Writing a Definition Essay: How to Get Started


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  • At first choose your definition essay topic
  • You can choose a term to define and then introduce it to the readers. There are many ways to do this, but the primary goal of the paper is to clearly indicate its contents.
  • You can find the definition of the term in dictionaries and encyclopedias from a variety of sources. You can then combine them or create your own definition.
  • The introductory section is where you should present the term to your readers.
  • Your readers will find information about the term in your main body paragraphs. In addition to your own description, you may also mention some instances in which the term is used. Historical information can be provided about the origins of the term as well as how it was used in literature. It is possible to highlight any errors in its definition.
  • You can think of some examples that will help you to fully illustrate and explain what you mean.

Here are some key points to consider​

  1. Not just copying from other dictionaries, but giving a definition. If you're unable to create a new meaning for a concept by yourself, then you can refer to the existing definition and give your interpretation.
  2. You should choose terms that you can understand or have affected your personal experience. Avoid trying to define terms you don't know, as you could confuse your readers.
  3. You can explain the functions, structure and nature of a term to define it. The term can be defined by either defining what it does not mean or comparing it with other members in the same group of words to highlight the differences.
  4. You should follow a clear structure. It is logical to introduce your term, then give detailed explanations in main body paragraphs. Finally, conclude with concise conclusions.


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