• Like
Arguments of Definition
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

Arguments of Definition


Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.

Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.

Published in Education , Technology
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. Arguments of Definition English 104
  • 2. Understanding Arguments of Definition Definition arguments try to establish whether someone or something belongs to a certain category  Examples:  Is a bear in the Rocky Mountains an endangered species?  Is an unsolicited kiss sexual harassment?  Is that person a man or a woman?  In order to answer each of the above questions, the definitions of ‘endangered species,’ ‘sexual harassment,’ and ‘man/woman’ must be determined
  • 3. Understanding Arguments of Definition Many definitions are subject to debate and controversy  Example:  ‘Human intelligence’ can be defined as any of the following:  A capacity measurable using mathematical and verbal tests, such as IQ and SAT scores  Ability to perform specific tasks  Emotional competence when relating to other people • Some may argue that one of the definitions is more appropriate than the others
  • 4. Understanding Arguments of Definition Arguments of definition can’t always be solved by using a dictionary  Dictionary definitions can be limited in scope or pertain only to a specific group’s usage  Dictionary definitions can reflect the prejudices of their writers You can disagree with dictionary definitions or use them only as starting points for arguments
  • 5. Kinds of Definition Formal definitions – the technical definition found in references, such as dictionaries Operational definitions – defining through the use of a process or set of validation tests  Example: Using chromosomal tests to define a person’s gender Definitions by example – defining through the use of classification and categorization, often using compare and contrast  Example: Pluto is no longer classified as a planet because it did not meet the same criteria as compared to the recognized planets
  • 6. Remember You’re entering into a definition argument when you:  Formulate a controversial definition  Example: In the 21st century, what it means to be a woman has taken on a new definition. No longer a simple issue of anatomy, we now know that women aren’t always born; sometimes, boys can grow up and become women too.  Challenge a definition  Example: Defining ‘woman’ based on genetics is limiting; instead, gender should be determined by a person’s mental rather than physical state.  Try to determine whether something fits an existing definition  Example: Although Geena Rocero was born a boy, she is a woman based on her current anatomy and involvement in feminine activities, such as beauty pageants.  Seek to broaden an existing definition  Example: Not all women are born with female genetic make-up; there can be many ways to be a woman that go beyond the boundaries of genes.
  • 7. Works Cited Lunsford,Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s an Argument with Readings. 6th ed. NewYork: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. Print.