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The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples

Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type. 

In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.

Table of contents

Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.

An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.

Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.

The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:

  • The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
  • The body presents your evidence and arguments
  • The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance

The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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features of writing descriptive essay

An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.

Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.

The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.

A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.

Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.

A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.

Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.

Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.

A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.

Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.

On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.

My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.

With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…

Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.

Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.

Rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.

The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.

The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.

The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

Literary analysis

A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.

Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.

The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.

Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

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What is a Descriptive Essay? How to Write It (with Examples)

What is a Descriptive Essay? How to Write It (with Examples)

A descriptive essay is a type of creative writing that uses specific language to depict a person, object, experience, or event. The idea is to use illustrative language to show readers what the writer wants to convey – it could be as simple as a peaceful view from the top of a hill or as horrific as living in a war zone. By using descriptive language, authors can evoke a mental image in the readers’ minds, engaging readers and leaving a lasting impression, instead of just providing a play-by-play narrative.

Note that a description and descriptive essay are not the same thing. A descriptive essay typically consists of five or more well-written paragraphs with vivid imagery that can help readers visualize the content, as opposed to a description, which is typically one or more plain paragraphs with no particular structure or appeal. If you are still unsure about how to write a compelling descriptive essay, continue reading!

Table of Contents

What is a descriptive essay, types of descriptive essay topics.

  • Characteristics of descriptive essays

How to write a descriptive essay using a structured outline

Frequently asked questions.

A simple descriptive essay definition is that it is a piece of writing that gives a thorough and vivid description of an object, person, experience, or situation. It is sometimes focused more on the emotional aspect of the topic rather than the specifics. The author’s intention when writing a descriptive essay is to help readers visualize the subject at hand. Generally, students are asked to write a descriptive essay to test their ability to recreate a rich experience with artistic flair. Here are a few key points to consider when you begin writing these.

  • Look for a fascinating subject

You might be assigned a topic for your descriptive essay, but if not, you must think of a subject that interests you and about which you know enough facts. It might be about an emotion, place, event, or situation that you might have experienced.

features of writing descriptive essay

  • Acquire specific details about the topic

The next task is to collect relevant information about the topic of your choice. You should focus on including details that make the descriptive essay stand out and have a long-lasting impression on the readers. To put it simply, your aim is to make the reader feel as though they were a part of the experience in the first place, rather than merely describing the subject.

  • Be playful with your writing

To make the descriptive essay memorable, use figurative writing and imagery to lay emphasis on the specific aspect of the topic. The goal is to make sure that the reader experiences the content visually, so it must be captivating and colorful. Generally speaking, “don’t tell, show”! This can be accomplished by choosing phrases that evoke strong emotions and engage a variety of senses. Making use of metaphors and similes will enable you to compare different things. We will learn about them in the upcoming sections.

  • Capture all the different senses

Unlike other academic articles, descriptive essay writing uses sensory elements in addition to the main idea. In this type of essay writing, the topic is described by using sensory details such as smell, taste, feel, and touch. Example “ Mahira feels most at home when the lavender scent fills her senses as she lays on her bed after a long, tiring day at work . As the candle melts , so do her worries” . It is crucial to provide sensory details to make the character more nuanced and build intrigue to keep the reader hooked. Metaphors can also be employed to explain abstract concepts; for instance, “ A small act of kindness creates ripples that transcend oceans .” Here the writer used a metaphor to convey the emotion that even the smallest act of kindness can have a larger impact.

  • Maintain harmony between flavor and flow

The descriptive essay format is one that can be customized according to the topic. However, like other types of essays, it must have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The number of body paragraphs can vary depending on the topic and available information.

It is crucial to remember that a descriptive essay should have a specific topic and goal, such as sharing personal experiences or expressing emotions like the satisfaction of a good meal. This is accomplished by employing exact language, imagery, and figurative language to illustrate concrete features. These language devices allow the writer to craft a descriptive essay that effectively transmits a particular mood, feeling, or incident to readers while also conjuring up strong mental imagery. A descriptive essay may be creative, or it may be based on the author’s own experiences. Below is a description of a few descriptive essay examples that fit into these categories.

