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Writing for College and Beyond

Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom


CJ Kent

Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom explains how the many skills taught in the Freshman Composition course apply at work and in life. The composition class is a pre-requisite and General Education course for most colleges and universities in the United States. It reaches students in every area of study. As people wonder about the value of a liberal arts education and question whether colleges and universities are truly preparing students for the workforce, Writing for College and Beyond challenges those arguments by pointing out exactly how classroom policies and writing assignments apply beyond school walls. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students teaching Freshman Composition courses will find this book helpful. Administrators who service the Freshman Composition population, such as Writing Center Directors, will also find Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom a wonderful aid.

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Chapter Nine: Define and Classify to Know What’s What


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Define and Classify to Know What’s What

Definition helps you clarify terms so that everyone understands not only what is being said, but how and why the topic is being approached the way it is. Classification does something similar by identifying the characteristics that unite a group of objects, ideas, or people. No one defines or classifies simply for something to do. A definition must serve a larger purpose or it is boring and pointless. Presenting that purpose and keeping it in mind helps keep a definition or classification interesting. Think of all the times you say “that’s not what I mean” and then go on to specify what you did mean; you are defining a concept when you do that. A good job candidate recognizes that the job posting is a definition for what the company expects in the job applicant and begins to develop an application with that in mind.

A job description is a kind of definition. When you read a job posting, you learn about the job expectations and how you might fulfill them. Understanding the description when you accept a job is always important. Likewise, updating a job description as tasks and expectations change ensures that everyone recognizes what you are doing. It provides the reference in performance reviews for whether someone is doing their job or not. Presenting a revised job description is a concrete way to start a performance review...

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