How to write a definition essay?

Some students find a definition essay the most complicated one of all types of essays. It occurs because this paper requires writing the definition of one specific word only, yet it must be long enough and include the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusions. Thereby, it is essential to find the term that gives you plenty of ideas. To help you to find the right word and write the outstanding definition essay, here are some useful recommendations.

How to choose the right word for the definition essay?

  • Choose the word that has various meanings. A simple word with the straightforward meaning will not give you enough material for the whole essay. Meanwhile, the abstract term with ambiguous and disputable meaning will encourage your imagination and help you to describe it. An example of a bad word will be “a cup” because it has a straight meaning and doesn’t have any hidden one. Otherwise, the sample of the good word is “beauty”. This term has a bunch of meanings for various people in different situations.
  • Choose the word that you are familiar with. Certainly, you can use vocabularies, but the purpose of the essay is to interpret your understanding of the topic. So, you should choose the term that you well-know and can explain by yourself. Try to avoid too complex and unknown words, unless, you sure, you can get enough material for it. An example of a familiar word will be “home”; everybody knows what it is and how to describe it.
  • Check the dictionary for definitions of the chosen word. When you found the term you want to describe, it is better to check all its possible definitions in the dictionary. If you don’t have one at home, you can visit the library or check the Internet.
  • Check etymology of the term. Etymology of the world will help you to understand its original meaning and explain how it was created. For this purpose, you can use the Oxford English Dictionary or any similar one.

After you choose the right word, it is time to make analysis and conduct research. You will need to collect and organize as much information as you can get. Use all possible sources, including dictionaries, articles of famous linguists, Internet publications (don’t trust them too much, some of them are fake), etc. These tips will help you to conduct good research.

Four tips that will help you to analyze the word for the definition essay

  • Analyze the word structure. Some words consist of several worlds or include prepositions and other parts of speech. So, you need to divide them into simple ones and analyze separately. For example, the word “scholarship” consists of two other ones – “scholar” and “ship”. It will be a great topic if you analyze etymology of this term and find out how “scholar” and “ship” met in one word. Another sample is the “brotherhood”. Do you know how was it created?
  • Provide classification of the word. Indicate what part of speech this term belongs to.
  • Compare with other worlds. Some terms are very rare, and people don’t even know their meaning. In this case, you should compare this word with other familiar ones. Also, if your word has a similar meaning to another term, you ought to compare them and indicate differences.
  • Illustrate the chosen word. When people read the text, they imagine vivid stories and pictures in their head. So, help them; add emotions, feelings, and senses to your essay. If you manage to illustrate the word, your reader will appreciate it and remember it for a long time.

Now, when you manage to collect all necessary information, it is time to start writing your definition essay. Its structure is very similar to other types of essays, but have several distinctive features. Let’s review the format of the definition paper.

how to write definition essay

The structure of the definition essay

  1. Introduce the term. You should present a clear meaning of the chosen word in the introduction paragraph, which can be taken from the dictionary. It gives your reader a basic level of knowledge about the topic. Moreover, the introduction of the term is particularly important when your meaning is very different from the traditional one.
  2. Introduce your meaning of the word. Next, you should reveal your understanding of the word in the thesis statement. Keep it short and don’t go too deep; you will provide evidence and other information in body paragraphs.
  3. Separate the meaning of the word into different body paragraphs. As you may know, the most important recommendation for all essays is one idea per one paragraph. So, if you describe several meanings, or it is a complex one, you need to separate them into several paragraphs.
  4. Summarize all main points. You need to restate all main ideas in the conclusion paragraph. Also, you can share your personal experience about the term and its meaning.
  5. Include ideas for future studies. As well as the rest research articles, the definition essay must have recommendations for other scientists to continue your research.

As you may see, the definition essay is not that hard as people think. You just need to follow mentioned recommendations and forget about your fear. However, if you don’t want to do it by yourself, you can find third party writers in the Internet. Both companies and individuals offer argumentative essay writing help to their customers.

Meanwhile, their prices and quality may vary in a wide range. For instance, the freelancer can charge you less money, but he will not be able to provide high quality. Or, even worse, he can take your money and disappear. On other hand, the companies have a team of writers, editors, proofreaders, etc., so they are able to provide better service in the short period of time, yet their prices are higher.

Read how to write a hook for an essay on our next article.