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Overly Formal Definition Essay

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Definition essay

definition essay

Jeff Bagosy
Ms. Wilde
10/25/02

Dear, Jim Miller:
My name is Jeff Bagosy, I came in for a job interview last week, and I do not feel that I was given a fair chance. I was turned down for the job, because I did not have the proper education that was necessary. What you did not take into account was my experience in the field. It seems as if it did not matter how much experience I had, because I never went to college. I think that it is wrong to turn someone down for a job if you have not really seen what they are capable of doing. In my opinion, formal education is regarded too highly in most companies. I know what you are probably thinking, "This guy is just mad that he did not get the job so he is lashing out at us through this letter." That is not the reason I am writing to you today. The reason I am writing is not to make you reverse your decision but just to show you that the word education can mean much more than the definition you hold now. I hope that when I am done, you will regard other types of education in a higher manner.
If you think about it, what is education really? "The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process 1 (American Heritage Dictionary, p.784)." Nowhere in the definition does it say that it must be gained in college. What the definition is saying in simpler terms is that education is basically just acquired knowledge. Do not get me wrong, I am not trashing the education that can be gained by going to college, but I do think that grade point average or scores on tests can not accurately judge how well you will do in that field later in life. Deborah Meier, a former educator, bemoans the current thinking that the definition of being well-educated is your test score. "The skills and qualities most resistant to being measured by tests, she says - initiative, for instance, or responsibility, or critical thinking are the very skills schools should be emphasizing." (Paulson, p.14)2. I agree with the statement made by Deborah Meier, the world has started to measure a person's education by the results of test scores, and I feel that is wrong. I think that many big businesses have stereotypical views towards people like me. Just because I haven't been educated in a college does not mean I am not educated in other things for example, the computer. I have been working in front of a computer from the time I left high school. I know my way around computers and the many systems frequently used in the payroll department.
I have had extensive experience with working in the payroll department throughout my life. I started to work at Rohm and Haas in the summer of 1996. At the time I started, I did not really know much about the payroll department, but I was good with computers, which helped me tremendously. The way Rohm and Haas went about hiring for the job was not by only looking at their education but also looking at their experiences as well as their knowledge of the computer and its various systems. Maybe your company should think of incorporating a system like that into your hiring process. I worked at Rohm and Haas for over 4 years until I was let go in the fall of 2000. The reason I was let go was because they were trying to eliminate costs in the company so the had to let some employees go. During those four years, I became very familiar with systems such as Microsoft excel, Microsoft office, and with SAP. These systems are the same systems used by your company. I know that your company likes to hire young students' fresh out of college because you feel they are better fit for the job because of what they learned in school. That is fine but, there is no guarantee that what they learned will help them in this particular field. Someone can read all the books you want and take all the tests they want, but when it comes down to it, true education can only be gained through practice or experience.
There are many forms of education besides just going to college. Who is to say that education can only be gained in school? Other forms of education are completely overlooked when it comes to trying to get a good job. It seems as if you want to survive in life, you must conform to society's bias view of education. To look at education in this way is like having tunnel vision, focusing in on only one thing and totally disregarding everything around it. There are many different types of education, you can be educated in anything from the guitar to knowledge you have about a certain band. These are all forms of education, granted they are not taught in school but they both fulfill the definition of education. When you put a tag on education as your company does, you are only looking at one aspect of education, rather then the definition as a whole. Even if you are hiring based on education, should not you be hiring the most educated person in that field and not just the most educated in general?
Jim, I am not contesting that you were wrong in your decision. I just wanted you to realize that there are many different types of education, not just schooling. Looking at education this way will make you more open minded when comes down to hiring someone else. This experience has also opened my eyes to other people's ways of thinking. It has helped me to consider other things that I had not considered before this experience. I have learned that people in this world have different views of different definitions and their meanings. We can't change this but we can open their eyes to new ways of thinking about that particular definition. I hope through this letter I have opened your eyes to the many meanings of education. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my letter I am sorry we won't get to be colleagues, but maybe it's for the best.
Thank you,
Jeff Bagosy

1. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000; pg.784
2. Amanda Paulson Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor; Christian Science Monitor, Boston, Mass.; Sep 17, 2002; pg. 14

Other articles

Formal definition of “counterexample”

You can think of our knowledge of math as divided into (1) knowledge about mathematics itself—theorems of algebra, analysis, number theory, topology, etc.—and (2) knowledge about how to do mathematics—paradigmatic cases, heuristics for approaching a problem, counterexamples, etc.

Counterexamples are part of our knowledge of how to do mathematics. If you wanted a formal definition, I might say:

If you have a statement such as "Every $X$ has the property $P$", a counterexample for the statement is an $X$ that doesn't have the property $P$.

