Here are the essays from the text you are choosing from: “This is the Life,” Dillard, p. 382, “Against Love,” Kipnis, p. 660, “Get Happy,” Mosley, 682.
Analyze TWO of the THREE essays according to the characteristics of definition essays listed below.
****How does THE AUTHOR analyze the word or phrase? How does the author use comparison or details? Notice I’m not asking about the CONTENT of the piece… I already know what the essay is talking about. I want you to analyze HOW THE ESSAY IS CONSTRUCTED by the author, so that you can use the same techniques in your own definition essays.
Analysis: The subject may be separated into different parts and those parts could be described separately. For example, if the topic is love then the many types of love could be explained individually. The writer may start with platonic love, then romantic love, unrequited love, and first love.
Comparison: By comparing the subject to something else, it might make it more lucid to the reader. If the topic is Communism, then comparing it to capitalism or socialism, may make the concept of communism much clearer.
Details: providing the reader with the physical and internal attributes, conceptual background and traditional thoughts of the subject is another way of making it more apparent to the reader.
Negation: Pointing out what the subject is not, may make what it is clearer to the reader. An essay on Hinduism I read started by stating that Hinduism was NOT Christianity, and then began pointing out the dissimilarities between the two religions. This was a very effective beginning.
Examples and Anecdotes: when explaining a very abstract concept, the best way to make your meaning clear is by giving examples. When defining “truth” for instance, a well placed story highlighting the truthfulness of a person may make a greater impact than a theoretical rambling on what truth could or could not mean.