MY Access ®   Writers Guide

4.7  Methods of Development: Defining by Giving Examples
Another way to define is to give familiar examples. There are dozens of makes and models of motor vehicles. What, exactly, is a sport utility vehicle or SUV? You can make that clear by giving familiar examples that the reader will recognize.

Sport utility vehicles? You know what they are. Did you ever see a Honda Passport, a Toyota Pathfinder, or a Land Rover? How about a Chevy Blazer, Ford Expedition, or Jeep Cherokee? They're all Sport utility vehicles or SUV's.

The key to this method is using familiar examples. If the reader has never heard of any of these vehicles, sport utility vehicle will not be clear. Knowing your audience is important because you can draw some conclusions about what they know. You might expect 10-year-old girls to be less familiar with the SUV examples than 16-year-old boys would be.

Activity: Defining by Giving Examples
   Now, you try defining by giving examples. A student a year younger than you has asked what the reading was like in the English class you took last year. Define the reading for the younger student by giving examples of the reading material. Try to stick to examples a student who has not yet taken the course would still know.

Your prewriting will be making a list of every reading you can remember that you might use. Then, select the best and write the paragraph as your draft.

List of last year's reading:

         Your paragraph defining last year's reading by giving example.

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