Engl 121 Fall 2007 Formal Writing Assignment #2



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ENGL 121

Fall 2007
Formal Writing Assignment #2

Please note: you must have completed the following assignments, with a minimally acceptable grade (6 or higher), before you may submit this essay:




  • In-class exercises 4, 5, and 6

  • Reading responses 5 and 6



Topic/Directions
In an essay of 1000 or more words, explore the meaning of one of the abstract terms we reviewed in class. Your essay should examine the meaning of this term from a variety of viewpoints, including one you locate through your own research. Be sure to conclude by stipulating your own definition of the term.
Refer to the “Guidelines for Definition Essays” below for additional information.
Due date: week 11 of class.

Guidelines for Formal Writing #2
Your essay should include the following elements

  • Summary and discussion of an article proposing an alternative point of view

  • Classification and division of similar term – list form and paragraph form

  • At least one other extended definition

  • Formal definition

  • Stipulative definition

  • Narrative example

Please refer to the back of this page for advice on structuring the essay in an effective way




Tips for Constructing Your Definition Essay

Title: Refer to chapter of the Field Guide for help in devising a title


Introduction: Use a personal or nonpersonal narrative anecdote for your introduction. Your anecdote should be brief (one paragraph), and it should illustrate your definition term in a concrete, recognizable way. (see In-Class Exercise #6)
Thesis: Introduce your term; provide a brief overview of the ideas that your essay will explore (the various ways this word can be defined) and your position on them.
Body: Include the following in the body of the paper, not necessarily in this order. You should decide which order is the most effective.


  • A formal definition of the word from as it appears in a standard dictionary (see in-class exercise #4).




  • Classification and division of your word and another word similar in meaning. This section should include both the “side-by-side table” and the summary paragraph version that we practiced in class. (see In-Class Exercise #5)




  • One or more “extended definitions” as described in chapter 33 of the Field Guide – discussion of multiple senses of the word, word origin, detailed description, example, comparison with other meanings, etc. (you may find some of this in In-Class Exercise #4)




  • Summary and discussion of an alternative point of view from an outside source that you have located through your own research. This source should present a definition of your term that you feel is not accurate or “true” to how you see the term. (Reading Response #6).


Conclusion: Conclude with a stipulative definition where you define the word as you see it. This section should be at least a paragraph but may longer if you choose.

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