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Writing Definition of Terms

Definition of Terms in Your Dissertation WritingYou know that there are a lot of misunderstandings between people on this planet. How come they do not know the meaning of the words? The problem is that there are a lot of meanings, and even twins can understand the same word differently. That is why we need the definitions – just to make sure that you and your reader are discussing the same subject.

A formal definition has to be brief and concise, i.e. to contain as much information as possible in minimum words, also it should be distinctive and specific.

At first you should write a term which needs to be defined, than expose the class of an object and the concept to which the term belongs. Sometimes the word etymology is also given. Next go the distinctive characteristics which enable to differentiate it from all others of the same class.

You should define not all terms or words in your paper but those which the reader might be unfamiliar with or when the commonly used word has layers of subjectivity. Sometimes the terms are to be defined because their etymology might be of some interest and might also cast some light on a point.

Define a verb with a verb and noun with a noun, don’t use the constructions like: “Something is like…”etc.

Do not restate the word instead of defining it.  Don’t write “Definition is to define words…” – avoid using the same roots and related words. Use simple vocabulary so that people don’t have to consult dictionary in order to understand you. You should also avoid personalizing your definition: use only universal examples.

Although we have explained a lot about defining words, writing a proper definition may still be a problem. If the dictionaries and glossaries don’t help, feel free to avail yourself to DissertationWriting.Biz.

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