Furthermore, you might have a good reason to believe that every $X$ has the property $P$:

  • If almost every $X$ has property $P$. For example, "Every rational number has a multiplicative inverse" is true in every case except for 0.
  • If you were formerly studying a special case where everything had the property $P$, and are now studying a more general case. For example, "Squaring a number makes it bigger." is true if you were only looking at natural numbers — but if you extend your view to numbers in $0<x<1$, the statement is false.
  • If all of the "practical" examples you've seen have the property. For example, "all functions are continuous" is certainly not true. But if you are working with practical kinematics problems in physics, you may be used to functions that all have this property.

Counterexamples are one of the most important ways we organize our knowledge and sharpen our intuitions.

See also: Edwina Rissland wrote a dissertation on how we procedurally organize our knowledge of how to do mathematics:

To restate this using undergraduate logic, the classic counterexample is used to establish a logical statement in the form of "$p$ implies $p$" is false. The values for $p$ and $q$ that make "$p$ implies $q$" false are when $p$ is true and $q$ is false. So in terms of second or third year undergraduate logic, a more formal statement of this answer might be, "A counterexample is a statement for which $p$ is true and $q$ is false, which thereby shows that the statement '$p$ implies $q$' is false. – Todd Wilcox Jul 18 at 2:44

I don't know if you'd call this a formal definition, but a counterexample to $$\forall(x \in X, y \in Y)P(x,y)$$ is a basically a substitution $(x:= x_0, y:= y_0)$ together with a proof that $$(x:= x_0, y:= y_0) P(x,y) \rightarrow \bot.$$

By the way, we can think of a substitution like $(x:= x_0,y:= y_0)$ as being a bit like an ordered tuple, in this case $(x_0,y_0)$. The difference is that the "order" is replaced by a name for each individual element; so in this case, $x_0$ is in the "$x$" position (rather than the 1st position) and $y_0$ is in the "$y$" position (rather than the 2nd position.) I think computer scientists call such things records. which are viewed as elements of "named cartesian products" (aka "record types.")

answered Jul 18 at 7:23

FREE Definition Essay Essay

Topics in this paper Popular Topics

Personal struggle is a phrase that humans use when they are going through hard times; when it is too difficult for us to handle things. In the movie, The Power of One, P.K. has problems throughout his life that he has to deal with. Some of them he can handle while others he can't. He has help from the people he loves and the people that love him. As a human, I too have had certain problems that I have had to deal with. Just like P.K. I had to solve them on my own, and some of them I got help from others that care for me.

As P.K. was growing up he had many people influence him. Although the Nazi boy from his school tormented, teased, and beat him, he was still an influence on P.K. As the boy beat P.K. he made P.K. realize how to handle someone of that extreme. Also because the Yappy Burta treated P.K. the way he did, P.K. also got help from another person that he knew from the African tribe he grew up with. It was the witch doctor known as Dubulu Manzi. He taught P.K. to let go of all the fears that he had grown up with in his life. After the witch doctor had done this, P.K. was able to stick up to the Yappy Burta and show him that he wasn't afraid of him anymore. As his life went on, P.K. demonstrated less fear, which was one of his personal struggles.

Personal struggle such as what P.K. went through is the opposite of what I went through. For instance P.K. was bullied by someone, but for me I was bulling someone that was close to me. I had bullied one of my best friends half of my elementary school, throughout middle school, and the first two years of high school. It was extremely difficult for me to face the fact that I had a problem. It took me such a long time to figure it out that I almost lost that friend. When I finally realized that I had the problem, and I needed to do something about it, it was almost too late. I took care of the problem my sophomore year of high school. After I had apologized to h

Essays Related to Definition Essay

English Composition 1: Definitions

Definitions

F ormal definitions have a regular, consistent pattern that enables us to identify one and only one item from a larger set of related items. A formal definition consists of three parts:

  1. the term to be defined,
  2. the general class to which the term belongs, and
  3. the defining particulars (the distinguishing characteristics) that separate this term from all other members of its class.

F or example, a chair (the term) is a piece of furniture (general class to which chair belongs) for one person to sit on with back support (the defining particulars). It is not enough simply to say that a chair is a kind of furniture, since this definition fails to distinguish chairs from bookcases. It's too general without the necessary defining particulars. Similarly, it's not enough to say that a chair is a piece of furniture to sit on. This definition fails to distinguish chairs from sofas. Also, it's not enough to say that chairs are pieces of furniture for one person to sit on, since stools are too. We must mention all the relevant defining particulars, but no more, to define the chair as an object of furniture different from all other objects of furniture.

