by WriteExpress Staff Writers

More than many other types of essays, descriptive essays strive to create a deeply involved and vivid practice for the reader. Excellent descriptive essays achieve this affect not through facts and statistics but by using detailed observations and descriptions.

What do you want to describe?

As you get embarked on your descriptive essay, it’s significant for you to identify exactly what you want to describe. Often, a descriptive essay will concentrate on portraying one of the following:

Ultimately, whatever you can perceive or practice can be the concentrate of your descriptive writing.

Why are you writing your descriptive essay?

It’s a excellent creative exercise to sit down and simply describe what you observe. However, when writing a descriptive essay, you often have a particular reason for writing your description. Getting in touch with this reason can help you concentrate your description and imbue your language with a particular perspective or emotion.

Example: Imagine that you want to write a descriptive essay about your grandfather. You’ve chosen to write about your grandfather’s physical appearance and the way that he interacts with people. However, rather than providing a general description of these aspects, you want to convey your admiration for his strength and goodness. This is your reason for writing the descriptive essay. To achieve this, you might concentrate one of your paragraphs on describing the roughness of his palms, roughness resulting from the labor of his work across his life, but you might also describe how he would hold your mitts so gently with his rough forearms when having a conversation with you or when taking a walk.

How should you write your description?

If there’s one thing you should recall as you write your descriptive essay, it’s the famous telling: display don’t tell. But what’s the difference inbetween demonstrating and telling?

Consider these two elementary examples:

  • I grew tired after dinner.
  • As I leaned back and rested my head against the top of the chair, my eyelids began to feel strong, and the edges of the empty plate in front of me blurred with the white tablecloth.

The very first sentence tells readers that you grew tired after dinner. The 2nd sentence shows readers that you grew tired. The most effective descriptive essays are loaded with such showcasing because they enable readers to imagine or practice something for themselves.

As you write your descriptive essay, the best way to create a vivid practice for your readers is to concentrate on the five senses.

When you concentrate your descriptions on the senses, you provide vivid and specific details that showcase your readers rather than tell your readers what you are describing.

Quick Tips for Writing Your Descriptive Essay

Writing a descriptive essay can be a rich and rewarding practice, but it can also feel a bit complicated. It’s helpful, therefore, to keep a quick checklist of the essential questions to keep in mind as you plan, draft, and revise your essay.

Planning your descriptive essay:

  • What or who do you want to describe?
  • What is your reason for writing your description?
  • What are the particular qualities that you want to concentrate on?
  • Drafting your descriptive essay:

  • What glances, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures are significant for developing your description?
  • Which details can you include to ensure that your readers build up a vivid impression imbued with your emotion or perspective?
  • Revising your descriptive essay:

  • Have you provided enough details and descriptions to enable your readers to build up a accomplish and vivid perception?
  • Have you left out any minor but significant details?
  • Have you used words that convey your emotion or perspective?
  • Are there any unnecessary details in your description?
  • Does each paragraph of your essay concentrate on one aspect of your description?
  • Are you paragraphs ordered in the most effective way?
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    How to Write a Descriptive Essay

    by Jennifer Frost on October 24, 2013

    One of the keys to writing a descriptive essay is to create a picture in your reading audience’s mind by engaging all five of their senses – smell, view, touch, taste and sound. If you can do this, then your essay is a success, if not, then you have a lot of work to do. The very first steps in writing a descriptive essay will lay the groundwork for the entire chunk.

    Step 1: Choose a topic

    A descriptive essay will usually concentrate on a single event, a person, a location or an item. When you write your essay, it is your job to convey your idea about that topic through your description of that topic and the way that you lay things out for your reader. You need to display your reader (not tell them) what you are attempting to describe by illustrating a picture in their mind’s eye very cautiously.

    Your essay needs to be structured in a manner that helps your topic to make sense. If you are describing an event, you will need to write your paragraphs in chronological order. If you are writing about a person or a place you need to order the paragraphs so that you begin off in a general manner and then write more specific details later. Your introductory paragraph sets the tone for the rest of the essay, so it needs to set out all of the main ideas that you are going to cover in your essay.

