While you may know your essay topic inside and out, your essay reader may not know all the verbiage or definition. When writing an essay, you may need to define some of that terminology that is familiar to you.
In this case, it may be hard for readers to understand what your essay is ultimately about. No matter how detailed and clear your definition is, without concrete examples, it may be difficult for readers to understand how or when a certain term should be used. Instead, reinterpret the meaning. By sourcing a definition of a concept in your assigned readings or a textbook on your specific topic, you will get as close as possible to the definition that your teacher probably expects. It is often a good idea to define terms early in your essay in order to clearly outline the scope of your discussion for your marker. Dictionary Definitions are not Analytical. Instead, do this… There are very few words that can be defined in one sentence. Most words are defined and contested by different scholars. Some see it one way, some see it another. It is very hard to find one, overarching definition that explains exactly how a word is used by everyone who comes across it. Above, I provided three different definitions of a term and some examples of how they might be used in an essay. The best way to start is to look up several different definitions of the term, and see how it's usually used. Then, you can start reading more widely to expand on your knowledge. Write an outline, like the one above. This will give you the roadmap to your essay, and make it a lot easier to write. Sit down and write. Choose somewhere quiet and free of distractions, in order to get the most out of your writing time. Search for the word in encyclopedias that focus on certain ideas or concepts, such as a philosophy encyclopedia or a law encyclopedia. Read up on any theories or ideas that connect to the word. You may then find information on Western theories of justice and how it became an important concept in Western history and the legal system. You can also do a wide search for any scholarly or academic articles that discuss the word in detail. Look for academic websites that address the word, including articles, blog posts, or essays about the word. You can also look for educational videos that have been made about the word on YouTube and other video websites. Get a personal perspective on the word by talking to your family and friends about what they think about the word. Interview peers in your class or at work about what comes to mind when they hear or think about the word. Use your research and your own experiences to write the definition. You may focus on how the word works in society or the world at large. You can also compare it to other similar terms. Format the definition by stating the word, followed by a one-sentence definition. A typical definition essay will have five sections: an introduction, three body sections, and a conclusion. Ask your instructor if they require you to have one paragraph per section or if they are okay with you having as many paragraphs as you need per section. Your thesis statement should appear in the introduction and conclusion section of your essay. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
Writing a word-for-word essay from the dictionary can be awkward, and putting the definition in the wrong definition of your essay can make it seem poorly organized or confusing. To use essays college definition format college admission essay, you should be concise, use your own words and introduce the definitions in the body of the essay rather than in the introduction.
Determine whether the word is unusual enough to warrant a definition. Although you will need to define technical terms and jargon, do not define every advanced vocabulary word you use in an essay.
For instance, if writing a definition paper, you might need to define "Weltanschauung" or "anomie," but not non-technical terms such as "obdurate" or "didactic. If you use a word-for-word definition from a dictionary or textbook, you will have to include a essay quotation, which will be more awkward than a paraphrase. The sentence, "The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines 'anomie' as 'personal unrest, alienation and uncertainty that comes from a definition of purpose or ideals'" is awkward; the sentence "Anomie is a feeling of unrest coming from the sense that one's life has no purpose" essays better.If you use a word-for-word definition from a dictionary or textbook, you will have to include a full quotation, which will be more awkward than a paraphrase. The sentence, "The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines 'anomie' as 'personal unrest, alienation and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals'" is awkward; the sentence "Anomie is a feeling of unrest coming from the sense that one's life has no purpose" flows better. Cite the dictionary or textbook from which you took the definition at the end of the sentence if you are using in-text citations. The first time you refer to this source, use the full title followed by the abbreviation. Then, provide the standard definition, using the dictionary and encyclopedias as references. Include this in the first section of the essay. Your thesis statement should describe your version of the what the term means. Mix in your personal experiences and your other research to create the definition. Keep the thesis statement one sentence long and use the active voice. In the second section of the essay, talk about where the word originated. Note the root of the word and how it came into use. Use your research, particularly your notes from encyclopedias and academic articles, as evidence. It is commonly used concept in politics, in the legal system, and in philosophy. In the third section, do a deep analysis of the dictionary definition of the term. Pull the definition apart and look at each word in the definition. Interpret and rephrase the definition so you can explore its deeper meanings. Compare the word to other words that are similar in meaning. Discuss how the word is similar and how it is different. In the fourth section of the essay, you should include your perspective on the term as well as the perspectives of others. While you will not be relying completely on the dictionary definition for your essay, familiarizing yourself with the official definition will allow you to compare your own understanding of the concept with the simplest, most academic explanation of it. Look up your chosen word in the Oxford English Dictionary or in another etymology dictionary. Analyze and define each part in its own paragraph. Note that this tactic only works for words that contain multiple parts. Specify what classes and parts of speech a word belongs to according to a standard dictionary definition. While this information is very basic and dry, it can provide helpful context about the way that a given word is used. An unfamiliar or uncommon concept can be explained using concepts that are more accessible to the average person. Explain any physical characteristics or traditional thoughts used to describe your term of choice. People often relate to stories and vivid images, so using a fitting story or image that relates to the term can be used in clarifying an abstract, formless concept. Do try to think of a definition that would be uniquely yours. Do proofread your essay carefully to avoid factual mistakes. Do not write in an overly-detailed manner. When to Use Definitions When your writing contains a term that may be key to audience understanding and that term could likely be unfamiliar to them "Stellar Wobble is a measurable variation of speed wherein a star's velocity is shifted by the gravitational pull of a foreign body. In this sense, Christians who consider themselves soldiers of Christ are using the term not only to suggest a person's secular status but also their lack of bravery. These introductory adverb phrases should be avoided. Define a noun with a noun, a verb with a verb, and so forth.
Cite the dictionary or textbook from which you took the definition at the end of the sentence if you are using in-text citations. The first time you refer to this essay, use the full title followed by the definition.
After that first reference, you can simply use the abbreviation.
Buy custom papers onlineIt can be very helpful to get your head around an idea. You may have to write a definition essay for a class or try it as a writing challenge to help improve your English skills. Each tactic or method used to define your term should be explored in a separate paragraph. Finally, it may note any synonyms, which are words that mean the same thing or are similar to the word. Ask them if your definition of the word is clear and easy to follow.
By taking the step of correctly referencing any definition source used, you can avoid plagiarism in your essay text. Define the term in the body of the essay, not the introduction. The definition of your essay is to catch the reader's attention and establish your thesis, not to define terminology.
Furthermore, the opening sentence "According to Webster's dictionary, the definition of [blank] is. If you are worried that you cannot use the term without defining it, use synonyms in your introduction as much as possible.
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Keep your essay brief. If you feel you must give a lengthy definition to elaborate on the term's various shades of meaning, break it into a few longer definitions.
Definition essay writing help, ideas, topics, examples
The lengthy essay definition form doesn't work as well within the essay format. If you define a word within the essay, it shouldn't be a disruptive definition of the essay in length or wording.
While a personal essay might seem a place for you to add your own thoughts to a visual analysis essay art history keeping the essay definition, concise and well-cited brings clarity to the essay, without adversely affecting your why written essays are bad tone or message.