The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Definition Essay: Everything You Need is Here

Essay writing is an essential component of your higher learning process. Some writing tasks are easy, but others need in-depth research. Definition essays are examples of such assignments. You need to know the meaning of the term before you begin crafting them. This article will show you how to write an excellent essay on a defined topic. We hope these tips will help you complete your assignments without difficulties.

Table of Contents

Definition Essay: What is it?

This type of essay involves explaining the meaning of a particular concept. While defining it, provide a detailed description. Also, support your explanations with examples and facts. Some terms require a detailed description because they have abstract meanings. For example, people perceive notions such as success and truth different. These terms are intricate, and you may need hundreds of words to define them. When describing them, use an approach acceptable by many people. Increase their knowledge by giving them new information. Still, terms such as pencil, books, rubber, and shoes are not exciting topics. These are common themes, and people already know them.

Essential Hints to Remember: Three Types of Definition Essays

Three categories of this type of essay exist. Each requires its approach when informing the reader about the topic. Choose any of these to craft your paper:

  • Functional definition: This involves defining your concept, and explaining how it functions. For example, you may opt to describe parental love and the process of winning a child’s affection.
  • Structural definition: This involves describing the composition of your topic. It should form your main approach while writing this type of paper. For instance, while explaining the Pyramid of Gaza, provide details of its composition.
  • Analytical definition: Use this approach when comparing two terms. Define the two concepts, and explain their differences and similarities.

Interesting Topics to Consider for Your Definition Essay

Every process of crafting a quality paper begins with picking a topic. Ensure you select a fascinating theme. Read through books, journals, and online articles to get details about your choice. Understand the concept, before you begin writing. Besides, single out a topic you are comfortable explaining. The goal is to write an excellent essay that will earn you good grades. Here are some popular themes you can choose from:

  • Describing the development of filial love.
  • Defining the concept of a “Good” friend.
  • Analyzing the principle of good leadership.
  • Describing the characteristics of a spiritual person.
  • Identifying and explaining an excellent business strategy.
  • Analyzing the process of ending a relationship.
  • Explaining what an alien is.
  • Describing the process of reaching the enlightened stage.
  • Comparing and contrasting the concepts of “hate” and “love.”
  • Explaining the process of gaining confidence.
  • Analyzing the characteristics of an ideal family.
  • Describing the process of overcoming fear.
  • Describing an ethical leader.
  • Analyzing the evolution of freedom.

The Process of Writing the Essay: Outline Production

Begin the procedure by drafting an outline. It is a short draft of the contents of your writing. Besides, it will organize your essay and summarize it. Your professor may instruct you to produce one. The intention is to ensure you understand the topic. Also, it will help you create a good paper. Still, the length of an outline varies, depending on your subject. Nonetheless, an excellent definition essay comprises of three parts. They are: an intro, body and concluding paragraphs. All these should reflect in your outline.

A Step by Step Process of Crafting a Top-Notch Definition Essay

Before you begin writing, you need to choose a theme for your paper. Your essay will revolve around the identified subject. Below are hints to consider while selecting the topic of your assignment:

  • Identify an appropriate concept

It is a challenging process to write an extensive essay using simple words. So, be careful while choosing an idea. Avoid compound or countable concrete nouns. You may not have much to write on words such as keyboard, snowflake, cat or a pen. Nonetheless, you may get different ideas when you choose abstract words. You can write much on concepts such as fear, compassion or happiness. So, the key to writing an extended article is selecting subjective terms.

  • Don’t write on objects

Evade choosing a topic on objects. Writing about things such as cars, pencils, books, and pens is difficult. Besides, such themes are not attractive.

  • Choose multi-dimensional concepts

Some words do not have a universal meaning. A good example is the notion of salvation. It is a controversial idea, because people may define it, as per their culture. For instance, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus have a different view of this concept. So, it is interesting to explore such a topic. Also, avoid using terms that have a universal meaning. For example, you risk writing a superficial paper, on an issue involving the word, “hello.”

  • Avoid words that create debate

You intend to explain a concept, and not to persuade. Choosing a controversial topic may force you to over-persuade your audience. Using these concepts defeats the purpose of a definition essay.

  • Identify with the term

It is unwise to choose an idea you do not understand. You will find it challenging to write about the topic. Choose a theme you are comfortable exploring. Also, determine if the question has undiscovered issues you want to investigate. Picking them will motivate you to write better. It may translate to an improved grade.

  • Research the term

Carry out a historical search of the word you want to define. Look at the dictionary, and discover its description. Search the internet, journals, and books, to identify the origin of the word. Most expressions have an oral history, learn them. Look for relevant online videos, try to find the context which people use the term. Also, you can gather information from your friends and family members. Try to understand their perception and views on the subject. This process will give you background information about the concept. It is an essential process that will help you craft a top-notch paper.


