How To Make A Definition Essay Outline

April 4, 2017 F WP
definition essay outline

How To Make A Definition Essay Outline

Table of Contents

Definition Essay Outline

A definition essay is not like any other. It requires the writer to concentrate on the explanation and meaning of a specific term. Definition essay writing can either be factual or subjective based on the writer’s opinion.

Definition essay outline example (good and bad)

Below are two examples of outlines. The first outline for a definition essay shows what you should not do while the second indicates the basic format.

Bad Example

Topic: Religion


“Religion is the inclination of one’s faith based on what they believe. It refers to faith in a superior being that controls the universe and makes things appear the way they are. There are many revealed religions, the known ones being; Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. All these have their own believes and are run by a different set of rules.”

Thesis statement

“According to the recent fights in religion, I think that Islam is the main cause of terror in Islamic countries. This research looks at the trends of war in Islamic countries and aims to establish why it is relevant. I know that they are the main causes of wars.”


“This research has proven me right that Islam is in the forefront in propagating violence and terror. It requires no further investigation. I would recommend that they be kicked out of the country as soon as possible.”

Good Example

Topic: Religion


\”According to Oxford dictionary, religion (n) refers to; the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power especially gods or a personal God. Also, it refers to a certain system of faith and worship. Also, religion can be defined as a strong believe in a system that one regards as an important aspect in their life.
In my opinion, religion is an individual’s beliefs of what is rights and wrong. Religion is guided by a set of rules that a person finds worthwhile and their willingness to abide by them. This paper aims to look at religion as means of worship to a superior being.\”

Thesis statement

\”Religion defines an individual in different circumstances. Despite it being a guideline on life, it has made people to be self-righteous in following the rules of nature. It has made people lose themselves and let their goals and character be defined by religion.

  • People have made religion their scapegoat for anything they do. Whether right or wrong, it is likely that they will claim to be following the good book.
  • Religion has made people to be blind followers. Most people who hung up on religion do not necessarily believe in their Bible or Islam but follow the rules to show others how lighthouse they are.\”


\”We should be taught the fundamentals of spirituality. There is a big difference between being religious and being spiritual. Our guiding anchor should be building our faith in God or Allah. The fear of knowing him is what should push us into wanting to follow the book of life. It’s important to note that religion cannot lead us to the heavenly kingdom but rather the way we live our religious life.\”

From the above definition essay outlines, a reader can see the difference.

Tips on writing the introduction

Before embarking on writing a great essay, cross check the thesis statement. The thesis statement should be strong and reflect the view of the writer. You need to do a lot of research on scholarly definitions of the subject. You are required to quote a few definitions before coming up with your meaning. The definition you come up with should sound intellectual. To do this, try to relate your definition with that of different authors while remaining creative. For a good definition, if possible, avoid the use of when and where.

Have a draft beforehand. The draft is important as it helps you cross check while writing the information needed. An example of a definition essay outline helps you not to leave out any information that is important to your essay. Use a wide range of examples in your draft that will later narrow down when writing the final copy.

Tips on thesis writing

The thesis statement carries the weight of writing assignment. The thesis should be well thought out. There are various methods of coming up with a thesis, for example, brainstorming from a broad topic and narrowing it down to a particular area you want to study.

Besides, one can look at available thesis done and find a gap. The thesis should identify a substantive solvable issue that is attainable. It should not be too technical in terms of methodologies required and data analysis. It should have data that is easy to interpret and analyze.

Tips on writing the body (paragraphs, lengths and transitions)

When writing the body, explain to the reader why some meanings were left out. When writing, one should have decided which meanings to go with and why based on the thesis statement. Once this is done, support your definition with examples. From your draft, narrow down which examples apply to your thesis and use them as supporting material. If need be, attach relevant documents like charts or quotations to support your argument.

Your paper should not be too long. To avoid wordiness, ensure that you write in the correct language. Have a consistency in writing that is, if you decide to write in American English, use it till the end. Do not jumble up languages as they appear as errors. Be detailed in your explanations based on your research. Be keen to observe all rules of definition essay outlines. Follow the definition essay outline examples available on the internet to guide you throughout the writing.

Tips on conclusion writing

Once all the points have been discussed, the essay should convey a sense of being complete. It carries the implications identified but also gives room for other possibilities. You can begin your conclusion by linking the first paragraph to the last, by perhaps quoting a phrase that you used in the first paragraph. In definition essay writing this makes the reader see that you have mastered your content.

Depending on what your opinion about the matter is, do not feel the need to apologize for it. Let the reader know what your final word on the topic is whether or not it fits into their ideology. Write your arguments in a manner that you believe it’s the correct one, show the reader what you are writing is the correct one.

Another strategy of capturing the attention of the reader is by concluding your essay by settling your arguments into a larger context. This makes the reader aware that though unmentioned, there are other different approaches to the topic.

Conclude your essay by proofreading and cross checking whether your outlining is correct.

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