Any definition paper is an essay about a certain subject. Its basic purpose is defining and explaining this subject, and this type of academic writing is quite straightforward. Teachers ask their students to complete this assignment to show their understanding of given subjects. No deep thinking or analysis is required in this paper. How to write a good definition assignment? It may seem quite easy, but this task takes some efforts to score high grades. The first step is choosing interesting definition essay topics or phrases that you will do your research about. Look for something new and fresh to get more knowledge. Then, it’s necessary to search for the exact meaning in dictionaries because they all may explain it in different ways. Ask relatives or friends if they know this meaning and can explain it. Write down all worthy ideas and find uses in the media, including magazines and movies.
The Meaning and Purpose of Definition Papers
New words usually have no meaning to you, but they seem quite interesting, so wise students always decide to look for their meaning in a dictionary. After researching terms, you’re sure to find their proper definitions that are logical enough. However, some terms just can’t be explained in a few sentences or words because they are so deep and complex that it requires more phrases to explain them. This is when definition essays come in handy. What are they all about?
This paper can be tricky to write because it requires you giving both formal and personal explanations of specific terms. Based on the fact that you need to write a full essay, it’s simply impossible to pick the words can be described in a few phrases. The chosen topic should be complex and have its significant background or origin in history. Look for the terms that readers can relate to in some form or way. For instance, when defining love, it’s hard to explain this term in a few sentences, so you need to write an interesting essay about it to provide the audience with its accurate and universal representation.
Different Types of Definitions Used in This Assignment
- Analyses. This type requires you to break the chosen subject into some parts to define each one separately.
- Classifications. Determine the classes to which subjects belong.
- Comparisons. There are many unusual things that can be defined by showing their differences and similarities.
- Details. Take into account specific characteristics and other interesting features that can describe the main idea of your paper.
- Negations. Mention the things that aren’t in order to clear the ground necessary for what is in order.
- Causes and origins. Identify the origins, history, and background information of the main theme.
- Effects, results, and uses. Describe the uses and after effects of the chosen subject.
A List of Useful Topic Suggestions
If you find it hard to come up with interesting and unique definition essay topics, consider the following helpful suggestions:
- How can you define a success?
- What makes people heroes?
- What is love or friendship?
- What is happiness or courage?
- Describe heroism;
- Explain the definition of beauty;
- How respect and loyalty can be defined?
These are some of the most common examples of subjects and questions for your next definition paper. Choose something that you feel comfortable describing and explaining.
The Process of Outlining and Writing a Definition Essay
The outline of definition papers may vary in its length based on the term that you choose to describe. Some terms are quite logical and easy to understand, while others require your deep analysis and research to formulate the accurate representation of their meaning. In any case, all definition essays can be written in a standard format. Before you start writing, a particular term must be chosen for your assignment, and there are many tips that can help you.
Choosing a Good and Interesting Term
It’s literally impossible to write a hefty academic paper on a simple term, and that’s why you need to be meticulous when deciding on a suitable topic. For example, picking something like a noun won’t work out well because there isn’t much depth that you get into it. Look for something more subjective to get enough room for using different ideas in your essay.
The chosen term should be multi-dimensional because there are some words in each language that have their multiple interpretations, so people perceive them in diverse ways. Avoid the topics that are universal in all languages. Although there are helpful ways to strength information on them, it’s advisable to pick a juicy subject at the very beginning.
It’s also practically impossible to write about the definition essay topics that have no correlation with your life. Pick the words that you know well if they have some undiscovered boxes in your life. Ideally, there is some personality knowledge to gain in any assignment that you get. Do your historical research because many terms have their significant past. Check dictionary explanations to get a point of relevance.
Structuring Your Definition Paper
As with other academic papers, you use the introduction to inform readers about the content of your definition essay. This paragraph must serve 2 basic goals:
- Giving a standard definition of the chosen term;
- Providing the audience with a thesis definition.
The initial section of your introduction should state a dictionary version or a standard definition. It’s important for readers to get a starting point to clarify all possible questions. Besides, standard definitions may vary from a thesis, thus offering multi-dimensionality.
Similar to a classic thesis statement, a thesis definition is a fully completed version of the meaning of your term. So, it’s a hybrid of standard definitions mixed with your personal explanation style and experiences. Don’t describe a lot in this paragraph and don’t use passive phrases when defining a term.
The main body is a part of a definition paper that breaks down a topic into core parts. You need to take each variation of a definition and its origins and break it down into some organized sections. Consider the following body paragraph structure:
- The first paragraph: origins and history;
- The second section: use and a full dictionary explanation;
- The third one: a personal definition based on life experiences.
Writing a conclusion is quite easy and to the point because its key goal is summing up the main point of your topic. Rephrase the most important parts of a definition and ensure that you summarize everything you want to say. The last thing that you should mention is how the chosen term affects you to leave the audience with a sense of purpose. If it plays any significant role in your personal experiences, final concluding comments offer a good place to mention that.
Steps to a Successful Definition Essay
It’s an academic writing that explains, clarifies, and describes the meaning of terms. It should include many causes, examples, effects, descriptions, personal experiences, details, and so on. Take these basic steps to successful definition assignments:
- Tell readers what term is defined;
- Give clear and perfect basic information;
- Use different facts, examples, anecdotes, and details that are easily understood.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Term
To earn high grades, look for definition essay topics that:
- Have their complex meanings;
- Are disputable and mean different things to people.
This paper should establish a detailed interpretation of your personal opinion about a particular concept or word. These essays are subjects, so you need to declare and support your ideas and views. They have 2 important parts:
- The denotation or the direct explanation of a meaning;
- The connotation or the suggestions and ideas that the term includes or indicates.
How to choose the best topic for your next definition essay?
- Pick an abstract term with its intricate meaning;
- Make sure that it’s debatable;
- Look for something that you have familiarity with;
- Read dictionary definitions and meanings;
- Study the origins of terms.
Picking a good and interesting topic is the main step in writing a successful definition paper. You should understand the chosen term before providing readers with its definition. It’s possible to define it by its structure, function, analysis, and something that it doesn’t mean. Giving your definition is not a simple replication of dictionary explanations. Don’t try to define the topics that you can’t understand because you will only confuse the audience with incorrect descriptions.