    Step Two: Create a statement

    The next step is to create a thesis statement. This is a single idea that will be prominent across your essay. It not only sets out the purpose of the essay, but regulates the way that the information is conveyed in the writing of that essay. This is an introductory paragraph that sets out your topic framework.

    Step Trio: Get the senses right

    Next, create five labelled columns on a sheet of paper, each one having a different of the five senses. This labelled list will help you to sort out your thoughts as you describe your topic – the taste, look, touch, smell and sound of your topic can be sketched out among the columns. List out in the columns any sensation or feeling that you associate with the topic that you are writing about. You need to provide utter sensory details that help to support the thesis. You can utilize literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification and descriptive adjectives.

    Once you have the columns laid out you can embark to pack them with details that help to support your thesis. These should be the most interesting items that you have noted in your columns and will the details that you skin out into the paragraphs of the figure of your essay. Topics are set out in each separate paragraph and a topic sentence commences that paragraph and need to relate to your introductory paragraph and your thesis.

    Step Four: Create an outline

    The next step is to create an outline listing the details of the discussion of each paragraph. Students in high school are generally asked to write a five paragraph essay while college students are given more freedom with the length of their chunk. The standard five paragraph essay has a particular structure including the introductory paragraph with the inclusion of a thesis statement, followed by three figure paragraphs which prove that statement.

    Step Five: Write the conclusion

    Eventually, the conclusion paragraph makes a summary of the entirety of your essay. This conclusion also needs to reaffirm your thesis (if necessary). Your conclusion needs to be well written because it is the final thing to be read by your reader and will remain on their mind the longest after they have read the remainder of your essay.

    Step 6: Review your essay

    It is significant to take a break from your writing once you have finished the work. By stepping away from the work for a brief time you can clear your mind and take a brief rest. You can then take a look at the essay with fresh eyes and view it in much the same way that a person reading it will when they very first see the chunk.

    After you have taken a brief break or a walk (or whatever the case may be), read the entire essay again thinking about your reader. You should ask yourself if you were the reader, would the essay make sense to you? Is it effortless to read so that anyone can understand what the topic of the essay is? Do any of the paragraphs need to be rewritten because they are confusing and need to be better written to be descriptive?

    Your choice of words and language need to convey what you are attempting to describe when you talk about a particular topic. The details that you have provided should give your reader enough information that they can form a finish picture. Any details in the essay should help a reader to understand the meaning of the topic from the writer’s point of view.

    Read your entire essay over again, out noisy this time. Sometimes reading something out noisy can help to identify any issues that should be worked out. Read the essay again to a friend or family member and have them give you any criticisms that they might have. Have someone else ready your essay and then ask them if anything needs to be clarified or if they received a clear picture from the details given in the essay.

    Step 7: Finish it up

    Ultimately, read your essay again very cautiously and check for any grammar, punctuation or spelling errors that are demonstrable within the essay. If you find any cliches, be sure to delete them, they certainly do not belong in your essay. If there are any parts that are not entirely descriptive or don’t make as much sense as you would like them to, rewrite them once again and then go after the proof reading and reading aloud process again to ensure that the final product is exactly as expected. You can never be too thorough when it comes to reading the essay over again and checking for any areas that need to be reworked.

    Liked this post? Here’s what you can do next:

    Writing a Descriptive Essay

    A descriptive essay is a form of academic writing that is built around a detailed description of a person, building, place, situation, notion, etc. The main purpose of a descriptive essay is to describe your point of concentrate in a vivid and particular manner, so that readers can lightly picture the described object, person, or state in their mind.

