A definition paragraph starts with a simple definition* of the word which becomes the topic sentence.

The paragraph is usually organized in a way that besides giving the definition, the writer gives examples and extra explanations about the word.

*A simple definition has three parts: topic (word), category and features.

1.       Topic (word) 2.       category 3.       features
Herbivores are animals which feed on plants.
Change is a type of process which involves passing from one state or phase to another.
Courage is the quality of being brave in dangerous or difficult situation.
Christmas is the day many religious people celebrate Jesus` birth.
Smartphone is a   gadget which I use to make calls, surf the net, take photos …
Firefighters are professionals who save people from fire.

Pre-Writing

10 STEPS TO A SUCESSFUL DEFINITION PARAGRAPH

  1. Write your topic (word) on the title. You can also create a title using the topic in it as long as it clearly identity your topic.
  2. Find a simple definition of the topic. Use a dictionary to find its definition and its origin, if possible.
  3. Write a personal definition to show your knowledge or experience. Write synonyms.
  4. Write an idiom of the topic that you know. Try to find out what people typically say about the topic.
  5. Write 1 direct example (illustrate your topic word), use a famous/ popular item to appeal to your reader. It will automatically connect the topic to a public figure.
  6. Make a list of 5-7 things your topic word is NOT: to be included before the second example.
  7.  Fill in comparisons (optional)
  8.  Write a less direct example. Use a general item.
  9.  Write an anecdote (little story that will help the reader understand the definition of the topic).
  10.  Write why this topic is important, interesting or unique.

My students wrote definitions for various words. I was impressed on how the word courage could inspire us to write our own paragraph.

Determination

           The word determination, translated as “boundary, conclusion”, has its origin from the Latin language. It is the quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult.

In other words, determination can be described as a certainty, motivation and a belief in a purpose or in oneself. If one is determined, the person would “go to great lengths” or really “hang in there”, which means doing everything possible in order to succeed.

You can find loads of quotes from famous person about determination. The following quote is from the athlete Jesse Owens: “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” This quote shows determination is the driving force that allows us to achieve our dreams.

In contrast, determination has nothing to do with uncertainty, doubts and the inability to make decisions. People with low determination might ask themselves the question, “why?”, a lot because they have a lack of faith. Additionally, they might not see the sense in life and find themselves a little lost in the world.

To illustrate, let us imagine two businessmen. Both of them want to start a business, both of them are facing obstacles and difficulties, but only one of them is succeeding. In this case determination makes the difference. One needs to believe in oneself and not be discouraged by defeats or give up quickly.

In the same way politicians need determination to lead a country and to make the right choices in delicate situations. Plus, who would vote for a politician who is not convincing?

Every Au Pair now and then struggles with homesickness or the cultural differences when being in a foreign country within her or his year. It requires independence and motivation to go through this experience. Therefore, it is important to always keep in mind, why you came and what you want to accomplish, to stay determined and never give up.

The reason why this topic is important, is because it affects everyone. Life in general is better when humans see a purpose in the existence and when they have the idea of a bigger picture. It helps to keep in mind the mantra that everything happens for a reason in order not to be defeated by the many setbacks we encounter in life.

 

 

Friendship

               The definition of friendship is emotion or conduct of friends; the state of being friends. Friendship is a relationship between people based on mutual trust, respect, and interest. As it said “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. The most known friends in a world literature are Three musketeers. They had different personalities. Their friendship was tested in different situation, but they stayed friends all their lives. Another example of famous friends are Chip and Dale. They are two chipmunks from children cartoon. Even they make jokes on each other, they are team and best friends. Friendship usually starts with a person with whom you have common interests, with whom you feel comfortable and relax to talk and spent time. The true friendship is checked by years. Friendship is a very important part in my life. I have a best friend since my childhood. She is like a sister for me. Even we live far away from each other now, we keep in touch and I know that there is a person in my life to whom I can trust as myself. Friendship is a very strong feeling. It is something in your heart. Friendship always arise spontaneously. You cannot force yourself to be a friend of someone, in the same way as you cannot force someone to be your friend. If you have friends in your life, you are a rich person.

 

Opinion

Opinion is a view, judgment or appraisal formed in the mind about the particular matter. Or less definitively: you have an opinion when you think something about something or somebody.

