Wondering why and how to write a definition essay? If a specific word is new to you, improve your vocabulary by learning it definition and reveal some new knowledge. It’s the main point of this academic assignment. No matter if some terms are interesting for you or not, you should become familiar with this type of academic writing.
What is a definition essay?
What is a definition essay? It’s the initial question that you should answer to master the basics of this written assignment and earn high grades. Dictionaries give brief explanations of words. Your paper should make them longer and serve as a detailed dictionary entry, and it means that you can use supporting evidence and add real-life examples after a description of your chosen term. Make sure that it’s abstract, special, disputed, and with no common definition.
Steps to writing your definition essay
To fully comprehend how to write a definition essay, start with choosing complex terms with interesting origins and history. They require many vivid phrases to describe them. Teachers may give you a few words as examples. The entire process of completing this assignment looks this way:
- Choose a good word to explain and introduce to your targeted audience;
- Use primary sources of information (textbooks, vocabularies, and dictionaries) to learn how people define it;
- Reveal your chosen term in an introductory paragraph;
- Include detailed information about it in a few body paragraphs and unite them with transition words logically;
- Choose excellent examples to interpret your explanations.
Helpful definition essay preparation tips
You should get ready before producing your definition essay to save a lot of time for other studies. How to do that? Explore interesting ideas if teachers don’t give you any specific words. Follow these helpful guidelines to make the best choice:
- Choose the word you’ll define wisely (be meticulous and avoid verbs or clear nouns);
- Look for interesting terms with multiple definitions (your goal is to find multi-dimensional words to stand out);
- Avoid the words universal in each culture;
- Explore dictionaries to check your final choice and find its full interpretation;
- Remember that teachers want to see real-life examples;
- Switch to other options if you don’t get the definition of your term;
- Conduct your research to understand its origins.
How to structure your definition essay
There are some basic elements that your final draft should contain, from an opening section to logical transitions. Read on to find out more.
Create a helpful definition essay outline
Although definition essays are smaller than other types of academic papers, they still require a detailed plan. The number of words that you write depends on the complexity of your term (some terms are simple to explain, while others require deep research). What is the best structure of this paper? It should include these basic structural elements:
- An introductory part with a thesis statement;
- Body paragraphs;
- A concluding section.
Definition essay introduction
This paragraph should contain an official explanation of your chosen term, and you need to make existing interpretation clear and concise in the introduction. Pick the best definition for your context. Determine in what light you will discuss your term. Starting your essay with a direct definition is not always a good idea, and that’s why you should use a hook. It’s a catchy sentence that attracts readers’ attention and hooks can be:
- Jokes or anecdotes;
- Literary quotes;
- Famous quotes;
If you can’t define words in short, they’re excellent choices. There shouldn’t be any specific definition of them. Include their universal interpretations, describe your personal understanding of then, quote dictionaries, and use other effective tools to write a good piece.
Your definition essay thesis statement
A thesis statement should be strong and go in the last sentence of an opening paragraph. What is a starting point of your essay? It’s a definition you take from official sources. Your thesis should involve a full version of what the chosen word means, and you can mix its standard definition with your personal experiences and examples.
This statement isn’t a regular thesis because there’s nothing you must prove about your subject, and you just need to explain your term. Choose the most accurate definition from dictionaries. Your thesis statement should be clear, concise, and brief.
Body paragraphs of your definition essay
The main body of this academic paper has a more original structure if to compare it with other written assignments. Your basic goal is to share different points that constitute your full explanation of the chosen term, and the use of background data isn’t obligatory. Each separate idea must have a separate paragraph. Use the following structure to write body paragraphs effectively:
- Write one element of your explanation and give a deep analysis of how specific examples substantiate the definition of your term;
- Explain the next aspect of your word and give supporting examples;
- If it has many meanings, list all of them.
Body paragraphs should contain your personal interpretations, origins and history, and a complete dictionary usage and explanations of a particular term.
What about a definition essay conclusion?
There’s nothing unique about writing a concluding paragraph of this paper. It’s necessary to summarize multiple definitions of your term and remind its basic examples that you discuss in previous paragraphs. The conclusion should contain a summary and an analysis of the points that you mention in other sections of your paper. Explain how a specific term influences your life. To finish your piece of writing, return to a hook and your thesis, but don’t forget to reword these sentences.
A list of perfect definition essay topics
If you’re searching for great definition essay topics, choose the term that you feel comfortable with and that seems interesting to both you and your targeted audience. How to make this choice easier? Find a number of interesting ideas grouped into different categories for your convenience and use them as helpful examples for your inspiration. You don’t have any limits in this academic assignment because many words have their deep and multiple interpretations and definitions.
