Definition Essay

Barbara P

Definition Essay - Writing Guide, Examples and Tips

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Published on: Oct 9, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

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Many students struggle with writing definition essays due to a lack of clarity and precision in their explanations.

This obstructs them from effectively conveying the essence of the terms or concepts they are tasked with defining. Consequently, the essays may lack coherence, leaving readers confused and preventing them from grasping the intended meaning.

But don’t worry!

In this guide, we will delve into effective techniques and step-by-step approaches to help students craft an engaging definition essay.

Continue reading to learn the correct formation of a definition essay. 

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What is a Definition Essay?

Just as the name suggests, a definition essay defines and explains a term or a concept. Unlike a narrative essay, the purpose of writing this essay is only to inform the readers.

Writing this essay type can be deceivingly tricky. Some terms, concepts, and objects have concrete definitions when explained. In contrast others are solely based on the writer’s understanding and point of view.

A definition essay requires a writer to use different approaches when discussing a term. These approaches are the following:

  • Denotation - It is when you provide a literal or academic definition of the term.
  • Connotation - It is when the writer provides an implied meaning or definition of the term.
  • Enumeration - For this approach, a list is employed to define a term or a concept.
  • Analogy - It is a technique in which something is defined by implementing a comparison.
  • Negation - It is when you define a term by stating what it is not.

A single or combination of approaches can be used in the essay. 

Definition Essay Types

There are several types of definition essays that you may be asked to write, depending on the purpose and scope of the assignment. 

In this section, we will discuss some of the most common types of definition essays.

Descriptive Definition Essay 

This type of essay provides a detailed description of a term or concept, emphasizing its key features and characteristics. 

The goal of a descriptive definition essay is to help readers understand the term or concept in a more profound way.

Stipulative Definition Essay 

In a stipulative definition essay, the writer provides a unique definition of a term or concept. This type of essay is often used in academic settings to define a term in a particular field of study. 

The goal of a stipulative definition essay is to provide a precise and clear definition that is specific to the context of the essay.

Analytical Definition Essay 

This compare and contrast essay type involves analyzing a term or concept in-depth. Breaking it down into its component parts, and examining how they relate to each other. 

The goal of an analytical definition essay is to provide a more nuanced and detailed understanding of the term or concept being discussed.

Persuasive Definition Essay 

A persuasive definition essay is an argumentative essay that aims to persuade readers to accept a particular definition of a term or concept.

The writer presents their argument for the definition and uses evidence and examples to support their position.

Explanatory Definition Essay 

An explanatory definition essay is a type of expository essay . It aims to explain a complex term or concept in a way that is easy to understand for the reader. 

The writer breaks down the term or concept into simpler parts and provides examples and analogies to help readers understand it better.

Extended Definition Essay 

An extended definition essay goes beyond the definition of a word or concept and provides a more in-depth analysis and explanation. 

The goal of an extended definition essay is to provide a comprehensive understanding of a term, concept, or idea. This includes its history, origins, and cultural significance. 

How to Write a Definition Essay?

Writing a definition essay is simple if you know the correct procedure. This essay, like all the other formal pieces of documents, requires substantial planning and effective execution.

The following are the steps involved in writing a definition essay effectively:

Instead of choosing a term that has a concrete definition available, choose a word that is complicated . Complex expressions have abstract concepts that require a writer to explore deeper. Moreover, make sure that different people perceive the term selected differently. 

Once you have a word to draft your definition essay for, read the dictionary. These academic definitions are important as you can use them to compare your understanding with the official concept.

Drafting a definition essay is about stating the dictionary meaning and your explanation of the concept. So the writer needs to have some information about the term.

In addition to this, when exploring the term, make sure to check the term’s origin. The history of the word can make you discuss it in a better way.

Coming up with an exciting title for your essay is important. The essay topic will be the first thing that your readers will witness, so it should be catchy.

Creatively draft an essay topic that reflects meaning. In addition to this, the usage of the term in the title should be correctly done. The readers should get an idea of what the essay is about and what to expect from the document.

Now that you have a topic in hand, it is time to gather some relevant information. A definition essay is more than a mere explanation of the term. It represents the writer’s perception of the chosen term and the topic.

So having only personal opinions will not be enough to defend your point. Deeply research and gather information by consulting credible sources.

The gathered information needs to be organized to be understandable. The raw data needs to be arranged to give a structure to the content.

Here's a generic outline for a definition essay:

Provide an that grabs the reader's attention and introduces the term or concept you will be defining.

of why this term or concept is important and relevant.
that clearly defines the term or concept and previews the main points of the essay.

, , or that will help the reader better understand the term or concept.
to clarify the scope of your definition.

or of the term or concept you are defining in detail.
to illustrate your points.

by differentiating your term or concept from similar terms or concepts.
to illustrate the differences.

of the term or concept.
between the types, using examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points.

, or to support your points.

VII. Conclusion


you have defined.
that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Are you searching for an in-depth guide on crafting a well-structured definition essay?Check out this definition essay outline blog!

6. Write the First Draft

Drafting each section correctly is a daunting task. Understanding what or what not to include in these sections requires a writer to choose wisely.

The start of your essay matters a lot. If it is on point and attractive, the readers will want to read the text. As the first part of the essay is the introduction , it is considered the first impression of your essay.

To write your definition essay introduction effectively, include the following information:

  • Start your essay with a catchy hook statement that is related to the topic and the term chosen.
  • State the generally known definition of the term. If the word chosen has multiple interpretations, select the most common one.
  • Provide background information precisely. Determine the origin of the term and other relevant information.
  • Shed light on the other unconventional concepts and definitions related to the term.
  • Decide on the side or stance you want to pick in your essay and develop a thesis statement .

After briefly introducing the topic, fully explain the concept in the body section . Provide all the details and evidence that will support the thesis statement. To draft this section professionally, add the following information:

  • A detailed explanation of the history of the term.
  • Analysis of the dictionary meaning and usage of the term.
  • A comparison and reflection of personal understanding and the researched data on the concept.

Once all the details are shared, give closure to your discussion. The last paragraph of the definition essay is the conclusion . The writer provides insight into the topic as a conclusion.

The concluding paragraphs include the following material:

  • Summary of the important points.
  • Restated thesis statement.
  • A final verdict on the topic.

7. Proofread and Edit

Although the writing process ends with the concluding paragraph, there is an additional step. It is important to proofread the essay once you are done writing. Proofread and revise your document a couple of times to make sure everything is perfect.

Before submitting your assignment, make edits, and fix all mistakes and errors.

If you want to learn more about how to write a definition essay, here is a video guide for you!

Definition Essay Structure 

The structure of a definition essay is similar to that of any other academic essay. It should consist of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

However, the focus of a definition essay is on defining and explaining a particular term or concept. 

In this section, we will discuss the structure of a definition essay in detail.

Introduction 

Get the idea of writing an introduction for a definition essay with this example:

"Have you ever wondered what it truly means to be a hero?"
Heroes have been celebrated in literature, mythology, and pop culture throughout history.
"In this essay, we will define the term hero, explore the key features that define heroism, and examine real-life examples of heroism in action."

Body Paragraphs

Here is an example of how to craft your definition essay body paragraph:

Heroes are individuals who demonstrate courage, selflessness, and a commitment to helping others. They often risk their own safety to protect others or achieve a noble goal.
Heroes are often confused with protagonists or role models, but they differ in that heroism involves action and sacrifice.
This could include stories of firefighters rescuing people from burning buildings, soldiers risking their lives in battle, or ordinary citizens performing acts of bravery during natural disasters.

Types of the Term/Concept 

If applicable, the writer may want to include a section that discusses the different types or categories of the term or concept being defined. 

This section should explain the similarities and differences between the types, using examples and anecdotes to illustrate the points.

This section could explore the different categories of heroes, such as those who are recognized for their bravery in the face of danger, those who inspire others through their deeds, or those who make a difference in their communities through volunteering.

Examples of the Term/Concept in Action 

The writer should also include real-life examples of the term or concept being defined in action. 

This will help the reader better understand the term or concept in context and how it is used in everyday life.

This could include stories of individuals who risked their lives to save others, such as firefighters who rushed into the Twin Towers on 9/11 or civilians who pulled people from a burning car.
This could include stories of individuals who performed small acts of kindness, such as a stranger who paid for someone's groceries or a teacher who went above and beyond to help a struggling student.

Conclusion 

This example will help you writing a conclusion fo you essay:

Heroes are defined by their courage, selflessness, and commitment to helping others. There are many different types of heroes, but they all share these key features.
Heroism is an important concept because it inspires us to be better people and reminds us of the importance of selflessness and compassion.
"In a world where it's easy to feel cynical and disillusioned, heroes remind us that there is still goodness and bravery in the world."

Definition Essay Examples

It is important to go through some examples and samples before writing an essay. This is to understand the writing process and structure of the assigned task well.

Following are some examples of definition essays to give our students a better idea of the concept. 

Understanding the Definition Essay

Definition Essay Example

Definition Essay About Friendship

Definition Essay About Love

Family Definition Essay

Success Definition Essay

Beauty Definition Essay

Definition Essay Topics

Selecting the right topic is challenging for other essay types. However, picking a suitable theme for a definition essay is equally tricky yet important. Pick an interesting subject to ensure maximum readership.

If you are facing writer’s block, here is a list of some great definition essay topics for your help. Choose from the list below and draft a compelling essay.

  • Authenticity
  • Sustainability
  • Mindfulness

Here are some more extended definition essay topics:

  • Social media addiction
  • Ethical implications of gene editing
  • Personalized learning in the digital age
  • Ecosystem services
  • Cultural assimilation versus cultural preservation
  • Sustainable fashion
  • Gender equality in the workplace
  • Financial literacy and its impact on personal finance
  • Ethical considerations in artificial intelligence
  • Welfare state and social safety nets

Need more topics? Check out this definition essay topics blog!

Definition Essay Writing Tips

Knowing the correct writing procedure is not enough if you are not aware of the essay’s small technicalities. To help students write a definition essay effortlessly, expert writers of CollegeEssay.org have gathered some simple tips.

These easy tips will make your assignment writing phase easy.

  • Choose an exciting yet informative topic for your essay.
  • When selecting the word, concept, or term for your essay, make sure you have the knowledge.
  • When consulting a dictionary for the definition, provide proper referencing as there are many choices available.
  • To make the essay informative and credible, always provide the origin and history of the term.
  • Highlight different meanings and interpretations of the term.
  • Discuss the transitions and evolution in the meaning of the term in any.
  • Provide your perspective and point of view on the chosen term.

Following these tips will guarantee you better grades in your academics.

By following the step-by-step approach explained in this guide, you will acquire the skills to craft an outstanding essay. 

Struggling with the thought, " write my college essay for m e"? Look no further.

Our dedicated definition essay writing service is here to craft the perfect essay that meets your academic needs.

For an extra edge, explore our AI essay writer , a tool designed to refine your essays to perfection. 

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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How to Write a Definition Essay: A Step-by-Step Manual for Writing an A+ Paper

definition essay

Samuel Gorbold

According to a definition essay meaning, it involves a thoughtful exploration and clarification of the significance of a chosen concept. To begin, carefully select a term that is broad enough to allow for in-depth analysis but specific enough to avoid ambiguity. Start the essay with a concise and standard definition drawn from reputable sources like dictionaries to provide a foundational understanding. However, most of the essay should go beyond this basic definition. Delve into the complexities of the concept, breaking it down into different components, categories, or aspects. Provide examples, anecdotes, and scenarios that illustrate the notion in various contexts, allowing readers to grasp the nuances and depth of its meaning.

Wondering how to add a definition in an essay? Structurally, a definition essay typically follows a clear and organized format. Begin with an introduction that introduces the term and its importance, followed by a thesis statement that outlines your interpretation. Each subsequent paragraph should focus on a different vista of the concept, exploring its history, evolution, and various renditions. Use transitions to ensure a smooth flow between passages. In conclusion, summarize the key points, restate your hypothesis, and leave the audience with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action. Remember that the goal is not just to define the notion but to provide a comprehensive and insightful exploration that enhances the professor's competence. Our essay writers online can help you foster a richer appreciation for the complexities inherent in language and society.

essays with definitions

What Is a Definition Essay

A definition essay meaning suggests it is a type of academic writing that aims to provide a comprehensive explanation of a particular construct or concept. Unlike other forms of essays that may focus on argumentation or persuasion, a definition essay primarily seeks to elucidate the meaning of the chosen motif. What is the purpose of a definition essay? To delve beyond the surface-level comprehension of the word and offer a nuanced explanation combining personal insights and a broader, commonly accepted definition. This genre of essay often requires careful analysis, research, and consideration of various perspectives to present a well-rounded and thorough exploration of the selected consideration.

During the definition essay writing process, it is crucial for the writer to not only offer a concise dictionary-like definition but also to provide context, examples, and relevant anecdotes that help illuminate the leitmotif's multifaceted nature. This allows the reader to gain a deeper familiarization of the subject matter and encourages critical thinking. The essay may cover abstract concepts like love, justice, or freedom, or it can explore concrete assumptions such as technology, democracy, or sustainability. Through carefully selecting the apprehension and thoughtful exploration of its meaning, a well-executed definition essay engages readers.

how to write a definition essay

Definition Essay Outline

To learn how to write a definition essay, you have to understand that a well-structured definition essay typically follows a standard creative writing format to ensure clarity and coherence in presenting the chosen concept. The introduction serves as the starting point, where the writer provides a standard definition of the aspect to establish a baseline realization for the audience. However, the introduction should go beyond a mere dictionary definition; it should include an argument that outlines the writer's interpretation and sets the stage for the following in-depth exploration. This statement guides the tutor on what to expect in the essay and highlights the specific dimensions the writer will delve into.

After realizing how to start a definition essay, proceed to the main body, where the idea is dissected and examined in detail. Each subsection within the body should focus on a distinct aspect or facet. It's crucial to provide clear and comprehensive explanations, incorporating examples, anecdotes, and illustrations to enhance the reader's erudition. Additionally, consider organizing the body paragraphs logically, perhaps moving from the more general vistas to its more specific or nuanced dimensions. Transitions between sections are essential for maintaining a smooth flow and coherence. 

Finally, the conclusion should restate the key sentence, summarize the key points discussed in the body, and offer a thoughtful reflection or a broader implication of the facet. The conclusion should leave a lasting impression and reinforce the significance of the conception in the context explored throughout the essay. Browse these essays for sale to find great examples of definition essays performed by academic wordsmiths. 

Introduction

  • Hook: Engage the classroom with an interesting fact, quote, or anecdote related to the theme.
  • Background: Provide a standard and basic definition from a reliable source.
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state your interpretation and the aspects you will explore in the essay.

Body Paragraphs

  • Aspect 1: Start with the broader or general outlook.
  • Definition: Provide a detailed explanation of the first aspect.
  • Examples: Offer relevant examples, anecdotes, or scenarios to illustrate the concept.
  • Aspect 2: Move on to a specific dimension.
  • Definition: Delve into the details of the second aspect.
  • Examples: Support your explanation with concrete examples to enhance clarity.
  • Continue with additional angles as needed, ensuring a logical flow between passages.

Counterarguments (Optional)

  • Address possible alternative interpretations or misconceptions.
  • Refute counterarguments and reinforce the validity of your interpretation.
  • Summarize: Recap the key points discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Restate Thesis: Reinforce your interpretation of the term.
  • Concluding Thoughts: Provide a thoughtful reflection, broader implication, or a call to action.

Definition Essay Introduction

In the introductory section of a definition essay, the reader is presented with the topic in a manner that is not only highly informative but also compelling enough to engage them throughout the entire essay. To achieve this, the following elements are crucial:

  • Hook: Utilize a captivating phrase or question to seize the reader's attention.
  • Background Information: Briefly elucidate the topic and underscore its significance in being defined.
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly articulate the term and provide your own interpretation of it.

Definition Essay Thesis

Unlike traditional theses, a definition essay thesis statement doesn't require the writer to argue a point. For those aiming to write an effective definition essay, the key lies in incorporating a central assertion into the concluding sentence of the introduction. Whether you're immersed in the study of astrophysics at a top-tier college or any other discipline, your statement should succinctly define the concept in your own words.

Definition Essay Body Paragraphs

As we’ve learned how to start an essay with a definition, let’s move on to the main body. Within the body of your essay, dismantle the conception into its constituent elements, assess it from various perspectives, and offer a pertinent justification. Depending on the specific writing requirements of your assignment, the number of sections may exceed three. You can introduce additional sections or rearrange the order based on the complexity of the thought. Consider employing the following structure if you want to know how to write a definition paragraph:

  • Historical Definition: Detail the origin and evolution of the main idea.
  • Dictionary Definition: Present the official definition and draw comparisons with your own interpretation.
  • Personal Definition: Articulate your awareness of the hypothesis, supported by examples and anecdotes.
  • Expert Definition: Reference a scholar's definition and elucidate any disparities from your own rendition.
  • Cultural Definition: Examine how the notion is employed in popular culture and its reflection of societal values.

