A definition essay is the type of essay that explains some notion, concept, or phenomena by providing its detailed description and using illustrative examples backed up with clear evidence. Normally, writers choose this essay type when they have to explain a complicated, abstract, or controversial idea. For example, the explication of such notions as ‘mindfulness’ or ‘responsibility’ could be provided in writing a definition essay.
How to Write a Definition Essay Step by Step
Before going into details of a definition essay outline, let’s have a look at the basic steps a writer has to take to do such an essay.
Decide on the term to be defined
The term has to be presented in the introduction along with the background information to offer the reader some context. It does not matter how you introduce the term, but trying to hook the reader won’t hurt.
Do some research to establish credibility
Writing good essays always requires careful research and use of evidence from reliable sources, such as peer-reviewed articles, books, and other academic publications. After gathering all necessary facts, think about the best way to organize them into a coherent and comprehensive definition of your term.
Having presented the term in the introduction, you can proceed to the body paragraphs, where a more detailed description will be provided. It’s a good idea to briefly touch on the etymology and evolution of the term. Additionally, you could discuss common usage mistakes. Keep in mind that the readers will comprehend the new material more easily if you include illustrative examples into the explanation.
People use hundreds of words every day. Some of them are pretty clear, some are confusing, yet others are widely misused ??????? a perfect choice of the topic could come from the last two categories. In other words, we all know what a guitar, television, or a shop is, whereas such concepts as freedom, faith, crime, or even love are difficult to comprehend. If you are short of ideas for your essay, check out the list below:
- Digital marketing
- Free will
Things to Keep in Mind
- Writing a definition essay is more than simply re-stating what other authors say. Rather, you have to provide your own interpretation of what you read in outside sources or create own definition of the concept.
- If the topic was not assigned to you and you can choose, try to go for a concept or a term that you understand or that you can relate to. Defining a term you have hard times understanding will turn the writing process into turmoil, and you will probably end up even more confused than your readers.
- There is a number of ways in which you can define a term: by describing its structure and nature or by discussing its functions. Alternatively, you can define what the concept means by explaining what it does not mean or by contrasting it to a more familiar term in the same class, paying particular attention to the differences.
- Do not ignore the structure. Similar to other types of essays, definition essay should have an introduction where the term is mentioned, a body with the elaboration of its meaning, and a concluding paragraph.
Dos and Don’ts of a Definition Essay
- Use transitions to make the development of the ideas more logical and coherent.
- Try to come up with an original definition of the term.
- Include unorthodox explanations and examples – stir the reader’s imagination.
- Proofread the final paper and run it through an online spellchecker.
- Do not choose a broad concept with a rather wide meaning. For example, if an assignment asks you to define ‘fear’, try narrowing it down to ‘irrational fear.’
- However, refrain from too obvious and shallow topics your reader will obviously be familiar with.
- Avoid simplistic definitions. Your essay should be geared towards academic audience capable of processing compound sentences and analogies.
- Don’t get carried away when describing the details. At the same time, provide enough information for the reader to comprehend your ideas.