Descriptive Essay - A Complete Guide
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Published on: Aug 18, 2018
Last updated on: Nov 15, 2023
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Have you ever found yourself struggling to paint a vivid picture with your words, to capture the essence of a scene, person, or experience in your writing?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many writers face this challenge when tasked with crafting descriptive essays.
For that, MyPerfectWords.com has come up with a solution!
In this blog, you’ll get easy steps to write good descriptive essays. Along with a step-by-step guide, you’ll also get impressive example essays to learn from.
With expert examples and helpful tips, you'll discover the secrets to crafting captivating descriptive essays.
So let’s get into it!
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What Is a Descriptive Essay?
According to descriptive essay definition,
“It is a type of essay that is used to describe an event, a place, a person, or anything in detail.”
In a descriptive essay, you're not merely telling the reader about something; you're showing it to them. You're using your powers of observation and imagination to transport your audience to the scene you're describing.
Whether it's a bustling city street, a serene natural landscape, a beloved childhood memory, or a complex character in a novel, a well-crafted descriptive essay can make the subject come alive in the reader's mind.
Purpose of a Descriptive Essay
The purpose of a descriptive essay is to evoke a strong, sensory experience in the reader's mind.
Unlike other forms of writing that may aim to inform, persuade, or argue, the primary objective of a descriptive essay is to create a detailed and vivid portrayal of a subject.
Whether you're describing a person, place, object, or experience, the goal is to transport your audience to that specific moment or location.
This allows them to feel as if they are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling what you're describing.
Here’s a short video that explains descriptive writing:
Types of Descriptive Essay
Descriptive essays come in various forms, each serving a unique purpose and style of writing.
Here are some common types of descriptive essays:
- Spatial Descriptive Essays
These essays focus on describing a specific location or setting. Whether it's a serene beach, a bustling city street, spatial descriptive essays transport the reader to a particular place, allowing them to visualize it vividly.
- Personal Descriptive Essays
In these essays, writers delve into their personal experiences, memories, and emotions to create a connection with the reader. They often describfge a significant moment in their life, a cherished memory, or a transformative event.
- Object Descriptive Essays
These essays revolve around the detailed description of a particular object. It could be a family heirloom, a work of art, a unique gadget, or any item that holds personal or historical significance.
- Character Descriptive Essays
These essays offer a comprehensive portrayal of a character's physical appearance, personality, motivations, and development within the narrative.
- Process Descriptive Essays
These essays break down a complex process into a step-by-step description. Whether it's a cooking recipe, a scientific experiment, or an artistic technique. Process descriptive essays help readers understand how something is done.
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Elements of a Descriptive Essay
There are five basic features of descriptive essay:
- Sensory Details
A descriptive essay involves arousing the emotions of the readers and creating an association with them. Sensory details paint a picture of the subject for the reader and engage their senses like sight, touch, smell, and taste.
- Figurative Language
Using figurative language is one of the main elements of a descriptive essay. The use of metaphors, similes, adjectives, and adverbs, etc. creates the character sketch of the subject.
This sketch helps the readers feel what the writer felt about the subject and helps him visualize the subject.
- Central Theme
The central theme shapes and directs the essay’s content and helps organize the details. It should be well defined and focused on a single point.
- Precise Language
The effect of your essay depends on the type of language that you have used in it. The language should emphasize the main theme and aim of the essay. Therefore, avoid using vague and ambiguous words.
- Organized Ideas
An organized structure is an essential element of this essay. Also, the chronology, spatial location, and order play an important role.
How to Write a Descriptive Essay? 6 Steps
Writing an effective descriptive essay involves topic selection, creating an outline of parts of the descriptive essay, organizing ideas, and adding relevant information into the essay.
The following is the process of descriptive writing.
Step# 1. Choose an Engaging Topic
Selecting the right topic is the crucial first step in writing a descriptive essay. Your topic should be captivating, drawing the reader in and keeping them engaged throughout the essay.
A well-chosen topic sets the stage for an immersive and memorable descriptive experience.
Step# 2. Craft a Detailed Outline
Crafting an outline is essential to ensure your descriptive essay flows cohesively. It serves as a roadmap, helping you organize your thoughts and sensory details in a logical sequence.
An effective outline keeps you on track to include all the necessary elements that make your description come alive.
Here's the typical descriptive essay structure for you to follow:
Explore this blog about creating a structured descriptive essay outline for organized essay writing.
Step# 3. Begin with a Compelling Introduction
The essay introduction sets the tone for your descriptive essay. It not only introduces the central theme but also incorporates a strong, captivating opinion that makes an initial impact on the reader.
In this section, you provide a concise preview of what the essay will explore, leaving your readers eager to delve further into your descriptive narrative.
Step# 4. Craft an Informative Thesis Statement
A thesis statement defines the scope and purpose of the essay. It is a narrow subject line, which should be clear and precise. Write the statement in a creative way and choose descriptive words for it.
Creating mystery in your thesis statement attracts the reader to the body of your essay.
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Step# 5. Writing the Body Paragraphs
To create good body paragraphs for your essay, start each one with a topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
Then, use evidence to support your point and explain how it backs up your argument. Make sure your paragraphs are well-organized, especially if you're talking about personal experiences or memories.
Finally, summarize the main points in each paragraph to keep your essay easy to follow and well-structured. This will help your essay flow smoothly and support your main idea.
Step# 6. Ending with a Strong Descriptive Essay Conclusion
Crafting a strong essay conclusion is your final opportunity to make a lasting impression on your reader.
This section should effectively tie together the key elements of your essay. Begin by using appropriate transition words like "to finish with," "in conclusion," or "lastly" to signal the end of your essay.
Moreover, offer insightful closing thoughts that resonate with the reader, whether it's a thought-provoking idea or a call to action.
Descriptive Essay Topics
Whether you are writing about a person or a place, your topic should have good supporting points that explain the topic.
Choosing an engaging topic will develop curiosity and hook the reader to the last bit of the essay. Here we have prepared a list of amazing descriptive essay topics for you.
- A Place of Childhood Memories: Describe your favorite childhood location.
- The Perfect Sunset: Depict a mesmerizing evening sky.
- A Walk in the Enchanted Forest: Explore the depths of a magical forest.
- A Day at the Beach: Capture the sights, sounds, and sensations of a beach day.
- An Abandoned House: Describe the mysterious allure of an abandoned building.
- The Art of Street Photography: Portray the life and characters of a city street.
- A Significant Family Heirloom: Tell the story of a cherished family keepsake.
- A Visit to a Cultural Festival: Share the experience of a vibrant cultural event.
- A Place of Solitude: Describe a location where you find peace and tranquility.
- A Family Reunion: Capture the joy of a memorable gathering with family members.
- My High School Cafeteria: Recount the bustling atmosphere and diverse interactions in the high school cafeteria.
Descriptive Essay Examples
You should read some good essay examples before writing your own essay. An essay example would help you demonstrate, compile, and organize your essay in a structured form.
Below we have provided some amazing examples to help you know the process.
A School Lunch Hall Descriptive Essay Example
The Weekend Market Descriptive Essay Sample
Descriptive Essay on Historical Place
Descriptive Essay on a Teacher that I Remember
Descriptive Essay on my Village
My Favorite Place Descriptive Essay
5 Paragraph Essay - Descriptive Essay PDF
Descriptive Essay about a person
Descriptive Essay Example about a place
The ultimate aim of this practice is to identify and learn different techniques for writing an impressive descriptive essay. Find more descriptive essay examples here to read and learn from.
Tips for Writing an Effective Descriptive Essay
Writing a compelling descriptive essay requires more than just describing a subject; it demands the skill to make your readers truly see, feel, and experience what you're portraying. Here are some valuable tips to help you craft an effective descriptive essay:
- Choose an Engaging Topic: Start with a captivating subject that resonates with you and your audience. The more connected you are to the topic, the more vividly you can describe it.
- Create a Detailed Outline: Plan the structure of your essay. Identify the key elements and sensory details you want to include in your description. A well-organized outline will keep your essay coherent.
- Use Vivid Language: Your words are the paintbrush for your reader's imagination. Employ descriptive adjectives, strong verbs, and figurative language to create a vivid picture. Paint with words.
- Engage the Senses: Appeal to all five senses – sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. This immersive approach helps readers connect with your narrative on a deeper level.
- Show, Don't Tell: Rather than telling your readers about a subject, show it to them through sensory descriptions and tangible experiences. Let them draw their own conclusions.
- Use Metaphors and Similes: Comparing your subject to something familiar can enhance the reader's understanding. Metaphors and similes create memorable images.
- Organize Your Description: Present your sensory details logically. Consider the order in which you introduce them, ensuring a smooth flow that makes sense to the reader.
- Engage Emotions: Your description should evoke emotions in the reader. Describe not only what is visible but also the feelings and atmosphere surrounding the subject.
Summing it up,
Descriptive essay writing is a skill that requires thorough practice. It involves the ability to craft an engaging story with vivid descriptions, sounding as realistic as possible.
The above-mentioned steps and examples are a great way for students to learn how to write a descriptive essay.
However, if you still need expert help to write a flawless essay, we’ve got your back.
You can hire an expert descriptive essay writer at MyPerfectWords.com. Our Write My Essay service is your go-to choice for all types of essay writing help.
Moreover, we provide non-plagiarized essays and high-quality papers based on your custom requirements. So contact our descriptive essay writing service now to get the best essay help at an affordable price.
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- The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples
The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples
Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.
Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type.
In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.
Table of contents
Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.
An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.
Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.
The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:
- The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
- The body presents your evidence and arguments
- The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance
The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.
A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.
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An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.
Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.
The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.
A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.
The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.
A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.
Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.
A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.
Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.
Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.
Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.
A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.
The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.
A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.
Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.
A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.
Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.
On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.
My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.
With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…
Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.
Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.
A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.
The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.
The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.
The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.
King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.
A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.
Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.
The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.
Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.
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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.
Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”
The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.
Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:
- In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
- In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
- In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory
An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.
An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.
The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.
Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.
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The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
What is a descriptive essay?
The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe something—object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal of which is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader).
One might benefit from keeping in mind this simple maxim: If the reader is unable to clearly form an impression of the thing that you are describing, try, try again!
Here are some guidelines for writing a descriptive essay.
- Take time to brainstorm
If your instructor asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you jot down some ideas before you begin describing it. For instance, if you choose pizza, you might start by writing down a few words: sauce, cheese, crust, pepperoni, sausage, spices, hot, melted, etc. Once you have written down some words, you can begin by compiling descriptive lists for each one.
- Use clear and concise language.
This means that words are chosen carefully, particularly for their relevancy in relation to that which you are intending to describe.
- Choose vivid language.
Why use horse when you can choose stallion ? Why not use tempestuous instead of violent ? Or why not miserly in place of cheap ? Such choices form a firmer image in the mind of the reader and often times offer nuanced meanings that serve better one’s purpose.
- Use your senses!
Remember, if you are describing something, you need to be appealing to the senses of the reader. Explain how the thing smelled, felt, sounded, tasted, or looked. Embellish the moment with senses.
- What were you thinking?!
If you can describe emotions or feelings related to your topic, you will connect with the reader on a deeper level. Many have felt crushing loss in their lives, or ecstatic joy, or mild complacency. Tap into this emotional reservoir in order to achieve your full descriptive potential.
- Leave the reader with a clear impression.
One of your goals is to evoke a strong sense of familiarity and appreciation in the reader. If your reader can walk away from the essay craving the very pizza you just described, you are on your way to writing effective descriptive essays.
- Be organized!
It is easy to fall into an incoherent rambling of emotions and senses when writing a descriptive essay. However, you must strive to present an organized and logical description if the reader is to come away from the essay with a cogent sense of what it is you are attempting to describe.