Definition Essay Conclusion

In the concluding paragraph, the final portion of the essay, you can study how to define a word in an essay. It is imperative to recapitulate the main points. Structure a fitting ending by following these steps:

  • Restate Thesis: Summarize your definition and underscore its significance.
  • Implications: Clarify how comprehending the focal point can influence our thoughts and actions.
  • Call to Action: Motivate readers to employ the term accurately and advocate for precise definitions within their communities.

Definition Essay Types

Have you encountered a captivating abstraction with a rich history but didn’t know how to put definition in essay? Before committing to it, carefully consider the characteristics of definition essay and the potential approaches you can take. 

  • Break down your topic into distinct components.
  • Define each component separately to provide a detailed insight.

Classification

  • Identify and explore the different categories or groups that your term falls under.
  • Provide detailed explanations for each category, highlighting the nuances of the term.
  • Showcase the uniqueness of your term by comparing it to more common or typical things.
  • Highlight how your term stands out, whether through similarities or differences from the norm.
  • Identify and elaborate on the specific traits and qualities that best represent the central idea of your essay.
  • Support your definition with concrete examples illustrating the identified traits.
  • Clearly state what your term is not, providing a refined and narrowed definition.
  • Use negation to eliminate ambiguity and focus the reader's perception.

Origins and Causes

  • Explore the historical roots of your term, including its first appearance and any relevant historical details.
  • Provide insight into the origin and evolution of the concept over time.

Results, Effects, and Uses

  • Examine the consequences and outcomes associated with your term.
  • Detail the various ways in which the term is utilized and its significance in different contexts.

Tips for Writing a Definition Essay

Few students actually know how to write a definition in an essay, which can pose a challenge as it requires developing a thorough depiction of a singular term that combines both scholarly and personal elements. Selecting a term that allows for a comprehensive exploration of the essay is crucial, and adhering to traditional methods is instrumental in ensuring a nuanced grasp. Here are some tips to help you perform an effective and engaging definition essay:

definition essay tips

  • Select a term that has a clear and widely accepted definition. Avoid writing overly broad or subjective terms that may lead to ambiguity.
  • Conduct thorough research to understand the various meanings and interpretations of the term. Consult reputable sources, dictionaries, and scholarly articles to gather comprehensive information.
  • Begin your essay by presenting the standard or dictionary definition of the term. This serves as a foundation for your own elucidation.
  • Write your personal exegis of the term. Share your perspective and insights, going beyond the standard definition.
  • Experiment with different approaches such as analysis, classification, comparison, or negation to add depth to your essay. This allows you to explore various facets of the term.
  • To answer the question how do you put a definition in an essay, illustrate your definition with relevant examples, anecdotes, or scenarios. Concrete examples help readers better grasp the meaning of the term.
  • Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each subsection should focus on a specific element of the term, contributing to a comprehensive interpretation.
  • Acknowledge and address different perspectives on the term. Discuss how the meaning may vary based on context, culture, or private experiences.
  • Use negation to define the term by explaining what it is not. This technique helps to eliminate confusion and refine the definition.
  • Strive for clarity and precision in your language. Avoid unnecessary complexity and ensure that each word contributes to the development of the term.
  • Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Ensure that your definition is well-supported and that your writing is free from grammatical errors.
  • Write for your target audience. Tailor your explanations to suit the level of erudition of your readers, providing enough detail without overwhelming them.
  • Summarize your main points in the conclusion and restate your argumentation. Consider the broader implications or significance of writing about the term.
  • Have someone else read your essay to gain feedback. This can provide valuable insights and help you identify areas for improvement.

Need extra tips regarding how to write an academic essay ? Our expensive guide offers everything you need and more to write A-grade essays quickly. 

Definition Essay Topic Ideas

Check out 30 definition essay examples of topics that you can get inspired by and brainstorm your own brilliant ideas to write about in your essay. 

  • Defining true achievement beyond material wealth.
  • Exploring the many faces of bravery.
  • Unraveling the layers of genuine connection.
  • A multifaceted journey to contentment.
  • Navigating the moral compass in a complex world.
  • The power to bounce back from life's challenges.
  • Understanding and sharing the feelings of others.
  • The ever-evolving landscape of creative progress.
  • Striving for fairness in a diverse society.
  • Balancing personal liberties with social responsibility.
  • The interplay of self-perception and social constructs.
  • Integrating knowledge and experience for sound judgment.
  • The pursuit of fairness and equity in legal systems.
  • Nurturing connections that transcend time and distance.
  • Beyond the classroom – lifelong learning and growth.
  • Building bonds in a hyperconnected world.
  • Fostering hope in the face of adversity.
  • Inspiring and guiding others toward a common goal.
  • Unveiling the aesthetic essence beyond physical appearance.
  • Celebrating differences for a richer human experience.
  • Acts of selflessness in a self-centric world.
  • Balancing human needs with environmental responsibility.
  • Unleashing imagination for innovative problem-solving.
  • A holistic approach to physical and mental well-being.
  • Standing in the intersection of heritage and modernity.
  • Examining the impact of innovation on human life.
  • Transformative growth in the face of challenges.
  • The evolution of thought and behavior across the lifespan.
  • Discovering meaning and direction in life.
  • The art of expressing ideas and building connections.

Two Definition Essay Examples

To grasp the essence of what writing definition essay is about, it’s always a great idea to have a vivid example in front of you. Preferably done by someone who knows their writing craft. If you choose to use this definition essay example as a reference, feel free to analyze its structure and format. Alternatively, you can opt to purchase an essay affordably and of the highest quality on our platform!

essays with definitions

How to Write a Good Thesis Statement for Definition Essay?

How to write a definition essay, how to format a definition in an essay, how to write a definition paragraph.

Samuel Gorbold , a seasoned professor with over 30 years of experience, guides students across disciplines such as English, psychology, political science, and many more. Together with EssayHub, he is dedicated to enhancing student understanding and success through comprehensive academic support.

essays with definitions

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10.6 Definition

Learning objectives.

  • Determine the purpose and structure of the definition essay.
  • Understand how to write a definition essay.

The Purpose of Definition in Writing

The purpose of a definition essay may seem self-explanatory: the purpose of the definition essay is to simply define something. But defining terms in writing is often more complicated than just consulting a dictionary. In fact, the way we define terms can have far-reaching consequences for individuals as well as collective groups.

Take, for example, a word like alcoholism . The way in which one defines alcoholism depends on its legal, moral, and medical contexts. Lawyers may define alcoholism in terms of its legality; parents may define alcoholism in terms of its morality; and doctors will define alcoholism in terms of symptoms and diagnostic criteria. Think also of terms that people tend to debate in our broader culture. How we define words, such as marriage and climate change , has enormous impact on policy decisions and even on daily decisions. Think about conversations couples may have in which words like commitment , respect , or love need clarification.

Defining terms within a relationship, or any other context, can at first be difficult, but once a definition is established between two people or a group of people, it is easier to have productive dialogues. Definitions, then, establish the way in which people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse, which is why they are so important.

When writing definition essays, avoid terms that are too simple, that lack complexity. Think in terms of concepts, such as hero , immigration , or loyalty , rather than physical objects. Definitions of concepts, rather than objects, are often fluid and contentious, making for a more effective definition essay.

Writing at Work

Definitions play a critical role in all workplace environments. Take the term sexual harassment , for example. Sexual harassment is broadly defined on the federal level, but each company may have additional criteria that define it further. Knowing how your workplace defines and treats all sexual harassment allegations is important. Think, too, about how your company defines lateness , productivity , or contributions .

On a separate sheet of paper, write about a time in your own life in which the definition of a word, or the lack of a definition, caused an argument. Your term could be something as simple as the category of an all-star in sports or how to define a good movie. Or it could be something with higher stakes and wider impact, such as a political argument. Explain how the conversation began, how the argument hinged on the definition of the word, and how the incident was finally resolved.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your responses.

The Structure of a Definition Essay

The definition essay opens with a general discussion of the term to be defined. You then state as your thesis your definition of the term.

The rest of the essay should explain the rationale for your definition. Remember that a dictionary’s definition is limiting, and you should not rely strictly on the dictionary entry. Instead, consider the context in which you are using the word. Context identifies the circumstances, conditions, or setting in which something exists or occurs. Often words take on different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. For example, the ideal leader in a battlefield setting could likely be very different than a leader in an elementary school setting. If a context is missing from the essay, the essay may be too short or the main points could be confusing or misunderstood.

The remainder of the essay should explain different aspects of the term’s definition. For example, if you were defining a good leader in an elementary classroom setting, you might define such a leader according to personality traits: patience, consistency, and flexibility. Each attribute would be explained in its own paragraph.

For definition essays, try to think of concepts that you have a personal stake in. You are more likely to write a more engaging definition essay if you are writing about an idea that has personal value and importance.

It is a good idea to occasionally assess your role in the workplace. You can do this through the process of definition. Identify your role at work by defining not only the routine tasks but also those gray areas where your responsibilities might overlap with those of others. Coming up with a clear definition of roles and responsibilities can add value to your résumé and even increase productivity in the workplace.

On a separate sheet of paper, define each of the following items in your own terms. If you can, establish a context for your definition.

  • Consumer culture

Writing a Definition Essay

Choose a topic that will be complex enough to be discussed at length. Choosing a word or phrase of personal relevance often leads to a more interesting and engaging essay.

After you have chosen your word or phrase, start your essay with an introduction that establishes the relevancy of the term in the chosen specific context. Your thesis comes at the end of the introduction, and it should clearly state your definition of the term in the specific context. Establishing a functional context from the beginning will orient readers and minimize misunderstandings.

The body paragraphs should each be dedicated to explaining a different facet of your definition. Make sure to use clear examples and strong details to illustrate your points. Your concluding paragraph should pull together all the different elements of your definition to ultimately reinforce your thesis. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read a sample definition essay.

Create a full definition essay from one of the items you already defined in Note 10.64 “Exercise 2” . Be sure to include an interesting introduction, a clear thesis, a well-explained context, distinct body paragraphs, and a conclusion that pulls everything together.

Key Takeaways

  • Definitions establish the way in which people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse.
  • Context affects the meaning and usage of words.
  • The thesis of a definition essay should clearly state the writer’s definition of the term in the specific context.
  • Body paragraphs should explain the various facets of the definition stated in the thesis.
  • The conclusion should pull all the elements of the definition together at the end and reinforce the thesis.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

  • How to Write a Definition Essay

A definition essay can be deceivingly difficult to write. This type of paper requires you to write a personal yet academic definition of one specific word. The definition must be thorough and lengthy. It is essential that you choose a word that will give you plenty to write about, and there are a few standard tactics you can use to elaborate on the term. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when writing a definition essay.

Part 1 of 3: Choosing the Right Word

1: choose an abstract word with a complex meaning. [1].

A simple word that refers to a concrete word will not give you much to write about, but a complex word that refers to an abstract concept provides more material to explore.

  • Typically, nouns that refer to a person, place, or thing are too simple for a definition essay. Nouns that refer to an idea work better, however, as do most adjectives.
  • For example, the word “house” is fairly simple and an essay written around it may be dull. By switching to something slightly more abstract like “home,” however, you can play around with the definition more. A “home” is a concept, and there are many elements involved in the creation of a “home.” In comparison, a “house” is merely a structure.

2: Make sure that the word is disputable.

Aside from being complex, the word should also refer to something that can mean different things to different people.

  • A definition essay is somewhat subjective by nature since it requires you to analyze and define a word from your own perspective. If the answer you come up with after analyzing a word is the same answer anyone else would come up with, your essay may appear to lack depth.

3: Choose a word you have some familiarity with.

Dictionary definitions can only tell you so much. Since you need to elaborate on the word you choose to define, you will need to have your own base of knowledge or experience with the concept you choose.

  • For instance, if you have never heard the term “pedantic,” your understanding of the word will be limited. You can introduce yourself to the word for your essay, but without previous understanding of the concept, you will not know if the definition you describe is truly fitting.

4: Read the dictionary definition.

While you will not be relying completely on the dictionary definition for your essay, familiarizing yourself with the official definition will allow you to compare your own understanding of the concept with the simplest, most academic explanation of it.

  • As an example, one definition of “friend” is “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.” [2] Your own ideas or beliefs about what a “friend” really is likely include much more information, but this basic definition can present you with a good starting point in forming your own.

5:  Research the word’s origins.

Look up your chosen word in the Oxford English Dictionary or in another etymology dictionary. [3]

  • These sources can tell you the history behind a word, which can provide further insight on a general definition as well as information about how a word came to mean what it means today.

Part 2 of 3: Potential Elements of an Effective Definition

1: write an analysis. [4].

Separate a word into various parts. Analyze and define each part in its own paragraph.

  • You can separate “return” into “re-” and “turn.” The word “friendship” can be separated into “friend” and “ship.”
  • In order to analyze each portion of a word, you will still need to use additional defining tactics like negation and classification.
  • Note that this tactic only works for words that contain multiple parts. The word “love,” for instance, cannot be broken down any further. If defining “platonic love,” though, you could define both “platonic” and “love” separately within your essay.

2:  Classify the term.

Specify what classes and parts of speech a word belongs to according to a standard dictionary definition.

  • While this information is very basic and dry, it can provide helpful context about the way that a given word is used.

3: Compare an unfamiliar term to something familiar.

An unfamiliar or uncommon concept can be explained using concepts that are more accessible to the average person.

  • Many people have never heard of the term “confrere,” for instance. One basic definition is “a fellow member of a profession, fraternity, etc.” As such, you could compare “confrere” with “colleague,” which is a similar yet more familiar concept. [5]

4:  Provide traditional details about the term.

Explain any physical characteristics or traditional thoughts used to describe your term of choice.

  • The term “home” is often visualized physically as a house or apartment. In more abstract terms, “home” is traditionally thought to be a warm, cozy, and safe environment. You can include all of these features in a definition essay on “home.”

5: Use examples to illustrate the meaning.

People often relate to stories and vivid images, so using a fitting story or image that relates to the term can be used in clarifying an abstract, formless concept.

  • In a definition essay about “kindness,” for example, you could write about an act of kindness you recently witnessed. Someone who mows the lawn of an elderly neighbor is a valid example, just as someone who gave you an encouraging word when you were feeling down might be.

6: Use negation to explain what the term does not mean.

If a term is often misused or misunderstood, mentioning what it is not is an effective way to bring the concept into focus.

  • A common example would be the term “courage.” The term is often associated with a lack of fear, but many will argue that “courage” is more accurately described as acting in spite of fear.

7: Provide background information.

This is when your research about the etymology of a word will come in handy. Explain where the term originated and how it came to mean what it currently means.

Part 3 of 3: Definition Essay Structure

1: introduce the standard definition..

You need to clearly state what your word is along with its traditional or dictionary definition in your introductory paragraph.

  • By opening with the dictionary definition of your term, you create context and a basic level of knowledge about the word. This will allow you to introduce and elaborate on your own definition.
  • This is especially significant when the traditional definition of your term varies from your own definition in notable ways.

2: Define the term in your own words in your thesis.

Your actual thesis statement should define the term in your own words.

  • Keep the definition in your thesis brief and basic. You will elaborate on it more in the body of your paper.
  • Avoid using passive phrases involving the word “is” when defining your term. The phrases “is where” and “is when” are especially clunky. [6]
  • Do not repeat part of the defined term in your definition.

3:  Separate different parts of the definition into separate paragraphs.

Each tactic or method used to define your term should be explored in a separate paragraph.

  • Note that you do not need to use all the possible methods of defining a term in your essay. You should use a variety of different methods in order to create a full, well-rounded picture of the term, but some tactics will work great with some terms but not with others.

4: Conclude with a summary of your main points.

Briefly summarize your main points around the start of your concluding paragraph.

  • This summary does not need to be elaborate. Usually, looking at the topic sentence of each body paragraph is a good way to form a simple list of your main points.
  • You can also draw the essay to a close by referring to phrases or images evoked in your introduction.

5: Mention how the definition has affected you, if desired.

If the term you define plays a part in your own life and experiences, your final concluding remarks are a good place to briefly mention the role it plays.

  • Relate your experience with the term to the definition you created for it in your thesis. Avoid sharing experiences that relate to the term but contradict everything you wrote in your essay.

