what is a essay
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Take a look at our handy quick guide to essay writing (PDF) for useful tips and techniques for you to apply.
Essays are usually written in a discursive style, bringing together ideas, evidence and arguments to address a specific problem or question.
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Definition is a rhetorical style that uses various techniques to impress upon the reader the meaning of a term, idea, or concept. Definition may be used for an entire essay but is often used as a rhetorical style within an essay that may mix rhetorical styles. For example, you may need to use definition in order to fully explain a concept before you make an argument about that concept.
A definition essay is structured around the goal of defining a term, concept, or idea. While you may start off with a simple dictionary definition, your essay will, ultimately, contain an extended definition. There are many techniques you can use to extend a definition in a definition essay (to be discussed further).