Definition essay

How to write a definition essay.

definition essayFrom A to Z.

Introductory paragraph

  • When it comes to a definition essay what occurs to your head at the top? Correct, it is a definition itself. Definition is about explanation of some term. Some things are possible to give a concrete explanation, for example table, notebook or car and some, such as love, beauty, sophistication, happiness, which are abstract, depend upon a person`s viewpoint.
  • How to write a definition essay? First of all, there are three steps on the way to making your definition effective which is highly important otherwise the point will be lost. The information you present has to be basic and clear. It is essential to use factual information, amusing anecdotes, give examples, which will be understandable for your reader.
  • Needless to say, that in order to be get-a-able for your reader, you need to make sure you understand what you write about in the first place. Reading dictionaries will be helpful but there is no need to copy past what you just read. Digest every piece you read, try to capture what it is about and write it down in your own words shedding a new light on it.
  • Avoid unnecessary details. For instance, with no end in sight you may write about love. Setting a limit on it, write about “love for your neighbors”, “love for children” or “love for country” (patriotism).

 Belabor the topic

  • Just like in any other kind of an essay, there should be a thesis statement in your definition essay. The thesis statement normally determines the term, which is defined providing with a concise, general definition.
  • So, you are going to make your definition effective. Build up your definition, first. To make it effective you may define it by function, meaning an explanation of how it is actually working; by structure, meaning how it is organized; by analysis, meaning comparing and contrasting to other things out of the same class. The differences between them are going to be peculiar characteristics making the term to stand out. For example, compare Maine Coon to other cats.

Ex: A Maine Coon is a cat reputed for its extremely large size comparing to domestic cats, as a rule, they have a high cat`s IQ level and easier to train than house cats.

  • Think examples over carefully to help your reader to get the point. Will a short story open up the meaning of the term?
  • Avoid the examples, which could possibly prevent from supporting the definition.

 In summary

Note: when you need to give a definition of a term in the essay, this is what is called a definition essay. Make sure it is easy to understand by giving suitable examples. It does not matter what you are going to write about but knowing the subject of your definition essay is what matters. Having a personal experience in the area you are going to write about would be a plus. Try not to use passive phrases, which have the word “is” in them, for instance “is when” or “is where” are definitely too clumsy to use. For example, A descriptive essay is when you describe something...

Here are some topics you might find interesting to write your definition essay about:

  • Success
  • American dream
  • Family
  • Courage
  • Loyalty
  • Freedom
  • True friendship
  • Respect
  • Heroism
  • Integrity
  • Racism
  • Marriage
  • Education
  • Sportsmanship
  • Addiction
  • Poverty
  • Leadership
  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Hope
  • Feel free to come up with ideas of your own. There are plenty of good topics worth to be put in writing.
  • It has to be a word meaning of which is complex enough to be interesting to write and read about. Something definite, for example, a tree might be rather boring but an abstract thing someone might have another point of view concerning which is way much more entertaining.
  • It would be better if the topic you picked were disputable.
  • Your definition essay may be about some other kind of an essay starting from giving its definition first – for example, what is narrative-, expository-, cause and effect-, exemplification-, analytical-, reflective-, argumentative-, descriptive-, compare and contrast definition essay. Your essay may be humorous, rhetorical, process, informative; you may even give a definition of a photo essay in your definition essay. It is not that easy, as it might seem to write a definition essay. Writing one, you should use the style, tone and voice, which are right as the case stands. What you are to do is to come up with a unique mixture of techniques, which are used in narrative, persuasive, believe it or not, but critical essays as well. You tell a story wishing to make your reader believe and feel what you feel using factual background and citations.
  • If you like, you may also mention in what way the definition affected you personally. That is fitting only in case if the thing you defined in your essay played some role in your personal life situation. Avoid sharing if the term affected your life but is contradictory to the rest of what you have written about in your essay.
  • Also, try to avoid circular definitions when you repeat what was already said in your definition. For example, Sunflower is a flower that means pure thoughts and adoration.
  • Same with narrow definitions. For instance, Kilt is a piece of clothes worn in Scotland

definitionessayStart with an exercise on free writing and clustering first before writing an essay of your own. It will be useful for your writing skills and just something with the soul component. Enjoy! 🙂