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Chapter 20. Informational Speeches > Define a Concept - Pg. 169

Informational Speeches 169 · Dictionary definition.To use this method, place the concept or term you're defining into a cat- egory or general class. Then, carefully distinguish the concept from other members of this class. For example: "Democracy is a system of government by the people, of the people, and for the people." · Etymology.What's the history of the concept you're explaining? How was the word created? What is its background? Etymology clarifies the meaning of a concept by providing the history of the word or phrase. For instance, a pandemic disease is one that is very widespread, such as the viral influenza that caused thousands of deaths in 1918. A less serious example is the common cold, which seems to always be circulating. Pandemic means "general, universal, af- fecting most of the people." The concept comes from two Greek roots: pan , which means "all," and demos, which means "people." When you break a word down this way, you are using ety- mology. · Negation.Negation clarifies the meaning of a concept by telling you what it's not . For example: "By socialism, I do not mean communism, which supports the common ownership of the means of production." · Example.An example illustrates the meaning of a concept by giving an instance of its meaning: "The new Skydome on the parkway is an example of modern architecture." · Use in a sentence.Sometimes, the best way to clarify the meaning of a concept is to use it in a sentence. Putting a concept in this context can make the meaning concrete to your audience: " Rad is a slang term, meaning exceedingly fashionable or trendy. It has a positive connotation. For instance, if I say, What a rad haircut, I really mean, What a stylish haircut." Each of these methods can help you write precise and useful informative speeches. Suit the method or methods to your audience and style, as you learned earlier in this guide.