How to Write a Definition Essay: New Guide with Samples

definition essay
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Understanding What is a Definition Essay

Eristic sophistry was employed by the ultracrepidarian in his quidnunc attempt to impress the aeolist crowd at the symposium.

Be honest, how many times did you read the above sentence to get a gist of it? We bet at least more than once. You might even got a little annoyed trying to make sense of it. Well, that's exactly what brings us to today's main subject, which is to understand the importance of defining things that are not so popular or easy to explain.

Humans have a natural instinct to understand concepts and words when placed in the proper context. However, that might not always be the case. To avoid getting lost in translation, we must understand the words we communicate and be able to explain them to others as well.

No wonder why definition essays are a common assignment in high school and college. However, for this kind of paper, you need to go the extra mile rather than just providing a dictionary definition of a certain word or concept. A definition essay is meant to describe a complex term that has significant background and historical origin.

To save you from wasting your valuable time figuring out what is a definition essay, let's explain frequently used definition essay types and steps for the writing process.

Commonly Used Definition Essay Types

Have you discovered an intriguing term with a rich past that you want to go into in your definition essay? Consider your options and what you can do with them before committing to them.

Following are some suggestions for structuring your definition essay from our rewrite essay service:

  • Analysis: Segment the argumentative essay definition topic into components, then define each component separately.
  • Classification: What categories does the problem fall under?
  • Comparison: Unusual things may be determined by showing how similar or different they are from usual things.
  • Details: What traits and other distinctive qualities best reflect the paper's central idea?
  • Negation: Explain what your narrative essay definition topic isn't to narrow down what it is.
  • Origins and Causes: Where did the theme first appear? What historical details are there? What is the background of the concept?
  • Results, Effects, and Uses: Describe the after-effects and uses of the subject.

How to Write a Definition Essay with a Definition Essay Outline

Just like other kinds of writing, a definition essay outline consists of a classic intro-body-conclusion format. However, in this scenario, what you discuss in the body paragraphs is unique and specific to other essays. For example, you can devote body sections to first providing a historical context, then explaining a dictionary definition; afterward, you can even discuss your personal opinion of the term while contrasting it with the expert definition in the other. Finally, you can also convey the term in terms of the cultural definition and implications.

To give you a more detailed outlook on how to write a definition essay, let's dive into the following sections prepared by our research paper writer.

Definition Essay Introduction

The reader is initially introduced to your essay's topic in the introductory part of a definition essay. This implies that it must be extremely informative and compelling enough to convince the reader to read the entire essay. So, the following elements should be included:

A. Hook: Use a catchy phrase or question to grab the reader's attention.

B. Background Information: Briefly explain the topic and why it's important to define it.

C. Thesis Statement: Clearly state the term and your definition of it.

Definition Essay Body Paragraphs

In the body of your essay, deconstruct the phrase into its component pieces, evaluate it from multiple viewpoints, and then give a relevant justification. Depending on the requirements of your assignment, you might need to write more than three paragraphs. You may add additional sections or swap the order around depending on the intricacy of your term. The following can be employed for the body:

A. Historical Definition: Explain the origin and evolution of the term.

B. Dictionary Definition: Provide the official definition and compare it to your own.

C. Personal Definition: Explain your understanding and interpretation of the term using examples and anecdotes.

D. Expert Definition: Cite an expert or scholar's definition and explain how it differs from yours.

E. Cultural Definition: Discuss how the term is used in popular culture and how it reflects societal values.

Definition Essay Conclusion

The final portion, the concluding paragraph, is where you must restate the main points. Follow these steps to structure the perfect ending:

A. Restate Thesis: Summarize your definition and why it matters.

B. Implications: Explain how understanding the term can inform our thinking and behavior.

C. Call to Action: Encourage readers to use the term correctly and to promote accurate definitions in their communities.

20 Definition Essay Topic Ideas

Our dissertation writing help compiled a list of definition essay topics you can use to base your upcoming paper on. From a definition argument essay to an expository essay definition, you can use the following ideas to create a well-structured piece.