  • Personal descriptive essay example

A personal essay can look like a descriptive account of your favorite activity, a place in your neighborhood, or an object that you value. Example: “ As I step out of the front door, the crisp morning air greets me with a gentle embrace; the big chestnut tree in front, sways in the wind as if saying hello to me. The world unfolds in a symphony of awakening colors, promising a day filled with untold possibilities that make me feel alive and grateful to be born again”.

  • Imaginative descriptive essay example

You may occasionally be required to write descriptive essays based on your imagination or on subjects unrelated to your own experiences. The prompts for these kinds of creative essays could be to describe the experience of someone going through heartbreak or to write about a day in the life of a barista. Imaginative descriptive essays also allow you to describe different emotions. Example, the feelings a parent experiences on holding their child for the first time.

Characteristics of descriptive essay s

The aim of a descriptive essay is to provide a detailed and vivid description of a person, place, object, event, or experience. The main goal is to create a sensory experience for the reader. Through a descriptive essay, the reader may be able to experience foods, locations, activities, or feelings that they might not otherwise be able to. Additionally, it gives the writer a way to relate to the readers by sharing a personal story. The following is a list of the essential elements of a descriptive essay:

  • Sensory details
  • Clear, succinct language
  • Organized structure
  • Thesis statement
  • Appeal to emotion

features of writing descriptive essay

How to write a descriptive essay, with examples

Writing an engaging descriptive essay is all about bringing the subject matter to life for the reader so they can experience it with their senses—smells, tastes, and textures. The upside of writing a descriptive essay is you don’t have to stick to the confinements of formal essay writing, rather you are free to use a figurative language, with sensory details, and clever word choices that can breathe life to your descriptive essay. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use these components to develop a descriptive essay that will stand out, using examples.

  • Figurative language

Have you ever heard the expression “shooting for the stars”? It refers to pushing someone to strive higher or establish lofty goals, but it does not actually mean shooting for the stars. This is an example of using figurative language for conveying strong motivational emotions. In a descriptive essay, figurative language is employed to grab attention and emphasize points by creatively drawing comparisons and exaggerations. But why should descriptive essays use metaphorical language? One it adds to the topic’s interest and humor; two, it facilitates the reader’s increased connection to the subject.

These are the five most often used figurative language techniques: personification, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, and allusion.

  • Simile: A simile is a figure of speech that is used to compare two things while emphasizing and enhancing the description using terms such as “like or as.”

Example: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving – Albert Einstein

  • Metaphor: A metaphor are also used to draw similarities, but without using direct or literal comparisons like done in similes.   

Example: Books are the mirrors of the soul – Virginia Woolf, Between the acts

  • Personification: This is the process of giving nonhuman or abstract objects human traits. Any human quality, including an emotional component, a physical attribute, or an action, can be personified.

Example: Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world – Louis Pasteur

  • Hyperbole: This is an extreme form of exaggeration, frequently impractical, and usually employed to emphasize a point or idea. It gives the character more nuance and complexity.

Example: The force will be with you, always – Star Wars

  • Allusion: This is when you reference a person, work, or event without specifically mentioning them; this leaves room for the reader’s creativity.  

Example: In the text below, Robert Frost uses the biblical Garden of Eden as an example to highlight the idea that nothing, not even paradise, endures forever.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay

– Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost (1923)

Descriptive essays need a combination of figurative language and strong sensory details to make the essay more memorable. This is when authors describe the subject matter employing senses like smell, sound, touch, and taste so that the reader can relate to it better.

Example of a sensory-based descriptive essay: The earthy fragrance of freshly roasted chestnuts and the sight of bright pink, red, orange fallen leaves on the street reminded her that winter was around the corner.

  • Word choice

Word choice is everything in a descriptive essay. For the description to be enchanting, it is essential to utilize the right adjectives and to carefully consider the verbs, nouns, and adverbs. Use unusual terms and phrases that offer a new viewpoint on your topic matter instead of overusing clichés like “fast as the wind” or “lost track of time,” which can make your descriptive essay seem uninteresting and unoriginal.

See the following examples:

Bad word choice: I was so happy because the sunset was really cool.

Good word choice: I experienced immense joy as the sunset captivated me with its remarkable colors and breathtaking beauty.

