Do you find descriptive essay writing difficult? Here’s a complete guide to help you write exceptional descriptive essays. Learn how to write a great descriptive essay with the elements and techniques of creating an outline and getting topic ideas and examples.
A descriptive essay 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 that is part of the main topic, in detail.
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.
The definition includes a detailed description of the main topic and painting of a picture with words. The descriptive could be of 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.
The descriptive essay comprises of five elements including;
Good descriptive essays 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 touch, smell and taste and to make the reader feel what the writer is conveying.
Using figurative language is one of the main elements of a descriptive essay. Use of metaphors, similes, adjectives and adverbs etc. create the character sketch of the person, place, experience, emotion or a memory. This sketch helps the readers visualize it.
The central theme of the descriptive essay shapes and directs the essay’s content and details. The central theme of the essay should be well defined and presented through the details that are added in the essay.
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.
Organize your ideas
An organized structure is an essential element of a descriptive essay. The chronology, spatial location and the order are very important when writing a descriptive essay.
Writing a description involves selection of a topic, generating ideas, creating an outline, organizing ideas, and adding relevant information into the essay. Following components are added into the descriptive essay outline.
Choosing a 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. When searching for the title, you should create an outline also.
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. The readers usually get a hint of what the essay is going to be about from the first paragraph.
A thesis statement defines the scope and purpose of the essay. It is a narrow subject line, which should be short and precise in its nature. 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.
The body paragraphs support the introduction, the purpose and 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 descriptive essays, most of the transition words are conjunctions. Make appropriate use of conjunctions to suit your descriptive essay.
Organize your paragraphs appropriately in an orderly form, in case of experience and memories.
Each paragraph should be themed around a central idea and should match the standard form of essay writing and English language.
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 leave the reader pondering on it.
Here are some guidelines to help you create a good descriptive essay.
Before you start writing, brainstorm the ideas and write it down in a notebook. Compile the ideas and form a structure by deciding about which ideas you will add in it.
If you are given a topic on the personality of a famous person, you can start by describing the physical stature of the person, his body language, his works and contribution to the society or his field of research.
Precision is the Key
Using appropriate language and words show precision and do not create ambiguous meanings for the reader. The idea is to portray a realistic picture and help the reader to perceive it in detail.
The choices of use of words creates an image for the reader. Use simple and easy to understand words and avoid using complex and vague phrases.
Engaging the Reader's Senses
Appealing to the senses of the reader helps them perceive the target object clearly and with detail.
Explaining how the subject smells, looks, touch, taste etc. helps a lot for the reader to comprehend the subject better. Engaging the readers’ senses by giving thorough details will create a long lasting effect.
You should not deviate from your topic. When writing, it is easy to go away from the main topic. However, by keeping focused and close to the main idea, you can avoid it. Stay organized and provide a rationale description for the reader.
Once you are done with your descriptive essay, read the essay and ask your fellows and others to help you with identifying mistakes and refining the essay further. Proofreading is an important task before you finally publish or submit your descriptive essay.
There are a number of topics to choose from when writing a descriptive essay. The choices are wide and you can choose to write on any topic including a person, place or thing.
Choosing an engaging topic will develop curiosity and hooks the reader to the last bit of the essay. You can choose from a wide array of topics for your descriptive essay.
Your descriptive essay could be on any topic.
Your topics should have good supporting points that could be customized according to the essay’s length. You can also choose from a list of descriptive essay topics that we have prepared for you.
The following ideas will help you to write a good descriptive essay about a place.
Tell us about your favorite toy shop and describe the type of toys that you can buy there.
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 how you imagine Niagara falls.
Descriptive essay about a person creates an image of the person, his looks, his emotional state, expressions, his good or bad habits and the overall demeanor of the person.
The following descriptive essay topics ideas about how to write about a person will aid you in getting an engaging topic for your descriptive essay.
Explain how you imagine aliens to be like.
Describe your famous celebrity for the class.
Portray Nelson Mandela as a role model.
Write a character sketch of a character from the play Hamlet.
Describe one of your family members.
Writing about your memories is one of the most creative tasks when it comes to writing descriptive essays. Here are some of the descriptive essay examples about a memory to help you identify topics regarding experience from this genre.
Write about the concert you recently attended and how you felt about it.
Describe one of the earliest memories from your childhood.
Write about a day when something funny happened.
What is the happiest memory in your mind?
How do you feel about childhood?
Writing an essay about an object is one of the most common themes of descriptive essay writing. It usually describes the object with comparisons and other details to help perceive image of that object.
The descriptive essay topics ideas about an object are listed below;
Write about your favorite dress.
Describe a conference room situation for your colleagues.
What features does a modern day tablet carry?
Describe a toy in your own words.
What does your new car look like?
The narrative descriptive essay is different from your ordinary descriptive essays. It involves a first person narrative of a story.
My first fashion show.
How did my hard work lead me to success.
Describe your first job.
How do you perceive this painting?
Tell us about a misunderstanding with your boss.
It is very important that the writer goes through a number of descriptive essay examples before writing their own essay.
It can help you identify and recognize your mistakes and correct them in a timely manner. An example of descriptive essay would help you demonstrate, compile and organize your essay in a structured form.
You can use many secondary sources and data available before you finally draft your descriptive essay. Most common resources for the examples are newspapers, magazines, articles, books and journals.
The ultimate aim of this practice is to identify and learn different techniques of writing an impressive descriptive essay.
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