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Meaning Definition Essay

Definition Essay

In a definition essay you will define some word; it may be either a specific term or abstract notion. Your analysis should go beyond the dictionary meaning of the word. You should do your best to explain the reasons in your definition essay.
You can give a direct definition of the term, limiting your definition essay just to the mere clarification of the term. You can define the term with the help of the story and the reader will infer its meaning.

How to start a definition essay starts with your introductory paragraph that contains the dictionary definition of the word. Another option is to start your definition essay with an opposing interpretation of the term. In a thesis you will state your personal definition of the term. The body paragraphs serve to express your own understanding of the term backed up with illustrative examples.

These 4 rules can help you form good definition essays

  • Don't use the words "when", "where", giving a definition. A common practice is to define the noun with a noun, adjective with adjective and so on.
  • Remember, that definition is not a repetition.
  • Use simple and well-known term in your explanation.
  • Point out the distinguishing features of the term.

You must write a sound conclusion that unites the elements of the definition and explains the reader how he can apply this definition. If you still need more then an example definition essay or a how to write a definition essay guide we can help you. Click here to have a professional writer help you write your essay.

What is a Definition Essay?

A definition essay is writing that explains what a term means. Some terms have definite, concrete meanings, such as glass, book, or tree. Terms such as honesty, honor, or love are abstract and depend more on a person's point of view.

Three Steps to Effective Definition

  1. Tell readers what term is being defined.
  2. Present clear and basic information.
  3. Use facts, examples, or anecdotes that readers will understand.

Choosing a Definition

Choosing a definition is a key step in writing a definition essay. You need to understand the term before you can define it for others. Read the dictionary, but don't just copy the definition. Explain the term briefly in your own words. Also, it's important to limit your term before you start defining it. For example, you could write forever on the term "love." To limit it, you would write about either "romantic love," "platonic love," or "first love."

Thesis Statement of a Definition Essay

The thesis statement usually identifies the term being defined and provides a brief, basic definition.

(term) (basic definition)

Ex: Assertiveness is standing up for your rights.

How To Write an Effective Definition

  1. Create a definition. There are several ways to define a term. Here are a few options.
    • Define by function. Explain what something does or how something works.
    • Define by structure. Tell how something is organized or put together.
    • Define by analysis. Compare the term to other members of its class and then illustrate the differences. These differences are special characteristics that make the term stand out. For example, compare a Siberian husky to other dogs, such as lap dogs, mutts, or sporting dogs.

      (term) (precise definition)

      Ex: A Siberian husky is a dog reputed for its ability to tolerate cold, its distinctive features, and its keen strength and stamina.

    • Define by what the term does not mean. This distinction can sometimes clarify a definition and help a reader to better understand it.
  2. Use understandable facts, examples, or anecdotes. Select facts, examples, or anecdotes to fully explain your definition. Ask yourself, "Which examples will best help readers understand the term? What examples would most appeal to my readers? Will a brief story reveal the term's meaning?" Do not use any examples that will not support the definition.

Remember: A definition essay is writing that explains what a term means. When writing a definition essay, remember to tell readers what term is being defined, to present a clear and basic definition, and to use facts, examples, or anecdotes that readers will understand

Here are the examples of popular definition essay topics:

  • Kindness
  • Sense of Humor
  • Love
  • ...

Whatever essay topic you choose, you should be interested in the subject and familiar with it. It would be great if you had your personal experience in the matter you are going to define.

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