Definition Essay — Effective Writing Guide

Just like any other academic task, the definition essay has a number of requirements you should comply with. Being a creative assignment meant to develop your creative and writing skills, this task also allows students to learn a number of interesting facts about the meaning of a particular word or word combination. This task is not based on your viewpoint because your primary goal is to explain the meaning of a particular term, and not to express your own opinion.

However, if you lack writing experience and deal with this task for the first time, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to tackle that challenge. In this article, you’ll find answers to all questions related to this task and be able to create a top-quality definition essay. What makes this article special? Our objective is to provide you with a comprehensive tutorial, allowing students to create a top-notch essay without struggling with this task for hours.

What is a Definition Essay — Define It Clearly

For some students, this task can be deceivingly tricky because it requires them to come up with an academic definition of a particular term or word combination. However, it doesn’t mean you can pick the easiest term and write about it. On the contrary, the definition should be long and detailed. While choosing a word, you need to stick with one which gives you plenty to write about. Keep in mind that you should be familiar with the selected subject and understand what it means.

Some students can’t understand the general objective of this assignment. So, what is the purpose of a definition essay? This task is meant to develop your writing skills and teach you to explain complicated terms using in plain language. Another good thing about it is that the definition essay allows you to broaden your outlook.

Before you get down to the actual writing, we recommend that you have a look at the tips below:

  • The word you choose should have a complex meaning. The average length of an essay is 500-700 words. Therefore, this word should give you much to write about.
  • You need to be familiar with the word. You can use dictionaries, but you should be familiar with the chosen subject.
  • The meaning should be controversial. You may analyze this term from your own perspective, but it may differ from that of your audience.

Definition Essay Structure Tips

Like any other task with a similar purpose, this one also has a certain definition essay structure which you should follow. First, you need to process different dictionaries in search of definitions. You aren’t allowed to copy information contained therein word for word because if you do that, you’ll be accused of plagiarism. Therefore, you need to make yourself familiar with different definitions and formulate your own one.

Definition Essay Introduction

Your writing should begin with an exciting and catchy definition essay introduction which will make your audience read the essay to the end. Keep in mind that your objective is to state what your word means clearly. Any introduction should comprise the thesis statement, which underlines the key goal of this assignment. It should be brief and provide a basic definition of the term you are going to discuss in your essay. You can move on to discussing details in the main paragraphs.

When writing your thesis statement, you need to avoid the use of the passive voice because the sentence structure may look a bit clunky.

Definition Essay Body

Now that we’ve covered the basic introduction writing tips, it’s time to move on to some serious stuff, i.e., writing the main paragraphs. This writing stage is the longest and most complicated one, but if handled correctly, you’ll be able to cope with it easily.

Your definition may be ‘many-sided’ which means you can split up different parts into separate paragraphs. For instance, you can explain one side of the problem in one paragraph and after that move on to describing other sides in subsequent paragraphs. Keep in mind that your objective is to create a ‘full picture’ of the discussed problem. Therefore, you can use different methods to achieve that goal.

To make this assignment easier for you, you can create a brief outline which will help you organize your thoughts and group your ideas. Some students think that the simply waste their precious time creating the outline. However, they are mistaken because its key purpose is to keep you from getting disoriented in the overabundance of different aspects.

Definition Essay Conclusion

When writing the definition essay conclusion, you should focus your attention on summarizing the key points. You need to come to a certain conclusion and briefly inform the audience of the general meaning of the discussed term. You are also allowed to share information on how a particular definition affected you or changed your attitude to this or that problem.

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