Definitions | GEN104: College Reading Strategies | Ashford University


When you think about reading for class, you might think about textbooks, websites, or articles. However, it is also important to be able to read and understand the instructions for the activities you complete in class. You have started learning about annotation, and you should annotate the instructions for discussions, assignments, and other activities. Just as you annotate other types of reading to ensure you are following along, you will do the same for instructions.

You may have noticed that many instructions contain action words that describe (“describe” is one of those words) exactly what action you will be taking for that part of the discussion, assignment, or quiz. Instructors use these verbs to clearly explain to students what they need to do. As a student, you will often run into action words that are difficult to understand.


Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, review the webpage Higher Order Thinking: Bloom’s Taxonomy (Links to an external site.).


Before writing,

  • Review the term you selected in Week 1 – Discussion 2.
  • Consider what you think the definition of that term is.
  • Be sure to write down this definition before looking up the dictionary definition.


In at least 300 words, address each bullet point below:

  • Explain your personal definition of the word you chose…….THE WORD I CHOSE WAS:  Design 
  • Look up and post a definition from the Merriam-Webster (Links to an external site.) dictionary website.
    • Share whether the definition contained any words that were unfamiliar.
    • Be sure to look up any of those unfamiliar words—that happens a lot!
    • Create an example of course instructions that might contain that word in one to two sentences. Imagine the word you chose was “construct.” A sentence from course instructions might be, “Construct an argument to support you view on climate change.”
  • Discuss the similarities and differences between your personal definition of the word and the dictionary definition.
  • Describe how misunderstanding a word might impact your future assignments.

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