If you have an opinion, it is very important to share it with others. Not only for expressing yourself, but also for getting feedback which could form your view to different ways. In addition, without views, nobody will get to know your real personality and who you are. For example, the politicians, who never communicate their opinion in the parliament, will lose their awareness and popularity, because nobody knows them and their view about important social issues.

Opinion has a very special role in our everyday life as well. If we share our views with others, we can take part of the society and in our small community. For instance, last time when I met my American family members at a party, they started to discuss a special, local issue. I didn’t know anything about that, so I didn’t have any opinion. Thus, I quit from the conversation and I was just listening to them silently. When they realized that I was out of the discussion due to the topic, they changed it for a new one.

Opinion is a very important in our life. Without it, we can’t live a complete life that`s why it is so sad to hear that in some countries, the freedom of expression of opinion is not allowed.

 

Compassion

             Compassion is the feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. The word compassion comes from the Latin com, meaning ” patient. Compassionate people have an open mind and they are not selfish. A truly compassionate person is selflessly concerned with the struggles of others. One who listens and volunteers their time to help people in need. I can think of no higher human service. I see it as a nonjudgmental way to empower someone in need. It can be as general as giving someone a ride to the doctor’s office or as major as volunteering every day to help rehabilitate someone after a severe injury, it is about helping! For example, Bill and Melinda Gates have created a foundation to assist in improving the quality of life for people around the world. They believe that all lives have equal value. Their foundation is called “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”. They help provide better healthcare, farming techniques, purified water and education to the poorest areas in the world. The Habitat For Humanity comes to mind as a compassionate nonprofit nongovernmental organization that builds homes and provides affordable housing for the poor. For Instance, for over 30 years, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter have traveled across the world with Habitat for Humanity, donating their time and voices to build and improve homes and help the unfortunate achieve a better life for themselves and their families. I remember in 2005 when regular people from all over the country went to New Orleans after the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina to help those who lost their homes and had no food to eat. In 2017 there are many bad things happening in the world. Terrorism, heroin addiction, violent weather conditions to name a few. Luckily there are many good people in the world doing great deeds of compassion. These people are my heroes. I admire them and they inspire me to open my mind and heart when someone is in need.

 

LIBERTY

       Liberty is the quality or state of being free. Liberty comes from the Latin word liber, meaning free. Liberty gives people the freedom to live, work, learn and express their thoughts, and the right to choose the way they want to live their life. The word liberty is used in the idiom “Give me liberty, or give me death!” We are all born to fight for our right and freedom. A lot of nations value the liberty of their people like the United States of America. And the Statue of Liberty has over the years symbolized freedom and democracy. And we all can think of people who stand for their rights like Martin Luther King, who fought for black people’s right of freedom. Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, stood against segregation and fought for his people. However, liberty is not confined to famous people. For example, rebels stand for their right of liberty against dictatorship. Soldiers are willing to die in defense of liberty. Women also can act and fight for their freedom. A lot of women in some countries are fighting to get their right to vote and even drive a car. At the end, liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith. Civil liberties are important because they guard the rights and freedom of people. And we always should believe in our liberty.

 

 

Courage

           Courage is a mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. Courage is the quality of spirit that enables you to face pain without showing fear. The British Prime minister whose name is Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965) said: “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” Also he said: “Success is not final, failure is not the final. It is the courage to continue counts.” Churchill was a leader of the World War II. The people of the world had to defeat the fascists by big courage. The European people bravely beat the German fascists. The Asian people bravely defeated the Japanese invaders during World War II. My father showed his courage in adversity. I admire him a lot for it. He was leaded a team of young people to fight Japanese invaders during 8 years. Nowadays, some people still believe in fascism or racial. We still need the courage to fight for our rights. I needed a lot of courage to go through my life, to survive. My father and I, we both had hard experiences at different times that even did not have enough food. But we think about what is good, what is correct. What we wanted, what the ideal way is to get it. And then we followed our hearts. It was not easy. Today, my life is good, but living in the USA, I have to learn a lot of new things as English, driving, for instance. I am a writer, so if I write about some opinions, I need courage too. Everyone needs courage to live even not human beings. We all need physical courage and also moral courage. If we have strong faith and courage to overcome countless difficulties, our dream will become true, we will have a colorful life.

