Definition Essays: Explaining a Term With Examples, Facts and Anecdotes
Definition essays define a specific term through explanation. Defined terms can be concrete or abstract. Concrete terms are words like pencil, coffee or fan; abstract terms are words like integrity, honesty or love. When this type of essay defines something abstract, you usually write from your point of view. Before you jump into writing this essay format, make sure you understand the assignment well.
The main components of definition essays
There are three components that dictate what you write in a definition essay:
In addition, any term you select to define in the definition essay should have a complex meaning, possibly mean different things to different people and stay able to be discussed in a meaningful way.
Choosing the definition for your essay
While stating the term you intend to define seems pretty straightforward, some words have multiple meanings. The definition is the central point of the essay, so before you can write about it to explain it to your readers, you must first understand the specific meaning. Some words are very broad in definition and lend themselves to creating too broad of a topic. For example, “sleep” is very broad, but you can narrow the definition by defining “sleep deprivation” instead.
Writing the thesis statement for a definition essay
In a definition essay, the thesis statement is the term and its definition. It is very simple in nature and consists solely of the term and a very basic definition. Part of developing your thesis revolves around writing an effective definition. There are multiple approaches to defining your selected term:
Using facts, examples or anecdotes to write the definition essay
As you define your term more in-depth, select facts, examples or anecdotes you can use to define your term more completely. Considerations you should make while deciding on the best way to define the term include the following:
- Do certain examples make the term more understandable?
- Which examples or facts are the most appealing?
- Can an anecdote best explain the meaning of the term?
However you decide to explain the term, never use examples, facts or anecdotes that do not support the definition 100 percent.
Choosing definition essay topics
You have virtually unlimited choices when it comes to selecting a term to define in this type of essay. However, abstract terms lend the air to more creativity and personal anecdotes. Examples of terms you might choose include the following:
When selecting a term, aim to pick something that you find interesting and something to which you can personally relate. Not only does it make the writing process easier, but it generally makes what you write more interesting. As you wrap up your essay, the final paragraph is often used to share the personal meaning of the word you selected.
Freedom. It is the absence of necessity, one’s right to do whatever they please. An open-ended, infinite journey into the depths of creativity where one is not restricted by rules and regulations. People are able to find freedom within themselves and in the world around them. It is the result of lifted pressures and expectations given to people. Many people have images of freedom they have developed through experience and cultural immersion. Cultures all have their own view of freedom, often regulated by the nature of the government. Freedom can be frightening to many, exploring new areas they have never ventured upon. Where as others, who are deprived of their freedom live miserable lives in comparison. No matter what context freedom is discussed, it always differs depending upon the individual and the opinions they have formed toward it. The impression one has of a concept is often supported with images. These images develop from life experiences and the denotation one gives them.
Culture and experience are main factors in one’s perception of concepts. This applies more directly to freedom than most concepts as a result of its many possible contexts. People’s perception and opinions of things are greatly affected by their surroundings. People regard their personal freedom differently in different regions of the world. This comes as a result of the restrictions the government places on them. The United States is the most free nation in the world in that sense because of the freedoms each individual is given.
Every citizen is given natural rights and these are protected by the government. While in many other nations, the government its’ self is often the one violating the rights of the citizens. If not directly, indirectly, because of lacking responsibility. The United States has adopted the bald eagle as the symbol for justice and freedom. To many Americans this has become their concrete image of freedom because of their exposure to it. One’s surrounding greatly affect their perception, including the concrete images they associate with abstract concepts.
A free mind is a powerful tool. Often the most successful people are not necessarily the smartest but rather the most creative. They tend to think outside of the box and come up with new ideas and concepts that others haven’t. Many people are restricted to the confines of their world of rules and guidelines. When one is able to see beyond the norm and free their mind, they are often very successful. Psychological freedom is perhaps the most satisfying and is associated with successful and victorious concrete images. These images may include things such as open skies and graduation gowns, or anything indicating a bright and prosperous future. When freedom is allowed by the mind, monumental events may occur.
Many people around the world are restricted of this freedom. Throughout history, numerous groups have been oppressed and limited to a lower quality of life. Very depressing images arise concerning this issue. Images involving imprisonment, beating, slavery and even events like the Holocaust, Apartheid or the Tiananmen Square protests. Most notably, the image of the lone protester who single-handedly halted the row of tanks. Such images give us the idea of how much we take for granted in America and how hard life is for numerous people around the world who aren’t given the same freedoms we enjoy.
Freedom is a wonderful condition. It is further reinforced through the many strong images it tends to be associated with. Freedom can be discussed in a variety of contexts, and has numerous ways it can be perceived. How one perceives it, is generally a result of what they have been exposed to. Connections a person makes with events and objects they have encountered account for the concrete images they associate with abstract concepts. Their culture and general environment are deciding factors in this process. People who have had this freedom see extremely positive things when they think of freedom, while the deprived must have grim images and memories in relation. Freedom is a very important part of society and this concept is accompanied by strong concrete images.