Definition Essay

Definition Essay
This essay assignment is designed to allow you to explore the definition pattern of essay development.
Remember that most essays incorporate multiple patterns of development, while one pattern is
predominant. That may very well be the case here, depending on which topic you decide to pursue, but
ultimately your job in this essay is to focus on writing an extended definition for a word or term.
Once you decide on a limited subject, decide if the essay has an informative or a persuasive purpose. The
paper might begin with the etymology of the term, a stipulative definition, or a definition by negation. You
may want to use a number of writing patterns—such as description, comparison, narration, process
analysis, etc.—to develop the definition. Remember, too, that they paper does not have to be scholarly and
serious. There is no reason it cannot be a lighthearted discussion of the meaning of a term.
Additionally, because an essay such as this lends itself to the invocation of a credible source of authority
outside yourself, you are required to use—and properly cite—at least one legitimate outside source in this
essay. This could be a source that provides a definition of your term, a source that provides an example
that supports your definition, a source that provides inspiration or a reason for a new way of looking at a
term, etc.
The following terms are rich with possibility for a definition essay. Select one, and write an essay in which
you provide an extended definition of the term.
A conflict of interest
-win situation
-sum game
It is expected that your paper will be between 2 and 4 pages long (approximately 500-1,000 words) and adhere to
MLA format.
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