Glossary Project

Download a copy of the Glossary Project assignment

Due weekly, 15 times this semester

Throughout the semester, we will place a great deal of importance on defining words, both terminology that will help us describe, analyze, and discuss our reading and writing, and vocabulary that will help us better understand the material we encounter. To complete this assignment, you will choose a word that you encounter in our assigned readings, on the course site, in our class or office-hour discussions, or in research materials for this course, and write a blog post in which you do the following:


  • include only the word in the subject line of the post
  • in the post, provide the word and its part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc)
  • define it, making sure you’re using the most appropriate definition, which might not be the first one listed in the dictionary
  • cite the source of your definition–I recommend Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, although you might need to consult a different kind of dictionary depending on the word (e.g. a field-specific dictionary, an urban dictionary, a foreign language dictionary, etc)
  • identify where you encountered the word (specify the page of a particular reading, date of the class discussion, title of the handout, etc) and quote the passage (or paraphrase if you can’t quote someone’s speech), including more than just the sentence it came from–it should be long enough to provide context for the word.
  • explain for the readers of our site the written or spoken passage now that you understand the word. It is not acceptable to merely write “Now I understand the passage because I understand what this word means.” If you do, you will not get credit for that entry.
  • (optional but encouraged) include links and images that help your classmates understand the word or the context
  • choose the category Glossary in the right sidebar (if your posts are not in the Glossary category, I won’t see them to give you credit for them)
  • add tags to your post that reflect the topic you wrote about. You might include a tag based on the source of the word, some feature of the word, etc, that will help us organize and reflect on the glossary as it grows.


These posts will contribute to a shared glossary for our course, available from the blog menu. Since I expect you to look up any words you don’t know, and to read all blog posts, any glossary entries can appear on quizzes or exams. You are expected to post a minimum of one glossary entry per week. Omitting any part of the required information will negatively affect the grade you receive as part of your blogging grade. If you have any questions, please contact me, or to ask in class or on our site. A mid-semester and final glossary wrap-up assignment will be announced at the middle and end of the semester.