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Definition Essay Topics

Academic writing

Essay paper writing


A definition essay is one of the most popular assignments in schools and universities, and the majority of students have definitely written such a paper. Even though it seems easy at first, you have to put a lot of efforts to make a decent paper. Writing a definition essay of a good quality requires a lot of time and dedication, and, what is more important, choosing a compelling topic. This article provides definition essay topic ideas and gives tips on how to succeed in writing a perfect paper. All you have to do is to review it carefully and select the topic of interest.

So what is a definition essay?

The aim of a definition essay is to explain a particular concept or term. There are words that can be defined easily, such as ‘glass’ or ‘table’. However, more abstract notions like ‘love’ or ‘honor’ can be interpreted in various ways and therefore used as definition essay topics with multiple meaning. This kind of essay not only gives readers an explanation of a specific term but expands its meaning and provides different opinions on it.

You can define a term you picked in different ways:

  • By function. You have to explain how something works and what functions it performs.
  • By a structure. You have to tell your readers how this concept is organized.
  • By analysis. You have to compare a subject to another term and go through their similarities and differences.
  • By telling what this notion does not mean. If there are many false stereotypes about the term you have chosen, you can write a definition essay considering which facts are accurate. For example, you can find slang definition essay topics and explain a notion of some words since many people are not sure what such slangisms mean.

definition essay

How to write a definition essay

There are some tips and tricks you should learn before writing the paper. In this article, we will briefly explain the structure of a definition essay and help you create the best one.

Let’s start with choosing a topic. Find a concept or idea you would like to share your thoughts about. There are millions of topics to choose from, and if you are not sure which one you should pick, find a definition essay topics list and select something you like.

After you have chosen your topic, start research on the word picked. You may watch videos, read articles, or look for websites and academic resources that address its meaning. Then, using the results of your study, create your own definition of a notion. If you are choosing among easy definition essay topics, there won’t be much of research done, but if your topic is a profound one, don’t be lazy and look for credible academic sources.

In your introductory paragraph, give a standard definition of the word from a dictionary — this way, you will give your readers basic information about it. What is more, it is necessary to provide a common meaning of the matter discussed, even if your definitions vary from the common ones.

Now you can move to your thesis statement. Here you need to define a subject in your own words. Keep your definition short and simple — the explanations will be provided in body paragraphs.

In the first section, discuss the origin of the word and in what context it was used previously. In the second paragraph, analyze the definition of the term. You can rephrase and look at it from different points of view. After that, you can compare the word with the other ones that are similar to it. You can also discuss the antonyms of the chosen notion. Lastly, talk about your own definition. You can describe your personal experience that shaped your perception. Don’t forget to support your arguments with evidence and references. 

Conclude your essay by restating the main points and thesis statement. You may take the first sentences from each paragraph of the main body but rephrase them. The last sentence of the conclusion should give a clear image of the main idea of your essay. Finally, don’t bring up any new information in the conclusion section.

Definition essay topics for college students

College students have to deal with definition essay assignments from time to time. It might seem like an easy task at first, but it is really not. Students have to pick their topics wisely; in order to write a good definition essay, one should possess knowledge of linguistics and have a rich vocabulary. However, there is nothing to worry about — just do your best and follow the rules, provided by our academic writing service, step by step in order to come up with a perfect paper.

Here are some great definition essay topics for college students:

  • Degree: which role does it play in a student’s life?
  • Intelligence: what does it mean to be intelligent, and what can you do to become smarter?
  • Maturity: how can a maturity of a person be defined, and does it come with age or experience?
  • A healthy way of life: how to develop healthy habits, and how can a college student have a healthier lifestyle?
  • Time management: how to manage your time being a college student, and why is it important?

Social topics for a definition essay

Society keeps changing all the time, and some trends are being replaced, while others stay untouched for ages. Our opinions and views on some things change as well. Writing a definition essay on this topic is a good chance to take action in solving some problems or taking a look at social issues from a different angle. You can also combine social and creative definition essay topics to explain common things in a unique and unexpected way and connect subjects that seem to be unrelated.