Sources and Citations

  • http://www.roanestate.edu/owl/Definition.html
  • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/friend?s=t
  • http://www.etymonline.com/
  • http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/definition.html
  • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/confrere?s=t
  • http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/definition.htm
  • How to Write a Definition Essay. Provided by : WikiHow. Located at : http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Definition-Essay . License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
  • Table of Contents

Instructor Resources (Access Requires Login)

  • Overview of Instructor Resources

An Overview of the Writing Process

  • Introduction to the Writing Process
  • Introduction to Writing
  • Your Role as a Learner
  • What is an Essay?
  • Reading to Write
  • Defining the Writing Process
  • Videos: Prewriting Techniques
  • Thesis Statements
  • Organizing an Essay
  • Creating Paragraphs
  • Conclusions
  • Editing and Proofreading
  • Matters of Grammar, Mechanics, and Style
  • Peer Review Checklist
  • Comparative Chart of Writing Strategies

Using Sources

  • Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Formatting the Works Cited Page (MLA)
  • Citing Paraphrases and Summaries (APA)
  • APA Citation Style, 6th edition: General Style Guidelines

Definition Essay

  • Definitional Argument Essay
  • Critical Thinking
  • Video: Thesis Explained
  • Effective Thesis Statements
  • Student Sample: Definition Essay

Narrative Essay

  • Introduction to Narrative Essay
  • Student Sample: Narrative Essay
  • "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell
  • "Sixty-nine Cents" by Gary Shteyngart
  • Video: The Danger of a Single Story
  • How to Write an Annotation
  • How to Write a Summary
  • Writing for Success: Narration

Illustration/Example Essay

  • Introduction to Illustration/Example Essay
  • "She's Your Basic L.O.L. in N.A.D" by Perri Klass
  • "April & Paris" by David Sedaris
  • Writing for Success: Illustration/Example
  • Student Sample: Illustration/Example Essay

Compare/Contrast Essay

  • Introduction to Compare/Contrast Essay
  • "Disability" by Nancy Mairs
  • "Friending, Ancient or Otherwise" by Alex Wright
  • "A South African Storm" by Allison Howard
  • Writing for Success: Compare/Contrast
  • Student Sample: Compare/Contrast Essay

Cause-and-Effect Essay

  • Introduction to Cause-and-Effect Essay
  • "Cultural Baggage" by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • "Women in Science" by K.C. Cole
  • Writing for Success: Cause and Effect
  • Student Sample: Cause-and-Effect Essay

Argument Essay

  • Introduction to Argument Essay
  • Rogerian Argument
  • "The Case Against Torture," by Alisa Soloman
  • "The Case for Torture" by Michael Levin
  • How to Write a Summary by Paraphrasing Source Material
  • Writing for Success: Argument
  • Student Sample: Argument Essay
  • Grammar/Mechanics Mini-lessons
  • Mini-lesson: Subjects and Verbs, Irregular Verbs, Subject Verb Agreement
  • Mini-lesson: Sentence Types
  • Mini-lesson: Fragments I
  • Mini-lesson: Run-ons and Comma Splices I
  • Mini-lesson: Comma Usage
  • Mini-lesson: Parallelism
  • Mini-lesson: The Apostrophe
  • Mini-lesson: Capital Letters
  • Grammar Practice - Interactive Quizzes
  • De Copia - Demonstration of the Variety of Language
  • Style Exercise: Voice

Illustration

  • Essay Guides
  • Main Academic Essays
  • How to Write a Definition Essay: Meaning, Outline, Steps & Examples
  • Speech Topics
  • Basics of Essay Writing
  • Essay Topics
  • Other Essays
  • Research Paper Topics
  • Basics of Research Paper Writing
  • Miscellaneous
  • Chicago/ Turabian
  • Data & Statistics
  • Methodology
  • Admission Writing Tips
  • Admission Advice
  • Other Guides
  • Student Life
  • Studying Tips
  • Understanding Plagiarism
  • Academic Writing Tips
  • Basics of Dissertation & Thesis Writing

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  • Research Paper Guides
  • Formatting Guides
  • Basics of Research Process
  • Admission Guides
  • Dissertation & Thesis Guides

How to Write a Definition Essay: Meaning, Outline, Steps & Examples

How to Write a Definition Essay

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A definition essay is a type of academic writing that requires the writer to define a particular term or concept. The term or concept can be abstract , such as love or success, or concrete, such as a computer or a tree. The writer's goal in a definition essay is to provide a detailed and comprehensive explanation of terminology, using examples, analysis, and personal experiences.

Read our guide and learn how to write a definition essay. More specifically, we will cover what a definition essay is, how to structure and outline it properly. You will find detailed steps to writing a definition essay accompanied by free examples. 

If you have a tough deadline, contact our writing essay service . Our professionals will review any definition and create an essay that you are sure to like.

What Is a Definition Essay: Meaning

Definition essay is a type of writing where students explain the meaning of any particular term. The key goal is to go beyond a dictionary definition and offer a more in-depth explanation that showcases your understanding. Before writing a definition essay, it is necessary to thoroughly research the origin of the term and get familiar with some background behind its meaning.

You can provide a definition of a simple word, such as "desk", "bed", "equipment". But most often definition essays focus on complex or abstract subjects. These can be natural phenomena, technical terms, feelings, relationships and many more. 

Defining such terms will be an easy breeze if you choose an efficient approach. Let’s see what types of concepts exist and how to cope with them.

Approaches to Defining a Term in a Definition Essay

Before you describe the meaning of any concept, it's important to use the right strategy. There are several approaches you can take to explain a term in your definition essay.

  • Basic definition Use multiple credible sources to suggest information about some word or concept. These could be dictionaries or encyclopedias that provide a clear definition and offer different interpretations.
  • Extended definition Explore the meaning from different angles. You should go beyond a dictionary definition and consider different perspectives of a word.
  • Example-based definition You can use facts that prove a correct interpretation of some word. Complex definitions are better understood if you use illustrative examples.
  • Etymology Explore the origin and historical development of the term. Investigate the root of the word, its linguistic evolution, and any cultural or historical influences that have shaped its meaning over time.
  • Analysis A term may have several parts. You will need to analyze each part and explore how each component contributes to the general meaning.
  • Classification Classify the term into broader categories or subcategories, highlighting its core features and characteristics within the group. This approach is widely used in a classification essay and helps to establish the term's place within a larger conceptual framework .
  • Comparison Compare the term to something more familiar or relatable to help the reader grasp its meaning. Comparison and contrast can make complex terms more understandable by drawing parallels to everyday experiences.
  • Negation Define the term by explaining what it is not. Highlight the boundaries or limitations of the term by contrasting it with related or similar concepts.
  • Results and effects  In this case, you need to examine the impact and implications of the term. Demonstrate how it influences individuals, societies, or various aspects of life.

Once you choose an approach to defining your term, you will describe its main characteristics more quickly and accurately.

Definition Essay Structure

A definition essay structure comprises 3 essential parts: the introduction, body, and conclusion. Each section plays a critical role in conveying the full understanding of the chosen word:

  • Introduction An opening paragraph is where you introduce the term and provide a basic interpretation. This section should pique the reader's curiosity and present a thesis statement.
  • Body The body of a definition essay contains a detailed explanation of the term. It includes different types of definitions and approaches. Each body paragraph should focus on a different angle to let readers see a full picture. The number of paragraphs depends on how many details you want to cover.
  • Conclusion A definition essay conclusion should succinctly summarize your key points.

How to Write a Definition Essay Step-By-Step?

Before you start writing a definition essay, check out our step-by-step guide. From picking the word to concluding your ideas, we will cover all stages on how to write a definition essay. Make sure you go through each step to define your term.

1. Choose a Term 

Every definition essay should start with selecting an appropriate term. Don’t choose simple words that everyone knows. Objects or geographical places won’t be the best choice. Such words are easy to describe, and provide no space for imagination. The first dictionary word you come across will not be suitable for an essay either.

Try to find a term that can be understood in different ways. If the concept can evoke certain emotions in people, you are on the right track. This is where abstract, intangible terms come into play. They can be explored in multiple ways and provide more room for creativity. For example, such ideas like “courage,” “truth,” “freedom,” or “racism” provide more opportunities for definition based on your knowledge. 

You may also reflect on terms that relate to your experiences, values, or areas of expertise. Writing about a term that you are passionate about can make your essay more engaging. Don’t hesitate to browse our definition essay topics to decide on a fitting idea for your writing.

2. Conduct Research and Explore the Meaning 

Now it’s time to conduct research and explore the meaning of your chosen term. Look up background information in reputable sources, such as encyclopedias or specialized dictionaries. You can also find definitions that are posted on scholarly websites.

Don't forget to take notes while researching, so you don’t lose any important information. Make sure to pay attention to the usage of your term in different contexts, such as literature or scientific research. Investigate the origin of your word and how the meaning has changed over time.

In addition to traditional sources, you may also use online dictionaries and articles that provide unusual explanations.

3. Build a Thesis Statement 

Once you have gathered enough material for your definition paper, it’s time to craft a thesis statement. It will be the main idea of your writing and serve as an anchor for all other elements included in it. 

You can combine a classic concept with your interpretation. A good definition essay thesis statement should define the term in 1-2 sentences. Based on the meaning that you have found in sources, write a definition in your own words.

Freedom is a fundamental human right that allows individuals to express themselves without restraint or interference.

4. Create a Definition Essay Outline 

A well-structured plan of your writing is half the job done. In order to explain the meaning, prepare a simple outline of your work. Essay layout will help you stay on point and organize ideas. A definition essay outline should be written considering the following structure.

Definition Essay Outline Example

  • Hook a reader and craft a compelling first sentence to capture the reader's attention
  • Provide a dictionary definition of the term
  • Introduce your own definition, which will guide the rest of the essay
  • Discuss the term's origin and historical development
  • Integrate examples if relevant
  • Describe the official definition and how it's commonly used today
  • Discuss any misconceptions or typical misunderstandings
  • Share your own description of the term
  • Discuss why you define the term this way and how your perspective adds to its understanding
  • Provide real-life examples
  • Recap  key points
  • Include final thoughts and explain the importance.

Remember this is just a general outline of a definition essay. Your scheme may look different depending on the methods you choose to formulate your ideas.

5. Write a Definition Essay 

Now, it's time to put all of your research and knowledge into words. Begin by writing an introductory section and explore each aspect gradually. Don’t make your essay too long. A standard definition essay should consist of 500-800 words. A specific essay length is individually chosen based on instructor’s requirements. 

Stick to the structure you created and use transition words to make your essay flow smoothly. Make sure every sentence is related to the topic and logically progresses your thesis.

Definition Essay Introduction

A definition essay introduction should start with a classic presentation of the chosen term. For this purpose, look through multiple definitions of this word published online. Complex terms are difficult to put in a single sentence. It is worth choosing a description that is more tailored to your understanding.

Remember to hold the reader's interest throughout your essay. Use statistics, quotations and other information that may hook readers. Provide some context. Consider background details that can help grasp the concept. Don't confuse readers with unrelated meanings, though. Follow your main idea and you will be fascinated by the outcome.  

Freedom — a term pervasive in discourse yet elusive in its absolute definition. Various online sources render it as 'the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.' However, the complexity of the term extends beyond a mere sentence. To me, freedom is the unrestrained ability to be oneself. Alarmingly, Freedom House reports that only 45% of the global population lives in 'free' countries as of 2023. This staggering statistic underscores the importance of delving deeper into the concept of 'freedom.' In this essay, we will explain the essence of freedom, its various connotations across different cultures, and its relevance in our contemporary world. 

>> Read more: How to Write an Essay Introduction

Definition Essay Body Paragraphs

Generally, the definition essay body should consist of 3 paragraphs. However, the number of paragraphs can vary. The more complex your word is, the more extensive your explanation will be.

At the beginning of the text, it is worth mentioning some history and origin of the term. If a concept has "migrated" from another language, mention when people adopted a new term. 

The second body paragraph should focus on dictionary-based explanations. Mention when the use of the chosen term is most appropriate. These could be some important examples from life, textbooks or usage in colloquial speech.

The final essay body paragraph should present your own opinion. You can include cases in which you use the chosen term most often.  

Freedom is often overlooked as a key factor in promoting personal independence and self-determination. In this context, it means being able to make choices that shape our lives without undue pressure from others. It's about having the freedom to decide our own beliefs, associations, and goals. This understanding of freedom emphasizes the importance of individuality and personal growth. It reminds us that freedom is not just a right, but also a personal responsibility. Ultimately, we are in control of our own lives, and freedom gives us the power to shape our own paths.

Definition Essay Conclusion

A definition essay conclusion is a brief summary of what has been said above. Your main points that seem most interesting can be paraphrased and added to your conclusion.

Don’t forget to mention how this term affects your life. The easiest way is to use examples from personal experience when talking about intangible concepts. "Anger," "falling in love," "disappointment": each of these words has been present in the lives of many readers. Therefore, it will be easy for them to understand what it is about, if you wrap up your ideas.  

Freedom is a complex and multifaceted concept that encompasses the right to act, speak, or think without constraints, and extends to personal autonomy and self-determination. It is both a cherished right and a personal responsibility. As we navigate through life, it is important to appreciate and value liberty instead of taking it for granted. True freedom is not just about enjoying it ourselves, but also ensuring that others have the same liberty to live their lives. After all, in the pursuit of liberty, we find the essence of our humanity.

>> Learn more: How to Conclude an Essay

6. Use Various Strategies

In order to make your definition essay stand out, spice things up with diverse strategies. Each method of defining a term offers a different lens through which the reader can grasp the concept. 

If you combine different methods, it will be way easier for your audience to understand the idea or phenomenon. For example, you may try to explain how something works and compare it with analogous things within the same class. Or, you may elaborate on the origin and demonstrate how a specific word is used now using examples.

7. Proofread and Revise 

When your definition essay is ready, read it several times to check for any inaccuracies. Make sure everything follows the logical structure and that each sentence is related to your thesis statement. Here are some examples of errors students usually make when writing definition essays: 

  • Grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes 
  • Confusing flow
  • Difficult-to-read text
  • Poor vocabulary
  • Inappropriate writing style.

Use a spell checker or another program for grammar checking. You also can ask a friend to read your draft and provide feedback — they may give you a fresh perspective and spot something you’ve missed. 

>> Learn more: How to Revise an Essay

Definition Essay Examples

Below you can find several definition essay samples. Pay extra attention to how each definition essay example is structured. Feel free to use the same topics or apply a similar essay structure as these definition essay templates have.

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The Dos and Don’ts When Writing a Definition Essay

To write a good definition essay, you need to consider facts that must be necessarily present in your text. Follow our tips to improve your composition:

  • If the term is quite multifaceted, try to choose one definition and focus on it throughout your entire paper.
  • Use additional words that help describe your concept more accurately.
  • Try to make smooth transitions between parts of your essay.
  • Use an out-of-the-box explanation that will help draw readers’ attention to your topic.
  • Proofread your work so it does not contain mistakes.

Try to avoid these common mistakes while writing your definition essay:

  • Don’t stuff an essay with too sophisticated words and jargon.
  • Don't consider terms that everyone already knows.
  • Don’t write vague or obscure explanations.
  • Don’t ignore historical and cultural contexts.
  • Don’t rely solely on the dictionary.

The more informative your text is, the more likely it is to get your professor’s approval.

Definition Essay Writing Checklist 

Below we have included a concise and practical checklist to ensure your definition paper satisfies all essential criteria. Stick to our suggestions to take your writing to a whole new level.

Final Thoughts on How to Write Definition Essay

There is no doubt about it: terms you choose for a definition essay are the most fundamental part of the entire writing process. In fact, these terms are so critical that they can make or break your essay. For this reason, you should focus on those concepts you are truly passionate about, or at least know well. Besides, this will ensure that you share an in-depth interpretation of this concept.

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FAQ about Definition Essays

1. what is the purpose of a definition essay.

The main goal of a definition essay is to provide your readers with your personal interpretation of some concept. Along with a dictionary meaning, you should define some term in your own words and explain its impact on your life.

2. How long should a definition essay be?

A standard definition essay should consist of 500-800 words — a short introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs and conclusion. Approximately 2 pages will suffice for a detailed description. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the term being defined and other factors, such as academic level and professor’s instructions.

3. What definition essay format should I use?

The format of a definition essay depends on the discipline you are writing in. For example, papers exploring any literary or linguistic concept should be formatted in the MLA style . If you are working on a definition paper in psychology or other social sciences, apply the rules of APA style . Remember that the entire text should be arranged using a single format.

4. How to write a definition in an essay?

When writing a definition in an essay, begin by introducing the term and providing context. You may present an official dictionary definition or elaborate on the origin. Then, you should integrate your own interpretation based on previous research and personal perspectives. To strengthen your explanation, support it with evidence, examples, or anecdotes that illustrate its meaning.

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  • checkbox I have chosen a word that has several meanings.
  • checkbox I carried out a preliminary investigation to understand a phenomenon.
  • checkbox I visited online dictionaries such as Cambridge Dictionary or Merriam-Webster .
  • checkbox My introduction established sufficient context.
  • checkbox I discussed different aspects of the concept in separate body paragraphs.
  • checkbox Illustrative examples and metaphors are included in my text.
  • checkbox I revised my paper and corrected all errors.

Finding a Definition of a Word

Definition Essay Guide

Definition Essay Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

How to Write A Definition Essay - Topics and Samples

By: Leanne R.

Reviewed By: Chris H.

Published on: Apr 27, 2021

Definition Essay

The definition essay is a difficult task for high school and college students. To write one well, you need to use examples or facts supporting the meaning that defines your word.

The following blog post will tell you exactly how to do it! So read on and learn everything about it.

Definition Essay

On this Page

What is a Definition Essay?

As the name suggests, a definition essay is the kind of writing that explains a word. It requires you to come up with your academic definition of a specific word. The definition can be concrete or abstract, depending on the word.

For instance, you can provide an exact definition for a “table” but for the term “love,” it isn’t possible to do so. Such terms will rely on your point of view.

