- Read an example of the definition rhetorical mode.
Defining Good Students Means More Than Just Grades
Many people define good students as those who receive the best grades. While it is true that good students often earn high grades, I contend that grades are just one aspect of how we define a good student. In fact, even poor students can earn high grades sometimes, so grades are not the best indicator of a student’s quality. Rather, a good student pursues scholarship, actively participates in class, and maintains a positive, professional relationship with instructors and peers.
Good students have a passion for learning that drives them to fully understand class material rather than just worry about what grades they receive in the course. Good students are actively engaged in scholarship, which means they enjoy reading and learning about their subject matter not just because readings and assignments are required. Of course, good students will complete their homework and all assignments, and they may even continue to perform research and learn more on the subject after the course ends. In some cases, good students will pursue a subject that interests them but might not be one of their strongest academic areas, so they will not earn the highest grades. Pushing oneself to learn and try new things can be difficult, but good students will challenge themselves rather than remain at their educational comfort level for the sake of a high grade. The pursuit of scholarship and education rather than concern over grades is the hallmark of a good student.
Class participation and behavior are another aspect of the definition of a good student. Simply attending class is not enough; good students arrive punctually because they understand that tardiness disrupts the class and disrespects the professors. They might occasionally arrive a few minutes early to ask the professor questions about class materials or mentally prepare for the day’s work. Good students consistently pay attention during class discussions and take notes in lectures rather than engage in off-task behaviors, such as checking their cell phones or daydreaming. Excellent class participation requires a balance between speaking and listening, so good students will share their views when appropriate but also respect their classmates’ views when they differ from their own. It is easy to mistake quantity of class discussion comments with quality, but good students know the difference and do not try to dominate the conversation. Sometimes class participation is counted toward a student’s grade, but even without such clear rewards, good students understand how to perform and excel among their peers in the classroom.
Finally, good students maintain a positive and professional relationship with their professors. They respect their instructor’s authority in the classroom as well as the instructor’s privacy outside of the classroom. Prying into a professor’s personal life is inappropriate, but attending office hours to discuss course material is an appropriate, effective way for students to demonstrate their dedication and interest in learning. Good students go to their professor’s office during posted office hours or make an appointment if necessary. While instructors can be very busy, they are usually happy to offer guidance to students during office hours; after all, availability outside the classroom is a part of their job. Attending office hours can also help good students become memorable and stand out from the rest, particularly in lectures with hundreds enrolled. Maintaining positive, professional relationships with professors is especially important for those students who hope to attend graduate school and will need letters of recommendation in the future.
Although good grades often accompany good students, grades are not the only way to indicate what it means to be a good student. The definition of a good student means demonstrating such traits as engaging with course material, participating in class, and creating a professional relationship with professors. While every professor will have different criteria for earning an A in their course, most would agree on these characteristics for defining good students.
This is a derivative of Writing for Success by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Friendship is a word we are all familiar with, and most of us assume we have friends. But do we? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, ” the state of being friends: the relationship between friends: a friendly feeling or attitude.” To most people friendship assumes certain rights and privileges. To me a friend is not only a person who has rights in my life. Friends are those who take seriously the duties, obligations and responsibilities of friendship.
Everyone knows that when you are friends with someone they assume certain rights and privileges. For example, my friends can drop in without an appointment, phone me late at night, ask for some cash until payday, and expect to be invited to my celebratory parties. They assume I will give them a lift when their car is broken, babysit their kids, and listen to the updates of their love life or lack of it. They can open my fridge and make a snack and offer me a cup of coffee in my own kitchen. When they are sad or guilty and share their secrets with me. To the degree, I allow this so I am considered a good friend.
But these privileges carry with them reciprocal obligations. You, as my friend, must return the favors. When I arrive with my kids you need to welcome me and them, not hide under the bed, or a flood of excuses. You are obliged to give me a lift to fetch my car, fill up my empty wallet, and drink coffee that I make you in your kitchen. And do not hide your left overs when I rummage in your kitchen for a snack.
Then we need to look at the two words that make up the word friendship. It has been said that it is two men in one boat. Now that is where duty comes in. Two men in a boat does not mean one rows the boat, while the other lies in the sun tanning and sipping Coke, Pepsi or Buds. They both need to row the boat. This means they have equal responsibility to make time in busy schedules to get together. When the one is repeating again how his wife left him and took his dog for the hundredth time you have to show sympathy, even if you are glad the dog no longer visits and chews your new couch. It is duty that undergirds the rights and privileges.
Friendship comes with responsibilities too. When he is pouring out his heart to you then you must listen. What he tells you in confidence must remain with you. You are responsible to give him advice rebuke and correction. And above all, when he does not heed it and falls, you have the responsibility to stand with him, in his failure, disgrace, and shame. To identify with him, comfort and encourage him, and help him get up. And in the end to simply forgive and love him.
Webster’s refers to friendship as a “friendly feeling or attitude.”
I have a friendly feeling and attitude towards my dog, but we aren’t friends. Likewise, I have the same friendly feeling towards the waitress at the local restaurant, but I do not even know her surname. I know I have nine friends, and consider myself rich because of them. Each one is a rare treasure.
Tips for writing this definition essay:
- In your intro, give a dictionary definition of the word.
- Then give your definition, which should be the basis of your thesis statement.
- Now elaborate on your own definition.
- You can separate your different parts into separate paragraphs. In each paragraph, make a different point. You can use a variety of means to round out your definition.
- When you have finished make a summary of your points. Here you can tell what your definition has meant to you, and how it has affected your life. Ensure this supports your essay.
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