Definition/Description Essay 

Write a unified composition of at least 500 words on the assigned topic*. Your writing will be judged on focus, organization, mechanics, standard conventions, word choice, insight, usage, and sentence structure. You must submit your essay as a Word document (.doc, .docx, or .rtf). Essays submitted as any other file type will not be accepted.  

General Instructions 

Please note that your paper must be in MLA format as is explained in section 46C of your Little, Brown Handbook on pages 714-71. See also pages 717-751 for further for guidance. Essays that are not submitted as directed and are not in MLA format (including heading, header, use of correct font style and size, spacing, etc.) will . In addition, do not use 2nd person in your essays. ßif you don’t know what this is, just ask!

*Assigned Topic 

In simplified terms, your essay assignment is this: pick a word from the list, explore the common definition, offer a deeper definition, use real world experiences to prove your deeper definition. Explain how your definition is truer than the common one. 

In expanded terms, your assignment is this: Words are powerful tools that we use to communicate; however, they are also relative in many ways due to the widely ranging connotation of some words, such as home or family. In other words, family may mean unconditional love and acceptance to some, while it may mean unwavering judgement and disdain to others. Your assignment is to choose a word from the list below and offer an analysis of its meaning. You will explore the common definition of the word and will show that the word has meaning that goes beyond the common definition. You must also state the significance of the difference between the common definition and your definition (in other words, why do we need to know your definition?). Your evidence that you will use to prove your assertions will come from a description (or descriptions) of how the word exists in the world and can come from your own experiences or can come from others’ experiences. In your development, focus of using vivid, concrete language and on utilizing generative development. Finally, keep in mind Paul Roberts’ advice: Take the less usual side. 

Words to choose from:

  1. Power 4.      Success
  2. Truth 5.      Common Sense
  3. Acceptance 6.      Failure

Suggestions for Getting Started 

Use reference books to assist you: 

• Course books 

• Dictionaries 

• Thesauruses 

Use one or more of the following prewriting techniques: 

• Freewriting 

• Brainstorming 

• Mapping 

• Diagramming 

• Outlining 

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