience)
  • Falsifiable (inherent possibility that it can be proven false)
  • Unfalsifiable (cannot be proved false)
  • Ambiguous (open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning)
  • Fallacious (based on a mistaken belief)
  • Non sequitur (a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement)
  • Subjective
  • Objective

Words to use when mentioning what scholars or key people thought or believed

  • Argued
  • Asserted
  • Elaborated
  • Hypothesised
  • Postulated
  • Prescribed
  • Presupposed
  • Proposed
  • Stipulated
  • Speculated
  • Stated
  • Subscribed
  • Theorised
  • Implied

Words to use when scholars or key people respond to another idea or person

  • Refuted
  • Challenged
  • Contested
  • Criticised
  • Undermined

Words to use when starting a new counter paragraph or section

  • By way of contrast
  • However
  • Nevertheless

Words to use when demonstrating differences in ideas

  • Dichotomy (a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different)
  • Disparity (a great difference)
  • Distinction
  • Divergence (Separation)

Words to use when demonstrating similarities in ideas

  • Correspondingly (Agreeing to a previous point)
  • Comparable
  • Comparatively (Similar to a previous point you made)
  • Parallel
  • Homogeneous (of the same kind; alike)

Words for conclusions (at the end of points or the essay itself)

  • Albeit (though)
  • Apparent
  • Arguably
  • Conceivable (capable of being imagined or grasped mentally)
  • Debatable
  • Nevertheless
  • Tentative (not certain or fixed; provisional)
  • Evident (clearly seen or understood; obvious)

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