What is a definition?
|TERM||is/are||CATEGORY||LINK||unique in some way|
|Crabs||are||large crustaceans||which||walk sideways|
|Dogs||are||domestic animals||that||were bred from wolves|
|“Dog”||refers to||domestic animals||which were||bred from wolves|
|Akita||is a kind of||Japanese Dog||,||made famous by Hachiko.|
|Happiness||is a form of||emotional state||caused by||eating chocolate|
|Happiness||can be defined as||an emotional state||which results from||eating chocolate|
|The word “dreich”||is a||Scottish term||which describes||cold, grey, dark, miserable weather.|
When to use a definition
- In a description paragraph
- Maybe the Introduction, if you don’t use it in Description.
- If you are using a normal word in a special way
- Happiness is defined here as the emotional state which results from eating chocolate
- Happiness is here used to mean a score of 5 or higher on the self-assessment Satisfaction scale
- Happiness is operationalised as balance between positive and negative emotion (Ryff, 1989)
Tips to help you understand
- A good definition defines ONLY ONE thing
- “Tea is a soft drink made with hot water.” is not good
- “Tea is a soft drink made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis.”
- Think of it as a reverse quiz question:
- Bad Question: What is a soft drink made with hot water?
- Answer: Um… Tea? Coffee? Hot lemon?
- Good Question: What is a soft drink made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis?
- Answer: Tea
- Look at the first sentence or two of any Wikipedia article - it is usually a definition
- Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79.
- Paper is a thin material produced by pressing together moist fibres…
- Economics is the social science that describes the factors that determine …
- Con’t copy a definition from a dictionary”. Do you own research.
- Don’t define obvious things. We know what gold is. Maybe define CONFLICT gold instead.
- Don’t define things with words from the name
“The Malaysian tiger is a tiger from Malaysia”