A Good Example Of Definition Of Terms In A Research Paper


Students have to define key terms and concepts in their research papers. If you do not know how to do this in the easiest way, you can search for good examples on the Web, visit an academic writing center, go to your university library, or ask your classmates for some help. Either way, you should learn how to evaluate an example that you find. The following information contains useful guidelines for students who want to choose a good example and compose a solid definition of terms section in their papers:

  1. You should define important terms and concepts at the start of your research paper. Typically, they go after the paragraph that introduces the study purpose and before the major content.
  2. It is recommended to use one paragraph for each term that you define. You can provide several definitions and outline the one you are going to use in your paper.
  3. Many writing manuals suggest starting with adjective and noun combinations. In other words, you pick terms from your main statement and explain their meanings. You should stay specific, for instance, define a term as “illegal immigration” instead of just “immigration.”
  4. Do not forget to specify what combinations of verbs and adjectives mean in your research. For example, phrases such as “is considered more effective” or “is worse” may have very different meanings in different kinds of studies. The same refers to combinations of adverbs such as “positively” and “negatively,” as well as verbs.
  5. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to define your own terms. You can use the following template: in current research, the term term1 is used to mean the following explanation.
  6. Some students provide terms in a list format. This makes your research assignments easier to read, especially if you format a defined term in italics. However, you may also find examples where they use one paragraph for each term.
  7. It is necessary to mention that you need to cite sources from where you borrow definitions. You should cite as you write. Check with your supervisor whether you can use footnotes in order to make the text more reader-friendly.
  8. To prepare a strong definition section, you will have to use many dictionaries, as each of them provides a slightly different meaning and it takes some effort to choose the most appropriate definitions.
  9. Though it is better to avoid many quotes in a research paper, you can quote from the dictionary in your work.
  10. The length of your definition paragraph depends on the number of definitions you want to provide, so make sure to select the key terms.