Writing Definitions

  • A definition is a statement that describes a term.
The Earth is a planet that has life on it.
  • A definition consists of three parts:
  1. A term
  2. a class word (the group or class to which a term belongs to).
  3. and a characteristic(s) (the most important or significant adjective that well describes the term).
See the example below on how to write a definition statement, or go to http://alothman-b.tripod.com/handout_defini.htm
Here is another example:

The mantle is the layer of the Earth between the crust and the core.
Term: Mantle
Class word: Layer
Characteristic: between the crust and the core.

Writing Activity
  1. Go to page 35 in the text book, Academic Encounters: The Natural World to see examples on how to write a definition.
  2. Answer Task 2, exercise 2 on page 36 (Write the definitions of tectonic plates, ridge, earthquake).
  3. Post your answers to your blogs on English for Science 161 Netwrok
Also, have a look at this handout http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/fallacies.html by The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as it has lots of useful information, examples, and tips on how to improve your writing style of arguments and definitions.