Back to All Events

Rough Draft of Definition Essay

Your assignment is to complete a rough draft of the definition essay, the prompt for which (from Springboard page 60) is as follows:

  • Your assignment is to write a multi-paragraph essay that defines your interpretation of what it means to be an American. This essay should use the strategies of definition and different perspectives from the unit to help you develop a complex and thoughtful definition. If possible, incorporate an iconic image into your essay.

  • Recommendations:

    • Include context in intro paragraph. Talk about what is happening in the nation and how it relates to the modern definition, or talk about how Americans have historically been viewed and how this is related to our current definition.

    • Include a complex definition. Point to different, even possibly contradictory aspects of definition.

    • Make each body paragraph focused on an element of your complex definition. Use 2 sources of evidence per paragraph - explain the evidence & its connection to your thesis.

    • Conclude by exploring how these different ideas exist together & what the future holds.

Goals are to demonstrate understanding of the definition strategies and ability to thoughtfully consider a complicated concept from multiple perspectives.

Exemplary Work meets the exemplary criteria on the rubric (page 61) and, in particularly, effectively uses evidence.

There is a How I Would Do It post for defining abstract concepts on

It should not be used as a direct model, but may be useful for this assignment.

Earlier Event: September 17
Define an Abstract Concept
Later Event: September 27
Definition Essay Peer Feedback