#2: Pop Culture Dictionary

Important Dates

  • Proposal: Friday, September 27 (written in-class)
  • Rough Draft: Friday, October 4 (bring to class for peer review)
  • Due Date: Friday, October 11
  • Deadline: Monday, October 21 (a few extra days because of fall break)

The Assignment

Choose a particular pop culture text that has influenced your use of language. You can choose a movie, song, video game, book, celebrity, political movement, television show, or website.

Create twelve dictionary entries that define and provide details on words or phrases from the pop culture text. Your twelve words or phrases should be from one text or related texts. Any of the following would be acceptable choices:

  • phrases from a single television show but not necessarily all from the same episode
  • words used by a particular celebrity
  • words or phrases used in a series of movies (like the Harry Potter movies)
  • phrases used in a video game
  • words used in an anime series or video game

Each entry should include the word or phrase, its definition, an example of its use from the original pop culture text, an example of how you use the word or phrase in conversation with someone, and the word’s or phrase’s basic etymology (the origin of its meaning). If appropriate, you can include images, video, and audio recordings, but be sure any multimodal elements are relevant and help clarify the definition.

Along with your entries, write an introduction that explains what the original pop culture text is, who the audience for the text is and who has been influenced by it, and how the words are most often used by people familiar with the pop culture text. Your introduction can also explain the role of the specialized jargon, discuss how widespread the influence of the text has been on language and predict how long the influence will last. You can also explain any personal connection to the pop culture text.

At the end of your project include a bibliography of the sources that you consulted and used in either MLA or APA format. You can use one of the citation tools mentioned in WAVT to create your citations. Use in-text citations if you use direct quotations from outside sources in your project.

Your Draft Letter

In the space below, please write an informal letter to me that explains your thoughts on your paper. I will read your letter before I read your Pop Culture Dictionary. This letter is your chance to tell you anything you should know before I respond to your writing. You can tell me about things like what you want me to notice or what you want to improve on. You may include answers to some of the following questions: 
  • What is your favorite part of this particular piece, and why?
  • Are there any weaknesses you see in this piece? Tell me about them.
  • What techniques have you tried that differed from your regular process?
  • What did you find difficult about this piece, and why?
  • What really worked in this piece? Why did it seem to work well?
  • What’s one thing you would like to do to improve the piece, if only you knew how to do it?
You do NOT have to answer each and every question. They are just here to help you decide what you want to tell me.


Check the rubric for details on the expectations for the project. Most importantly, be sure that you meet the basic requirements: include an introducation and 12 dictionary entries.

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