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How to Define a Concept in Your Essay?

Writing definition essay is an activity aimed to develop logical thinking. This work shows student’s ability to think independently, to identify the real signs of an object or phenomenon and combine these characteristics in order to give a clear attributive of the object considered.

What Is The Purpose of a Definition?

There are a variety of ways to define concepts that are geared to the needs of different sciences, but they all aim to clearly separate the class of objects of a particular type from others; to reveal their specific content that means a set of essential features that are inherent in their elements. Achieving the second goal presents the greatest difficulties especially when yet academic definition is not given.  The disclosure of the essential features of objects is a long, historical process. The essence does not lie on the surface of the observed phenomena; it is comprehended as a result of their deep and comprehensive knowledge of them. At the same time, behind the essence of the initial level lies the essence of the second level and so on ad infinitum. When defining notions, one has to deal with essential signs of a different kind. Since different goals are pursued in different areas of cognition and practice, it is advisable to apply different ways of defining concepts. A definition essay is aimed to develop these ways.

There are a variety of ways to define concepts that are geared to the needs of different sciences, but they all aim to clearly separate the class of objects of a particular type from others; to reveal their specific content that means a set of essential features that are inherent in their elements. Achieving the second goal presents the greatest difficulties especially when yet academic definition is not given.  The disclosure of the essential features of objects is a long, historical process. The essence does not lie on the surface of the observed phenomena; it is comprehended as a result of their deep and comprehensive knowledge of them. At the same time, behind the essence of the initial level lies the essence of the second level and so on ad infinitum. When defining notions, one has to deal with essential signs of a different kind. Since different goals are pursued in different areas of cognition and practice, it is advisable to apply different ways of defining concepts. A definition essay is aimed to develop these ways.

With the help of the attributive, we restrict the class of the objects under consideration and, therefore, indicate the boundaries of the application of the introduced notion, and thereby reveal the specificity of the notion as a special form of thinking. The scope of the concept is established by means of the scope of the notion, which in turn depends on the content, i.e. from the totality of its essential features. Thus, in the attributive, the content and scope of the concept are in an inseparable unity.

With the help of the attributive, we restrict the class of the objects under consideration and, therefore, indicate the boundaries of the application of the introduced notion, and thereby reveal the specificity of the notion as a special form of thinking. The scope of the concept is established by means of the scope of the notion, which in turn depends on the content, i.e. from the totality of its essential features. Thus, in the attributive, the content and scope of the concept are in an inseparable unity.

When Do We Need to Define a Concept?

Clarification and attributive of notions are necessary for any process of proof and argumentation in general. The mathematical proof is based not only on axioms but also on initial, original concepts that are considered known and accepted without definition. All other notions should be defined using the original concepts. In the process of argumentation, when we are trying to convince someone of something, we also have to constantly refine the notions, because it is the differences in the content or the meaning of terms and words, and especially the replacement of concepts with metaphors and comparisons that causes numerous controversies. Attributives become absolutely necessary when words or phrases of natural, colloquial language are used as scientific terms. A similar process of clarifying notions occurs in the socioeconomic and humanitarian sciences.

Clarification and attributive of notions are necessary for any process of proof and argumentation in general. The mathematical proof is based not only on axioms but also on initial, original concepts that are considered known and accepted without definition. All other notions should be defined using the original concepts. In the process of argumentation, when we are trying to convince someone of something, we also have to constantly refine the notions, because it is the differences in the content or the meaning of terms and words, and especially the replacement of concepts with metaphors and comparisons that causes numerous controversies. Attributives become absolutely necessary when words or phrases of natural, colloquial language are used as scientific terms. A similar process of clarifying notions occurs in the socioeconomic and humanitarian sciences.

Even in cases where the notion is considered more or less clear, there may be discrepancies in the process of its application. Many disputes on socio-political and social issues are sometimes due to the fact that their participants differently understand the same terms and names. With the help of definitions, scientists seek to isolate the object under study by explicitly indicating its distinctive or essential properties, ways of constructing it, genesis (origin) or use.

Even in cases where the notion is considered more or less clear, there may be discrepancies in the process of its application. Many disputes on socio-political and social issues are sometimes due to the fact that their participants differently understand the same terms and names. With the help of definitions, scientists seek to isolate the object under study by explicitly indicating its distinctive or essential properties, ways of constructing it, genesis (origin) or use.

How to Define a Concept in an Essay

The attributive of concepts is based on a number of rules. The definition should be proportionate, that is, the volume of the notion being defined should coincide with the volume of the determinant; they should be equivalent terms. If the rule of proportionality is violated, the attributive will be either too broad or very narrow. One can not allow the determinant to be explained through a definable concept. The defining notion should not depend on what is being defined as the violation of this rule leads to a logical error – tautologies. To avoid such an error in the definition, it should be remembered that the defined and defining notions are equal in volume, but not identical in content and represent independent concepts. An academic definition should not be only negative. All the essential signs of the subject should be listed in the affirmative form, and not from the opposite, so the method of elimination is not suitable here. The attributive should be concise, accurate and understandable. The lengthy definition goes beyond its purpose and can turn into a simple description. The attributive should not allow ambiguous, vague terms that can be understood in different ways. An unclear definition leads to a misunderstanding of the essence of the subject, vague ideas and confusion.

The attributive of concepts is based on a number of rules. The definition should be proportionate, that is, the volume of the notion being defined should coincide with the volume of the determinant; they should be equivalent terms. If the rule of proportionality is violated, the attributive will be either too broad or very narrow. One can not allow the determinant to be explained through a definable concept. The defining notion should not depend on what is being defined as the violation of this rule leads to a logical error – tautologies. To avoid such an error in the definition, it should be remembered that the defined and defining notions are equal in volume, but not identical in content and represent independent concepts. An academic definition should not be only negative. All the essential signs of the subject should be listed in the affirmative form, and not from the opposite, so the method of elimination is not suitable here. The attributive should be concise, accurate and understandable. The lengthy definition goes beyond its purpose and can turn into a simple description. The attributive should not allow ambiguous, vague terms that can be understood in different ways. An unclear definition leads to a misunderstanding of the essence of the subject, vague ideas and confusion.

Definition Essay Plan

The notion you have chosen for your essay should be undeveloped or even new, therefore you will be able to argue the reason for your choice. The next step is to list all the features of the subject you are writing about and then prove that all these signs are inherent in it. Here you can use special literature, opinions of other scientists if any, or life experience. The conclusion of your essay is your original attributive you have developed in conformity with all the features you stated above.

Look through real free samples of definition papers following this tag in order to discover how to do it!

 
 

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