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Home Blog General Guides How to Write A Definition Essay - Topics and Samples

How to Write A Definition Essay - Topics and Samples

How to Write A Definition Essay - Topics and Samples

Definition Essay?

What does that even mean? 

What are some good definition essay ideas?

Do you just copy the definition off a dictionary and you’re good to go?

Well, to answer all of your questions about how to write a definition essay, start reading this complete guide.

1. What is a Definition Essay?

As the name suggests, a definition essay is the kind of writing that explains a word. It requires you to come up with your own academic definition of a specific word. The definition can be concrete or abstract depending on the word. 

For instance, you can provide an exact definition for a “table” but for a term “love,” it isn’t possible to do so. Such terms will rely on your point of view.

Your definition must be detailed and well researched with supporting evidence. When choosing a word, make sure you have plenty to write about and can give the audience some additional information from a different perspective.

Writing a definition essay is a simple three step process. Present the term that you want to define. Provide the necessary information so the reader can understand it easily. Lastly, use facts or anecdotes to further increase understanding.

To further explain what is a definition essay, take a look at its basic elements.

2. How to Write a Definition Essay?

In this section, we will teach you how to write a definition essay and cover the steps that must be followed when writing a definition essay.

2.1 Choose a Word

The first step, of course, is picking the right topic. Now, how do you know what makes a topic good?

The perfect topic for a definition essay is an abstract concept that people can’t find when they read a dictionary.

It is essential that you have complete understanding of the term you have chosen. 

2.2 Don’t Pick Objects to be Your Topic

Also, stay away from choosing different objects as your topic, for example, writing about objects such as “table,” “glass,” “door,” can be difficult. 

Since there isn’t much to write about such topics and you won’t be able to come up with a meaningful piece of writing.

2.3  Pick a Word with Multiple Meanings

Try finding a word that has more than one meaning to different people; a term that would mean something else for different people.

This will give you the opportunity of writing more while including your personal experience and interpreting others.

2.4 Check its Literal Definition

Take help from dictionaries and encyclopedias, find the official definition of a word its origin, and if there are any theories regarding it.

Along with that, you can find useful information on the internet. You can find several scholarly articles, academic essays, blogs, informative videos, etc.

2.5 Look for Different Perspectives

After you have established what a concept or idea means to you, it is now time to look at things from a different point of view.

You can talk to your friends and family what a word means to them or what is the first thing that comes to their mind upon hearing this word, what are their feelings when hearing the word, etc.

2.6  Create a Definition

The next step is using the research to come up with your own definition. To write an effective definition, consider the following pointers. 

Function

You can define a term by explaining what it does and its mechanism.

Structure

Define a term by its structure and how it is organized.

Analysis

Define a term using analysis. Compare the term you are writing about with other members of its category. The differences are important as they make your term stand out from the rest. 

Negation

For a term that is misunderstood or isn’t used in the right context, it is good practice to explain what the term does not mean.

Examples

Use examples such as facts, anecdotes, images, story to help your reader form a better understanding of the term.

Note: don’t use examples that are against your definition.

3. Definition Essay Outline

An outline is a draft of your essay, which includes the significant components of the essay. 

Sticking to an outline helps you stay on track and complete your essay logically.

3.1 Definition Essay Introduction 

In the first paragraph of your essay, reveal the term you have chosen to talk about along with its dictionary definition to provide a basis for understanding.

This is beneficial when your own definition is different from the actual definition.

But you must open the essay using an interesting piece of information relevant to the term being defined. For instance, you can use an anecdotal hook sentence and tell an interesting story. To make sure your essay is able to grab the reader’s attention. You can learn the art of opening your essay with catchy sentences from this detailed article on hook examples.

3.2 Definition Essay Thesis

A definition essay doesn’t have a typical thesis statement. It requires you to define the term in your own words without giving away the whole definition.

3.3  Definition Essay Body

Here you we will fully explain the definition of the word with supporting facts and examples.

The number of body paragraphs depends upon the complexity of your topic; it could be three or more.

Utilize these paragraphs to investigate and present important information about the word, its history, usage, origin, context, etc. 

3.4 Definition Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is the part of your essay where you sum up the entire essay, no additional or new information should be introduced at this point.

Leave the audience with some final thoughts explaining how the definition affected you and played a part in your life.

Don’t mention a story or experience that contradicts what you have written in the essay.

3.5 Definition Essay Format

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Definition Essay Format

4. Definition Essay Topics

You can’t write a good essay without an interesting topic, can you?

Choosing an interesting topic is no doubt a challenging task.

To make this process a little less time consuming and burdensome for you, here is a list of top definition essay topics.

  • Why are the terms money and happiness interlinked for some people?
  • What does love mean for different people?
  • How do people around you describe love?
  • What does love mean for young adults?
  • What is happiness for different people?
  • Philosophical meaning of happiness.
  • How does one feel happiness?
  • What does true love mean?
  • Is happiness a myth?
  • What is platonic love?

5. Definition Essay Examples

It can be a pretty tricky thing to understand if you haven’t written a definition essay before. Before you jump right to the writing stage, it is best to read and seek help from someone else’s essay on the same topic.

In order to increase your understanding, check out these definition essay examples given below.

5.1 Definition Essay Samples

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Definition Essay Samples

We hope that this complete guide on how to write a definition essay was helpful and solved all of your queries.

However, if you don’t have the time or lack essay writing skills you can always count on 5staressays writing services.

Our professional writers are known for crafting high quality term papers, english papers, argument essay or any other essays for all subjects and education levels in extremely low prices.

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