Writing essays is an integral part of your school and college life, and you can do nothing about it. You may address a custom paper writing service and get help from professionals in writing. The other way is to try it yourself. You’ll want to make the process of writing as simple as possible. You might think that growing into a better writer is something impossible: You either have your natural writing talent or are just unable to write well, and there’s no other way. But it’s not that definitive. Writing is like cooking. Nobody expects you to bake a perfect cake if you do not know the recipe and have no previous practice. It’s a skill you have to develop, just like writing. In this post, we will learn how to write a good definition essay and make it as easy as it can be.
What is a Definition Essay?
A definition essay is a special type of essays where you have to put a definition in an essay for a chosen word. The definition must be well researched and supported by evidence. This might also be an explanation of what a certain term means. Some terms have literal, definite meanings, like table, pencil, or chair. Some of them are abstract, like love, success, and truth, and their meaning depends on a person’s point of view.
You can write a Definition Essay for a class or just try writing it to improve your English skills, turning it into a kind of a language challenge.
How to Start a Definition Essay
Before you write a definition essay, you should arrange your work and plan your reasoning. First, make a clear picture in your head of what you are going to write about. This is a crucial part of writing which can actually take more time than the creation of the text itself.
There are some ways to ensure a better understanding of what you can include in your text. For those who love the information to be presented vividly, graphical means are perfect. The writer can arrange the concepts they may want to insert in a mindmap, diagram, tree, or whatsoever.
You can visually represent the idea, the argumentation, and the outcomes of your exploration. Besides, you may also picture here the workflow of the essay. If you have a notion of what to write and how to do it, you are halfway to getting a powerful definition essay as a result.
In addition to developing the conception, figure out what else you need. Prepare the dictionaries to check the formal meaning of your term. Printed dictionaries may not be easily available. In case they are not, make a list of online resources with the links. The dictionaries, whether printed or online, may be explanatory, etymological, or demonstrate word usage and compatibility. Even if you don’t use this information directly, it may suggest you some interesting ideas and associations.
Think of the people whose advice or opinion may be valuable for your essay. You will ask them how they understand the term you’re writing about. So try to plan an interview with people of different positions, ages, and world-view. Their interpretation might become a real punchline for your article.
Generally, the more diverse the information you collect, the more capacious your text.
How to write a Definition Essay? Step by Step Guide
Pick a Word
Choosing a concept or idea is the main point in writing a definition essay. Choose a word that describes the concept or idea, for example, “Love”, “Hero”, “Truth”, “Hate”, etc. Make sure you completely understand the term you choose. Check with a dictionary, but do not copy the definition from it. Explain the term under discussion in your own words. If your concepts are fairly vague, you can seek out your own definition based on experience and then find sources to support your definitions.
Stay Away From Specific Things and Objects
Try not to choose such objects as “pillow”, “shelf”, or “cup” because it can make the writing even harder. Professional writers know this hint, as it’s just impossible to extend a definition and write a lot about specific objects. Besides, your essay will seem superficial and not shrewd enough.
Choose a Word That You Know
Pick a word that you are familiar with and picture it to yourself on a basic level. This way, it will be much easier to write. For instance, you can choose the word “honor” because you know what that means, you have something to say about it, you know how it feels, and you can apply it to your life.
Try to Pick a Word That Has More Than One Meaning
It would be better if you chose a word that has several meanings, especially if this word would mean different things to different people. In this case, you will have more to write about. You’ll be able to include your personal understanding as well as interpretations of other people.
For instance, you can pick the word “love” since you know that there are a lot of different meanings to this word, and each person understands and experiences it in their own unique way.
Find the Word In the Dictionary
Every word has its formal meaning, which you can find in the dictionary. Get to know it. Take a closer look at the structure of the definition.
Study the Origin of the Word
Research the word in encyclopedias, find out where it came from, and study any theories and ideas about this word. Also, if you pick a word from the law field, for example, examine this word in law encyclopedias.
You can find a lot of information about words nowadays, all you need is an Internet connection. There are many resources where professional writers write essays for money. Such websites contain a lot of scholarly or academic works, blog posts, essays, and articles. They can also include a definition of your term. Moreover, there are many videos made by smart people who have already deeply researched many words and are now sharing their knowledge.
