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Definition may be used for an entire essay but is often used as a rhetorical style within an essay that may mix rhetorical styles.
For example, you may need to use definition in order to fully explain a concept before you make an argument about that concept. A definition essay is structured around the goal of defining a term, concept, or idea.
While you may start off with a simple dictionary definition, your essay will, ultimately, contain an extended definition. There are many techniques you can use to extend a definition in a definition essay to be discussed further. Please give us your feedback! Enter the username or e-mail you used in your profile.
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Rhetorical Styles Definition Essay. Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in the United States? At best, such a paper would be vague and scattered in its approach.
- How to Write a Definition Essay: Outline, Thesis, Body, and Conclusion.
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Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in Connecticut? Well, we're getting there, but that's still an awfully big topic, something we might be able to handle in a book or a Ph. Can we write a paper about problems within the community college system in Connecticut.
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Now we're narrowing down to something useful, but once we start writing such a paper, we would find that we're leaving out so much information, so many ideas that even most casual brainstorming would produce, that we're not accomplishing much. What if we wrote about the problem of community colleges in Connecticut being so close together geographically that they tend to duplicate programs unnecessarily and impinge on each other's turf? Now we have a focus that we can probably write about in a few pages although more, certainly, could be said and it would have a good argumentative edge to it.
To back up such a thesis statement would require a good deal of work, however, and we might be better off if we limited the discussion to an example of how two particular community colleges tend to work in conflict with each other.
It's not a matter of being lazy; it's a matter of limiting our discussion to the work that can be accomplished within a certain number of pages. The thesis statement should remain flexible until the paper is actually finished. It ought to be one of the last things that we fuss with in the rewriting process.
If we discover new information in the process of writing our paper that ought to be included in the thesis statement, then we'll have to rewrite our thesis statement. On the other hand, if we discover that our paper has done adequate work but the thesis statement appears to include things that we haven't actually addressed, then we need to limit that thesis statement.
If the thesis statement is something that we needed prior approval for, changing it might require the permission of the instructor or thesis committee, but it is better to seek such permission than to write a paper that tries to do too much or that claims to do less than it actually accomplishes.
The thesis statement usually appears near the beginning of a paper. It can be the first sentence of an essay, but that often feels like a simplistic, unexciting beginning.
It more frequently appears at or near the end of the first paragraph or two. Here is the first paragraph of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Notice how everything drives the reader toward the last sentence and how that last sentence clearly signals what the rest of this essay is going to do. The first paragraph serves as kind of a funnel opening to the essay which draws and invites readers into the discussion, which is then focused by the thesis statement before the work of the essay actually begins.
You will discover that some writers will delay the articulation of the paper's focus, its thesis, until the very end of the paper. That is possible if it is clear to thoughtful readers throughout the paper what the business of the essay truly is; frankly, it's probably not a good idea for beginning writers.
Writing Tips « Writers Workshop: Writer Resources « The Center for Writing Studies, Illinois
Avoid announcing the thesis statement as if it were a thesis statement. In other words, avoid using phrases such as "The purpose of this paper is. If necessary, write the thesis statement that way the first time; it might help you determine, in fact, that this is your thesis statement. But when you rewrite your paper, eliminate the bald assertion that this is your thesis statement and write the statement itself without that annoying, unnecessary preface.
Here are the first two paragraphs of George Orwell's classic essay, "Politics and the English Language" Which of these sentences would you say is or are the thesis statement of the essay which is to follow?