Part 1: Write 3 potential thesis statements for 3 possible definitions
First, pick the word you want to define. You can pick anything! Here are some ideas:
Beauty, love, hope, intelligence, education, America, immigration, bilingualism, code-switching, freedom, grief, home, wisdom, family, marriage, motherhood
#1 word I choose is:
Now, follow the steps below to complete your essay. Each paragraph should be approximately 3-5 sentences, but can be longer.
#1 Thesis Statement (in Paragraph 1: Introduction)
Your thesis statement should include the word you are going to define and your own definition for it.
#2 word I choose is:
#2 Thesis Statement (in Paragraph 1: Introduction)
#3 word I choose is:
#3 Thesis Statement (in Paragraph 1: Introduction)
Part 2: Pick one of the 3 thesis statements above, and write 2 full paragraphs supporting one of the thesis statements
Definition Essay Draft
Paragraph #1: Introduction
Begin the essay with a question for the reader, a story from your experience, or an interesting fact. It could also include the dictionarys definition for the word that you are defining.
Then, provide your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should include the word you are going to define and your own definition for it.
Paragraph #2: Exemplify the Definition
In this paragraph, provide an example of your definition. Make a case for why your definition is true.
You could start this paragraph with this structure: An example of [your word] is
o E.g. If you are writing an essay on home, you could say: An example of home is sharing dinner with my family on Christmas Eve before we go to church. Even if we are not at my house, this is home to me because the people that I care about are present. Being around loved ones makes me feel safe, and that represents home to me, no matter where I am.
Paragraph #3: Negate Other Definitions
In this paragraph, explain common misunderstandings about the word. What do other people get wrong when they use it? Why are their definitions limited?
You could start this paragraph with this structure: Some people think that [word] meansbut this is wrong because
o E.g.: If you are writing an essay on justice, you could say: Some people think that justice means that everyone gets a fair trial in court, but this is wrong because justice starts before people even get to court. Justice means that everyone gets arrested at the same rates, and the police dont target people of color more than they target white people.
Paragraph 4: Conclusion
This is your opportunity to add anything else that you want to add about the word. You could talk about other words that have similar meanings, or provide another story. You could explain how your own beliefs about the word changed over time.
o E.g. If you are writing an essay on intelligence, you could say: When I was younger, I thought that to be intelligent meant you always got perfect grades. I realize now that intelligence isnt always represented by perfection. I think it is trying your best and being willing to learn from your mistakes
Finish your essay with a concluding sentence, summarizing your overall point.