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Definition Essay Writing: 10 Rules You Need To Follow

Throughout an entire academic career, students will experience writing a multitude of papers and projects. Each one may have similarities to others, and sometimes you will never see the same paper again!

In this article, we are going to cover a unique style of writing called definition essays! There are a few rules that you should definitely follow when writing these kinds of papers.

  1. Understand what type of style you need to write in
  2. Unlike many papers where you have to search for a multitude of extensive sources to gather your information, this process is fairly easy. You can literally pick any word in existence that you choose at your discretion.

  3. Choose a word you are accustomed to
  4. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and challenging yourself. However, if you are not too familiar with this style of writing, it is recommended that you start off on easy mode and progress from there.

  5. Study the dictionary definition
  6. As it is currently, there are a variety of different dictionaries that exist in the world. This will work to your benefit later on in the paper. However, once you choose your word, reference the definition as written (and properly cite it) as the dictionary states.

  7. Virtually every word has an origin
  8. As you begin to write this definition paper, now you can go a little more in-depth to its history. Research its origin and use it to your advantage to see where history states it came from.

  9. Now it is time to start getting into the depths of the paper
  10. Once you conduct your research accordingly, it is now your duty to either agree with its original definition or dispute it accordingly.

  11. Discuss how the word was used and how it is used now
  12. This will not apply to every word. However, there are some words that society has configured (per se) to mean something completely different from its original form. Discuss why you think it is right or wrong in its past/present state.

  13. Provide examples
  14. A compare and contrast stance is a great way to divulge into the definition of a term appropriately.

  15. Explain what the word does not mean
  16. Over time, as stated earlier, society has changed words to fit the modern/current time. In this case, dispute what the word does not mean and why you think this way.

  17. Define the word from your own perspective
  18. Do you have a different take on what the word means? Share it in your paper so the readers will understand your stance straight off the bat.

  19. How has the definition affected society
  20. With this one word you have chosen, do you think that it has made a negative or positive impact on society?

Now that you know the basic rules of writing a definition essay, apply these to your specific topic accordingly and dissect every part of it that you can.