A definition essay asks the writer to concentrate on the clarification of the meaning of the concept or word. This does not mean the writer should provide a dictionary definition. In fact, avoid using any dictionary references or Wikipedia. Essays found to have standard definitions will see a deduction in the research portion of the rubric. The purpose of this essay is to seek the writer’s definition of the term or concept without using first person in the thesis statement or body of the paper. The reader knows the sentiments are coming from you, the writer.
Once again, this paper must be written in third person, which avoids the use of first person pronouns: no I, no me, no my, no we!
The writer must determine which form of the word he or she is going to illustrate. For instance, the word “liberty” to one person may mean freedom or free will, whereas to another, it may mean leave time from sea duty.
Clearly indicate to your audience your chosen word to define. Present a clear and concise definition in your own words what the term means to you. Use two to three strong identifiers. An example of an effective thesis statement could be: Bravery is fearlessness, courage to know one’s mind, and, in the face of opposition, holding one’s ground. Please see the attachment below for a detailed explanation of this sample example using Bravery.
Note: one abstract word collects others that you must define. You will do this by using an example and quotation for each of your two to three terms in your thesis statement. Obviously, when you were thinking of your definition, you thought of a moment in which you related that term you an experience you have seen or heard. Use these examples without inserting yourself into the story.
You must write a descriptive essay in which you define a word of your choice from the list of 22 words below. You need to use at least two resources to prove your claims but no more than four outside sources. This would be a wonderful opportunity to visit or revisit the APUS library. Remember not to use the standard dictionary or Wikipedia as sources. You will write Assignment #1 for a general audience that would include your classmates.
All essays should be in MLA format. Your essay should be between 500-750 words.
Word List for Assignment #1