How to write definition essays.

definition writing

A definition essay is primarily an academic article. It is a composition that attempts to define a term, a concept, or an idea. For most students writing a definition essay can be quite challenging. Moreover, definition essays can prove to be quite deceptive. It is because even though it appears to be easy to define a term, yet it becomes complicated when you have to write an extensive article on it. You need to have thorough knowledge about the description of the word as well as its usages. For example, the same term can provide different meanings depending on its utilization in sentences. This is especially true in the case of homonyms. Sometimes individual terms also have both literal and metaphorical meanings. Thus, depending on the usage of the particular word in the sentence, the purpose of the term changes. When you write a definition essay on a specific term, you will have to address all of these aspects of the words. So when you write a definition essay, there are certain factors that you must keep in mind. Some of these points have been discussed below.

Writing the introduction with clarity and conciseness

When you write a definition essay, the first thing that you should write carefully is the introduction. The first paragraph will set the tone for the entire piece, and hence, it should be concise, clear, and informative. To make the introduction enjoyable, you could consider beginning it with an anecdote. This will make the introduction enjoyable. However, while developing the introduction, keep in mind that you do not digress from the main point of the composition. The introduction should also give the reader an idea about the topic that will be discussed subsequently in the essay. Hence, when you develop the opening of your definition essay, ensure that you write with clarity. You should also provide adequate information so that the reader understands the objective behind writing the piece.

Defining the term

If you have described the word already in the introduction, then you need not explain it again in the body. Otherwise, you will have to give the specific definition of the term in the body. If it is a concept that you are dealing with, then you can provide a little background of it in the introduction to the essay. After that, you will have to give a proper definition of the concept in the body. When dealing with terms that are homonyms, then you will have to describe the word taking into consideration the two different meanings. Say, for instance, you have selected the term 'bark.' This term has two implications, viz. outer layer of a tree and the sound made by a dog. Writing a definition essay for homonyms can prove to be quite tricky. Herein you will have to give two separate definitions that do justice to the dual meanings of the term.

Additionally, you must also provide examples to provide clarity to the descriptions. Thus, when you define a term, ensure that you have provided a complete meaning of the word that you have selected. In the case of a concept, the definition must provide clarity regarding the theory to be discussed.

Providing examples

To make it easy for your readers to grasp the idea, which you want to describe through the essay, you must give examples. As mentioned earlier, in the case of homonyms, examples are a must to make the idea clear. However, in the case of standalone terms, too, you have to give examples. Usually, the examples have to be varied so that both literal and metaphorical meanings of the word become clear. You should also provide more than one implication so that even if the reader is unable to grasp the meaning of the term by reading the definition, he will easily be able to understand it after reading the examples. Moreover, models also make it easier for the reader to evaluate the description of the term or the concept that you are writing about.

Provide analysis

A definition essay has to be analytical. You must provide a thorough analysis of the term or the concept you are dealing with. If possible, you should be able to substantiate your review with information and data gathered from reliable sources. This is especially true if you are trying to define a concept. If it is a scientific concept, then substantiating your analysis with adequate data should not be a problem. If you are dealing with a social idea, then you can provide quotes from papers published by social scientists. You could also acquire information to support your analysis, from news reports, political discussions, and social forums. However, the information that you provide should be authentic and dependable. If you provide incorrect information or data that you have not acquired from bona fide organizations, then your essay will lose its gravity and substance. 

Write a conclusion that brings together the entire essay

When you start writing the conclusion for the article, make sure that brings together the whole idea that you have discussed in the body of the piece. In other words, the conclusion should make your essay a cohesive whole. The conclusion should refer to the definition of the term or the concept. At the same time, you should also clearly write as to how you came to a particular result.

Moreover, the conclusion should also be written with clarity. It will ensure that the reader no longer has any doubts regarding the definition of the term or the concept. Your clarity of thought should convince the reader about the meaning of the word.

Thus, when you write a definition essay, there are certain factors that you must take into consideration like, the exact meaning of the term, socially accepted definition of the worddefinition writing, and commonly used examples to explain the meaning of the term. This will make your piece easy to understand and will also reflect the research you have done to write the composition. 


1001 Words


Apr 06, 2020


3 Pages

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