Write a four to six page paper discussing the definition(s) of a word or phrase and its impact and importance
• Implement writing skills and rhetorical skills to be persuasive
• Have four sources, minimum, with proper citations in MLA or APA
Obviously the word you choose must have significant meaning to you or you will be very unconvincing. Too, the word you choose must be a word that has some sense of controversy to it rather than one easy to define. So a word like table will not suffice, but one like freedom would be fabulous.
(NOTE: notice in this sentence above that I put the words table and freedom in italics? That’s what you do when you refer to your word. So I would write “I am eating at the table” but I would write “I am going to write my paper about the word table.”)
Thus in this paper you will:
➢ Explore the history (called an etymology) and various meanings of a word or phrase
➢ Explore the connotations and denotations of your word or phrase
➢ Understand the fluctuation, vibrant, and robust nature of language evolution
➢ Understand and use logos, pathos, and ethos to strengthen your writing
➢ Implement several rhetorical strategies to strengthen your appeals
➢ Find sources to improve your critical thinking
➢ Practice MLA and APA citation
When choosing your word or phrase, try to avoid the obvious and clichéd: arguing that beauty is more than outer appearances, for example, has been (over)done. So has the idea that being rich means having friends and family who love you. So has the idea that family is more than just parents and siblings. And please—don’t use love. Our language has about one million words. Be creative. 2. The first step to this assignment will be searching the history and etymology of your word or phrase. What this word has meant in the past and how it has changed over time is important to your understanding of what the dictionary definition is and how this word came to mean what it does. It may or may not be relevant for your actual argument, but you will be looking it up for your own knowledge. 3. You will also look up various dictionary definitions, and you’ll want to visit Wikipedia and Urbandictionary.com. These sources will give you a more cultural look at the usage of words rather than a dictionary definition. The exact wording of all your definitions may be a crucial part of your discussion. From there, you will want to see what others have said and/or argued about concerning your word. A google search is perfect for this assignment; no need for academic sources, although you may find some good ones. I’ve read great studies on words like bitch, dude, like, and more. The idea is to diversify your understanding of how people think about the word or phrase you chose. We are focusing on critical thinking—this requires that you consider all perspectives. 4. In order to make effective rhetorical choices, you must know your audience, which will be an important part of this semester. When you have thought about why the meaning of your word or phrase is important, your audience should become clear. We will talk about writing as part of a conversation—those in the conversation are your audience. 5. This paper is meant to help you argue using examples from your own personal life, combined with responses to what you read. Finding a balance between your own thoughts and the thoughts of others is key here. You’ll want to shoot for about an 85/15 balance. 85% of what you write should be about what you think and your experiences; the other 15% should be about what others think. This is NOT meant to be a research paper but an argument/opinion piece. 6. You will be expected to make a conscious and clear effort to employ all three rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos). If you are not familiar with these, you need to watch the video. You will also be expected to implement several of the rhetorical strategies we work on in class. 7. You will want a strong introduction, a clear thesis statement, several clear body paragraphs that support your thesis, and a strong conclusion. These things should
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