How to Write a Definition Essay

Updated: June 19, 2023

A good definition essay begins with a captivating title. Choose a moderately known subject and write the essay on that. Start the process by outlining. Include thesis, topic sentences, and conclusion statement within it. Join them, so the points get developed into a convincing essay. Section the paragraphs, so introduction, body, and conclusion are distinctly identifiable. Remember to back up every point in the essay, that you’ve taken from outside and rephrased in your own words, with credible sources. Take our help if you still need it after reading this article.

What Is a Definition Essay

The meaning of a definition essay is evident from the name – it’s an essay that discusses a certain concept at length. Many essays explain a process or thing, but not all of them qualify to be called definition essays. This essay derives its unique identity from an illustration of a given concept.

When we mean to define a thing, it’s easy when it’s tangible. Let’s say you want to define glass. There are so many things that you can describe it, and nobody will conflict with you. You say that it has a smooth surface and everyone feels the same about it. You point out its brittleness, and no one will argue that it’s malleable.

But that’s not the case with intangible things. First, let us see what they are because their understanding is a prerequisite to the elaboration of their significance in discussion essays. Intangible things are those that you may feel or see, but can’t touch for sure. For example, – happiness, beauty, ugliness, and difficulty. They are abstract nouns that everyone has an understanding of, but no one can touch them. Such subjects are the best choices for discussion essays.

A definition essay is that it elaborates such concepts in different ways. You can pretty much complete the paper in a paragraph if you were just to define a concept, then how do you create an essay with it? The answer is – by incorporating multiple definitions and laying out both their similar and contrasting interpretations in the body of the essay. It leads to an intellectual discussion, and after reading the paper, one gets a complete sense of the subject and knows all the theories that exist about it in the literature.

How to Start a Definition Essay

The first thing that has to be decided is your topic. If your teacher has already assigned you one, there’s nothing you can change. But if you have the leverage to choose it yourself, don’t go with the most difficult option. Deciding the easiest one is not the right thing to do either. Get yourself a topic that lies in the middle of the two extremes.

People will like to read your essay if it defines such a subject for them that they can’t easily find an essay about. Too easy concepts or terms have limited tendency to spark interest. Topics like ‘how much food is too much food?’ is an interesting topic. You won’t find as many essays on it as you can find on ‘food’ in general.

How to Write a Good Definition Essay

Certain things qualify as the fundamental traits of any good essay, and a definition essay is no exception. Of course, it needs an interesting title, but there’s a lot to take care of in the essay after finalizing the topic too. Important definition essay tips include:

  • Inserting a hook statement at the start.
  • Connecting paragraphs with linking phrases like ‘in addition to,’ ‘in contrast to’ and ‘moreover.’
  • Fulfilling all the requirements of your teacher concerning word count, formatting, and referencing, etc.

Taking care of the above points, you need to adopt a structured approach to write your essay. The process has to be systematic and start with the making of the outline. This helps you ensure that you know everything you have to write about from the very beginning. You stay focused and don’t deviate from the topic as you develop the outline into a full essay.

Read more: 75 Definition Essay Topic Ideas

Tips for Writing a Definition Essay

If it’s difficult to memorize everything you need to do to write it well, just keep the following three tips with you. No matter what your subject, use of these tips will always help you craft the best essay. The three definition essay guidelines include:

  • Including as many definitions and perspectives about the subject in your essay as possible.
  • You are using credible references to draw information.
  • Proofreading the writing.

How to Structure a Definition Essay

The structure of a definition essay depends upon the genre of essay or purpose of writing. If it’s an argumentative essay, you have to follow the traditional five-paragraph structure. If it’s a comparison and contrast essay between two terms, you may choose a point by point structure or block structure. All kinds of structures are appropriate as long as the essay has a clearly viewable introduction, body section, and conclusion.

How to End a Definition Essay

In the end, you have to sum up the entire discussion. Leave the readers with a final note on what you deduce from the various definitions and interpretations that you’ve shared in the body. Tell them which definition is one that you agree with the most. Ideally, introduce a new definition of your own that takes inferences from and is influenced by the various definitions and theories you have explored in the body of work.

How to Create a Good Definition Essay Outline

It’s the first step in the process. Good outlines are written as points. You’ll need to do your research on the subject at this stage so that you know all the points that you’ll incorporate in the outline. When it comes to making them, you have to ensure that you have:

  • A decided topic.
  • A hook statement.
  • A thesis statement.
  • At least three topic sentences.
  • Three to four reference points under each topic sentence.
  • A conclusive statement.

Definition Essay Structure?

The outline depicts the structure. Once you’ve got the outline, don’t change the pattern or sequence of points. Build your essay keeping all points in the outline’s order. Start the structure with the introduction. In the first body paragraph, write what knowledge exists about the subject. In the second body paragraph, analyze it and share what you think about it personally. In the third body paragraph, write criticism for your approach and then refute it in the very paragraph. In the last, write the conclusion.

Definition Essay Introduction

To grab the readers’ attention, provide a hook in the essay’s start. Make a controversial statement so that the readers could find out more about your perspective on the subject. Lead the writing towards a well-rounded and concise thesis statement.

Definition Essay Body

The body connects the dots in the outline. Remember to include transitional words and phrases between successive paragraphs. Try to make all body paragraphs equal sized.

Definition Essay Conclusion

Start with rewriting your thesis using different words. Write what can be inferred from the discussion. In the last, write your own definition derived from the discussion in the paper’s body.

The above guidelines will help you in the process of writing your definition essay. But if you still feel difficulty, our help is here for you all the time. Provide us with your essay’s topic or get the title from us. We’ll do the best job. Rely on our best essay writing service.

George Lynch
George Lynch
Literature, Psychology, Religion
Experience: 3+ years
I’ve been enjoying academic writing since day one in college. Today, having a full-time job, I’m still looking forward to writing essays and research papers online for others.
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