Essay Definition and Examples

Writing a successful definition essay depends on how well the writer understands paying someone to do your assignment the term. They should be well versed in the term and its many meanings.

However, you shouldn’t quote entire passages and what you do quote should be short and zippy. These word constructs are just the way to make your writing zing. For instance, alliteration – using a series of words that all start with the same sound. “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes” from Romeo and Juliet is an excellent example of alliteration but we needn’t reference Shakespeare to see that such constructs are all around us. If you’re not thrilled to read your own essay, you can be sure that others won’t be, either. Lowry chooses the powerful word ‘torture’ to describe the memories and reveal to the reader that this is a painful process which creates terrible suffering.


To write a definition essay, you must first analyze the phrase. You must break down the word into components to analyze it. Your topic is the most important aspect of producing a fascinating definition essay. Create several paragraphs depending on the length of your essay for different explanations of the topic. Essays are often challenging to write well due to the fact that they require the author to include reasoning for their statements while also keeping the reader entertained. Within each part you need to make sure that you use sentences, paragraphs, subheadings and/or numbering systems to guide your readers through your thought processes.

definition of essay in literature

You can add to this list if you discover new keywords in the process of your literature search. One definition is a “prose composition with a focused subject of discussion” or a “long, systematic discourse”. So, if you’re writing a Psychology essay, don’t fill it with historical interpretation. Hard facts are necessary to sell your hypothesis in a scientific essay.

Explore Essay

Undergraduate essays are usually designed to get you to explore a new topic or to test your understanding of something you’ve just been introduced to. In the course of your exploration of a topic you’ll be expected to weigh up different views, theories or pieces of evidence. An essay is a short piece of writing that is based around a definition of essay in literature single subject. More often than not, the personal opinion of the author is included. They are asking for you to demonstrate how the particular concept, such as irony, impacts the text as a whole. There are a number of ways you can show the examiner that you understand ‘significance’, and these can dramatically improve your essays.

definition of essay in literature

Put another way, ‘review’ questions entail offering your opinion on the validity of the essay question. For example, you may be asked to review the literature on electoral reform in Great Britain.

Paragraph structure video

Paige Elizabeth Allen has a Master’s degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University. Her research interests include editing college essay monstrosity, the Gothic tradition, illness in literature and culture, and musical theatre. Her dissertation examined sentient haunted houses through the lenses of posthumanism and queer theory.

  • Great Writers Inspire provides basic biographies of most of our writers in the ‘essay’ tab, but biographical background can only take a reader so far; the works don’t always follow the life.
  • The key to tackling ‘demonstrate’ questions is to use several examples, evidence, and logical arguments.
  • Keywords should be specific enough to identify what is included in the passage you annotate but general enough so that you can repeat them within a text.
  • For the rest of his life he continued revising previously published essays and composing new ones.

‘Literary’ does not mean that you have to write like a Booker prize winner. It simply means that an essay is generally concerned with books and literature – primary texts, critical studies, scientific papers – whether it’s about Shakespeare’s plays or sports nutrition. It is often well-researched and is written with the intention of teaching the reader something or convincing them to think about a topic in the same way the author does. In Dr. Abigail Williams’ adapted lecture ‘Who is Aphra Behn? It can refer to many people serving a variety of purposes in the production of the text.

Smart Formatting

The nights are quiet, and you can hear the animals coming out to hunt for food. This abundance of polluted air is mainly due to the heavy traffic and factories. “Moving up to our north cabin and spending time there had always been something that I enjoyed and looked up to. It offered a lot in terms of peace and serenity that you will not find in cities. In the first paragraph of your essay, there must be a purpose. To today’s date, I’ve only made several hamburgers on my own.

  • It must be more than mere feature-spotting, and must be relevantly integrated into students’ arguments and discussions, and grounded in understanding of the whole text.
  • If you’re writing about a video game, but your reader doesn’t know when it is set, how you play, or the goal of the game, they’ll probably have a hard time following your argument.
  • These are the general questions that you must keep in mind when addressing ‘contrast’ questions.

Outline answer requires you present an organised description of a research topic or argument. It is imperative that you provide the main points only as opposed to focusing on the minor details. Remember to present your answer in a systematic and coherent way. Such an answer will generally involve the use of many examples, such as tables, figures, graphs, or concrete research statistics and evidence. The aim is to use these examples to demonstrate knowledge of the subject of the question and to further explain or clarify your answer.

Essay Writing Guide

This means that you must consider both sides of the argument, by present contrasting pieces of evidence. But ultimately, you must show why a particular set of evidence, or piece of information, college paper editing is more valid for supporting your answer. However, when assessing a particular argument or topic, it is important that your thoughts on its significance are made clear.

definition of essay in literature

We have helped 10,000s of undergraduate, Masters and PhD students to maximise their grades in essays, dissertations, model-exam answers, applications and other materials. Descriptive essays that are well-written stay focused at all times. You can also read about how the IB sets deadlines for the extended essay, find examples of extended essay titles from previous DP students and learn about the world studies extended essay. It begins with the two core critical conversations the essay is entering — the Gothic and posthumanism — which the writer will later define.

The Contemporary Essay

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay Overly long paragraphs may cause your reader to lose interest and, more critically, will throw your essay out of balance. Each of your arguments should be given equal weight, meaning that they should be about the same length and contain about the same amount of information.

  • In the conclusion, you should summarise the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasise their significance.
  • This goes even if you’re a new student without much experience and ability.
  • It helps the readers to comprehend the concept by furnishing a definition from the glossary.
  • Outline answer requires you present an organised description of a research topic or argument.
  • Formal essayists, on the other hand, are characterized by their use of logical organization, seriousness, and objectivity.

This must be supported by evidence, and secondary sources in the literature are a great start. Essentially, you need to convince the reader about the strength of your argument, using research to back up your assessment of the topic is essential. Highlight any limitations to your argument and remember to mention any counterarguments to your position. In the case of ‘assess’ question words, you are expected to consider or make an informed judgement about the value, strengths or weakness of an argument, claim or topic.


In fundamental terms literature is ‘an expression of life through the medium of language’ , but language used more profoundly than when used simply to convey information. The Contemporary’s Essay’s reading group ‘Essayisms’ meets four times per term on Monday evenings at 5pm via Zoom. For each session we will choose an overarching theme and discuss a selection of essays related to this period or subject. For further information or for access to the readings please contact either Ella Barker () or Bryony Aitchison ().

  • This may seem counter-intuitive, but while writing the body of your essay, you’ll gain a clearer idea of what you’re actually arguing.
  • Orientation also involves defining key terms used throughout your essay.
  • Do more reading and analyze different factors in your literary analysis.
  • Otherwise, they should reword the quotes to deliver the essence of large passages.
  • He directs the reader’s attention to his interpretations of the concept, which is referred to as a thesis statement.

This is done by recapping or summarising the major themes or points in question, and critically discussing them while giving your opinion. Essay questions that ask you to ‘analyse’ a particular topic or argument expect a thorough deconstruction of the essay subject. In other words, this word requires you to break the essay topic down into its fundamental parts. But the silver lining here is that presenting your argument doesn’t have to be stressful. This goes even if you’re a new student without much experience and ability. To write a coherent and well-structured essay, you just have to really understand the requirements of the question. And to understand the requirements of the question, you need to have a good hold on all the different question words.

Essay Services

Start the conclusion of your essay by summarising all the important topics of the essay. You can end with a personal experience that supports your understanding of the topic or add your opinion on the topic at the end. Choose a term with a wide range of meanings, so you will have plenty of food for thought when writing your essay.

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