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Writing A Descriptive Essay
TIP Sheet WRITING A DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY
The aim of description is to make sensory details vividly present to the reader. Although it may be only in school that you are asked to write a specifically descriptive essay, description is an important element in many kinds of writing. Description embedded in an argument paper, for example, may be intended to make a position more persuasive. However, in this TIP Sheet we will discuss the descriptive essay as it is commonly assigned by instructors as an exercise in organizing sensory information and choosing vivid details.
Showing vs. telling Sensory details are details of smell, taste, texture, and sound as well as sight. If you choose "showing" words, those that supply vivid sensory details appropriate to your subject and purpose, you will succeed in showing rather than telling . "Telling" words are usually vague or ambiguous; they can be interpreted in a variety of ways. The following first example mostly makes statements about what is lacking in the room, whereas the second example describes the sights, textures, smells, and sounds of the empty room:
Telling: The empty room smelled stale and was devoid of furniture or floor covering; the single window lacked curtains or blinds of any kind.
Showing: The apartment smelled of old cooking odors, cabbage, and mildew; our sneakers squeaked sharply against the scuffed wood floors, which reflected a haze of dusty sunlight from the one cobwebbed, gritty window.
"Showing" uses very specific details: cabbage and mildew, scuffed and dusty floors, unwashed windows. Though the writer of the second example does not actually use the word "empty," she nevertheless suggests emptiness and disuse. The suggestion of emptiness in the second example is more vivid than the statement of emptiness in the first. If you don't think the first example is vague, look at another possible interpretation of that empty room:
Showing: The sharp odor of fresh paint cut through the smell of newsprint. Four stacked cartons of inkjet printer paper sat squarely in the middle of a concrete floor, illuminated by a shaft of morning light from a sparkling chrome-framed window on the opposite wall.
Do not mistake explanation for description. Explanation is a kind of telling that interjects background material that does not contain sensory details or contribute to the overall effect–a character's motives or history, for example:
Explanation: The tenants had moved out a week earlier because the house was being sold to a developer. No one had bothered to dust or clean because they assumed the apartment was going to be knocked down and replaced with single-family homes like those built just a block away.
When description devolves into explanation (telling rather than showing), it becomes boring.
Observing details Once you are ready to abandon the attempt to explain or to tell about , evaluate your subject in terms of visual, auditory, and other sensory details. Think in concrete terms. The more you are interested in and connected to the subject, the easier it will be to interest your reader, so if you describe a person, choose a person whose characteristics stand out to you. If you describe a place or a thing, choose one that is meaningful to you.
You are painting a picture that must be as clear and real as possible, so observe carefully and, preferably, in person. Note what sets this subject apart from others like it. If the subject is a person, include physical characteristics and mannerisms. Describe abstractions such as personality traits only insofar as you can observe them. For example, do not tell the reader your biology instructor is a neat, meticulous person; show your reader the instructor's "dust-free computer monitor and stacks of papers with corners precisely aligned, each stack sitting exactly three thumb-widths from the edge of the desk." How a subject interacts with others is fair game for description if you can observe the interaction. On the other hand, a subject's life history and world perspective may not be, unless you can infer them, for example, from the photos on his walls or the books on his bookshelf.
Similarly, if the subject of your description is an object or a place, you may include not only its physical appearance but also its geographic, historical, or emotional relevance-as long as you show or suggest it using sensory details, and avoid explaining.
Deciding on a purpose Even description for description's sake should have a purpose. Is there an important overall impression you wish to convey? A central theme or general point? This is your thesis; organize your essay around it. For example, you might describe your car as your home away from home, full of snack foods, changes of clothing, old issues of the Chico News & Review , textbooks, and your favorite music. Or, you might describe your car as an immaculate, beautiful, pampered woman on whom you lavish attention and money. Just don't describe your car in cold, clinical detail, front to back (or bottom to top, or inside to outside) without having in mind the purpose, the overall impression you want to create. To achieve this impression, you should not necessarily include all details; use only those that suit your purpose.
Avoid telling a story unless it is of central importance to the description or an understanding of it. Keep background information to an absolute minimum or avoid it altogether.
Organizing Extended description that lacks organization has a confusing, surreal quality and easily loses readers' interest, so choose an organizational plan. Use whatever progression seems logical–left to right, inside to outside, top to bottom-and stick to it. For example, it does not make sense to describe a person's facial features and hair, then his sonorous voice and impressive vocabulary, and then return to details about his eyebrows and glasses.
A quote from your subject or a brief anecdote about him or her may provide an interesting introduction (or conclusion); dialogue can be a great way to add interest to a descriptive essay. In your introduction, you might be permitted to make general, abstract statements (tell about) your subject or supply background information, as long as you demonstrate these points concretely later in the body of your essay.
Use vivid nouns, verbs, and adjectives, and appropriate metaphors, similes, comparisons, and contrasts. Avoid clichés.
Like the introduction, the conclusion is another place you can get away with reflecting about your subject: Why did you write this description? What is its significance to you? To your reader? If you have achieved your purpose, your conclusion should only confirm in the reader's mind what you have already shown him by your use of selected sensory details.
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How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Full Guide With Tips
In this article, we examine the descriptive essay and present a step-by-step writing guide. Stick around for helpful writing tips near the end! Also, check out custom writers at EssayPro — political science essay service, if you need private tutoring or essay editing.
What is a Descriptive Essay?
The definition of a descriptive essay is a type of composition or paper which describes an object, person, process, or event. The writer’s goal is to create a vivid reading experience, or to show instead of tell (metaphorically).
Descriptive writing usually appeals to the five senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. (Ex: Jack’s coffee mug exploded into tiny shards of glass, catching the attention of everyone at the office.) Always appealing to the senses is key to writing a good descriptive essay.
When writing a descriptive essay, your goal will be to paint a comprehensive picture for the reader by appealing to the five senses. Last but not least, your work should have a purpose. It could be anything from a lesson you learned from an experience, to a story of how an object impacted your life. It’s all about making your bright ideas come to life.
Difference Between a Description and a Descriptive Essay
When writing this type of paper, you should know the difference between a description and a descriptive essay. A description can be just a simple paragraph, or several ones with no specific structure, meanwhile, a descriptive essay has five or more paragraphs and a clear and complete structure. A descriptive essay is usually written coherently, has a good thesis statement at the end of the introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A description however, does not necessarily have a structure. Its main purpose is to just describe an object, or something else, without having any extra academic layers.
The Issues that Could be Described in Your Paper
- A person. In this paper, you can talk about a person. It can range from simply writing about their appearance to more complex descriptions like actions, behaviours, mood, and qualities of your chosen individual.
- A place. The main thing you should do when describing a place in your work is to describe it interestingly and originally. Your reader(s) should feel, for example, the beauty of your chosen cities—perhaps New York or Rome.
- An event. Here you need to describe the story of what happened. It can be your last vacation, concert, wedding, anniversary, summer music festival, graduation day, or so on.
- An animal. In this type, you need to describe the animal. It may be its appearance, behaviour, or biology.
- An occupation. Here you need to write about a job or occupation.
- A behaviour. This is the type of descriptive writing you should go for if you would like to write about someone’s behaviour. Perhaps you want to describe the strange behaviour of your friend, or highlight how certain people act under different conditions.
Two Classic Approaches to the Descriptive Essay
1. Personal Essay
Here you need to describe an experience using your feelings and responses. This work can awake empathy in readers. It can also be vague and disorganized. If you want to write a good personal essay, you should try to focus only on those aspects that most fully express your experience. Do not shy away from vivid, evocative language in this type of assignment.
A few examples of personal essay topics might be:
- Describing the experience of swimming in the azure sea in summer
- Explaining your favourite movie and its impact on you
- Reflecting on your birthday and all the things that have shaped you in the past
2. Formal Description
This type of descriptive writing resembles an argumentative essay. Your main goal should be communicating a set of key points or describing something in detail—according to a clear structure. Rather than focusing on your own experience, you need to use specific categories of information to provide the fullest possible portrait of what you are describing. This approach can also be engaging, especially when the reader is more curious about the subject of the paper than the writer's response to it. Still, try not to make it dull with too formal language.
Topics for formal descriptions can include:
- A descriptive essay about climate change, politics, or historical events.
- A news story that provides a summary of an event or information about the place where it occurred.
Descriptive Essay Topics & Ideas
Finding descriptive essay topics isn’t hard. You can describe pretty much anything—from your favourite car to today’s weather. We’ve gathered some ideas to help you get started. Hopefully, you’ll find good descriptive essay topics to spark your imagination.
Descriptive Essay Topics: People
Exploring the essence of individuals through this type of writing can be both engaging and insightful. Here are ten distinctive essay topics centered on people that go beyond the ordinary:
- The Eccentric Street Performer Who Danced with Shadows
- A Glimpse into the Daily Routine of a Lighthouse Keeper
- The Mysterious Antique Shop Owner: Guardian of Forgotten Tales
- A Day in the Life of a Vintage Jazz Club's Bartender
- The Tattooed Wanderer: Stories Etched in Ink
- A Conversation with the Urban Gardener Transforming Cityscapes
- Portrait of a Silent Mime Artist: Communicating Without Words
- A Chef's Culinary Odyssey: Exploring Flavor on a Plate
- The Whimsical World of a Puppeteer: Strings of Imagination
- Life Beneath the Spotlight: A Theatrical Makeup Artist's Secrets
Descriptive Essay Topics: Place
Places possess a unique ability to evoke emotions and tell their own stories through descriptive essay writing. To transport your readers to captivating destinations, consider these ten distinct topics, each offering a glimpse into a one-of-a-kind locale:
- The Forgotten Underground Catacombs: A Subterranean Labyrinth of Secrets
- Serenity by the Secluded Cliffside Cottage: Echoes of Solitude
- A Day in the Life of an Abandoned Amusement Park: Whispers of Laughter
- The Enchanted Forest: A Realm of Ancient Mysteries
- A Fishing Village Frozen in Time: Life on the Shores of Nostalgia
- The Rooftop Gardens of Babylon: Urban Oases in the Sky
- The Hidden Café of Lost Conversations: Where Coffee and Stories Brew
- A Night at the Desert Oasis: Starlit Mirages and Mirage Stars
- The Echoing Halls of the Sunken Ship: A Submerged Voyage into History
- The Neon Glow of the Midnight Arcade: Dreams Illuminated in Pixels
Descriptive Essay Topics: Memories
Memories offer a rich tapestry of experiences waiting to be woven into your descriptive essays. Dive into the realms of nostalgia and introspection with these topics, each drawing upon the power of recollection:
- The Unfading Echoes of Childhood Hideouts: Adventures in the Past
- A Forgotten Diary's Pages: Secrets of Lost Sentiments
- The Last Summer Before College: Sunsets of Transition
- The Old Family Recipe Book: Savoring Generations in Every Dish
- Ghosts of Prom Nights Past: The Dance of Teenage Dreams
- The Antique Music Box: Tunes That Unravel Time's Veil
- Letters from the Front Lines: Ink-Stained Testaments of Courage
- The Forgotten Album of Polaroids: Snapshots of Precious Moments
- Ancestral Attic Treasures: Relics of Heritage and Identity
- The Whispers of a Childhood Blanket: Comfort Woven in Threads
Creating a Descriptive Essay Outline
When thinking about descriptive essay writing, remember that a structured paper outline is your golden ticket. Not only does it help you organize thoughts, but it will also help your essays flow better.
A descriptive essay outline is composed of the following:
- An introduction
- Hook sentence
- Context/Background information
- Thesis statement
- Body paragraphs
- Topic sentence
- Sensory details
- Actual details
- A conclusion
- Summary of all main points
- Clincher Statement
It is important to spend enough time considering the victim of description because all of your illustrations will be based around it.
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The introduction serves to introduce your subject to the reader and give them enough context to fully understand your work—but keep it brief and interesting for the reader(s). When learning how to write a descriptive essay introduction, remember – the first paragraph of your paper is the part that can make your descriptive essay stand out from the others.