  • Craft your definition

From the research carried out, define the term. Ensure you provide accurate references if you borrow any words. Still, mention it, if people misunderstand the word. An example is the notion of courage. Many people construe it to mean, lack of fear. However, one can act courageously, in spite of fear.

The Most Important Parts of a Definition Essay

Every paper needs a good structure. A definition essay is no exemption. You need to introduce the topic and determine your thesis statement. Use transiting phrases to move to the next paragraphs. Besides, use topic sentences to identify their theme. Well, learn more on each part of this essay type.

  • The Introduction

Any standard paper must have an introduction. It informs your reader what the writing entails. While crafting your definition essay, ensure your introduction defines the term. Still, it should contain the thesis statement. It is your definition of the meaning of the word.

While writing it, incorporate the standard definition of the word with your understanding. It should be a brief sentence. You will provide more explanation in the body of your paper. Besides, don’t use passive phrases in this part of your introductory paragraph.

  • Body Paragraphs

You will write much information about your topic in this section. Break your subject into different ideas, and write them in separate paragraphs. Rely on transiting phrases to identify the primary theme of each part. Also, summarize their contents in the last sentence. While writing the body paragraphs, do not deviate from the topic. Here, you intend to prove the thesis statement.

Moreover, the body should contain all information that covers your topic. For example, you can explain the history of the word, its origin, application, and usage. Also, this section should contain your personal views and opinion on the word.

An excellent body for a definition essay has the following characteristics:

  • Each paragraph has its topic.
  • An explanation of every meaning of a term, if it has many definitions.
  • Contains examples and facts that explain the subject.

Still, below is a proposal on the structure of an excellent definition essay:

  • Paragraph 1: The historical evolution of the word and its origin.
  • Paragraph 2: The explanation of the concept and its usage.
  • Paragraph 3: Personal definition emerging from one’s
  • Conclusion

It is the last paragraph of your paper. This section has a summary of the information contained in your writing. In this part of your essay, restate the thesis. However, don’t use similar words. Also, explain the impact of the term, in your life. Such a process will insert your personal experience into the essay. The result is the creation of a sense of purpose.

Check Out This Sample Definition Essay on Friendship

The term friendship refers to the affection that occurs amongst people. It is an interpersonal bond stronger than an alliance. It is a concept studied in a variety of academic courses. These include sociology, communication, and psychology. Besides, some theoretical frameworks help to explain this concept. Examples are the social exchange theory and the relational dialectic model. Thus, this paper examines the notion of friendship. It identifies the elements that define this concept. In this regard, this paper argues that the virtues of love, kindness, and honesty are present when determining friendship.

It is difficult to define friendship when expression of love does not exist. It occurs when one has a deep affection for the other person. Still, it involves having a great interest to the other party. Through this concept, the parties to a relationship can create a strong bond. It is this bond that will result in a close association. Indeed, when people love each other, they will protect their interests. This including protecting their friends from harm. Lack of it is hate. When this occurs in a relationship, it can result in murder. Still, the other party can carry out tasks with the intention of causing harm. Thus, love is an element that helps to build a friendly relationship.

Kindness is another element that forms friendship. It refers to an act of being generous and considerate. Generosity is an element that can build a healthy friendly relationship. It makes individuals assist one another when in need. These people share their belongings, and this includes money. They share food, housing or other necessities. They intend to put a smile on the other persons face. Still, a friend is considerate. They won’t tell their peers to engage in an activity they can’t do, or one that will inconvenience them. For example, friends will not advise the other to use all his pocket money. Indeed, this is an act of inconsideration because the partner may fail to meet his financial needs. So, kindness is an important principle that can define a friendly relationship.

Friends are honest with one another. This involves telling the truth to the other party. A friendly relationship built on the foundation of honesty, are long-lasting. The manifestation of such a concept occurs when constructive criticism exists. One will tell the other if an act he is doing is wrong. Still, while building this association, they will not lie to one another. It helps to create trust, without which, a relationship cannot flourish. So, honesty is a component that must exist, for a friendly association to thrive.

In conclusion, friends are kind and honest with one another. Still, they love each other. While depicting elements of kindness, these people will share their belongings. They will seek to help their partners who need assistance. Also when the aspect of love exists, a friend will protect each other interests. Indeed, this is an aspect I experienced in life. All my friends have experienced my passion. `

Final Thoughts!

Well, writing a definition essay is explained. So, are you having challenges writing your work? You should not be in a dilemma because writing companies have experts who can help. Hire their services, and expect a well-written paper that follows your instructions.

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