Choosing Your DefinitionIt is important to pick out a term or definition that is not a concrete object. For instance, most people can agree on the definition of cat or plane. One is a four-legged fur ball and the other is something that flies in the sky and gets people from point a to point b. This essay is easier to write if you select a less concrete or abstract topic that can be easily explained through your knowledge or experience. Terms like nihilism or honesty are great for essays like these.
Other Definition Essay Topics
- Common Sense
The Definition Essay’s Structure
- Introduction ‒ This should include a generic definition of your term or even an attention grabbing fact. Then you can give a contradiction to your term to contrast it. End your introduction by giving your own definition of the term that you are going to expound upon throughout the rest of your essay.
- Body ‒ In your essay’s body, you need to provide a few different points that construct your interpretation of the definition. You can provide background information but it isn’t necessary. Each point should have its own paragraph
- Point 1: This will include the first component of your definition. You will need to give your analysis for how the example substantiates your definition.
- Point 2: This is the second aspect of your term. Once again, give an example and provide analysis.
- Point 3 etc. if necessary
- Conclusion ‒ Your conclusion should give an overview of your above points. You can also explain how the definition has impacted your life. The attention grabber at the beginning of your essay can be brought back in to tie everything neatly together.
Definition Essay ExamplesMost people might think that a feminist is just a man hater with short spiky hair that goes through the streets protesting every insignificant instance of possible sexism or misconduct. However, a more accepted version of feminism is simply any person, man or woman, who believes that women have the right to be equal with men. If this were better understood amongst the general population, more women would undoubtedly embrace this controversial term. To be a feminist means to not be a second class citizen and to be an intellectual equal on par with the rest of humankind…
The word intelligence brings visions of Albert Einstein or other smart men or women of science. However, I would more readily argue that intelligence should be measured in different areas and ways. It is not only important to be the smartest kid in class. It’s also important to have common sense as well as street smarts and social skills together with book intelligence. All of these key areas affect everyone’s life. Therefore, I would argue that schools and universities should not only be developing their students’ minds intellectually, but they should be building it within all of these other important spheres….
- Proper formatting
What is a Yankee?
To most of the world, a Yankee is an American, anybody who lives in the United States. It is not always a pleasant connotation; in fact, "Yankee, go home!" calls up images of angry Latin American mobs protesting the oppression of American imperialist policies.
To most Americans, though, the word Yankee means either the pin-striped New York baseball team or the Northern forces in the American Civil War, the soldiers from north of the Mason-Dixon Line. In time, though, the idea that the word Yankee suggests has shrunk geographically until it is on the verge of extinction.
Perhaps the most famous Yankee of all (no offense to the musical Damn Yankees! intended) has star billing in Mark Twain's novel Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I have lived most of my life, now, in that southern New England state, and I can assure you there are precious few real Yankees around. Real Yankees might have lived in Connecticut at one time, but now they are from another place and perhaps another time. As television and other forms of mass media invade our homes and tend to diminish regional differences, to make Americans more and more homogeneous, the Yankee might be one of the first genuine American characters to disappear.
A neighbor of mine claims he knows what a real Yankee is all about. Years ago, he says, he lived next door to one. It seems his plumbing was acting up and he'd actually removed the toilet from the floor and taken it out into the backyard to do some surgery on it. Now he knew that his neighbor, who happened to be a professional plumber as well as the putative Yankee, was well aware of the fact that he was struggling to fix his toilet and he knew that his neighbor was home, doing nothing in particular that day, probably watching from the kitchen window. But would he come over and offer to help? No way. But when my friend finally gave up and went over and asked for assistance, the plumber-neighbor not only agreed to help, he did so gleefully. He spent the entire afternoon finding and fixing the problem and helping to return the toilet to its proper place. And wouldn't accept a dime, of course.
According to my friend, that's the first tenet of Yankee-ness. You must never offer help because that makes the person to whom you have proferred assistance "beholden" to you. And a Yankee must never be "beholden" to anyone. (That's how the word for this concept is said, and so we must spell it that way, too.) To be beholden means that you owe something to someone else. Now everyone in the world can owe something to the Yankee, but the Yankee must never owe anyone else anything, and he can't really understand someone who would be willing to be beholden. Thus he will not offer help oh, maybe in a real emergency, he would be as good a Samaritan as anyone else until asked. When asked, it's another story. You will get more help than you can imagine, help in great abundance, more than you could ever deserve or pay back. So it's not that Yankees are stingy; on the contrary, a Yankee is generous to a fault. But there is a sense of reserve that prohibits the true Yankee from offering help before being asked. The sense of inviolate space is paramount: "Good fences make good neighbors," says the neighbor in Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Wall," and the Yankee will not cross the fence until asked.
Another friend of mine knows someone, a Yankee, a chap born so far north in Vermont that he's nearly Canadian, who comes over to help with his taxes ever year. To re-pay him, my friend must resort to trickery, leaving something on the doorstep in the middle of the night. To offer anything else, up front, might tip the beholden scales in his favor and that would be risky.
That's what I think defines this dying breed of the American Yankee: an extraordinary sense of balance and reserve, a holding off and yet, behind all that reserve, a reservoir of generosity and friendliness that can be nearly overwhelming.