H owever, we don't want to add more defining particulars than we need either. Then we become too particular and rule out items that we would ordinarily think of as chairs. For example, we don't want to say that a chair is a piece of furniture for one person to sit on that has four legs, since some chairs have different configurations of legs or even use a pedestal and base structure to support the seat. What's more, some chairs (such as bean bags) have no legs at all, yet it is (in theory) a piece of furniture for one person to sit on with back support (though having sat in quite a few bean bags over the years I really doubt if they qualify as "furniture" or as having "seats" or as having "back support." But that's just me, I suppose.)

B y the way, this pattern of definition works just as well for abstract concepts like heroism as it does for concrete concepts like chair. Study that example and you will see what I mean about term (heroism ), class (conduct ), and defining particulars (fulfilling a high purpose or attaining a noble end ).

W hen writing a definition, therefore, remember the basics of a term, in a general class, with defining particulars, which separate this term from all other members of the class. However, that basic pattern alone may not be enough if one were asked to write a definition essay. To sustain the definition as a method of development for an entire essay (usually) requires more than a term, class, and defining particulars. In such cases, writers often employ one or more additional traits of a defintion to extend the readers' understanding of the term.

C ommon methods that writers use to extend a definition include:

  • illustration (describe it)
  • etymology (discuss its origins or source)
  • history (detail its development and changes over time)
  • analogy (compare it at length to something related or similar)
  • antonymy (explain what this topic is not )
  • analysis (explain its component parts)
  • classification (discuss how it belong to a larger set)
  • cause and effect (discuss the causes of this term and its effect on other items)

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23. The Real Definition of Scary

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24. The Evolving Definition of Justice in Plato’s Republic

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Stylistic Mistakes in Essay Writing

Stylistic Mistakes in Essay Writing

Writing well stylistically is crucial for creating a successful essay, yet, it is not always easy, as there is a number of difficulties students encounter in terms of style.

The most commonly observed stylistic problems are as follows:

The problem of word repetition usually results from the desire of a student to emphasize a certain idea. However, using the same lexical sets can make your essay look boring and childish. A good way out in this case is to use synonyms. Another effective technique is to use word substitutes like one. the former. the latter. etc. to avoid repetition of the same nouns.

  • Inappropriate words and phrases, which are either too formal or too informal.

    The problem of creating a stylistically inappropriate piece of writing is mainly accounted for the fact that students tend to forget that an academic essay requires a totally different layer of vocabulary, than the one we use in our everyday life. In order to make your essay sound good, avoid using slangish expressions and nonstandard verb forms, like gotta, wanna, etc. However, it is equally important not to use the constructions and vocabulary, characteristic of other more formal styles (e.g. the lexis of legal writing style or dated invertical constructions). So, keep the balance and consult a good dictionary if you are not sure.

    Many students see the passive voice as an indispensable prerequisite of the academic style. It is certainly true up to a point, as it makes your sentences sound more impersonal and objective. However, passive sentences are usually longer, harder to read and, thus, can hinder understanding of the text. On the contrary, active sentences are clearer and more direct. So, in order to create a powerful piece of writing, use both types, but make sure you use not more than 20% of passive constructions and only in the cases when the emphasis is on the action, receiver, or result, you do not know who performed the action or it is of minor importance and in case you want to sound objective.

  • Too long or too short sentences.

    The problem of using too long or too short sentences has a lot to do with the way you convey your ideas to the reader. If a sentence is too bulky, it can easily absorb your idea and make it difficult to perceive. On the contrary, if the sentences are too short, they destroy the logical development of the idea and make your writing sound choppy and incomplete. So, try to find a happy medium and use a variety of long and short sentences.

  • Sentences beginning with coordinating conjunctions.

    Another common problem for many students is inappropriate use of coordinate conjunctions (e.g. and, but, as, or, yet, for. etc.). They are mainly used to coordinate, join ideas within the same sentence. Sometimes they can also be used to begin a sentence. However, when the text has too many coordinating conjunctions in the beginning of the sentence, there is lack of smooth connections and links between the sentences. So, try to use them only when it is justified by the emphatic usage.

    These rules may seem difficult at first. But if you try to apply them to your personal style, you will soon find out that your writing has improved dramatically and your essays have become a sheer pleasure to read.

    We also recommend to consult our Stylistic tips section to improve your writing skills.

  • Definition essay on Kindness

    Definition essay on Kindness

    This essay discusses the concept of kindness in detail and how this phenomenon can be seen in philosophy, religion and literature. Kindness is often regarded as the highest virtue and with good reason.

    Kindness can be the compassion one feels for the troubled, the love one has for mankind in general, the concern one shows for those in need and the sympathy one harbors for those in hard times. It is safe to say that Kindness is also a form of worship and an important part of major world religions as well. It is not just an attribute but is a state of constant behavior in some people who wish to spread joy among others – a kind of happiness that knows no boundaries and is as limitless as it is universal. It can be in the form of small acts of everyday life. It is the kindness that makes anyone feel human and sets mankind apart from the rest of the species.

