Choosing Your DefinitionIt is important to pick out a term or definition that is not a concrete object. For instance, most people can agree on the definition of cat or plane. One is a four-legged fur ball and the other is something that flies in the sky and gets people from point a to point b. This essay is easier to write if you select a less concrete or abstract topic that can be easily explained through your knowledge or experience. Terms like nihilism or honesty are great for essays like these.
Other Definition Essay Topics
- Common Sense
The Definition Essay’s Structure
- Introduction ‒ This should include a generic definition of your term or even an attention grabbing fact. Then you can give a contradiction to your term to contrast it. End your introduction by giving your own definition of the term that you are going to expound upon throughout the rest of your essay.
- Body ‒ In your essay’s body, you need to provide a few different points that construct your interpretation of the definition. You can provide background information but it isn’t necessary. Each point should have its own paragraph
- Point 1: This will include the first component of your definition. You will need to give your analysis for how the example substantiates your definition.
- Point 2: This is the second aspect of your term. Once again, give an example and provide analysis.
- Point 3 etc. if necessary
- Conclusion ‒ Your conclusion should give an overview of your above points. You can also explain how the definition has impacted your life. The attention grabber at the beginning of your essay can be brought back in to tie everything neatly together.
Definition Essay ExamplesMost people might think that a feminist is just a man hater with short spiky hair that goes through the streets protesting every insignificant instance of possible sexism or misconduct. However, a more accepted version of feminism is simply any person, man or woman, who believes that women have the right to be equal with men. If this were better understood amongst the general population, more women would undoubtedly embrace this controversial term. To be a feminist means to not be a second class citizen and to be an intellectual equal on par with the rest of humankind…
The word intelligence brings visions of Albert Einstein or other smart men or women of science. However, I would more readily argue that intelligence should be measured in different areas and ways. It is not only important to be the smartest kid in class. It’s also important to have common sense as well as street smarts and social skills together with book intelligence. All of these key areas affect everyone’s life. Therefore, I would argue that schools and universities should not only be developing their students’ minds intellectually, but they should be building it within all of these other important spheres….
- Proper formatting
A narrative essay is one that uses a story, usually presented in chronological order, to make some kind of point. When you are writing a narrative argument, that point is persuasive or argumentative.
You’re likely to see a lot of variation in the structure of narrative arguments. In many cases, your professor may want you to write a traditional introduction with a thesis statement and then use the body of your essay to tell your story. You may also be asked to include a traditional conclusion at the end.
However, you may encounter opportunities to write narrative arguments that save the thesis statement until the end or even use an implied thesis statement.
So, when writing a narrative argument, there may be options.
Narrative Argument Structural Options Text
- Traditional introduction (with thesis at the end)
- Body (story, usually following chronological order)
- Traditional conclusion (summarize main idea and emphasize thesis)
- Narrative story (usually following chronological order)
- Conclusion with a thesis
- Narrative story (usually following a chronological order)
- Thesis is not presented, just implied.
No matter which structure you follow, it’s a good idea to review elements of a good narrative in the Rhetorical Styles area of the Excelsior OWL.
Let’s say you want to make a point about gun control, and you want to argue for stricter gun control laws. In a narrative argument, you may not make this actual claim until the end. Instead, you should focus your essay on telling a story about a child who was killed because someone should not have had access to a gun.
Maybe you want to write an argument about climate change but know your audience is emotional about the topic. Instead of presenting statistics, you tell the story of one geographic location that has experienced some negative effects of climate change. You tell the story of the people who have been impacted.
You’ll want to check with your professor, ask him or her about your options, and review some sample narrative arguments, like the one that follows on the next page.