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Definition Essay Outline - Format & Guide

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Published on: Oct 21, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

Definition Essay Outline

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Essay writing is a mandatory part of your academics that can not be ignored. It is a writing type that analyzes a student’s understanding of the topic and their evaluation of the information.

definition essay is one of the types of essays that is often assigned to high school and college students. This essay type defines and explains a topic in its literal terms and its common meanings.

Unlike argumentative essays, definition essays are considered to be less demanding. However, being a formal piece of writing, this assignment asks for effort and reliable information.

Writing a good essay requires proper formatting and structure to ensure maximum readership and understandability of the content. The writer structures the text using an outline.

Read this blog to learn how a definition essay outline is constructed. And how helpful it is for the writer as well as the readers.

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What is a Definition Essay

The meaning of the definition essay is evident from the term itself. This is an essay type that provides a complete definition of the subject or object to the audience.

The definition essay highly depends on the topic you choose. Selecting a word or topic that only revolves around facts and statements can not be considered a good topic. When drafting this essay type, choose terms that have more than one meaning and have different aspects to discuss

A strong definition essay defines a notion or a term. Apart from presenting a concrete definition, this assignment type solves an issue or a controversy. If there are several definitions of the same notion.

A major difference between writing a definition and a definition essay on a particular term. An essay provides a full context of the usage of the term.

What is a Definition Essay Outline?

Similar to other assignments like a term paper, research paper, and compare and contrast essay, etc. A definition essay also needs an outline. The plan will highlight the essential elements of the essay that needs an explanation of the content.

To properly present a definition and explanation of the topic, the writer needs structured content. Without a structured presentation, the audience will not be able to understand your point.

Like other essay types, a definition essay requires an outline to maintain a logical flow in the content. This essay uses the traditional outline of 5 paragraphs that arranges all the information in a readable text.

Definition Essay Outline Format

The outline for your definition essay has three major sections in which all the gathered information is divided. These sections include an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Below is the basic format in which a definition essay is written:

  1. Introduction
    • Official or dictionary definition
    • An interesting statement or personal information
    • Thesis statement
  2. Each Body Paragraph
    • Topic sentence
    • Analysis
    • Supporting information
    • Transition to the next idea/ conclusion
  3. Conclusion
    • Restated thesis statement
    • Summary of the major points
    • Final words

    Below are some outline templates that will help in your writing phase.

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How to Write a Definition Essay Outline?

Just as writing an essay involves a whole process, creating an outline requires preparation as well. To successfully develop a definition essay outline, follow the step given below.

  1. Understand the Guidelines

    Before you start working on your assignment, it is mandatory to read and understand the provided instructions. With every assignment, some guidelines present the basic requirements to be fulfilled in the document.

    From the formatting style to the word limit of the essay, everything is mentioned in the instructions. Understand them to make your definition essay impressive.

  2. Choose a Topic

    Once you have understood the guidelines, pick a theme for your definition essay. Brainstorm ideas for terms and words that you think are interesting to talk about and share with the audience.

    The topic you choose must be vast enough to be discussed in various aspects. Concepts such as sky, an apple, a pencil, or a dog will not make good choices for your topics. This is because these themes can not be elaborated with the writer’s understanding.

    So the best thing to do is to avoid choosing closed topics.

  3. Gather Information

    After deciding on the topic, start your research. For your definition essay, you will be collecting different definitions and meanings of the notion. Through credible resources and dictionaries, analyze which academic definition can be made part of the essay.

    Moreover, if your term has various interpretations, take all into consideration and discuss it in your essay.

  4. Form an Outline

    The gathered information needs the arrangement to make sense for the readers. Organize your raw data into an outline to form a structure. The outline of the definition essay has the following sections.

  5. Definition Essay Introduction

    The introduction is the first part of the essay where the writer puts forward the topic for the audience. To draft an impressive and informative essay, it is important to add the core elements in your definition essay outline.

    To begin with, the definition essay includes the following information:

    • Conventional explanation or definition of the term
    • Overview, origin, or history of the term
    • A thesis statement

    The introductory paragraph of this essay begins with the academic or the dictionary definition of the term. The writer presents a brief overview of the term where the origin and historical background are discussed.

    At the end of the introductory paragraph, the thesis statement is given. A thesis statement is a primary assertion of your definition paper.

  6. Definition Essay Body

    The body of the definition essay is the main part of the essay where all discussions are done. In these paragraphs, all the gathered information apart from the basic definitions are provided along with their analysis.

    The body section of the definition essay consists of the following information:

    • A detailed overview of the topic along with the analysis
    • An explanation along with examples

    According to the traditional outline, the body of the essay has three paragraphs. In each paragraph, discuss one aspect of the term along with its analysis. Evaluate it providing examples and a clearer explanation for the readers.

    Use transition words to connect all the bits and pieces and gradually take your audience towards the conclusion.

  7. Definition Essay Conclusion

    The conclusion is the last section where the writer aims to tie all loose ends together. Similar to other essay types, the definition essay conclusion contains the following elements:

    • Summary of the major points
    • Restated thesis statement
    • The final verdict on the discussion

    The concluding paragraph should be as strong as the introduction of the essay. Include the summary of the key points in this section and the thesis statement presenting how it is proved.

In the end, sum up your discussion with the closing words. Remember, a good definition essay will always leave its audience satisfied with the content. Make sure that your essay fulfilled all requirements and successfully impressed the readers.

To sum it up, writing essays can be challenging for some students. If you feel like getting help from a professional could help you save time or boost grades, we're here for you! provides a top essay writing service. Our writers have excellent skills and are qualified to assist you in all your assignment types.

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Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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