Learn How to Create a Definition Essay Outline in Easy Steps

definition essay outline

Many students are assigned to write definition essays in high school and college. Writing this essay aims to define a word, concept, or idea. This essay gives you an opportunity to state your own viewpoint on a specific subject or topic.

This task is given to students to improve their academic and creative writing skills. A lot of students find it difficult to write a definition essay. The main reason is that they are familiar with the essay structure and organization.

That’s why we are providing a complete format and template for writing a definition essay.

Learn how to create a definition essay outline in our easy and simple step-by-step process. We'll also provide some tips on how to get started.

So if you're ready to get started on your next essay, keep reading!

Definition Essay Outline

A good definition essay thoroughly examines a word, term, or specific idea. This essay presents specific unknown events in history, and the writer states it’s personal opinions about them.

In this essay, the writer is supposed to define the term and explore it for better understanding. It gives well-researched examples from different people and shares their personal experience examples.

A definition essay is more than just simply providing the term definition. Instead, it properly researches the unfamiliar term or word that can’t be explained in one sentence.

There are many important components to writing a successful definition essay. This guide will help you explain these vital components in an effective outline. Follow the format outline to compose a structured and organized paper.

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Definition Essay Outline Format

The definitive essay has a similar structure to other types of essays, including an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

The most common structure for crafting a definition essay is as follows:

  1. Introduction
    • Official or dictionary definition
    • An anecdote, interesting facts, or personal examples
    • Thesis statement
  2. Body Paragraph I
    • Topic sentence I
    • Topic sentence analysis
    • Supporting information (examples, facts, or evidence)
    • Transition to the next topic sentence
  3. Body Paragraph II
    • Topic sentence II
    • Topic sentence analysis
    • Supporting information (examples, facts, or evidence)
    • Transition to the next topic sentence
  4. Body Paragraph III
    • Topic sentence III
    • Topic sentence analysis
    • Supporting information (examples, facts, or evidence)
    • Transition to the conclusion
  5. Conclusion
    • Restated thesis statement
    • Summary of the major points
    • Final remarks

You can start writing your definition essay on any topic. All that's required is the following structure, which has only the five paragraphs as we mentioned above.

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How to Write Definition Essay Outline

The definition essay is much similar to an expository essay in which the writer states the meaning of a specific subject. Both essays provide the definition and analysis of a new term or topic.

Here are steps to help you to create a definition essay outline. You can follow the following writing process and create your own impressive piece.

  • 1. Take Your Time to Read All Essay Guidelines
  • Be sure to read the essay guidelines and details carefully before beginning your definition essay. Understanding what kind of paper you need will help with how much time it takes, and ensure that every word counts!

    The instruction will provide what is exactly required from your piece of writing. Ensure that you don’t miss out on any essay instruction, as every guideline is provided for a successful essay.

  • 2. Select an Interesting Topic
  • Select an interesting topic that will help you catch the reader’s attention. Then, make a list of terms you will search for and choose a topic that excites you the most.

    You can explore words or terms in the encyclopedia or news. Look for words that are not common because these topics people find more engaging and interesting.

    Most people are familiar with popular topics and not interested to learn about them more. So it is always a good idea to go for unique topics. Pick a term or word that has an abstract meaning, so you can easily write an essay on it. The reason is that an extended essay topic can create a great definition essay.

  • 3. Gather Information
  • After picking a good topic, it is time to collect relevant and credible information about your topic. First, search for its dictionary meaning and list down all the literal meanings for great understanding.

    Next, you have to check the quotations from reference books and definitions provided by famous people. Refer to your instructor and ask where you will find the term meaning and its different meanings associated with it. And in the last search it is good to look for a word’s etymology.

  • 4. Create an Outline
  • Like other essays, definition essays follow the same traditional structure. Write down your research information in the outline and organize it. So later when it comes time for writing it will be easy for you to go into detail about these points.

    What makes a good outline?

    The five-paragraph essay outline is the most common essay format. To write a good essay, there are five elements that must be included.

    1. An introductory paragraph
    2. Body Paragraph 1
    3. Body Paragraph 2
    4. Body Paragraph 3
    5. A concluding paragraph
  • 5. Definition Essay Introduction
  • The definition essay introduction should be catchy enough to motivate your reader to read the whole essay. It must provide well-researched information in an interesting way that will be hard for you to leave without reading it.

    Here are some important components of the introduction:

    • Begin your essay with an academic definition of a topic.
    • Provide an overview of the topic
    • Present a strong thesis statement that clearly the exact meaning of the term

    Keep in mind that the definition essay does not need a complex thesis statement like an argumentative essay. But the definition essay thesis statement is just a strong and effective statement with a neutral look.

  • 6. Definition Essay Body Paragraphs
  • There are 3 paragraphs in the body of the essay and each paragraph presents one point with its supporting details.

    Mostly the definition essays are so brief that you can’t source enough information to put in 3 separate paragraphs. Therefore it can have as little as one paragraph, and if required more paragraphs can be added.

    Here is how you can organize your body section:

    • Provide a detailed background of the term that you are analyzing.
    • List examples, facts, and explanations from various dictionaries and other sources.
    • Clarify the term so that the reader won’t get confused

    Remember that you are not writing a narrative essay, where you just have to narrate the story. In a definition essay, you have to explain the term in-depth to make it easily understandable for the reader.

  • 7. Definition Essay Conclusion
  • The conclusion paragraph is the final section where you have to summarize the details. To organize the conclusion paragraph follow these steps:

    • Summarize all the main points
    • Add more personal views
    • Conclude the essay by encouraging the audience to read more about the term

    Make sure you provide enough information that the term becomes easily understandable for the reader.

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Definition Essay Outline Examples

Creating an outline before writing an essay helps in defining the essay layout. Here are some definition essay outline examples for your help. Check them out.

Definition Essay Outline Template

Extended Definition Essay Outline

The definition essay is a challenging type of writing that requires much skill and creativity. You can always seek help from our professional writers at MyPerfectPaper.net.

Our essay writing service will help you craft the perfect definition essay in no time. They can write all types of papers whether it is a research paper, term paper, case study, literature review, etc.

So when you need an essay written, reach out to our team of professionals. We’re here for all your needs and can work with any deadline!


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