Definition Essays

In simple terms, definition essays are forms of writing that explain the meaning of terms or  phrases. In such an essay, you will find terms or phrases that have definite and actual meanings such as glass, a book or a tree. However, there are other terms which are abstract in nature and mostly depend on a person’s view in coming up with the definition. Examples of such words include but are not limited to love, respect, honor among others.

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Equally, definition essays could help in defining or describing words that have complex meanings or is disputable in nature. A disputable word is one that in its raw form, could infer to different things to different people. There is not much to be done about definition essays but it does not mean producing a careless piece of writing. In addition, it would not be wise to choose extremely simple words to write definition essays on. A word such as a cat would pose a great challenge when writing an entire essay about it.

Three Good Steps to Effective Definition Essays

First, inform the reader the specific term or phrase that you are going to define. This is an extremely vital element in regards to writing the essay. This is because, as a writer, you need to first understand and internalize on the term before you decide to define it to others. A common mistake is reading the definition from the dictionary and copying the definition to the reader. That would be taking advantage of the reader’s trust. What is required is for you to explain that term or phrase in your own words and opinions. That is the reason you were asked to do the definition and not the dictionary.

Second, it is important that you present clear, easy to understand information which is basic to the reader. This will negate any attempt to bombard a reader with ambiguous words which serve to further distort the true meaning of the term or the phrase in question.

Third, it is advised that for any definition essays, the use of facts, examples, and anecdotes that will enhance the understanding and relation to the reader. Using tales to further make more meaning of the words is an ideal tact in trying to expand the meaning of the word or phrase. The thesis statement of a definition essay simply states the term that is being defined and tries to provide a brief but uniquely basic definition. For instance, assertiveness basically refers to standing up for what is rightfully yours.

Different Types of Definition Essays

  1. Definition by function briefly explains what something does and how it works
  2. Definition of structure shows the general organization and defines the structure of something or how it is simply put together
  3. Definition by analysis makes a comparison of the term in question to others within its class and then further illustrating the differences between that term and the rest.
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