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How to write a descriptive essay

07 Nov 2016

Descriptive essays fill a particular niche in academic writing, and there are a few defining features to them.

So what is the descriptive essay definition? How does it differ from other types (narrative, informative, persuasive, etc.) of essays?

Let's outline the definition and generate some tips on how to write a descriptive essay from scratch.

Oddly enough,"descriptive essay" is pretty much self-explanatory. Your primary task is to describe something using vivid and colorful language.

Writing descriptive essays is an excellent way to practice creative writing and simply doing it from time to time is great fun. If you're unsure about something you've recently seen or experienced, try to put it to writing. The process tends to put things into proper perspective.

What is also excellent about these kinds of essays is that you're not bound to a single topic/subject; you can choose to write about pretty much anything.

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In a sense, your selected topic doesn't matter that much, what matters here is how well you describe it — personal feelings, experiences, and emotions are the key component.

The process of organizing your thoughts

These essays are always highly personal.

The author is obliged to use descriptive words and phrases to assess a particular term/place/person.

Your goal is to make the audience "feel" by using the most fleshed out details you can - make them emotionally attached to the object of your writing.

The full definition of a descriptive essay is not complete without a couple of example topics. What are the best descriptive essay topics?

You can write descriptive essays on:

  • Your favorite meal. Describe the consistency, smell, taste, how it looks and so on. Pay close attention to adjectives you're using.
  • Your most recent or favorite memory. It may be difficult to recall the specifics of a long-gone experience, but at least there is some room for creative output.
  • Your most used electronic appliance. Concentrate on the appearance and functionality.
  • Your strongest childhood experience. Even though this slightly overlaps with our second example of this list, it is more specific.
  • Describe your family member. Mother, father, grandparents and siblings. Concentrate on their appearance. Describe their mannerisms and idiosyncrasies.
  • Describe yourself. A good exercise for self-reflection. Like with the previous one, describe your appearance, your personal quirks, characteristics, and mannerisms. You'll gain additional insight on how people perceive you in the process.
  • Describe your Tablet or a PC to an individual who's never seen one. Imagine a person you're speaking with is from the 15th century and has no the idea of modern technology. Explain in great detail how the device looks, feels, sounds, what is does, etc.

On a related note, don't forget to ask you professor for descriptive essay examples.

Let's provide guidelines for writing a descriptive essay from the beginning 

There are a few steps.

1) Pick a topic

As it was stated above, topics aren't that important. You're not forced to go to a library, but having a thesaurus handy will prove very helpful. In general, go for a topic about something you regularly see or do, or have deep associations with. Interesting descriptive essay ideas are always welcome.

Ask yourself these questions:

What or who do I want to describe?

Why do I want to describe it?

What is the defining feature I want to focus on?

The main suggestion is to make a rough outline of the entire essay before making progress on your essay. Try to put in the extra effort before you start writing. It's easy to lose and forget about the core of your essay. Organizing your thoughts will help you with generating some additional ideas you haven't thought of before.

Write down a list defining features of your object in five categories (or senses): sight, smell, sound, taste, touch.

2) Follow the structure

Essays are usually consisting of five paragraphs and three main bodies (introduction, main part, conclusion).

Your introduction serves the purpose of setting up the rest of the essay.

Don't forget to write a thesis statement; it is essential.

The main body usually has three paragraphs, and each of them needs to be focused on describing a particular side of your object/idea/argument.
Every paragraph needs to have a sentence that will explain the rest of it in the beginning.

Remember to keep them tied to thesis raised in the introduction. Stay focused and do not get distracted.
Conclusion (one paragraph) acts as a summary of everything you described in your essay.

Re-evaluate your description but don't add anything new to them. And, as always never forget to proofread. Our professional custom writing service can help you with it!

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