A definition essay (see all essay types) is a piece of writing that explains what a term or a concept means. Some terms 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 from the point of the subjectivity of the person defining the term. The aim is not only to provide the dictionary definition but also to expound on why the word is defined in such a manner. The approach to be used depends on the subject, your readers, and the essay’s purpose.
3 Steps to a Powerful Definition Essay:
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 a Definition
Choosing a definition is a key step in writing a definition essay. You need to understand the term before you can define it for others. Read the dictionary, but don't just copy the definition. Explain the term briefly in your own words. In addition, 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".
15 INTERESTING DEFINITION ESSAY TOPICS
How to Write a Powerful Definition Essay
Definition essay outline format is similar to that of a typical essay and includes several unique characteristics. Typically, it includes introduction, body and conclusion parts. Here is a detailed focus on each section.
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 distinct, precise thesis statement that tells your readers just what your essay will be discussing. All body paragraphs directly and clearly 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 EXAMPLE
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 a definition and help a reader to better understand it.
Use understandable facts, examples, or anecdotes. Select facts, examples, or anecdotes to 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.
Restate the thesis statement in other words. Give an overview of the main points of the paper, referring from 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: