provide any necessary background information, and include your thesis statement in your introduction


For this exam, you will:

Use the writing process to write an essay using extended definition

Write an effective thesis statement

Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions

Develop critical reading skills

Use responsible research methods to locate appropriate secondary sources

Use Modern Language Association citation and documentation style to reference secondary source material correctly and appropriately

Quote, paraphrase, and summarize secondary source material correctly and appropriately

Use the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well-written essays


As our culture evolves, the language we use to express ourselves changes too. To fully understand the world in which we live, it’s important to fully comprehend the depth and breadth of the words that we use to describe it. Words that have more than definition or more than one meaning enrich not only our vocabulary, but also our lives.

Topic: Write a 1,500–1,700 word extended definition essay using the word family that analyzes the word’s historical, social, and/or cultural evolution.

Purpose: To make a specific, unified, and original point about how the definition of friend or family has changed over a particular period of time due to one or more specific historical, social, and/or cultural factors.

Methods: To use at least four secondary sources to support your extended definition of the term including

1. An etymological dictionary

2. A standard or traditional dictionary

 Audience: Junior and senior-level distance education students enrolled at Penn Foster College




i. Standard definitions of the word

ii. Etymological dictionaries