An extended definition essay takes a vague abstract concept, say, “honor,” and seeks to define it with ones own reasons and evidence/justifications for these reasons. When choosing a topic, it is wise to choose a value that not only you hold dear, but that will be important to your reader as well. This will lure them into your essay and involve them in the debate about this issue.
The goal of the definition essay is to define a complex, abstract idea through explanations, reasoning, evidence, and, if it is a research essay, scholar’s definitions and explanations of this abstract philosophical issue as well.
Your teacher and reference librarian can help you find these resources.
The objective of the essay could be also to entertain. For an example, in an essay titled “The Definition of Home: What Home Means to Me” – that essay may take on a uniquely personal stance, offering anecdotes and stories to provide evidence of what home means to you. Still, you’ll be persuading your reader to agree with you, and in this way, your essay is still persuasive.
Analogy—Use scenarios to illustrate difficult concepts.
Comparison and Contrast—Detail differences and similarities between your abstract concept and the opposite of it, in order to enhance your reader’s understanding of your reasoning.
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