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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. A simple word that refers to a concrete word will not give you much to write about, but Definition needed please complex word that refers to an abstract concept provides more material to explore.
Aside from being complex, the word should also refer to something that can mean different things to different people. 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.
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. Look up your chosen word in the Oxford English Dictionary or in another etymology dictionary. Specify what classes and parts of speech a word belongs to according to a standard dictionary definition.
An unfamiliar or uncommon concept can be explained using concepts that are more accessible to the average person. Explain any physical characteristics or traditional thoughts used to describe your term of choice. 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. If a term is often misused or misunderstood, mentioning what it is not is an effective way to bring the concept into focus. 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.
You need to clearly state what your word is along with its traditional or dictionary definition Definition needed please your introductory paragraph. 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.
Module 3: Definition Essay. Search for:. How to Write a Definition Essay A definition essay can be deceivingly difficult to write. Part 1 of 3: Choosing the Right Word 1: Choose an abstract word with a complex meaning. 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.
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 Definition needed please up with, your essay may appear to lack depth. You can introduce yourself to the word for your essay, but without understanding of the concept, you will not know if the definition you describe is truly fitting.
Analyze and define each part in its own paragraph. Note that this tactic only works for words that contain multiple parts. While this information is very basic and dry, it can provide helpful context about the way that a given word is used. 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.
Part 3 of 3: Definition Essay Structure 1: Introduce the standard definition. 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 ificant when the traditional definition of your term varies from your own definition in notable ways. 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.
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. 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. 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. s and Attributions.
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