How to Not to Write a Definition Essay

By Johannes Helmold

how to write a definition essayDefinition essays are, in my opinion, among the easiest types of academic assignments. Indeed, all students need to do is to browse some dictionaries and other sources for a definition of a chosen term, cite them in a paper, introduce their own definition, and briefly provide other information about the term. Still, many students write definition essays in weird ways, which I am going to describe below.

The Wrong Way to Write a Definition Essay

1. There is no fun in choosing a term that can be found or understood easily. Always look for something exotic, something even most teachers don’t know, for example, “synchrophasotron,” or something like this.

2. All those dictionaries, both paperback and online, say the same, so why would you want to look up a definition in all of them? Use just one source instead. This way you will save time and nerves.

3. Start right from the definition you want to introduce, so your readers can understand what you are going to talk about. Oh yes, sometimes you are required to write an introductory part about the chosen term. Well, that sucks, ‘cause I have no idea what you could possibly write about there.

4. If you are not directly asked to provide any additional information about the chosen term, don’t try to look smart—omit it.

5. If you are planning to provide your own definition, you can simply rewrite the one you’ve taken from a dictionary in your own words. Most likely, your teacher won’t notice it anyways.

Here you go. Some useful advice, isn’t it? Stay updated for more life-changing posts. See you!

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