Below is the definition essay assignment due on Tuesday, January 15. If you would like a word document that you can save as a separate file, the link can be found here: Definition Essay.
Every word in our language has a meaning; however, not all words or concepts have concretely defined meanings. These are typically what we would refer to as abstract words or concepts. Such abstract words or concepts are often specifically defined in the context of the person using the word, and it is important as a writer to be able to explain to your readers how you are defining these words and concepts to avoid confusion and misunderstanding in your essays. For example, writers have attempted to define the various Constitutional Amendments for their own purposes for decades, and how they interpret these amendments affects our understanding of the position they are taking in their arguments. Also, it is often necessary to define cultural attitudes (what do emo or goth really mean?), religious beliefs (what the Koran teach or why are Passover or Hanukkah important to the Jewish faith), or racial identification (is the correct response Hispanic, Mexican, Latino/Latina, or Mexican-American and how do those outside the race know?). Definition helps explain these words or concepts more clearly.
Sometimes, however, we simply need to define what something is so that the reader understands it the same way we do. This is what your definition essay will do. Just like Sayoh Mansaray’s “The Offbeat Allure of Cult Films,” which you should have read for class, your first assignment will define a particular sub-genre of movie, music, or television program. In other words, you need to choose a sub-genre you find interesting and define it for the reader, using both examples of the sub-genre and sources that will help you define the particular sub-genre you have chosen. In other words, help your readers understand this group in a new and interesting way like Mansaray