- Material terms – sofa, chair, ball
- Spiritual terms – honour, love, fear, home.
You should choose an abstract word. Don’t choose a simple word because it won’t give you enough information to write about. For instance, the word “pillow” is quiet simple and it isn’t a good idea to write definition essay about it. You can choose something more abstract like “success”.
Make certain that your word is disputable. A definition essay is quiet subjective work.
Choose a word, which you know. For instance, you have never heard the word “futuristic” and you understanding is limited. You can select this word for a definition essay but without preparing, you won’t know if the definition is correct.
Use an etymology dictionary. This source can tell you the history of the word.
Write an analysis. Divide a word into different parts. For instance, you can separate “football” into “foot” and “ball”. The word “airplane” can be separated into “air” and “plane”. To analyze each part of your word you will need to use negation and classification. Remember that you can use this tactic only for words, which contain a few parts. For instance, it is a bad idea to do it with word the “book”.
Classify the word. Using a definition dictionary note what parts of speech and classes your word belongs to. This information could be general and dry but it will help you know how your word is used.
Compare an unknown term to something familiar. Find a synonym. It will make explaining the concept much easier.
Give the main details about the word. Explain its characteristics and traditional thoughts about it. For example, the term "success" often associates with riches, prosperity and career.
Use the examples to illustrate the meaning. So the story or example will help the reader to understand and memorize it better. When you are writing a definition essay about "success"
Find the etymology of a word and explain when term was originated and when came to the meaning that we have now.