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 of a specific word through performing extensive research about the word. You must support your definition by giving 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
Choosing a concept such as love, patriotism, politics, and death is one good way to let you pick a word. Write down specific words 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. It would be best to avoid words that are difficult to define in an essay, such as concrete things/objects thoroughly. 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.
Define the Word
Before you can define your own word, you must do thorough research first, even though you are already very familiar with it. The first best thing to do is 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 to, 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 deeper into 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 in 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 of how your chosen word functions in our society today and the world.
Create a Draft
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. Include your own definition in the thesis statement.
The body section allows you to incorporate your research, 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 the word’s standard definition and your thesis statement again. The focal points in the body should only be included in the conclusion and avoid introducing new ideas.
Polish Your Definition Essay
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 writing a definition essay, always remember to look upon 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.