As with any college paper, a descriptive essay introduction must contain the following points:
- Hook Sentence: Although the entire paper should be full of exciting and vivid descriptions, grabbing the reader's attention from the very beginning is ideal.
- Context/Background Information: Tell the reader what you’re about to describe and explain why it is crucial to you. Give them a brief context for your paper.
- Thesis Statement: The descriptive essay thesis should be a short yet concise summary of the work. It must include the subject of your description, and your purpose for describing it.
For further information on how to write a thesis for a descriptive essay, check out the examples below.
Place. If you were to write about Buckingham Palace: “Even though the monarchy is long gone, Buckingham Palace serves to remind us of the aesthetic beauty which that era had built.” Person. For describing Spider-Man: “The defining characteristics of Spider-Man are his youthfulness, New York City, and the fact that he talks to himself more than Hamlet.” Emotion. A piece about a personal experience of fear: “For many reasons, the dark forest is my greatest fear, though not a fear which I would necessarily like to venture into.”
There are usually three body paragraphs in a paper. They cover three different points or arguments. How many body paragraphs to include in your descriptive essay is entirely up to you—or your professor. Sometimes it only takes a paragraph to tell a story, while other times it takes books.
How to write a body paragraph:
- Start with a topic sentence. ex. The orange looks familiar; it is a round citrus fruit whose colour matches its name.
- Add sensory details. When describing the orange, appeal to relatable senses.
- Include actual details. Always include descriptive information within your body paragraphs. Finish a body paragraph by introducing the next. Transition sentences are essential because they create immersion within your writing. Your writing will become better and it won’t appear as if you are reading a list of facts.
The descriptive essay is one type of 5 paragraph essay , which is the most common type of essay a student may encounter.
According to the descriptive essay format, your conclusion should be a summary of all of the main points in the body text. It is a good idea to write a final sentence that relates to the main point of your paper. Once this is done, the paper is now complete. We advise that you proofread your descriptive essay to correct any grammatical errors.
Try to incorporate the following into your conclusion:
- The first thing to do at the end is to reflect on the initial purpose of the work. Spill the beans on why you decided to write about this subject, and how this subject has affected your life. An article about reflection paper may also be helpful to you.
- Signify the Importance of the Details: Go over some key moments of the paper. Give a summary of what you have covered, and prepare the audience for the clincher statement.
- Clincher Statement: The clincher is the final sentence that reinforces your paper’s overall purpose or leaves your audience with an intriguing thought, question, or quote. You’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking of a hook to pull the audience in. Do not allow the paper to escape your audience’s thoughts right after they have finish reading it.
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Writing and Reviewing Your Descriptive Paper Writing
Writing the paper consists of the following stages:
- Pre-writing stage. Here you need to examine all of the sources you have and define if they all offer important information on the topic of your choice.
- Writing the beginning. You should start your paper with a powerful, engaging hook that will grab the readers' attention. It may include an unusual metaphor or an interesting literary quote.
- Creating the first draft of your descriptive essay. Here is where you just need to write down all of the words that come to your mind; you'll have a chance to narrow down your ideas later.
- Adding details to your paper with the help of enriched English vocabulary and online dictionaries. Use your English vocabulary to add missing feelings, like hearing, to help make the descriptive essay leave a lasting impression.
- Revising and editing the paper with the help of different free online grammar checking tools.
Let’s talk in detail about the final step here: reviewing your paper. After you finish writing, take a break. It’s always best to clear your mind before editing your paper.
When you come back to your descriptive essay, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Have you provided enough context in the introduction?
- Is the paper easy to read?
- Does the thesis relate to the content of the paper?
- Does the paper feature vivid, descriptive language?
- Will the clincher statement leave a lasting impact?
- Are there enough details to make it possible for your readers to obtain a full and vivid perception of your description?
- Does each section of your work focus on one aspect of your description?
- Does your paper possess any unnecessary details in your description that can be thrown away or replaced by more meaningful information?
- Overall, if you were the reader, does this paper make sense to you?
- Are there any problems with grammar and punctuation?
Sometimes web applications like Grammarly or the Hemingway app can help you sort your grammar. However, it’s always best to master the rules of grammar yourself and become the best writer you can be. Once you’re convinced you have the final draft, read it out loud or give it to a friend to read. Sometimes you need some constructive criticism to tie up loose ends in your writing. You can also trust the professionals and buy cheap essay on EssayPro service.
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Descriptive Essay Examples
Embracing the art of descriptive writing isn't always a natural gift for everyone. For those seeking inspiration and guidance, we prepared an example of a descriptive essay which is a valuable resource. Meanwhile, we acknowledge that not everyone may possess the innate talent for painting vivid word pictures. If you find yourself in need of assistance with more intricate endeavors, such as dissertations, rest assured that our team comprises writers who possess the innate ability to weave eloquent prose that breathes life into your ideas.
Example 1: 'The Enchanted Library: A Gateway to Forgotten Realms'
In this descriptive essay example, the author masterfully employs a wide array of descriptive tools, deftly painting a vivid picture of 'Bibliotheca Mirabilis.' Through metaphor, personification, and sensory details, the library comes to life, almost becoming a character within the narrative. The author's choice of words and careful descriptions immerses the reader in the enchanting setting, creating a captivating journey through the realms of imagination.
The writer of this descriptive essay example explains how there was a lot of life before humans existed. The world was full of Blue Jays and North Cardinal birds that most probably ate pansy seeds as a stable diet. In this example, it is clear that the writer has put himself/herself in the perspective of someone in the far future. He/she describes how we were in the 21st century, and how we used the poles as communication portals.
Example 2: 'The Forgotten Watchmaker: Crafting Timepieces of Elegance'
In this essay, the author adeptly employs a variety of descriptive tools to transport the reader into the heart of the potter's workshop. Through carefully chosen words, the workshop's ambiance, from the earthy scent of clay to the warmth of the kiln, becomes palpable. The rustic charm and ceramics in different stages of creation evoke a strong sense of tradition and dedication. The potter emerges as a central figure, their expertise and passion clearly portrayed. This essay immerses the reader in a world of craftsmanship, where each piece of pottery carries a unique narrative, and the art of creation is celebrated with profound reverence.
In the eyes of the untrained, a rugby game is just a bunch of huge individuals senselessly fighting one another, struggling to move an oval ball inch by inch down a field full of mud towards the goal line of the opposing team. Players don’t put on pads or get a timeout in the event of injuries. Yet rugby is a different thing, a gentleman’s sport—to those who understand it. While rugby appears rough, its players maintain good respect toward both teammates and opponents.
For those who may find writing a challenging endeavor, rest assured that it's a skill that can be developed over time. If you're looking for expert guidance or assistance with your academic life, our team includes experienced wordsmiths who can even help with dissertation writing. Whether you're working on essays, stories, or any writing project, we're here to support your creative journey and help you convey your ideas more effectively.
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How to Write a Descriptive Essay
Last Updated: February 8, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,492,207 times.
A good descriptive essay creates a vivid picture of the topic in the reader’s mind. You may need to write a descriptive essay as a class assignment or you may decide to write one as a fun writing challenge. Start by brainstorming ideas for the essay. Then, outline and write the essay using vivid sensory details and strong descriptions. Always polish your essay and proofread it so it is at its best.
Brainstorming Ideas for the Essay
- You could also choose a fictional person to write about, such as a character in a book, a story, or a play. You could write about a character on your favorite TV show or video game.
- Another take on this option is to write about a made-up place or object, such as the fantastical school in your favorite book or the magic wand from your favorite TV show.
- You could also choose a more specific emotion, such as brotherly love or self-hatred. These emotions can make for powerful descriptive essays.
- For example, if you were writing about a person like your mother, you may write down under “sound” : “soft voice at night, clack of her shoes on the floor tiles, bang of the spoon when she cooks.”
Writing the Essay
- If you are writing the essay for a class, your instructor should specify if they want a five paragraph essay or if you have the freedom to use sections instead.
- For example, if you were writing a descriptive essay about your mother, you may have a thesis statement like: “In many ways, my mother is the reigning queen of our house, full of contradictions that we are too afraid to question.”
- For example, if you were writing the essay about your mom, you may start with: “My mother is not like other mothers. She is a fierce protector and a mysterious woman to my sisters and I.”
- If you were writing an essay about an object, you may start with: "Try as I might, I had a hard time keeping my pet rock alive."
- You can also use adjectives that connect to the senses, such “rotting,” “bright,” “hefty,” “rough,” and “pungent.”
- For example, you may describe your mother as "bright," "tough," and "scented with jasmine."
- You can also use similes, where you use “like” or “as” to compare one thing to another. For example, you may write, “My mother is like a fierce warrior in battle, if the battlefield were PTA meetings and the checkout line at the grocery store.”
- For example, you may write about your complicated feelings about your mother. You may note that you feel sadness about your mother’s sacrifices for the family and joy for the privileges you have in your life because of her.
- For example, you may end a descriptive essay about your mother by noting, “In all that she has sacrificed for us, I see her strength, courage, and fierce love for her family, traits I hope to emulate in my own life.”
Polishing the Essay
- You can also read the essay aloud to others to get their feedback. Ask them to let you know if there are any unclear or vague sentences in the essay.
- Be open to constructive criticism and feedback from others. This will only make your essay stronger.
- If you have a word count requirement for the essay, make sure you meet it. Add more detail to the paper or take unnecessary content out to reach the word count.
Outline for a Descriptive Essay
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.writeexpress.com/descriptive-essay.html
- ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 24 July 2020.
- ↑ https://www.iup.edu/writingcenter/writing-resources/organization-and-structure/descriptive-writing.html
- ↑ https://spcollege.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=10168248
- ↑ http://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/descriptive_essay.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/descriptive_essays.html
- ↑ https://vln.school.nz/groupcms/view/845349/descriptive-writing
About This Article
To write a descriptive essay, start by choosing a topic, like a person, place, or specific emotion. Next, write down a list of sensory details about the topic, like how it sounds, smells, and feels. After this brainstorming session, outline the essay, dividing it into an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Open with a vivid introduction that uses sensory details, then introduce your thesis statement, which the rest of your essay should support. Strengthen your essay further by using metaphors and similes to describe your topic, and the emotions it evokes. To learn how to put the finishing touches on your essay, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Descriptive Essay Writing
Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023
How To Write An Impactful Descriptive Essay?
By: Cathy A.
12 min read
Reviewed By: Melisa C.
Published on: Dec 17, 2019
Wondering how to write an impressive descriptive essay? Writing a descriptive essay is both fun and challenging. You need to describe the main topic in detail and by engaging the five senses of the readers.
Students usually get this type of essay in high school and college. Writing a descriptive essay is different from other essays.
You need to focus on describing a certain person, place, or event.
Luckily for you, the following blog post will provide some helpful tips on how to create an engaging essay.
Continue reading to learn how to write an A-worthy descriptive essay.
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What is a Descriptive Essay?
A descriptive essay is a detailed paper that describes a place, person, situation, object, or emotion. Different people have different points of view and your job is to explain yours in detail.
You may be asked to write a descriptive essay about the beach or forest or about a person or situation. The purpose of this essay is to test the writer’s ability in expressing and explaining their experiences.
Descriptive writing should create a picture in the reader’s mind. You may be required to write a descriptive essay as a high school or college essay assignment.
For a compelling essay, using adjectives and adverbs, details, and figurative language is fundamental. Without proper usage of words, you will not be able to invoke the readers' emotions.
What is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?
The purpose of a descriptive essay is to describe a person, place, or personal experience in vivid detail so that the reader can create a picture in his mind.
The descriptive essay is written to get the reader to understand by using descriptive language. It is different from narrative essays, where the writer tells the story about someone else. Usually, it starts with a real-life event and then the content follows the author's imagination.
