for A-plus Writer only

For this writing assignment you are composing a 800-1000 word essay with an introductory paragraph, two-three well-developed body paragraphs, a conclusion, and a Works Cited page.


Here’s what to do:


Choose a slang term that has a formal meaning (as in “dictionary” meaning) such as “cool,” “sweet,” “awesome,” etc.


Please define this word according to the way you and a certain group of people use it (for example, your circle of friends). Think less about conforming to the linguistic meaning of the word and more about the word’s spirit. Give synonyms and examples that illustrate the word’s usage in particular contexts.


Then, look up the word in the OED (Oxford English Dictionary—only this dictionary will do. You will find it on the library’s website).  


Provide at least three examples of how the meaning of the word changes in different contexts and has changed in the last, say 100 years. Quote and cite from the OED, according to the MLA style of in-text citation.


Finally, compare and contrast your definition to the OED’s definition and say something about the two modes of assigning meaning that you have demonstrated. Do not choose the better method, but try to address these questions: What are some limitations of this process? How do definitions change? What accounts for shifts in meaning?


Attach a Works Cited page for your entry from the Oxford English Dictionary.



Imagine if your local newspaper has published a letter that links a hateful attribute to a group and clearly displays their hate for an entire group.

Pretend that the letter generates many letters of response.

Some of the responses supporting the editor’s decision make the following points:

a) The writer has a right to express her views.

b) Editors should not act as censors.

c) The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech.

d) Freedom of speech is healthy.

On the other hand, consider that the letters opposing the editor’s decision make the following points:

a) Not every view of every nutty resident should be printed; editors must make responsible choices.

b) The First Amendment, which prohibits the government from controlling the press, has nothing to do with a local newspaper.

c) Letters of these sort do not promote healthy discussion but merely create problems.

For this discussion board, you are to take a side on the debate. Do you support the editor’s decision? If so, why? Do you not support the editor’s decision? If so, why not? Feel free to use the points outlined above–but also provide your own way of thinking (and why–think about cause and effect as well as definition) in your response. Use the Subject Line of your original thread to identify your position (For or Against Publication).