A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Excellent Definition Essays

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Excellent Definition Essays
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Unlike descriptive or narrative essays, you cannot flex your creative bone while writing a definition essay. You cannot go overboard with what you feel about the topic. Instead, you have to stick to the essentials – give your definition of the topic/word in question and support your reasoning with evidence.  Just check out amazing essay help service .

However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when you write such an essay for the first time. To make things easier for you, I have brought you a step-by-step guide to writing a definition essay. Read on for a quick tour to a successful submission!

10 Steps to Writing the Perfect Definition Essay

  1. Choose the concept wisely

    A lot of the success of a definition essay rests on the topic you pick. Therefore, give it time and choose a concept or idea wisely. I suggest that you pick a broad concept, such as Love, Feminism, Friendship, etc. Since everyone has a different perspective of such concepts, it will be easier for you to create your own definition.

    Here are certain things to remember when choosing a concept/idea:

    Do not pick an idea or item or concept that is too concrete – something that you will not be able to write in a profound or insightful way. (Pen, pencil, spoon)

    Even when choosing a concrete idea,go for the ones that are more open-ended so that you can create your own definition of it. (Home, school, balcony)

    Choose a concept that you are familiar with and understand in and out to make it easier for you to write the essay.

    Choose a multidimensional word that can have different interpretations for different people.

  2. Look up the meaning in the dictionary

    Whatever your association with the concept or idea be, go back to its root by gleaning the official definition of the word in the dictionary. Here are the things that you must take note of:

    Notice the different meanings of the word as various parts of speech.

    Understand the root of the word from where it was derived. For example, if the word is derived from Latin, try to find out more about using the root Latin word.

    Research the origin of the word and the philosophy behind it in related encyclopaedias.

    Note the class of the term – where and how does the concept fit in among other similar concepts or ideas. Read up on available theories connected to the word.

    Finally, note down the synonyms and understand how each synonym is used and in what context.

  3. Dig deep into relevant articles, videos and other sources

    Beyond the dictionary and encyclopaedias, you can use scholarly articles to learn more about the concept and familiarise yourself with it. You can also pore through sample definition essays written on the same word for some clarity of thoughts.

    Here are some sources that you can check out for insights and information:

    Use Google Scholar, ProQuest and other such academic search engines to dig up scholarly articles.

    Use the concept as the search phrase or keyword to find educational videos on YouTube.For example, you can start with the pronunciation videos.

    Beyond articles, blogs and videos, you can also talk to people around you to gain a personal perspective. Ask them what comes to their mind about the concept/idea in question.

  4. Create your definition of the word

    Remember that a definition essay is supposed to be a blend of facts as well as the writer’s personal perspective. So, after you have gathered information from books, articles and people around you, it is time to jot down personal experiences.

    Here is what you can do:

    Research and find out what meaning the word holds the world at large. For example, how the meaning of home can be a place, a person or even a feeling.

    Compare it to the definition of similar terms. For example, you can write how a home differs from a house.

    Make sure to write this with a personal voice, interjecting your writing with unique experiences to justify your thinking process.

  5. Introduce the term using a standard definition

    As the name suggests, a definition essay must start with – well – the definition. But you can take the road less travelled and do it a little differently. In general, your introduction should include the following:

    First, you can offer some background information regarding the concept.

    After that, you can provide the standard definition you have taken from the dictionary or the encyclopaedia.

    Then, include a one-sentence long thesis statementin the first section of your definition essay explaining your understanding of the concept.

  6. Write the body paragraphs

    Before you start writing the essay’s body, you must determine how many paragraphs you will be writing under the body section. Accordingly, you must plan. Irrespective of the number of paragraphs, here are the essentials that you must cover in the essay’s body:

    You must discuss the history and origin of the word in the first body paragraph. Explain the root of the word and how it came into use.

    Next, you must do a deep analysis of the concept/idea by pulling apart the definition stated in the lexicon to interpret its deeper meanings.

    Next up, you can compare the concept with clashing terms to bring out the contrast of both words.

  7. Discuss your personal definition

    Although this paragraph comes after the standard three body paragraphs, it is considered a part of the essay’s body.

    Here are the things that you can mention in this section:

    Describe the concept in your terms based on personal experiences that add context to the term.

    You can mention childhood experiences or other such personal experiences that have compelled you to define the term the way you do it.

    Besides your experiences, you can also mention other’s experiences related to the concept or idea to justify your definition.

  8. Support your perspective with proper evidence

    Even though a definition essay is about how you define a particular term and why so, you must add evidence beyond your personal experiences to make it unbiased. Here is what you can do to add more gravity to your writing:

    Include quotes from reliable sources like articles, journals, etc., to support your claims.

    You can also include material (in verbatim) from the peer review interviews you have conducted to justify your definition of the word.

    While at it, make sure you cite all the sources using the preferred citation style as mentioned in the assignment guidelines.

  9. Conclude by reiterating the main points

    The conclusion must not have any new points that you did not cover in the essay already. Just make sure to tick off the following while penning the final section of your definition essay:

    Wrap up the last section of the essay by restating the standard definition of the concept/idea in a few words.

    Following this, restate the thesis statement to remind the reader of your personal definition of the word.

    Sign off with an impactful sentence that leaves a strong image in the reader’s mind.

  10. Polish and prune the essay to perfection

    Once you have written the essay, it is time to polish the piece by detecting every possible error and eliminating it. Make sure to check for the following:Read the piece aloud to make sure that each sentence makes sense and flows into the next section smoothly.

    After a while, come back to the essay and give it a thorough read to detect spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

    Remove redundant or vague sentences that eat up word count unnecessarily.

    Make sure you have cited all the sources used in the piece.


A definition essay must be the perfect blend of personal perspective and facts. So, make sure that the personal experiences you mention are relevant enough to convince the reader about your definition of the concept in question. You migth use Amazing essay typer tool that create your essay automatically within a seconds

Use this comprehensive guide to write the perfect definition essay and never miss any of the essentials!

Author Bio: Brad Perry has a PhD in Comparative Literature and is a guest lecturer in several colleges in Sydney, Australia. He is also associated with the academic website MyAssignmenthelp.com, where he offers do my homework help. In addition, brad loves to write poetry and bake in his free time.

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