If you are assigned to a descriptive essay, you should not worry much. It is a super simple, and quick-to-write paper. Normally, it is a common evaluation task at schools when students have to acknowledge the basics of writing. Yet, if you still experience some hurdles, below you may find the tips on how to write a good descriptive essay for the best possible grade. Off we go!
The success of writing a descriptive essay is the full understanding of its goal. First, it is simply a description of one or another subject. The best examples of such papers are newspaper or magazine articles, memoirs, travelogues among others. Or, you can derive some inspiration from the following examples:
Then, these essays involve figurative language and concrete details. You take one particular subject and describe it in full. It might be your personal experience while traveling abroad, or you speak of your guilty pleasures or pet peeves. You are most likely to be also examined for your imagination, and knowledge in terms of vocabulary. You should understand that you show rather than tell a reader something. Thus, you may refer to the following words presented in the infographics below.
Now, how to start descriptive writing?
1. Start with the outline
You have to decide on the topic, and then, proceed with the approximate ideas you are going to speak about. Try to begin writing with something non-trite if you are given complete freedom regarding the topic. Create a quick outline to help you organize your writing. This should be done in sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. The norm is a five-paragraph essay, with one paragraph for the introduction, three paragraphs for the body, and one paragraph for the conclusion. No worries if you cannot brainstorm the ideas for each part straightaway.
2. Compile key information for the introduction
Names, dates, physical characteristics, background information, and sensory information can help your reader remember your main points. Then, group, everything collected in your outline. Ensure to create a list of the sensory details. Draw five columns on a sheet of paper. Then, for each of the five senses, name each column with “touch,” “sight,” “sound,” “taste,” and “smell.” (You will then pick necessary words, adjectives from there). Fill in the blanks with as much information as you can think of for the topic, depending on each sense. Check the example below:
Let a reader imagine, see your best friend.
3. Write a hook and thesis
A hook can be represented by a rhetorical question, anecdote, or a bold statement – but it should intrigue, or draw the reader’s attention from the start. Check the example below:
4. Move to the main body
Descriptive essays are not huge ones. On most occasions, they contain around 500 words. So, your main body composition may involve around 300. Divide your main body into paragraphs. Each paragraph should be dedicated to one idea or context. Besides, each paragraph should be with a small summary. The example:
No need to write lots of ideas but ensure to use as many vivid and sensory words to show you can be non-trite.
5. Ensure your summary is complete
A conclusion is a part where you just refer to the thesis. Conclude in full everything you wrote about in the main body. No need to add any new information. Yet, you can again use a rhetorical question, or advice for a person if applicable. The example:
One tip regarding how to write a descriptive paragraph! One essay paragraph should not contain more than 5 sentences on average. Then, no need to write too many details. For example, you share the idea like – “My worst pet peeve is the mobile clicking. It irritates me because it distracts me from studying. I usually ask people to switch it off, or try to not focus on that.” Everything should be precise and short. Do not try to criticize but share your view on that.
If your paper is focused on describing your personality, you should ensure to find the vocabulary lists with people-describing adjectives. It will help you acknowledge non-standard adjectives apart from – good, bad, okay, normal. Your speech should be vivid. Ideally, you may also refer to educational establishment PDF tutorials. Do remember that it is all about description! The more academic and stylistic words you use, the better.
What to avoid in your descriptive essays? Since the main goal is to evaluate your writing skills, do not focus on any research, or references. Think about how to draw readers’ attention with your sentences – whether they are logical, and reveal step-by-step any ideas. Do not use slang, even if it can describe the event or your personality the best. Besides, refer to the following tips:
Prior to submitting your paper, ensure to proofread it one last time. Understand whether you met your college requirements regarding the formatting and word count. Remember, it is better to write less than too much. And, keep in mind, it is not a research paper where you have to worry about the methodology.