DEFINITION PARAGRAPH

DEFINITION PARAGRAPH

DESCRIPTION 

A definition paragraph is a paragraph which clearly defines a term, a concept or idea. The purpose is to provide a clear, concise and reliable explanation. The writer presents an extended definition that goes beyond the basic dictionary definition. The topic can be about anything general or specific such as “What is honesty?”, “Explain the concept of adolescence.”, “Define charisma.”, “What does the term male chauvinism mean?”

The starting point for this type of paragraph is a basic definition which is followed by a clear explanation and examples that support the definition.

SAMPLE

Topic: Define cyberbullying.

The term “Cyberbullying” is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “the activity of using the internet to harm or frighten another person, especially by sending them unpleasant messages”. It is a type of bullying that occurs via digital devices such as tablets, computers and mobile phones. Various digital platforms are used to harass others. Text messages, forums, gaming, social media sites and apps are some examples of such digital platforms where cyberbullying may occur. It includes online threats, aggressive and rude texts, posts of pictures and/ or personal information particularly created to torment others. Like other forms of bullying, cyberbullying is a phenomenon that leads to serious consequences like a constant mood of anxiety and depression.

TASK

Use the following link to watch the TED Talk “What makes a good life?” by Robert J. Waldinger, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Then, go over some dictionary definitions of happiness. Write a definition paragraph answering the question “What is happiness?”.

Waldinger, R. J. “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.” TED, Nov. 2015, https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_waldinger_what_makes_a_good_life_lessons_from_the_longest_study_on_happiness