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❶Definition essay Outline Three Tips for an effective definition essay The readers should be told the defined term.

How to write a Definition Essay: Outline, Format, Structure, Examples, Topics

OUTLINE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition essays that focus on a place tend to explore a specific type of place and how you as the writer view this particular place. Types of places which may be assigned are a country, state, city, neighborhood, park, house, or a room. The place may be huge or small. An adjective essay focuses on creating a definition for an adjective. The focus of the essay should explore the qualities and characteristics of a good friend or a bad present. In other words, how, exactly, will you define the subject of the essay?

The outline for this essay is as easy as in five paragraph essay — it contains an introduction , body paragraphs , and a conclusion. This type of essay is exactly what it sounds like: An introduction paragraph should act as a gateway to the subject of the definition essay.

Quotations are always a great idea as are interesting facts. Next, provide background details that the reader will need to understand the concept or idea to be defined in the body paragraphs. Unlike other papers, like cause and effect essay , the definition essay is unique in that it requires the writer to provide the dictionary definition of the word, and then the thesis definition. Since dictionary definitions are often dry and narrow, the thesis definition is your opportunity truly encompass the complexity of the word.

Each body paragraph should focus on a different aspect that contributes to the overall definition of the subject being discussed in the definition essay.

A definition essay typically contains three body paragraphs, although there can be more if the writer desires. The first body paragraph delves into the origin of the word and how it became mainstreamed into the language.

The second body paragraph should focus on the dictionary definition, and how the word can be used in writing and conversation. For example, love can appear as several different parts of speech; it can be a noun, verb, or adjective. Be original; describe the word as a color or animal, and defend your choice. Aim for sentences like this:. Quixotic describes the eternal quest of optimistic individuals striving to find the magical, the visionary, the idealistic experiences in life despite all obstacles and naysayers.

This exists as an excellent sentence because it provides clues as to the type of word quixotic is by pairing it with magical, visionary, and idealistic. In fact, the better the body paragraphs are, the easier writing the conclusion paragraph will be.

Because a good conclusion paragraph reiterates the main points stated in each body paragraph. If the body paragraphs are clear and avoid rambling, pulling the main ideas for the conclusion will be easy! Many professors may create the definition essay as a personal writing assignment.

If this is the case, then it would be appropriate to also discuss what the word or concept means personally to you. Writing essays and Thought mapping written by Student Learning Development. Personal tools Web Editor Log in. Search Site only in current section. For a printer-friendly PDF version of this guide, click here.

Navigation Succeed in your studies. Take our essay writing tour. Break an issue into its constituent parts. Look in depth at each part using supporting arguments and evidence for and against as well as how these interrelate to one another. Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter-arguments as well.

Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition. Literally make something clearer and, where appropriate, simplify it. This could involve, for example, explaining in simpler terms a complex process or theory, or the relationship between two variables.

Pick out the main points on a subject and give your opinion, reinforcing your point of view using logic and reference to relevant evidence, including any wider reading you have done. Identify the similarities and differences between two or more phenomena.

Say if any of the shared similarities or differences are more important than others. Say what you think and have observed about something. Back up your comments using appropriate evidence from external sources, or your own experience. Include any views which are contrary to your own and how they relate to what you originally thought. Similar to compare but concentrate on the dissimilarities between two or more phenomena, or what sets them apart.

Point out any differences which are particularly significant. Give your verdict as to what extent a statement or findings within a piece of research are true, or to what extent you agree with them. Provide evidence taken from a wide range of sources which both agree with and contradict an argument. Come to a final conclusion, basing your decision on what you judge to be the most important factors and justify how you have made your choice.

To give in precise terms the meaning of something. Bring to attention any problems posed with the definition and different interpretations that may exist. Essentially this is a written debate where you are using your skill at reasoning, backed up by carefully selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of a given context.

Remember to arrive at a conclusion.


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An outline is a plan for or a summary of a writing project or speech. An outline is usually in the form of a list divided into headings and subheadings that distinguish main points from supporting points.

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What is a Definition Essay? A definition essay works to provide the nitty-gritty details about a word or concept. For example, in an art class, you may be asked to write a definition essay on Vermillion (a vivid reddish-orange color) or Cubism, a specific approach to creating art.

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A definition essay is an essay concentrated on the explanation of the meaning of a definite term. The term may be analyzed from the position of one and only meaning and also from the position of subjectivity of the person defining the term. A definition essay outline will vary in length based on the term one is describing. As stated previously, some terms are fairly logical and more or less "easy to understand". As stated previously, some terms are fairly logical and more or less "easy to understand".

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How to write a definition essay outline: following the manual. One of the most misunderstood essay projects is the definition essay. While the essay itself is actually quite enjoyable to write, most students fear this essay because they know so little about it. Essay terms explained Study guide For a printer Essay term Definition; Analyse: Break an issue into its constituent parts. Look in depth at each part using supporting arguments and evidence for and against as well as how these interrelate to one another. Outline: Convey the main points placing emphasis on global structures and.