Essay #7: Extended Definition Essay
An essay that attempts to explore the meaning of a word or expression more fully than a dictionary entry is referred to as an extended definition essay. Words and expressions such as success, earworm, cerebral vascular accident, or bucket list deserve fuller attention and treatment than a brief dictionary definition can provide.
After you select a word or phrase that interests you, decide what method or methods of development that you have practiced this semester might help you to develop the definition essay. For example, if your topic is Love, you might consider comparing and contrasting platonic love to romantic love, or classifying love in a variety of ways (maternal, fraternal, patriotic, romantic, etc.) Then again, you might wish to narrate a story that brings home the true meaning of love.With a more technical topic such as cloud computing, you might want to employ process analysis. In this way you explain what cloud computing is by explaining what it does and how it works.
In selecting a topic and method of development, let your imagination be your guide. Remember, of course, this is an essay of approximately five hundred words with an introduction, body and conclusion.
The word or expression may be drawn from colloquial or literate words you know or technical expressions you have encountered. They can even be slang expressions. Each year Merriam-Webster lists expressions that have been added to its dictionary that did not previous exist in either their present form or current meaning. For 2012, for example, Merriam-Webster has added copernicium (a new element), underwater (having, relating to, or being a mortgage loan for which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth), gassed (a slang word meaning drained of energy), and many more. In the years following, the dictionary added deep state, snowflake, garbage time, and binge watching.
Sample Topics (from Colloquial or Literate sources)
Social distancing pandemic procrastination
a true friend art courage
success hypocrisy music
loneliness parenthood education
beauty happiness poverty
wealth parenthood obscenity
Sample Definition Essay
The Ultimate Relationship
Sometimes it’s heaven. Sometimes it’s hell. Sometimes I don’t even know.” That’s what Waylon Jennings sings about life but in my opinion it applies to marriage as well. What is a marriage? Most people would say it’s just a husband a wife living together; technically it is but in reality it’s more, a lot more.
A marriage is two people pulling in the same direction. One of the most important words in a marriage is never mentioned in the ceremony—cooperation. Without it, marriage will not work; with it, anything can be accomplished. Painting a wall, having a baby, or changing careers all require cooperation. It’s like oil in a machine; it makes everything run smoother. Cooperation makes a peaceful, harmonious marriage; a lack of cooperation makes misery.
Security is another part of marriage, not financial security, but mental security. The boss is screaming, the car just broke down and there’s only $3.00 left in the checking account. What to do? As long as there is someone at home to share these problems with, the problems will all shrink in significance. Just knowing there’s someone at home to talk to gives a person peace of mind. Someone who will share the problems and help to solve them—that’s security. It’s better than a savings account, better than a pension plan, and even better than blue chip stocks.
Being married is being together. It’s not Monday bowling, Wednesday poker, and Friday night out on the town; it’s two people together. In a real marriage, people, are together through choice, not circumstance. Given a choice between going out with friends or staying home with the spouse, a happily married person will stay home. Listening to music, seeing a movie, or just walking along are all ways to be together—no big deal, no great excitement, no display of fireworks, just together.
The most important part of being married is love. If there is no love, there is no marriage. In a good marriage there are different types of love. There is love in the bedroom, love at the breakfast table at 6 a.m., and there is even love when the fender on the new car gets dented. A marriage needs love during an argument, when in-laws come to visit, at sit-down dinners for fourteen, and when the sump pump backs up. When someone is sick, depressed, or just having a bad day, it’s the love in a marriage that pulls him through. There can be security, cooperation, and togetherness, but without love it won’t work.
Marriage is much more than a warm bed and dinner on the table. It is the ultimate relationship; no other relationship comes close. A marriage needs two people who are willing to commit themselves totally; it can’t be a part time thing. Is the investment worth it? Yes, it is well worth every bit of time, effort, and emotion.
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.Martin Luther King, Jr.