This assignment will provide an introduction to writing sentence definitions.

Definition

Purpose

This assignment will provide an introduction to writing sentence definitions.

Mastering sentence definitions is a first step toward completing the next assignment, an extended definition.Whether you are communicating with other technical professionals, with managers, or with the public, you must be able to define key concepts, describe processes, and explain how to carry out tasks. 

The basic formula is (thing)  + (category) +  (unique details)

Examples: 

Carbohydrates are a food group  including sugars, starches and cellulose.

Computer memory is one of three basic componentsof a computer which stores information for future use—both the data that will be operated on as well as the programs that direct the operations to be performed.

Influenza is an acute highly contagious infectionof the respiratory tract which occurs sporadically or in epidemics and lasts up to a month.

Write a sentence definition for each of the following terms:

1.  a catalyst

2.  job

3.  website

4.   a parabola

5.   a thermometer

6.  spark plugs

7.  parallel parking

8. smartphone

9. a PDF

10.pectin

(If your  definition is not based on personal experience, cite the name of your source parenthetically)

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Extended Definition

About 1 page long/may include graphics (double-spaced)

Purpose

This assignment will build on the previous sentence definition assignment.

This time you will develop any one of your sentence definitions into an extended definition.

An Extended Definition is a detailed explanation—usually one or more paragraphs—of an object, process, or idea.  An extended definition usually begins with a sentence definition, which is then elaborated.  For instance the sentence definition “An electrophorus is a laboratory instrument used to generate static electricity” tells you the basic function of the device, but it doesn’t explain how it works, what it is used for, and its strengths and limitations.  An extended definition would address these and other topics. (from Practical Strategies for Technical Communication).

Step 1:

Start with your  sentence definition for any one of the following terms:

1.  a catalyst

2.  job interview

3.  website

4.   a parabola

5.   a thermometer

6.  spark plugs

7.  parallel parking

8. smartphone

9. a PDF

10.pectin

Step 2: 

Explain how it works, what it is used for, and its strengths and limitations.

Use any of the following strategies: Graphics, Examples, Partition, Principles of Operation, Comparison and Contrast, Analogy, Negation, Etymology.

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