Definition essays, also known as extended definition essays, are the type of essays that are meant to bring a wider definition of a term, phenomenon, word, phrase, or concept. The idea, in this case, is to resonate with the reader in such a manner that they understand a particular meaning. It is important to note that your definition essay must adapt a specific structure to facilitate a clear understanding among readers. Here are the prime components that make a definition essay:
The Introduction- Standard Definition
The introduction, in this case, only requires a light definition of the concept, word, phrase, or phenomenon. Therefore, you should avoid going into deep details of your definition in the introduction section. It is also necessary to build and develop the context of your argument in the introduction. A simple search in the dictionary will be enough to guide the context that your definition essay should take. Variations with traditional meanings may manifest at this juncture, hence guiding the articulation of your thesis statement. You might consider incorporating a small background of the meaning of the term, especially if there is some contrast with the current meaning.
Develop A Thesis Statement
In definition essays, the thesis statement should resonate with your own way of understanding a specific meaning. In other words, you are at liberty to state the meaning in your own words under the thesis statement. The thesis statement, like in any other case, should be concise and short, and should state a claim. It is recommended that you avoid deep definitions since the subsequent sections will account for the necessary details. You should also avoid using passive language in structuring your thesis statement; instead, apply an active voice.
Detail The Definition in Body Paragraphs
In this case, you are allowed to discuss the meaning of a specific term in details. It is, however, notable that the definitions must be within the context of the thesis statement. You can divide your definition arguments into different paragraphs. That is, any information that helps in exploring a certain meaning should be cultivated upon in the body paragraphs, whereby each point should be under a separate paragraph. The common structure of body paragraphs should be adopted (begin with the topic sentence, followed by evidence/facts, and finally, your argument and validation). Note that citations must apply where necessary. It is necessary for you to apply the different dimensions and angles of definition as long as you do not lose context with the thesis statement.
Conclude The Definition Essay
Having accounted for different definition details as per the thesis statement, develop a summary in the form of a conclusion. Here, you need not to be so elaborate. What is needed is a clear summary of your standpoint. You can choose to revisit the topic sentence of each paragraph as a way of concluding your essay. Alternatively, the definition elements evoked in the introduction can also be recaptured in the conclusion.
List of References in The Recommended Style
The final element is the list of references. Definitions are definitely not based on your developments but information from other sources. Therefore, all sources used in the definition essay must be adequately cited and referenced with regard to the provided guidelines. You can reference as many sources as possible, but there has to be a match with the in-text citations used.