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How to Write a Definition Essay

How to Write a Definition Essay: Outline, Steps & Examples

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How to Write a Definition Essay
 John Millar   Published On Aug 21, 2023 | Updated on Aug 21, 2023  Essay

What Is the Definition of an Essay?

Experts define writing tasks as long or short written pieces on a specific topic or subject. The word limit varies for every task and is set by the professor.

Moreover, these assignments can be of several types. 

  • Narrative 
  • Descriptive 
  • Expository
  • Definition 
  • Definition
  • Process
  • Compare and contrast  
  • Argumentative 
  • Persuasive 

Understanding Definition Essays 

It is a unique piece defining a term, concept, principle, or theory in detail. Academic specialists label it as a form of expository article. Its purpose is to provide elaborate explanations on the topic for its readers. 

You can adopt a rhetorical style of different techniques to clarify the meaning of the coverage. Such papers often work as comprehensive guides for the audience's understanding.

Moreover, such academic pieces adhere to the standard 5+ stanza paper format. It provides both the meaning and analysis of concepts or theories. 

Must Read: Comparison And Contrast Essay

Let's Explore More on Their Structure

The Crucial Facets Will Include as Follows-

An Introduction 

It is the starting stanza that introduces the topic. It features a hook statement, a transition line, and the thesis sentence in the last line.

  • The hook engages the readers to take an interest in the topic.
  • The transition line helps move to the next sentence while maintaining flow.
  • The thesis statement clearly defines what follows below.

A Body

It is the main part of the paper. Ideally, it must have 2-3 paragraphs. You can add more depending on the collected data and explanatory purpose.

You focus on every angle/side of the topic and define it comprehensively. However, just because you have scope to write doesn't mean you will incorporate everything you find.

You must filter out unnecessary facts like extended definitions, denotations, analogies, connotations, etymology, etc.

Only incorporate crucial facts and support them with reliable and verifiable evidence. 

Keep a topic sentence in every new body stanza. It will help readers understand that the section will cove. Include proper transition phrases throughout the body to sustain flow and reader engagement. 

  • Explain with active statements, and don't create bulky paragraphs. 3-4 lines in one stanza are good enough. 
  • Cite all sources correctly. Only use authentic sources for extracting data. 
  • Besides textual explanations, use graphical data, smart arts, charts, graphs, and even power-point presentations (if applicable) to make it an informative read for your curious readers.

The body must constitute 80-84% of your entire piece. However, don't exceed the word limit; you may lose marks during the review. 

The Essay's Ending

  • It surmises everything you explained.
  • Draws connections and recaps the thesis statement. 
  • Lastly, it features a definitive statement of the concept/topic to satiate the reader's hunger for knowledge. 

The Introduction

Honestly is the most essential trait for individuals to have. It denotes the act of acting or speaking the truth. It is the opposite of lying, cheating, deceit, or stealing. Being honest is the best way to show respect to another, exhibit transparency in their character, and show discipline and upbringing.

Must Read: Critical Thinking Essay

How to Write a Definition Essay from Scratch?

The above is one of the many classical definitive essay examples available online. However, when you write one, the task may not seem as easy. 

Fortunately, these tips will make your endeavor easier!

  • Pick a Suitable Topic

The first step is always picking which topic you wish to write on. Ideally, you must choose something you fancy or are passionate about.

Moreover, it must provide ample scope to conduct unique research and present your views and arguments.

Also, ensure the topic has a broader meaning and appeals to the readers.

Experts suggest picking the concept or theory that's disputable, complex and means differently to various folks.

Suppose you can't decide which one; list probable topics. Then pick one that you feel most confident writing on.

  • Craft an Engaging Hook for Readers

Some definition essays (especially on redundant topics) can be boring. Those themes include LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY, RELATIONSHIPS, etc. You will find several discussions and articles on such topics.

However, presenting something already written in a new light takes creativity and confidence.

It permits you to express YOUR thoughts on the coverage and introduce them to the readers. 

Of course, your efforts will be wasted if you can't hook your audience into reading your piece. The only way to do that is to create an engaging hook for your audience.

It should be the starting sentence that sets the tone for the paper and creates excitement among readers.

Follow these suggestions to create the perfect reader's hook.

  • The hook must be related to the topic
  • It should grab the reader's attention and interest from the get-go.
  • It must (obviously) be creative.
  • It must adhere to the essay style.
  • And must link the introduction contents smoothly.

The hallmarks of a strong thesis sentence

  • Keep it brief and lucid.
  • It should mirror your viewpoint
  • It must support the essay arguments later on
  • It should be logically included in the introduction's ending
  • It must act as the essay's map for your readers

Organize all arguments & supporting evidence.

Different people have differing opinions about everything. Considering this, the best definition essay must present arguments, counter logic, and supporting evidence. 

Experts say definition essays are best when they explain something undecided or arguable. 

