Learning Goal: I’m working on a english writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Your assignment is to write an extended definition of the word “success.” The link to an article by Laurence Shames is at the top of this page. In that article, he offers his varying ideas of measuring success; he begins by mentioning three men: John Milton, Beethoven, and Socrates.
Milton wrote Paradise Lost, considered to be one of the greatest works of epic literature ever written. Beethoven is arguably the most talented composer in the history of classical music. Socrates is the founder of the Western ethical tradition of philosophy. These are famous men whom we still revere. By what definition can Shames call them “failures?” Is it possible he is being sarcastic? What is Shames really saying about the concept of success as a definable term?
Success is a word we use frequently, especially in the context of college life. Certainly part of the reason you are here is to learn something, to gain a skill or proficiency that will enable you to lead a successful life. How can we define success? Has the definition changed over time? Do you see a difference between your idea of success and your parents’ definition? Is it all about money, or is there more to it? What does it involve to live successfully? How will you know when you’re successful, that you have made it? This does not address only your personal experience, but also your observations of the ways in which American culture in the 21st century defines success. Do you see evidence contrary to the author’s opinion – that most people are not really consumed by the desire for the kind of success that money can buy, but instead view success as having a larger meaning, one that is connected to finding something meaningful in their work?
You will be graded on grammar and spelling as well as content, so use a dictionary or grammar check if you are unsure about your word choices. Do not write in the second person. You must write a minimum of three full pages.
Do not begin with the dictionary definition, but write some kind of introduction that sets the stage for your extended definition. Consider the etymology or the evolution of the word, look at the synonyms for clues to other shades of meaning, and think about the larger meanings of the word in various contexts.
And remember – you must offer some kind of conclusion. This paper is not just a list of meanings of a word, but an examination of the fact that words have meanings far beyond the essential definition we can find in the dictionary.
This is about the extended meanings of words – what we find, first of all in the dictionary, how Shames dissects the definition, what it appears to mean in general usage, as well as to you in the context of your own life and experience. This is what “extended” means; going beyond the basic and looking for detailed evidence.
This rough draft must be in MLA format.
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