Writing Goals Primarily, a definition essay focuses upon a single word, term, or

Writing Goals
Primarily, a definition essay focuses upon a single word, term, or concept in order to present a unique, detailed definition of it by providing a personal commentary on what the specific subject means.
As past unit lessons have confirmed, language can be manipulated, revised and or abused for personal or political reasons. And typically, these efforts to influence audience perceptions rely upon specific definitions of key words which validate or support the messenger’s agenda. Thus, this essay provides writers the opportunity to select a word, term or concept meaningful to them and systematically define it to help others understand their own personal perception of the subject. Most often, definition essays ultimately seek to achieve one of the following goals:
* To correct a widely held misconception about the “real”, “true” or “most accurate” meaning of a particular word, term or concept
* To alert readers to the “negative” elements of a word, term or concept widely considered “positive”
* To alert readers to the “positive” elements of a word, term or concept widely considered “negative”
* To identify current, real-world examples of a word, term or concept that most readers don’t currently recognize
* To provide a new, alternative or interesting definition of a word, term or concept that most readers haven’t considered.
Topic Selection
As you begin to consider potential topics for this project, first try to narrow your selection to one which interests you enough to conduct a good deal of thinking (and perhaps even some additional reading) about. For instance, if you found our prior discussions of doublespeak, fascism or freedom related to Orwell’s novel interesting, you might opt to focus upon a term or concept central to the novel. Or, if you wish, also might choose to define a controversial current topic. For instance, what is your own definition of stem cell research, marriage, euthanasia, welfare, gun control or immigration reform, etc? Too, you might decide to select a word or concept that you find very personally meaningful and construct your own definition of it in order to help readers learn more about your (and possibly even themselves). As you work to consider, narrow and select your topic for this project, please feel free to contact your instructor if you have further questions.
Research and Formatting
Outside research is not required, but any sources used must be in correct MLA documentation format. Enlist the assistance of MyWritingLab’s MLA assistance and/or confer with your instructor if you need help in this area.