A descriptive essay is very close to creative writing tasks, as you shall learn from our helpful writing guide. If you are trying to learn how to write a descriptive essay correctly, we shall teach you how to create a correct structure and what steps to take. You shall learn what literary devices to use, see practical descriptive essay samples, and learn formatting tips. Read on to deliver an excellent descriptive paper!
Descriptive essay definition in writing
If there is an essay type that every student will remember from middle school days, it is descriptive essay writing. It usually requires writing about a place you have visited, talking about a person you admire, describing your first visit to the forest as a child, or describing a situation. Such writing is always an adventure and should be approached this way! To start a descriptive essay, you may be asked to describe even something you have read. The main objective is to evaluate your writing ability to express yourself and discuss your experiences. Structuring it all correctly and using various descriptive narration techniques is the most challenging. Let’s focus on some things that you must definitely do:
- Describe every aspect that surrounds your subject or an experience without missing anything.
- Provide your readers with a detailed description that makes it easy to follow what has been happening.
- Do not leave your readers in suspense or confusion as they finish reading your descriptive essay.
- Use descriptions and literary devices like metaphors, repetitions, or allegories.
- Focus on all the important points that help inspire and create a picture in readers’ minds.
- Apply all five senses in your writing. It will guarantee that your descriptive essays earn the best mark from every college professor as you follow descriptive writing rules!
The most important aspect of descriptive writing, however, is creating a strong thesis statement that teaches a lesson and inspires readers to read further. Learning how to write a descriptive essay thesis is crucial as it should reflect what your descriptive essay must tell. It is the main purpose, so you should brainstorm different ideas and focus on the structure and distribution of key events throughout your writing! You may not give out all the secret elements of your story or the outcome, but do your best to keep your audience intrigued, as descriptive writing is always about telling a good story!
Basic descriptive essay structure and outline rules
A descriptive essay outline should follow a certain structure to narrow things down and keep the essay readable. Your grading rubric will likely specify basic guidelines to follow. If not, a typical descriptive essay outline contains various elements that must be included. It is usually divided into three parts: an introduction segment with a strong thesis statement, three to five body paragraphs where the actual description takes place, and a final conclusion. Let’s review all of these elements in greater detail:
A descriptive essay introduction always starts with a hook sentence to inspire your readers. It should be interesting to read right away, just like newspaper headlines. Before you start your narration, an introduction should provide some background about the setting and subject you wish to describe. Since it is the first impression, keep it clear and accessible. The main objective is to start your introduction with suspense. When you choose the right words to reflect your topic, it always helps! Once you move to the second or third part, you must go straight to the point and provide a brief overview before your thesis part comes in. Writing a descriptive essay, do not reveal all the elements of your story just yet, as it will make it less interesting to read the rest of your descriptive essay.
A thesis statement is written at the end of your descriptive essay. It can be either a single sentence or two sentences. It should serve as a special guide for your readers and explain what to expect later. It can be compared to a table of contents in a book. Your readers must know what your essay is about! The most important is to narrow things down for your thesis and avoid using all the common words. Do not just say, “This essay will talk about,” in your thesis statement for descriptive essay, as it is not the right way to go! Your thesis must be like a movie’s punchline that creates intrigue and inspires you to read further!
All of your descriptive essay points must be covered here. To make your story more poignant and keep readers interested, do not forget to use topic sentences at the beginning of every essay paragraph. Your ideas must be made clear right from the start before you go on with the actual descriptions. Back up your thoughts and arguments with examples and some evidence. A way to make a bond between your descriptive paper body paragraphs is to use special transition words. These conjunctions will help you see what to use and when as you continue writing. If there are some contradicting aspects, you can use phrases like “however, it was” or “nevertheless, I could not“. All body paragraphs must be organized correctly by using one idea per paragraph. Try to avoid making your paragraphs too short or too long!
A descriptive essay conclusion is where most students feel lost, which is unsurprising! It is your last chance to impress readers and help them learn what you know. It is also the main determiner of the grading level that will motivate college professors to see where it all has brought them. You have to focus on your descriptive essay conclusion even more because the end of the essay should be like the final chord in a song. Start with the restatement of your thesis statement to remind your readers about the main idea. Once done, summarize all the interesting points from the body paragraphs. The trick is to make people think about your essay after reading it. It can be a moral lesson you have learned or something that calls for action. Depending on your subject, it has to be strong and impressive!
