For this project, you will be defining the concept of “international students.” As we saw with the article by Clark, this isn’t as simple a matter as it might seem. Clark gives us an interesting place to start when thinking about international students, but I want us to go beyond the kinds of statistical measurements debated in his article. While debates about the denotative meaning of “international students” are worthwhile, it’s also important to consider the connotative meaning of the term.

What might you do to define “international students,” then? The first thing I’d recommend that you do is develop a plan for gathering sources that define, describe, or otherwise discuss international students. You might, for instance, survey or interview classmates (both “international” and domestic) to see what they think the term means or what images come to mind. You might consider why the term “international” is used and “foreign” isn’t. You could look for what comes up when you Google the term “international students.” You might look at the images used on university websites when you Google “international students” (vs. “foreigners,” perhaps). You might look at how the university’s website discusses international students or how it introduces services for international students. These aren’t the only types of sources you might go to, and you might not want to use all of them, but they’re a start. Think about where else you might find discussions of international students.

The next step, after gathering various perspectives, is to consider what meaning you want to convey about international students. Your task in writing this essay is not simply to echo others’ perspectives; you need to provide and support your own understanding of the term. You should include what others say, but you’ll need to respond to those arguments. Develop your argument, weaving in and responding to the other perspectives that your sources have provided.


While I’m calling this project a definition “essay,” I want you to go beyond a traditional essay; you should use, where appropriate, visual elements (charts, graphs, images) to enhance your written discussion; you might also make use of some of the affordances of Digication and compose a multimodal text in which you include visual and perhaps even audiovisual (video) elements and even more interactive elements. We’ll talk about these possibilities in class.

required: 1000+words More than 4 resources CITE MLA8… by Nick Clark

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