Writing elaborate definition essays

Definition essays can surely make you think about the true power of words. If you are setting out to write an essay defining the meaning of a word, there are three points to remember that may help guide you along the way.

Choose your word carefully

If you can choose your own word to define, choose a word that you can argue the meaning of and that is abstract enough to allow for some flexibility. Choosing a word with a concrete definition that cannot be disputed will lead you to a boring essay and it defeats the process of elaborating on a meaning. Choosing a word like love or anger can open up a whole new world of meaning that can be applicable in a number of ways. However, if you choose a word like nose, you are pretty much locked into one solid definition that requires little elaboration. This may lead to a short essay that the reader will fall asleep reviewing.

Research

Use a variety of sources to define your word before you start writing. Look the meaning up in a standard dictionary, a thesaurus, an encyclopedia, on the Internet, ask people what they think the word means, and break the word down to its root origins and parts. By accumulating a large range of definitions, you will be more thorough in your essay, and you will gain a higher understanding of the word. By looking at how other people have defined the word, you can look at the context of its meaning, and you can defend your definition.

Use It

Once you have a variety of definitions to choose from, use the word in a number of ways in your essay. Use metaphors to illustrate the meaning, analyze it and compare it to synonyms and antonyms and show how the word has been used throughout history. Also examine how the meaning of the word has changed in society with the changing of times if possible. By giving the reader some context, they will be lured in to learning more from your writing, and your mission is complete.

Writing a definition essay can be mind boggling, but breaking a word down and doing a fair amount of research will help you elaborate on the meaning. Using the word in context will help you not only defend your definition, it will help the reader understand how your meaning is applicable and give them a new insight they may not have considered before.

 
 
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