Using dictionary definitions in essays

Keep your definition brief. Within each paragraph, the sentences need to flow and refer back to the topic. If there were someone so unfamiliar with everyday English to require a definition of the word responsibility, why would you assume he understands the word responsible?

When writing a definition essay, remember to tell readers what term is being defined, to present a clear and basic definition, and to use facts, examples, or anecdotes that readers will understand Here are the examples of popular definition essay topics: This distinction can sometimes clarify a definition and help a reader to better understand it.

Dictionary.com - Definitions, Meanings & Idioms Defined

Follow a determined structure. The first time you refer to this source, use the full title followed by the abbreviation. Here are a few options. Do try to think of a definition that would be uniquely yours.

Choose terms you understand, or ones that have impacted your own personal experience. If you must include a dictionary definition, at least make it a word that needs defining.

Instead, reinterpret the meaning. Avoid using the phrases "is where" and "is when" in your definition: A thesaurus is a good tool to help you pick just the right words to explain the issues.

Sometimes a definition will prove to be a small but important part of an essay; sometimes a definition will be the sole work of an entire essay. Explication - This is a work which explains part of a particular work. Determine whether the word is unusual enough to warrant a definition. Explain the term briefly in your own words.

How to Put a Definition in an Essay

Abstract - This is a short summary of a long document. In the conclusion, you re-emphasize the thesis and summarize all the main points. Do not write in an overly-detailed manner.

Writing a Definition Essay

Each initial sentence links the preceding paragraph and the whole section flows smoothly. Here are three reasons why you should never ever start a paper this way.

A definition can be developed in a number of ways. It would be logical to present your term in the introduction, give extended explanations in the main body paragraphs, and end with brief conclusions.

Define the term in the body of the essay, not the introduction. After that first reference, you can simply use the abbreviation. A definition essay is writing that explains what a term means.

But trust me, students do it a lot. Push that definition to the limit to make a special point. YourDictionary definition and usage example. Do not go there. Even if your intent is to show how inadequate or wrong-headed the dictionary might be, this device has been used far too often to be effective.2 Definition Essay Examples That Define It All These two essays each use a subjective term as the focus and create an extended definition.

Notice that neither of these essays begins with the phrase, “According to Webster’s dictionary ”. Use facts, examples, or anecdotes that readers will understand. Choosing a Definition. Choosing a definition is a key step in writing a definition essay. You need to understand the term before you can define it for others.

Read the dictionary, but don't just copy the definition.

Definition of Academic Writing

Explain the term briefly in your own words. Now, using a particularly clever or facetious definition might be interesting. Samuel Johnson, the author of the first English dictionary included some rather droll definitions that are good for a polite snicker: Pension: An allowance made to any one without an equivalent.

In England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a state hireling. A definition essay is somewhat subjective by nature since it requires you to analyze and define a word from your own perspective.

If the answer you come up with after analyzing a word is the same answer anyone else would come up with, your essay.

Writing a word-for-word definition from the dictionary can be awkward, and putting the definition in the wrong part of your essay can make it seem poorly organized or confusing. To use definitions effectively, you should be concise, use your own words and introduce the definitions in the body of the essay rather than in the introduction.

Essay definition, a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative. See more.

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Using dictionary definitions in essays
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