Your definition must be detailed and well researched with supporting evidence. When choosing a word, make sure you have plenty to write about and give the audience some additional information from a different perspective.

Writing a definition essay is a simple three-step process. First, present the term that you want to define. Second, provide the necessary information so the reader can understand it easily. Lastly, use facts or anecdotes to increase understanding further.

To further explain what is a definition essay, take a look at its basic elements.

How to Write a Definition Essay?

This section will teach you how to write a definition essay and cover the steps that must be followed when writing a great essay.

1. Choose a Word

The first step, of course, is picking the right word. Now, how do you know what makes a topic good?

The perfect topic for a definition essay is an abstract concept that people can’t find when reading an English dictionary. You must have a complete understanding of the term you have chosen.

2. Don’t Pick Objects to be Your Topic

Also, stay away from choosing different objects as your topic; for example, writing about objects such as “table,” “glass,” “door” can be difficult.

Since there isn’t much to write about such topics, you won’t be able to come up with a meaningful piece of writing.

3. Pick a Word with Multiple Meanings

Try finding a word with more than one meaning to different people, a term that would mean something else.

This will give you the opportunity of writing more while including your personal experience and interpreting others.

4. Check its Literal Definition

Take help from dictionaries and encyclopedias, find the official definition of a word’s origin and any theories regarding it.

Along with that, you can find useful information on the internet. You can find several scholarly articles, academic essays, blogs, informative videos, etc.

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5. Look for Different Perspectives

After you have established what a concept or idea means to you, it is now time to look at things from a different point of view.

You can talk to your friends and family about what a word means to them or what is the first thing that comes to their mind upon hearing this word, their feelings when hearing it, etc.

6. Create a Definition

The next step is using the research to come up with your own definition. To write an effective definition, consider the following pointers.

You can define a term by explaining what it does and its mechanism.

Define a term by its structure and how it is organized.

Define a term using analysis. Compare the term you are writing about with other members of its category. The differences are important as they make your term stand out from the rest.

For a misunderstood term or isn’t used in the right context, it is good practice to explain what it does not mean.

Use examples such as facts, anecdotes, images, and stories to help your reader better understand the term.Note: don’t use examples that are against your definition.

Definition Essay Outline

An outline is a draft of your essay, which includes the significant components of the essay. Sticking to an outline helps you stay on track and complete your essay logically.

A definition essay outline consists of three main parts:

1. Definition Essay Introduction

You should state your own definition of the term, which may be different from its actual meaning. This allows readers to understand what you are going on in-depth and gives them context for why certain terms exist as they do within society today.

But you must open the essay using an interesting piece of information relevant to the term being defined. For instance, you can use an anecdotal hook sentence and tell an interesting story. To make sure your essay can grab the reader’s attention. You can learn the art of opening your essay with catchy sentences from this detailed article on hook examples.

A definition essay doesn’t have a typical thesis statement. Instead, it requires you to define the term in your own words without giving away the whole definition.

2. Definition Essay Main Body

Here you will fully explain the definition of the word with supporting facts and examples. The number of body paragraphs depends upon the complexity of your topic; it could be three or more.

Utilize these paragraphs to investigate and present important information about the word, its history, usage, origin, context, etc.

3. Definition Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is the part of your essay where you sum up the entire essay. No additional or new information should be introduced at this point.

Leave the audience with some final thoughts explaining how the definition affected you and played a part in your life.

Don’t mention a story or experience that contradicts what you have written in the essay.

Definition Essay Format

DEFINITION ESSAY FORMAT

Definition Essay Examples

Writing a definition essay can be tricky, but before you dive into the writing stage, make sure to read some professionally written examples. Check out this example and get an idea from them.

Definition Essay Sample

DEFINITION ESSAY SAMPLES

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Definition Essay Topics

You can’t write a good essay without an interesting topic, can you?

Choosing an interesting topic is no doubt a challenging task.

To make this process a little less time-consuming and burdensome for you, here is a list of top definition essay topics.

  • Why are the terms money and happiness interlinked for some people?
  • What does love mean for different people?
  • How do people around you describe love?
  • What does love mean for young adults?
  • is happiness for different people?
  • The philosophical meaning of happiness.
  • How does one feel happiness?
  • What does true love mean?
  • Is happiness a myth?
  • What is platonic love?

We hope that this complete guide on how to write a definition essay was helpful and solved all of your queries. If you don't have the time or lack skills, there are always 5StarEssays.com available for your help.

Our professional writers are known for crafting high-quality term papers, essays, and other academic assignments in various subjects at extremely low prices.

So, contact us now and get help from our write my essay service.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a definition essay.

Its main purpose is to give a complete definition for certain words or notions.

What are the 3 ways in giving definition?

The three main ways of giving definition are:

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  • The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples

The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples

Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type. 

Essay type Skills tested Example prompt
Has the rise of the internet had a positive or negative impact on education?
Explain how the invention of the printing press changed European society in the 15th century.
Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.
Describe an object that has sentimental value for you.

In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.

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Table of contents

Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.

An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.

Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.

The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:

  • The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
  • The body presents your evidence and arguments
  • The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance

The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.

Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.

The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.

A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.

Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.

A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.

Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.

Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.

A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.

Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.

On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.

My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.

With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…

Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.

Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.

Rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.

The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.

The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.

The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

Literary analysis

A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.

Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.

The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.

Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

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How to Write a Definition Essay

Last Updated: January 27, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed. . Alexander Ruiz is an Educational Consultant and the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute, a tutoring business based in Claremont, California that provides customizable educational plans, subject and test prep tutoring, and college application consulting. With over a decade and a half of experience in the education industry, Alexander coaches students to increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence while achieving skills and the goal of achieving skills and higher education. He holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 453,995 times.

A definition essay requires you to write your own definition of a word. The definition must be thorough and well supported by research and evidence. You may have to write a definition essay for a class or try it as a writing challenge to help improve your English skills. Start by selecting and defining the word. Then, create a draft that presents a detailed definition using references and sources. Polish the essay when you are done so it flows well and does not contain any grammatical errors.

Selecting the Word

Step 1 Choose a concept or idea.

  • You can also pick a concept like “Success,” “Friendship,” or “Faith.”
  • Concepts like “Pain,” “Loss,” or “Death” are also good options.

Step 2 Avoid concrete objects or things.

  • You can try taking a concrete object and using a similar word to make it more open-ended. For example, the word “house” is concrete and obvious. But the word “home” is more open-ended and allows you to create your own definition of the word.

Step 3 Select a word you are familiar with.

  • For example, you may choose a word like “success” because you are familiar with the word and feel you may have a lot to say about what it means to be successful or to feel success in your life.

Step 4 Go for a word that can have a variety of meanings.

  • For example, you may choose a word like “pain” because you feel there are a variety of meanings for the word based on who you talk to and how they experience “pain” in their lives.

Defining the Word

Step 1 Look up the word in the dictionary.

  • For example, if you look up the word “justice” in the dictionary, you may get this definition: “noun, the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.”
  • You can then determine that “justice” is a noun and can be compared to other terms like “righteousness” and “moral rightness.”

Step 2 Research the origin of the word in encyclopedias.

  • For example, you may look up the word “justice” in an online encyclopedia that focuses on philosophy or law. You may then find information on Western theories of justice and how it became an important concept in Western history and the legal system.

Step 3 Search online for articles, websites, and videos that discuss the word.

  • Look on academic search engines like Google Scholar, JSTOR, and ProQuest for scholarly articles.
  • You can also look for educational videos that have been made about the word on YouTube and other video websites.

Step 4 Interview peers, family, and friends about the word.

  • “What comes to mind when you think of the word?”
  • “How do you feel about the word on a personal level?”
  • “How do you interact or deal with the word?”
  • “What does the word mean to you?”
  • Take notes or record the interviews so you can use them as sources in your essay.

Step 5 Create your own definition of the word.

  • For example, you may write: “Justice, a quality or trait where you act in a morally right way.” Or you may write: “Justice, a concept in the legal system where the fair or equitable thing is done, as in ‘justice has been served.’”
  • It's important to have tact and tread carefully here. It's important to preface your own definition of the word, making it clear that's a personal opinion. Make sure not to create the misconception that your own definition is the accepted or official one.
  • At the end of the day, your objective should be to write the actual definition, and not an opinion essay.

Creating an Essay Draft

Step 1 Use five sections for the essay.

  • Your thesis statement should appear in the introduction and conclusion section of your essay.

Step 2 Introduce the term and the standard definition.

  • For example, you may write, “According to the Oxford Dictionary, justice is a noun, and it means: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.”

Step 3 Include a thesis statement with your own definition.

  • For example, you may have a thesis statement like, “According to my research and my personal experiences, justice is a quality or trait where you act in a morally correct way.”

Step 4 Discuss the history and origin of the word.

  • For example, you may write, “Justice comes from the Latin jus , which means right or law. It is a commonly used concept in politics, in the legal system, and in philosophy.”

Step 5 Analyze the dictionary definition of the word.

  • For example, you may discuss how justice works as a noun or an idea in politics, the legal system, and in philosophy. You may also discuss what the “quality of being just” means in our society.

Step 6 Compare and contrast the term with other terms.

  • For example, you may talk about how justice is similar and also not quite the same as words like “righteousness” and “equitableness.”
  • You can also discuss words that mean the opposite of the term you are defining. For example, you may contrast the word “justice” with the word “injustice” or “inequality.”

Step 7 Discuss your personal definition.

  • For example, you may write, “On a personal level, I view justice as an essential concept” or “Based on my own experiences, I think justice is blind and often does not serve those who need it the most.”
  • You can also include personal experiences of the word based on interviews you conducted with others.

Step 8 Support your points with evidence and references.

  • Make sure you follow your instructor’s preferred citation style, such as MLA , APA , or Chicago Style .

Step 9 Conclude by restating your main points.

  • Look at the first sentence in each section of the paragraph to help you gather your main points.
  • Include a last sentence that has a strong image or that describes a key phrase in your essay.

Polishing the Essay

Step 1 Read the essay out loud.

  • You should also check for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors in the essay.

Step 2 Show the essay to others for feedback.

  • Be open to constructive criticism from others and take their feedback to heart. It will only make your essay better.

Step 3 Revise the essay.

  • If there is a word count or a page count for the definition essay, make sure you meet it.
  • Include a reference page at the end of the essay and a cover page at the beginning of the essay, if required.

Expert Q&A

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

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essays with definitions

Thanks for reading our article! If you'd like to learn more about writing essays, check out our in-depth interview with Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed. .

  • ↑ https://owl.excelsior.edu/rhetorical-styles/definition-essay/
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/writingforsuccess/chapter/10-6-definition/
  • ↑ https://quillbot.com/courses/introduction-to-college-level-academic-writing/chapter/how-to-write-a-definition-essay/
  • ↑ https://examples.yourdictionary.com/definition-essay-examples-and-topic-ideas.html
  • ↑ https://owlcation.com/humanities/How-to-Write-a-Definition-Essay-from-Multiple-Sources
  • ↑ https://academichelp.net/academic-assignments/essay/write-definition-essay.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/definitions.html
  • ↑ https://owl.excelsior.edu/rhetorical-styles/definition-essay/definition-essay-techniques/
  • ↑ https://quillbot.com/courses/rhetorical-methods-based-essay-writing/chapter/how-to-write-a-definition-essay/
  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/using-evidence.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/reading-aloud/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html

About This Article

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

To write a definition essay, choose a word that describes a concept or idea. Look up the dictionary definition, the origin of the word, and any scholarly essays or articles that discuss the word in detail, then use this information to create your own definition. When you write your paper, introduce the term and the standard dictionary definition of the word, followed by a thesis stating your own definition. Use the body of the paper to include historical information and explain what the word means to you, then conclude by restating your thesis. For tips on picking your word, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Types of Essay

Definition of types of essay, format of an essay, the format of an argumentative essay is given below:.

i.  ii.  iii. Statement
i. Topic ii. Explanation/Exampleiii. Supporting Detailsiv. Sentence
i. Topic Sentenceii. Explanation/Exampleiii. Supporting Detailsiv. Comparison of Body Paragraph Arguments
i. Rephrasing ii. Summary of Pointsiii.

Function of Types of Essay

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How to Write a Definition Essay: Structure, Outline, Samples

Updated 15 Feb 2024

Learn the elements, outline, and logic behind a definition essay. Explore different types of definitions and their functions. Get tips on writing a solid essay, avoiding common mistakes, and crafting a strong thesis statement. Find inspiration and ideas through definition essay example.

So what is a definition essay ? As the name suggests, a definition essay is an essay that explains in detail a certain term or concept. However, instead of being limited to a simple dictionary definition, which normally takes a few phrases, such an essay contains an extended definition that includes additional details, such as examples, descriptions, an analysis of this term and other related ones, etc. Importantly, such essays present your personal opinion about corresponding concepts.

Knowing how to write a definition essay requires a good understanding of the required elements, outline, structure, logic as described below. These essays are important since they require integration of a few interpretations on the same concepts, making clear distinctions and generalizations, providing personal interpretations, etc.

definitive essay

Try to write the best definitive essay with the help of our guide!

The List of Essay Definitions Encountered in Academic Writing

As a rule, before you start with the first paragraph of your definition essay, it is crucial to understand all the different types that will make your writing fit the situation and academic objectives. Therefore, when you have something great for your thesis statement and topic sentences, consider these types of definitions first:

  • Analytical . As the title implies, you must use analysis and divide your subject into several parts by approaching each aspect individually. Use one paragraph per idea.
  • Classification . It means that you can apply systematization for your definition essay and find similarities or specific factors to classify your issues or processes. 
  • Comparison . Just like classification type, you have to find elements that stand out and compare and contrast various things that differ or appear the same. Your thesis must sum up these differences.
  • Detailed Method . This is where you must focus on certain characteristics and let your audience focus on details to understand the subject well.
  • Negation Approach . It means that writing a definition essay you should use your arguments clearly to prevent your audience from a wrong understanding of a problem. In simple terms, it tells people what your issue is not.
  • Origins & Causes . This is where you tell about the origins of your issue or things that have caused some event or changes. Remember to provide background information and the reasons why something is important.
  • Scientific Problem . As a rule, it means that you should synthesize available information and explain the ways how something is used or studied by your fellow researchers.

Of course, you can always combine these different essay definition types for the best results, which is acceptable! Remember that it should also contain your thoughts and additions if it is applicable.

If you are looking for interesting exemplification essay examples , EduBirdie has some for you. These examples can provide you with inspiration and ideas on how to effectively use exemplification in your essay, showcasing real-life examples and evidence to support your arguments.

General Definition Essay Structure

Like with other essay types, definition essay format follows the following basic structure:

  • Introduction - lists standard explanations and raises important rhetorical questions attempting to interpret them, it may list interesting facts related to the background of these terms (but not only), anecdotes, funny cases, personal experience, etc. Altogether, this helps in hooking attention and providing necessary background that would allow diving deeper into the matter.
  • Thesis Statement  – this is not a distinct section but rather, a key element of the introduction. For definitive essay, it should state a generalized and comprehensive personal definition. It should be formulated as an arguable claim that closely summarizes the paper’s essence.
  • Main body. All paragraphs should be related to this thesis through topic sentences – normally, this is the first sentence in a paragraph. Subsequent sentences constituting the paragraph explain them, support with arguments, provide evidence and examples, etc. Paragraphs should end up with concluding sentences, which synthesize the content presented within these paragraphs, or with transitioning sentences that help introduce subsequent paragraphs for smoother content flow.
  • Conclusion – this is where thesis is restated considering all ideas, arguments, and evidence that has been provided. Apart from synthesizing information, conclusions may suggest related topics for exploration.

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Definition Essay Outline and Its Constitution

When assembling an essay outline, it is useful to consider what type of paragraphs and how many of each should be included and in what order. In terms of meaning, such types of essays have the following sections or paragraphs:

  • Denotation – this part provides direct concept explanations, for instance, dictionary or formal interpretations integrated from multiple sources. This section is normally shorter and could be limited to one paragraph. If you are wondering how to start a definition essay, opening your essay by listing formal dictionary explanations would be perfectly acceptable and even fairly standard.
  • Connotation – in this part, one describes related ideas or term implications, including from a personal perspective or judgement. A good method for identifying connotations is looking up the word in a thesaurus. The connotation part is typically more voluminous, being spread across multiple paragraphs.

Judged by their specific function, paragraphs can either:

  • Describe – provide description of the words in detail; describe perspectives, standard or peculiar interpretations, worldviews, etc.
  • Analyze – these paragraphs could dissect complex words or expressions into individual parts and analyze each of these separately, as well as in combination. This could be done, for instance, with terms “self-sufficiency”, (“self” + “sufficiency”) or “gratefulness” (“grate” + ”fulness”). Obviously, such “linguistic” analysis does not apply to simple words like “hate”, “respect”, etc. However, each word may be analyzed for multiple meanings, for instance globalization may be viewed as globalization of culture, of knowledge, commerce, lifestyle, life-quality expectations, etc.
  • Exemplify – providing an eloquent and detailed example to accompany complex interpretations or argument increases understanding of it by readers, hence this is mandatory for good writing. Including good analogies has similar effects.
  • Compare and contrast. These paragraphs help differentiate discussed words or concepts by strictly defining their boundaries and by highlighting similarities and differences between compared terms.
  • Negate . One way of defining concepts is to tell what they are not – this is especially useful for closely related concepts.
  • Provide background with regard to history and origin. While this is not practical for common words, it makes sense for neologisms, professional terms, and some other words whose origin is easily tracked (for instance, “democracy”).

