Essay #2: A Definition Claim
You will upload/submit the ROUGH DRAFT (2 double-spaced pages, not including “Works Cited”) on the next page.
You will submit the FINAL DRAFT (4 double-spaced pages) at the end of Module 12. Read the instructions below: before submitting your final draft at the end of Module 12, your rough draft must be reviewed by two other students in the class.
Here are some examples of definition claims from Charles P. Nelson at Kean University:
A sick-out is (not) a strike because . . .
Advertisements (music videos, etc.) are (not) works of art because . . .
History is (not) a science because . . .
Single parents (or gay couples, etc.) are (not) families because . . .
TexMex is (not) a language because . . .”
Note that the examples above are opinions with which others may disagree. “If everyone agrees on a particular definition, such as sparrows being birds, there is no reason to write about it” (Kean).
In this essay, you will define a term, perhaps from the list below. You will use personal experience and/ or outside knowledge AND one of the three Hemingway essays we have read thus far to flesh out your definition.
Please choose only ONE of the three Hemingway essays upon which to base your definition: “A Good Cafe on the Place St.-Michel,” “Miss Stein Instructs,” OR “Scott Fitzgerald.”
Please choose an essay about which you have not yet written.
It is fine to use “I” in this essay.
Introduction: An epigraph from A Moveable Feast, along with a description of “why this term is problematic and why it is important to define it” (Kean).
Thesis: A statement that includes how your definition of the term is arguable, or differs from the norm. In other words, “paper should focus on an extended definition, that is, a definition somewhat different from standard expectations” (Kean). Example: Although most people would define inspiration as coming from a source outside oneself, I define inspiration as a type of insight or awareness achieved through discipline.
Body: use at least three specific examples from the Hemingway essay you chose as support.
Conclusion: summarize how you (and Hemingway) have shed new light on this topic. End with a quote, either from A Moveable Feast or an outside source.
Specific guidelines for this essay:
At least 2 full pages, formatted in Word as a .doc or .docx
An arguable definition; one that differs from the norm
An epigraph in your introduction (see Irrestible IntroductionsPreview the document PowerPoint)
Careful support using quotes, details, and features of the essay
Typed in 12-point standard font in black ink and double-spaced with one-inch margins.
Edited and proofread (typos/ carelessness will reduce your grade).
A title that hints tantalizingly at your thesis
You are not required to conduct any research, but if you choose to cite any sources besides A Moveable Feast, please include parenthetical citations and prepare a “Works Cited” page. If you only refer to the one text, parenthetical citations are unnecessary, simply mention the full name of the author and the title of the book at first reference, and then quote freely.
This exercise is practice only. For Essay #2, you will explore a different term than you do here.
1. Complete Exercise 2 from Chapter 10.6, “Definition,” in Writing for Success
2. Choose the term from this exercise that you found most interesting: bravery, adulthood, consumer culture, violence, or art. Write your term here:
3. Use the term you chose to respond to the following:
a. Literal/ Dictionary Definition:
Use an online dictionary like Merriam-Webster, and include the entire entry for the term. Don’t forget to include the url for the source.
b. Personal Connotations:
Freewrite or brainstorm for at least five minutes, writing down everything that comes to mind when you think of the term
c. Context for this Assignment:
Choose a region or time period to contextualize the concept for this assignment; for example, “violence in the American South” or “art in the 1950’s”. Do a Google search if you need more information about your region or time period.
d. Use the context to create a context-based definition of the term: (Example: violence in Southern California often means gang warfare or domestic abuse.)
e. Choose two of the above definitions (literal, personal, and context-based) that seem most different from one another. Write a thesis statement that highlights this difference.
Example 1: “Although greed is usually associated with money [literal definition], in Southern California, it often takes the form of desire for power and status [context-based].”
Example 2: “Although my personal definition of success is to achieve a fulfilling family life, in the U.S. in the 1950’s the appearance of financial success was foremost on the minds of most Americans.”
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