A definition essay is somewhat subjective by nature since it requires you to analyze and define a word from your own perspective.
If the answer you come up with after analyzing a word is the same answer anyone else would come up with, your essay may appear to lack depth. Dictionary definitions can only tell you so much. Since you need to elaborate on the word you choose to define, you will need to have your own base of knowledge or experience with the concept you choose. You can introduce yourself to the word for your essay, but without previous understanding of the concept, you will not know if the definition you describe is truly fitting.
While you will not be relying completely on the dictionary definition for your essay, familiarizing yourself with the official definition will allow you to compare your own understanding of the concept with the simplest, most academic explanation of it. Look up your chosen word in the Oxford English Dictionary or in another etymology dictionary.
Analyze and define each part in its own paragraph. Note that this tactic only works for words that contain multiple parts.
Specify what classes and parts of speech a word belongs to according to a standard dictionary definition. While this information is very basic and dry, it can provide helpful context about the way that a given word is used. An unfamiliar or uncommon concept can be explained using concepts that are more accessible to the average person. Explain any physical characteristics or traditional thoughts used to describe your term of choice.
People often relate to stories and vivid images, so using a fitting story or image that relates to the term can be used in clarifying an abstract, formless concept. Someone who mows the lawn of an elderly neighbor is a valid example, just as someone who gave you an encouraging word when you were feeling down might be. The initial section of the introduction should state the dictionary version.
Because the standard definition will slightly vary from the thesis one, which allows for multi-dimensionality! Thesis Statement Your thesis statement is a part of introduction.
For definition essay, the thesis is your version of what the term means. This can be a mix of the standard definition and your personal experiences and explanation style!
Keep it short. Do not try to describe too much in this section. This is where you transition to the body of the essay.
Body Paragraphs Break down the term into its core parts in the body of your essay. Analyze the term from different angles and provide relevant explanation. More than three paragraphs may be necessary depending on the nature of your assignment. Here is an example of a good body paragraph structure: Body Paragraph 1: History and Origin Body Paragraph 2: Full dictionary explanation and use.
Body Paragraph 3: Personal definition created from experience. Conclusion Keep the conclusion simple. The main goal here is to summarize the main points of your argument. Rephrase your thesis as well as the main parts of the definition and sum up everything you said in the body of the essay. The last thing that should be mentioned in your definition paper outline is how this term has impacted you. Usually, before even writing the essay, there is a reason a specific word is picked, and part of the reason has to do with personal experience.
Post-writing Tip Mention how the definition you were talking about affected you. If the term you define plays a specific part in your life and experiences, your final concluding comments are a great place to mention the role it plays concisely.
Think about the purpose of the argument to form the thesis. The thesis being the claim of the paper. Choose the most appropriate references. Develop a Definition Essay Outline Proofread.
Remember to proofread your finished definition essay to make sure there are no typing errors - that can lower your grade. Write several sentences that will sum up your writing and briefly restate the main points of your essay.
Make an observation about the term and the supporting details that you have given in the body paragraph. Tell about what place the term has in your life. Do you use this term in every day life? Does it have a special meaning to you? Has your own definition changed after the research? End the essay with a phrase that will create a sense of purpose or connect the reader with the term. After writing a definition essay: Step 1. Revise your first draft. Ask someone to read your text and evaluate its readability.
Make sure that you have clearly stated all definitions and it tells the readers precisely what they should know in order to fully understand the term. Make sure that each paragraph has the topic sentence and that it offers a particular amount of information and is closed with a small conclusion and transitional phrase.
Edit the complete essay. As soon as you finish your second draft, check the words, sentences, correctness of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Make sure that your text will be clear to readers, and sentences are complete and readable. Along with the spellchecker on your computer, use an available online plagiarism checker to make sure that your work is original enough to reach the needed originality score.
Send the essay to the tutor. As soon as you will feel that your essay is totally complete and you have no doubts about its clarity, submit it to your tutor. Checklist for a Definition Essay Make sure that the chosen term is multi-dimensional and also specific enough. Check if the opening clearly identifies the definition.
Make sure that you have applied the qualities of brief and extended definitions. Examine whether you have developed definitions that are well reasoned, researched, and supported with examples.
Look through the text and check the structure. Have you stated a clear thesis statement? Does you introduction have a hook? Does your conclusion restate the thesis? Check the text for transitional phrases and add them if necessary. Evaluate the quality of your ideas and voice. Make sure that you have properly revised and edited your paper. We have asked one of our professional writers to make comments on an extended definition example, so you can better understand the structure and the overall tone that is usually used in writing a definition essay.
Students frequently make the same mistakes in definition essays and reading this sample can help you avoid mistakes. Please, take into consideration the comments on the example of definition paragraph when writing your own essay. See our full collection of samples. Click the images to see their full size. Use a prewriting technique when you choose the topic, as this will be the basis of your essay.
Conduct some historical research. As people have used language for many centuries, there is a big chance that you will find some information about the history of the term. Add explanations and comments on examples in the body paragraph. Add more examples to help your readers understand the meaning of the term.
Keep your voice engaging, informative, and instructive while writing your definition essay. Think about your readers and revise all the parts of your text so it will be clear and interesting to them. Ask another person to look through your finished paper and make comments.While you will not be relying completely on the dictionary definition for your essay, familiarizing yourself with the official definition will allow you to compare your own understanding of the concept with the simplest, most academic explanation of it. Examples Suppose you are taking a course on 19th-century America, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: Compare and contrast the reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War. Some words have quite concrete meanings: table, paper, car, etc.
Body paragraph II 3.
In these paragraphs you need to tell the readers what the term means.
There are several ways to define a term. Introduction 1.
Need Some Definition Essay Guidance? Included in this working thesis is a reason for the war and some idea of how the two sides disagreed over this reason. This can be a mix of the standard definition and your personal experiences and explanation style! Part 1 of 3: Choosing the Right Word 1: Choose an abstract word with a complex meaning.
Look over some ideas of definition essay introduction examples around the internet to get inspired.
Think about your readers and revise all the parts of your text so it will be clear and interesting to them. Read the dictionary, but don't just copy the definition.
Find the word in the dictionary.
Part 1 of 3: Choosing the Right Word 1: Choose an abstract word with a complex meaning. Aside from being complex, the word should also refer to something that can mean different things to different people.