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How To Write a Definition Essay Outline

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❶Look 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.

Choosing Your Definition

Other Definition Essay Topics


The thesis statement usually identifies the term being defined and provides a brief, basic definition. Compare the term to other members of its class and then illustrate the differences. These differences are special characteristics that make the term stand out. For example, compare a Siberian husky to other dogs, such as lap dogs, mutts, or sporting dogs. A Siberian husky is a dog reputed for its ability to tolerate cold, its distinctive features, and its keen strength and stamina.

When writing a definition essay, remember to tell readers what term is being defined, to present a clear and basic definition, and to use facts, examples, or anecdotes that readers will understand. Here are the examples of popular definition essay topics:. Whatever essay topic you choose, you should be interested in the subject and familiar with it. It would be great if you had your personal experience in the matter you are going to define.

What is a Definition Essay? Three Steps to Effective Definition Tell readers what term is being defined. Present clear and basic information. Make sure the conclusion discusses only points you have made in the essay and does not introduce any new ideas or thoughts. Include a last sentence that has a strong image or that describes a key phrase in your essay.

Read the essay out loud. Once you have completed a draft of the essay, read it aloud and listen to how it sounds on the page. Make sure each sentence flows well and that each section is well developed. Underline any awkward lines or phrases so you can revise them. You should also check for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors in the essay. Show the essay to others for feedback.

Get friends, peers, and family members to read the essay. Ask them if your definition of the word is clear and easy to follow. Pose questions about whether your points seem well supported and well developed in the essay. Be open to constructive criticism from others and take their feedback to heart. It will only make your essay better. Once you have gotten feedback on the essay, take the time to revise it for clarity and flow.

Remove any sentences that are redundant or unclear. Make sure all your references and sources are properly cited. 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. Make the title interesting, and connect it to a theme or important concept in the essay. Not Helpful 6 Helpful Is there a limit on the number of sources I can use in a definition essay?

If the information is from reliable sources, the more, the better. Not Helpful 5 Helpful 8. A definition or definitional essay is an essay written about a chosen word of your choice, its meaning to you, and how you use the word. You can argue your definition over the dictionary definition as well.

Not Helpful 6 Helpful 8. If you are writing a definition essay for a school assignment, you may or may not be allowed to use first person narration. Ask the teacher if it is allowed for your class or not. If this essay is not for school, using first person can be quite helpful in providing personal examples to create the definition.

Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Answer this question Flag as Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write a definition essay, choose a word that describes a concept or idea.

Did this summary help you? Essays In other languages: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read , times. Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better.

By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. A wikiHow Staff Editor reviewed this article to make sure it's clear and accurate. A Anonymous Apr Each body paragraph should focus on a different aspect that contributes to the overall definition of the subject being discussed in the definition essay. A definition essay typically contains three body paragraphs, although there can be more if the writer desires. The first body paragraph delves into the origin of the word and how it became mainstreamed into the language.

The second body paragraph should focus on the dictionary definition, and how the word can be used in writing and conversation. For example, love can appear as several different parts of speech; it can be a noun, verb, or adjective. Be original; describe the word as a color or animal, and defend your choice. Aim for sentences like this:. Quixotic describes the eternal quest of optimistic individuals striving to find the magical, the visionary, the idealistic experiences in life despite all obstacles and naysayers.

This exists as an excellent sentence because it provides clues as to the type of word quixotic is by pairing it with magical, visionary, and idealistic. In fact, the better the body paragraphs are, the easier writing the conclusion paragraph will be. Because a good conclusion paragraph reiterates the main points stated in each body paragraph.

If the body paragraphs are clear and avoid rambling, pulling the main ideas for the conclusion will be easy! Many professors may create the definition essay as a personal writing assignment. If this is the case, then it would be appropriate to also discuss what the word or concept means personally to you.

Select an example in your own life and validate your descriptions of the word. The good news is that you are in the right place to find help. HandMadeWritings is the best essay writing service on the web. Here is what your outline might look like.


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Point 1: This will include the first component of your definition. You will need to give your analysis for how the example substantiates your definition. Point 2: This is the second aspect of your term. Once again, give an example and provide analysis. Point 3 etc. if necessary; Conclusion ‒ Your conclusion should give an overview of your above points. You can also explain how the definition has impacted your life.

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Regardless Every Definition Essay should be written in the classic Intro-Body(s)-Conclusion format. Steps to take Pre-Writing Before you even begin writing, obviously .

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Ending the Essay: Conclusions. So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished. All definition essays should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Types of Definition Essays. Professors often assign definition essays towards the beginning of a class. The focus of this type of essay is to explore a specific concept. When writing a definition essay, keep the sentences simple when you can; however.

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A definition essay is writing that explains what a term means. Some terms have definite, concrete meanings, such as glass, book, or tree. Terms such as honesty, honor, or love are abstract and depend more on a person's point of view.