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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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.
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.
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.
Describing the physical settings is a must in a descriptive essay. When describing, keep the following points in mind.
When describing the physical features of the subject, living or nonliving, consider the following points.
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 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.
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.
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".
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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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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
For further information on how to write a thesis for a descriptive essay, check out the following examples.
“Even though monarchy is long gone, Buckingham Palace is here to remind us of the aesthetic beauty of that era.”
“One of the characteristics of Spider-Man is his youthfulness, and the fact that he talks to himself more than Hamlet.”
“For numerous reasons, the dark forest is my greatest fear, though not a fear which is necessarily smart to face.”
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.
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:
After writing the conclusion, make a review of your essay, identify the mistakes and maintain a good tone throughout the essay.
Here is the descriptive essay format to help you understand how you can write a winning descriptive essay.
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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:
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:
When your subject is a place or a building, add the following points:
Human behavior and psychology is a compelling descriptive essay subject. When writing about it:
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.
When writing on such topics, focus on how an idea or concept affects society and its different aspects.
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:
Study these descriptive essay examples and sample papers to understand the main idea, structure, and purpose of descriptive essays.
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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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.
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.
There are two types of descriptive essays. The first type deals with people, and the second one is about objects.
Here are the key elements of a descriptive essay.
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.
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Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.