Hope

                 Hope is a feeling that something good will happen or be true. We very often mention hope during our daily conversation, for example: “I hope you are feeling better soon” or “Everyone in your family is well, I hope”. Writers, singers, priests also use this word HOPE in quotes. For instance: “No matter the number of time you fail you must be determined to succeed. You must not lose hope. Do not stop in your storm. Do not give up so easily” (Tony Narams). Another quote is, “If expect change we must act on our hope every day until we have accomplished what we wanted” (Christopher Goodman). One more from Bible: “And now, Lord, what future do I have? You are my only hope” (Psalm 39, 8). I have a personal connection with this word. I lived three years among homeless people in charitable organization in my country. These people lost almost everything in life- their homes, wives, family members, possessions, for instance. My boss wanted to encourage them so they do not lose hope. He posted on the building where these people lived a big title: “Where ends hope, begin hell.” How we see HOPE is precious attribute and word which we use in our daily life, quotes, prayers or when we want to support people in their struggle. With hope, life is better, nicer and easier. Please do not lose HOPE.

Racism

           According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary racism is prejudice, discrimination directed against someone of different race, based on the belief that one own race is superior. My personal definition of racism is the conviction that some races of people are better than others. For instance, take Rosa Parks as an example of fighting against racism. She was a civil right activist who refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger spurring the Montgomery boycott and other efforts to end segregation. Another example, in school many students are racist because segregation comes from root of a family. In the USA, I see more racism than in other countries. In general racism is not good for society, everyone should treat equally without considering the color of skin. A Jamaican friend of mine told me that she picks ‘white people clothes’ to wear, so that she can be treated with respect. Traditionally, she would wear bright colorful clothes. Another situation is a young pale girl rides a horse on the beach and joins her grandfather to get push her around on a chair (like arick show). She met a young black boy on the board walk. She develops a friendship with him. However her grandfather warns her to stay away from him. To sum up, racism poisons our world. All people should get equal treatment without racism.  Our opinion about another people could not depend on their skin or color because in every race there are good or bad people. It depends on their heart.

FUTURE

The word future means coming after the present (events); or existing or occurring at a later time. It is the term that we use in our language with recurrence when we want to express the time that is to come. This last sense we use mostly to talk about those issues, things that in a close time will come true. Some synonyms words can be: coming, unborn, yet to come, forthcoming. In the near future, space travel will no longer be just a dream. Everything is going to change more in the next years than it has in the last hundred, so it’s difficult to understand about 100 years in the future. To think about an indefinite upcoming is very interesting. No one knows the world years in the future. I just guess about it; however, I think it will be better to live then than now. After 100 years, I think that borders will disappear by the development of science and technology. In other words, the world will be united into one. By advances in transportation, people can move to other places easily (by plane or other special cars), so dividing up the land is throwaway. People will move not only to other regions of earth but also to other planets and even to the moon. What kind of cars will we be driving in the future? We dream of a car which can move by electricity (actually we already have them), and which is clean on the environmental side. The future cars will have a device on seats, which can be changed to fit adults and children instead of the current stable ones. It won’t need a driver, just with a few words said we can go anywhere. There will be no car crashes, because computer controlled cars will safely find out an adequate way. What drivers will have to do is to inform the car where its destination, and then the car can to do the rest. The way to shop things or order some food online will become more popular. People who don’t have time to go at the store or restaurants, just will have to click in their computers to make orders. In fact, we can pay at the moment by credit cards. If I work in a different country or even if I had a meeting, I’ll take the super airplane, It’ll take just minutes to get my destination. Some airplanes have incorporate wi-fi, while we are traveling, we can work, or doing business even sending reports. It is amazing think how beneficial will be the future in our hands. We can do different things at the same time. I just say the future is already here, if we related few years ago, how our lives have changed.

