This chapter contains the following sections:
- PART A:Single-Sentence Definitions
- PART B:The Definition Paragraph
To define is to explain clearly what a word or term means.
As you write, you will sometimes find it necessary to explain words or terms
that you suspect your reader may not know. For example, net profit is the profit remaining
after all deductions have been taken; a bonsai is a dwarfed, ornamentally
shaped tree. Such terms can often be defined in just a few carefully chosen words.
However, other terms-like courage, racism, or a good marriage-are more difficult
to define. They will test your ability to explain them clearly so that your reader
knows exactly what you mean when you use them in your writing. They may require
an entire paragraph for a complete and thorough definition.
In this chapter, you will learn to write one-sentence definitions and then
whole paragraphs of definition. The skill of defining clearly will be useful in such
courses as psychology, business, the sciences, history, and English.
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