Unchallenging Guide On Writing Outstanding Definition Essays


Academic papers sometimes feel like small obstacles on our path to real practice. These small tasks look terrifying when you take a look at the instructions. For instance, your teacher assigned you to create a definition essay. They expect you to know how to write it. Even with a definition essay outline, things still may not be clear.

So, we will help you understand what definition essays are.

For this, we need to parse the following points:

What Is a Definition Essay?

Basically, this is a paper that requires your explanation of what an object is. Depending on a topic, you can give an unequivocal definition. Or you may have to depict how you personally see the object. 

Thus, some tasks will allow you to be frivolous and imaginative in the description. Some will require dryness and condensation of information.

Types of Definitions Commonly Used in Essays

Mostly, there are 5 ways to define something in such essays. The best strategy for using them is combining them.


The best friends of every student who has a large essay assignment. Yet, not all the synonyms work well together. Usually, synonyms describe only a part of the concept you need. Thus, you have to be picky and also not spam with them.

Ostensive definitions

What you have to do here is use examples and samples.

No need to explain ‘“love” only with words like “a feeling” or “a chemical process”. At some point, you should come up with an example. Like, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! Or Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres!

Examples can become “bridges” between your thoughts. It’s always good to use 1-2 short examples in an essay. This will make your writing brighter.


Every object has got something unique. Find these traits and point them out like flowers on a bush.


Even though it’s more common to compare an object to something similar, it’s not obligatory. Sometimes contrasting comparisons do the work better.


This will do for a concise topic that mostly forbids imagery and ambiguity. You need to divide the concept into details, like constructs.

These five types of depicting an object will be more than enough for one assignment. Sure thing, you can try other ways up to taxonomy. But these will suffice.

Interesting Topics

Definition Essay About Love

It sounds basic only at first. Such broad and universal concepts are convenient! Students can depict them from different angles. Thus, you can write a definition essay on the following topics:

  • Biology VS Literature: what is love?
  • Main associations of love
  • Love as a philosophical concept
  • Definition of love in literature/music/poetry
  • Things that represent love
  • Love and affection: similarities and differences

And this is only the start of a great variety of topics. You can easily discover tons of sample definition essays and find the topic you can use. Or transform it and make it unique!

Happiness Definition Essays

Happiness is a huge complex of different things, so you can use any of these angles to start:

  • Happiness as a biological/chemical process
  • Happiness in literature/music/poetry
  • What is essential to be happy
  • Free things that make people happy
  • Artistic image of happiness and reality

Family Definition Essays

This is a really common topic. Again, to stand out, we can alternate it a little:

  • Family standards: past and present
  • Utopian family and reality
  • Single-parent family’s validation
  • Joys and difficulties of parenting
  • Modern families: new values and landmarks

Freedom Definition Essays

Freedom for one is a prison for another. So, you can choose from a variety of more concise and narrow topics:

  • Law VS morality: what is freedom?
  • Freedom VS independence: similarities and differences
  • What is absolute freedom?
  • Freedom throughout history: evolution of the term  
  • Definition of freedom in literature/music/poetry
  • What does it mean to lose freedom?  
  • What makes one free?
  • Freedom and permissiveness: where’s the line between them?

Easy Definition Essay Topics

Sometimes teachers let you choose the topic by yourself. It’s somewhat good. Yet, this choice can become the main problem. If you’ve got no ideas on what to write, here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Defining beauty: evolution of the concept
  • Graffiti: art or mischief?
  • Definition of friendship in art VS reality
  • The almighty we love: what really defines a hero?
  • What fear really is
  • What is success for different people
  • What is a school for students and their parents

Extended Definition Essays Topics

If you think that this means that you have to write a longer definition paper, no, it’s not that. This type of paper requires work with broad concepts. For instance:

  • Faces of love: how to determine the type of affection?
  • What does it mean to be generous?
  • How to understand that a disaster has come
  • Successful life: how do we see it and what it can be
  • Friendship as one of the pillars of a happy life
  • What is real wealth?
  • Art as it is

Definition Essay Ideas for Business

This is way more concrete and “dry” of an essay. It’s better to choose a narrowly focused topic. Like:

  • Pillars of capitalism/communism/other systems
  • What is the economy of the developing countries
  • Diffusion of innovations in today’s life
  • What is Competition in economics
  • How does bilateral monopoly work?
  • How can you know that an enterprise is competitive?

Definition Essay Ideas for Science & IT

Again, here we will be focusing on narrow topics:

  • Creativeness in IT: what is agile development?
  • Effective traits of cloud computing
  • Tools of content management
  • The process of Disaster Recovery
  •  What is enterprise architecture?
  • Green technology nowadays
  • The process of machine learning

  1. Pre-Writing Steps

    The pre-writing stage is not less important than the creation process itself. There are some steps that may seem complicated. Yet, you know, in the end, everything is easier than it seems. And you’ll cope with it!

    Ask yourself basic questions

    Firstly, you need to determine what answers you’ll be giving by writing this paper. Think profoundly about what you’re going to define. And is it a broad topic or a narrowly focused one?

    (Re)read an instruction on how to write a definition essay

    Even if you have the outline, extra instructions won’t hurt. You don’t have to stick to them for 100%. Choose points that you want to try primarily.

    Usually reading the instructions takes like 3-5 minutes. Yet, it helps one to stand out with their work.

    Find an example of a definition essay (if needed)

    A sample never hurt anyone. Moreover, you might find some ideas and get inspiration. There are tons of resources that post samples of essays for this purpose. And you can use them as gratis.

    Create a definition essay rubric

    Rubrics help to structure any text. Creating 3-5 small rubrics makes your essay clearer. And the teacher will see that you’ve had structured thoughts.

    Creating rubrics before starting to write also helps you to stick to a plan! And thus, you can get to work.

  2. Definition Essay Outline 

    Not that different from other structures.

    We start with an introduction that will briefly explain why this topic is important.

    Next comes the body of the text. Here we can use all types of definitions. It is ideal to alternate them. Be sure to use an example, and preferably two or three. After connecting all your thoughts with bridges in the form of instances, you can proceed to a conclusion.

    The conclusion should be the condensed thought of your entire text. Don’t add new information or examples. Everything you wanted to say, you said in the body of your paper.

  3. Post-Writing Tips

    After you’ve finished the paper, don’t discard your notes and drafts. Some verbal constructions will be relevant for all types of essays.

    It is better to re-read the finished task more than once. Pay attention to grammar. Some language mistakes can override your ideas, unfortunately.

Before Goodbyes

Even if your essay didn’t get a perfect grade the first time around, don’t give in! Absolutely no one can do everything to the maximum on the first try. The ideal option would be to talk to your instructor to find out where the mistakes are. Also, do your own analysis for logical flaws.

Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help! While this task may seem simple, help never gets in the way. You can get ideas from others and take off a small part of the burden.

And on this note, we wish you success in your studies!