Defining Terms In A Paper

If you use a word-for-word definition from a dictionary or textbook, you will have to include a full quotation, which will be more awkward than a paraphrase.The sentence, "The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines 'anomie' as 'personal unrest, alienation and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals'" is awkward; the sentence "Anomie is a feeling of unrest coming from the sense that one's life has no purpose" flows better.If you do not know how to do this in the easiest way, you can search for good examples on the Web, visit an academic writing center, go to your university library, or ask your classmates for some help.

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In that context, you might consider the phrase technical and italicize the first case in your paper.A term might be new or technical for one audience and not for another.As an illustration, let’s look at two different uses of the phrase .Define the term in the body of the essay, not the introduction.The purpose of your introduction is to catch the reader's attention and establish your thesis, not to define terminology. If you are worried that you cannot use the term without defining it, use synonyms in your introduction as much as possible. If you feel you must give a lengthy definition to elaborate on the term's various shades of meaning, break it into a few longer sentences.For example, I might italicize a term that will be used throughout the remainder of a paper about conditioning: Example sentence: “ is a concept not to be overlooked.” That statement would very likely be followed by a definition and examples of the concept, but subsequent uses of the term would not be italicized.APA does not maintain a list of technical or key terms—this is intentional. 105) does recommend using italics for the “introduction of a new, technical, or key term or label," adding "(after a term has been used once, do not italicize it).” I give examples of each below.New or Technical Terms To determine whether you have a new or technical term, consider your audience.Furthermore, the opening sentence "According to Webster's dictionary, the definition of [blank] is . The lengthy dictionary definition form doesn't work as well within the essay format.If you define a word within the essay, it shouldn't be a disruptive part of the essay in length or wording.


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