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Essay Assignment: An Extended Definition Essay SELECT A WORD: (or a short phrase


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Essay Assignment: An Extended Definition Essay
SELECT A WORD: (or a short phrase or idiom no more than 3 or 4 words) that has importance and meaning to you, which is perhaps sometimes misunderstood and misused by others around you or in the wider world. This choice also could include a word or phrase that has multiple complex meanings that sometimes get overlooked or simplified. Think about all the ways this word can be used or misused and what the complex implications and nuances are of its meaning. Also, it is very important to consider and discuss the antonym (the opposite meaning of this word) because quite often it is through binaries that we come to an understanding of something.
LEARN ABOUT THE WORD:. For example, Consider the word ABANDON which can be both a positive and negative meaning. To do something with abandon is good, while to abandon someone or something is bad. That makes the word intriguing to study. What are its root words? What are its other usages?
Language is always evolving, and sometimes a new word becomes suddenly popular or has changed over even your lifetime in the way that is used. Something like Covid-19 or the brutal racism in our society forces the creation of new words because we often our at a loss to understand whatever it is that we cannot name. Think about how BIPOC evolved as a new way to better name People of Color. Why did that change evolve only in the last two years?
FINALLY WRITE a 1000 word essay (about 4-5 pages double-spaced) delving into the meaning and purpose of the word.
CITE at two sources using an in-text citation (MLA Style), One must be the OED Definition of the word.
LAST CHANCE TO USE NARRATIVE: If you would like to you may include SOME personal experience and other types of illustrations to explain and analyze your word or phrase. But this cannot be the only form of EVIDENCE.
MUST HAVE Works Cited page in MLA format at the end of the paper.
Essay Process:
DEFINITION ESSAY requires that you use possibly different rhetorical modes within the essay itself: (Not all words suit all ways mentioned)
By Process: Explain how something works or what it does in general.
By Classification and Division into types: Organization: Tell how a thing is organized or categorized (how many different types of love are there for example: platonic, amorous/erotic, filial, agape, etc).
By analysis. Compare or contrast a subject to other similar terms and go through similarities and differences
By antonyms: Opposition: Show what a term does not mean. If there are many untrue stereotypes about the term you have chosen, you can write a definition essay explaining what is true and what is not.
By Illustration and examples of places the term is used or not used.
By Narratives: Place us into a personal experience that has revealed the truth of this word or phrase.
By Cause-Effect: Show the relationship of consequence between the use of the word and the impact or the meaning of the word and how it relates to other closely-related terms.
Choose a topic with enough complexity to be interesting so you can sustain it
Brainstorm a word or phrase and all the ways it can be used. Examine its origins. Find one you want to go with quickly! Strive to have a word uniquely suited to you and not the same as someone else you know in the class. I may have to encourage some of you to pick 2nd or 3rd choices if I see too many gravitating to the same word or phase as the choices are infinite.
Research the word selected. Start with the Oxford English Dictionary (SMC Library) and other dictionaries. Keep track of any sources you use so that you can make a Works Cited document and do in text citations if you quote from other sources.
Take careful notes so that you can correctly cite any sources you want to use in the paper.
Research can range from talking to other people about how they use the word to diving into academic research on how the word Is used. Do what is appropriate for the word chosen.
Make sure at some point in the introduction or first body paragraph that you discuss the standard definition and the origins of the word and show the context in which people most often use it.
You must also consider synonyms, multiple parts of speech, antonyms and phrases using the word.
THESIS STATEMENT should be the last sentence of your Intro. Paragraph. Your thesis should make a claim about the meaning of the word and also show the complexity and some kind of argumentation about the meaning of the word.
Each paragraph must offers EVIDENCE and FACTS and EXPERIENCES to support your thesis. Your conclusion should state something the reader could only understand after reading the essay. It should not just restate the introduction or just repeat everything you have already said.
Learning Goal & How it Relates to Topics Covered:
Tips and Pointers:
SMC Library:You must LOG IN to be able to access the resources. I would like you to find resources in the SMC Databases. We will have a library day on Oct. 7 (Via Zoom)
No Wikipedia for this or any future essay assignments. Also carefully consider the sources you choose to use and they are worthy sources.
Go to Purdue Owlis your best friend for learning how to MLA Citations
OED to start your search on definitions: This dictionary also has phrases and idioms with words: for example look up “don’t rock the boat” or “rock a person’s world”
Essay Requirements:
MLA Format
Original Title
1000 Words Max and Minimum
PDF Format Upload
Upload through on the CANVAS Site
Rubric and Points:
100 Points
Rubric will be used.
Additional Instructions:
A helpful and instructive tool that helps detect plagiarism and generates a similarity report.


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