Ms. Gokturk

Expository Writing

Definition Essay Prewriting Task

(from Mrs. Beachy’s site

Complete the following steps in the process of collecting details for your definition essay:

1. Select a word that you plan to investigate. The word should have some interest, importance, or meaning to you personally. Example: Jerk, Mother, or Laughter...

2. Begin by writing down a few simple statements about your word: "A Jerk is... A Mother is ....Laughter is ......"

3. Now record the word's dictionary definition:

4. Classify your word:

Part of Speech: noun, verb, adjective, adverb

General Type: character trait, political term, value, religion, literary term, etc.


5. In a thesaurus, discover words that have similar meanings.

6. Differentiate:

a. Write out a series of negative definitions: (Laughter is not.....)

b. Make a list of subtle and borderline comparisons: (Laughter may seem similar to humor, but ....)

7. Identify at least two extended examples which illustrate the word.



8. After your research, determine a particular thesis or main idea about your word.