What Should Be Included in the Definition Essay? Things You Must Know

What do you do when you want to know the meaning of a word, term, or phrase? Most probably, you turn to the nearest and most comprehensive dictionary and get the meaning of the word expanded on a few lines. However, what if you want to have a deeper knowledge of that word and know about its origin? In such a case, you need to perform extensive research on that term and define it. This is how you learn the meaning of that word, term, or phrase; this is what a definition essay is.

This kind of essay involves a formal definition of a word or term expanded up to several pages. This vastness of things makes it difficult for you to write this essay. Considering this, today’s post is about a definition essay and what you should include in it while writing it. So, let’s start with the definition of this essay type.

What is a definition essay?

The definition is the text that you compose to explain the meaning of a word or phrase in depth. Not every definition of a word comprised of two to three lines is a definition essay. To be the topic of such an essay, there must be something complex about that topic, word, or phrase. For example, as a writer of this essay, you would not choose the word “turtle” because it is way too simple and clear in meaning. On the other hand, fairness could be a good topic because it means different to different people.

What should you include in a definition essay?

The basic elements of a definition essay are the same as an ordinary essay. It means the introduction, body, and conclusion are the main things that you need to include in it. However, the information that goes into these basic elements is different. Hence, let’s discuss what you should include in such an essay to make it really look like an essay.

1. Introduce the standard definition

First things first, to begin with, introduce the standard definition of the word or phrase you have chosen as your topic. This standard definition should be part of the introduction section. By giving the dictionary definition of a word, you, in fact, set the context to upcoming information and form the basis of the whole essay. For example, you have chosen “bravery” as your essay topic. So, start the essay with the traditional definition of “bravery”.

2. Define the term as per your understanding

Everyone can read and understand the standard definition of a word or term. If you cannot define or interpret the definition of the chosen word in your own words, then there is no point in writing a definition essay. As a writer of this essay, you must start with the standard definition and, moving forward, give your own interpretation of the things. If you are not good at interpreting things in the right manner, consulting this problem with essay writing services is a good point to consider.

3. Narrow the term if it is broad

Sometimes, the term you choose as your essay topic is too broad that it becomes difficult to define it in the set word count limit and guidelines. If this is the case with you, you should first try to narrow the topic down to a specific thing. By doing so, you save yourself from a lot of upcoming troubles, like research and writing problems. For example, you may need several pages to define the word “fear.” If you make it specific to “Panic Fear”, it will take lesser space.

4. Separate different parts of a definition into various paragraphs

Until now, you have already defined the word and given your interpretation. The next step is about building the body paragraphs of the definition essay. To do so, you should separate different parts of the definition into various paragraphs. For example, if you are writing an essay on bravery. In this essay, the act of fearlessness and helping people by going out of context all come under bravery. So, in the upcoming paragraphs, you should talk about these things in detail.

5. Conclude with a summary of points

Lastly, the thing that puts a formal end to your definition essay is a conclusion. In conclusion, you should briefly summarise all the points you have discussed on your chosen topic. The conclusion does not need to be very long. Usually, taking the topic sentences from each paragraph makes a good conclusion. The ultimate goal is to put a formal end to your essay.


Conclusively, the above-mentioned are the things that you should include in your definition essay. Anything discussed other than these will pose a threat to your essay and may affect your final grade. So, follow all the guidelines and include only the things discussed above in your essay.

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