See It Across the Disciplines

Knowing how to use the rhetorical style of definition will help make your writing stronger in many disciplines. You may be asked to write short papers defining key concepts from class, or you may be asked to write longer essays that sometimes use definition as one of the many strategies.

Below, you’ll see a sample essay from a literature course where students were asked to write a definition of realism and then make a connection to the readings. The essay follows MLA formatting guidelines. Although this assignment was not described as a definition essay, key elements of the definition style have been noted for you.

Just click on the link below to see the sample paper in PDF format. In the sample, scroll over the dialog boxes to find out more about the strategies and techniques of the author. In some browsers, you may need to download or save this file to be able to utilize all of its functionality.

Click the image to view a sample paper of a definition essay.

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