What Are The Essential Characteristics Of A Definition Essay?

A definition essay is a type of essay that is used to show the important qualities or characteristics of a location, individual or object. When writing your college essay, you will get to a point where you will need to define terms if you use terms that are unfamiliar or technical. There are also essays that are an extension of definitions whereby the entire essay is used to define a particular term or essay. When writing a definition essay, you will need to support the paper using examples that lay emphasis on the personal understanding or the meaning of the term.

Organizing your essay

To ensure that your work is organized, you can use the standard 5 paragraphs. However you can also have some additional point. Start the paper with your first paragraph that contains an attention grabbing lead-in. Your thesis statement should be made up of a structured definition. Avoid using the definition from Webster dictionary. Remember that the definition should be structured in one of these ways.

  • Negation definition. This should discuss what the word doesn’t mean. You should also supply with a personalized meaning. For instance, a house isn’t just a place to keep your belongings but it also a place where you can rest your body, mind and spirit. Remember that in your paper, you will develop your points basing them on the body, mind and spirit.

  • Classification definition. You can place the term in its right class and discuss the characteristics that distinguish the word.

  • Synonym definition. This involves using a common and simple word that can help to define the unknown or difficult word.

The body

You should indent before writing that killer opener and placing the thesis/definition at the end of the first paragraph. Go to the body paragraphs and organize the essay in the same way that you do with other kinds of essays. In case you have three points in your definition model, develop them to become topic sentence with each of it having a body paragraph. The body of the work should have a similar development method as the illustration essay.


Ensure that you have a conclusion despite the fact that this can be tricky because this kind of paper requires you to write a personal but an academic definition of one particular word. You must have a lengthy and thorough definition. After you are done with writing the essay, proofread the work and correct any mistakes, grammatical or spelling errors.

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