Consider definition essay outline and structural requirements along with what types of paragraphs would constitute your essays and what they would be exactly about and you’ll end up with definitive and solid outline.

Tips On How to Write a Definition Essay

Although it may not sound application to writing a definition essay, it must inspire you or motivate you to know your subject because the purpose is to sound confident and clear as you deliver the facts and deliver some important concepts. Here are some tips you must consider before you start writing:

  • Start With a List of Sources . Never ignore starting with a list of good references that will help you to support your existing perception of some subject. Remember about citation rules and do not overdo your quoting because it can lead to increased similarity rates and plagiarism risks.
  • Proofread & Edit . Always proofread your definition essay to eliminate repetitions and the weak parts that may sound confusing to your reader. Pay attention to possible grammar and spelling issues. By doing so, you can improve your final grade and avoid those minor mistakes. It is also good to proofread your paper aloud to ensure that it sounds right.
  • Check The Requires Structure . Even if you may think that you already know it all, it is recommended to check your grading rubric twice in terms of structure and the required paragraphs.
  • Research Your Subject . It means that even if you have a good list of sources, you must provide your audience with an unbiased outlook. It will take some time to read through the various sources to determine how the subject is approached by others. Make sure that you check more than one source or dictionary for your definition. Writing a definition essay, doing so will give you a full picture and various semantic meanings.
  • Avoid Copying Definitions . Do not copy definitions word-by-word even if you are turning to some dictionary. It is recommended to express your thoughts and paraphrase things to provide a better definition without plagiarism even if it is unintentional.

Common Mistakes That Occur While Writing Interpretations 

Below, we list some usual mistakes made when writing definition essay:

  • Choosing topics that are either too narrow or concrete to allow extended definitions, various perspectives or interpretations. Rather than choosing terms like “Cold War”, “TV mass culture” more general and broad definition essay topics should be used, such as “war”, “culture”, “freedom”, “dignity”, “innovation”, etc.
  • Selecting topics that are overly broad or that represent little potential for captivating discussion: “work”, “rain”, “sand”. It is generally advisable to choose controversial topics or concepts whose understanding varies significantly among individuals and might even be associated with conflicting positions.
  • Failing to research term properly. Knowing how to define a word in an essay exhaustively implies working with dictionaries. Ignoring these results in a serious mistake, since these normally list all known word meanings in various contexts – exploring how concepts change depending on context is an important starting point for writing definition essays. Combining several good dictionaries could be especially powerful – this will help cover the entire semantic space of a given word, guiding further interpretations and description of connotations.
  • Quoting overly lengthy formulations exactly as found in dictionaries – this should be avoided since it affects your level of uniqueness and may be treated as plagiarism by many software tools.

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Definition Essay Example for Students

Given that definition essay example  can be much more helpful in familiarizing readers with this type of essay, below we provide such a sample (the thesis is italicized).

Justice Justice is hugely important element for relationships between individuals and virtually for any human group, however small – obviously, this applies to society as a whole. Commonly understood meaning of justice is adherence to fairness and impartiality whenever dealing with other people or when conflicts management, be it in daily life or within the frames of legal system. The Cambridge online dictionary defines justice as "fairness in the way people are dealt with" or "the condition of being morally correct or fair". As a law term, it is "the system of laws in a country by which people are judged and punished". Moreover, here in the US, it also means a "judge in a law court". The Merriam-Webster dictionary adds a few other unique definitions, for instance "the maintenance or administration of what is just" for instance, by justly managing conflicting claims, rewarding, and punishing. Other definitions are "conformity to truth, fact, or reason", "the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action" but also conformity to this principle (righteousness). Thus, apart from being used to designate judges, all formal interpretations of justice, in a way or another, deal with fair treatment, regardless of whether individuals, groups, or state institutions are considered. Hence, this is regarded as the core and fairly universal meaning of the term. Importantly, many dictionaries mention impartiality as an essential component of this treatment. Impartiality ensures that deliverers of justice put fairness principles above their own interests and above interests of any given actor involved in conflicts that are managed. Apart from this, when thinking about justice or justice deliverers, the following concepts are implied:  integrity, honesty, equity, adherence to truth and law, legitimacy. Nevertheless, understanding of justice differs greatly across individuals but also across societies and cultural groups, which ultimately reflects in laws. For instance, principle of “an eye for an eye” practiced under Iran’s sharia law may seem totally weird here, in the US or western world, where we are used with standardized punishments proportional to crime gravity, such as incarceration, monetary fines, property sequestration. A renowned example involved an Iranian man who blinded a woman using acid and who was sentenced in 2008 to the same punishment. Thus, justice is essentially fair, impartial treatment, be it in interpersonal or collective interaction and whether it is reflected in simple actions or in laws. Importantly, this term has to be examined within societal and cultural context, as notions may vary significantly depending on this.

To conclude, definitive essay provides a broad overview of word or phrase meaning across different contexts along with implications, examples, explanations, and interpretation. Depending on the concepts approached, producing such essays are fairly challenging, which is a good reason to consider essay writing service provided by Edubirdie.

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What makes a good definition essay?

A good definition essay will achieve three goals: it will tell your readers about what is being defined; it will present you with clear and basic information; it will turn to facts and good real-life examples that will help people to understand things. After all, it is the purpose of a good definition essay. Remember to make it vivid and accessible.

How to start a definition essay?

You should start with a good introduction to your subject. Make sure that you provide information about why something is important and how or why it is approached by the academic community or professionals in your field. Start with the most common definition that fits your topic and continue with the less common types.

How do you write a thesis statement for a definition essay?

An introduction of a definition essay ends with a thesis that should express personal and generalized definitions or interpretations of the explored concepts. These arguable statements are the focal points of definition essays, which means that papers revolve entirely around these. The thesis needs to be general enough to connect with and cover all paragraph topic sentences.

How do you write a definition term?    

Picking terms for such essays is done by considering how interesting or controversial the topics are, whether they engulf definitions that vary depending on different circumstances or contexts, whether they allow multiple perspectives, views, including conflictual, whether the author is familiar with these terms and provide an interpretation of these, etc.

How do you organize a definition essay?                  

Organizing essays involves considering the traditional structure, according to which there is an introduction, main body, conclusion, but also deciding how many paragraphs should be used for each section and what information should be each paragraph’s function: denotation, connotation, description, analysis, exemplification, comparison, etc.

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Module 3: Definition Essay

How to write a definition essay.

A definition essay can be deceivingly difficult to write. This type of paper requires you to write a personal yet academic definition of one specific word. The definition must be thorough and lengthy. It is essential that you choose a word that will give you plenty to write about, and there are a few standard tactics you can use to elaborate on the term. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when writing a definition essay.

Part 1 of 3: Choosing the Right Word

1: choose an abstract word with a complex meaning. [1].

A simple word that refers to a concrete word will not give you much to write about, but a complex word that refers to an abstract concept provides more material to explore.

  • Typically, nouns that refer to a person, place, or thing are too simple for a definition essay. Nouns that refer to an idea work better, however, as do most adjectives.
  • For example, the word “house” is fairly simple and an essay written around it may be dull. By switching to something slightly more abstract like “home,” however, you can play around with the definition more. A “home” is a concept, and there are many elements involved in the creation of a “home.” In comparison, a “house” is merely a structure.

2: Make sure that the word is disputable.

Aside from being complex, the word should also refer to something that can mean different things to different people.

  • A definition essay is somewhat subjective by nature since it requires you to analyze and define a word from your own perspective. If the answer you come up with after analyzing a word is the same answer anyone else would come up with, your essay may appear to lack depth.

3: Choose a word you have some familiarity with.

Dictionary definitions can only tell you so much. Since you need to elaborate on the word you choose to define, you will need to have your own base of knowledge or experience with the concept you choose.

  • For instance, if you have never heard the term “pedantic,” your understanding of the word will be limited. You can introduce yourself to the word for your essay, but without previous understanding of the concept, you will not know if the definition you describe is truly fitting.

4: Read the dictionary definition.

While you will not be relying completely on the dictionary definition for your essay, familiarizing yourself with the official definition will allow you to compare your own understanding of the concept with the simplest, most academic explanation of it.

  • As an example, one definition of “friend” is “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.” [2] Your own ideas or beliefs about what a “friend” really is likely include much more information, but this basic definition can present you with a good starting point in forming your own.

5:  Research the word’s origins.

Look up your chosen word in the Oxford English Dictionary or in another etymology dictionary. [3]

  • These sources can tell you the history behind a word, which can provide further insight on a general definition as well as information about how a word came to mean what it means today.

Part 2 of 3: Potential Elements of an Effective Definition

1: write an analysis. [4].

Separate a word into various parts. Analyze and define each part in its own paragraph.

  • You can separate “return” into “re-” and “turn.” The word “friendship” can be separated into “friend” and “ship.”
  • In order to analyze each portion of a word, you will still need to use additional defining tactics like negation and classification.
  • Note that this tactic only works for words that contain multiple parts. The word “love,” for instance, cannot be broken down any further. If defining “platonic love,” though, you could define both “platonic” and “love” separately within your essay.

2:  Classify the term.

Specify what classes and parts of speech a word belongs to according to a standard dictionary definition.

  • While this information is very basic and dry, it can provide helpful context about the way that a given word is used.

3: Compare an unfamiliar term to something familiar.

An unfamiliar or uncommon concept can be explained using concepts that are more accessible to the average person.

  • Many people have never heard of the term “confrere,” for instance. One basic definition is “a fellow member of a profession, fraternity, etc.” As such, you could compare “confrere” with “colleague,” which is a similar yet more familiar concept. [5]

4:  Provide traditional details about the term.

Explain any physical characteristics or traditional thoughts used to describe your term of choice.

  • The term “home” is often visualized physically as a house or apartment. In more abstract terms, “home” is traditionally thought to be a warm, cozy, and safe environment. You can include all of these features in a definition essay on “home.”

5: Use examples to illustrate the meaning.

People often relate to stories and vivid images, so using a fitting story or image that relates to the term can be used in clarifying an abstract, formless concept.

  • In a definition essay about “kindness,” for example, you could write about an act of kindness you recently witnessed. Someone who mows the lawn of an elderly neighbor is a valid example, just as someone who gave you an encouraging word when you were feeling down might be.

6: Use negation to explain what the term does not mean.

If a term is often misused or misunderstood, mentioning what it is not is an effective way to bring the concept into focus.

  • A common example would be the term “courage.” The term is often associated with a lack of fear, but many will argue that “courage” is more accurately described as acting in spite of fear.

7: Provide background information.

This is when your research about the etymology of a word will come in handy. Explain where the term originated and how it came to mean what it currently means.

Part 3 of 3: Definition Essay Structure

1: introduce the standard definition..

You need to clearly state what your word is along with its traditional or dictionary definition in your introductory paragraph.

  • By opening with the dictionary definition of your term, you create context and a basic level of knowledge about the word. This will allow you to introduce and elaborate on your own definition.
  • This is especially significant when the traditional definition of your term varies from your own definition in notable ways.

2: Define the term in your own words in your thesis.

Your actual thesis statement should define the term in your own words.

  • Keep the definition in your thesis brief and basic. You will elaborate on it more in the body of your paper.
  • Avoid using passive phrases involving the word “is” when defining your term. The phrases “is where” and “is when” are especially clunky. [6]
  • Do not repeat part of the defined term in your definition.

3:  Separate different parts of the definition into separate paragraphs.

Each tactic or method used to define your term should be explored in a separate paragraph.

  • Note that you do not need to use all the possible methods of defining a term in your essay. You should use a variety of different methods in order to create a full, well-rounded picture of the term, but some tactics will work great with some terms but not with others.

4: Conclude with a summary of your main points.

Briefly summarize your main points around the start of your concluding paragraph.

  • This summary does not need to be elaborate. Usually, looking at the topic sentence of each body paragraph is a good way to form a simple list of your main points.
  • You can also draw the essay to a close by referring to phrases or images evoked in your introduction.

5: Mention how the definition has affected you, if desired.

If the term you define plays a part in your own life and experiences, your final concluding remarks are a good place to briefly mention the role it plays.

  • Relate your experience with the term to the definition you created for it in your thesis. Avoid sharing experiences that relate to the term but contradict everything you wrote in your essay.

Sources and Citations

  • http://www.roanestate.edu/owl/Definition.html
  • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/friend?s=t
  • http://www.etymonline.com/
  • http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/definition.html
  • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/confrere?s=t
  • http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/definition.htm
  • How to Write a Definition Essay. Provided by : WikiHow. Located at : http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Definition-Essay . License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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Writing Definitions

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A formal definition is based upon a concise, logical pattern that includes as much information as it can within a minimum amount of space. The primary reason to include definitions in your writing is to avoid misunderstanding with your audience. A formal definition consists of three parts:

  • The term (word or phrase) to be defined
  • The class of object or concept to which the term belongs
  • The differentiating characteristics that distinguish it from all others of its class

For example:

  • Water ( term ) is a liquid ( class ) made up of molecules of hydrogen and oxygen in the ratio of 2 to 1 ( differentiating characteristics ).
  • Comic books ( term ) are sequential and narrative publications ( class ) consisting of illustrations, captions, dialogue balloons, and often focus on super-powered heroes ( differentiating characteristics ).
  • Astronomy ( term ) is a branch of scientific study ( class ) primarily concerned with celestial objects inside and outside of the earth's atmosphere ( differentiating characteristics ).

Although these examples should illustrate the manner in which the three parts work together, they are not the most realistic cases. Most readers will already be quite familiar with the concepts of water, comic books, and astronomy. For this reason, it is important to know when and why you should include definitions in your writing.

When to Use Definitions

"Stellar Wobble is a measurable variation of speed wherein a star's velocity is shifted by the gravitational pull of a foreign body."
"Throughout this essay, the term classic gaming will refer specifically to playing video games produced for the Atari, the original Nintendo Entertainment System, and any systems in-between." Note: not everyone may define "classic gaming" within this same time span; therefore, it is important to define your terms
"Pagan can be traced back to Roman military slang for an incompetent soldier. In this sense, Christians who consider themselves soldiers of Christ are using the term not only to suggest a person's secular status but also their lack of bravery.'

Additional Tips for Writing Definitions

  • Avoid defining with "X is when" and "X is where" statements. These introductory adverb phrases should be avoided. Define a noun with a noun, a verb with a verb, and so forth.
"Rhyming poetry consists of lines that contain end rhymes." Better: "Rhyming poetry is an artform consisting of lines whose final words consistently contain identical, final stressed vowel sounds."
  • Define a word in simple and familiar terms. Your definition of an unfamiliar word should not lead your audience towards looking up more words in order to understand your definition.
  • Keep the class portion of your definition small but adequate. It should be large enough to include all members of the term you are defining but no larger. Avoid adding personal details to definitions. Although you may think the story about your Grandfather will perfectly encapsulate the concept of stinginess, your audience may fail to relate. Offering personal definitions may only increase the likeliness of misinterpretation that you are trying to avoid.
  • Literary Terms
  • Definition & Examples
  • When & How to Write an Essay

I. What is an Essay?

An essay is a form of writing in paragraph form that uses informal language, although it can be written formally. Essays may be written in first-person point of view (I, ours, mine), but third-person (people, he, she) is preferable in most academic essays. Essays do not require research as most academic reports and papers do; however, they should cite any literary works that are used within the paper.

When thinking of essays, we normally think of the five-paragraph essay: Paragraph 1 is the introduction, paragraphs 2-4 are the body covering three main ideas, and paragraph 5 is the conclusion. Sixth and seventh graders may start out with three paragraph essays in order to learn the concepts. However, essays may be longer than five paragraphs. Essays are easier and quicker to read than books, so are a preferred way to express ideas and concepts when bringing them to public attention.

II. Examples of Essays

Many of our most famous Americans have written essays. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson wrote essays about being good citizens and concepts to build the new United States. In the pre-Civil War days of the 1800s, people such as:

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (an author) wrote essays on self-improvement
  • Susan B. Anthony wrote on women’s right to vote
  • Frederick Douglass wrote on the issue of African Americans’ future in the U.S.

Through each era of American history, well-known figures in areas such as politics, literature, the arts, business, etc., voiced their opinions through short and long essays.

The ultimate persuasive essay that most students learn about and read in social studies is the “Declaration of Independence” by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. Other founding fathers edited and critiqued it, but he drafted the first version. He builds a strong argument by stating his premise (claim) then proceeds to give the evidence in a straightforward manner before coming to his logical conclusion.

