While selecting topics for a definition essay, you should not take any shortcuts. You can't focus on just one aspect of the word. The prompt should contain more than one word and requires the writer to consider the chosen word or sentence from different angles.

Never choose a dry topic for your definition essay! Instead, read this post to decide what to discuss in the paper to define something. In this type of paper, you will find various topics to discuss. If you have any doubts regarding the quality of your written assignment, feel free to use our Best Essay Writing Service.

What is a definitional essay?

A definition essay is a piece of writing that explains what a word or a concept means. For example, some words have definite, concrete meanings, such as glass, book or tree. On the other hand, words like honesty, respect or love are abstract and depend more on a person's perspective.

A definition essay can be evaluated from the point of view of the direct or precise meaning and subjectivity of the person defining the term. The aim is not only to provide a dictionary definition but also to elaborate on why the word is defined in such a way. The approach depends on the topic, the readers and the essay's purpose.

Types of Definitions Used in Essay

Students can choose from the following formats if the teacher does not specify a certain essay type.

Definition Analytical Essay. What elements does the phenomenon under discussion consist of? What are the main characteristics of each of these components? How do they interact with each other?

Classification. To which category does the topic of the essay belong? Is it a typical or unusual representative of this class? How is it different from other representatives?

Cause and Origin. Who first came up with this idea? Where, when and why did this happen? How has the idea evolved?

Compare. The author finds common and contrasting characteristics of several definition essay ideas.

Description. The author focuses on some particularly meaningful and unique parameters of the object.

Effects, results and uses. What happens when someone uses the object or implements the idea under discussion? What changes do they instigate? Are there any side effects?

Prohibition. It looks somewhat like a comparison. The author enumerates those items with something similar to the item under Discussion. Then, they explain why the latter is different from the former. This type of definition does not include an analysis of similarity.

Steps to Write a Definition Essay

Before writing a definition essay:

Step 1. Read the tutor requirements. If you have gone through the assignment quickly, there are chances that you have missed some important points or misunderstood something. 

Highlight key terms: Your assignment may ask you not only to define a term but also to discuss it, give examples, or explain how it works. It may also help to look at definition essay examples before writing.

Step 2. Select a subject. Find the word you're interested in defining. You can make a list of words that you would be happy to explore. Find famous words related to art or science in the news, words that make you laugh, and new words. Choose complex, abstract words or words related to personal experience to ensure you reach the word count in your definition essay.

Step 3. Write hints about the topic. Start by writing in your own words everything you know about the topic. Give a simple definition of the word and an example you already know, or read the first definition you find in a dictionary. Avoid copying the definition - write it in your own words. Also, set the limit of this definition because for some words like "depression," you can write longer.

Step 4. Collect and structure information. Here is a recommended sequence of actions to retrieve relevant information about the word. Look in a general dictionary and list all the lexical and related meanings of the word. Then move on to more specialized dictionaries related to certain subjects (such as music, medicine, physics, philosophy, etc.).

Step 5. Create an outline. The outline for a definition essay follows a standard five-paragraph format. First, plan for body paragraphs listing the supporting points in order of importance, starting with the most powerful definition at the beginning of your paper. Then create an outline based on the complexity of the word and do more in-depth research.

How To Write A Definition Essay: Tricks That Work!

When choosing a topic for a definition essay, you should remember some expert tips to be successful in your further writing. Then, turn to the examples from time to time to learn more!

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Choose the words - If you want to develop a heavy definition essay worth A+, avoid discussing nouns or verbs with words like 'swim' or 'lose'. Instead, it is better to dwell on the analysis of some processes.

Add your thoughts - Besides the official dictionary definitions, you must include personal interpretations of the analyzed words. Don't bend - don't get too subjective when explaining the term using your own words!

Provide real-life examples - The best way for the audience to understand what you have in mind is to include some examples to show how the word was used in a real-world context.

Pay attention to multiple definitions - offering words with multiple meanings (for example, beauty, fight, freedom, rock, etc.) is better.

Bottom Line

The whole goal of our guide was to explain how to write a comprehensive definition essay. You can use our tips to improve your writing and find an idea for your paper. Do not forget to do research before writing essay. Find a word's current meanings, usage examples, and specifics mentioned in different contexts.

While working on an essay, be coherent and logical and follow the basic structure of the essay. If you find this task difficult, ask for a professional assistant. We have experienced writers who can help you overcome that obstacle.

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