The purpose of a definition essay is to explain the meaning of a term. There are some terms with definite concrete meaning such as a book, tree or glass. Students write a definition essay on order to define something or to explain what is not well known.  Other terms do not have one definite meaning. Terms like love, honor or honesty are abstract and mostly depend on the person’s point of view.

In a definition essay, you are expected to explain the meaning of a specific term by giving its detailed description supported by facts and clear examples.  Such terms are required when the term is abstract, special, disputed or without a common meaning. For example, individuals can interpret definition of the word freedom or abuse is a different way.

Tips for Definition Essay

  1. Choose a term that you want to introduce and define it to the readers. There are several ways to do. The main goal at the offset of a definition essay is to clearly indicate contents of the paper.
  2. Use several sources (encyclopedias or dictionaries) to see how your chosen term is commonly defined.  Giving a definition is not just to copy what is written in the other dictionaries. If you are unable to define a new meaning for a concept, you can use an existing definition but give it your own  interpretetation.

Think of ways to merge or combine them to give your unique definition.

Narrow the term if it has an extremely wide meaning. For instance, you may need to write numerous pages when defining term ‘fear’ but it will be easier if you crafted your essay while limiting your topic to ‘panic fear.’ Try   as much as you can to think of a definition that is uniquely yours. Do not fear to be creative by giving non-standard explanations.

  1. Present the term you have chosen to the readers in the introduction section of the essay.
  2. Provide the readers with information about your team in main body paragraphs. Point out some instances in which this term has been used, historical information on its origins and how its use has evolved in literature along with your description. Also highlight common mistakes in the term’s definition.
  3. Avoids definitions like ‘X is where or Y is when. ’ Make your definitions to be more scientific. Use examples to fully illustrate and explain the definition. Use examples to fully illustrate and explain the definition. Follow a determined format for your definition essay. It is logical to present the term in introduction, give explanations in main body paragraphs. End with brief conclusion.

Remember to connect parts of your essay with solid transitions.