Friday, October 07, 2005

Concept Analysis Essay: #4

The Assignment:

Consider how language is important to perception and culture. Consider the notion that: the way we name things is affected by what we know or what we believe.

Explain a concept or idea you know well to someone who doesn’t (although assume your audience is intelligent).

Length: 1 ½ -3 pages.

Due Dates:

Rough Draft: Tuesday, Oct. 11th

Final Draft: Thursday, Oct. 13th

Your essay must go beyond simple definition. It should not be a process or procedure, but a concept. Analyzing a concept requires more than acceptance at face value. Rather, you must break it apart and explore its hidden complexities. This means you must question and examine your chosen concept at a new level.

Formatting guidelines:

  • Double Spaced, 1” margins
  • On the first page include: your name, instructor’s name, course and assignment, and date in upper left corner (no title sheets please).
  • On each remaining page include page numbers
  • Times New Roman (or similar font) in 12-point size
  • MLA style

I’ve included a list of examples and questions to help get you get started. However, do not limit yourself to these ideas! They are only a starting point. Have fun and good luck!

Examples of Concepts:

  • responsibility
  • college
  • religion
  • co-worker
  • employment
  • romance
  • punk
  • teacher
  • faith
  • pain
  • intelligence
  • courage
  • freedom
  • junk
  • necessity
  • marriage
  • funk
  • soul
  • service
  • education
  • hope
  • defeat
  • cruelty
  • writing
  • wisdom
  • spunk
  • night

Some questions to help you get inside your concept:

What does it mean?

  • How does it influence of change people’s lives?
  • How does it influence people’s thoughts?
  • What is its primary purpose or function?
  • What emotions or thoughts are associated with it?
  • What behaviors are associated with it?
  • What consequences or effects does it have?
  • What is necessary to attain it or have it?

How does it matter to others?

  • Is the concept generally agreed upon?
  • Does the concept raise controversy? Explain why.
  • Why is it important that people have an appropriate understanding of this concept?
  • Are there complexities to the concept that people might overlook?
  • Does the concept need to be rethought? Why?
  • In what ways does it contribute to everyday life?
  • Is this a popular or high profile concept in society?
  • What is the possible connection between the topic and public concerns?


  • What uncommon details reveal my point about the concept?
  • Can I avoid telling the reader that something is “interesting,” “exciting,” ect., and instead create images or use examples that show it?
  • Can I use metaphors to make the reader see the intensity or scope or depth of the concept?
  • Can I show the reader a new way to see an everyday phenomenon?