Definition Essay Writing Guide

An essay assignment is quite popular in many educational establishments. There is a range of essay types, and each of them can help you in developing your skills and widening your knowledge. Moreover, when your professor assigns you to write an essay, they expect from you to show some analytical or critical thinking skills, ability to structure your paper logically, and your interest as well as competence in various aspects of life. Among the different types of essay, there is a definition essay that could seem to be one of the most simple assignments. Like any other essay, a definition one has its peculiarities as well as content requirements that are to be met to succeed in the writing. How to write a definition essay that will fully guarantee you the highest grade? In this article you are going to know everything about the definition essay assignment, get acquainted with its major demands and prominent topics, and learn how to structure this essay in the best way. First of all, your key to winning essay is a clear understanding of what you are going to deal with. So, the best start would be to interpret such an assignment as a definition essay in order to define and understand its features that must be preserved.

What is a definition essay?

A lot of students really enjoy writing a definition essay, because, at first sight, it seems to be easy-to-cope-with. But what is a definition essay? This category of writing is famous for taking on abstract, discrete concepts and ideas. What is love? What is the meaning of success? What is the real American dream? And so on and so forth. An essay that explains the meaning of a phenomenon, word, phrase or concept is considered to be a definition essay. How you decide to define your issue may depend on your knowledge of the subject, research timeframe, personal experiences, and which approach you feel will best suit your topic or assignment.

definition essay note

A really enjoyable thing about the definition essay is that it does not oblige you to use the information only from explanatory dictionaries or to give an absolutely precise definition. In addition to explaining the general idea of a particular phenomenon, you have the freedom to voice and thinking by expressing your own ideas or thoughts about what you define in your essay. Now, when we have covered the definition essay definition, it's time to take a closer look at the major parts this assignment consists of.

General Structure

To get the highest grade for your essay, you need not only to fill it with pertinent information and reliable facts or examples from your personal life. If you want to make your essay understandable and fully informative for the audience, you should follow certain rules of the definition essay structure. Thus, you can make your writing logically-structured and more coherent. Also, each part of your essay should contain specific information that should be well-organized. It will help you to reveal the central idea of ​​your essay gradually, and then logically lead your reader or listener to the main outcome. After having come through the basics of the definition essay assignment, we are to answer the most vital one: how to write a good definition essay? We are going to study in-depth the following specific parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body paragraph
  3. Conclusion

They are commonly-known and implemented for a lot of assignments, but what we are to do is to explore each of them in the context of a definition essay in particular.

definition essay techniques

How to Start Writing

A good start is a guarantee of success. If your introduction processed appropriately, it would be much easier for you to keep your writing logical. The central purpose of any introduction is presenting the main idea of your definition essay, in other words, you are to state clearly what you are going to define. The thing is that definition essay introduction should give your audience some kind of heads-up and prepare your readers for what they are going to learn from your paper. This part of the essay should not be too broad or narrow. Of course, you can start with a broader concept, and then bring the audience to your main statement. However, be careful - try not to go into details or turn away from the issue of the essay. Let's summarize all the tips to make a refined introduction:

  • think over your topic in advance - it would help you to determine the main idea you want to develop
  • start with general information and gradually move to the matter you will define
  • remember the connecting particles - make the sentences in your introduction interconnected
  • use some exciting and catchy phrases to make your essay worth reading

Tips on Body Paragraphs

To begin with, there should be three paragraphs in this part of your essay. This scheme is due to the fact that all your thoughts should be supported by several truthful examples. For instance, if the theme of your paper is related to friendship, the definition essay body paragraphs will describe this phenomenon in different aspects. You can include in your writing the precise definition of friendship from a dictionary or any other official source, then use the way love is described in a work of art, and in the last paragraph tell how you understand such a thing as friendship and describe your experience or an example from life. Don't forget to refer to real quotations and include really exciting information to maintain the interest of your audience.

The Conclusion

You have approached the final part of your essay. Your task is to draw a line and make up a certain conclusion. The difficulty may be in trying not to lose your main idea among the vast amount of information. So try to preserve and maintain it throughout the whole essay. Your conclusion should be the main answer to the question that you asked in your introduction part. And that's it - writing a definition essay turned out to be much less challenging, didn't it?

Definition Essay Outline

What is sometimes required for writing an essay, or in any case can facilitate the structuring of your paper is a definition essay outline. Simply put, an outline is a brief review of your work, which highlights its main points. This part of your paper shows the logicality of your essay's structure, and also helps to stick to a particular plan of presenting your thoughts, facts, and evidence. How to write a definition essay outline? A perfect outline would be as follows:

  • Introduction paragraph. State clearly what you are going to define in your essay.
  • Body paragraphs.
  1. History paragraph. Include the example that would illustrate a particular phenomenon in the context of history.
  2. Denotative definition paragraph. Focus on the definition from the official source (dictionary).
  3. Connotative definition paragraph. Offer an example from your own experience and express your individual understanding of the certain phenomenon.
  • Conclusion paragraph. Harvest. Summarize all the provided examples and make one conclusion.

If you structure your definition essay well, there would be any difficulties in writing it, for sure.

List of Definition Essay Topics

A refined definition essay is impossible without a fascinating topic. Concentrate on the vital and the most discussable issues of the modern world. Pay attention to those problems discussed by your friends or family members. We sure you will find some aspects of your life that could become a great basis for good definition essay topics. Think about what you would like to explore and define. If you are really interested in your topic, you will make an effort to write a good paper, and your essay will be really astonishing. We offer you a definition essay topics list that can be used to find that one perfect topic for excellent writing.

  • Love. The most discussable topic of all times. What exactly is love? Does love really exist?
  • Friendship. What is friendship? What makes people feel that inner interconnection with each other?
  • Success. What makes a real success and are there unsuccessful people?
  • Marriage. How different generations understand a concept of marriage and its necessity?
  • Honesty. Honesty as a basis of good relationships. What is a "white lie"?
  • Laziness and procrastination. Are we doomed to laziness because of our genes?
  • Cheating. Every person who has experienced a relationship has their own definition of cheating. Which one is true?

Of course, you can choose any other topic. Nevertheless, we hope that our list of topics will help you in making the right choice.

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There are different types of essays: narrative, persuasive, compare\contrast, definition and many many others. They are written using a required citation style, where the most common are APA and MLA. We want to share some of the essays samples written on various topics using different citation styles.

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