You are required to write an argument. In your essay, you should present your argument (thesis) at the end of the first, introductory paragraph. You may support your argument by the use of personal experience, logic, quotations from a text/texts we have read in class, or outside sources. Any sources, including texts used in class, must be properly cited. You argument should include a section of integrated, extended definition. (See the handout for Bogur for the integration of definitions into longer texts; see the Becker handout for definition writing, generally). We will read a couple of definition essays in class and will also discuss where authors have used short definitions in other types of texts. You should choose one word, phrase or concept that is relevant to your argument and write an original, extended definition of this term ( +/- 250 words) that is fully integrated into your larger argument. For example, if you wanted to argue for the rights of same-sex couples to adopt children, you might choose to define a term such as “family”. You might want to show that the traditional definition of a family as biological mother, father and their offspring is no longer valid in today’s society. You might give examples of new kinds of families (blended, single-parent, extended…) and you might want to discuss in your definition how the concept of “family” differs from that of “friendship”. [This is an example. Please do not use this example as the basis for your own essay.] Try to avoid using dictionary.com definitions in your essay; instead, choose specialist reference works (Dictionary of Social Sciences, Oxford Encyclopaedia of Food, Black’s Law Dictionary,…) if you are going to use a published definition. However, the use of a published definition is not a requirement. You will need to explain why a new definition of a word/phrase/concept is necessary, set criteria (what are the criteria for a “family”?) and, in most cases, show what your definition is not (“family” is not the same as “friends”).
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