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The definition essay

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    The definition essay The definition essay Presentation Transcript

    • The Definition Essay
      Bethany Robinson
    • When Using Definition:
      Explain the meaning of a term or concept in order to shed new light on it
      The purpose is to show readers a new way of looking at a concept.
      Can sometimes have goal of changing attitude.
    • How to Use It
      Stipulated definition:
      Uses highly personal definition of a word
      Asks readers to agree to this “spin” on a term’s meaning
      Extended definition
      Entire essay is devoted to exploring the meaning of a term or concept
      Also usually used to show reader a new way of looking at something
    • Focus
      Usually objective or subjective
      Objective: seeks to inform reader; usually doesn’t contain the preferences or opinion of the writer
      Subjective: represents the writer’s personal definition of a term or concept
      Rarely is a definition completely objective or completely subjective; the focus is more on one than the other.
    • When Writing the Essay…
      Choose a topic
      Think about purpose
      Avoid something that is too large or too vague
      Consider what reader already knows and what will interest them
      Prewrite
      Think about what you are trying to define
      Explore different ways to define it
    • When Writing the Essay…(Cont.)
      Organize
      Be logical and balanced
      Draft
      Write a rough version of your essay that can be edited and rewritten
    • When Writing the Essay… (Cont.)
      Use brief definitions
      Don’t define too broadly
      Don’t define too narrowly
      Don’t use circular definitions
      Don’t omit the category or type
    • When Writing the Essay… (Cont.)
      Use negative definitions
      Sometimes, defining something by what it is not is more effective than merely defining what it is.
    • The Task of Negro Womanhood
      What is being defined?
      How is the subject defined in terms of race?
      Does this new definition enlighten the reader?
      What do the internal definitions say about the subject?