Definition essay and the structure of a compare or contrast essay


The Thesis Statement

The clear thesis statement for a definition essay introduces the term and provides a definition. There are three basic ways to define a term.

Definition by synonym

Example: He is a neophyte (term) +, which means he is a beginner or novice (synonym).

Definition by category

A forest ranger (term)+ is a worker(category) who is trained to protect wildlife in national parks( detail).

Definition by Negation

Obsession (term)+is not an eccentricity (what it is not). It is a mental illness (what it is).

Express your attitude or point of view in your thesis statement.

No point: Avarice means greed.

Point: Avarice or greed, invariable leads to tragedy.


Write a thesis statement by defining the following terms using your own words. Try to make a definition by SYNONYM- CATEGORY or NEGATION. Indicate the main ideas in the thesis statements.

Example: Road rage is not a momentary lapse of judgment; it is a severe criminal behavior. ( why). You support it in the body paragraphs. First, second….

  1. Kindness
  2. Helicopter      parents
  3. Cyberbully
  4. Avatar
  5. Viral      Marketing

When you define a term by category, make sure the category is correct.

1. Anorexia nervosa is the inability to eat. ( it is not an ability).

2. Anorexia nervosa is when you want to be thin. ( when refers to time , but anorexia nervosa is not a time).

3. Anorexia nervosa is where it is hard to eat correctly. ( where refers to a place, but anorexia nervosa is not a place)

CORRECT —-Anorexia nervosa is a tragic eating disorder characterized by the desire to become very thin.


  1. Multitasking      is when you do many activities at once.

Practice Write a definition thesis statement with any of the following topics, select 1.

Topic: Goth

Topic: the American dream

Topic: A good citizen.

Plan the Essay

THESIS STATEMENT – add three major supporting  details, and three minor details to each.

  1. __________________________








           III. __________________________________




 The Structure of a Compare or Contrast Essay In a compare / contrast essay students have to compare two objects, problems or events and evaluate their similarities and differences. This can be done in three ways: 1. Discuss the similarities between them 2. Discuss the differences between them 3. Discuss the similarities and differences between them Compare or contrast essays are grouped by object or by point. 

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