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Writing a Definition Essay in 5 Hours
A definition essay involves presenting a thorough explanation of an individual term. Depending on the specific term, it will either have a more definite and objective meaning, or an abstract and subjective meaning, which will shape the feel of your essay. These types of essays can be deceptively difficult, requiring the writer to define the term in a personal but academic manner. However, with the right approach, it can still be achieved quickly or at the last minute.
Here are some tips for writing a definition essay in 5 hours:
- Choose an abstract term with a complex or disputed meaning. This will provide you with a lot of readily available material without too much research and effort. A word that means something different to different people or that has several meanings or debatable elements will give you more to explore. It will also help you to produce an original analysis.
- While it’s helpful to choose a complex or abstract term, make sure that you are also familiar with it to begin with. You don’t want to waste a lot of time trying to figure out the basic definition of the term, especially when you’re in a hurry to write your essay. Expand on your existing knowledge, but do check the dictionary definition of all words, even those that you are already familiar with, just to be sure. Looking up synonyms and antonyms in a thesaurus is also useful.
- Think of real life examples and experiences of the term that might help you to explain the term in a more practical way to your reader. Examples and anecdotes can really clarify a complex definition.
- Begin your actual essay by stating the traditional dictionary definition of the term, and follow this up by briefly defining the term in your own words or contradicting the traditional definition, if appropriate.
- Explore the term in a different way in each paragraph. For example, define it by function or applications, then by organization or structure, and then by analyzing it and comparing it to other similar terms. You can also let your reader know what the term does not mean or discuss common misconceptions.
- End by summarizing the main points you have made, drawing conclusions about what the term means to you and sharing why you chose this particular term. The conclusion doesn’t need to be long or elaborate, it just has to serve as a reminder and end point for your essay.
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