Descriptive essays are not intended to persuade the reader or show facts and figures to prove something. Descriptive essays are like word paintings that contain personal and descriptive details and these are mostly assigned to students of creative writing.
How to Start a Descriptive Essay
A strong start for your descriptive essay is essential. Analyze your topic from every angle and document the following details:
Analyze the main subjects in detail and observe minute things.
- Start with observing all the possible aspects of the subject.
- Don't just observe the object but also its surroundings.
- Focus on details and features of the subject and develop opinions about them.
- Be thoughtful; this first step will be the basis for the essay.
Describing the physical settings is a must in a descriptive essay. When describing, keep the following points in mind.
- Focus on the subject's position and observe nearby objects
- Note the time of day and kind of lighting: natural or imitated
- Physical settings: all the basic and decorative elements
- The position and shape of the objects
- Alignment and any other observable information
When describing the physical features of the subject, living or nonliving, consider the following points.
- Living or nonliving; describe the features in detail
- The subject's skin color, texture, smoothness, expression, and age
- The features of inanimate objects in the picture, color, surface, and texture
Storytelling and drama are the life and blood of a good descriptive essay. It turns your essay into an exciting and interesting piece of writing. However, be subtle about adding drama to your sentence structure and add it to complement your story only.
Focus On Your Feelings
Focus on how you feel about the particular topic or person and stick to it. It is easy to get involved when working on the essay. But, focus on your own feelings and write an essay based on them.
Use Of Specific Vocabulary
Vocabulary is important. Select the best words for describing an action or object. Don't always use the first word that comes to mind.
Write slowly and thoughtfully, and use specific words to convey your thoughts.
Writing about a certain situation or behavior of a person focuses on the mental aspects and emotions involved in them.
For Example, describe your emotions when your friend misplaced your notes right before the exam.
You may have had several emotions in that incident. Maybe you were prepared for exams, but this situation put you under pressure and made you feel frustrated and hurt.
Explore those emotions and describe the feelings they aroused. Describe the body language also, if relevant.
Ask Yourself, WHY?
This is the most valuable tip for students. When you are looking at a particular subject, and having difficulty analyzing its aspects, ask yourself "WHY".
- Why is the subject the way it is?
- Why does the person you are describing have such a deep-set and cold eyes?
- Why is the animal so wounded and terrified?
- Why is this particular place famous?
It is a good practice and after some time you will do it naturally. Knowing the why is important if you want to describe your topic properly.
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How To Write A Descriptive Essay?
When you write a descriptive essay, you help your readers visualize an event, a person, or a story. It is written to make your readers feel what you feel about the respective subject.
A descriptive essay seeks to appeal to some or all of the audience’s five senses. Some key things to consider are:
- Discussing your subject thoroughly
- Focusing on details and adding them in your essay
- Sharing your personal feelings and experience about the subject
- Observing and describing all sensory details of your subject
Here are the steps to write a descriptive essay easily.
1- Choose an Engaging and Focused Essay Topic
An important step that all strong descriptive essays share is having a focused topic. Before you make the outline, identify the purpose of your essay and use it to create an appropriate thesis statement.This type of paper does not require much personal opinion from you. Its main goal should be focusing on information that will make a dominant impression in readers' minds instead.
2- Research and Gather Important Details
When writing a descriptive essay, it is important to make sure you include as many details and sensory information as possible. This helps your reader fully understand the images that are being presented in their mind's eye.You can organize these ideas into categories so they're easy for you to access when needed.
3- Create an Outline of Your Essay
Your essays must be organized by having subheadings that are clear and concise. Group your main points into individual body paragraphs, each of which should only cover one idea or topic at a time.
4- Write your Essay’s Introduction
A good introductory paragraph is much like a road map because it provides direction to your readers.
It provides relevant background information before diving into more specific details related to how something works or why something happens. These could include statistics or stories from real-life scenarios.
5- Write the Main Body Section of Your Essay
Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that keeps the reader hooked on what you are saying. Use specific details instead of making generalized statements, and make sure to give examples if necessary.
6- End with a Strong Conclusion
The conclusion of an essay is the final paragraph, and it should summarize all that you have said throughout. It's a good idea to restate the main points and key details from the essay in this section.
It is important so the reader has everything they need for better understanding before ending off on something new.
If necessary be sure not to introduce anything odd or unusual, to avoid any confusion.
7- Proofread and Revise the Essay Carefully
Once you are done writing the essay, proofread and revise it carefully. Make sure that it is free from all kinds of errors.
Descriptive Essay Outline
Like all the other essays, a descriptive essay also follows the usual 5-paragraph essay structure and format.Before starting, it is important to create an outline. Following are the fundamental elements of your descriptive essay outline:
Descriptive Essay Introduction
The introduction sets the footing for the entire essay. Before heading towards the body section, the reader will come across the introduction.
It is the first impression of your work. It is very important to write an engaging introduction so that the readers read the essay till the end.
Start the essay in an easy-to-understand way and language. Provide background information on your topic so they can understand it and its importance.
To make sure the reader feels your emotions and decides to continue reading further, incorporate the following points in your introduction.
The following tips will guide you on how to write a good introduction for a descriptive essay.
- Attract the reader's attention with an interesting fact, phrase, or quote
- Don't bombard them with information
- Go straight to the main pointsInclude enough information to introduce the topic and its significance.
- Summarize the argument and the main topic and craft your thesis statement
Descriptive Essay Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is an integral part of your essay. It focuses on the argument and the writer’s main idea, which is to be discussed in the essay.
This statement also provides the writer with a chance of explaining the purpose and scope of the topic. It is intriguing and engaging.
A thesis statement is written at the end of the introduction, it is mainly a single sentence that describes the essay objective. The thesis statement should act as a guide to the reader on what to expect in the essay body. It is like a table of contents of a book, to the reader on contents you will get an idea of what the book is all about so you get to understand it better.
It is like a table of contents of a book. By reading it, you will get an idea of what the book is all about.
A good thesis should contain the following things:
- Define the essay scope - it should narrow down all the points to clarify its purpose.
- Avoid using common words - you should be creative with your choice of words.
- Create suspense - it should attract the reader to the body paragraphs of the essay.
For further information on how to write a thesis for a descriptive essay, check out the following examples.
- Descriptive essay example about a Place
“Even though monarchy is long gone, Buckingham Palace is here to remind us of the aesthetic beauty of that era.”
- Descriptive essay example about a Person
“One of the characteristics of Spider-Man is his youthfulness, and the fact that he talks to himself more than Hamlet.”
- Descriptive essay example about an Emotion
“For numerous reasons, the dark forest is my greatest fear, though not a fear which is necessarily smart to face.”
Descriptive Essay Body Paragraphs
Body paragraphs of the essay come next after the introduction and thesis statement. It is the main part that continues your essay.
Usually, an essay consists of three body paragraphs but you can add more if needed.
Don't add more than one central idea in one paragraph. Fusing different ideas will confuse the reader.
Build your paragraphs according to the thesis and introduction.
- Start each body paragraph with the main sentence
- Use transitions to move between paragraphs smoothly
- Each paragraph should be five to six sentences long
Descriptive Essay Conclusion
The concluding paragraph is the last part of an essay, and probably your last chance to impress your reader.
The last part that the reader can keep in mind is the conclusion, which is as important as the rest of the essay.
To make it interesting and thought-provoking, include the following points:
- Restate the thesis statement
- Summarize the main points
- Add an intriguing closing statement
After writing the conclusion, make a review of your essay, identify the mistakes and maintain a good tone throughout the essay.
Descriptive Essay Format Sample
Here is the descriptive essay format to help you understand how you can write a winning descriptive essay.
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY FORMAT (PDF)
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Descriptive Essay Topics Ideas
Descriptive essay topics are often related to physical settings, locations, living beings, and objects.
Make sure that your essay includes the five senses, touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, or at least one of them. It depends on the topic and the kind of feeling that you want to arouse.
Below are some descriptive essay ideas and ways to achieve them.
When you want to write about a person like a family member, consider the following elements:
- Gender, age, complexion, and expressions
- Physical features
- Height, body type, and approximate weight
- Kind of clothes
These details will add depth to the description and your readers will actually see your narrative.
When animals are the subject, you can add the above points plus the following details:
- Species and animal
- Size, weight, color
- Behavior patterns
- Trained or wild?
- Real or fictional?
Geographic locations and structures.
When your subject is a place or a building, add the following points:
- Research about the place and its historical background
- The color and the building's type
- A famous place or landmark to draw a comparison and inspire interest
Human behavior and psychology is a compelling descriptive essay subject. When writing about it:
- Describe the consequences of a particular behavior
- Discuss the emotional dimension of the topic and how you perceive it personally
Event Or Travel Experience
A travel experience makes a good descriptive essay since you have experienced the event first hand.
Give a detailed description of the place, people at the venue, and the atmosphere of the location.
Idea, Concept, or Occupation
When writing on such topics, focus on how an idea or concept affects society and its different aspects.
Example Descriptive Essay Topics for Students
Choosing a topic for your descriptive essay is quite interesting. You get to choose something that you have an emotional connection with.
When writing a descriptive essay about a person or place, adding their personal traits will be helpful.
Some examples of descriptive essay topics include:
- Compose a detailed descriptive essay about your best friend.
- Describe a fancy place that you have created.
- Describe your dream vacation destination.
- Describe your favorite mall or store.
- Describe your childhood home.
- Descriptive essay about nature.
- Descriptive essay about a place you visited.
- Describe the personality of your Maths teacher.
- Discuss the main characters of your favorite movie.
- Descriptive essay about chocolate.
- Write an essay using unique Words to describe yourself.
- What makes me unique?
- My first love.
Descriptive Essay Examples
Study these descriptive essay examples and sample papers to understand the main idea, structure, and purpose of descriptive essays.
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY ON MARKET (PDF)
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY EXAMPLE PERSON (PDF)
To help you understand how to write a great descriptive essay, we have a whole blog post dedicated to it. We know that talking about something is one thing and demonstrating it is completely different.
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5StarEssays.com academic writing professionals are ready to help you. They read the essay details before writing and make sure that they incorporate all the details in it.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the features of a descriptive essay.
A descriptive essay provides a perfect opportunity for writers to express their feelings on any subject. Descriptive writing has rich sensory details which appeal to all of your senses.
How do you start a descriptive essay introduction?
The introduction to the descriptive essay should set the scene and introduce the main topic. You can use these sensory details to get a sense of what the essay is all about.
What are the two types of descriptive essays?
There are two types of descriptive essays. The first type deals with people, and the second one is about objects.
What are the elements of a descriptive essay?
Here are the key elements of a descriptive essay.
- Sensory details
- Figurative language
- Central and main theme
- Precise and clear language
- Proper organization of ideas
What makes good descriptive writing?
Good and effective descriptive writing consists of vivid sensory details that appeal to all senses including the sense of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Moreover, these essays also explain people’s feelings in writing.
Finance Essay, Literature
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How To Write A Descriptive Essay?
26 April, 2020
11 minutes read
Author: Tomas White
Descriptive essay is one of the hardest forms of writing. To master descriptive writing, you must be creative and craft a scene that all readers can picture with words alone. This freedom and creativity can make it one of the most rewarding and fun essays to write. It is the backbone of all artful writing like poetry, novels, and even television scripts. We prepared this guide for You to learn all you need to know about descriptive writing. Let's start!
What is a Descriptive Essay?
The goal of a descriptive essay is simple, choose a subject and describe it. The subject could be anything:
A descriptive essay is all about describing the subject in great detail. Being a type of expository writing , it gives you great freedom to paint a picture with your words, shares a once in a lifetime event with the reader or makes them feel something. It is better to choose a descriptive essay topic that has lots of qualities to discuss for example a person might have a more interesting feature to describe than a paper towel. Choose a subject you connect with emotionally or have a personal history with. The best descriptions come from retelling an experience.