  • Descriptive essay format and outline

Descriptive essay writing does not have to be disorganized, it is advisable to use a structured format to organize your thoughts and ensure coherent flow in your writing. Here is a list of components that should be a part of your descriptive essay outline:

  • Introduction
  • Opening/hook sentence
  • Topic sentence
  • Body paragraphs
  • Concrete details
  • Clincher statement

features of writing descriptive essay


  • Hook: An opening statement that captures attention while introducing the subject.
  • Background: Includes a brief overview of the topic the descriptive essay is based on.
  • Thesis statement: Clearly states the main point or purpose of the descriptive essay.

Body paragraphs: Each paragraph should have

  • Topic sentence: Introduce the first aspect or feature you will describe. It informs the reader about what is coming next.
  • Sensory details: Use emphatic language to appeal to the reader’s senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell).
  • Concrete details: These are actual details needed to understand the context of the descriptive essay.
  • Supporting details: Include relevant information or examples to improve the description.


  • Summarize key points: Here you revisit the main features or aspects of the subject.
  • Restate thesis statement: Reinforce the central impression or emotion.
  • Clincher statement: Conclude with a statement that summarizes the entire essay and serve as the last words with a powerful message.

Revision and editing:

  • Go over your essay to make sure it is coherent, clear, and consistent.
  • Check for logical paragraph transitions by proofreading the content.
  • Examine text to ensure correct grammar, punctuation, and style.
  • Use the thesaurus or AI paraphrasing tools to find the right words.

A descriptive essay often consists of three body paragraphs or more, an introduction that concludes with a thesis statement, and a conclusion that summarizes the subject and leaves a lasting impression on readers.

A descriptive essay’s primary goal is to captivate the reader by writing a thorough and vivid explanation of the subject matter, while appealing to their various senses. A list of additional goals is as follows: – Spark feeling and imagination – Create a vivid experience – Paint a mental picture – Pique curiosity – Convey a mood or atmosphere – Highlight specific details

Although they both fall within the creative writing category, narrative essays and descriptive essays have different storytelling focuses. While the main goal of a narrative essay is to tell a story based on a real-life experience or a made-up event, the main goal of a descriptive essay is to vividly describe a person, location, event, or emotion.

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How to Write a Descriptive Essay

Last Updated: February 8, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,495,550 times.

A good descriptive essay creates a vivid picture of the topic in the reader’s mind. You may need to write a descriptive essay as a class assignment or you may decide to write one as a fun writing challenge. Start by brainstorming ideas for the essay. Then, outline and write the essay using vivid sensory details and strong descriptions. Always polish your essay and proofread it so it is at its best.

Brainstorming Ideas for the Essay

Step 1 Choose a person to describe.

  • You could also choose a fictional person to write about, such as a character in a book, a story, or a play. You could write about a character on your favorite TV show or video game.

Step 2 Pick a place or object to describe.

  • Another take on this option is to write about a made-up place or object, such as the fantastical school in your favorite book or the magic wand from your favorite TV show.

Step 3 Select an emotion to describe.

  • You could also choose a more specific emotion, such as brotherly love or self-hatred. These emotions can make for powerful descriptive essays.

Step 4 Make a list of sensory details about the topic.

  • For example, if you were writing about a person like your mother, you may write down under “sound” : “soft voice at night, clack of her shoes on the floor tiles, bang of the spoon when she cooks.”

Writing the Essay

Step 1 Outline the essay in sections.

  • If you are writing the essay for a class, your instructor should specify if they want a five paragraph essay or if you have the freedom to use sections instead.

Step 2 Create a ...

  • For example, if you were writing a descriptive essay about your mother, you may have a thesis statement like: “In many ways, my mother is the reigning queen of our house, full of contradictions that we are too afraid to question.”

Step 3 Write a strong introduction.

  • For example, if you were writing the essay about your mom, you may start with: “My mother is not like other mothers. She is a fierce protector and a mysterious woman to my sisters and I.”
  • If you were writing an essay about an object, you may start with: "Try as I might, I had a hard time keeping my pet rock alive."

Step 4 Describe the topic with vivid adjectives.

  • You can also use adjectives that connect to the senses, such “rotting,” “bright,” “hefty,” “rough,” and “pungent.”
  • For example, you may describe your mother as "bright," "tough," and "scented with jasmine."

Step 5 Use metaphors and similes.

