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ENGWR 101 (Magneson)

ENGWR 101 (Magneson)



Welcome to the LibGuide for Professor Magneson's ENGWR 101 class.  This guide will help you with library research for your extended definition research paper.  It will present information on searching books, databases and web sites that will help you define your topic and support your essay.

Use the red tabs to the left to navigate the resources.

pick a topic that is of interest to you

You should not pick a topic about which you know nothing or in which you have no interest. The more you can identify with your topic, or be genuinely curious about it, the more effective your research will be,

what am i doing with this paper?

You will be writing an extended definition essay, meaning you will provide and support your definition of a particular term, phrase, modern slang, or concept that engages or captivates you.

What you choose should fit into at least one of the following categories:

     • abstract ideas or concepts—ideas that are not tangible; they are not concrete objects that can be seen, heard, touched. Emotions such as love, jealousy, pride, and happiness, and ideas such as justice, success, truth, evil, and friendship are all abstract.

     • controversial terms or concepts (can include slang)—includes terms or concepts whose definitions are subject to controversy or debate, for example: free speech, sexual harassment, art, child abuse, pornography, friends-with-benefits, feminist, terrorism, liberal, conservative, adult, helicoptering, slut, chick, boy, the rapture, heaven, hell.

     • ambiguous terms or concepts (can include slang)—includes terms or concepts whose meanings are not fixed, that is, they may be open to many different interpretations depending upon the perspective of the person defining them. A term or concept might also be ambiguous because it has changed in meaning over time or currently has multiple accepted meanings. Examples of ambiguous terms or concepts are: beauty, intelligence, truth, marriage, middle-class, whiteness, queer, sick, bomb (as in the bomb or a bomb) sin, virtue, “good girl,” “nice boy,” hot, cool. Note that many of the above categories overlap or piggyback onto one another. 

requirements for this essay

(A) At some point in your essay you must reference the etymological origin of your phrase/word/slang as it appears in the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Refer to Anthony Swofford's essay "On Being Poor" for an example as to how to do this. You need not include all the discussion that appears in the OED, but certainly include some references. 

As well, include at least two of the following techniques/strategies in your essay. You are, of course, welcome to tap into more than two of the following. The more research you do and the more you integrate the intriguing outcomes of that research into your writing, the better:

(B) references to your phrase/word/slang in literature--contemporary or classic.
(C) quotes from scholars/scientists/writers on some aspect of your phrase/word/slang.
D) compare and contrast your phrase/word/slang to other like phrases/words/slangs that are used in the American cultural lexicon.
(E)) historical/cultural instances where your phrase/word/slang appears--can be in pop songs, movies, TV shows, award shows, advertising, blogs, vlogs, etc.
One of these sources must be a full-text article from a peer-reviewed academic journal.

How the library can help

 As part of this essay assignment, you are required to do research. You must cite at least three sources in the essay and in a works cited page. You are also required to provide copies (photocopies/printouts) of the material you are sourcing, highlighting the passages that have informed your writing. An essay without a works cited page will automatically receive a “D” or lower, no matter how well written it may be.