A definition essay consists mainly of stating the meaning of something. There a number of ways of outlining meaning depending on the subject area.
In the opening of the essay the opening words should highlight what is going to be defined so that this is clear to the reader.
The opening statement should indicate quite clearly what is to be defined and how this is to be done. It should also provide a brief definition. There are several methods used for defining, for example by function, structure, analysis or opposition. Functional definition describes how something works or is put together. A structural definition relies on how something is ordered and an analytical definition relies on comparing. Whichever technique is used should be stated clearly in the introduction so that the reader doesn’t have to search too much.
The definition essay uses the normal essay format, where the introduction is proceeded by the description of the definition along with additional paragraphs and a conclusion. The conclusion will re-state the term to be defined, the method used and how effective it is.