Outline Format of a Definition Essay

Outline Format of a Definition Essay

Defining a Definition Essay

The problem with defining anything is that word, just like thought in Eckhart Tolle’s famous quote, “can at best point to the truth, but it never is the truth.” But why not give it a try?

In a definition essay you reveal the meaning of a word, concept or notion and include a personal commentary regarding the subject matter. Definition essays usually deal with abstract terms, such as love, death, serendipity, joy. They comment on them from a personal perspective and usually compare various definitions, demonstrating how the word is used in context.

How to Write a Definition Essay?

Most likely, you’ll be assigned with an essay on a general subject. For instance, in your philosophy class, your assignment might be to write an essay on freedom. Typically, you will then have to narrow it down to, say, personal freedom. The following concise, but useful paragraphs will tell you more about how to write a definition essay. First, let’s have a look at some of the drops in the ocean of definition essay topics.

Definition Essay Topics:

  • Truth

  • Love

  • Courage

  • Beauty

  • Honesty

  • Good and Evil

  • Freedom of Choice

Outline Format

Definition essay outline format resembles that of a typical essay and adds a few characteristics of its own. As usual, there should be introduction, body and conclusion. Now, let’s focus on each part.

  1. It is important from the onset that introduction catches the reader’s attention. In the academic world, the professor will read your work from the beginning to end anyway because it is his job. In the real world, however, a brilliant introduction buys you the reader’s attention and, consequently, can attract more customers and clients for the product or service you are writing about. Good examples of attention getters are vivid or contradictory images, catchy quotes or/and a direct address to your audience. As far as the introduction of a definition essay goes, you might want to mention the dictionary definition here.

  2. Typically, the body of the essay includes paragraphs, each of which focuses on one idea that supports your main point, the thesis. The body of definition essays contains your interpretations of the concept you are writing essay about and examples that explain your definition. There can also be the analysis of other interpretations or any relevant background information.

  3. Wrap up your essay with a nice conclusion. You can say a few words on the importance of your concept in general or narrow it down to why it is important for you only.

The outline is the backbone of your paper. Just like the health of your spine is believed to have a major impact on your well-being in general, the health of your writing largely depends on how healthy your definition essay outline format is. And when you have the plan as one-sentence points for your future paragraphs, go put some meat on this skeleton!

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