Essay #1: Definition
Directions: The first essay you will undertake in ENG 111 will be a definition essay. You will compose a 5 paragraph essay and must follow all the rules of MLA format. The essay should be 2 pages in length, and include 1 credible outside source of information. Please adhere to all the rules of MLA format when writing your paper; you may check both RMU Rhetoric and ‘course documents’ for MLA format examples.
In a 5-paragraph essay, include an introduction that provides background on your subject and most importantly, a thesis statement. For the body paragraphs, you will provide three aspects to your definition, and develop these aspects in depth, using examples to support and clarify your definition. Remember that you are educating the audience about your definition and you must provide all the necessary details and information so that they can fully understand. The conclusion will restate your thesis, emphasize your main points, tie up any loose ends that remain in your paper, and synthesize your topic.
Here’s a sample of a general outline for a definition essay:
II. Defining characteristic #1 (listens)
III. Defining characteristic #2 (respects)
IV. Defining characteristic #3 (leads by example)
Here’s a sample thesis statement for a definition essay:
A great leader can be defined as someone who listens to all viewpoints, respects others, and leads by example.
Other definition essay topics: Global Warming, love, faith, verbs, philosophy, effective or ineffective communication, ethics, morals, employee motivation, humanity, literature, poetry, music, motherhood, fatherhood, technology, etc.
Refer to the checklist below in order to help you compose your first essay. It outlines many useful phases that should be included in your paper process. As you construct your essay, please check off and date each stage of your writing process.
q I have the proper heading on my essay.
q I have used twelve-point font with one-inch margins and double spacing.
q I have my thesis statement in the introduction paragraph. It is the last sentence of the introduction.
q My body paragraphs have strong topic sentences which correspond to the three points I identified in my thesis statement.
q Each topic sentence is well supported with detailed examples.
q I have a conclusion which restates my thesis statement and summarizes the content of my essay.
q Each paragraph is indented.
q I have had someone read and edit my essay.
q I have checked for grammatical and spelling errors.
q I have at least 2-3 pages in length.
q I have included at least one outside source of information, and cited accordingly within the paper, as well as a properly formatted Works Cited page at the end of my essay.
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