Defintion Essay

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ENGL 0950-10: Definition Essay
The goal of this essay is to define an abstract/subjective word, term, or concept thoroughly. Your paper will focus on examining what it means to the writer personally and how the concept or term is used socially. Your objective as a writer is to clarify an abstract term/concept by examining the concept’s history and its current usage. Often definitional essays are attached to a larger argument; for example, you might be arguing that if America uses torture to maintain its national security that this could be equated with acts of terrorism. As you can see, this example is connected to a larger issue and the author would need to define the two terms, torture and terrorism, to establish a correlation between the treatment of these two words and the larger implications of this controversial issue. The definition essay provides a personal, extended definition of such terms by linking or comparing the term to a previous definition and by illustrating how that term should be applied. Steps to Help Narrow Your Topic

1.Select your subject carefully by finding one that you have a personal interest in. 2.Avoid a term or word that is too concrete and narrow. For example, you won’t have very much to write about if your term is pencil or tree. These objects have physical attributes that most people can agree upon, and there isn’t much room for originality or for defining these terms in your own way. 3.Here is a list of suggestions that might help you find a direction for your paper: Addiction, Adult, Alternative Energy, American Dream, Beauty in Art, Censorship, Colonialism, Conservative, Corporate Personhood, Culture, Democracy, Education, Equality, Ethics, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom of Speech, Genre, Globalization, Happiness, Hero/Heroine, Honesty, Honor, Human Rights, Immigrant, Justice, Juvenile, Knowledge, Leadership, Liberal, Marriage, Masculinity, Natural, Oligarchy, Patriotism, Poverty, Prejudice, Racism, Schizophrenia,...
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