An extended definition essay strives to provide additional information that needs to be included when writing a long thesis. In a definition essay, a short definition was sufficient to make readers understand complex theories as the essay was usually short. When it extends to several pages though, it becomes imperative to explain in detail several times over so that readers understand the concept without losing interest. The ideal way to do this is to extend the definition. This can be done in several ways. In many cases, after the concept has been introduced, the essay turns descriptive in an effort to offer a complete understanding of the term or terms to be defined.
The introduction of your extended definition essay should have the term to be defined within the thesis statement. The term is then explained by extending the meaning in a whole sentence if necessary. It is important to state at this point the reasons for giving a more detailed definition. This is for the benefit of readers who would then anticipate further explanations in the body of the essay. It could be that the concept was complex and additional information was warranted.
Once readers know what to expect, your essay could be similar to a description essay or a cause and effect essay. In both cases, the meaning of the concept or term would be explained in detail in the body of the essay. The explanation could be done through an illustration, classification, or narration of a whole process. There should be no doubt in the minds of readers. For example, a term you introduced could be defined with respect to another more familiar term. It might still be required for you to define the term you used in comparison. This could be an extended process in a complex function.
Definition essay topics therefore have to be chosen with care. You must have a background of the subject or should be able to find the right resources which could provide complete information. This is vital when you have a long thesis to complete. Let’s take an example. Suppose you were to place an argument to counter a claim made in the introduction. You may start off well and define or explain extensions arising out of the argument. Your argument could be to prove what the subject is not, what is cannot do, or what its limitations are. Your knowledge of the subject would be tested here. You will have to answer every objection that could be raised. The essay becomes effective only if you succeed in showing readers the effectiveness of your argument.
The conclusion of the essay should have reviewed the extended definitions you placed in the introduction and body of the essay. Check out several definition essay examples to understand how this is done. Basically, since definitions usually take some time to be understood, establish a reference to all the definitions in the conclusion starting with the thesis statement and systematically referring to the others, one after another. Readers would be able to appreciate and link to the term defined in the thesis statement better. Your arguments would hold more ground, and readers would be fully convinced of your arguments in the extended definition essay.