  1. Define the characteristics of the ideal family from your point of view.
  2. What is the Picture of a Common American Family Show?
  3. Politicians' Friendships as a Special Phenomenon
  4. Comparing American Definitions of Freedom with Those of Other Nations
  5. How Freedom Relates to Money
  6. Give Your Personal Opinion on What Being Happy Means
  7. Coping with Depression: What Does It Imply About Happiness?
  8. Explain the Implications of Corporate Mergers.
  9. Describe Maternity Leave and the Laws that Apply to It.
  10. What Are Social Packages, and Why Do They Exist?
  11. What Are Start-Ups, and How Are They Measured for Success?
  12. What Would an Excellent Income Look Like in Contemporary America?
  13. What Ideas and Practices Are Included in Math?
  14. What are the responsibilities of a programmer?
  15. Explain what heteronormativity is and discuss its history
  16. How Might People Interpret the Concept of Brand Loyalty?
  17. What Do You Consider to Be Personal and Global Success?
  18. What Motivated People to Write Fanfiction?
  19. Healthy Sleeping: How Many Hours Are Essential & What Dreams Are Desirable
  20. Explain the Concept of Phobias and Define Its Components.

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Tips for Definition Essay Writing Process

Writing definition essay examples may be challenging since it requires creating a comprehensive description of a single term that is both scholarly and personal. Choosing a term that delivers enough information for the essay is important, and there are several traditional methods to ensure you understand what it means. The following rules from our essay writer should be kept in mind to create an excellent definition essay:

Pre-Writing Steps for a Definition Essay
  1. Select a word with depth: You want to be informational and bring the new discussion to the table. Therefore, choose a word that is not generic, comes with an interesting background, and has multiple meanings. This way, you have plenty of room for discussion.
  2. Use personal experiences: Include personal experiences from your life to provide an original viewpoint on the subject. Let's suppose 'success' is the term picked for the definition essay. You may add your personal experiences to the definition in place of merely referencing the dictionary to offer a distinctive take on the term. You may provide an instance when you succeeded in a certain goal but didn't feel completely satisfied. Then, you may make the case that success isn't just about attaining your goals but also about discovering inner fulfillment.
  3. Employ sensory language: You may help the reader visualize the meaning of the term more vividly and clearly by employing sensory language. For instance, with the term 'love,' you may include descriptions of a warm embrace, the delicacy of Valentine's Day chocolate, the sound of a partner's laughing, or the sight of a sunset shared. This will make your definition essay more interesting and memorable while also improving the reader's comprehension.
  4. Discuss connotations: Examine the positive and negative associations linked with the term and how they impact its usage. Understanding that words may have emotional implications and meanings beyond their formal definitions is crucial when discussing the good or negative connotations connected with a phrase. For instance, the term 'power' may be used to convey both good traits like strength and influence as well as bad traits like abuse and control.
  5. Provide real-life examples: Real-world examples may be a useful tool in definition essays to assist explain and demonstrate the meaning of the term being defined. However, make sure the examples you choose for your essay apply to the defined concept. If you're explaining the word 'success,' for instance, you can decide to include instances of successful people from a variety of industries, including business, sports, or the arts.
  6. Be creative: Using creativity may add interest and engagement to your essay. You may, for instance, employ metaphors, illustrations, or personification without restriction. Another method to be creative is to bring comedy and entertainment to your piece of writing.

Definition Essay Examples

To give you a more clear insight into what a good paper should look like, our custom essay service provided a definition essay example below. If you wish to base yours on this sample, feel free to scrutinize how this example is structured and formatted. Or you can always buy essay cheap and with the highest caliber on our platform!

Definition Essay Example: What Is Success?
Definition Essay Example: What Is Success?
Definition Essay Example: Who Is a Hero?
Definition Essay Example: Who Is a Hero?

Academic Writing Help

As we come to an end, we hope you gained a deep understanding of the definition essay structure and motivated you to compose your own definition paper. And no, we're not leaving you in the dark with the very first sentence of the article!

The person who didn't know much about the topic tried to impress the people at the gathering by using arguments that were not honest or accurate.

This is what we meant by that opening. So, if you don't wish to end up like such a person who has no clue about certain topics, use our academic writing help to your advantage. Order essay and let us create extended definition essay topics, a definition analytical essay, or any other forms of writing for you so that you may never feel confused and uninformed.


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