The Difference Between Descriptive and Narrative Essays
The main difference between descriptive and narrative essays lies in the structure and purpose of the essay. A descriptive essay is used to describe a subject to present a clear picture of it. As such, it only requires you to describe the item in a logic fashion. A narrative essay’s purpose is to tell a story. As such, it requires a plot and logical progression to an outcome. A person’s face can be the subject of a descriptive essay. But it would be hard to write a narrative piece that follows the person’s face as the central plot of a story.
Showing VS Telling
A descriptive essay values details over facts. This is also known as showing vs. telling. To show something is to describe using the five senses, how it looks, how it smells, how it tastes, how it feels and how it sounds. Imagine the reader as an alien, who has never experienced the subject for themselves. How would you describe it then?
To give you an understanding of how to differentiate between showing and telling I’ll write an example of a descriptive paper that describes my favorite place.
The above example tells you, as it doesn’t evoke any of your senses. It is a senseless description . It’s vague and hard to imagine.
This description is more detail and easier to imagine because of the following changes:
- The choice of words like ‘haven’ instead of ‘like’ add a showing element as it is showing in what way I like the library.
- Putting describers before items like ‘brightly colored’ books makes it easier to see.
- And choosing words with more like ‘towering’ instead of ‘tall’ makes the description less full.
- The description of the books shows what they do, not what they are. These are important points to consider when writing a descriptive essay.
A good exercise for descriptive writing and is to read descriptive essay examples and pick out the words that do the four points outlined above. Analyzing other’s descriptive writing will make your own descriptive work stronger. Can you pick out another place in the descriptive essay example above where those four changes occur and what it lends to the description?
Still having problems with your descriptive paper? All you need is to request help from our top-notch essay writing service and our essay writer make it for you !
How to Choose a Descriptive Essay Topic?
When deciding what to highlight about your topic, take a step back and look at what draws you to it. A campfire has bright, flickering colors, a satisfying crackling sound, and a sort of flow as it moves from the bottom to the tip of the flame. Place yourself in proximity to the subject and describe the parts that stimulate your senses the most.
Title Examples of Descriptive Essays
Here are some examples of descriptive essay topics that are fun to write:
Pick something you can see right now and think about how you’d describe that.
Related Posts: Argumentative essay topics | Compare&Contrast essay topics
How to Set Up a Proper Description?
Slow down and think about what you want to invoke. Don’t rush into a description or you’ll likely end up with something weaker than you could have. Take your topic aside and write some sentences describing how it charms each sense – the five senses being:
Keep a thesaurus on hand to switch some of the more basic words out. If you can read your paragraph back and vividly imagine the item you’ve described, you’ve done it.
How to write a Descriptive Essay Outline
Starting your descriptive essay without a plan can lead to a messy and sprawling description. Learning to outline your ideas is just as important as knowing how to write them.
Related Posts: How to write an Essay outline | How to write an Essay introduction
Creating an Introduction for a Descriptive Writing
Once you have chosen the subject to write you need to plan the introduction for your descriptive paper. An introduction needs to include a thesis statement and three features of the thing you are describing. The introduction should start with a thesis statement that states how you feel about your topic. This should then be supported with three qualities defining those feelings.
These thesis statements aren’t meant to be complex. All they’re meant to do is to set up your reader for your descriptions. It is important to include three reasons that you can expand on describe in great detail as they will form the paragraphs of your descriptive paper.
Planning and Writing the Body of a Descriptive Essay
Looking at your thesis statement, take those three reasons and break them down into their own paragraphs. Describe hanging out with your friends at the beach, talk about the food you’d eat, the activities you’d participate in. Detail what huskies do when they’re energetic, what shows that they get along with other dogs?
It helps to write about each way you can describe an item on a separate sheet of paper. Use that sheet as your descriptive essay outline. Take each item and write what sense you can use to describe the item in each paragraph.
For example, if you want to talk about eating a popsicle on the beach you could include how cold against your tongue for touch, that it smelt and tasted like raspberries, it was a bright red, and shaped like a rocket for sight, and the sound you made it as you bit on it, or the sound you made as it rocketed into your mouth. Expand this into a paragraph keeping the most vivid description.
Force your reader to imagine these objects in their head. Help them visualize it, pour your vision into the paper and focus on both the small and the big details. Just don’t go overboard. It’s important to have a few great descriptors rather than a ton of average ones.
When describing an object, go about it in a practical sense. Don’t just throw details on the page, talk about them in order. Describe a mountain from its peak to it’s middle all the way down to its base. You wouldn’t go from the middle to the base to the peak, would you? This way, you’re keeping your reader engaged with the topic.
Concluding a Descriptive Essay
Concluding descriptive writing is easy. All you have to show why the subject you described is important to you. All you have to do is show the reader what you implied. Show why it has meaning, and why they should care.
Descriptive Essay Example
Drafting your essay.
Where the organization comes to fruition. When writing your essay, keep the reader in your head at all times. Constantly as yourself: “Is this vivid enough?” Don’t focus much on grammar, get the content onto the paper.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Once you’ve finished writing your essay, read it back and make sure it responds positively to each of these questions:
- Are these descriptions making my writing visual? Could I make them more vivid?
- Have I used these descriptions to detail my emotions to the reader?
- Do these descriptions convey each of the five senses?
- Have I gone into enough details in each paragraph?
- Are my descriptions in an orderly fashion?
If you believe your essay fits these criteria, then you’re good to go on the content side.
Perfecting the Essay
Read it through a couple more times. Take some time away from it and then come back with a fresh mindset. Correct any grammar issues you see, and double check that it answers all of the questions mentioned above. Once that’s done, you’ll have an essay worthy of an A+ grade.
From Our Writers: Tips on How to Write a Good Descriptive Essay
- Be sensitive. Some writers are scared to show their true selves, but the point of a descriptive essay is to talk about how an object affects your senses and emotions. Keep this in mind during all stages of the essay.
- Put effort into unique descriptions. Don’t settle for standard words, spend some time searching out alternatives to common descriptive words. It will only help the reader envision your thoughts.
- Write about something that you care about. If you choose something you don’t have much personal experience with, you can’t truly write from the heart.
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- Descriptive Essay
You ever read a really good travel essay? It makes you believe that you are there with the writer, it paints a vivid picture. This is because the essay is so descriptive, that it appeals to our senses. As a result, our brain starts imagining it. Let’s learn more about a descriptive essay.
What is a descriptive essay.
Our brain is so powerful that it can easily imagine scenarios and make use of our senses. The job of such an essay is to appeal to our senses in a way that it creates an image in our minds. Hence a descriptive essay plays with at least one of our five senses (touch, smell, taste, hearing, sight).
In other words, the description of the person, place or thing in an essay should be really vivid. This means it after reading the essay, the reader should be left feeling like they actually know the person, have held the object or have visited the place.
In the light of the above-mentioned things, it is comfortable to say that a descriptive essay provides for artistic freedom. For example, assume you’re writing about a house.
Instead of simply stating that the house was beautiful, you should talk about the color of the house, the garden in front of it i.e. all the details about the house. In that way, the readers would be able to imagine the house because of a nicely written essay.
Contents of a Descriptive Essay
As it is with most of the written forms of English literature, the basic structure of a descriptive essay also comprises of an introduction, a body, and the conclusion.
- The introduction of a descriptive essay should be interesting enough to catch a reader’s attention. The introduction should be all about creating a base or a background for the person, place or thing you’re going to describe in your essay.
- Next, the main body of a descriptive essay should appeal to the reader’s senses. This includes unfolding the information by creating images in the reader’s mind. A trick to achieving this is to explain how the subject about which you’re writing in your descriptive essay, appeals to your senses.
- Lastly, the conclusion should summarize the whole essay. Along with again going over the main details about the essay’s subject, you should end the essay in a way that it gives a sense of completion.
How to Write a Descriptive Essay?
Before starting off with a descriptive essay, thinking about the subject in detail will be your best bet. Just take some time off and imagine about the subject. This means to imagine how the subject appeals to your senses- how does it smell, looks like and so on.
Further, if the subject is related to a past experience think about how it felt or your experience with the subject. Next, express all of these on the paper right in front of you. You can also take some time to think about how you want your essay to unfold. Lastly, a revision of the essay provides a great opportunity for improvements and small tweaks. Remember that a descriptive essay is all about teasing the reader’s senses.
A Solved Example For You
Q: A descriptive essay should:
- Narrate a story.
- Appeal to the reader’s senses.
- Present an argument
- None of the above
Ans: The correct option is ‘B’. A descriptive essay should appeal to the reader’s senses in such a way that the reader feels at one with the subject of the essay.
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Definition of descriptive essay.
A descriptive essay , as the name implies, is a form of essay that describes something. In this genre , students are assigned the task of describing objects, things, places, experiences, persons, and situations. The students use sensory information to enable readers to use their five senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight to understand the topic of the essay.
Qualities of a Descriptive Essay
- Clear and Concise
- Use of Images
- Use of Five Senses
As far as clear and concise language is concerned, it is necessary to describe things precisely. Imagery is used to make things seem real and remarkable. The use of the five senses creates the imagery, or a mental picture, for each reader.
Difference Between a Description and a Descriptive Essay
A description could be just a paragraph, or it could be longer, as needed to fully describe the thing. However, a descriptive essay has five paragraphs. It is written in a coherent way with a good thesis statement at the end of the introduction , three body paragraphs , and a conclusion .
Examples of Descriptive Essays in Literature
Example #1: the corner store (by eudora welty).
“Our Little Store rose right up from the sidewalk; standing in a street of family houses, it alone hadn’t any yard in front, any tree or flower bed. It was a plain frame building covered over with brick. Above the door, a little railed porch ran across on an upstairs level and four windows with shades were looking out. But I didn’t catch on to those. Running in out of the sun, you met what seemed total obscurity inside. There were almost tangible smells — licorice recently sucked in a child’s cheek, dill pickle brine1 that had leaked through a paper sack in a fresh trail across the wooden floor, ammonia-loaded ice that had been hoisted from wet croker sacks and slammed into the icebox with its sweet butter at the door, and perhaps the smell of still untrapped mice.”
This description of the “Little Store” is not only clear and concise, but also has images and sensory information about the store building.
Example #2: And the Orchestra Played On (by Joanne Lipman)
“The hinges creaked when I opened the decrepit case. I was greeted by a cascade of loose horsehair — my bow a victim of mites, the repairman later explained. It was pure agony to twist my fingers into position. But to my astonishment and that of my teenage children — who had never heard me play — I could still manage a sound. “It turned out, a few days later, that there were 100 people just like me. When I showed up at a local school for rehearsal, there they were: five decades worth of former students. There were doctors and accountants, engineers and college professors. There were people who hadn’t played in decades, sitting alongside professionals like Mr. K.’s daughter Melanie, now a violinist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. There were generations of music teachers.”
In the first paragraph of this descriptive excerpt, the author clearly describes the decrepit nature of the violin case, as well as the damage time has done to the bow. The second paragraph is a description of the characters , and their similarities. Both use sensory information for effective descriptions.
Example #3: Yarn (by Koyoko Mori)
“The yellow mittens I made in seventh-grade home economics proved that I dreamed in color. For the unit on knitting, we were 1 supposed to turn in a pair of mittens. The two hands had to be precisely the same size so that when we held them together, palm to palm, no extra stitches would stick out from the thumb, the tip of the fingers, or the cuff. Somewhere between making the fourth and the fifth mitten to fulfill this requirement, I dreamed that the ball of yellow yarn in my bag had turned green. Chartreuse, leaf, Granny Smith, lime, neon, acid green. The brightness was electric. I woke up knowing that I was, once again, doomed for a D in home ec.”
