Professors in universities assessed the writing/research capabilities and intellect of their students through definition essays. How to write a definition essay and what is it about? A definition essay is an essay about your own detailed definition about a specific word through performing extensive research about the word. You must support your definition by giving out examples and facts and its general meaning, cultural perception, and historical background. This will be a great challenge if you do not have any idea of the right process on how to start and end it. That is why below is a guideline on how to write a definition essay.
The Four Simple Guidelines
- Select a Word
- Define the Word
- Create a Draft
- Polish Your Definition Essay
Choosing a concept such as love, patriotism, politics, and death is one good way to let you pick a word. Write down specific words that can be associated with these concepts and decide on your final word/term to be defined. It is best to select a word that you are most interested in and familiar with and has diverse meanings since this will make your writing process easier. You must avoid words that are difficult to thoroughly define in an essay such as concrete things/objects. Samples of concrete words are a ruler, screwdriver, or slippers; all these are challenging to write in a deep and perceptive way. You can also use a random word generator tool for this task.
Before you can define your own word, you have to do thorough research first even though you are already very familiar with it. The first best thing to do is to look up the word in a reliable dictionary, such as Merriam Webster or Oxford. Take note of the word’s definition structure, other concepts it belongs, and its synonyms.
Second, find out the origin of the word. You can use both in print and online encyclopedias. Besides the origin of the word, search for other online sources that delve in deeper about it such as journals, academic videos, academic websites, and other scholarly articles.
Third, interview professors, family, and peers regarding the word to get ideas that you might have missed or not read on your previous researches. These personal opinions or perspectives will be very much helpful in your mission for constructing your own detailed definition.
Finally, create your own version of the definition of the word. This is the time you can compile all the information you have gathered and your own understanding. Make sense on how your chosen word functions in our society today and the world.
Go back to the basics of an essay format: the introduction; the body, which will contain at least 3 paragraphs; the conclusion; and the bibliography. You can then ask your professor to validate your format. The introduction must include your thesis statement and start it by writing your chosen word and its standard definition. Your own definition should be included in your thesis statement.
The body section is where you can incorporate your researches like the word’s history, origin, and cultural background. Try to compare the word with its synonymous words and specify how they are similar and different. At the end of your body section, have a comprehensive explanation or discussion about your own definition. Include personal memories or experiences and your own perspectives. You must back up your definition essay with various sources and evidence.
Wrap up your paper by stating again the word’s standard definition and your thesis statement. The focal points in the body should only be included in the conclusion and avoid introducing new ideas.
Proofread or edit your essay to check on any sense, spelling, and grammatical errors. Try to read it out loud to ensure the flow is smooth. Let other people read it as well or use a grammar checker. Take note of their suggestions and feedback. Afterward, revise your definition essay once again before finally submitting it.
Whenever you get confused about the process of how to write a definition essay, always remember that you can look up on various tips and guidelines on the internet and other sources. Hard work and patience should accompany you in your quest for writing an excellent paper. Always aim to meet or exceed your professor’s expectations.