Tip: In a certain sense, descriptive writing is where you must reflect before writing. If you are unsure about what is a reflective essay, take your time to learn the definition and how to structure it correctly.
Step-by-step descriptive essay writing guide
Now, we are ready to continue writing a perfect descriptive essay. First, getting into creative mode and relaxing is essential, as any type of tension will not help us get any further! You have to close your eyes to think and understand how to make your readers as you describe things. Here are the steps that must be taken to create an excellent descriptive essay structure:
Step 1: Brainstorming ideas.
It means you must research your topic well unless it is your personal experience. You must develop rough ideas that will support your essay title and help with the thesis statement. Some points may still be unclear and will develop later through your descriptive essay, so you must take time.
Step 2: The use of senses.
The best way to talk to your readers is by using the senses. There are at least five of them that we all know well. You must allow your readers to create a complete picture of each scene or a person you plan to describe. Keep your readers engaged by discussing the colors, smells, tactile senses, and physical and mental impressions. It should be like a testimony about the scene, how you felt, and what you heard and saw.
Step 3: Choosing correct descriptive words.
Choosing words to describe something is not always easy! The most important thing is to avoid being misled. If something is “more than average” when talking about a building, you should not call it “giant” or “huge”. To write a good descriptive essay, the trick is to expand your vocabulary and think about how to describe a forest in autumn or a new fancy car. It helps to contribute to essay imagery, which is the most important part to consider.
Step 4: Satisfactory description trick.
Use correct chronology if you see it relevant. It is important to describe your events correctly, especially if you plan to turn it into a cause-and-effect type of writing. Your readers should not be left with questions as to why something happened!
Step 5: Good organization.
It is important to have an outline or a plan as you write. It will help you avoid mixed emotions or jumping from idea to idea between body paragraphs. As you try to describe something, focus on the good and bad, how it makes you feel, and why as you reflect.
Step 6: Proofreading aloud.
Most importantly, you must edit your descriptive essay by reading the final version more than once. When you are ready to proceed with proofreading, do so aloud, as it will help you to avoid logical and readability mistakes. If you have a good friend to listen to your descriptions, do not hesitate to ask for help!
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Descriptive essay formatting tips
Descriptive essay formatting rules will always depend on your description type and subject. Your grading rubric should provide all the necessary descriptive essay format requirements. As a rule, you must be able to handle most topics as a student since it will be about experience and your descriptive skills. As our experts examined the subjects and types of descriptive essays, the majority of write an essay for me requests from students were dealing with particular events or performances they had to attend. Therefore, when formatting your essay and choosing a subject, you must focus on the setting and the background information. It will help your readers understand what you plan to talk about and where and why something has occurred.
Another formatting aspect to consider is choosing a topic that can be narrowed down. If you are a student asked to write a descriptive essay about a teacher or a role model, you must understand that a topic and a title are not the same! Your topic is only a theme or subject you explain in a descriptive essay introduction, while the title is like the heading or a book’s title. A good title for that case would be “Teachers that change lives”. Formatting such an essay, your introduction would be a flashback to memories and represent some facts and a story. As you describe a person in the body parts, you talk about your claims and offer relevant examples. As the final take, you summarize what this teacher has helped you learn and why.
It is recommended to learn how to make an outline for a descriptive essay before you start writing. By doing so, you can structure your thoughts and ideas much better. No matter what topic you have been given or have the freedom to choose, an outline always helps!
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Helpful descriptive essay examples
The most important thing is to find a good descriptive essay sample. Keeping all the writing challenges in mind, we have picked several descriptive essay examples to help you find inspiration. Simply compare them to your grading rubric and see how each part has been done. Start with the ones below:
- A Descriptive Essay on Who I Am by Edubirdie (Our academic writing assistant).
- Descriptive Essays by Purdue University.
- 5/6 Descriptive Writing Examples by Dorset Primary School.
- Examples of Descriptive Essays by Cache County School District.
If these are not enough, most magazines, newspapers, and books also contain descriptive stories that you can use to boost your imagination and writing skills. Most stories will contain sufficient descriptions, so do not ignore checking something related to your subject. If you still have something left unclear, feel free to get in touch with our experts, who are available 24/7!