See the use of colors in this paragraph by Koyoko Mori. This is called “pure description,” in that the description appeals to the senses. The use of word “brightness” in the last line is striking one.
Example #4: The Taj Mahal (by Salman Rushdie)
“And this, finally, is why the Taj Mahal must be seen: to remind us that the world is real, that the sound is truer than the echo, the original more forceful than its image in a mirror. The beauty of beautiful things is still able, in these image-saturated times, to transcend imitations. And the Taj Mahal is, beyond the power of words to say it, a lovely thing, perhaps the loveliest of things.”
Check this short description of the Taj Mahal by Salman Rushdie. This description presents a different picture of the Taj Mahal.
Function of Descriptive Essay
A descriptive essay presents a person, place, or thing, in a way that readers feel as if it is in front of their eyes, or that they are tasting it, or that they can hear it, or that they can smell it. Writers use sensory information to describe object . The object of the writer is to present a picture of something as honestly as he can.
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What Is The Purpose of Descriptive Writing?
Table of Content
What Is The Purpose of Descriptive Writing? Introduction What is a descriptive essay? What does a genre of writing mean? What does the mode of writing mean? What is the purpose of descriptive writing Subjective and objective descriptive writing Objective descriptions Subjective descriptions Characteristics of descriptive writing Descriptive writing uses vivid sensory details Descriptive writing uses language that describes emotions Descriptive writing uses figurative language Descriptive writing uses descriptive language Conclusion
Writing is purposeful. Every essay must have a purpose. This purpose is decided by both your objective as a writer and the topic of the essay. In other words, we write because we have a message to communicate to the reader. We either want to inform, explain, narrate, persuade, or describe something:
- Expository writing.
- Narrative writing.
- Argumentative writing.
- Descriptive writing.
This page focuses on descriptive writing . We will first define what descriptive writing means. Then, we will identify its purpose and characteristics.
Let us start by providing a quick overview of the purpose of descriptive essays:
Before going into more details, let us first define what a descriptive essay is.
What is a descriptive essay?
A descriptive essay is a genre of writing whose purpose (or mode ) is to describe a person, a place, an experience, or a thing.
First, let us clarify two essential concepts highlighted in this definition: genre and mode . These concepts have been long used interchangeably to mean the same thing. They have, however, distinct meanings.
What does a genre of writing mean?
A genre is a category of writing that has distinctive features. It is a sort of classification of texts in terms of content, form, or style.
Genres are important because they facilitate communication and fulfill the readers' expectations.
If you want to write a wedding invitation card, you will probably look for templates on the internet to get inspired. You will have to include specific elements such as the names of the hosts, the couple's names, the date and time of the ceremony, and the ceremony and reception location.
Similarly, if you decide to write a business letter, you will certainly proceed differently from writing a personal or love letter since they have different layouts and are written using distinct styles.
Here are examples of genres:
- Short stories.
Here is another way of putting it. You can think of a genre as a writing category. Typically, librarians organize/categorize their shelves according to different genres: history books, biographies, science books, reports, drama, essays, etc.
Now let' us agree that, according to the above definition, an essay is a genre of writing.
What does the mode of writing mean?
The mode refers to the purpose of writing. According to the writer's intentions, texts can fulfill principally four different purposes:
- To describe as in descriptive essays.
- To narrate as in narrative essays.
- To argue or convince as in argumentative essays.
- To explain or inform as in expository writing.
It is hard to write exclusively in only one mode. The four purposes may overlap in one piece of writing. However, one mode can be prioritized over the others. In descriptive essays, the emphasis is on describing. The task of the writer is mainly to describe a place, an experience, an object, or anything else that may be described using the five senses.
What is the purpose of descriptive writing
Now, let us rewrite and expand our definition of descriptive essays mentioned above.
It is important to note that, in a descriptive essay, the writer is not limited to describing a person or a place. The range of possibilities is unlimited.
Descriptive writing offers writers a lot of creative freedom. They may have recourse to descriptive and figurative language (e.g., similes and metophors) to create a rich atmosphere, a discernible ambiance, and detectable environments, characters, and emotions. The aim is to draw a vibrant and touching image in the reader's mind.
Here is an example of a description by Charles Dickens in David Copperfield
"I came into the valley, as the evening sun was shining on the remote heights of snow, that closed it in, like eternal clouds. The bases of the mountains forming the gorge in which the little village lay, were richly green; and high above this gentler vegetation, grew forests of dark fir, cleaving the wintry snow-drift, wedge-like, and stemming the avalanche. Above these, were range upon range of craggy steeps, grey rock, bright ice, and smooth verdure-specks of pasture, all gradually blending with the crowning snow. Dotted here and there on the mountain's-side, each tiny dot a home, were lonely wooden cottages, so dwarfed by the towering heights that they appeared too small for toys..." - David Copperfield
Subjective and objective descriptive writing
Descriptions can be objective or subjective:
Facts are the primary focus of an objective essay, with no concern for the writer's feelings. The writer is very much like a camera that is recording the subject; this camera has no passion or feelings towards what it is recording.
The rectangular kitchen table had a length of 79 inches (about 200 cm) and a width of 35 inches (about 200 cm.) Its top was covered with a white and brown dotted tablecloth. Six white pâinted wooden chairs were placed around the table. On the table, there was a vase with red flowers and candles burning to add light to the room.
Writing a subjective description, on the other hand, takes into consideration both the subject being described and the writer's internal personal reactions to it.
At home, our lives converged around the invitingly rectangular-shaped kitchen table. It was the magnet that attracted our entire family together. It was big enough for us the children to play and eat on it. Its colossal presence in the middle of the kitchen warmly invited us to eat, laugh, and chat at the same time.
Characteristics of descriptive writing
Descriptive writing focuses on the description of sensory sensations, personal impressions, or views. They can take us to locations we wouldn't otherwise be able to view, hear new sounds, taste different flavors, smell new fragrances, and feel new textures. Descriptive essays do this by employing language that evokes our five senses.
The following are characteristics of descriptive essays.
Descriptive writing uses vivid sensory details
When appropriate, a good descriptive essay incorporates numerous vivid sensory elements that create a picture for the reader and evoke their senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
When using descriptive sensory language, writing becomes livelier. To illustrate, let us consider some examples of the language that writers use to describe the different senses:
Descriptive writing uses language that describes emotions
In addition to language that evokes the senses, descriptive writing may also draw images of the writer's emotions in reaction to the subject being described. Here is a short list of words to describe feelings:
Descriptive writing uses figurative language
Good writers use figurative language such as personification, analogies, similes, and metaphors to paint images in the reader's mind.
To illustrate how figurative language in descriptive writing creates a clear image, look at how Arthur Schopenhauer describes life using a simile:
"Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom."
You will agree that this is more vivid than simply saying that:
"Life is boring and painful."
Here is another example of how figurative language can add quality to your description. This time it is a metaphor:
Liza's tears were a river pouring down her cheeks.
This metaphor is a clever way of expressing how much Liza is crying.
Descriptive writing uses descriptive language
Some verbs elicit imagination and an emotional response more than others. Here are some examples:
- The verb eat is less strong than devour . The verb swallow may be used with a mouthful as it can be used with an insult (as in she was ready to swallow any insult.) If you eat an apple steadily and audibly, you munch it.
- The verb run has different connotations from race or sprint .
- You may simply sit to have a rest if you are tired but when you are depressed, you slump .
- You may simply walk to school. However, if you have nothing to do, you stroll around the city or wander through the narrow streets.
- " Talking verbs " tell so much without using any additional adjectives or adverbs . You may mutter a word under your breath, whisper if you don't want people to hear what you want to say (for the sake of secrecy), chat with a person, gossip , or, sometimes, even shout to be heard.
Similarly, using adjectives or adverbs in descriptive writing can be tricky.
Depending on your intent, you may end up evoking different things using an adjective. The nuance between beautiful and sublime is the extent of the beauty you want to evoke. Is the beauty you want to describe inward or outward?
Some adjectives are more " telling " than others. Here is a list:
>>FOR A LONGER LIST CLICK HERE<<
Additionally, some adverbs, such as " very " or " really ," don't contribute to your imagery and might be replaced. Compare "really" with "unbelievably" in:
- He walked really slowly.
- He walked unbelievably slowly.
Also, compare the following two sentences:
- The decision was enthusiastically welcomed by the participants.
- The decision was welcomed by the participants.
You may agree that the adverb enthusiastically added more information and strength to the description.
As you can see, it is important to take into consideration your intent when searching for the right descriptive word in your writing. In addition to giving liveliness to the subject of your description, this also gives the opportunity to quickly provide more details to your audience.
Finally, and to illustrate how the literary masters use descriptions to blend magic with realism, this is an excerpt from the opening of the first chapter of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel: One Hundred Years of Solitude:
"MANY YEARS LATER as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discov er ice. At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the ba nk of a river of clear water that ran a long a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormo us, like prehis toric eggs." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude, p. 8.
Descriptive writing aims at describing a person, an object, a place, or anything that can be communicated through the five senses. Writers use descriptive and figurative language to convey a powerful depiction of the subject of description. These descriptions can be objectives, transmitting only factual information, or subjective, reflecting the writers' emotional implication in their writing.
>>MORE WRITING LESSONS<<
- Writing a descriptive essay
- Writing an argumentative essay
- Writing an expository essay
- Writing a narrative essay
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What Is The Purpose Of A Descriptive Essay?
For most students going into the final semester seems easy but there’s a twist in the story. Your final semester is not about reading but writing. As it seems like for most of the students. A descriptive essay is given to students in their semester. But do you know what is the purpose of a descriptive essay?
Today we will discuss many things for your understanding of the real purpose of a descriptive essay and how to write a descriptive essay. If you’re in your finals and want to nail the semester this blog will make writing an essay a piece of cake for you.
The purpose of a descriptive essay assignment for students
A descriptive essay’s purpose is to give the opportunity to students to describe a person, place, emotion, or event in their own words. They can write using the five senses smell, sight, touch, taste, and hearing to illustrate their abilities.
The available or classical examples that can be used for a description are endless. For example, any person, any place, any feeling, or any experience that has a meaningful impact on a writer’s life can be chosen.
Because of the structural demands, a descriptive essay can be a hybrid one. The essay of description has an exaggerated quality as well as normal ones. A writer can for instance choose a real event and exaggerate its effects to give it a proper description.
Following are the real motives behind its selection for student assignment
Table of Contents
Developing and understanding student’s creativity
As it’s an assignment, so, having it doesn’t mean it’s randomly given. When your teacher or professor chooses to evaluate your creative skills. They give these selective types of genres of essays.
Because there are some said rules for having to create one. Therefore it can show how well you can create a description. Just passing the semester is not important if the students are not able to do some creative work.
So the first purpose of a descriptive writing is understanding. And also developing creativity within students’ minds. A better student is one that has a good imagination.
Creativity comes with thinking and brainstorming ideas. Therefore writing descriptive essays invoke the usage of the five senses and their utilization.
When the students write academic research they try to scroll through all the available sources of data. By doing so their mind opens up to new ideas. Along with new information that gives them knowledge.
Performing these tasks by students, descriptive essays serve their main purpose.
Evaluation of Skills
The other purpose of these essays is the evaluation what skills a student possesses. It’s evident that every student has his own set of skills and traits. These unique skills make every person different from others.
Therefore your teacher or professor must need to have a psychological analysis of your skills. The best way to do this is to give a description essay for you. If you think without completing the assignment you can pass. Then you are living in a fool’s paradise.
Able to get the required good grades you need to show your creative side. That’s only possible by showing what you have by writing the essay or hire an essay writer .
Using five sensory skills for better demonstration
One of the objectives of a descriptive essay is to be able to use your full 5 sensory skills for better demonstration. Because description-based essays have a quality. That should show either all or one of the senses to be used for narration.