The greatness of persevere

Persevere is the quality to continue doing something or trying to do something, even though it is difficult. It is originated from Latin perseverare that means “to persist”. In other words is the capacity to persist in something that is really wanted, regardless obstacles along the way to get what the person wants. “The one who perseveres, reaches”. All of us should be persevering people in the same way to Martin Luther King Jr. did, that every time he fought for his dream. It was his persistence that led him to achieve color people had the same right to white people. Once he said “if you cannot fly then run, if you cannot run then walk, if you cannot walk then crawl, but whatever you do have to keep moving forward”. Another triumphant person is J.K. Rowling. Possibly you have never heard about her, yet you must hear about her books “Harry Potter”. She wanted to be a writer; however Rowling’s life was not easy. She had to struggle with many difficulties. Nevertheless, she kept writing. Finally, she reaches the stardom and now her series is one of the most read books in history. On the other hand, not only successful people persevere. For instance, a father looking for a job that never quits, a man in love that never surrenders and simple things such as study, save money, learn how to play an instrument, stop smoking and drinking need perseverance to realize it. For example, I met a woman who weighted 250 ponds and she decided to lose weight. First of all, she stopped eating fast food and started a strict diet. Next, she created a routine of daily exercise. Six months later she had lost 80 pounds. She never gave up, so the triumph was the consequence of trying. The world has been changing by the perseverance of people. Thus, great things can happen if people do not turn over their own ideals and dreams. It gives hope to the word.

 

THE FASHION WORLD

The word fashion means “a set of repetitive tendencies, whether of clothing, accessories, lifestyles or ways of behaving, that mark of modify people’s behaviors”. FASHION, from French “made” and this from Latin “modus”, “made” or “measure”, was born in the 17th century in France. Reflects in a great way the aesthetics of each persone. For a fashionista, she follows new styles day by day, while a working person is left with the option of what he or she likes and feels good according to personality or lifestyle. There is no absolute fashion. There is a full world of fashion – different tastes, infinite possibilities that only grow to embrace every person.

In the world of fashion there are many sentences that represent how fashion is part of each of us. For example, in Argentina is said “If it is fashionable, it does not bother you”, which refers to many times when someone chooses to be fashionable by wearing the clothes that the magazines advertise. This person needs to adapt to certain discomforts generated by being fashionable, for instance, high heels at a party are spectacular with any outfit, but wearing them all the night can hurt pretty bad. That what fashion is about, sometimes to be a pretty you have to adapt to certain things that may not like us, or bother us but that finally make us form this fancy world. An important icon of the fashion world is Coco Channel, who was one of the most prolific dressmakers in history and one of the most innovative during World War I. She produced a break with the opulent and unobtrusive elegance of the Belle Époque and created an informal, simple and confortable clothing line. For example, her famous tailored “tweed” female suit became an icon of feminine elegance. There are different styles of fashion today, such as the Rock style, the leather jacket, the worm jean, the military boots, something shiny, aviator glasses, leather wrisbonds, black leather miniskirts glued, hats, all articles that define this style. Grunge style, loose shirts, big sweaters, worn jeans and used in basketball, the overall appearance is described as “disheveled and colored”. Urban style, including hip hop style, is that it moves in the opposite direction of traditional fashion android often becomes a source of pride for the community or segment of the population that developed its styles. Hippie style, peasant blouses, grandma dresses, miniskirts, go-go boots, fringed jeans and tops above the navel, jeans until the hip and flared, are some of the outfit about this. Retro/Vintage style, they are basically garments of new manufacture inspired by a previous era determinated repro, that is to say, the products reproduce, in the old style; although with a modern touch. Same products can be both retro vintage, depending on the context in which it is seen, in the case of the greater individual garments of better production or couture, the vintage term is better used. For someone who worked four years in the world of fashion, I had to learn what fashion really is.

When I first started in my 21st birthday, I believed that jeans or a shirt were just clothing, but over the years I discovered that many times shopping is a therapy for many people. The person`s self-esteem varies many times by the way he sees himself in front of a mirror. Fashion was made for all bodies and for all ages and that is what interested me the most to be able to reach that a 15 year old girl with eating problems to a 60 year old obese woman could leave the store smiling and feeling better about herself. Fashion is something global and inclusive. Being fashionable is to see how someone feels when wearing a piece of clothes, accessories. It is about adjusting trends to how each one decides to interpret it to its own personality.

 

Anxiety

       Anxiety is fear or nervousness about what might happen. Anxiety is the feeling of being worried about something. Anxiety is often caused by stress .Some people do not have confidence for themselves, they might feel anxious. People often feel alone when they are anxious, you can talk to the family and friends. One of my friends usually feel anxious before having a test. She feels nervous and has fear so that she  wants to go the restroom all the time. This is anxiety caused by lack of confidence. If she prepares well, she will feel better before taking a test. The problem is that the anxiety keeps returning and it can spread to other situations. Anxiety is a normal, but highly subjective human emotion. While normal anxiety takes beneficial purpose, anxiety can also makes millions of people suffer.