    Steps for Writing a Descriptive Essay

    1. Choose a subject on which you want to write and determine what or who you will describe.
    2. Write an outline or a sketch, listing the facts, characteristics, and peculiarities you will develop across your essay.
    3. Gather information for the introductory paragraph. if necessary (in case you choose to write about a certain holiday, historical event, building, place, or well-known figure).
    4. Determine upon the main idea for each of your paragraphs in the main assets section.
    5. Write each of the paragraphs, embarking from a topic sentence and then go into details as you develop your thoughts.
    6. Write an all-inclusive conclusion that presents your main ideas about your description.
    7. Lay your work aside for some time and then finish a thorough proofreading.

    Descriptive Essay Topics

    There are various kinds of descriptive essays. The most common ones are those that concentrate on describing people, describing places or buildings, and describing objects. Here are several examples of adequate topics for each category:

  • A person I will never leave behind
  • A place I have always desired to go
  • A person I admire
  • The house of my wishes
  • A visit to a theater/museum/modern art gallery
  • My Remembrance Day celebration in London
  • My best friend
  • Our family tour to Europe
  • My ideal wedding
  • A person who switched my life
  • Venice—the city of eternal romance
  • My beloved fiction writer/poet
  • A fantasy
  • A nightmare
  • A childhood memory
  • A dearest place
  • A train rail
  • A pet
  • A garden
  • Your best friend
  • Your dearest vacation
  • Your ideal date
  • Key Points to Consider

  • A descriptive essay, as with any other successfully-written lump, needs to have a clear and well-balanced structure. Normally, you should embark with an introduction of the object, person, or place you plan to describe. You should specify your relation to the person, the location of the place, the purpose of the object, etc.
  • In the main figure, you should concentrate on specific qualities of the chosen subject and go into details of each particular quality in the following paragraphs. For example, if you chose to write about a person, you could include a paragraph about their appearance, another one about their personality traits, and the third paragraph of the main assets section can be about the person’s hobbies, talents, and interests.
  • Your conclusion should concentrate on your individual feelings about the chosen subject, justifying why it had such an influence on you that you determined to write about it.
  • A descriptive essay concentrates on details, so make sure to be specific in your descriptions. Including colorful adjectives is always a sound idea. Another peak is to introduce some peculiar facts, situations, and words you associate with the person, place, or object you are describing. The more innovative and unique you get, the better.
  • When going into the details of your description, group similar and opposing qualities together to make your writing sound more versatile. For similar qualities, use also. as well as. in addition to ; for opposite qualities use at the same time. in spite of this. nevertheless. albeit. however .
  • Do and Don’t

  • Do use a multiplicity of transition words to make your descriptions more logical and to connect one idea with another.
  • Do use comparisons to make your descriptions more vivid and brighter. For example, when describing an object, say what its form reminds you of; when talking about a person, compare their characteristics with that of an animal, flower, or whatever you associate with the person.
  • Do use your emotions, analyze how you feel about the described person, place or object, and do not be afraid to include your subjective opinion.
  • Do be creative in your descriptions.
  • Do use a diversity of technics to express your thoughts: build your ideas into subjective clauses and compound sentences.
  • Don’t begin all your sentences in a similar way, as it will make your essay sound boring and template-like.
  • Don’t switch from the present tense to the past and back.
  • Don’t write too generally or too sketchily. Go underneath the surface in your descriptions to make your essay sound more realistic.
  • Don’t write about everything you can think of in terms of your chosen subject. Whether it is a person or building you chose to describe, think of the most peculiar and interesting characteristics that distinguish and highlight this particular person, object, or phenomena.
  • Don’t concentrate on what is generally known, believed, or considered about your subject. Write about what matters to you personally.
  • Common Mistakes

  • Absence of a key idea. Your essay should concentrate around one main idea that needs to be clear to readers.
  • Usage of unnecessary adjectives. Instead, attempt to describe the object or person from a individual perspective, using your emotions and feelings.
  • Applying an out-and-out treatment when you include negative adjectives in your description. Attempt to use mild language in such cases. For example, you can substitute “John is arrogant” with “Sometimes, John can be rather audacious.»
  • Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic descriptive essay writing tips and rules, you can check out our descriptive essay samples to link theory with practice.

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