Additionally using five sensory traits for example sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. These properties make the essay as real as possible. We as humans can relate to these senses.
Use of five senses for the purpose of descriptive writing
The purpose of the five senses usage is to show the topic’s content through the human senses for example.
- The sense of sight gives us the ability to see an object. When we see we know what we are seeing through our eyes.
- The sense of smell lets us know about fragrances and bad odours.
- Similarly, the sense of hearing let us know about sounds in our surroundings.
- The sense of touch is another way of giving a description of a thing by touching it.
- The sense of taste gives us an idea about the taste of food and other edibles like sour, sweet, or bitter tastes.
How much a person can make his essay as real as possible is up to the individual. And that’s where the written skills are evaluated by a proper illustration of the five senses.
How much in-depth analysis does a student put into the writing?
Among many purposes of creating a descriptive essay. One is seeing how much effort a student put into his writing. For example, a well-written description of a place can be. “ Yosemite national park has hundreds of high mountains. And scenic views of the “Ribbon Fall” waterfall are amazing with dense clouds covering it from the top.
Having written details like this can really impress your teacher or professor. Because these details are so vivid and on point. It gives the reader an imaginary journey like he is there in person seeing it.
Write your essay description in such a detail that forces the reader to understand any of the five senses. Thus it serves the real purpose of giving the proper description of the essay.
Using Figurative language only
Among all the reasons for a descriptive essay, one is using only figurative language. That is a broad term. It refers to using metaphors, similes, idioms, synecdoche, and personification. Also hyperbole, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, litotes, alliteration, and allusion.
Using figurative language gives the whole idea a visual spice-up theme. That does create fun for readers but writers have to brainstorm a lot for coming up with such ideas.
Additionally, this technique gives a unique tone to the whole narration of a paragraph. Descriptive essays are considered the holy grail of learning figurative language.
Just for the aim of bringing light to this technique, description essays are assigned to students. Mostly the use of this language is underestimated in common speaking.
As a part of literary art for aspiring writers to learn. The use of figurative language is so much important. Its usage brings out the emotional weakness of the readers and forces them to think.
This style of expression tries to convey hidden messages in the words. A reader tries to think the same way as a writer. Bringing both on the same page of emotional connection.
Purpose of creating poetic and dramatized essay
Description-based essays serve another purpose. And that’s an illustration of creating a poetic and dramatic touch to your writing because the original aim of the teacher is to enlighten their students to bring out the best in them for writing their assignments or anything related to writing. If you want help with your college paper writing service , hire the best writers available 24/7 .
Realization is felt when the written essay is not up to the reader’s mark or standard. Therefore one needs to have a balance of imagination and also a strong eye for details.
Description essays serve all those purposes rather profoundly. And used extensively for the dramatization of some of the most amazing essays.
Serving the Purpose of Engagement
Engagement is one of the most important aspects of writing. No matter how small an essay is written, if it’s not engaging. The reader will leave it after a few lines.
On the other hand, if the document is lengthy but has an engagement for the readers. The reader will keep reading until the end.
A descriptive essay has to be as engaging as possible. There’s one way for keeping the content as relevant to the reader as possible. By making it a reader-centric approach.
Keeping readers stick to your writing is the most important obligation of a writer. By having the element of engagement your narrative essay will be eye-catching.
Putting the writer’s ability to test
The most important principle of this descriptive category of essay. Is putting the writer’s ability to the test. It’s evident that every writer has a different philosophy. This has his touch in his writing.
An explanatory essay’s purpose is to test the author’s abilities to the greatest. With each step or paragraph, he has to show his imaginary powers by writing poetic words.
This not only brings out the best in them. But also sets a new benchmark for their performance to a new level. Essays were invented to test how much a writer can deliver. Not only words but quality-graded expressions.
For the sole purpose of delivering quality content. The author turns his pen and paper to his centre of attention.
College or university professors want to assess their students’ literary creativity and abilities. Use these methods, as mentioned above, to write any descriptive essay examples .
We have given you all the tips for understanding about what is the purpose of a descriptive essay. Now writing this essay will be easy peasy for everyone. As of now, you have a complete idea about what’s the main purpose behind this assignment. You just need to pick your pen and follow these rules.
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The primary purpose of descriptive writing is to describe a person, place or thing in such a way that a picture is formed in the reader’s mind. Capturing an event through descriptive writing involves paying close attention to the details by using all of your five senses. Teaching students to write more descriptively will improve their writing by making it more interesting and engaging to read.
Appropriate group size, what is descriptive writing.
Descriptive writing helps the reader visualize the person, place, thing, or situation being described. When a text conjures a vivid, sensory impression in the reader’s mind, not only does it make the writing more interesting to read; it helps the reader understand the text better and recognize the author’s intention more clearly.
Why teach descriptive writing?
- It helps students make their writing more interesting and engaging to read.
- It creates opportunities for students to practice using new words in meaningful contexts, a key strategy for building vocabulary.
- Descriptive writing tends to include figurative language, such as simile, metaphor, and onomatopoeia. Noticing figurative language in mentor texts and incorporating it into their own writing help students build critical verbal reasoning skills. To find out more about verbal reasoning and other components of language comprehension, see the “In Depth” section from the Comprehension module of our Reading 101 Course.
- It encourages students to learn from—and be metacognitive about—the techniques other authors use to write vivid descriptions.
- It can help students clarify their understanding of new subject matter material and remember more of what they learn.
How to teach descriptive writing
If only descriptive writing were as simple as “show, don’t tell”! Descriptive writing is a skill — and a craft — that takes instruction, practice, and time to learn. The good news is that it can be explicitly taught. An understanding of the characteristics of effective descriptive writing, combined with a toolkit of structures and strategies to scaffold learning and practice, can enhance students’ development as authors of vivid, evocative writing.
What effective descriptive writing looks like
Authors of descriptive writing use a variety of styles and techniques to connect with readers, but effective descriptive writing often shares these characteristics:
- Vivid details. Specific details paint a picture in the reader’s mind and appeal to the reader’s senses. Descriptive writing may also go beyond creating a strong sensory impression to give the reader a “picture” of the feelings the description evokes in the writer.
- Figurative language. Tools of the writer’s craft such as analogy, simile, and metaphor add depth to authors’ descriptions.
- Precise language. General adjectives, nouns, and passive verbs are used sparingly. Instead, specific adjectives and nouns and strong action verbs give life to the picture being painted in the reader’s mind.
- Thoughtful organization. Some ways to organize descriptive writing include: chronological (time), spatial (location), and order of importance. Descriptive writing about a person might begin with a physical description, followed by how the person thinks, feels and acts.
What effective instruction in descriptive writing looks like
There isn’t one right approach to teaching descriptive writing, but effective instruction often includes:
- Mentor texts. Reading aloud and analyzing high-quality mentor texts to help students understand how authors use descriptive writing to connect with readers.
- Focus on the five senses. Helping students make the connection between sensory input (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) and descriptive writing.
- Teacher modeling. Modeling different ways to generate descriptive writing.
- Guided practice. Repeated, structured practice scaffolded to meet students’ needs.
- Feedback and revision. Cycles of constructive teacher and peer feedback followed by thoughtful revision.
Watch a demonstration: show NOT tell using your 5 senses
In this virtual lesson, the teacher models generating written descriptions of a hot day using the five senses as a framework.
Watch a classroom lesson: five senses graphic organizer
Students use their five senses and a graphic organizer to brainstorm ideas for writing a report on a recent school event and to help them think about interesting words to include in their report. See the lesson plan (opens in a new window) .
Watch a classroom discussion: writer’s workshop
Writer’s Workshop connects great children’s literature with children’s own writing experiences. In this video clip from our Launching Young Readers PBS series , Lynn Reichle’s second graders practice their use of descriptive writing.
Here are some routines and structures for teaching descriptive writing:
The RAFT strategy encourages descriptive writing and supports writing in general by encouraging students to think through the writer’s Role, the Audience, the Format, and the Topic. ReadWriteThink offers this RAFT Writing Template .
This Sense Chart (opens in a new window) — organized into sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch categories — helps students capture sensory details related to a topic. The Describing Wheel (opens in a new window) offers a more open-ended format for capturing and organizing descriptive language.
The Show-Me Sentences (opens in a new window) lesson plan from ReadWriteThink was created for students in grades 6-12. However, elementary teachers can modify the Show-Me sentences to make them interesting for younger students.
This lesson plan from Utah Education Network (opens in a new window) guides students through the process of writing about a favorite place using descriptive language.
This lesson plan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art (opens in a new window) has students work collaboratively to generate descriptive writing about works of art. It is intended for upper elementary and middle grades but can be adapted for lower grades.
Teacher Laura Torres created a lesson plan that uses images to jumpstart vivid writing: Three Descriptive Writing Picture Prompts .
For second language learners, students of varying reading skill, and younger learners.
- Use dictation as a way to help capture students thoughts and ideas.
- Provide sentence frames for writing descriptive sentences or paragraphs.
- Use pictures and other sensory prompts.
- Provide budding writers with real-life or virtual experiences that give them something to write about. Trips to a relative’s house, playground or grocery store provide real-life experiences that can be recorded by a new writer.
- Encourage students to work with a buddy or in a small group to develop first drafts .
- Work with students to brainstorm a word bank of interesting and descriptive words students can incorporate into their writing.
Extend the learning
This resource from Greenville County Schools in South Carolina provides several ideas for writing in math class . Writing and mathematics are similar in that they both require gathering, organizing, and clarifying thoughts. Writing can support math instruction by helping students make sense of important concepts and procedures.
Descriptive writing in science can help students capture observations and scientific phenomena with greater precision, and can help them comprehend new material by explaining it in their own words. Fazio and Gallagher propose two instructional strategies to assist teachers and student when writing in science: a mnemonic acronym (POWER) and an editing checklist.
In social studies, descriptive writing can help students describe an important historical figure or event more clearly. Writing rich in detail will create vivid depictions of people and places and help make history come alive.
- RAFT helps students understand their roles as writers, the audience they will address, the varied formats for writing, and the topic they’ll be writing about.
- Revision teaches students about the characteristics of good writing, which will carry over into their future writing. Revision skills complement reading skills; revision requires that writers distance themselves from the writing and critically evaluate a text.
- Writing Conferences give students a chance to share their writing and and receive feedback from peers or the teacher.
- Think-alouds can be used for writing as well as reading instruction
Learn more about building writing skills in our self-paced module Reading 101: Writing .
See the research that supports this strategy
Akerson, V. L., & Young, T.A. (2005). Science the ‘write’ way. Science and Children , 43(3), 38-41.
MacArthur, C., Graham, S., & Fitzgerald, J. (2016). Handbook of research on writing (2nd Edition). NY: Guilford.
Miller, R.G., & Calfee, R.C. (2004). Making thinking visible: A method to encourage science writing in upper elementary grades. Science and Children , (42)3, 20-25.
Mitchell, D. (1996). Writing to learn across the curriculum and the English teacher. English Journal , 85, 93-97.
Children’s books to use with this strategy
This boy’s curse begins when his teacher suggests that the “poetry of science” can be heard everywhere. From Moore to Frost, familiar poems are parodied and turned into science verse. Again art and illustration are inseparable as are the laughs in this offbeat look at science.
When Louis’ uncle sends a tadpole from a certain lake in Scotland, the small tadpole grows to enormous proportions. With the help of a resourceful librarian, Louis figures out a way to feed his large and ever-hungry Alphonse as well as determine a permanent solution. Humor abounds in this contemporary classic.
The Mysterious Tadpole
Martin Luther King Jr. grew up fascinated by big words. He would later go on to use these words to inspire a nation and call people to action. In this award-winning book, powerful portraits of King show how he used words, not weapons, to fight injustice.