    As Mark Twain likes to put it, kindness is the language spoken by the dumb, heard by the deaf and seen by the blind. It can be a smile in passing, a mild disposition, charitable behavior, tenderness, pleasantness or concern and compassion for others. Its importance and paramount position are prominent in many cultures and religions of the world.

    Kindness in Philosophy

    Rhetoric, Book II by Aristotle declares kindness to be an emotion that drives mankind to extend help to those in need without expecting anything in return. Such an act is born out of nature and is never intended for the benefit of self and is only focused for the good of others. Friedrich Nietzsche also made a point that love and kindness are two of the most curative herbs, which also play an uncanny role in inducing human intercourse. Then again, it goes without saying that kindness is indeed one of the Knightly Virtues.

    Kindness in Religion

    According to Bible, Kindness is considered as one of the seven virtues or more specifically, it is the opposite of Envy – one of the Seven Deadly Sins and is, therefore, a Contrary Virtue. Talmud, a sacred Jew scripture also lays immense significance on kindness by claiming that kind deeds are equal to all the commandments in weight. In Buddhism, Metta (loving kindness) is one of the Paramitas (Ten Perfections). Similarly, the 14th Dalai Lama declared his religion to be kindness when he penned the book, “Kindness, Clarity and Insight”.

    Kindness In Psychology

    A study was conducted which included more than 37 cultures of the world and around 16000 subjects were asked to mention the most desirable trait that they wish to see in a mate. Regardless of the gender, the first trait was kindness, and the second preference was given to intelligence.

    History of Kindness

    All the ancient civilizations such as the ancient Chinese, the Aryans and famous Greeks emphasized the importance of kindness. Many sacred religious scriptures also consist of kindness as their central theme.

    Formal Essays (Definition and Example)

    formal essay

    By Richard Nordquist. Grammar & Composition Expert

    Richard Nordquist, Ph.D. in English, is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Armstrong Atlantic State University and the author of two grammar and composition textbooks for college freshmen, Writing Exercises (Macmillan) and Passages: A Writer's Guide (St. Martin's Press). Richard has served as the About.com Guide to Grammar & Composition since 2006.

    In contrast to the familiar or personal essay. the formal essay (also known as the impersonal essay ) is typically used for the discussion of ideas. Its purpose is generally to inform or persuade.

    Examples of Formal Essays:

    Continue Reading Below

    Examples and Observations:
    • "'Formal' essays were introduced in England by [Francis] Bacon. who adopted Montaigne's term. Here the style is objective, compressed, aphoristic. wholly serious. In modern times, the formal essay has become more diversified in subject matter, style, and length until it is better known by such names as article. dissertation, or thesis, and factual presentation rather than style or literary effect has become the basic aim."
      (L. H. Hornstein, G. D. Percy, and C. S. Brown, The Reader's Companion to World Literature. 2nd ed. Signet, 2002)
    • "The Victorian era saw a turn toward the formal essay. the so-called essay of ideas written by [Thomas] Carlyle. Ruskin. [Matthew] Arnold, Macaulay. Pater. Between Lamb and Beerbohm there was scarcely an English personal essay, with the exception of those by Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas De Quincey ."
      (Phillip Lopate, Introduction to The Art of the Personal Essay. Anchor, 1994)
    • "The technique of the formal essay is now practically identical with that of all factual or theoretical prose in which literary effect is secondary."
      (William Harmon, A Handbook to Literature. Pearson, 2006)

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    • "[E]ven when 'I' plays no part in the language of an essay, a firm sense of personality can warm the voice of the impersonal essay narrator. When we read Dr. [Samuel] Johnson and Edmund Wilson and Lionel Trilling. for instance, we feel that we know them as fully developed characters in their own essays, regardless of their not referring personally to themselves."
      (Phillip Lopate, "Writing Personal Essays: On the Necessity of Turning Oneself Into a Character." Writing Creative Nonfiction. ed. by Carolyn Forché and Philip Gerard. Writer's Digest Books, 2001)
    • Crafting the Impersonal "I"
      "Unlike the exploratory 'self' of Montaigne, Francis Bacon's impersonal 'I' appears already to have arrived. Even in the comparatively expansive third edition of the Essays. Bacon provides few explicit hints as to either the character of the textual voice or the role of the expected reader. [T]he absence of a felt 'self' on the page is a deliberate rhetorical effect: the effort to efface voice in the 'impersonal' essay is a way of evoking a distant but authoritative persona. In the formal essay. invisibility must be forged."
      (Richard Nordquist, "Voices of the Modern Essay." Univ. of Georgia, 1991)

    Also Known As: impersonal essay

    What Is a Familiar Essay?