EN 140 Sp 2021 – Essay #2 Definition Assignment Sheet 1 EN

EN 140 Sp 2021 – Essay #2 Definition Assignment Sheet
EN 140 Sp 2021 – Essay #2 Definition Assignment Sheet
Formal Essay Assignment #2 – Evaluation/Definition
Draft #1 Peer Review: March 7th
Peer Review in class: March 8th
Final Revised Draft w/ MLA Works Cited Page due March 27th
Assignment Topic
We often define a term or concept by showing its opposite or by saying both what something “is” and what something “isn’t.” For our assignment, you are asked to (1) develop an argument on an abstract concept or word with a complex–and possibly socially constructed–meaning that is debatable (criteria, layers of meaning). Part or most of this essay should be built on how you establish and explore distinctions between “denotative” (public) and “connotative” (personal) meanings and associations with your chosen term. This means going beyond obvious meanings of your chosen word to dig deep and consider how your own lived experiences have shaped your perspective and connections to this idea.
You must also (2) establish a direct argument against a known or assumed counter-argument against your own definition. This means a stance built on logic or association that run counter to your own. Your goal in this section of the essay is to show you can speak of an opposing view and challenge it in ethical and respectful ways, ultimately aiming to draw a reader closer to your own stance through a ‘Rogerian’ argument appeal.
You are free to choose a concept or word from the list below or a topic of your own with instructor approval.
Word/concept options:
“adulting” (internet slang?) community and friendship “living your best life”
anxiety and stress
intellectual property the gig economy
“the American Dream” minimum wage worker
Special Focus of the Essay:
This essay is to be an argument, and therefore your writing must utilize the three appeals of argument effectively: ethos (how you present your credibility), pathos (how you connect to your audience), and logos (how effective you present the reasons and support of your definitions).
For example, say you were writing to define “family” as your core concept. Denotatively, this word has a complex history behind it which you could research using a credible encyclopedia or dictionary, and you could also establish how ‘pop culture’ fosters associations through imagery and media that shape a ‘public’ conception of what family is “supposed to be like.” But, connotatively, you could contrast your own associations of family formed through lived experiences with the pop culture imagery we’ve grown up with. In effect, your essay could establish a new kind of definition you want your reader to consider through your written presentation.
Additional Ideas and Questions to Consider:

Plan to develop content dedicated to the “denotative” and “connotative” meanings of your chosen topic. A complete essay will make it clear when you are discussing denotative versus connotative meanings.

Your thesis will indicate what the major ideas you want to cover are and why you find them important (answer the “So What?” question). Transitions between paragraphs and signal topic sentences are vital to a successful essay.

Describe in detail how you see social contemporary culture / pop culture using this term/idea in public settings—through media, through politics, through education, etc. What would someone say is a “typical” association with this term in our current time?

How are your connotative associations influenced by these public images? Walk your reader through your own process of “meaning making” (tell a story, show an event).

Should some of those typical associations/connotations be challenged? Why?

What are some characteristics of your chosen term that are often overlooked in pop culture?

How does your definition vary from someone who does not share your immediate
experience? How might someone ten years older or ten years younger than you have a different opinion? How might this ‘idea’ have changed in the last thirty years? What might happen thirty years from now?
 4-6 typed, double spaced pages
 Essay is worth 150 points (15% of final grade). Essay will be graded on attention to necessary criteria indicated above.

As part of the essay, you must incorporate at least two outside sources into your argument. These sources may be ones that help exemplify or elaborate on your subject, and you may consider any relevant media, interview, or text as potential source material.

Essay should be developed over several paragraphs. The essay must have clear transitions and connecting phrases between each section of topic development, as well as a leading thesis to frame the discussion.