How to Write a Definition Essay in Family and Consumer Science

Writing guide
Posted on March 22, 2021

Whenever a student is assigned a definition essay, it may look like a child’s play. What can be harder than searching a definition of one term in any source? Yes, there is a grain of truth but one cannot submit this term as an essay because it will be one to two sentences only. Here comes the first pitfall that makes students stuck with the following content. And, they do nothing smarter than adding watery phrases that do not even bring a sense related to the topic. Let’s dispel a myth about the definition of definition essay, strange it may sound.

So, it is a paper aimed to define one term, word, subject, object, and finally, topic. Usually, during the classes, one can come across a task when a professor asks about what is a family or consumer science, or these terms together. Thus, one should describe in an academic way the full meaning or his own interpretation. Once, a student is assigned with this paper, it is already necessary to dedicate one page at least describing the meaning, the history of the term, dictionary variants, and so on. You may wonder how it is possible to dedicate one page to one simple term. In fact, it has nothing to do with complexity because half of the paper you can dedicate to your vision and interpretation.

Accordingly, there is the first rule, never ever choose a definition that can be interpreted or explained with one sentence only. For instance, a term Family. It is very obvious telling it is a social unit, and whatsoever. You won’t succeed much in writing many meanings. So, a student should opt for choosing such phrases as a Close-Knit Family. It gives one a chance to express everything coming into one’s mind. As a result, a word count for an essay can be reached with no trouble.

Let’s sum up. A definition essay is a creative paper that allows students to write about their attitude toward one topic or term. It is individualized to the fullest essay aimed to help professors understand how their students explain obviously simple definitions. Finally, it is a good exercise for any person to learn how to express oneself.

How to Choose a Topics for a Definition Essay in Family and Consumer Science

Regarding the topic, there should be not much to be stuck with. Family and Consumer Science is a discipline aimed to cover the basics of family units, relationship matters, and the art of living. Thus, it helps students make the right decisions toward their lives but also study the causes and effects of other people’s lifestyles. The area of interest of this science is based on hospitality, tourism, education, nutrition, housing, children/parenting teaching, and family finance. As for the value, it will deal with the approaches of how to live better, and how to build strong relationships.

As a result, one can choose a wide range of topics for a definition essay. But, as practice shows, it is always better to opt for themes that are related to the one who writes. For example, you may have a great interest in nutrition, so it will work perfectly to describe what various diets stand for. Otherwise, one can focus on defining toxic relationships. Note, your essay should reveal some kind of truth and personal attitude, so do not try to rely on dictionary interpretation only.

For your convenience, here is a list of the most suitable topics for a definition essay.

  • Toxic Relationships;
  • Picky Consumers;
  • Personal Finance;
  • Health Management;
  • Family Management;
  • Tourism as Money-Making Tool for Government;
  • Family Violence;
  • Leadership in Kids;
  • What Is Comfort for Raising Children?;
  • Interior Design;
  • Online Retailing;
  • Modern Teaching;
  • Infant Phenomenon;
  • Consumer Behavior;
  • Code of Conduct;
  • Family Health.

Otherwise, one can discuss the options with a professor if there is no syllabus. However, do not forget that coming for advice without your own examples it is like begging for help and confirming your helplessness. Make sure, to grab with you a list of probable topics that you hesitate with. Thus, a professor won’t think you did not even try to look for a preferable subject for a definition essay.

How to Write a Definition Essay in Family and Consumer Science: Do’s and Don’ts

Before starting acknowledging the format, one should avoid common mistakes and learn what are the prewriting rules of this type of essay. Let’s go.


  • Do take a term that has a wide meaning. Preferably, it should involve several definitions. For instance, Health Management will not only encompass a simple identification of discipline but multiple choices of subjects such as sports activity, diets, medical procedures. And, of course, one’s attitude toward it relying on the lifestyle;
  • Do check for definitions with experts. Find how other professionals related to this field describe one or another term, what is their interpretation, and how they see its relevance in today’s life;
  • Do show your creativity. This paper is not considered a long one. So, it is crucial to impress a reader with your vision of the definition. Try to play with literary styles or even come up with a history of a word relying on your living. For instance, Family Health is the set of rules of how one social unit takes care of its members. For you, it can be a mastership of living healthy without bad habits;
  • Do survey your friends or relatives. Once you do not have enough words or ideas for an essay, do not be scared to attach others’ opinions regarding your topic. At least, you will be safe to reach a required word count. And, a professor will evaluate such an intention with a good grade;
  • Do use several sources. It can be a dictionary, then an online source, then studying materials, books, and even a professor’s definition.


