Despite a very simple definition of the paper, this type of essay can be quite tricky to write. The main challenge is dedicating an entire paper to just one word, of course. Yet, there is more. The explanation of the word in question has to be personal and formal at the same time. Then, of course, there is choosing the word to define. Obviously, it cannot be something simple, something that takes only a couple of other words to describe. Ideally, it has to be a complex term with an extensive history and background. Plus, it should be something people can relate to. Perhaps, the best example would be the term ‘love.' You can’t really explain what it is in a couple of sentences, and you can stay confident everyone has some personal understanding of what love is. Bingo!
Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.