For a definition argument essay, you should choose a controversial concept and argue for the definition you find the most appropriate. Check the topic ideas below to see whether any appeals to you.
Based on the dictionary definitions and real-world examples, determine whether ambition is generally considered a good or bad human feature. Do people call someone “ambitious” to praise or to reproach?
Explore how the definition of “the American dream” has changed since its emergence. Is there a generally accepted definition today or these words mean different things to different people?
This feature is attributed to great leaders, such as Steve Jobs or Napoleon, but many people are still confused about what exactly this word means. Look at the various definitions of charisma, and try to formulate your own one.
Originally, “ego” was a psychological term with no negative connotations, but now “a large ego” or “egoist” is commonly used to mean a selfish person. Discuss why, in your opinion, this change has occurred, or whether this negative use is justified.
Some people say that the concept of “honor” is obsolete today. Look closer at the definitions of this word, and decide whether you agree or not.
Humor is something we can hardly imagine our lives without, but there is not a single generally accepted definition of it. Argue for the one you find to be the closest.
What makes the difference between music and noise? Can any natural sounds, e. g. those of rain or waves, be considered music, or it can only refer to man-made tunes? You may also discuss a definition of a particular music genre, such as rock or rhythm-and-blues music – there is much controversy around those as well.
Optimism is typically viewed as an individual’s ability to see the brighter sides of things and considered a positive quality. If you produce a well-supported argument that optimism is misunderstood (or not always good), your essay will definitely stand out.
Perhaps one of the most controversial definitions is that of success. Discuss whether it should be associated with wealth and fame, or rather with happiness and a feeling of satisfaction.
While “love” is an extensively broad subject to discuss, the concept of “true love” is more manageable. Argue whether it is rightful to divide love in “true” and “untrue” sorts. If the word combination “true love” is in fact an oxymoron, why do you think people keep using it?
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