Our class syllabus describes the 750-1000-word expanded definition project as:
Individually, you will write a 750-1000 word expanded definition of a technical or scientific term, with cover memo, which demonstrates:
1. correct memorandum format.
2. knowledge of the etymology and historical development of the term.
3. examples of the term’s use in various written contexts.
4. ability to compare and contrast various uses of the term.
5. use and citation of sources with proper attribution.
6. awareness of audience.
At least three library-sourced citations are required and should be cited following APA format.
In this project, you will want to select a term, example of jargon, or phrase with special or significant meaning to your major or future career. With this term, you will research and discuss what the term means, how the term’s meaning evolved over time, how its meaning invites debate, and how the term is used in real contexts.
Before delving too deep into the project, it is imperative that you select a meaningful and useful term for your project. The term should be relevant to your interests and studies. I would recommend that you choose a term that is more specific and less broad, but there could be exceptions to this recommendation.
To begin the process of writing this project, I would like you to write a brief memo addressed to Prof. Ellis with the subject: “Expanded Definition Phase One.” Begin with a sentence describing how this memo provides a record of your brainstorming. Then, write a list of at least 20 terms, words, acronyms, or phrases relevant to your studies and/or career. It is from this list that you’ll choose the one that you write your expanded definition project on. For now, you don’t have to choose which one. After you’ve completed your list, copy-and-paste it into a comment to this post, and leave your memo open in the word processor that you used to write it (for the next step).
We will discuss your memos before moving on.
Next, let’s learn about your terms. With your memo still open in your word processor of choice, choose three of the terms that you feel the most strongly about. Move them to the top of your memo’s list of terms. Using the Oxford English Dictionary (on-campus link or off-campus link), find definitions of these terms, copy the definition and etymology into your memo, indent the definition as a block quote, and follow it with an APA bibliographic citation, for example:
RAM, n.6. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/269056.
integrated, adj., b. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/97354.
Click the “Cite” link on each OED definition to quickly get the information that you need, but you will need to reformat it in APA style as I have demonstrated above.
Be sure to remove/correct the proxy information in the URL.
Save your memo and use this as the basis for your research.
Before our next class, consider these three terms and choose one that you want to write your project about. With the term selected, you should familiarize yourself with the Wikipedia entry (or associated entry) for that term. While you won’t be citing Wikipedia for this project, you can learn from what is shared there, and you can use the citations included on the entry for your own research.
Also, use the online reference books available through the library to learn more about the term that you selected. This is high-quality content written by experts.
Be prepared to work on this project with a selected term for our next class. The more that you learn about the term now, the easier your research and writing will be. Keep track of any research that you do by adding links to your memo and saving PDFs to your personal storage.