  • Do not choose obvious terms. What is Family? Okay, one will firstly indicate an official meaning, after one will attach personal identification. Reality shows that such topics are easy-manageable because they do not bring any sense to learning something new. If you want to choose family, play with this word, and attach some additional descriptive words such as Unhealthy Family, or Abusive Family;
  • Do not describe your selected term with IT IS WHEN IT IS HOW. It looks old-fashioned and demonstrates a lack of words in students who cannot formulate academic identification of one term. Think about paraphrasing even the official meaning from the dictionary. Remember, creativity is encouraged at all times;
  • Do not fill your paper with watery phrases. Once students lack ideas they tend to add irrelevant phrases such as Once upon a time a Family Health was an unknown phrase for people. Okay, it is obvious because this term was introduced to daily usage maybe the previous decade only.

Finally, never ever think of plagiarizing someone’s work. A definition essay is a common representative of online ready-to-use samples. Thus, a student does not neglect this brilliant opportunity to steal the whole paper or rewrite it. There are probably no colleges, high schools or universities left that do not use designated checkers. These tools can spot even the slightest borrowing, and you will be in big trouble. There are two results, either you redo the whole work or you get straight a bad grade. Do not risk with it, especially if you are about to graduate. Because your final grade won’t thank you.

Formatting a Definition Essay in Family and Consumer Science

As for actual writing, students are mainly deprived of the necessity of building a plan or outline. This essay is hardly longer than one page. Some educational establishments allow even to write half of the page. So, this work can be finalized in a few hours only. Regarding the basics of format, there are still an introduction, main body, and conclusion. Other requirements are:

  1. Times New Roman, 12;
  2. Double-spaced;
  3. One-inch margin.

Along with that, there is no need for references or bibliography. It is all about your creativity and academic approach.


Luckily, there are no strict rules for students to attach a thesis because they do not need to prove anything to a professor. However, if a hook seems relevant for the beginning of the essay, you can attach it. This part should encompass a brief introduction to the topic, or one can slightly touch the definition of the term. To make it look pretty, one can add quotation, curious or shocking fact. But, it solely depends on the purpose of writing.

Regarding the length of the introduction, do not make it longer than two to three sentences. Just intrigue your reader with a catchy phrase or transit a professor to the main body.

Main Body

Usually, an essay main body consists of three paragraphs but if your assignment is with short word count you can limit even to one. But, make sure you reveal the purpose of your writing. For example, you can speak of the official definition of a term, its history, and origin, then your personal vision of the selected topic. Finally, for decoration, you can attach an interesting fact taken from a credible source only. If your term has more than three meanings, you should enlarge the main body and dedicate each definition a paragraph.

Do not forget, that you should not be biased even with this type of essay. If you do not agree on the relevance of one term in today’s life, you should explain the reason. For instance, Infant Phenomenon refers to kids who are naturally more knowledgeable beyond their years. You may disagree that such a feature obtained from nature but it is parental care and home education. Do not finish a statement with criticism only.


The same as an introduction, one can limit only to two-three sentences. The main idea of this part is, to sum up, what you said above but do not attach new evidence or new facts, it may puzzle a reader. Preferably, you can end up with a rhetorical question that will provoke a reader on generating his definition. But, make sure you look confident with the essay, and you put a full stop to everything you planned to write about.

Post Writing Tips for a Definition Essay in Family and Consumer Science

Now, you are about to submit work but do not hurry up without proofreading. Even though you managed to write one page or half of it, there may be hidden mistakes or illogical sentences. To omit them, follow the next tips:

  • Check for over spam. A definition essay is focused on one term only but it does not mean one should start each sentence with it. Try to balance your writing with synonyms or related to the topic information;
  • Use online editors. Grammarly and Hemingway App are the best friends of any student. Once you put a text in the empty field, a system automatically starts looking for discrepancies. As a result, you have highlighted mistakes and saved nerves on editing;
  • Read backward. Once you feel you can no longer concentrate on the text, you can try to read your essay backward. Such an approach additionally helps to spot the mistakes;
  • Check with plagiarism tools. No one wants to be spotted with these tools even if one wrote a whole work on its own. Such situations happen when students use too many keywords. As a result, an essay is no more 100% unique. Once plagiarizer shows some borrowings, try to paraphrase the sentence instead of redoing the whole paper.

Finally, the last tip for students who may miss deadlines because they left a paper for the last moment. A definition essay is not a hard nut to crack but an easy exercise. Find any term from your studying books, find its official definition in the dictionary, and try to write about your vision regarding it without any statistics, facts or evidence. Otherwise, ask graduates for their tips because such irresponsible students are yearly present in colleges. So, it will help you to get at least an average mark instead of facing a complete failure.


  1. Arlov, P., Arlov, P., & Gaetz, L. (2010). Wordsmith: a guide to paragraphs and short essays. New York: Custom Pub.
  2. Engstrom, Z. (2018). Introduction to family and consumer sciences. Kendall Hunt.
  3. Shiach, D. (2014). How to Write Essays.VIVA Books.
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