Writing a Definition Essay
Embedded Assessment 1 8th Grade SB Unit 1
Assignment You will write a multi-paragraph essay that defines your concept of heroism. use a variety of strategies of definition (function, example, and negation) to explain your unique opinion on the concept.
Prewriting/Planning Revisit your responses to the Essential Question: What defines a hero? Ask yourself, “To what extent or to what degree can a person or an action be heroic?” Categorize your ideas on a tree map by the strategies of definition, and brainstorm details that will support your ideas. Details may come from texts, film, historical or current events, and your own ideas.
Prewriting/Planning Heroism How does it function?
What are some examples? What is it not?
Drafting the Introduction
Introduce your ideas by providing a hook, context, and a thesis (your ideas should move from general to specific). Ideas: Use a quotation related to the concept Contextualize your thesis by discussing commonly held beliefs about heroism that do not match your definition. This allows you to point out the weaknesses in those definitions in comparison to yours.
Drafting the Body Paragraphs
Use a variety of definition strategies to define heroism as you draft your body paragraphs. Consider organizing each paragraph around a different strategy. Function strategy paragraphs should demonstrate how heroism operates in the real world. Example strategy paragraphs should use examples from texts to help the reader understand your definition. Negation strategy paragraphs should contrast your definition with someone else’s.
Drafting the Conclusion
Your conclusion should leave the reader with a final impression about your definition. Definition essays often end by answering the question: “So what?” It encourages the reader to accept your definition.
Revising Go back and reread your thesis.
Does your definition reflect your unique opinion? Is your thesis directly stated in the introduction of your essay? Make sure you have effectively used various stratgies of definition. Can your reader relate to your examples? Do you use enough examples to help the reader understand your unique point of view?
Revising Consider the sequence of your body paragraphs.
Will rearranging them make a greater impact? Look at the rubric. Make sure you have met the specific criteria for grading.
Editing for Publication
Put three lines under any letter that needs to be capitalized, and slash through any letter that is capitalized and should not be. Correct all capitalization errors. Add missing punctuation. Check to make sure that your compound and complex sentences are punctuated correctly (I,ccI or I;I or D,I or ID). Combine your simple sentences to make compound or complex sentences. Put boxes around every it, this, that, those. Attempt to replace with nouns. Circle any word you are not 100% confident is spelled correctly. Look up misspelled words in the dictionary. Cross out got, get, getting, have gotten, have, had, has. Attempt to replace with stronger verbs. Circle any linking verb and –ing word combinations (i.e. is running, was yelling, has been eating, etc.) Attempt to replace with action verbs. Type or rewrite your paper neatly and turn in with your rubric and all your planning and drafts. Editing for Publication Carefully edit your essay for punctuation and language conventions using the provided guidelines.
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