Conclude Strongly 

Never ignore the importance of a strong finish. Introductions can set the tone for the readers and give them a glimpse of what's to come in the body.

But a compelling conclusion leaves a strong imprint on their minds and makes them want to know more through further research.

Many make the mistake of simply surmising everything covered. Don't do that. Look to synthesize the crucial points. Show them the meaning and purpose behind your words. Substantiate with evidence and connect all points.

The ending statement must be either a rhetorical question or an intellectual statement. It will trigger a response among readers.

Revise Thoroughly

Don't forget to revise your paper after finishing it. Always re-check your arguments and supporting evidence. Read thoroughly and make corrections wherever there are grammatical, spelling, or logical errors.

Check sentence constructions. Rewrite them if they sound dodgy. Also, check the file with a grammar checker and plagiarism scanner. Make corrections per necessity. 

Also, read the paper in reverse to ensure every sentence means what they were intended to. 

Finally, ask someone close to review the work and suggest improvements. Make the necessary changes per the recommendations.

Must Read: Tricks To Check Plagiarism In Assignments

Key Guidelines for Picking Quality Definition Topics

  • The concept or term you pick must have several meanings.
  • It must be specific than too broad.
  • It must be something you fancy or are passionate about.
  • It must be a concept or term you’re aware of.
  • You must analyze the concept and determine its origins, prevalent meaning, etc.
  • Also, find out from the term or concept's historical significance whether they had a previous version.

Excellent Definition Essay Topics for Ideas

Extended Definition Topics

  1. What is the meaning of faith? Why do people believe they're fated?
  2. What is true Love? Does it exist in today's ruthless world?
  3. What is bravery, and how does it differ from courage?
  4. Define wisdom and how it differs from knowledge.
  5. What is respect? How does it manifest, and who is worthy of it?
  6. What does one mean by generosity of spirit? Is it the foundation of Love, as commoners believe?
  7. Define hate and why it is the most potent destructive impulse
  8. What makes a person beautiful?
  9. Define shame and does it hold relevance in today's time.

College-Level Definition Essay Topics 

  1. What defines a true friend?
  2. What is the definition of good health?
  3. Define maturity and how it manifests differently
  4. What is the meaning of success, and why so many runs after it?
  5. What is the definition of antisemitism?
  6. What defines self-determination?
  7. What does male chauvinism denote?
  8. What is the nature of hatred?
  9. Define brand loyalty. Why does it matter to people?
  10. What is the definition of happiness? Does it depend on wealth and riches, or is it a state of mind?

Creative Definition Essay Topics 

  1. Define Romance. Is it dead in this present world?
  2. Is there honor in revenge?
  3. Define self-respect
  4. What is peace of mind? 
  5. What is the meaning of modesty? Does it make a person good by nature?
  6. What does sportsmanship mean?
  7. Definition of curse in your words 
  8. What is the meaning of profanity?
  9. What is the definition of attraction?
  10. Define responsibilities
  11. What does time management mean?
  12. Definition of magnetism
  13. Define laziness. Is it an attitude problem?
  14. What makes a good ruler?

Amusing Definition Essay Topics

  1. Describe stinky cats.
  2. Describe your views on pineapple on pizza
  3. Describe the importance of dating. Also, explain various types of dating
  4. How to pretend to be busy even when you're not?
  5. Describe Tom's character in Tom & Jerry
  6. What is self-flagellation?

HS Definition Essay Topics

  1. Define the power of will.
  2. What is self-confidence?
  3. Define being self-sufficient.
  4. What defines a role-model teacher?
  5. What does sense of humor mean?
  6. Define kindness
  7. Define Buddhism. How does it differ from Jainism?
  8. Describe the science behind Love at first sight
  9. What is the meaning of family?
  10. Explain loyalty and commitment. Why are they essential in relationships?
  11. Describe racism
  12. What is the meaning of ambition?
  13. What makes a strong leader?
  14. What does optimism mean? Is it an important trait to have?
  15. What is the meaning of a realist?
  16. What does pessimism denote?

Easy Definition Essay Topics

  1. What is the meaning and importance of marriage?
  2. What defines humanity?
  3. What is apathy? Is it different from hatred?
  4. What does common courtesy denote? Explain with examples
  5. Describe fame. Why do people chase after it?
  6. What is privacy?
  7. What is belief? Is it different to hope?
  8. What defines a lasting friendship?
  9. What is Care? Why is it important?
  10. Explain the meaning of the Class of people.
  11. Define personal freedom. Do we have it in today's time?
  12. What is anger management?
  13. What defines business success?
  14. What is the meaning of plagiarism?
  15. What defines human rights?
  16. Describe the American Dream.
  17. What do you mean by common sense?
  18. What does personal satisfaction mean?
  19. Define sense of achievement
  20. What is infidelity? Why is it so common worldwide?

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