How To Write A Definition Essay: What Is A Definition Essay? A definition essay is a formal writing which involves the report of a traditional explanation on one particular word. Since you are required to write an entire article on describing a single word, you cannot choose a familiar name with a simple meaning.
A definition essay’s purpose is to explain a complicated term that has a substantial historical background and is known by most people. A classic example of a topic for a definition paper would be ‘love’. It is almost impossible to explain it briefly; this gives the writers room for creative writing, through which they can showcase their originality and their intellectual skills to provide an accurate representation of a problematic term.
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A definition essay can be used to gauge your English writing skills. This paper requires you to write about something personal yet academic. Hence the delicate balance between the two is the key to an ideal definition essay.
The topic you choose must have a different meaning for different people, i.e. it should be perceived differently by other people. Different perceptions will guide you to make up with your definition for the subject.
Another crucial point to be remembered to write a standard definition essay is to avoid terms with a single definition or interpretation. The more variety of perspectives, the more food for thought you can get.
Types Of Definition Essays
As mentioned earlier, definition essays are dependant on the subject of the report. The issue is a single word which you need to define. Hence, the word you choose should be tricky and should have a lot of background worth dwelling. The name selected for the definition essay is what makes different types of definition essays.
Some types of definition topics are:
Easy Definition Essay Topics: When you are in doubt about what topic to choose, you can select a simple and extensively used word.
- You should be familiar with these easy words; hence you can construct your article quickly.
- Some examples can be sited for easy words like- Hero, Queen, Fool, Beauty, Villain, etc.
- All these words have literary value, and you will be able to quote statements from well-known bodies of works of Charlotte Bronte, Shakespeare, and other classics.
- You can research the background of these characters to frame your definition.
Extended Definition Essay Topics: In the broad definition essay topics, you can discuss words with symbolic meaning or meaning with a broad spectrum of definability.
- You should avoid terms with a single interpretation in the extended cases since it will restrict your thought process, and you will not be able to portray your creativity.
- The example of a few extended words is- punishment, self- development, generosity, freedom, narcissist, optimist, royalty, etc.
- You can describe each of these words with a different perspective each time.
- You can cite examples. Freedom is a well-loved topic since there are different levels of meaning to this word.
Topics for Science Students: If you are a science student, you can relate your English class with your favourite science topics.
- They are useful in increasing your knowledge in your field and improving your writing quality along with it.
- Some science topics are- programming, internet, operating system, artificial intelligence, etc.
- Among these, you should select an essay topic in which you are most interested.
- Your passion for writing will be reflected on the paper.
- Feel free to choose a topic about which you feel comfortable with portraying or explaining.
Steps Of Writing A Definition Essay
Choose a Word: The first requirement for a definition essay is the topic. So choose an abstract name with a deep and philosophical meaning.
- A simple word has one concrete definition and hence will not give you much content to fill your essay.
- Generally, nouns about a person, place or thing are too simple. Instead, select an idea, concept, or emotion.
- Make sure that the word has complicated meanings that are disputable and varied.
- It should mean something unique to different people. A definition is subjective since it requires the writers to analyze the word from your perspective.
- Make sure your analysis is different than others.
- Select to highlight an angle of the story, which is not known to many people.
- You should be familiar with the word. If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, your analysis will lack depth.
- Read the dictionary and find out what the meaning of the phrase is in the dictionary.
- You will get a vague idea about how to frame an academic and formal definition by reading a dictionary.
- Furthermore, the definition provided in the dictionary will give a template on which you can add your facts.
- You can choose words with a double meaning to create an exciting essay. Use relatable stories and dive into its background.
Write an Analysis: Separate your word into different parts like suffix, prefix, root word, etc.
- Describe each part of the name in your own words. Use tactics like negation and classification to analyze each portion of your term.
- This strategy can only work for terms that can be broken down into parts.
- The word ‘love’, for example, cannot be broken down using this technique.
- Compare the phrase with more unknown words which mean the same thing but are hardly known to anyone.
- Comparing will make your essay more informative to your readers.
- Use negation to explain what your term does not mean and highlight what it means.
- You can use the background history of the word, also known as the etymology, to explain about how the term originated, from which another word it originated from, what the root language was, etc.
Definition Essay Writing Format
You should follow a particular format while writing a definition essay since it is an academic article. The standard format for a definition essay is as follows-
- Introduction: The beginning of any essay should be with an introduction. Introduce your readers with the concept of your word, even if it is well known.
You begin by stating the definition from the dictionary of the word and then continue with adding more facts to the template definition.
After a formal introduction, you have to write a thesis statement about the term in your own words.
You can mention your definition and prove why, according to you, the purpose is justified in the body paragraphs. Avoid the use of chunky phrases like ‘is’. A definition should be directive in nature.
It would be best if you considered not make it repetitive with the dictionary definition.
- Body Paragraphs: Use all the information you have gathered about your term, all the tactics like negation here. Use each method and knowledge in a separate paragraph. You should not club two pieces of information or two different tactics or arguments in the same section.
It creates a basic idea of the term for your readers. Use stories and anecdotes to paint a vivid image of your term.
Describe the word as much as you possibly can. Throw in all the background history, the etymology, the similarities to other words, any tactics you can to prove why all should accept your definition of the term provided in the thesis statement.
You can use any quotes from novels and articles to prove your point. The body paragraphs should be made attractive with the use of vivid imageries and recent information. People relate to stories easily.
Give a brief example to explain the subject. The first body paragraph can include the history and origin of the word, the second, the bookish definition and the third your version of the description.
- Conclusion: You have to give a summary of the entire essay in conclusion. Add information which you not already used in the piece to create a contrast. Elaborate your thesis and conclude why, according to you, your definition is a standard one.
You can also choose to recapitulate the core information of your essay to refresh the memory of your readers.
Another strategy of concluding an article is by sharing with the readers how the word is personally relatable for you and why it has a significant impact on you. Avoid sharing information that contradicts your definition. Share some stories which agree with your description of the term to draw a close to the essay.
FAQ’s On How To Write A Definition Essay
What are the post-writing tips for a definition essay?
After writing your definition essay, here are tips for perfection.
- References: Select the most appropriate references and later mention where you got your quotes from in the format required.
- Proofread: After finishing your essay, go through it multiple times to make sure no minor mistakes are remaining in your writing. Put punctuations that are missing. Add the final finishing touches to the article. Read your essay aloud, and it helps you to spot your mistakes easily.
- Quoting: It seems tempting to rewrite your form of the definition of the word multiple time throughout the essay. It can become tedious for your readers to read the same thing numerous times. Hence rephrase it every time to break the monotonous trend.
How can I add a personal touch to the Definition essay?
Definition essays are, by nature, academic writing. You have to delicately balance between a literary writing style and personal writing. You have to mold the piece in such a way that you make it your style by adding personal stories.