Sunday, June 29, 2008

Definition Essay: How to Define Effectively

Definition essay is a logical attempt of defining or explaining what a term means. While some words have definite, concrete meanings, others have abstract and subjective connotation. But what definition really works?

Choosing a definition is the key step in writing a good definition essay. It is an imperative that you fully understand the term to be defined. Whether t is something concrete or abstract, you need not to use mere dictionary meaning – personal and unique definition.

It is also important to limit your term before starting to define it. For example, the term love is too broad to discuss. You must trim it down to specific like "platonic love" or "first love."

Here are some ways to effectively define a term:

  • Define by what the word does not mean. Ironically, stating the opposite qualities of the term is a good way to build its true meaning. The “what it is not” distinction works because it clarifies the definition and helps readers to understand it better.
  • Define by the term’s function. Explaining what the term does or how something works is a good take off for a definition essay.
  • Define by analysis. Comparing and contrasting the term to other terms of its kind is another technique in defining. Sorting what different special characteristics that make the term stand out is a good definition method.

Having a cohesive and clear-cut definition can only be achieved if you know what writing technique is best suitable. As it requires a personal perspective of the writer, definition essay is a great piece to panel out creativity.

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