When reading, compare and contrast definitions to identify:

  • How have definitions changed/evolved?
  • What elements are shared across definitions?
  • Is the emphasis/focus of definitions always the same?
  • Do writers place emphasis on different elements?
  • Which definition are you going to use? Why?

Critical reading strategies: reading about definitions and theories

There is often extensive debate about definitions. Definitions matter, because they set the limits of a concept and shape how we think about it.

Click on this link for an example of critical discussion of a definition