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Writing a Definition Essay

A definition essay is much more than just a dictionary definition of a word. As a matter of fact, a whole concept can be defined in just one sentence. A definition essay, however, needs to contain several paragraphs. That is why, the definition must be more profound to comprise details, examples, personal experience, description, causes, effects, analysis, etc.

And first of all, a definition essay must demonstrate your own detailed opinion about chosen idea.

Topics for a Definition Essay

Begin with selecting and defining the word, open enough for you to create your own particular definition based on experience. For example, if you are writing an essay about “truth,” the thesis and the details must be based upon your personal ideas of what “the truth” is. The topics are always general for this type of essays. In other words, you can write about “Truth” or “Love” or “Liberty,” but not “The Truth About the Liberal Order”.

Definition essays are also subjective: you need to assert and support your points of view about the main concept and find resources to support your definition.

For example:

  • Truth
  • Love
  • Honor
  • Courage
  • Tolerance
  • Pride
  • Liberty
  • Hatred
  • Loyalty
  • Prejudice
  • Generosity
  • Modesty
  • Pain
  • Success
  • Patriotism
  • Intelligent
  • Feminism
  • Motherhood

Choose a word that:

  • Can have a number of meanings.
  • Is complex, and can mean a lot of different things to different people.

This will give you an opportunity to add your own understanding of the definition, together with the interpretations of others.

Definition essay includes the usual parts of any other academic writing:

  • Introduction.
  • Thesis statement.
  • Body paragraphs.
  • Conclusion.

Writing an Effective Definition Essay

Analyze how good the definitions are presented. Check if you understand which was the most general? Are the other meanings introduced clearly? Is the relationship between the different definitions fully understandable?

1. Create a definition. There are some ways to define a word. Here are a several options, for instance: Find out where the word came from by looking it up online or in print encyclopedias.

  • Define by function. Describe what something does or how something works for example in society.
  • Define by structure. Explain how something is organized.
  • Define by analysis. Look how do the interview meanings correspond to the dictionary definition. Compare the term to other members of its class and then demonstrate(illustrate) the variances (differences)

These differences are special characteristics that make the term stand out.

  • Define by what the term does not mean. This distinction can sometimes make a definition more clear and help a reader to better understand it.

2. Use understandable information, examples, or jokes. Choose facts, examples, or jokes to explain your definition to the full. Ask yourself, “Which examples will help readers better understand the term? What examples would most appeal to my readers? “. Although do not use any examples that will not support the definition.

To sum up, conclude the essay in the last section by shortly restating the common definition of the word. After that, restate your thesis statement so the reader is reminded of your peculiar definition of the term. Make sure the conclusion discusses only points you have already made in the essay and does not propose any new ideas or thoughts.

Polish your final essay when you are done, make sure each sentence flows well and it does not contain any grammatical mistakes.

Show your essay others to get some independent evaluation.