How to Write a Good Definition Essay

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Author: Ben Parker

What is the Definition Essay

What is the essay definition? In general, while writing this type of writing assignments, your task is to explain the meaning of a certain term, providing your readers with clear details and description, examples and relevant facts. Here you should also take into account the fact that some terms have their clear and concrete meanings. While other, for example, abstract ones, rely mostly on a writer`s point of view.

5 Steps to Succeed with Your Definition Essay

  1. First of all, you need to choose a term you want to define. You have to introduce it to your readers in an interesting and clear way. Your main goal here is to make your paper as readable and content-clear as possible. This is the most important task.
  2. It is a good idea to use several reliable sources of information to see how your chosen term is defined there. Think how you can combine them all well. By doing this, you will create your own definition.
  3. In the introductory part of your definition essay, you have to present your term to the readers.
  4. Your body paragraphs should include information about your chosen term. Provide your own description, some cases when this or that term is used. It would also be great to include some information concerning historical background and the term`s origin.
  5. Think of some sound examples to illustrate your definition better.

Effective Definition Essay Topics

It goes without saying that we are using hundreds of different terms in our everyday life. Of course, many of them are clear and well-known to the majority of people. However, there is also a great number of terms which serve as products for hot discussions. People are aware of what dog is or phone or TV. Still, some concepts like faith, love, dedication can be difficult to perceive and grasp.

Among the topics you may choose for your definition essay are the following:

  • Success
  • Marriage
  • Love
  • Morale
  • Confidence
  • Intelligence
  • Religion
  • Endurance
  • Enlightenment
  • Family
  • Attitude
  • Christianity

Useful Tips

  1. While working on your paper, you have to keep in your mind that giving a definition doesn’t actually mean copying what is written in dictionaries and encyclopedias. Of course, if you cannot make up your mind with a clear definition of this or that term, look it up in the dictionary. However, you should analyze this existed definition and add your own interpretations.
  2. Always choose a term you are well-familiar with, or have experienced it in your own life. It is a bad idea to define a term you don’t understand fully by yourself. You will provide your readers with a wrong explanation. It will only confuse them in the end.
  3. A good way of defining the term is the comparison. Try to compare it with somehow similar thing but make a great emphasis on the difference. Try to explain functions, structure and nature of the term.
  4. You have to follow the determined structure. To organize your work better, try to create outline definition essay. It will help you to do everything in a proper way.

What to Do and What to Avoid

What to do while writing your definition paper:

  • Try to narrow the term in case it has too large and wide meaning. It will help you to complete the essay without problems.
  • Make your essay sound smooth. Do your best to find effective transitions to connect your essay parts.
  • Don’t be afraid to provide your readers with your own term definition. Uniqueness is always encouraged.
  • Having completed your paper, find some time to read it aloud. Proofread it to find and correct some possible mistakes.

What to avoid while writing your definition paper:

  • Don’t even try to start your definition like “something is when…” “something is where”. Try to make your paper look scientific. It will only help you to make the grade.
  • Try to choose an interesting topic. Don’t write a paper on too obvious or too narrow term
  • Take into account the word limit before you start working on your paper. Don’t be either too brief or overly-detailed.
  • It is a bad idea to repeat the term within the bounds of the definition itself.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing

  1. An attempt to define a term which is too wide for the essay`s requirements.
  2. Forgetting to emphasize the term you are working with. It can easily confuse your readers and make them lost in your writing.
  3. Working with well-known terms which have no other interpretations to cause discussion.
  4. Ignorance of the examples. It doesn’t matter how clear and detailed your definition is, include some concrete examples in your essay.
  5. Copying existing definitions. Don’t be afraid to express your own point of view. Be unique.

You are now aware of all tips concerning definition essay writing. So, pull yourself together and create a paper to make a headway!

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