What makes a good definition essay?
This type of paper requires you to write a personal yet academic definition of one specific word. The definition must be thorough and lengthy. It is essential that you choose a word that will give you plenty to write about, and there are a few standard tactics you can use to elaborate on the term.
- Keep the definition in your thesis brief and basic. You will elaborate on it more in the body of your paper.
- Avoid using passive phrases involving the word “is” when defining your term. ...
- Do not repeat part of the defined term in your definition.
A definition essay is meant to describe a complex term that has significant background and historical origin, and is a relatable term. The word “love” is an excellent example of such a term — as it is seemingly impossible to explain this concept very briefly.
- Wiktionary is a dictionary, not an encyclopedia. A definition does not need to contain every piece of information known about a subject. ...
- Keep it simple. ...
- Avoid complicated terms. ...
- Avoid specialized terms. ...
- Avoid circularity.
A formal definition consists of three parts: The term (word or phrase) to be defined. The class of object or concept to which the term belongs. The differentiating characteristics that distinguish it from all others of its class.
Focus: a definition should exclude non-essentials. A separate discussion may be appropriate to describe implications, extensions, interpretations and other rationale, but the discussion must not alter the meaning of the definition itself.
The purpose of a definition essay is to provide the readers with a clear, concise, and scientifically-grounded definition of a particular word, phrase, or concept. Simply because of how brief a definition essay format is in its nature, the length of a typical definition essay is only between ½ page and a whole page.
When writers are trying to explain an unfamiliar idea, they rely on definitions. All definitions attempt to explain or clarify a term. This lesson will introduce you to the three different types of definitions: formal, informal, and extended.
What is a Definition Essay? A definition essay is a short piece of writing that explains what a term or concept means. Some words have concrete and definitive meanings such as tree, book, or glass. Other terms such as love, honesty, or respect have more abstract meaning and are dependent on a person's point of view.
If something is simple, it involves little challenge or will be really easy. For example, counting to five is a simple task for most adults. Spoons and forks are simple eating tools, without any complex parts. In this sense, simple is a synonym of words such as easy and uncomplicated.
What's an example of definition?
For example, in the definition "An elephant is a large gray animal native to Asia and Africa", the word "elephant" is the definiendum, and everything after the word "is" is the definiens. The definiens is not the meaning of the word defined, but is instead something that conveys the same meaning as that word.
- Step 1: Find your generic term(s) As a general rule, a definition should use only one generic term. ...
- Step 2: Define the limiting characteristics. ...
- Step 3: Review the definition using the checklist.
In its simplest form, a definition is “a statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol1”. In other words, a definition explains through clarification and further explanation what we are trying to say with one or a few short words.
In writing, definitions form part of your work. Just like you cite sources of other information, you must cite the source of your definition. It will give your work credibility, and you also avoid the risk of plagiarism. Citing definitions can also show the extent of your research on the topic.
Use parentheses to make an in-text citation. Simply write the term you've defined in quotation marks, and place parentheses around it. Note that you should capitalize the first letter of the term. A basic parenthetical citation would be: (“Onomatopoeia”).
- Write term names in the singular form.
- State term descriptions as a phrase or with a few sentences.
- In descriptions, do not include definitions of other concepts or terms.
- Phrase term descriptions without embedded rationale, functional usage, procedural information, or definitions of other concepts.