Definition Essay


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Definition Essay

  1. 1. ENG 101 – Spring 2010<br />QVCC<br />Definition Essays<br />
  2. 2. Definition Essays<br />A definition essay defines a word, term, or concept in depth by providing a personal commentary on what the specific subject means<br />Personal approach that agrees with or challenges a previous conception<br />
  3. 3. Structure<br />Introduction<br />Thesis<br />Background information (if necessary)<br />Point 1<br />Examples and analysis <br />Point 2<br />Examples and analysis<br />Point 3<br />Examples and analysis<br />Conclusion<br />Restatement of thesis<br />
  4. 4. Tips for the Definition Essay<br />Thesis must be crystal clear<br />Solid examples<br />Good transitions<br />Strong conclusion<br />Don’t be afraid of your own opinion<br />
  5. 5. Assignment #1<br />Option #1<br />Consider an instance in political and/or social culture in which the definition of family has come to the foreground. You may choose to think historically about your topic or use a very current event – in any case, you must choose an event/topic of which the arguments at hand hinge on how the family is defined. In your essay, you should present the topic of controversy in summary – be sure to present all sides of the argument. The latter half of the essay should focus on how this definition of family affects American life, and in particular, how does this affect YOUR life. You do not to do a lot of additional research – the essays in your book should suffice. Some questions to consider: Have your (or others’) personal definitions of family shaped these controversies or have the controversies shaped personal opinion? How has the family (micro) figured into the larger American (macro) discussion on family, privacy, rights, etc.? Why is the definition of family so hotly debated and contested? You do not need to address all of these questions – they are suggestions – but you should be engaging in some kind of critical thinking regarding the role and definition of family in America.<br />
  6. 6. Assignment #1<br />Option #2<br />Education is often cited as a “right” held by American citizens. In fact, it is a government responsibility to provide a basic education for every citizen under age 16. Additionally, a higher education is becoming a minimum requirement for most careers. All of this aside, there are drastic disparities in the quality of education across the nation and there is a debate regarding whether or not all Americans really have access to the same education rights. Define what education means to you – what is it for, what does it do, who should have it? – and then consider how that definition fits with your reality. You may want to consider areas like access, quality, and cost as well as topics like purpose and payoff. What does it mean to be “well-educated” in America? Who has a right to this title? Again, you do not need to address each one of these topics, but your essay should engage a critical discussion of education. There are several essays in your book that may help illuminate your topic.<br />
  7. 7. Format Guidelines<br /> 3-5 pages in length<br /> Basic essay structure (introduction, supporting details, conclusion)<br />Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri font, 10 or 12 point<br /> Double-spaced<br /> MLA essay title format (see LWC for reference)<br />
  8. 8. Format Guidelines<br />NO COVER PAGES<br />Stapled in top left corner<br />Two-sided printing is fine<br />All pages should show last name and page number in top right header (use header/footer format)<br />1 inch margins<br /> proper MLA citation where necessary<br /> Essay must be submitted via hardcopy and via email as MSWord (or equivalent) attachment<br />
  9. 9. Due Dates<br />Topic choice by Feb. 9 – you may submit these earlier if you want to get started.<br />Drafts (optional) must be submitted to me by Feb. 13 at 5 pm via email<br /> Final paper due Feb. 16<br />