III. Types of Essays

A. expository.

Essays written to explore and explain ideas are called expository essays (they expose truths). These will be more formal types of essays usually written in third person, to be more objective. There are many forms, each one having its own organizational pattern.  Cause/Effect essays explain the reason (cause) for something that happens after (effect). Definition essays define an idea or concept. Compare/ Contrast essays will look at two items and show how they are similar (compare) and different (contrast).

b. Persuasive

An argumentative paper presents an idea or concept with the intention of attempting to change a reader’s mind or actions . These may be written in second person, using “you” in order to speak to the reader. This is called a persuasive essay. There will be a premise (claim) followed by evidence to show why you should believe the claim.

c. Narrative

Narrative means story, so narrative essays will illustrate and describe an event of some kind to tell a story. Most times, they will be written in first person. The writer will use descriptive terms, and may have paragraphs that tell a beginning, middle, and end in place of the five paragraphs with introduction, body, and conclusion. However, if there is a lesson to be learned, a five-paragraph may be used to ensure the lesson is shown.

d. Descriptive

The goal of a descriptive essay is to vividly describe an event, item, place, memory, etc. This essay may be written in any point of view, depending on what’s being described. There is a lot of freedom of language in descriptive essays, which can include figurative language, as well.

IV. The Importance of Essays

Essays are an important piece of literature that can be used in a variety of situations. They’re a flexible type of writing, which makes them useful in many settings . History can be traced and understood through essays from theorists, leaders, artists of various arts, and regular citizens of countries throughout the world and time. For students, learning to write essays is also important because as they leave school and enter college and/or the work force, it is vital for them to be able to express themselves well.

V. Examples of Essays in Literature

Sir Francis Bacon was a leading philosopher who influenced the colonies in the 1600s. Many of America’s founding fathers also favored his philosophies toward government. Bacon wrote an essay titled “Of Nobility” in 1601 , in which he defines the concept of nobility in relation to people and government. The following is the introduction of his definition essay. Note the use of “we” for his point of view, which includes his readers while still sounding rather formal.

 “We will speak of nobility, first as a portion of an estate, then as a condition of particular persons. A monarchy, where there is no nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute tyranny; as that of the Turks. For nobility attempers sovereignty, and draws the eyes of the people, somewhat aside from the line royal. But for democracies, they need it not; and they are commonly more quiet, and less subject to sedition, than where there are stirps of nobles. For men’s eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons; or if upon the persons, it is for the business’ sake, as fittest, and not for flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion, and of cantons. For utility is their bond, and not respects. The united provinces of the Low Countries, in their government, excel; for where there is an equality, the consultations are more indifferent, and the payments and tributes, more cheerful. A great and potent nobility, addeth majesty to a monarch, but diminisheth power; and putteth life and spirit into the people, but presseth their fortune. It is well, when nobles are not too great for sovereignty nor for justice; and yet maintained in that height, as the insolency of inferiors may be broken upon them, before it come on too fast upon the majesty of kings. A numerous nobility causeth poverty, and inconvenience in a state; for it is a surcharge of expense; and besides, it being of necessity, that many of the nobility fall, in time, to be weak in fortune, it maketh a kind of disproportion, between honor and means.”

A popular modern day essayist is Barbara Kingsolver. Her book, “Small Wonders,” is full of essays describing her thoughts and experiences both at home and around the world. Her intention with her essays is to make her readers think about various social issues, mainly concerning the environment and how people treat each other. The link below is to an essay in which a child in an Iranian village she visited had disappeared. The boy was found three days later in a bear’s cave, alive and well, protected by a mother bear. She uses a narrative essay to tell her story.

VI. Examples of Essays in Pop Culture

Many rap songs are basically mini essays, expressing outrage and sorrow over social issues today, just as the 1960s had a lot of anti-war and peace songs that told stories and described social problems of that time. Any good song writer will pay attention to current events and express ideas in a creative way.

A well-known essay written in 1997 by Mary Schmich, a columnist with the Chicago Tribune, was made into a popular video on MTV by Baz Luhrmann. Schmich’s thesis is to wear sunscreen, but she adds strong advice with supporting details throughout the body of her essay, reverting to her thesis in the conclusion.

Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen

VII. Related Terms

Research paper.

Research papers follow the same basic format of an essay. They have an introductory paragraph, the body, and a conclusion. However, research papers have strict guidelines regarding a title page, header, sub-headers within the paper, citations throughout and in a bibliography page, the size and type of font, and margins. The purpose of a research paper is to explore an area by looking at previous research. Some research papers may include additional studies by the author, which would then be compared to previous research. The point of view is an objective third-person. No opinion is allowed. Any claims must be backed up with research.

VIII. Conclusion

Students dread hearing that they are going to write an essay, but essays are one of the easiest and most relaxed types of writing they will learn. Mastering the essay will make research papers much easier, since they have the same basic structure. Many historical events can be better understood through essays written by people involved in those times. The continuation of essays in today’s times will allow future historians to understand how our new world of technology and information impacted us.

List of Terms

  • Alliteration
  • Amplification
  • Anachronism
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Antonomasia
  • APA Citation
  • Aposiopesis
  • Autobiography
  • Bildungsroman
  • Characterization
  • Circumlocution
  • Cliffhanger
  • Comic Relief
  • Connotation
  • Deus ex machina
  • Deuteragonist
  • Doppelganger
  • Double Entendre
  • Dramatic irony
  • Equivocation
  • Extended Metaphor
  • Figures of Speech
  • Flash-forward
  • Foreshadowing
  • Intertextuality
  • Juxtaposition
  • Literary Device
  • Malapropism
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Parallelism
  • Pathetic Fallacy
  • Personification
  • Point of View
  • Polysyndeton
  • Protagonist
  • Red Herring
  • Rhetorical Device
  • Rhetorical Question
  • Science Fiction
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
  • Synesthesia
  • Turning Point
  • Understatement
  • Urban Legend
  • Verisimilitude
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Eng 101 oer: definition.

  • Reading to Write
  • Why We Write
  • Rhetorical Context
  • Brainstorming
  • Proofreading & Editing
  • Paragraph Development
  • Thesis Statements
  • Introductions
  • Conclusions
  • Transitions & Phrases
  • Peer Reviews
  • Exemplification
  • Classification
  • Cause/Effect
  • Grammar Resources

Learning Objectives

  • Determine the purpose and structure of the definition essay.
  • Understand how to write a definition essay.

The Purpose of Definition

The purpose of a definition essay may seem self-explanatory: the purpose of the definition essay is to simply define something. But defining terms in writing is often more complicated than just consulting a dictionary. In fact, the way we define terms can have far-reaching consequences for individuals as well as collective groups.

Take, for example, a word like  alcoholism . The way in which one defines alcoholism depends on its legal, moral, and medical contexts. Lawyers may define alcoholism in terms of its legality; parents may define alcoholism in terms of its morality; and doctors will define alcoholism in terms of symptoms and diagnostic criteria. Think also of terms that people tend to debate in our broader culture. How we define words, such as  marriage  and  climate change , has enormous impact on policy decisions and even on daily decisions. Think about conversations couples may have in which words like  commitment ,  respect , or  love  need clarification.

Defining terms within a relationship, or any other context, can at first be difficult, but once a definition is established between two people or a group of people, it is easier to have productive dialogues. Definitions, then, establish the way in which people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse, which is why they are so important.

The Structure of a Definition Essay

The definition essay opens with a general discussion of the term to be defined. You then state as your thesis your definition of the term.

The rest of the essay should explain the rationale for your definition. Remember that a dictionary’s definition is limiting, and you should not rely strictly on the dictionary entry. Instead, consider the context in which you are using the word.  Context  identifies the circumstances, conditions, or setting in which something exists or occurs. Often words take on different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. For example, the ideal leader in a battlefield setting could likely be very different than a leader in an elementary school setting. If a context is missing from the essay, the essay may be too short or the main points could be confusing or misunderstood.

The remainder of the essay should explain different aspects of the term’s definition. For example, if you were defining a good leader in an elementary classroom setting, you might define such a leader according to personality traits: patience, consistency, and flexibility. Each attribute would be explained in its own paragraph.

Writing a Definition Essay

Choose a topic that will be complex enough to be discussed at length. Choosing a word or phrase of personal relevance often leads to a more interesting and engaging essay.

After you have chosen your word or phrase, start your essay with an introduction that establishes the relevancy of the term in the chosen specific context. Your thesis comes at the end of the introduction, and it should clearly state your definition of the term in the specific context. Establishing a functional context from the beginning will orient readers and minimize misunderstandings.

The body paragraphs should each be dedicated to explaining a different facet of your definition. Make sure to use clear examples and strong details to illustrate your points. Your concluding paragraph should pull together all the different elements of your definition to ultimately reinforce your thesis. 

Definition Essays

Judy Brady provides a humorous look at responsibilities and relationships in  I Want a Wife :

  • http://www.columbia.edu/~sss31/rainbow/wife.html

Gayle Rosenwald Smith shares her dislike of the name for a sleeveless T-shirt,  The Wife-Beater :

  • http://www.usd305.com/212720101692451310/lib/212720101692451310/20100429123836146.pdf

Philip Levine defines  What Work Is :

  • http://www.ibiblio.org/ipa/poems/levine/what_work_is.php
  • http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/what-work-is

Student Sample Essay

Defining Good Students Means More Than Just Grades

Many people define good students as those who receive the best grades. While it is true that good students often earn high grades, I contend that grades are just one aspect of how we define a good student. In fact, even poor students can earn high grades sometimes, so grades are not the best indicator of a student’s quality. Rather, a good student pursues scholarship, actively participates in class, and maintains a positive, professional relationship with instructors and peers.

Good students have a passion for learning that drives them to fully understand class material rather than just worry about what grades they receive in the course. Good students are actively engaged in scholarship, which means they enjoy reading and learning about their subject matter not just because readings and assignments are required. Of course, good students will complete their homework and all assignments, and they may even continue to perform research and learn more on the subject after the course ends. In some cases, good students will pursue a subject that interests them but might not be one of their strongest academic areas, so they will not earn the highest grades. Pushing oneself to learn and try new things can be difficult, but good students will challenge themselves rather than remain at their educational comfort level for the sake of a high grade. The pursuit of scholarship and education rather than concern over grades is the hallmark of a good student.

Class participation and behavior are another aspect of the definition of a good student. Simply attending class is not enough; good students arrive punctually because they understand that tardiness disrupts the class and disrespects the professors. They might occasionally arrive a few minutes early to ask the professor questions about class materials or mentally prepare for the day’s work. Good students consistently pay attention during class discussions and take notes in lectures rather than engage in off-task behaviors, such as checking their cell phones or daydreaming. Excellent class participation requires a balance between speaking and listening, so good students will share their views when appropriate but also respect their classmates’ views when they differ from their own. It is easy to mistake quantity of class discussion comments with quality, but good students know the difference and do not try to dominate the conversation. Sometimes class participation is counted toward a student’s grade, but even without such clear rewards, good students understand how to perform and excel among their peers in the classroom.

Finally, good students maintain a positive and professional relationship with their professors. They respect their instructor’s authority in the classroom as well as the instructor’s privacy outside of the classroom. Prying into a professor’s personal life is inappropriate, but attending office hours to discuss course material is an appropriate, effective way for students to demonstrate their dedication and interest in learning. Good students go to their professor’s office during posted office hours or make an appointment if necessary. While instructors can be very busy, they are usually happy to offer guidance to students during office hours; after all, availability outside the classroom is a part of their job. Attending office hours can also help good students become memorable and stand out from the rest, particularly in lectures with hundreds enrolled. Maintaining positive, professional relationships with professors is especially important for those students who hope to attend graduate school and will need letters of recommendation in the future.

Although good grades often accompany good students, grades are not the only way to indicate what it means to be a good student. The definition of a good student means demonstrating such traits as engaging with course material, participating in class, and creating a professional relationship with professors. While every professor will have different criteria for earning an A in their course, most would agree on these characteristics for defining good students.

essays with definitions

Key Takeaways

  • Definitions establish the way in which people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse.
  • Context affects the meaning and usage of words.
  • The thesis of a definition essay should clearly state the writer’s definition of the term in the specific context.
  • Body paragraphs should explain the various facets of the definition stated in the thesis.
  • The conclusion should pull all the elements of the definition together at the end and reinforce the thesis.

This is a derivative of  WRITING FOR SUCCESS  by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License .

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Definition of essay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Definition of essay  (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

  • composition

attempt , try , endeavor , essay , strive mean to make an effort to accomplish an end.

attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort.

try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something.

endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty.

essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting.

strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort.

Examples of essay in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'essay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Middle French essai , ultimately from Late Latin exagium act of weighing, from Latin ex- + agere to drive — more at agent

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Phrases Containing essay

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  • photo - essay

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Cite this entry.

“Essay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/essay. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of essay.

Kids Definition of essay  (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples

Thesis Statement for Personal Essay

Thesis statement generator for personal essay.

essays with definitions

Personal essays are intimate reflections, weaving together narratives and insights to deliver profound messages. Central to these essays is the thesis statement — a guiding beacon that directs the narrative and offers clarity to readers. Crafting a resonant thesis for a personal essay requires introspection and a deep understanding of one’s own journey. This guide will illuminate the path to writing compelling thesis statements for personal essays, complete with examples and expert tips.

What is a Personal Essay Thesis Statement? – Definition:

A personal essay thesis statement is a concise expression of the central theme or primary insight of the essay. Unlike thesis statements in more formal academic papers, a personal essay’s thesis often captures an emotion, lesson learned, or a core truth about the writer’s experience. It provides readers with a glimpse into the essence of the writer’s story and sets the stage for the unfolding narrative.

What is the Best Thesis Statement Example for Personal Essay?

While the “best” thesis statement for a personal essay would depend on the specific topic and the individual’s experience, here’s a general example:

“Through the winding journey of self-discovery amidst challenges, I realized that embracing vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but rather a testament to the strength of the human spirit.”

This final thesis statement encapsulates a personal insight while hinting at a narrative of challenges and self-discovery, drawing readers into the essay’s deeper exploration of the topic.

100 Thesis Statement Examples for Personal Essay

Thesis Statement Examples for Personal Essay

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Personal essays are windows into the author’s soul, glimpses of moments, lessons, and reflections that have shaped their journey. The good thesis statement in these essays is more than just a mere statement; it’s the heartbeat of the narrative, encapsulating the essence of the tale and the wisdom gleaned from it. Let’s explore a collection of thesis statements, each weaving its unique tapestry of human experience.

