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Examples of Definition Essays

It is Possible to Define Everything!

While writing an essay, you can employ a number of methods of its development, either a single one or a combination of them. Among these methods are:

  • example,
  • analogy,
  • comparison and contrast,
  • definition,
  • explaining by analyzing, explaining cause and effect or a process.

Let us dwell on definition method a bit more. A definition explains a word or a phrase. Definitions come in many different forms, and the least effective one is the most commonly used by the students: quoting the dictionary. Instead, you can use one or more of the methods listed next:

  1. Synonym. It is a word or phrase that means approximately the same thing as the word you are defining.
  2. Comparison, contrast or analogy.
  3. Function. If the word denotes a person or object, you can define it by saying what the person or object does.
  4. Analysis. You can define a word by naming the class of the person or thing it denotes and then giving one or more distinctive features.
  5. Example. You can define a word by giving examples after classifying the person or thing it denotes.
  6. Etymology. Etymology is the study of the roots of words. You can give the word root meaning and thus show where it came from.

Definition that runs to an essay length may use a combination of several above-mentioned methods. Sometimes you may use a word in a special or restricted sense with the specific explanation, giving a definition that is more than an incidental piece of clarification, being essential to your essay.
While writing your definition essay, you can employ the following useful tips:

  • Try to find a new point of view in defining the notion in question.
  • Employ all the senses to engage the reader; appeal to the sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch if it is applicable for your topic.
  • Make the creative use of your own thoughts, opinions and perceptions.
  • Use various stylistic devices (such as metaphor, rhetorical question, allusion, simile, etc.) to increase the literary richness of your definition essay.

Definition Essay Example

Essay Topic: Stereotypes of marriage.

Thesis statement: Marriage stereotypes are certain ideas which are held true about marriage and roles of a husband and a wife in it.

Sample outline

  • Introduction: Marriage is one of the basic institutions of society. It has been researched and analyzed for centuries. Most beliefs have developed and changed, but some have remained as the fundamental basis. They are called marriage stereotypes or tenets being declared as true without giving proper reasoning.
  • Body paragraphs. Some ideas to tackle here are:
    • Gender roles in family.
    • Biblical roles in marriage as a source of postulates about family.
    • List of marriage related beliefs.
    • The significance of the influence family stereotypes have on people.
    • Impact of changes in society on stereotypes.
  • Conclusion: Restate how these stereotypes were formed and what for. Resume their role in society.

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