Definition Essay Writing Help

A Rosy Take on the Definition Essay

The definition essay is about explaining what a term or phrase or such means. Simple, right? Well, it can be. More concrete items - things - have clear definite meanings; they are objective terms. A rose by any other name is still a rose. But things get a bit muddied when looking at abstract items - ideas or concepts. These do not have clear definite meanings; they are instead subjective terms. Here is where this type of paper can forward the word or phrase that is: abstract or ethereal (such as ‘beauty’), obscure (say what?), misunderstood (‘Like, do you get me, man?”), or one that is required for a particular discipline or area of study. An extended definition essay would be needed if the word, phrase or idea is really complex or if it is intended to persuade or entertain, etc.

Start Digging In

  • Start the definition essay with the term, word, phrase or idea that you are defining. Make it clear, simple, basic and based on facts.
  • Plant some examples or ‘stories’ that your readers will be able to relate to. You need to understand the term before you can define it for others.
  • Choose a definition for your definition essay. Keep the chosen definition short and concise, don’t be a rambling rose here. Don't just copy things from the dictionary (this is your essay!) but rather explain it in your own words. This is your thesis: one that requires you to dig deep into the roots of the matter.

You may want to define the thing in terms of its function, or structure, or its complete opposite, and so on. It will depend on what the thing is, what you want to say about it and how. Examples, anecdotes, stories work because this is how most of us assimilate information: they offer us a point of reference – a starting point from where our understanding can blossom. But remember who you are writing this for: your classmates will relate to stories about the local pub, but your professor probably won’t. A formal definition essay will have specifics that differ from an informal one. The extended definition essay may have specifics that are expected. So, before you get your hands dirty, make sure you check what is required of you in the assignment.

Interesting Definition essay topics

  • What is happiness for you?
  • Exhaust fumes as a source of air pollution.
  • The definition of honor nowadays.
  • Self-actualization and ways of achieving it.
  • Stock market success.
  • Freedom of choosing a religion.
  • Poverty as one of the major social issues worldwide.
  • Freedom of speech as a sign of democratic society.
  • Diplomatic immunity: how justified it is.
  • War on terrorism.
  • Maturity: how you define it.
  • 2008 world financial crisis.
  • How do you define a modern day hero?
  • What is real friendship? And is it possible nowadays?
  • Nuclear power and nuclear power stations.
  • Paternity leave: is it reasonable?
  • Monarchy in the 21st century.
  • What is it about truth that make sit so hard to teel sometimes?
  • What is family to you?

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