  • “The echoes of my grandmother’s stories taught me the power of legacy and the importance of preserving memory.”
  • “Navigating the turbulent waters of adolescence, I discovered the anchoring power of self-acceptance.”
  • “In the silent corridors of grief, I unearthed the profound strength that lies in vulnerability.”
  • “The tapestry of my multicultural upbringing illustrated the beauty of diversity and the bridges it can build.”
  • “Amid the cacophony of urban life, the serenity of nature became my sanctuary and muse.”
  • “Love, in its many shades, revealed to me that it is more about giving than receiving.”
  • “Facing the monolith of failure, I realized it’s but a stepping stone to success.”
  • “The journey from solitude to loneliness taught me the invaluable nature of genuine connections.”
  • “Chasing dreams on the canvas of a starlit sky, I learned that ambition has its roots in passion, not just success.”
  • “The silent conversations with my reflection taught me the transformative power of self-love.”
  • “In the crossroads of life’s decisions, I discovered that intuition often holds the compass to our true north.”
  • “The rhythms of dance became my language, translating emotions words often couldn’t capture.”
  • “Wandering through foreign lands, I understood that home isn’t a place but a feeling.”
  • “The unraveling of old beliefs led me to the mosaic of perspectives that color the world.”
  • “In the realm of dreams, I grasped the significance of perseverance and the magic of belief.”
  • “As seasons changed, so did my understanding of the impermanence of life and the beauty it holds.”
  • “The melodies of my mother’s lullabies became the soundtrack of my resilience and hope.”
  • “In the pages of forgotten diaries, I retraced the evolution of my thoughts and the depth of my growth.”
  • “The culinary adventures in my grandmother’s kitchen were lessons in love, tradition, and the art of giving.”
  • “Amidst life’s cacophony, the whispering pages of books became my escape and my anchor.”
  • “Through the lens of my camera, I captured the transient nature of moments and the eternity they hold.”
  • “The mosaic of friendships over the years showcased the fluidity of human connections and their timeless essence.”
  • “Under the shade of ancient trees, I learned patience, growth, and the cycles of life.”
  • “The footprints on sandy shores traced my journey of introspection and the tides of change.”
  • “In the embrace of twilight, I unraveled the beauty of endings and the promises they carry.”
  • “From handwritten letters, I unearthed the magic of words and the bridges they create across distances.”
  • “The undulating paths of mountain hikes mirrored life’s ups and downs, teaching me resilience and wonder.”
  • “Within the hallowed halls of museums, I discovered humanity’s quest for expression and the stories etched in time.”
  • “The serendipities of chance encounters taught me the universe’s uncanny ability to weave tales of connection.”
  • “In the garden’s bloom and wither, I saw life’s ephemeral nature and the rebirth that follows decay”
  • “The tapestry of city sounds became my symphony, teaching me to find harmony in chaos.”
  • “Between the pages of my journal, I discovered the transformative power of reflection and the stories we tell ourselves.”
  • “In the heartbeats of quiet moments, I recognized the profound value of stillness in a world constantly in motion.”
  • “Through the myriad hues of sunsets, I learned that endings can be beautiful beginnings in disguise.”
  • “The labyrinth of memories illuminated the idea that our past shapes us, but doesn’t define us.”
  • “The first brush strokes on a blank canvas taught me the courage to start and the potential of the unknown.”
  • “In the aroma of rain-kissed earth, I found the connection between nature’s simplicity and life’s profound moments.”
  • “The gentle tug of ocean waves mirrored the ebb and flow of emotions and the healing power of letting go.”
  • “Amidst the ruins of ancient civilizations, I grasped the timeless human desire to leave a mark and be remembered.”
  • “The resonance of old songs brought back memories, revealing how art transcends time, reminding us of who we were.”
  • “In the mirror of my parents’ aging faces, I saw the passage of time and the stories etched in every wrinkle.”
  • “The spontaneity of impromptu road trips unveiled the joy of unplanned adventures and the paths less traveled.”
  • “The aroma of childhood meals evoked memories, teaching me that senses can be portals to the past.”
  • “From the heights of skydiving, I felt the exhilarating blend of fear, freedom, and the joy of being alive.”
  • “In the cadence of poetry, I learned the power of words to heal, inspire, and transport to different realms.”
  • “The play of shadows and light during an eclipse taught me about life’s dualities and the balance they bring.”
  • “The laughter and tears shared with friends showcased the depth of human connection and the shared threads of our stories.”
  • “Amidst the solitude of silent retreats, I discovered the voice within and the wisdom it holds.”
  • “Through the changing vistas of train journeys, I realized life is less about destinations and more about the journey.”
  • “The cycles of the moon became my reflection on the phases of life and the beauty in its transitions.
  • “In the silent flight of a butterfly, I witnessed the delicate dance of change and the beauty of metamorphosis.”
  • “The melodies of street musicians became my muse, illustrating the universal language of passion and art.”
  • “Within the pages of fairy tales, I unraveled deeper truths about hope, bravery, and the magic within us all.”
  • “The fragility of a snowflake mirrored the fleeting moments of life, urging me to cherish each one.”
  • “Through the lens of history, I understood the cyclical nature of time and the lessons it persistently offers.”
  • “Amid the vastness of deserts, I felt the weight of solitude and the freedom it silently gifts.”
  • “In the embrace of night’s silence, I learned to listen to my inner voice, undistracted by the day’s clamor.”
  • “The ritual of morning coffee became a meditation, teaching me to find joy in simple routines and moments.”
  • “The constellation of stars in the night sky showed me the beauty of small lights in vast darkness.”
  • “In the hustle of marketplaces, I perceived the intricate dance of life, commerce, and shared human experience.”
  • “The whispers of old trees carried tales of time, resilience, and the secrets of unwavering growth.”
  • “From the peaks of mountains, I felt the world’s vastness and my tiny yet significant place within it.”
  • “The riddles of childhood games taught me the joys of curiosity and the journey of seeking answers.”
  • “The seasons’ rhythmic dance became my muse, reflecting life’s constant change and the beauty in every phase.”
  • “In the flicker of candle flames, I felt the warmth of hope and the luminescence of undying spirit.”
  • “The ever-expanding universe became a metaphor for boundless possibilities and the mysteries yet to be unraveled.”
  • “The resonance of church bells reminded me of the call to introspect and find solace within.”
  • “The chorus of chirping birds at dawn became an ode to new beginnings and the melodies of nature.”
  • “In the winding paths of forests, I discovered life’s unexpected turns and the revelations they bring.”
  • “The myriad hues of a painter’s palette echoed the diversity of human emotions and the art of expressing them.
  • “Beneath the veil of city lights, I discerned the contrast between loneliness in crowds and solace in solitude.”
  • “In the ripples of a serene pond, I realized that even the smallest of actions can have far-reaching effects.”
  • “The ballet of autumn leaves taught me about graceful endings and the promise of rebirth.”
  • “From the labyrinths of ancient libraries, I uncovered the timelessness of knowledge and human quest for understanding.”
  • “Through the whispers of midnight winds, I felt the comforting presence of the unseen and the mysteries of the night.”
  • “In the patchwork quilt passed down generations, I recognized the warmth of stories and the fabric of shared memories.”
  • “The ascent and descent of tides taught me about life’s cyclical nature and the inevitability of change.”
  • “Amidst the aroma of old bookstores, I discovered portals to different worlds and the eternal allure of stories.”
  • “In the footprints on a snowy path, I saw the transient nature of moments and the lasting impressions they leave.”
  • “The harmonies of a choir became an emblem of unity, diversity, and the beauty of voices coming together.”
  • “The transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly illuminated the wonders of change and the potential within us all.”
  • “From the symphony of city streets, I deduced that every individual has a story, waiting to be told.”
  • “The unfurling of a rosebud spoke of patience, time, and the elegance in gradual blooming.”
  • “In the dance of shadows during twilight, I grasped the interplay between light and dark in our lives.”
  • “The handwritten notes in the margins of used books unveiled strangers’ thoughts and the universality of human reflections.”
  • “Amidst the patterns of falling rain, I perceived nature’s rhythm and the cleansing it offers.”
  • “The voyage across seas showed me the vastness of the world and the adventure of discovering uncharted territories.”
  • “The warmth of a fireplace in winter became a symbol of comfort, home, and the gentle embrace of memories.”
  • “Through the kaleidoscope of festivals, I appreciated the richness of traditions and the unity they foster.”
  • “The arcs of rainbows painted the sky with hope, reminding me of the beauty after storms and the treasures of optimism.
  • “In the tapestry of a spider’s web, I witnessed the marvel of intricate designs and the beauty in nature’s craftsmanship.”
  • “Through the rhythms of folk dances, I felt the heartbeat of cultures and the stories they carry through generations.”
  • “In the embrace of a mother’s lullaby, I rediscovered the profound connection of roots and the safety of unconditional love.”
  • “The alchemy of turning clay into pottery taught me about the transformative power of touch and the art of creation.”
  • “Amid the grandeur of cathedrals, I sensed the union of devotion, art, and the timeless quest for meaning.”
  • “In the migrations of birds, I observed the marvels of nature, the journey of seasons, and the allure of homecomings.”
  • “The flavors of grandmother’s recipes held the essence of traditions, stories, and the magic of hands that tell tales.”
  • “Through the reflections in a tranquil lake, I grasped the duality of reality and the depths beneath calm surfaces.”
  • “In the footsteps across deserts, I felt the perseverance of souls and the vastness of life’s journeys.”
  • “The fluttering pages of an old diary brought me back to past selves, the continuum of growth, and the chapters yet unwritten.”

Every one of these thesis statements serves as a unique prism, refracting the singular experiences of life into universally relatable insights. They beckon readers to delve deeper, to embark on introspective voyages, and to resonate with the emotions, memories, and discoveries that are so innately human. Personal essays anchored by such profound statements become more than mere stories; they evolve into shared chronicles of the human spirit, its challenges, joys, and ever-evolving wisdom.  You should also take a look at our  concise thesis statement .

How do you write a thesis statement for a personal essay? – Step by Step Guide

  • Understand the Topic (if given): Before you begin, thoroughly read and understand the essay topic, if provided. This will guide your reflection and thought process.
  • Reflect on Your Subject: Think deeply about your experiences, feelings, and insights. Identify what story or perspective you want to share.
  • Pinpoint the Central Theme: Decide on the main idea or lesson from your reflection. What message or insight do you want your readers to take away?
  • Be Specific: Instead of being broad or general, delve into a particular incident, emotion, or realization that epitomizes the theme.
  • Draft a Statement: Begin writing your thesis. This should be a concise sentence that encapsulates the essence of your essay.
  • Revisit and Refine: As you progress in your essay, revisit your thesis. Ensure it aligns with your narrative and make any necessary refinements.
  • Seek Feedback: Share your thesis with peers or mentors. Fresh perspectives can offer invaluable insights or suggestions.

Is there a thesis in a personal essay?

Yes, there typically is a thesis in a personal essay, but it might not be as direct or argumentative as in other types of essays. Instead, the thesis in a personal essay is a central idea or theme that the writer intends to convey. It serves as an anchor, guiding the narrative and ensuring that readers understand the core message or insight of the piece.

How do you start a personal thesis statement?

  • Begin with a Bang: Start with a striking statement or a profound realization that encapsulates your story.
  • Use Vivid Imagery: Paint a picture with words to immediately engage your readers.
  • Pose a Question: Starting with a reflective or rhetorical question can provoke thought and pull readers in.
  • Relate to a Universal Theme: Touch on a theme that many can resonate with, such as love, loss, growth, or transformation.

Tips for Writing a Personal Essay Thesis Statement

  • Stay Authentic: Your personal essay is your story. Ensure your thesis reflects your genuine emotions, experiences, and insights.
  • Keep it Concise: A thesis should be clear and succinct, capturing the essence of your narrative in one or two sentences.
  • Avoid Clichés: Steer clear of overused phrases or generalizations. Your thesis should be unique to your story and perspective.
  • Maintain Coherence: As you draft your essay, ensure every part of your narrative aligns with and supports your thesis.
  • Engage Emotionally: While a thesis should be clear and direct, it should also evoke emotion or curiosity, compelling readers to explore the rest of your essay.
  • Revise: As with any part of writing, don’t hesitate to revise your thesis as you refine your essay, ensuring it remains the best reflection of your narrative.

Remember, the thesis of your personal essay is the heart of your narrative. It’s the essence of your story and the message you want to share with the world. Crafting it with care will set the tone for the entire essay and guide your readers on the journey you wish to take them on

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Understanding the Definition of a Christian: Beliefs, Practices, and Identity

This essay about the definition of a Christian explores the core beliefs, practices, and identity of followers of Jesus Christ. It highlights the foundational doctrine of the Trinity, the importance of the Bible, and the moral teachings centered on love for God and neighbor. The essay discusses the significance of communal worship, the sacraments of baptism and Eucharist, and the role of evangelism. It also touches on the diversity within Christianity and the challenges of living out one’s faith in a pluralistic society. Ultimately, being a Christian involves accepting Jesus as Savior, embodying his teachings, and participating in the Christian community.

How it works

In the broad spectrum of religious beliefs, Christianity stands out not only for its historical significance but also for its profound impact on the moral and cultural fabric of societies around the world. At its core, the definition of a Christian encompasses both the acceptance of certain theological principles and the embodiment of specific practices and moral values.

To understand what it means to be a Christian, it is essential to explore the foundational beliefs, the lived experiences, and the identity that shapes a follower of Christ.

A Christian fundamentally is someone who adheres to the teachings of Jesus Christ. This adherence is rooted in the belief that Jesus is the Son of God who was sent to Earth to redeem humanity from sin through His death and resurrection. This belief is encapsulated in the doctrine of the Trinity, which describes God as one being in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Acceptance of this doctrine is a cornerstone of Christian faith, distinguishing it from other monotheistic religions.

The Bible, particularly the New Testament, is the primary source of Jesus’s teachings and the apostolic writings that guide Christian belief and practice. Christians believe that the Bible is divinely inspired and serves as the ultimate authority in matters of faith and conduct. Regular reading, study, and meditation on the Scriptures are common practices among Christians aimed at understanding God’s will and applying it to their daily lives.

Beyond doctrinal beliefs, being a Christian also involves a commitment to living according to the moral and ethical teachings of Jesus. Central to these teachings is the commandment to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. This dual commandment underscores the importance of both vertical and horizontal relationships: a personal relationship with God and a compassionate relationship with others. Acts of kindness, charity, and service are seen as expressions of this love, reflecting the character of Jesus.

Another vital aspect of Christian identity is participation in communal worship and the sacraments. Regular attendance at church services, where believers gather for prayer, worship, and fellowship, reinforces the sense of community and shared faith. The sacraments, particularly Baptism and the Eucharist (or Holy Communion), hold significant spiritual meaning. Baptism symbolizes the believer’s identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus, marking their entry into the Christian community. The Eucharist commemorates the Last Supper, where Jesus shared bread and wine with His disciples, symbolizing His body and blood sacrificed for humanity’s salvation.

Moreover, Christians are called to evangelism, the practice of spreading the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. This can take many forms, from personal conversations and acts of service to organized missionary efforts. Evangelism is driven by the belief that all people need to hear and respond to the message of Jesus to experience salvation and a transformed life.

The diversity within Christianity, with its various denominations and traditions, also enriches the understanding of what it means to be a Christian. While core beliefs remain consistent, practices and expressions of faith can vary widely. For instance, the liturgical worship of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy differs from the more spontaneous and contemporary services of many Protestant denominations. Despite these differences, the shared belief in Jesus Christ as Savior unites Christians across these diverse traditions.

In contemporary society, being a Christian also involves navigating the challenges of living out one’s faith in a pluralistic and often secular environment. This can involve engaging in ethical debates, advocating for social justice, and striving to embody Christian principles in all areas of life, including work, politics, and family.

In conclusion, the definition of a Christian is multifaceted, encompassing a blend of theological beliefs, ethical practices, and communal identity. At its heart, being a Christian means accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, striving to live according to His teachings, and participating in the life of the Christian community. This identity shapes not only the spiritual lives of believers but also their interactions with the broader world as they seek to reflect the love and grace of Christ in all they do.

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What Is Project 2025, and Why Is Trump Disavowing It?

The Biden campaign has attacked Donald J. Trump’s ties to the conservative policy plan that would amass power in the executive branch, though it is not his official platform.

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Kevin Roberts, wearing a dark suit and blue tie and speaking into a microphone at a lectern. The lectern says, “National Religious Broadcasters, nrb.org.”

By Simon J. Levien

Donald J. Trump has gone to great lengths to distance himself from Project 2025, a set of conservative policy proposals for a future Republican administration that has outraged Democrats. He has claimed he knows nothing about it or the people involved in creating it.

Mr. Trump himself was not behind the project. But some of his allies were.

The document, its origins and the interplay between it and the Trump campaign have made for one of the most hotly debated questions of the 2024 race.

Here is what to know about Project 2025, and who is behind it.

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025 was spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation and like-minded conservative groups before Mr. Trump officially entered the 2024 race. The Heritage Foundation is a think tank that has shaped the personnel and policies of Republican administrations since the Reagan presidency.

The project was intended as a buffet of options for the Trump administration or any other Republican presidency. It’s the latest installment in the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Leadership series, which has compiled conservative policy proposals every few years since 1981. But no previous study has been as sweeping in its recommendations — or as widely discussed.

Kevin Roberts, the head of the Heritage Foundation, which began putting together the latest document in 2022, said he thought the American government would embrace a more conservative era, one that he hoped Republicans would usher in.

“We are in the process of the second American Revolution,” Mr. Roberts said on Real America’s Voice, a right-wing cable channel, in early July, adding pointedly that the revolt “will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

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What is Project 2025? Is it Trump's plan? What to know about the right-wing plan for a conservative nation

essays with definitions

Social media has been abuzz with the ultra-conservative initiative Project 2025. So just what is it?

The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank out of Washington, D.C., launched the 2025 Presidential Transition Project to "assemble an army of aligned, vetted, trained, and prepared conservatives to go to work on Day One to deconstruct the Administrative State."

It is based on a more than 800-page  "Mandate for Leadership,"  published in April 2023 by the Foundation, reimagining the executive branch and as a plan to overhaul multiple federal government agencies, including the FBI, Department of Justice and Department of Education, and that isn't even talking about the want to ban certain words from the legislature and what jobs in the federal government will be appointed.

All of this is intended to be the playbook for the next conservative president to follow .

Here's what we know about Project 2025 and what it could mean for the 2024 presidential election.

What is Project 2025?

For many it is being referred to as just Project 2025, and it has become a hot topic among celebrities, political figures, media and on social media in recent weeks.

The  "Mandate for Leadership" outlines conservative agendas that would mean the repeal of parts of initiatives President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama brought forth during their tenure at the White House, including student debt forgiveness and the Affordable Care Act. Beyond that, the deportation of undocumented immigrants is high up on Project 2025's to-do list.

There is also a section of this plan that appears to undo LGBTQ+ rights in multiple different areas, including banning people with HIV or those who are transgender from serving in the military, rescinding regulations  that bar discrimination “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, and sex characteristics,” and also seems to oppose same-sex marriage and gay couples adopting children by seeking to "maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family."

Here are just some other items that Project 2025 entails:

  • Passing sweeping tax cuts and changes to the tax code which will impact those with lower incomes while benefiting those with a higher income .
  • Reversal of DEI programs
  • Development of new nuclear weapons and building of more nuclear power plants
  • Dismantling of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration due to it being "one of the main drivers of the climate change alarm industry.”
  • Ending Head Start and dismantling the Education Department
  • Outlawing pornography

Why are people worried about Project 2025?

One of the main things in this playbook? The reinstatement of a  Trump executive order  augmenting a president's power to hire and fire federal officials by replacing civil servants with political appointees throughout government.

Project 2025 has been “pre-screening the ideologies” of thousands to become part of the federal government once a conservative takes office to have, “a pre-vetted, pro-Trump army of up to 54,000 loyalists."

