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A definition essay is a type of academic writing that explains what a term or a concept means.
What Is a Definition Essay?
A definition essay (see all essay types) is a piece of writing that explains what a term or a concept means. Some words have definite, concrete meanings, such as glass, book, or tree. Terms such as honesty, honor, or love are abstract and depend more on a person’s point of view.
The term may be evaluated from the direct, or exact meaning and the point of the subjectivity of the person defining the term. The aim is not only to provide the dictionary definition but also expound on why the word is defined in such a manner. The approach depends on the subject, readers, and the essay’s purpose.
3 Steps to a Powerful Definition Essay
When you start writing a definition essay, follow 3 main steps.
Step 1: Tell readers what term is being defined.
Step 2: Present clear and basic information.
Step 3: Use facts, examples, or anecdotes that readers will understand.
Choosing Ideas for Writing a Definition Essay
Choosing the definition is a key step in writing a definition essay. You need to understand the term for you to be easy to define it for others. Read the dictionary, but don’t just copy the definition. Explain the term’s meaning briefly in your own words. Besides, it is important to limit your term before you start defining it. For example, you could write forever on the term “love.” To limit it, you would write about either “romantic love,” “platonic love,” or “first love.” If you are assigned to write a definition essay here is a great list of definition essay topics:
If the definition essay topics from the list above don’t match your assignment and you need another topic for a definition writing, feel free to contact our writing service. You can also read an article on How to Pick Proper Essay Topics.
How to Write a Definition Essay: Outline and Format
The definition essay outline format is similar to that of a typical essay and includes several unique characteristics. Typically, it includes the introduction, body, and conclusion parts. Here is a detailed focus on each section.
Definition Essay: Introduction
Start with one of the various techniques, such as a short anecdote, an extended definition, or some open-ended questions. Your introduction should conclude with a clear, precise thesis statement that tells your readers just what the essay will discuss. All body paragraphs directly support the thesis statement. The thesis statement usually identifies the term being defined and provides a brief, basic definition.
If you are looking for definition essay examples here is a great one below.
Definition Essay: Body Paragraphs
Create a thorough definition. There are several ways to define a term. Here are a few options.
|Define by function||Explain what something does or how something works.|
|Define by a structure||Tell how something is organized or put together.|
|Define by analysis||Compare the term to other members of its class and then illustrate the differences. These differences are special characteristics that make the term stand out. For example, compare a Siberian husky to other dogs, such as lap dogs, mutts, or sporting dogs.|
|Define by what the term does not mean||This distinction can sometimes clarify the definition. It helps readers to understand the term better.|
Use understandable facts, examples, or anecdotes. Select the ones that can fully explain your definition. Ask yourself, “Which examples will best help readers understand the term? What examples would most appeal to my readers? Will a brief story reveal the term’s meaning?” Do not use any examples that will not support the definition.
Definition Essay: Conclusion
Restate the thesis statement in other words. Give an overview of the main points of the paper, referring to the entire body paragraphs. Link back to the attention grabber to conclude your essay.
The Dos and Don’ts of a Powerful Definition Essay Writing: