California State University A

Arguments of definition allow us to argue whether something is or is not something else.

Arguments of definition examples:

    • Marriage
    • Asylum
    • Climate change/global warming

Now, let’s take a closer look at the argument for the definition of asylum

  • Asylum
    • Traditional Claim: People who seek refugee status in the United States from Central America should be allowed asylum.
    • Claim of definition: People who seek refugee status in the United States from Central America should be allowed asylum because asylum was created for people who have a reasonable fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or membership in a social group.
    • Claim of definition: People who seek refugee status in the United States from Central America should be allowed asylum because asylum was created for people who have a reasonable fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or membership in a social group. These Central Americans are being killed for not joining or supporting local drug cartels and/or gangs. Thus, they are being persecuted for being in a non-gang social group and qualify to seek asylum protection.
      • Definition first with how it fits in the definition second.
    • Claim of definition: People who seek refuges status in the United States from Central America should be allowed asylum because they are being persecuted for being in a non-gang social group. Asylum was created for people who have a reasonable fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or membership in a social group.
      • Why it fits first, definition second

STOP! In this next section, we are going to take a closer look at murder. This will be a four step process, so make sure you complete each step before moving on to the next one.

Step One: I want you to write down your response, as it pertains to murder, to each of three questions.

  1. What is it?
  2. What should happen if you do it?
  3. What are some gray areas?

Step Two: Under your definition of murder, is it or isn’t it

  • Killing someone while texting and driving
  • Unintentionally killing someone while robbing their house
  • Dealing drugs to someone who overdoses
  • The death penalty

Step Three: Adjust your definition of murder as necessary.

Step Four: Write a Claim of definition

  • A complete statement that makes a claim of definition and states the reasons for supporting it.
    • Definition First: __________ is murder because murder means ___________. Why it fits.
    • Definition Second: _________is murder because (why it fits). Murder means ____________.
    • ________ is not murder.
      • You choose if you want the definition first or second.

Additional information you might want to consider (3:41)

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Prompt

Write a 250 – 300 word argument of definition answering the following question:

  • Is physician assisted suicide murder?
    • Your argument must have the following:
      • The definition of murder
      • Whether or not physician assisted suicide fits that definition
      • At least two pieces of academic evidence from the articles

California State University A

“The Wicked Prince” By Hans Christian Anderson

There lived once upon a time a wicked prince whose heart and mind were set upon conquering all the countries of the world, and on frightening the people; he devastated their countries with fire and sword, and his soldiers trod down the crops in the fields and destroyed the peasants’ huts by fire, so that the flames licked the green leaves off the branches, and the fruit hung dried up on the singed black trees. Many a poor mother fled, her naked baby in her arms, behind the still smoking walls of her cottage; but also there the soldiers followed her, and when they found her, she served as new nourishment to their diabolical enjoyments; demons could not possibly have done worse things than these soldiers! The prince was of opinion that all this was right, and that it was only the natural course which things ought to take. His power increased day by day, his name was feared by all, and fortune favored his deeds.

He brought enormous wealth home from the conquered towns, and gradually accumulated in his residence riches which could nowhere be equaled. He erected magnificent palaces, churches, and halls, and all who saw these splendid buildings and great treasures exclaimed admiringly: “What a mighty prince!” But they did not know what endless misery he had brought upon other countries, nor did they hear the sighs and lamentations which rose up from the débris of the destroyed cities.

The prince often looked with delight upon his gold and his magnificent edifices, and thought, like the crowd: “What a mighty prince! But I must have more—much more. No power on earth must equal mine, far less exceed it.”

He made war with all his neighbors, and defeated them. The conquered kings were chained up with golden fetters to his chariot when he drove through the streets of his city. These kings had to kneel at his and his courtiers’ feet when they sat at table, and live on the morsels which they left. At last the prince had his own statue erected on the public places and fixed on the royal palaces; nay, he even wished it to be placed in the churches, on the altars, but in this the priests opposed him, saying: “Prince, you are mighty indeed, but God’s power is much greater than yours; we dare not obey your orders.”

“Well,” said the prince. “Then I will conquer God too.” And in his haughtiness and foolish presumption he ordered a magnificent ship to be constructed, with which he could sail through the air; it was gorgeously fitted out and of many colors; like the tail of a peacock, it was covered with thousands of eyes, but each eye was the barrel of a gun. The prince sat in the centre of the ship, and had only to touch a spring in order to make thousands of bullets fly out in all directions, while the guns were at once loaded again. Hundreds of eagles were attached to this ship, and it rose with the swiftness of an arrow up towards the sun. The earth was soon left far below, and looked, with its mountains and woods, like a cornfield where the plough had made furrows which separated green meadows; soon it looked only like a map with indistinct lines upon it; and at last it entirely disappeared in mist and clouds. Higher and higher rose the eagles up into the air; then God sent one of his numberless angels against the ship. The wicked prince showered thousands of bullets upon him, but they rebounded from his shining wings and fell down like ordinary hailstones. One drop of blood, one single drop, came out of the white feathers of the angel’s wings and fell upon the ship in which the prince sat, burnt into it, and weighed upon it like thousands of hundredweights, dragging it rapidly down to the earth again; the strong wings of the eagles gave way, the wind roared round the prince’s head, and the clouds around—were they formed by the smoke rising up from the burnt cities?—took strange shapes, like crabs many, many miles long, which stretched their claws out after him, and rose up like enormous rocks, from which rolling masses dashed down, and became fire-spitting dragons. The prince was lying half-dead in his ship when it sank at last with a terrible shock into the branches of a large tree in the wood.“I will conquer God!” said the prince. “I have sworn it: my will must be done!”

And he spent seven years in the construction of wonderful ships to sail through the air, and had darts cast from the hardest steel to break the walls of heaven with. He gathered warriors from all countries, so many that when they were placed side by side they covered the space of several miles. They entered the ships and the prince was approaching his own, when God sent a swarm of gnats—one swarm of little gnats. They buzzed round the prince and stung his face and hands; angrily he drew his sword and brandished it, but he only touched the air and did not hit the gnats. Then he ordered his servants to bring costly coverings and wrap him in them, that the gnats might no longer be able to reach him. The servants carried out his orders, but one single gnat had placed itself inside one of the coverings, crept into the prince’s ear and stung him. The place burnt like fire, and the poison entered into his blood. Mad with pain, he tore off the coverings and his clothes too, flinging them far away, and danced about before the eyes of his ferocious soldiers, who now mocked at him, the mad prince, who wished to make war with God, and was overcome by a single little gnat.

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