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Project Two

Page history last edited by Sue Muecke 13 years, 10 months ago

Project Two:







This paper focuses on one common type of argument - a definition argument.  Most often, definition arguments arise at the beginning of other types of arguments where a disagreement occurs over the meaning of a particular term.  This paper will seek to answer the question, "What is the nature or definition of a specific term?".



Audience and Purpose


The need for definition arises when people have diverging ideas about what a term means or an audience has difficulty understanding a concept. The purpose of this assignment then is to define a word, concept or idea in order to change an audience’s thinking about its meaning or to help them understand it better.


You will need to have a purpose for arguing this definition.  In other words, your definition should be unique and interesting, and it should be clear why your argument matters.


You will also need to direct your writing to a specific audience whose thinking you want to influence.  In other words, though our first project focused on the default audience of your classmates, this project demands that you formulate what "real" audience you will be writing for and where you might theoretically send or submit this piece once it is completed.





Answering the following questions should help you to generate much of the basic information you will need to write a clear, thorough definition of your chosen term: 


1.  What word/term/concept/idea will you be defining?


2.  What is your unique perspective on the word/term you are defining?  How will your definition differ from others?


3.  What is the audience for your project?  Be specific!


4.  How is your audience likely to define the word/term before reading your essay?  How are they likely to feel about the word/term beforehand?  How are they likely to react to YOUR definition of it?


5.  What is your purpose in arguing this definition?  Why is your definition important?


6.  What strategies (ethos/logos/pathos appeals, resemblance arguments, etc.) do you plan to use in making this argument?


7.  What sources do you intend to use for this project?  How will they clarify or add to your definition argument?





Remember - your credibility is important here, as it is in all arguments. Take care to present yourself as someone who is reasonably well-informed about the issue you’ll discuss.  Good research and proper documentation will show that you have done your homework on the issue.  Accounting for your audience's views, expectations, and potential objections will show that you are reasonable and thoughtful.  And if you've chosen an audience with whom you have a pre-existing relationship (eg. if you are writing to your parents), be sure to draw on that.



The Basics

  • 6-8 pages
  • MLA format and style (one-inch margins, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, proper first page presentation)
  • Minimum of 3 sources
    • No Wikipedia, About.com, dictionary or encyclopedia sources allowed 
    • At least one source needs to be either a scholarly journal article or a book
    • If you have questions about the acceptability of a source, please ask me. 
  • Works Cited page (in MLA format)



Project Two Rubric 

Project Two Planning Questions

Project Two Peer Review Form



Project Two Due Dates


Monday, October 11: Planning Workshop

(Submit your answers to the Project Two Planning Questions as a comment on the Inconceivable! page by 5:00pm on Sunday, October 10.  Then re-visit the page after 5:00pm to read your classmates' responses to these questions.  Choose at least one project [not your own] that you're interested in discussing during the Planning workshop.)


Monday, October 18: Rough Draft Workshop

(Submit your Project One rough draft by uploading the document to the wiki, then linking it on your Roster page.  See the How to Upload Papers to the Wiki page for step-by-step instructions.)


Wednesday, October 27: Final Draft of Project Two due by 11:59pm Wednesday night

(Submit your final draft by uploading the document to the wiki, then linking it to your name on the Finished page.)


Friday, October 29: SafeAssign report due

(Print out a copy of your final Project Two SafeAssign report and hand it in to me at the beginning of class.)



Project Two Examples



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