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
At One Hoppin’ Place, the countdown to bedtime is about to begin when a family of hamsters — a mother and father with nine kids and a baby all wearing numbered striped jerseys — arrives at the front door.
10 Minutes Till Bedtime
Every day children around the world awake to begin their days having breakfast, going to school, coming home to families. A poetic text combines with photographs from myriad countries to visually highlight the richness of the world and its people.
One World, One Day
If all of the 300 million people were simply one village of 100 people, its diversity is easier to understand. That’s just what the author has done to make the complex make-up of the U.S. residents (in terms of languages spoken, ages, and more). Colorful illustrations accompany the understandable text. Additional resources complete the book. If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World’s People (opens in a new window) , also by Smith, looks at the inhabitants of the world as a village to allow its diversity to become more understandable for adults and children.
If America Were a Village: A Book About the People of the United States
Relive the journey of the Apollo 11 where the first people stepped on the Moon’s surface and saw Earth from a very different perspective. Eloquent language and illustrations combine to present this historical event in a unique, unforgettable way.
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Two machines captivated young Philo Farnsworth: a telephone and a phonograph. Both had cranks and both connected people with others (one in real time, the other through music). These and other inspirations motivated young Philo to invent what was to become known as the television. His early story is fascinatingly told and well illustrated.
The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth
Ted Williams never flinched at hard work or a challenge. In his last season with the Boston Red Sox, Williams had to decide if he wanted to take the chance and lose his rare .400 average or go to bat. Williams’ decision creates a riveting read in this handsome and thoughtful look at one man’s ethics and the times in which he lived.
No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season
A mother and her child get the ingredients for soup on a snowy day and then add everything to the pot. The pair plays snug and warm while the soup simmers until Dad comes home when they enjoy soup together. Crisp collage and a simple text make for a cozy read.
The traditional tale of a boy who planted magic beans is reimagined as a city story of a spell broken. Illustrations are photographs that have been manipulated for good effect.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Children are encouraged to observe as experiment as they learn about wind and air as well as practice science writing by describing their findings.
I Face the Wind
26 Letters and 99 Cents
Arresting photographs of water in various states not only introduces water but also weather, solids and liquids, and more. The sophisticated text further encourages experimentation and observation, although is not necessary to use the entire book with younger children.
A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder
Each Orange Had 8 Slices: A Counting Book
Cinderella stories are found around the world; here, they have been fused into one tale with special characteristics in text and illustrations that reflect the different origins. Expand parts of the story to echo the traditions of the culture and its history from which it comes. It may be possible to develop a map of tales (e.g., ancient vs. modern countries, or as a visual as to where it is/was told).
Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella
Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme
The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza)
Scieszka and Smith set sights on creating fresh fables — short traditional tales intended to teach a moral lesson. With humorous twists and take-offs, new, different and wacky fables are presented for readers’ edification and amusement.
Squids Will Be Squids
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Descriptive Essay: Function, Purpose and Process
Table of Contents
Descriptive essay writing tells a story through adjectives and details. It is more than analytical writing because it gives room for vivid scenes and strong expressions to make a point.
A descriptive essay describes anything from an object to a person. It’s a form of writing that uses sensory information to enable readers to use their five senses to understand the topic.
The objective of a descriptive essay is to present enough information for the reader to visualize the topic.
This article examines the function, purpose, and steps of crafting a stellar descriptive essay. Let’s dive in!
Why are Students Assigned Descriptive Essays?
A descriptive essay provides a full explanation of the subject and creates a mental image for the reader. It could be about any object, location, person, feeling, or circumstance. It appears similar to writing a narrative essay but is distinct and gives opposing viewpoints.
Descriptive essays are frequently assigned to high school and college students. This is because students’ writing skills are honed through descriptive essays, which in turn benefits their future academic and professional endeavors.
A descriptive essay promotes student’s ability to evoke a mental image by appealing to the reader’s senses.
Purpose of a Descriptive Essay
The objective of a descriptive essay is to describe a person, item, location, or scenario . A descriptive speech or essay paints a vivid image of the subject for the reader. The author employs vivid language to help the reader comprehend the essay’s subject.
Descriptive essays do not require convincing readers or providing evidence to substantiate a point as an argumentative essay requires. Instead, it strives to provide the reader with all the pertinent information regarding the chosen topic to facilitate comprehension.
Elements of a Descriptive Essay
There are elements to descriptive essay writing. These elements include:
1. Sensory Details
It entails evoking the readers’ emotions and establishing a connection with them. They engage the reader’s senses, such as sight, touch, smell, and taste, to construct a vivid image of the topic.
2. Figurative Language
Figurative language is a crucial component of a descriptive essay. The subject’s character profile is created using metaphors, similes, adjectives, adverbs, etc.
This sketch lets the reader experience what the author felt about the topic and envision the topic.
3. Central Theme
A descriptive essay has a central theme. The principal subject develops and leads the essay’s content and facilitates the organization of its specifics. It should be well-defined and singularly focused.
4. Precise Language
The impression of your essay is dependent on the language you have employed. The wording should underline the essay’s fundamental idea and purpose. Avoid using imprecise and unclear language.
5. Organized Structure
A well-organized structure is crucial to this essay. Also essential are the chronology, physical position, and order.
How to Write a Descriptive Essay?
Writing a successful descriptive essay requires selecting a topic, constructing an outline, organizing ideas, and including pertinent details.
Let’s view the process of descriptive writing in details:
1. Select a Topic
Selecting a strong topic for your essay is essential. The topic of the essay should be captivating so that the reader is compelled to stay with you throughout the essay.
2. Construct an Outline
Create an outline for your descriptive essay to organize your facts in a logical order. It will assist you in managing your essay and serve as a reminder to include all sensory information.
3. Create an Introduction
The essay’s first section is the introduction. It presents the main issue and contains a strong opinion that establishes the essay’s first impression. The introduction provides a concise outline of the essay’s content.
4. Create an enlightening thesis statement
A descriptive essay’s thesis statement specifies the essay’s scope and aim. It is a small topic line that must be concise and exact. Creatively write the statement and employ descriptive language.
Creating intrigue in the thesis statement draws the reader into the essay’s body.
5. Develop Body Paragraphs
The body paragraphs reinforce the introduction and purpose and adhere to the direction outlined in the thesis. Use subject statements as the opening sentence of each paragraph and provide evidence to support them.
Next, connect your paragraphs with transitional phrases. The majority of transitional words in this article are conjunctions. Use conjunctions that are suitable for your writing.
In the case of experience and memories, arrange your paragraphs in an orderly fashion.
6. Give an Effective Conclusion
As the conclusion is the final section of an essay, this is your final opportunity to wow the reader. It summarizes the essay and suggests a route ahead.
You may use phrases such as “to conclude,” “in conclusion,” and “finally” to indicate the conclusion of the essay. Your conclusion will restate the thesis statement and describe the findings if it is a research paper.
The closing sentence of an essay should summarize the purpose of the essay and leave a lasting impression.
Students are given the option of using the descriptive essay as a writing assignment to improve the quality of their writing. The objective of a descriptive essay is to present a known concept or issue from a new angle , revealing what lies under the surface.
Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.
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An Explanation of the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay
What is the purpose of a descriptive essay.
A descriptive essay is written in order to get the reader to understand something through the use of descriptive language. In a narrative essay, the reader is told a story. Through that story, they are able to piece together descriptions of the people, places, items, and events that are discussed. In a descriptive essay, there is no story that is being related to the audience. Though previously discussed the purpose of persuasive essay , students often confuse these two purposes.
Here is an example of a car that is being described in a narrative essay:
When John hit the gas pedal, the car took off like a rocket. In less than ten seconds he was going over 100 miles per hour. After the race was over, his opponent approached him and shook his hand. “That sure is a mean green machine!” the man said.
Now, here is an example of a car that is the topic of a descriptive essay:
The car's metallic green paint sparkled in the bright sunlight. If one looked under the hood, he would find a fully rebuilt high performance engine designed specifically for drag racing. When the engine started, the sound was like roaring thunder.
In both examples, we come to understand that the car is green, fast, and used for racing. However, in the second example, it was necessary to use more descriptive words. This is because without the narrative in place, the writer must rely on the reader's senses to get his/her point across.
Read also: How college application essay writers can help you get accepted.
Why is a Descriptive Essay Sometimes Better than a Narrative Essay?
Students often wonder what is the descriptive essay purpose when they can just ask college essay services to write a narrative essay that allows them to tell a story and describe something at the same time. There are a few reasons why a descriptive essay can be preferable to a narrative essay. First, sometimes a subject is so significant and meaningful that it cannot be accurately described in a narrative. This is because the subject must compete with the plot, the characters involved, and other subjects that are being indirectly described. In a descriptive essay, the writer is able to fully dedicate the written content to one subject. In addition to this, the descriptive essay can be an excellent writing exercise. Many writers do not have a well-developed ability to use descriptive language. They tend to rely on very generic adjectives, and they tend to miss out on opportunities to insert metaphors and similes into their writing. A descriptive essay is a great way to force writers who are reluctant to use descriptive writing out of their comfort zones and to foster greater confidence in the use of figurative language.
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What are Some Good Descriptive Essay Topics?
Descriptive essays are no different than other types, in that essay writing is much easier when the subject is one that interests or excites the writer. However some students may need assistance of a cheap custom essays service . When it comes to selecting a descriptive essay topic, there is virtually nothing that is off limits. Think about it. Anything from a shoe to a beautiful tropical island can be described, although most people would probably be more interested in reading about the island. If you are able to select your own descriptive essay topic, your best bet is to pick a topic that you know that you find interesting. Try asking yourself a few of these question. One of them may be the writing prompt that you need:
- Is there a member of your family who would be a good subject for a descriptive essay?
- Would you be interested in describing your bedroom in an essay?
- Describe your best friend.
- What was your first car like?
- Describe your favorite amusement park.
- What is your favorite place to go when you are sad?
- Where do you enjoy going on vacation?
- What is your least favorite food?
- What is the most treasured object in your bedroom?
These types of questions are usually very helpful if you need help thinking of an essay topic. You should also feel free to think up some of your own essay questions and essay prompts. The longer your list of topic ideas, the better able you will be to get started on future descriptive essays.
Where Can You Find Help on Descriptive Essays
Your school writing lab is a great place to find help with writing descriptive essays. In addition to this, there are also lots of great writing resources on the internet. A third option you should keep in mind is an online writing service. Any time you need essay help, you can always contact grabmyessay.com, a reputable company that can assist you as you write essay works on any subject that you wish to describe. College students have been coming to GrabMyEssay.com for essay writing help for many years. Just let a customer service representative know that you want them to “ help me write my essay ,” and in just a few minutes, you will be getting the help that you need.
Blog writer for GrabMyEssay
I’m Andy Preisler, and I’m super happy to be joining the blog team at GrabMyEssay.com!
While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.
With my perpetual studies (my parents wonder if it will ever stop), I have become a bit of an expert on college life – academic, social, and financial – and love sharing my experiences and my methods of “circumventing the system” with others. I will be sharing all of these great tips and strategies with my readers, so stay tuned!
When I am not blogging or enrolling in some new course that interests me, I am backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels, working on my second novel (a riveting murder mystery), and pursuing my interest in music. Yes, I travel with my guitar, and you would be amazed at the amount of cash I can accumulate, just performing on the streets of European cities (they are so much more tolerant of vagabond musicians).
My other passion is environmental. In my short 27 years of life on this planet, I have witnessed the extinction of species, the destruction of rain forests, and irreparable harm to our oceans. I contribute both time and money to several international environmental organizations, because we all must do our part to save Mother Earth.
But I digress! If you are interested in the “ins and outs” of college life, and want some great tales of navigating through the game of “degree attainment,” as well as tips for easing the pain of those pesky essay and paper assignments, follow my blog!
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