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How to Write a Definition Essay

May 09, 2017 How to Write
How to Write a Definition Essay

When working to create a definition essay, it may seem quite confusing and even challenging. Therefore, before we can start talking about how to write a definition essay, let us first explore what it is and what goals it pursues.

Unlike creating a compare and contrast paper, for example, this type of work often requires its author to give an academically correct explanation of a meaning of a particular word, adding some personal ideas about it. The provided determination must be logical and thorough. Thus, it is critical to select an object that will allow you to express its concept in a paper that is at least a few pages long.
Below we will present 3 stages, each consists of a few simple steps, which will help you create an effective and extended definition essay quickly, avoiding critical mistakes and also plagiarism free.

Step 1. Defining the right definition essay topics

Selecting the right subject for your work is half the battle when seeking to create a successful paper. In order for any academic to explain something to other people, he or she must first be aware of what they are talking about. It is very helpful to research for one or two definition essay examples before you start writing your work, this will help further develop your understanding and ability to express the idea of this essay.

So how to choose good topics for definition essay?

  1. Look at words that have a more abstract meaning. It is a critical nuance because everyone knows the meaning of the word “college” or “dog”, but if you choose a subject with a more complex concept, it will give you more research material. Besides, selecting a simple word, will most likely not let you expand its meaning to write a complete paper.
  2. Make sure that the selected subject is controversial. It should be something that different people would define differently. Keep in mind that this task wouldn’t be called an essay if you were allowed to provide a description of something from the dictionary simply; here a student must explain the idea of the subject with his words and from his perspective.
  3. Write about something you are familiar with, or you risk failing to explain its meaning to the reader; you must have a good understanding of what you are writing about.
  4. Use the dictionary, but do try just to copy the determination; you will need to explain the term briefly in your words, meanwhile comparing your ideas with the "official" definition of it.
  5. Find out more about the essence of the selected term. This way you will have enough examples and facts to make the work more informative, interesting and logical.
    How to write a definition essay visualization

Step 2. Elements that should be included in the text

  1. In-depth analysis of the term. To give a complete determination of something, a student must first analyze the word or separate parts of the term. Keep in mind that many terms have several meanings, for example, "love" can be between friends, family members or partners, this should also be included in your work.
  2. Classify the term. Such information is quite simple and boring, but specifying what part of speech and classification the word refers to according to the standard definition in the vocabulary can provide useful context about how the word is used.
  3. Provide both physical and associative characteristics of the subject. For example, the physical characteristics of “home” can be either an apartment or house where someone lives, but if we look at it from the perspective of associations, we often mean a warm, cozy and safe place.
  4. Use the examples to illustrate the determination.
  5. Make a parallel between something well-known and unknown.
  6. Provide the general information where this term was used first, how it gained its modern meaning, and so on (this is the part when your knowledge about the selected term’s essence will come in handy).

Step 3. Write your paper following the right structure

A quick reminder before we discuss the proper format of this work: do not try to write a final draft of the work right away, the process will be much easier if you create a definition essay outline first.
Below you can see a standard definition essay sample structure that can be used for your paper:

  • Intro - grab the attention of the reader and vividly present your topic. To give your reader a basic understanding of the term, your introduction should start with a standard examination of the term. This will introduce the subject to the readers. Here it is also important to have some eye-catching phrase or word that would interest people who read your essay, so you can include some provocative, engaging fact or example.

  • Main part - explain how you understand the subtext of the subject. Now explain the meaning of the subject from your perspective, write how you feel about it and support your ideas with facts or examples. Make sure that you are following a proper sequence of presenting the information, each of your points should be followed by some form of examples. Also, keep your paragraphs short, straight to the point and avoid unnecessary water in your text.

  • Concluding part - summarize the given information. This is a finalizing part, and it assumes that it won’t provide any new information. This paper can be concluded with a brief summary of the key points that were described in the main body. It should be one (maximum two) paragraphs long.

Don’t make the final clause too complicated. Just look at every paragraph of the paper’s main part and draw short conclusions from each to make some kind of a “list” with main nuances. After a summary write a logical conclusion. The whole piece can fit into a 5-paragraph structure.
Quick Tip: to make your conclusion an integral section of the work, you can refer to some facts and phrases from the introductory paragraph.

What pitfalls you may come across?

Now you know how a well-written example of a definition essay should look like. However, note that explaining the concept of a word or subject to the readers is not the most challenging stage in writing such paper, the most difficult thing is to make it more personal, add a bit of individuality to it. To do this, you can mention how a particular term has affected you, what role it played in your life, and share your personal experience.
Another difficulty that you can come across is lack of time or experience. Not everyone can handle academic papers with ease, so if you doubt your abilities, it can be a good idea to find some assistance.

How to get a perfect paper that would grant you an A?

Sometimes students are not experienced enough to create a high-quality text that would deserve a high grade, and in this case, asking someone to write your essay is a wise decision. If you want to be confident in the success of the work, you can always ask for professional help at professional and reliable paper writing service EssayHub.
Ordering a definition essay on our website, will not just rid you of an unwanted headache and stress caused by this task, but will also guarantee that you will receive a paper written by well versed proven experts that will bring you the praises of your teacher.


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