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Descriptive Essay - A Complete Guide

Beginner’s Guide to Write an Expository Essay

A descriptive essay describes something - a person, an event, a place or a personal experience in detail. The purpose of this essay is to provide enough detail about the topic to enable the reader to picture it.

Here’s a complete guide to help you write good descriptive essays. Learn the techniques of expressing yourself to create a great essay.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay gives a detailed description of the topic and paints a picture with words in the reader’s mind. It could be about an object, place, person, emotion, situation, or anything. It seems similar to writing a narrative essay but it is different and presents different points of view.

It is used to sharpen the analytical abilities of the students, which is helpful in further education and professional life. Therefore, it is often given to students in high school and college.

According to descriptive essay definition,

“It is the most expressive form of an essay. This type of writing is used to describe and explain an event, a place, a person, or anything in detail.”

This essay encourages the student’s ability to create an image by appealing to the senses of the reader. The five human senses include hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell.

Purpose of a Descriptive Essay

The purpose of writing a descriptive essay is to describe something such as a person, object, place, or situation. Descriptive speech or essays give readers a clear picture of the essay subject. The writer should make use of vivid language to help the reader understand what the essay is all about.

It does not involve convincing readers or showing factual information to prove something like an argumentative essay does. Instead, it aims to show all the important details about the chosen subject to make the reader understand the subject easily.

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Elements of a Descriptive Essay

It comprises of five basic elements including;

  1. 1. Sensory Details

    It involves arousing the emotions of the readers and creating an association with them. They paint a picture of the subject for the reader and engage their senses like sight, touch, smell, and taste.

  2. 2. 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.

  3. 3. 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.

  4. 4. 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.

  5. 5. Organize your Ideas

    An organized structure is an essential element of this essay. Also, the chronology, spatial location, and order play an important role.

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How to Write a Descriptive Essay

Writing an effective descriptive essay involves topic selection, creating an outline, organizing ideas, and adding relevant information into the essay.

The following is the process of descriptive writing.

Choose a Topic

Choosing a good topic for your essay is important. The essay topic should be attractive so that it compels the reader to stay with you throughout the essay.

Create an Outline

Draft a descriptive essay outline to organize your information in a proper sequence. It will help you structure your essay and remind you to include all the sensory details.

Write a Descriptive Essay Introduction

The essay begins with an introduction. It introduces the main topic and includes a strong opinion that creates the first impression of the essay. The introduction gives a brief overview of what the essay is going to be about.

Craft an Informative Thesis Statement

A descriptive essay 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.

Compose Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs support the introduction, the purpose, and follow the direction as defined in the thesis statement. Use topic sentences as the first sentence of each paragraph and back it with supporting evidence.

The next step is to link your paragraphs with transition words. In this essay, most of the transition words used are conjunctions. Make appropriate use of conjunctions that suit your essay.

Organize your paragraphs properly in an orderly form, in case of experience and memories.

Write a Strong Descriptive Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is the last part of the essay, this is your last chance to impress the reader. It summarizes and provides a way forward from the essay.

You can use the appropriate words such as “to finish with”, “in conclusion” and ‘lastly’ suggesting an end to the essay. Your conclusion will reinstate the thesis statement and present the findings, in case it is about some research topic.

The last sentence of the essay should finalize the writer’s aim of writing the essay and provide an everlasting effect.

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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.

Descriptive Essay About a Place

  • Depict the Lincoln Castle in your own words.
  • What does the house of your dreams look like?
  • Make a description of the Safari Park you visited last week.
  • Describe a conference room situation for your colleagues.
  • Describe how you imagine Niagara falls.

Descriptive Essay About a Memory

  • Describe one of the earliest memories of your childhood.
  • What is the happiest memory in your mind?
  • How you have celebrated your best friend's birthday
  • When I saw the apple plant seed
  • The first time I went abroad

Descriptive Essay About a Person

  • Portray Nelson Mandela as a role model.
  • Explain how you imagine aliens to be like.
  • Write a character sketch of a character from the play Hamlet.
  • Describe one of your family members.
  • A stranger I met in the lobby.

Descriptive Essay About an Object

  • My lucky watch
  • My favorite badminton racket
  • The flask I broke
  • The silk road
  • The thing that you passionately wanted to buy

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Descriptive Essay Examples

It is very important that the writer goes through a number of descriptive essay examples before writing their own essay. An essay example would help you demonstrate, compile, and organize your essay in a structured form.

The ultimate aim of this practice is to identify and learn different techniques for writing an impressive descriptive essay. Below we have provided some amazing examples to help you know the process.

Descriptive Essay Example (PDF)

Descriptive Essay Sample (PDF)

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Hire A Custom Descriptive Essay Writer

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