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Using the definition essays you read as examples, write a 500-word definition essay about a topic of your choice. You

may consider one of the following:

 What is a hero?

 What is a good parent?

 What is an ethical choice?

Your essay will be graded on its ability to adhere to the definition essay form. Does your essay attempt to define a

problematic concept? Does it add to the discussion of how people might understand the topic? What is at stake in your

discussion? In other words, is there a group of people who might be vindicated by your definition? Remember that while

you are writing a definition essay, you want to avoid using the dictionary itself. This is meant to be a definition that you

create, not one that you copy from a source. In addition, the dictionary is never considered a strong academic source

because information that comes from the dictionary and encyclopedias is considered “common knowledge.” Therefore,

inserting a dictionary definition into your paper makes it seem as though you are not a strong researcher.

You will be graded using the following categories: content, organization, grammar and style conventions, resources,

references, and APA formatting. Your essay will also be graded on its development. See the flow chart on page 77 in

Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers for guidance. Be sure that you revise, proofread, and format your

essay according to APA standards. See The CSU Citation Guide. If you use outside sources, you need to use quotation

marks for lifted language, as well as in-text and reference list citations. The APA organization/formatting should adhere to

specifications for research papers, including the following:

 A title page that includes the title of the paper, the name of the student, and the name of the institution (Columbia

Southern University);

 A proper running head according to APA 6th edition guidelines found in The CSU Citation Guide on pp. 13-14;

 One (1) academically valid source (see p. 18 of The CSU Citation Guide for assistance with finding sources

through the CSU Online Library)

 A reference page with a centered header of “References” properly reflecting all sources used within the text (see

The CSU Citation Guide, p. 16 for overall formatting guidelines and pp. 7-12 for formatting guidelines for specific

source types).

The most reliable sources for appropriate information on the Internet will come from .gov, .edu, and .org sites or sites

specifically devoted to scholarly writing, such as websites of scientific journals. Unacceptable sources are blogs,

unreferenced articles, or general information from .com sites. General encyclopedias are prohibited sources and include,

but are not limited to, Wikipedia, Encarta, Britannica, and World Book. Please utilize the CSU Online Library for credible

and reliable electronic sources. If your essay is less than 500 words, you will not receive full credit, and depending on the

word count, your grade may be severely impacted.

 

 

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