essay writing prompts

A Piece Of Advice On How To Write A Definition Essay Properly

Definition essays require authors to present their opinion or understanding of a single word based on what they consider to be supporting evidence. This may sound simple but in practice it has often proven to be challenging, many times requiring the author scrap their present work and start over. Here are some tips on how to write a definition essay properly:

  1. Pick the right word
  2. Often a writer makes the biggest mistake right at the start by choosing the wrong word. Proper nouns should be avoided since they are often exact and contain very little to write on. Words that are considered vague or descriptive are usually better since they can be elaborated on from more angles, for example “love”. A word like love is not simple to define, is it the protective instinct of a parent for its child, the feeling in your chest when you see your crush, or the discipline it takes to hold on to a crappy job to put your son through college?

  3. Study the dictionary definition
  4. A dictionary will contain the most basic, academic definition of the word and it will be useful to compare this definition with your own, quite possibly more abstract definition. Comparing these two can be helpful in setting your definition of the word apart from the generally accepted one.

  5. Give examples
  6. Examples are very good at explaining a thought or idea since it conveys to the reader a situation that they can visualize or even experience for themselves, for example “ The love a chimpanzee shows for its young is similar to that of a human and its baby”.

  7. Use comparisons
  8. Comparison can help to set one meaning or situation aside from another by finding ways of magnifying particular aspects of something by placing it in an unusual situation, for example, “Buffalo in Africa are willing to die to protect their young while humans live comfortably knowing that their are those who suffer and starve to death on a daily basis, yet we claim to love our young”.

  9. Structure of your essay
  10. The structure of an essay is helpful in many ways, mainly it organizes the information in a format that is usually more pleasing and agreeable to the eyes of the reader, making the entire essay a more enjoyable read. Choosing a good structure can also make it easier for the writer to construct their paper by providing a framework for them to work within.

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