41 Module 5 – Readings

During this module, you’ll learn about Definition Arguments and apply what you’ve learned to thinking critically about readings. Once again, the readings are organized in three strands.

Step 1 – Read Definition Argument Overview

To learn more about definitions, read this Definition Argument Overview.

As you read the essays in this module, think about the ways in which they use Definition Arguments and Categorical Evaluation.

Step 2 – Choose Your Strand, Then Read

The readings for this course fit three strands, and each strand presents readings with a specific theme.

You choose which strand to read. You are welcome to choose the same strand you selected in Unit 1, or you can choose a different strand.

Strand A: “The Power of One”

Strand B: “Live Deliberately”

Strand C: “Identity Shifts”

Step 3 – Discussions

After you complete the readings, participate in the following two discussions:

Discussion 5A – Definition

Each of the readings in this unit define a term or concept central to understanding their arguments.

For the reading in the strand you selected, respond to the follow:

  1. What term is the writer/speaker defining? How does the writer draw attention to that term? How does he or she make it clear that readers must understand the term to understand the argument?
  2. What are some of the criteria that define the term? Include at least three quotations from the text that highlight key aspects of understanding the term and briefly explain why you chose those quotes.
  3. What consequences or benefits arise from understanding the term?

Be sure to include at least two quotations from the text your are analyzing. See “Notes on Quotations” for more information about incorporating quotations.

Notes on Quotations

Reply to at least one other student’s post.

Discussion 5B – Argument

Each of these writers uses definition to present a specific argument.

For the specific reading that you selected, address the following question:

  1. What does the writer want to argue by defining the term? What is the writer’s main point?
  2. What examples does the writer use to illustrate his or her argument? Provide three quotations and a brief explanation of each.

See “Notes on Quotations” for more information about incorporating quotations.

Notes on Quotations


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