The word I chose last week is EXAMINE. After reflection, I am defining examine as: to explore in depth the content, meaning, or appearance of something; to look closely, paying attention to detail.
In comparison, Merriam-Webster defines examine in this way:
“1a: to inspect closelyb: to test the condition ofc: to inquire into carefully : INVESTIGATE2a: to interrogate closely b: to test by questioning in order to determine progress, fitness, or knowledge” EXAMINE : Merriam-WebsterLinks to an external site. This definition seems very clear to me, it does not contain any unfamiliar words or phrases. It is interesting, however, that EXAMINE can refer to a physical inspection or a detailed inspection of the contents of something. In course instruction, the word EXAMINE might be used in this way: Examine the short story, focusing on the main themes and how the author has chosen to describe their characters and locations. My personal definition seems to be a less detailed, more succinct version of the Merriam-Webster definition, I did find it interesting that both included the word “closely”. Clearly one must focus and pay attention to detail in order to examine. Another indication of detailed focus is that where I used the word “look” in combination with “closely”, the Merriam-Webster definition used “inspect”, which implies even more close scrutiny, in my opinion. Misunderstanding a word could cause many problems in class work -imagine if you defined a word differently than your professor and therefore did not fulfill the requirements for the assignment! For example, using the word I chose; words like EXAMINE can have different definitions, depending on their context and the other instructions provided within the assignment. What if you read EXAMINE as a surface inspection, and wrote a paper critiquing the cover or artwork of a novel, and the professor was using EXAMINE as an indication for you to explore the themes and depth of the book itself? Your grade could be disastrous because of a misunderstood definition. That would then affect your GPA and your confidence in your work.
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