Top 22 Extended Definition Essay Topics

What is an Extended Definition Essay?

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 Essay

  • Persuasion through Illustration/Explanation of Complex, Abstract Ideas
  • 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.

  • Entertainment and Persuasion
  • 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.

      Types of Evidence for Extended Reasoning Essays

      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.

      Here are Twenty Five Topics For an Extended Definition Essay

      1. What is Honor?

      2. What is Goodness/Evil?

      3. Can One Be Intelligent But Not Smart? Defining Two Abstract Terms

      4. Heroism Defined

      5. Morality Defined

      6. Respectability Defined

      7. One good idea is to take a slang term recently in vogue, such as “swag”

      8. and define what it means in today’

      9. Solitude

      10. This is a hard one—Define “Beauty”

      11. Another hard one Define “Truth”

      12. What is Courage

      13. What is Bravery

      14. What is Love?

      15. How Do You Define Respect

      16. How do You Define Being a Good Person

      17. What is Political Correctness?

      18. What is Leadership?

      19. What makes a Good Parent?

      20. What Makes a Great Friend

      21. What Scholar Means to You

      22. What Smart Means to You

      23. What is Wisdom?

      24. What is Virtue?

      25. Define What Makes a “Good” Friend

      26. What is Loneliness

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