Ideas for a definition essay on love
To write the best definition essay on love, choose one of these excellent topics:
- Love is a strong and unexplored feeling;
- The main qualities of love: respect, desire, and adoration;
- The way you define love and differentiate passion and love;
- Personality harmonization through mutual love;
- Compare love between men and women with love of couples of the same gender;
- The integration of love in the Oxford Dictionary;
- Love isn’t a fairy-tale without any adverse manifestations;
- Possibility to love a few people at the same time;
- Can youngsters fall in love and save their feelings forever?
- Can same-gender relationships destroy the concept of love?
Family definition essay topics
Use these interesting ideas to write your family definition essay:
- How different dictionaries interpret the family officially;
- Families are groups of people that include the children, their parents, and other relatives;
- A family is important for the society because it makes it more valuable;
- Families can have different sizes;
- The role of the family in your college life;
- Specific factors that can make strangers be more important than parents;
- Define the best summer with a family;
- Same-gender families and how they destroy the concept of marriage;
- Are far-away relatives a part of a family?
- Are single parents a complete family?
Freedom definition essay ideas
If you’re looking for top topics for your freedom definition essay, take these good suggestions into account:
- What freedom means for people working in factories;
- The essence of independence and freedom in the modern society;
- Freedom vs happiness;
- Freedom in the eyes of college students;
- How freedom is defined by the US Constitution;
- How the US government interprets the definition of freedom;
- How different dictionaries define freedom;
- Freedom and justice, liberty, and life;
- Why do some prisoners lack their desire to be free?
- Freedom for everyone: do all people deserve it?
Happiness definition essay topics
Use the following ideas as helpful examples to write your happiness definition essay:
- Happiness is the fundamental right of all citizens;
- How you understand happiness in terms of excitement and kindness;
- Define happiness and compare it with controversial subjects;
- Biological, psychological, and religious bases of happiness;
- A universal meaning of being happy;
- Popular theories that describe happiness;
- The best definite statement that can describe happiness;
- Compare living with a wealthy person with no sympathy or someone you love with no material goods: what makes you happy;
- How adolescents define the feeling of happiness;
- Can money or other materials goods make people happy?
Common topics for definition essay writing
To make your piece of writing stand out, consider common topics for definition essay assignments:
- The meaning of courage to people;
- The powerful and eternal feeling of love;
- Hate is the most destructive feeling;
- Give your personal definition of success on the examples of celebrities;
- How your parents define respect;
- The most important traits of being a hero;
- Define loyalty by using the stories of McDonald's clients;
- Compare interpretations of ugliness and beauty;
- Why some people who live in poverty call it their comfort?
- What traits should true friends have to trust them?
Extended definition essay topics
There are many extended definition essay topics to choose from:
- The evidence that proves that the government violates people’s right to privacy;
- Define laziness and efficient ways to overcome it;
- Factors that determine if a person is modest;
- Measures of punishments and caring parents;
- Common symptoms of a healthy appetite;
- Bad coaches and the negative consequences of their training;
- True friendship vs hostility;
- Common characteristics of self-control, self-assurance, and self-development;
- Who is a generous person?
- Do people know what freedom means?
Definition argument essay topics
If you can’t find suitable definition argument essay topics, these ideas can help you:
- Define if the last elections were unfair;
- Massive murders: their outcomes and causes;
- Reasons why creationism can be a new school subject;
- Factors that lead to the racial segregation in the world;
- How healthcare professionals define the problem of cigarette smoking;
- English is the official language in the US;
- The pros and cons of the death penalty;
- Define cheating on tests and exams;
- How do students define the use of electronic devices in the classroom?
- How employees should contribute to the corporate social responsibility.
Definition essay topics for college students
To come up with excellent definition essay topics for college students, look at these examples:
- Expertise and skills of qualified college professors;
- Factors that influence employees’ satisfaction and define worthy jobs;
- Magic words that impress admission officers in winning college applications;
- The huge difference between good and bad habits;
- The necessity of learning a foreign language;
- Factors that predetermine happy marriages;
- How mobile apps and video games speed up the entire learning process;
- Anarchy, democracy, and other terms that define the freedom of choice;
- How does a college degree matter in students’ lives?
- How do modern teens define platonic love?
Use this guide full of topic examples and effective tricks to write the best definition paper and impress your teachers. If you face certain difficulties in completing this academic assignment, turn to qualified professionals and get their expert assistance over the Internet. How can they help you?
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