Project 2025 and the Heritage Foundation leadership have also called this group "conservative warriors," and enacted imagery of them marching into Washington, D.C., like an army.

While the Heritage Foundation's nearly 900-page mandate is a blueprint for a far-right way of "taking back control" of the federal government, it is also the rhetoric that is coming from people like the group's president, Kevin Roberts.

“We are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless ― if the left allows it to be,” Roberts  said  on a conservative media outlet called Real America’s Voice.

"Project 2025 should scare every single American," said President Joe Biden, in a speech slamming former President Donald Trump for having any part of Project 2025. "It would give Trump limitless power over our daily lives and let him use the presidency to enact 'revenge' on his enemies, ban abortion nationwide and punish women who have an abortion, and gut the checks and balances that make America the greatest democracy in the world."

Is Project 2025 part of Trump's plan if he wins the 2024 presidential election?

Though the plan's organizers want Trump to follow Project 2025 if he wins the November election ― it even has his name in different areas throughout the plan ― the businessman turned politician has tried to distance himself from the Heritage Foundation after Biden slammed him in the press for being affiliated with the group.

Trump took to his Truth social media account in an attempt to lead the narrative away from his affiliation with Heritage Foundation writing. "I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them."

In a post early Thursday morning he wrote, " I know nothing about Project 2025. I have not seen it, have no idea who is in charge of it, and, unlike our very well received Republican Platform, had nothing to do with it. The Radical Left Democrats are having a field day, however, trying to hook me into whatever policies are stated or said. It is pure disinformation on their part. By now, after all of these years, everyone knows where I stand on EVERYTHING! DJT"

And while Trump denies knowing the people who are "in charge of it," some are members of his previous staff.

  • Russ Vought (Project 2025 writer) headed the Office of Management and Budget under Trump
  • John McEntee (senior adviser for Project 2025) was the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office under Trump
  • Paul Dans (head of Project 2025 team), former Trump staffer
  • Spencer Chretien (head of Project 2025 team), former Trump staffer
  • Troup Hemnway (head of Project 2025 team), former Trump staffer

Project 2025 said it “does not speak for any candidate or campaign” in a  July 5 post on X , formerly Twitter. Its playbook is comprised of suggestions the coalition believes will benefit the "next conservative president."

Who is involved with Project 2025?

The Heritage Foundation has pulled together 100 coalition partners of conservative groups in the country. Here are the partners of Project 2025 reported by the Heritage Foundation:

  • 1792 Exchange
  • American Accountability Foundation 
  • American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Alabama Policy Institute 
  • Alliance Defending Freedom 
  • ACLJ Action
  • American Commitment
  • American Compass 
  • American Cornerstone Institute
  • The American Conservative
  • American Council of Trustees and Alumni
  • American Family Association
  • America First Legal 
  • American Juris Link
  • American Legislative Exchange Council 
  • The American Main Street Initiative 
  • American Moment 
  • American Principles Project 
  • The American Family Project
  • The American Redistricting Project
  • Americans United for Life
  • AMAC Action
  • California Family Council
  • Centennial Institute
  • Center for a Secure Free Society
  • Center for Equal Opportunity 
  • Center for Family and Human Rights 
  • Center for Immigration Studies 
  • Center for Military Readiness
  • Center for Renewing America 
  • Citizens Against Government Waste
  • The Claremont Institute 
  • Coalition for a Prosperous America
  • Competitive Enterprise Institute 
  • Concerned Women for America 
  • Conservative Partnership Institute
  • Defense of Freedom Institute
  • Discovery Institute
  • Eagle Forum
  • Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Fairer America
  • Family Policy Alliance 
  • Family Research Council 
  • Feds for Freedom
  • First Liberty Institute
  • For America
  • Forge Leadership Network 
  • Foundation for American Innovation
  • Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Foundation for Government Accountability 
  • Freedom’s Journal Institute
  • The Frederick Douglass Foundation
  • Calvert Task Group
  • The Heartland Institute
  • The Heritage Foundation
  • MacArthur Society of West Point Graduates
  • Hillsdale College 
  • Honest Elections Project
  • Independent Women’s Forum 
  • Institute for Education Reform
  • Institute for Energy Research 
  • Institute for the American Worker 
  • The Institute for Women’s Health
  • Intercollegiate Studies Institute
  • Dr. James Dobson Family Institute
  • The James Madison Institute 
  • Job Creators Network
  • Keystone Policy
  • The Leadership Institute 
  • League of American Workers
  • Liberty University 
  • Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • The Malone Institute
  • Media Research Center
  • Mississippi Center for Public Policy
  • Moms for Liberty
  • Mountain States Policy Center
  • National Association of Scholars
  • National Center for Public Policy Research
  • Native Americans for Sovereignty and Preservation
  • Noah Webster Educational Foundation
  • Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
  • Project 21 Black Leadership Network
  • Pacific Research Institute
  • The Palm Beach Freedom Institute
  • Palmetto Promise
  • Patrick Henry College
  • The Patriot Foundation Trust
  • Personnel Policy Operations
  • Public Interest Legal Foundation
  • Recovery for America Now Foundation
  • Republicans Overseas Foundation
  • Stop Abusive and Violent Environments
  • Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services
  • Students for Life of America
  • Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America
  • Tea Party Patriots
  • Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Teneo Network
  • Turning Point USA
  • Young America’s Foundation

USA TODAY contributed to this report.

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globalization

globalization

globalization , integration of the world’s economies, politics, and cultures. German-born American economist Theodore Levitt has been credited with having coined the term globalization in a 1983 article titled “The Globalization of Markets.” The phenomenon is widely considered to have begun in the 19th century following the advent of the Industrial Revolution , but some scholars date it more specifically to about 1870, when exports became a much more significant share of some countries’ gross domestic product (GDP). Its continued escalation is largely attributable to the development of new technologies—particularly in the fields of communication and transportation—and to the adoption of liberal trade policies by countries around the world.

Social scientists have identified the central aspects of globalization as interconnection, intensification, time-space distanciation (conditions that allow time and space to be organized in a manner that connects presence and absence), supraterritoriality, time-space compression, action at a distance, and accelerating interdependence. Modern analysts also conceive of globalization as a long-term process of deterritorialization—that is, of social activities (economic, political, and cultural) occurring without regard for geographic location. Thus, globalization can be defined as the stretching of economic, political, and social relationships in space and time. A manufacturer assembling a product for a distant market , a country submitting to international law , and a language adopting a foreign loanword are all examples of globalization.

Of course history is filled with such occurrences: Chinese artisans once wove silk bound for the Roman Empire ( see Silk Road ); kingdoms in western Europe honoured dictates of the Roman Catholic Church ; and English adopted many Norman French words in the centuries after the Battle of Hastings . These interactions and others laid the groundwork for globalization and are now recognized by historians and economists as important predecessors of the modern phenomenon. Analysts have labeled the 15th to 18th century as a period of “proto-globalization,” when European explorers established maritime trade routes across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and encountered new lands. Integration prior to this time has been characterized as “archaic globalization.”

What distinguishes the process of modern globalization from those forms of global integration that preceded it are its pace and extent. According to some academics, three distinct eras of modern globalization can be identified, each of them marked by points of sudden acceleration in international interaction. Under this scheme, the “first globalization” era refers to the period between approximately 1870 and 1914, during which new transportation and communication technology decreased or eliminated many of the drawbacks to distance. The “second globalization” era is said to have lasted from roughly 1944 to 1971, a period in which an international monetary system based on the value of the U.S. dollar facilitated a new level of trade between capitalist countries. And the “third globalization” era is thought to have begun with the revolutions of 1989–90, which opened the communist Eastern bloc to the flow of capital and coincided with the creation of the World Wide Web . Some scholars argue that a new period of globalization, the “fourth globalization,” is underway, but there is little consensus on when this era began or whether it is truly distinct enough to merit its own designation.

port facilities

New levels of interconnectedness fostered by globalization are credited for numerous benefits to humanity. The spread of industrial technology and the resulting increase in productivity have contributed to a reduction in the percentage of the world’s population living in poverty. The sharing of medical knowledge has dramatically decreased the incidence of once-feared diseases and even eliminated smallpox. And economic interdependence among countries discourages war between them.

However, the implementation of globalization has been much criticized, leading to the development of the anti-globalization movement. Opponents of globalization—or at least, globalization in its present form ( see neoliberal globalization )—represent a variety of interests on both the political left and right. Labour unions disdain multinational companies’ ability to move their operations to countries with cheaper labour; Indigenous peoples rue the difficulty of maintaining their traditions; and leftists object to the neoliberal character of the new world economy, arguing that the capitalist logic on which they contend globalization is based leads to asymmetrical power relations (both internationally and domestically) and transforms every aspect of life into a commodity. Right-wing critics of globalization believe that it threatens both national economies and national identity. They advocate national control of a country’s economy and rigidly restricted immigration.

World Trade Organization protest

Globalization has also produced effects that are more universally worrisome. Expanded transportation networks facilitate not only increased trade but also the spread of diseases. Undesirable trade, such as human trafficking and poaching, has flourished alongside legitimate commerce. Moreover, the pollution generated by the world’s modernization has resulted in global warming and climate change , threatening Earth’s very habitability.

pollution

Whether globalization will adapt to these problems remains to be seen, but it is already changing again. For example, globalization began in the 19th century with an explosion in exports, but, even before the COVID-19 pandemic that swept through the world in 2020 resulted in global lockdowns, trade as a share of many countries’ GDP had fallen. It can be argued that the global supply chains today rely more on knowledge than on labour . And services now constitute a larger share of the global economy than goods. A “fourth globalization” might indeed be here—or at least on the way.

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  4. How to Write a Definition Essay: Outline, Thesis, Body, and Conclusion

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  6. Definition Essay Assignment Description

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COMMENTS

  1. Definition Essay

    An explanatory definition essay is a type of expository essay. It aims to explain a complex term or concept in a way that is easy to understand for the reader. The writer breaks down the term or concept into simpler parts and provides examples and analogies to help readers understand it better.

  2. How to Write a Definition Essay: Explanation, Tips, & Examples

    Body Paragraphs. Aspect 1: Start with the broader or general outlook. Definition: Provide a detailed explanation of the first aspect. Examples: Offer relevant examples, anecdotes, or scenarios to illustrate the concept. Aspect 2: Move on to a specific dimension. Definition: Delve into the details of the second aspect.

  3. 10.6 Definition

    Definitions establish the way in which people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse. Context affects the meaning and usage of words. The thesis of a definition essay should clearly state the writer's definition of the term in the specific context. Body paragraphs should explain the various facets of the definition ...

  4. How to Write a Definition Essay

    Keep the definition in your thesis brief and basic. You will elaborate on it more in the body of your paper. Avoid using passive phrases involving the word "is" when defining your term. The phrases "is where" and "is when" are especially clunky. [6] Do not repeat part of the defined term in your definition.

  5. Definition Essay Examples and Topic Ideas

    How can you define a term beyond a few words? Learn the structure of a definition essay and read two examples of essays about concrete and abstract concepts.

  6. How to Write a Definition Essay: Outline, Steps & Examples

    A definition essay is a type of academic writing that requires the writer to define a particular term or concept. The term or concept can be abstract, such as love or success, or concrete, such as a computer or a tree.The writer's goal in a definition essay is to provide a detailed and comprehensive explanation of terminology, using examples, analysis, and personal experiences.

  7. Writing A Definition Essay

    A definition essay doesn't have a typical thesis statement. Instead, it requires you to define the term in your own words without giving away the whole definition. 2. Definition Essay Main Body. Here you will fully explain the definition of the word with supporting facts and examples. The number of body paragraphs depends upon the complexity ...

  8. 3.2: How to Write a Definition Essay

    Keep the definition in your thesis brief and basic. You will elaborate on it more in the body of your paper. Avoid using passive phrases involving the word "is" when defining your term. The phrases "is where" and "is when" are especially clunky. [6] Do not repeat part of the defined term in your definition.

  9. How to Write a Definition Essay

    Overview of a Definition Essay. A definition is often used in various essay types to explain a concept. Definition essays can discuss a word's significance, correct misconceptions, argue for a preferred definition, or argue for a new understanding of the word. Definitions provide readers a deep understanding of not only a word's meaning but ...

  10. Definition Essay

    Definition Essay. Definition is a rhetorical style that uses various techniques to impress upon the reader the meaning of a term, idea, or concept. Definition may be used for an entire essay but is often used as a rhetorical style within an essay that may mix rhetorical styles. For example, you may need to use definition in order to fully ...

  11. The Four Main Types of Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays. Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and ...

  12. How to Write a Definition Essay (with Pictures)

    5. Create your own definition of the word. Use your research and your own experiences to write the definition. You may focus on how the word works in society or the world at large. You can also compare it to other similar terms. Format the definition by stating the word, followed by a one-sentence definition. [8]

  13. The Definition Essay

    A definition essay is one that explains a term, either by defining what it means or by clarifying which meaning is intended when a word has several meanings. For instance, a writer might need to define slicing to someone unfamiliar with golf or the term koi to someone unfamiliar with tropical fish. If the writer calls a friend a nonconformist ...

  14. Types of Essay

    Definition of Types of Essay. An essay is a short academic composition. The word "essay" is derived from a French word "essai" or "essayer," which mean "trail." In composition, however, an essay is a piece of non-fiction writing that talks or discusses a specific topic.Presently, essay is part of every degree program.

  15. How to Write a Definition Essay: Outline, Examples

    Rather than choosing terms like "Cold War", "TV mass culture" more general and broad definition essay topics should be used, such as "war", "culture", "freedom", "dignity", "innovation", etc. Selecting topics that are overly broad or that represent little potential for captivating discussion: "work", "rain ...

  16. Essay

    essay, an analytic, interpretative, or critical literary composition usually much shorter and less systematic and formal than a dissertation or thesis and usually dealing with its subject from a limited and often personal point of view. Some early treatises—such as those of Cicero on the pleasantness of old age or on the art of "divination ...

  17. How to Write a Definition Essay

    Part 2 of 3: Potential Elements of an Effective Definition. 1: Write an analysis.[4] Separate a word into various parts. Analyze and define each part in its own paragraph. You can separate "return" into "re-" and "turn.". The word "friendship" can be separated into "friend" and "ship.".

  18. Definitions

    A formal definition is based upon a concise, logical pattern that includes as much information as it can within a minimum amount of space. The primary reason to include definitions in your writing is to avoid misunderstanding with your audience. A formal definition consists of three parts: The term (word or phrase) to be defined

  19. Essay: Definition and Examples

    Definition essays define an idea or concept. Compare/Contrast essays will look at two items and show how they are similar (compare) and different (contrast). b. Persuasive. An argumentative paper presents an idea or concept with the intention of attempting to change a reader's mind or actions. These may be written in second person, using ...

  20. DeWitt Library Subject Guides: ENG 101 OER: Definition

    The definition essay opens with a general discussion of the term to be defined. You then state as your thesis your definition of the term. The rest of the essay should explain the rationale for your definition. Remember that a dictionary's definition is limiting, and you should not rely strictly on the dictionary entry. Instead, consider the ...

  21. Essay Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of ESSAY is an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view. How to use essay in a sentence. Synonym Discussion of Essay.

  22. PDF The Definition Essay

    The Definition Essay A definition essay is one that explains a term, either by defining what it means or by clarifying which meaning is intended when a word has several meanings. For instance, a writer might need to define slicing to someone unfamiliar with golf or the term koi to someone unfamiliar with tropical fish. If the writer calls a ...

  23. Thesis Statement for Personal Essay

    - Definition: A personal essay thesis statement is a concise expression of the central theme or primary insight of the essay. Unlike thesis statements in more formal academic papers, a personal essay's thesis often captures an emotion, lesson learned, or a core truth about the writer's experience. It provides readers with a glimpse into ...

  24. Understanding the Definition of a Christian: Beliefs, Practices, and

    This essay about the definition of a Christian explores the core beliefs, practices, and identity of followers of Jesus Christ. It highlights the foundational doctrine of the Trinity, the importance of the Bible, and the moral teachings centered on love for God and neighbor. The essay discusses the significance of communal worship, the ...

  25. What Is Project 2025, and Who Is Behind It?

    The Biden campaign has attacked Donald J. Trump's ties to the conservative policy plan that would amass power in the executive branch, though it is not his official platform. By Simon J. Levien ...

  26. What is Project 2025?

    All of this is intended to be the playbook for the next conservative president to follow.. Here's what we know about Project 2025 and what it could mean for the 2024 presidential election.

  27. Welcome to Turnitin Guides

    Similarity Report and AI Writing guidance: Academic integrity tools: Creating PeerMark assignments guidance: Class and assignment management: Creating and managing QuickMarks, rubrics and grading PeerMark assignments guidance: Grading and feedback: User profile guidance for administrators and instructors: User profile settings

  28. Globalization

    globalization, integration of the world's economies, politics, and cultures.German-born American economist Theodore Levitt has been credited with having coined the term globalization in a 1983 article titled "The Globalization of Markets." The phenomenon is widely considered to have begun in the 19th century following the advent of the Industrial Revolution, but some scholars date it ...