Definitions and Processes

Author: Allison S

Blog Post #9

Formal definitions are used in dictionaries. Formal definitions include the term that is being defined, the category to which the term belongs, and the distinguishing characteristics.

CS Example: Definition of software

Informal definitions have several subtypes:

Synonyms usually answer such questions as: what is this term similar to? What do I know that it resembles?

CS Example: Synonyms for software

Antonyms are word that is opposite in meaning to the original.

CS Example: Antonyms of open source

Negatives describe what something is not. What similar things are not the same as this object that might mislead the reader?

CS Example: Different types of malware

Stipulation definitions specify the meaning of a term for a particular application or situation. This definition is contextual.

CS Example: Group texting is different for iPhones and Androids. While both have the same feature, the way group messages are sent to users is different when messaging between an iPhone and an Android.

Analogies directly connects the unfamiliar to the familiar.

CS Example: On the topic of routers: you can think of it like a post office. The post office sorts and organizes packages and sends them to the correct address.

Illustrations show what the object looks like.

CS Example: Removing or installing memory on a MacBook Pro

Operational Definition summarizes or outlines the primary steps involved in the function, usually in chronological order.

CS Example: Improving computer speed on Windows 10

Expanded definitions explain and clarify information. They also expand audience interest and can include a document, oral presentation, or a visual for a wider audience.  Etymology, history and examples are the three subtypes of expanded definitions.


CS Example: Etymology of the word “computer”


CS Example: History of the word “computer”

Examples provide real world connections to the definition for a term.

CS Example: Examples of computer usage

I choose the article Digital Hoarding Could Be Harmful To Your Mental Health from

The author of this article makes good use of both active and passive voice. They use active voice to describe personal experiences and passive voice to emphasize the estimated effects of technology on everyday users. The author makes use of an image showing the cluttered desktop of a Mac. This image is something that the majority of computer users are familiar with, showing that the author knows their audience well. The article also makes effective use of headings to divide the article in to two sections. The first is an introduction to personal experiences with the issue, followed by a series of relevant statistics and information that expand upon the digital hoarding issue. This introduction ends with a heading that begins discussion into the different between digital and real world hoarding.


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