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Home / Blog / What Do You Need To Prepare A Definitive Essay Outline?

What Do You Need To Prepare A Definitive Essay Outline?

definitive essay outline

A definition essay is one of the minor academic assignments. It aims to provide a concise, meaningful, and theoretically sustained definition of a single word, expression, or theory.  

Due to its appropriation, it rarely succeeds on one page. When the task supposes writing an extended definition with mentioning several approaches to determine the whole working principles or includes compounding subjects for an in-depth study, a definitive essay may reach up to a few pages.  

Students should distinguish between the Definitive and argumentative essays. These two types are the most frequent during the studying process. They have the core difference that a student should know to write the work correctly. A definitive assignment aims to represent the collection of facts that generate the definition. This type of work does not include any writer’s opinion. Argumentative paperwork is broader by its nature and should exemplify several arguments that support the writer’s point of view.

Types of Definitive Essay

Nevertheless, the Definitive essay does not mean copying definitions from some sources. Depending on the aim, the way of providing information can be different as well. That forms three types of definitive essay:

  1. Functional: it consists of the chain of definitions for representing some object or working process. This type of essay usually sounds engaging to the readers and allows looking at things from the inside.
  2. Structural: demonstrates a full review of the components of a material or non-material object., Relevancy is especially crucial for this type of essay to hold the interest of the readers.
  3. Analytical supposes a complex of the two types described above. It may include analysis of a subject, a comparative characteristic of its integral parts, or the review of the relationship between them. This type is broad. It may refer to another field of study or theme for illuminating the connection better or provide in-depth research.

Although these three types discover the topic from different angles, they all focus on informing readers about the definitions. An essay will be successful if a writer is an expert in the theme. So make sure that you have chosen the one that you understand exceptionally well.

Also, a writer should consider the difference between the Definitive essay and the definition itself. Any word or a concept may have different explanations depending on its context. As practice shows, one can be different from another. So the task of students is analyzing them, considering the nuances according to their source. A definition is just a statement about a thing, an object, or a theory. So discuss it with the audience. Avoid a simple definition numeration without the analytical part (at least a short one) to match the academic assignment requirements.

Definitive Essay Writing: Step by Step

A task to write the definitive essay means providing the academic meaning of some word. It can be short or extended depending on the requirements (the number of words is usually attached). The term should be vast to have sufficient information to write and dispute. Follow this simple scheme of work:

  1. Choosing an appropriate expression. Best of all is selecting a conceptual one with a convoluted meaning. A common term does not suppose any long read and will not call the interest since it is obvious and currently accepted. While a word with a profound meaning creates the ground for a dispute. Nouns related to humans, territory, or an object serve worse for the Definitive essay (e.g., the word «cat»). A more successful choice is an adjective or a noun that means an idea (e.g., «a cat family»). So try to switch a simple word to something broader.
  2. Convincing that a word is unsubstantiated. Preferably, it should include a few different meanings to represent an object for analysis. Primitive words barely have any perspectives for discussion or in-depth research.
  3. Selecting the word that you understand entirely. You can get information about any expression from dictionaries or encyclopedias, yet your private understanding is essential for writing. For example, you have a foggy imagination about what is «emancipation.» Regardless of many sources, lack of your private thoughts or experience on this matter will be evident to the professor.  
  4. Study the dictionary information. Scientific explanation allows you to compare if your understanding matches the official version. For instance, a dictionary explains the word «style» as a unique way of representing things. Your point of view may include more information on this matter. That is a good beginning of your following research.
  5. Do a brief etymological review. Various sources can provide the history of this word, the changing or developing within years, which you can use in your essay.

The preparation stage is over. Now it is time to create the informative part.

  1. Divide your word into parts and write a definition for each one. For instance, «remind» includes the parts «re-» and «mind.» «Sunflower» has two parts: «sun» and «flower.» Analyze each compound of the word. Simple words like «father» have one wood root only. The term «godfather» is suitable for the separation.
  2. Do the morphological analysis of the word using the contest examples.
  3. Use adaptive synonyms for too complicated words. For instance, «paleontologist» may sound unfamiliar to the audience. Use the disclosure: «the specialist of geology and biology.»
  4. Provide extensive word usage and its meanings. E.g., the word «sphere» meanings are:
    1. a shape of an object;
    2. a figure;
    3. a globe;
    4. a field of science;
    5. the focus of interest.
  5. Mention examples to pictorialize the meaning. An appropriate story or an image for concept clarification is welcome. For instance, writing about the word «compassion» uses a case from life.
  6. Apply the denial method to explain what a word does not mean. «Intelligent» means «erudite» and describes a smart person, but someone may use it as a synonym of the word «cultural» (which means well-mannered).
  7. Use the etymological analysis to determine the background of the word, how and why we use it nowadays.

As soon as the information part is over, you can start the structuring stage.

Definitive Essay Outline

A definitive essay classically starts with the introduction part. Represent the dictionary explanation of a word or a phrase here. Your thesis statement defines the meaning in your own words, being fundamental and brief. Exclude repeating the same term given in a dictionary, creating a ground to dispute. For essays that do not focus on the in-depth analysis, a thesis statement is not required. Then a neutral or commonly accepted definition aside from the dictionary can be enough.

The number of body parts may vary depending on the level of required research. Usually, there are three parts. Use the most appropriate methods only from the given above for creating a complete understanding of the term. The appliance of various techniques and pertinent approaches will intersperse your work. Dedicate a separate paragraph to each method.

The conclusion part is easy to create, focusing on the first sentences of each chapter. These are the emphasizing sentences. Referring to phrases or pictures can serve as a summarizing as well.

Finish the work by a practical side of the word that you experience personally. Speaking about its role, be careful with giving examples. They should match your theme and the thesis statement completely, in no case contradicting them.

The definitive essay is excellent if you:

  • have chosen the relevant subject and theme interesting to your audience;
  • have written the text using appropriate tone and language;
  • have examined the topic from all possible angles;
  • have completed the overall studying, so your paper does not leave any questions.

Do your best to make your essay noteworthy instead of a dull one crammed with information. As a result, the entire work should sound compelling and engaging to the readers, stimulating them to continue studying in the future.

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