Essay of Definition Giving clear definitions is an important part of communicating your ideas to an audience. You must be able to define terms that you use in order to help your reader understand what you are saying. While a simple English-to-Japanese dictionary may have one or two definitions for any particular word, most words actually have many different meanings. In addition, the same word may have different meanings for different people. If you ask 10 different people to define the word patriotism, you will get an amazing variety of answers. It is, therefore, necessary to define important words in your essays to make the reader aware of the specific meanings you attach to them.
Sometimes the entire essay is to explain the writers definition of a word that has many meanings to different people. A formal definition has three parts: 1. The term to be defined 2. The general classification 3. The details that show how this term is different from others in the same classification. Some words cannot be defined in a sentence or two; they need a paragraph, or a complete essay to define satisfactorily.
Words such as honesty, friendship, patriotism, freedom and poverty are abstract terms. They represent feelings and ideas, rather than naming a physical thing that can be seen or touched, and measured. The use of abstract terms makes communication difficult, because each personfs definition of patriotism or love is a result of that personfs own religion, background, nationality, and family attitudes. You can make abstract terms clear to your reader by providing relevant, concrete examples of the points in your definition or by using other effective methods of defining, such as comparison / contrast . Methods of Defining An extended definition can be developed using just one method but, it is usually better to use a combination of the following methods: synonyms, examples, comparison and contrast, negation and classifica.