In order to write a good definition essay on social topics, you need to conduct thorough research and explore the way people of different ages and background view the issue. Only when you see a full picture, you will understand the topic better. Don’t hesitate to ask the opinion of your family and friends — their ideas may turn out to be useful for your paper. And if you are not sure about the topic you want to work on, here is a list of interesting definition essay topics on social issues:

  • Laziness: is being lazy a good or a bad trait and how it can be changed?
  • Personality: what does it mean to develop a good personality, and what being a good person means?
  • Equal rights: what does it mean to have equal rights and how to make our society equal?
  • Success: what does it mean to be successful, and how did famous people succeed?
  • Poverty: why so many people suffer from poverty, and how can it be stopped?
  • Heroism: who can be called a hero nowadays?
  • Multiculturalism: what is multiculturalism and what influence does it have?

Argumentative definition essay topics

argumentative definition essay topics

Nowadays, there are a lot of issues that spark heated debates. Some of them have existed for centuries, while some concerns have emerged recently. What can be said for sure is that if there is a problem in society, it should definitely be discussed by everyone who’s worried about it. If you are willing to express your opinion, don’t hesitate to say what you think. If you are not sure about the topic, here are some controversial topics for a definition essay:

  • Alcoholism: why do people suffer from alcoholism, and where the root of the problem lies?
  • Drug abuse: why do people start taking drugs and what kind of influence do drugs have on our brain?
  • Pro-choice and pro-life: what do they stand for, and what arguments have been made in support of both?
  • Death penalty: should it still exist, and is it a humane thing to do?
  • Global warming: what causes global warming and how can it be stopped?
  • Cloning: what is the purpose of cloning, and is it ethical to clone a human being or an animal?
  • Patriotism: what is it and should every citizen of any country be patriotic?

Common definition essay topics on history and politics

History and politics have a great influence on our lives. Many events in the history of humanity have shaped our society and made us who we are today. Writing a definition essay helps to explain the things from the past so that we can avoid the same mistakes in the future. So here is the list of good essay topics on history and politics:

  • Independence: what does it mean for a country to be independent?
  • Communism and capitalism: how different are they and which one is better for people?
  • Terrorism: where does terrorism come from, and what can be done to stop it?
  • Revolution: what is a revolution, and what are the causes of the most important rebellions that happened through history?
  • Anarchism: what does it mean to be an anarchist?

Definition essay topics for high school students

definition essay topics for high school students

As mentioned previously, a definition essay is a popular type of assignment, so it is not a surprise that high school teachers often give it as a task. However, it is crucial to follow all the instructions and to cite all the sources used in order to provide a decent paper.

And here are some good definition essay topics that are great for high school students:

  • Self-respect: how important it is to have self-respect, and how can a high school student gain it?
  • Responsible behavior: how can a teenager become more responsible for his or her actions?
  • Creative mind: what does it mean to be creative, and how can a student develop his or her creativity?
  • Kindness: what does it mean to be kind?
  • Charisma: is it really that important for one’s success?

Extended definition essay topics

extended definition essay topics

An extended definition of a word goes beyond the one taken from dictionaries because it describes the concept that can be controversial, unfamiliar, or abstract. In this case, you have to use evidence to explain why you defined the subject in a particular way. Some of the topics can be used as abstract definition essay topics too:

  • Bravery: is it the same as courage, and what does it mean to be a brave person?
  • Wisdom: what is it, and what is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?
  • Hate: is it the most destructive feeling in the world, and how does it influence us?
  • Trust: what is a true meaning of trust, and how do we win the trust of people?
  • Love: can this feeling be defined, and what is the meaning of love in our lives?
  • Honesty: does it mean always telling the truth no matter what?
  • Respect: what does it mean to respect somebody, and how do you show your respect?
  • Generosity: how can it be defined, and who can be called generous in the modern world?

Final Thoughts

Of course, writing a definition essay requires some time and dedication, but cheer up: nothing is impossible! Use this article to find out more about picking and writing definition essay topics. Remember to pay attention to the essay requirements. And, what is more important, believe in yourself and your talent, and this way, you will succeed in writing!


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Essay paper writing

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