But defining terms in writing is often more complicated than just consulting a dictionary. In fact, the way we define terms can have far-reaching consequences for individuals as well as groups. The way in which one defines alcoholism depends on its legal, moral, and medical contexts. Lawyers may define alcoholism in terms of laws governing drinking alcohol; parents may define alcoholism in terms of morality; and doctors may define alcoholism in terms of symptoms and diagnostic criteria.
Think also of terms that people tend to debate in our broader culture. Defining terms within a relationship, or any other context, can at first be difficult, but once a definition is established between two people or in a group of people, it is easier to have productive dialogues. Definitions, then, establish the way in which people communicate ideas.
They set parameters for a given discourse, which is why they are so important. Tip When writing definition essays, avoid terms that are too simple, that lack complexity. Definitions of concepts, rather than objects, are often fluid and contentious, making for a more effective definition essay.
Writing at Work Definitions play a critical role in all workplace environments. Take the term sexual harassment, for example. Sexual harassment is broadly defined on the federal level, but individual companies may have additional criteria that define it further for a particular work setting. Knowing how your workplace defines and treats all sexual harassment allegations is important. The Structure of a Definition Essay The definition essay opens with a general discussion of the term to be defined.
You then state as your thesis your definition of the term. The rest of the essay should explain the rationale for your definition. Instead, consider the context in which you are using the word. Often words take on different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. For example, the ideal leader in a battlefield setting could likely be very different than a leader in an elementary school setting. If context is missing from the essay, the essay may be too short or the main points could be confusing or misunderstood.
For example, if you were defining a good leader in an elementary classroom setting, you might define the person according to personality traits: patience, consistency, and flexibility.
Each attribute would be explained in its own paragraph. Tip For definition essays, try to think of concepts that you have a personal stake in. You are more likely to write a more engaging definition essay if you are writing about an idea that has personal value and importance. Real world writing is not constrained by genre or 26 lines. The biggest problems are with essays that try to follow these patterns: 4 paragraph essays with no ideas fully developed; they repeat or say nothing.
In other words, the ideas are not developed. Perfunctory transitions like first, next, finally do nothing for the paper.
Transitions should link the ideas between paragraphs and connect back to the thesis. Kids are not planning or prewriting in their booklets. Only about 30 percent are doing anything at all. And most of those just start writing and then recopy what they wrote onto the answer document. I thought that was a nice way to say that. The 4th graders last year really had a problem with that.
You are full of interesting, 4 level examples! You can reuse examples from your original essay bellringer response if they are good ones. You have 5 minutes to come up with these 9 examples. What do they say about the importance of making good decisions?
The answer to that question is your thesis statement. You have some choices with expository writing! Chronological Order- Information is presented in the order in which it occurred.
The conclusion should pull all the elements of the definition together at the end and reinforce the thesis.
Similarly, to focus on comparison, choose two subjects that seem at first to be unrelated. Pick two examples from each. Or it could be something with higher stakes and wider impact, such as a political argument. How can I get the most out of my outline?
Transitions should link the ideas between paragraphs and connect back to the thesis.