A Simple Method to Write an Outline for a Definition Essay

The definition essay is an often short writing assignment in which students provide an explanation for what something is. The nature of having to explain either a concrete or an abstract term makes it particularly difficult for some students to come up with an outline. Here is a simple method for coping with creating a solid outline:

Introduce the Topic in the First Paragraph

First off, you will immediately want to introduce your topic in the first paragraph. Don’t simply provide a definition of your topic; try to make it interesting by introducing it with a great hook. Using a quotation or question is a great way of achieving without having your paper sound dry. Provide a little bit of background and then end the introduction with a thesis statement.

Arrange Supporting Material in Clusters

Before creating your outline you should spend some time brainstorming ideas and clustering information related to one another. This will help you visualize the structure of your assignment, which will make it easier in deciding which ideas are the strongest in terms of defining your topic. Always consider what will make the most sense to the readers, especially when you are working with a term that is abstract.

Select the Three Most Important Points

After brainstorming ideas and arranging them into clusters you should be able to identify at least three points that are the strongest in supporting your thesis. These three points will make up the content of your body paragraphs. Select the ones that have the strongest supporting evidence or examples.

Arrange Them into Your Body Paragraphs

The more detailed you make your outline the easier it will be to write the definition essay. This being said, arrange your best ideas into your body paragraphs. For each paragraph insert a phrase that will act as a place holder for your topic sentence. It helps if you include sub-points beneath each these topic sentences to effectively arrange the examples or evidence you are using to prove the thesis.

Summarize and Synthesize the Information

Finally, in your conclusion you should summarize and synthesize the information in the body paragraphs. When you do this you should rewrite your ideas using different words while making connections that show the reader how the ideas are created. You should also remind the reader of your thesis statement, using different words as well. End the assignment with one final compelling thought.

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