How to Write a Definition Essay: Guide & Example

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How to Write a Definition Essay: Guide & Example
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write a Definition Essay: Guide & Example
  2. What is a Definition Essay?
  3. What Is the Difference between Definition and Definition Essay
  4. Tips on Choosing Definition Essay Topics
  5. How to Write a Definition Essay
  6. Definition Essay Outline
  7. Definition Essay Examples
  8. Need Help?

If you’re trying to figure out how to write a definition essay or how to write my college paper, you’re in the right place. This text includes valuable information on writing this type of essay. Also, you can find a helpful set of recommendations on definition essay writing in this article alongside with definition essay samples. Let's get started with the definition essay meaning. 

What is a Definition Essay?

A definition of this academic writing sounds like a tautology. A definition essay is an academic writing that serves as a detailed dictionary entry, which takes a minimum of half of a page long. These days dictionaries provide brief explanations of words. Definition essays extend them. 

Add some vivid examples from real life and supporting evidence to define the essay after precise description of the target term. Experts recommend developing this paper on a word that belongs to one of given groups:

  • Special
  • Abstract
  • Disputed
  • Without a common meaning
  • With multiple meanings

It is not a good idea to write a definition essay on words with narrow, specific meanings like “bread” or “bed.” Try something broad instead. Choose words like “freedom” or “beauty” for interpretation. 

Definition essay provides you with the possibility of unveiling all possible meanings of these terms, including personal interpretation; add examples from personal experience, and share other people’s opinions. The 1st thing to include in your definition essay is an official dictionary’s explanation

Usually, such an assignment is not complicated to write these days. It is smaller than any other type of writing task; it has a single goal – explain what this term stands for, and it requires no arguments for convincing your audience in your position. That is how such an essay can take one whole page.

What Is the Difference between Definition and Definition Essay

That is quite a logical question, and many students don’t understand why to write a whole text on definition. The difference between them is as follows. 

A definition is a short and most commonly used explanation of a term, notion, or phenomenon. A corresponding essay provides deeply detailed information, all possible explanations of a term with its denotative and connotative meanings. It also provides an explanation of the term's usage and meanings in different contexts.

Tips on Choosing Definition Essay Topics

Choosing a topic is not an easy task, especially for such a specific assignment. If choosing a definition essay topic is up to you, try to do the following:

  • Think of the class you need this paper for
  • Brainstorm and write down any ideas 
  • You may also think of exciting issues you have discussed in class
  • Write down up to 5-10 terms and choose the one
  • Make research on choosing topic to find out whether there is enough information to complete your task
  • If your topic is too broad, you may discuss only some definitions, its collocations, or its use in a specific context.

How to Write a Definition Essay 

After you have come up with your definition essay topics, let’s take a quick tour on how to write a definition essay. A teacher may give several words to discuss to make the definition essay writing longer. Select complex terms with a broad definition. They should possess a long history and exciting origins – come up with a whole 1-page story for your writing.

One cannot explain a complicated term with multiple meanings in a sentence or two without sharing vivid examples. Even a whole paragraph may not be enough to share the entire sense. 

Profound writing may demand many words/phrases to describe them – that is when a teacher may give a specific assignment to class. Look at the detailed description of each section below.

No matter which of definition essay topics student picks, it works this way:

  • Select a word for your definition essay to explain (avoid those you do not entirely understand), introduce it to your target reading audience. Primary purpose is to commence the contents of your text.
  • Apply some primary sources (dictionaries, vocabularies, encyclopedias, textbooks) to see how the majority of the population tends to explain the chosen term. Combine/merge the offered explanations during writing.
  • Reveal selected term while writing a definition essay introduction.
  • Deliver detailed information about chosen term(s) in 2-3 body paragraphs (similar to 5 paragraph essay), logically united with the help of various transition words. Stress any typical mistakes in other meanings of the term.
  • Decide on several sound examples to depict and interpret the explanation of your own.

Definition Essay Outline

Even though the definition essay is smaller than other paper types, it may still have an outline. The volume of writing depends on the complexity of the chosen term or phrase. Choose a whole phrase, idiom, or proverb to talk about in your text, and remember: some words are genuinely logical and straightforward to explain. 

Simultaneously, some writing demands in-depth research and investigation to formulate an exact representation of their meaning. Definition essay as well as thematic essay and any other essay should stick to the following structure:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraphs (2-3 paragraphs)
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited (usually, formatted in MLA)

Definition Essay Examples

Are you looking for some great definition essay examples? Here they are! 

Need Help? 

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Our loyal policy will leave you pleasantly satisfied. It is crucial to choose professional assistance offered by one of the time-checked online writing services. Our service can provide you with excellent results. Place an order once sharing writing instructions on your assignment, and get a complete assignment worth of A!