The Oxford English Dictionary

You’ve read through Chapter 8 in the CTTW text and completed short assignments on the concept of ‘media’ and ‘family’. This assignment is the same idea, but developed into an essay. Remember a concept is an idea — so what this next writing assignment is asking for is that you tell the reader what your ‘idea’ of the topic is. For example, if you were writing about the concept of “Car”, the dictionary would tell you that a car is a vehicle with an internal combustion engine and four wheels. But in this essay, I want you to explain to the reader how you might add to that definition. To me, a car is much more than just an engine, chassis, and wheels. I think of a car as freedom; a way that I can explore the world or just get away on a stressful day. There’s nothing better than driving in the summer with the windows down and the radio on and forgetting about my worries. So in my essay, I would give examples of how a car means ‘freedom’ to me. That is an extended definition beyond the dictionary meaning.

Make sure you look through the sample essays in Chapter 8 of the textbook and the pages with the purple edges at the end of the chapter (these pages will walk you through the pre-writing process).

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Write an essay in which you define a concept from the choices listed on the “Topic for Concept Definition Essay” in this module. You can change the choices to concepts that are related to those choices (for example, you might not want to tackle ‘Religion’ because that’s a huge idea, but you might choose to write about the concept of being ‘Baptist’).  As long as your topic choice is related to the suggestion, you can play with the choices. Include explanations of why this concept is significant for you and why it needs defining or redefining.  Include the definition from The Oxford English Dictionary to show the ‘denotative’ meaning of the word (in the opening paragraph of the essay is a good place).  Then write your ‘connotative’ meaning (your idea) of what the concept means to you.

The essay should be 3-4 pages, written in MLA format, and include a Works Cited page  For more information on The Oxford English Dictionary check on this:

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