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Writing a Definition Essay

Teaching students how to define a concept in essay form.
by

Cory Pittman

on 3 September 2013

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Transcript of Writing a Definition Essay

Writing a Definition Essay
What is a Definition Essay?
Why Do We Need Strategies to Define Something?
And the strategies we will
use along the way...
How are you
expected to use
these strategies?

Each strategy is to be used for an entire body paragraph. You MUST include one body paragraph per each strategy. And of course, an introduction paragraph and a conclusion paragraph are required.
Writing that explains, or defines what a topic means...
Strategies provide us with guidelines as to what kind of information is important. They help us to convey our ideas to the reader in an effective way.
An example of a definition essay prompt
would be: "Define Heroism" or "What is love?"
What are the definition strategies for writing a definition essay?
1. Function Strategy
2. Example Strategy
3. Negation Strategy
Function Strategy: demonstrates how the concept functions in the real world.

i.e: "Love pieces together hope and brings families together."

Questions to ask yourself:

What kinds of things does (Love) do?

How does it help people?

Who does it help?
Example Strategy:
Use specific examples to help the reader understand your definition. These examples come from the text, and non-print text we learn in class.

Example: "Romeo and Juliet loved each other very much. Their love was so strong it showed their two families how wrong their feud was, and how silly it was to fight."

Questions to ask yourself:

What proof of Love have I seen in person?

What proof of love have I read about?

What proof of love have I seen on TV/NEWS/Movies?
Negation Strategy: Explain what something is by showing what it is not. Using negation helps to contrast your definition with other's definitions.

Example: "Love is not jealousy or envy. Love knows no bounds of trust"

Questions to ask yourself: What is the opposite of love?

What are some important things that love is NOT.

If I use this word to describe what love is NOT, will it help show what love is LIKE?
1. Introduction Paragraph (with a thesis)

2. Function Paragraph

3. Example Paragraph

4. Negation Paragraph

5. Conclusion Paragraph (restate thesis)
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