Ask Your Friends and Family About the Word
It is important to get your own perspective on the word. For that, you can talk to your friends and family and ask them something like “what this word means to you”, “what it is you first think about when you hear this word,” or “what you feel when you hear this word” and so on. Record all the answers and then use them as your sources.
Come up With Your Own Definition
Write down your definition of the word using the data from your research and experiences. For better clarification, you may want to use visuals. Explore the resources that can help with powerpoint presentation or stock up with relevant pictures that illustrate your concept.
Definition Essay Outline
The essay outline should briefly summarize the content of your essay. Definition essay structure organizes the text in an easy-to-understand and coherent manner. Writing a short draft is very effective, and some teachers even require students to submit drafts to make sure that they have written the essay themselves. Definition essay outline usually consists of a traditional intro, body paragraphs, and conclusion format.
Here is a basic sample of how to do this:
In the introduction, you demonstrate to your readers what this paper is going to be about. In the definition essay, the main goal of the introduction is to provide your readers with two definitions – “standard” one and thesis one. The standard definition is the one you find in a dictionary. The thesis definition is a bit different from the dictionary one, so it is important to give your readers a starting point in regards to the term in order to make everything clear.
The thesis statement in the definition essay is a combination of what this term actually means and your personal understanding. Do not write too much in this section, though. Save some info for the body paragraphs. Also, do not use phrases like “is where” and “is when” when describing the word. In general, try to stay away from passive phrases involving the word “is”.
This is the largest part of your essay. Here you have to define the core parts of the term and put them into organized sections. Use the data from your research, such as the history of the word and its variations, and break it down into parts.
Traditionally, in the concluding section you have to sum up the main points of your reasoning but in different words. The ending of an academic definition essay should be interesting and deep. Show how this term impacts your life and finish by giving your reader a sense of purpose.
Definition Essay Format
Formatting is often crucial for a successful text. If you’re not sure how to arrange it, it’s always a good idea to check tips on how to format an essay properly on special platforms with expert information.
- Briefly tell about the term you are going to talk about
- Thesis statement
- Body Paragraph 1: History and Origin of the Word.
- Body Paragraph 2: Complete dictionary explanation and use of the Word.
- Body Paragraph 3: Personal definition created from your experience.
- Restate the thesis statement in different words
- Summarize the main key pieces of evidence
- Final closing sentence
struggle as possible.
Words to Use for a Definition Essay
When creating a definition essay, you should follow the general rules of writing an expository essay. The basic pieces like the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion are always the same across all essay types. The special pieces include key components which are peculiar to the definition essay. These are, for example, words that are most often used or are recommended in a definition essay.
Some good words for a definition essay comprise the following words and phrases:
- What is …
- What … means
- Extended definition
These are the examples of words you will hardly avoid when preparing a definition essay. They are most often integral to the topic, but this does not mean you should use them all. You can, of course, arrange sentences and your ideas differently and with other means. The words above and the concepts they denote are core for definition essays. Moreover, when people search for a term definition, they may try to look for a relevant essay by the keywords. So these words may help them find your essay by these keywords and phrases. They are desired but not obligatory.
A really outstanding text should contain the right language also in other parts. The further words and phrases may be helpful and make your text sound academic:
“in other words”, “to put it another way”, “moreover”, “likewise”, “what’s more”, “as well as”, “not to mention”, “on the other hand”, “however”, “by contrast”, “in view of”, “nevertheless”, “to give an illustration”, “notably”, “above all”, “in conclusion”.
Definition Essay Topics
Good Definition Essay Topics
- What is Love?
- What is Wisdom?
- Define What Makes a “Good” Friend?
- Define Success
- Define “Beauty”
- Talk about Solitude
- What Smart Means to You?
- What does it mean to be a Good Person?
- What makes a Good Leadership?
- What Makes a Great Friend?
- What Scholar Means to You?
- What is Loneliness?
Definition Essay Examples
Sometimes people just cannot start writing their essay without looking at a complete example of somebody else, seeing the structure and how it is written. Yes, sometimes students need some extra inspiration to start their own work and that is fine. Thankfully, nowadays you can easily find many sample papers, moreover, here is one for you right now.