Writing a definition essay is a creative writing assignment which requires you to take a key concept from your studies and narrow down a single word which you can then define based on support from the text you are reviewing and other texts. That being said, from the topics below you will need to derive a single word which can be better defined with the topic, or vice versa. For example: if you take the first topic, you would want to better define what that is based on one word or define the concept of human impact on the environment within the context of a conventional conservation approach using key supportive data from reputable sources (to do this you can use our facts on the biocultural approach to the climate change). This can be a bit tricky which is why it is important for you to review your requirements and the topics carefully.
The topics listed above are only meant as a guide and it can be difficult to review useful topics that can be used for a definition essay, since the definition essay itself is likely going to cover just one word. That being said, below is an example essay on one of the topics above.
- Conventional Approaches toward Conservation of the Environment and Considerations of Impacts of Humans
- Human Interaction with Nature rather than Separation from It
- Transformation of Natural Resources
- Climate Change
- Human Intervention
- Human Relationships with the Environment
- Ecological Health
- Sustainable Development
- Biocultural Diversity
- Cultural Diversity
- Biological Diversity
- Linguistic Diversity
- Cultural and Ecological Conservation
- Biocultural Trenches
- Core Areas
- Indigenous Knowledge
- Absence of Mutual Isolation
- Inextricable Link
- Mutual Influences
Again, it is important to stress how definition essays are meant to define just one word or phrase, or even a single key idea which might be represented by a sentence or two keywords (for more information consult the writing guide). That being said, understanding how one might go about writing such a piece might be better understood through the form of an example. Below you will find a sample essay on the topic of biocultural diversity.
Definition Essay Sample: Biocultural Diversity
Biocultural diversity refers to the diversity that links biology with culture. This takes the form of linking human culture to natural biology. While once thought to be two very separate ideas and in fact concepts harmful to each other and unable to live together, it has instead been found that these two ideas live now and flourish in tandem with one another. Historical and philosophical viewpoints toward humanity and nature have historically defined human impact as detrimental to the world of nature and something which has wrought dysfunction on the otherwise pristine and virgin natural environment which existed without human interference. This idea has made it challenging to define the relationship between nature and humans, as the only viable solutions presented were those which looked toward a non-human solution, a way of improving nature without humans. Historically studies have explored linguistic diversity as a single element as well as biological diversity as a single element. However, in each case the focus is on the single element and/or its impact on other cultural or natural elements, and not on one another. Now, a new definition exists which better encompasses newer ethnobiological findings.
It was the International Society of Ethnobiology which declared in 1988 that there was a link between local and indigenous knowledge about plants, animals, habitats, ecological relations, functions, and low environmental impact that translated to sustainability of traditional forms for the use of natural resources. Humans have successfully maintained, as well as enhanced and in some cases even created biodiversity by way of the diverse cultural practices of managing otherwise “wild” resources and by the varied ways of raising domesticated animal species such as through animal husbandry, agroforestry, fire, and horticulture. Previous schools of thoughts defined biological diversity and cultural diversity as two very different things, one of which applied to humans while the other applied to nature. In addition to this, historical schools of thought believed that the impact of human culture was harmful to the diversity of the natural biology and as such, in order to restore natural biological diversity to its original pristine level, the impact and influence of human diversity and cultural diversity in particular had to be removed.
However, this study was particularly important as a counter measure to that idea insofar as it found a link existing between the environment and humans, one which was interdependent and at a global level. That means that both humans and nature must be preserved together. Mapping of cultural diversity and biological diversity, cross compared offer independent support for the findings, which revealed a unique coincidence between the diversity among natural tropics and those countries which are culturally and linguistically diverse. The correlation suggests that higher levels of vertebrate species and higher languages are commonly correlated to areas where there exists a wider range of natural diversity among the local biology. The communication and transmission of cultural values, practices, and knowledge is done through communication, which highlights the important role played by language. This has resulted in the definition of the term “biocultural diversity” wherein both areas merge together to create one intrinsic relationship which is co-dependent and only able to thrive with the existence of both components.
Biocultural diversity today is now better defined as the diversity of all areas of life including biological diversity, cultural diversity and linguistic diversity all three of which are shown to be interrelated and likely co-evolved together. This reflects upon a socio-ecological adaptive system which has formed thanks to the diversity of habitats, individual animal and plant species, and ecosystems in addition to the diversity of human culture and language. Biocultural diversity therefore is a term which reflects not just upon the variety and diversity found in all of these areas but in the way that these diversities exist in tandem with one another, interact with one another, and influence each other in complex fashions. What’s more, there are links among these ranges of diversities which have developed through mutual adaptation.
Agnoletti, Mauro, and Ian D. Rotherham. “Landscape And Biocultural Diversity”. Biodiversity and Conservation 24.13 (2015): 3155-3165. Web.
Carlson, Thomas J. S, and Luisa Maffi. Ethnobotany And Conservation Of Biocultural Diversity. Bronx, N.Y.: New York Botanical Garden Press, 2004. Print.
Claussen, E. “CLIMATE POLICY: Enhanced: An Effective Approach To Climate Change”. Science306.5697 (2004): 816-816. Web.
Maffi, Luisa. On Biocultural Diversity. Washington [D.C.]: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001. Print.
Martinez-Reyes, Jose. “Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook”. Ethnobiology Letters 3.0 (2012): 61. Web.
PFEIFFER, JEANINE M., and ROBERT A. VOEKS. “Biological Invasions And Biocultural Diversity: Linking Ecological And Cultural Systems”. Envir. Conserv. 35.04 (2008): 281. Web.
Schmidt, Robert C. “A Balanced-Efforts Approach For Climate Cooperation”. Nature Climate Change5.1 (2014): 10-12. Web.
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