A descriptive essay is one of the most complicated forms of academic writing. This is where you need to demonstrate your creativity by developing a scene that all readers can imagine with words alone. In fact, it happens to be the core of all creative writing like poetry, novels, and even movie scripts. Freedom of self-expression is what makes it probably one of the most rewarding and engaging essays to deal with.
Before you start writing a descriptive essay, you need to understand its specificity first. Here, you will learn all you need to know about this kind of academic work. Let’s begin!
What Is a Descriptive Essay?
A descriptive essay is a type of academic work that describes an object, person, process, or event. The writer’s goal is to encourage a vivid reading experience by using descriptive elements rather than facts and statistical details. According to the descriptive essay definition, this kind of writing has to do with the five senses such as taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight.
While writing a descriptive essay, you need to create a clear picture for the reader by addressing one of those five senses. In addition, your work should have a clearly stated purpose, whether it is a lesson you learned from your personal life experience or a story of how somebody or something affected your individual behavior. It’s all about making your personal ideas become real.
How to Choose a Topic for a Descriptive Essay?
Knowing who you write for is one of the most essential things. Addressing the target reader will help you a lot in finding the right topic. After setting your focus on a particular object, person, process, or event, you need to write down a couple of descriptive essay ideas. Then, you can proceed with brainstorming using those initial ideas as seeds. Your final choice of the topic should be manageable and have a sufficient number of points to be addressed throughout the paper. Think of some questions about the topic and check whether you are able to answer them. This will provide you with a clear understanding of how much you know about the covered subject matter. The more you know about it, the easier it will be to write an essay. Do some thorough research online so that you will be able to fill in the knowledge gap. Remember to write down all the sources you use as you might need them more in the process of writing.
The Issues That Could Be Described in Your Essay
Descriptive essay topics can address any of the following issues:
Descriptive essay about an object: Whether you choose to write about nature, career prospects, or personal interests, you need to find something you are actually interested in. This way, your essay will be a good reflection of your knowledge.
Descriptive essay about a person: Generally, such an assignment means talking about the appearance, behavioral patterns, individual decisions, and qualities of a particular person.
Descriptive essay about a place: When it comes to writing about a country, region, or landscape, it needs to become the paper’s focus. By describing the place with the most beautiful sights, you let your target reader feel the local atmosphere through your description.
Descriptive essay about an event: You can describe your last vacation, concert, or university graduation. By explaining the whole event in detail, you aim to make your target reader feel your emotions.
Whatever issue you are about to cover, your goal is to make it look both creative and formal. And don’t be greedy for specific details.
Two Classic Approaches to the Descriptive Essay
The two traditional approaches to the descriptive essay are represented by personal and formal writing. In a personal essay, you reveal your life experience in order to receive empathy from the target reader. You need to focus only on those nuances that address your feelings and responses to the full extent. Do not be afraid of using vivid, evocative language as it makes the paper look more realistic, whether it is a descriptive essay about the beach, family, or party. In a formal essay, you reflect on a set of key points following a clear structure. Instead of focusing on your personal experience, you need to check particular areas of information to create a clear portrait of your subject matter. This writing approach can also be interesting and engaging, while the target reader concentrates more on the subject of the paper rather than the writer’s response to it. Just try not to make it boring by using too formal language.
Descriptive Essay Outline
How to start a descriptive essay? Similar to any other kind of academic writing, it follows the traditional structure and includes:
Introduction: The first paragraph aims to set the mood for the entire paper. A strong opening introduces the main topic to the reader by providing a general understanding of what the essay is all about. If you think that putting more details into this section will add value to the paper, you are wrong. It will only minimize your chances of keeping readers involved until the end of the paper. Thus, you will most likely fail to expand the topic in the body paragraphs.
Don’t forget to write a thesis statement at the end of the introduction. You need it to inform the reader about the thesis question based on your subject matter and main point. It is mainly a single sentence that reveals the essay objective clearly, without adding extra details.
Body: The body section takes more than half of the entire essay. It usually consists of two or three paragraphs, although its length may vary depending on the subject matter. After all, not all topics contain much to write about, so you shouldn’t try to drag it. When it comes to the length of your work, you rely on the amount of available material and your personal opinion.
The body section involves all the main points you want to address in the essay. Every paragraph needs to be started with a topic sentence. Then, you need to add sensory details about an object, person, process, or event through the prism of relatable senses. Finish a body paragraph by introducing the next one. By entering a transition sentence, you can enable immersion in your writing. This way, your body section will become better without looking like a list of facts.
Conclusion: A strong closing means a solid piece of work. Why? Because it leaves a good impression of your writing approach. While it is a closing paragraph, it doesn’t mean that it requires less focus. An illogical conclusion will leave a bad impression by making all your hard work go to waste. At the same time, a conclusion is not the right place for new thoughts and ideas. By appealing to the previously stated information, you need to be brief and close to the point.
Now that you know how to write a descriptive essay, you can check some sample works. With this knowledge, you will be able to get down to work.
Descriptive Essay Examples
Having a general idea of a descriptive essay format, you can start a writing process yourself. For more confidence, feel free to check some samples of descriptive essays. Here are the links to be followed:
Although you have learned pretty much information above, you might still feel like you need some practical suggestions. Check out some useful tips for writing a descriptive essay:
Start writing your paper with some general details that are related to your subject matter. For instance, if you start writing about your family, you have to mention your parents and the place you live in.
Pay attention to the sequence of your thoughts and ideas in each paragraph. Make sure that they contribute to a common mental picture of your subject matter.
Avoid talking about topics in an unclear manner. All information you integrate into your paper should be already known or newly explained to your readers.
Link all the sections with each other. Every paragraph should be logically connected to the previous one.
Lead your narrative in the way to demonstrate your knowledgeability to readers. Thus, all the points are to be stated consistently, moving from the less convincing to the most reliable.
Make sure your essay is grammatically, structurally, and contextually accurate. For this, go through your essay several times and make all necessary corrections before submitting it to your professor.
Use various facts, quotes, and considerations through the prism of your own point of view. This will make each point more convincing.
Don’t forget about sticking to the descriptive writing format. After all, it may have a direct impact on your final grade.
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