Tutorial on writing an A+ definition essay

A definition essay explains the meaning of a given term through a detailed description. Clear examples and strong facts are used to support the meaning. Detailed explanations are especially important if the term is disputable, abstract, special, or lacks a common definition.

Examples of definition essay questions

  1. What is heroism?
  2. Describe courage
  3. Differentiate between good and evil
  4. What’s the definition of friendship?
  5. Explain beauty
  6. How can one define love?
  7. What makes someone successful?
  8. Who is a hero?
  9. Define respect
  10. Describe loyalty
  11. Discuss marriage
  12. Explain hatred
  13. How is religion defined?

How to write a definition essay

  • Try to explain the meaning of the concept using your own words. Don’t simply write what is in the dictionary. Or you can use the definition in books and give further explanation.
  • If you are asked to find a topic of your own, choose terms which you are familiar with and those which you have had personal experience on. Never explain something that you don’t know.
  • Make use of different sources from encyclopedias to dictionaries and merge the meanings to come up with a unique definition.
  • The introduction of your essay should present the given term and give historical information, evolution, and origin of its application in literature. Point out some instances in which it is used
  • In the main body, explain the structure, nature, and functions of the term. You may also compare it with similar terms and highlight the differences.
  • Use relevant examples which would fully describe the definition.

Do’s of writing a definition essay

  • If the term is very broad, narrow it down to make your work easier e.g. you can limit a friendship essay to romantic friendship.
  • Find coherent transitions to join the sentences and paragraphs.
  • Be creative in order to give unconventional meanings
  • Proof read to eliminate factual mistakes

The don’ts

  • Avoid such explanations as ‘this is a situation where/when….’ Rather, it should be scientific.
  • Do not make the topic extremely narrow or too obvious
  • Do not be too brief or overly detailed. Check the word limit first.
  • Do not use the same term within its explanation bounds
  • Never copy directly the existing definitions
  • Now that you have the fundamental tips for crafting a definition essay, put them into practice and give an A+ paper.

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