5 Steps to Writing a Definition Essay
A definition essay is a type of academic writing that requires you to use your critical thinking skills to analyze a topic and then come up with a clear thesis that sums up the ideas. If you’re not familiar with the structure of definition essays, keep reading to learn about the key components in this type of assignment. Definition essays may seem like they come with an intimidating title, but they’re actually one of the most common types of assignments writers receive in most academic courses. These are usually required because instructors want students to be able to explain abstract concepts and understandings within their own disciplines. They also hope that students will be able to communicate what they have learned through these coursework lessons by writing definitions essays. In this blog post we’ll take you through the main steps you need to take in order to write a good definition essay for your college or university assignment:
Define the topic of your essay
The first task you have to complete before you begin writing your definition essay is to clearly define the topic you’ll be covering. In most cases, this topic will be found in the course syllabus or your instructor’s instructions for this academic assignment. Once you know what the topic is, you can then identify the key terms you’ll use to help you convey your point. While your definition essay may focus on a specific topic, you’ll often want to use key terms from other disciplines in order to help your instructor understand the broader concepts you’re discussing. For example, you may be defining the term “marriage” in a sociology course, but you may also want to include key terms related to family and intimate relationships in your definition essay. So if you’re defining the topic of an essay on “marriage,” you can then identify key terms related to family, parenting, and childrearing in your definition essay. By including these terms, you’re allowing your instructor to see how your definition essay connects with other academic fields.
Identify the key terms you’ll use to define the topic
In your definition essay, you’ll want to use a variety of key terms to help you explain your understanding of your topic. While some of these terms may come from your own discipline or academic field, you may also want to use terms related to other topics. If you’re writing about the topic of “marriage,” you may identify the key terms “marriage,” “marriage vows,” “commitment,” and “intimacy” in your essay. Then you can also include relevant terms from related topics such as “family,” “childrearing,” and “parenting.”
Write a thesis statement explaining your definition
Many definition essays begin with a thesis statement that explains what the essay is going to be about. The thesis statement should help your instructor understand the broader concepts you’re exploring in your definition essay. For example, if you’re defining the topic of an essay on “marriage,” your thesis statement may be “Marriage is an important institution that helps to strengthen and support the families that are formed through the process of childrearing.” By including this thesis statement in your essay, you’re allowing your instructor to see how your definition essay connects with other academic fields.
Write body paragraphs that support your thesis
After clearly defining your topic, identifying the key terms you’ll use to define it and writing your thesis statement, you can begin writing your body paragraphs that support your thesis. In each body paragraph, you’ll want to use a variety of key terms you identified in your definition essay. You’ll also want to include supporting examples, statistics, facts and other information that helps to back up your thesis. By including these key terms and other examples in your essay, you’re allowing your instructor to see how your definition essay connects with other academic fields.
Wrap up your essay by restating your thesis and summarizing key points
After writing each body paragraph, you want to re-read your essay and use the key terms you identified in your essay to re-state your thesis. At the end of your essay, you want to restate your thesis and summarize the key points you discussed in your essay. By re-stating your thesis, you’re summarizing what you discussed in your definition essay and how it connects to other academic disciplines. By summarizing your key points, you’re summarizing what you discussed in your essay, and also summarizing your understanding of the topic. Include these final steps in your definition essay when you write your essay to help you demonstrate how you analyzed and discussed a topic in a clear and concise manner. By following these steps, you have a better chance of earning a high grade on your definition essay.