  • You can also use similes, where you use “like” or “as” to compare one thing to another. For example, you may write, “My mother is like a fierce warrior in battle, if the battlefield were PTA meetings and the checkout line at the grocery store.”

Step 6 Discuss your emotions and thoughts about the topic.

  • For example, you may write about your complicated feelings about your mother. You may note that you feel sadness about your mother’s sacrifices for the family and joy for the privileges you have in your life because of her.

Step 7 Wrap up the essay with a strong conclusion.

  • For example, you may end a descriptive essay about your mother by noting, “In all that she has sacrificed for us, I see her strength, courage, and fierce love for her family, traits I hope to emulate in my own life.”

Polishing the Essay

Step 1 Read the essay out loud.

  • You can also read the essay aloud to others to get their feedback. Ask them to let you know if there are any unclear or vague sentences in the essay.

Step 2 Show the essay to others.

  • Be open to constructive criticism and feedback from others. This will only make your essay stronger.

Step 3 Revise the essay for clarity and length.

  • If you have a word count requirement for the essay, make sure you meet it. Add more detail to the paper or take unnecessary content out to reach the word count.

Outline for a Descriptive Essay

features of writing descriptive essay

Expert Q&A

Jake Adams

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  • ↑ http://www.writeexpress.com/descriptive-essay.html
  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 24 July 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.iup.edu/writingcenter/writing-resources/organization-and-structure/descriptive-writing.html
  • ↑ https://spcollege.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=10168248
  • ↑ http://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/descriptive_essay.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/descriptive_essays.html
  • ↑ https://vln.school.nz/groupcms/view/845349/descriptive-writing

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a descriptive essay, start by choosing a topic, like a person, place, or specific emotion. Next, write down a list of sensory details about the topic, like how it sounds, smells, and feels. After this brainstorming session, outline the essay, dividing it into an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Open with a vivid introduction that uses sensory details, then introduce your thesis statement, which the rest of your essay should support. Strengthen your essay further by using metaphors and similes to describe your topic, and the emotions it evokes. To learn how to put the finishing touches on your essay, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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features of writing descriptive essay

How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Full Guide With Tips

features of writing descriptive essay

In this article, we examine the descriptive essay and present a step-by-step writing guide. Stick around for helpful writing tips near the end! Also, check out custom writers at EssayPro — political science essay service, if you need private tutoring or essay editing.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

The definition of a descriptive essay is a type of composition or paper which describes an object, person, process, or event. The writer’s goal is to create a vivid reading experience, or to show instead of tell (metaphorically).

Descriptive writing usually appeals to the five senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. (Ex: Jack’s coffee mug exploded into tiny shards of glass, catching the attention of everyone at the office.) Always appealing to the senses is key to writing a good descriptive essay.

When writing a descriptive essay, your goal will be to paint a comprehensive picture for the reader by appealing to the five senses. Last but not least, your work should have a purpose. It could be anything from a lesson you learned from an experience, to a story of how an object impacted your life. It’s all about making your bright ideas come to life.

Difference Between a Description and a Descriptive Essay

When writing this type of paper, you should know the difference between a description and a descriptive essay. A description can be just a simple paragraph, or several ones with no specific structure, meanwhile, a descriptive essay has five or more paragraphs and a clear and complete structure. A descriptive essay is usually written coherently, has a good thesis statement at the end of the introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A description however, does not necessarily have a structure. Its main purpose is to just describe an object, or something else, without having any extra academic layers.

The Issues that Could be Described in Your Paper

  • A person. In this paper, you can talk about a person. It can range from simply writing about their appearance to more complex descriptions like actions, behaviours, mood, and qualities of your chosen individual.
  • A place. The main thing you should do when describing a place in your work is to describe it interestingly and originally. Your reader(s) should feel, for example, the beauty of your chosen cities—perhaps New York or Rome.
  • An event. Here you need to describe the story of what happened. It can be your last vacation, concert, wedding, anniversary, summer music festival, graduation day, or so on.
  • An animal. In this type, you need to describe the animal. It may be its appearance, behaviour, or biology.
  • An occupation. Here you need to write about a job or occupation.
  • A behaviour. This is the type of descriptive writing you should go for if you would like to write about someone’s behaviour. Perhaps you want to describe the strange behaviour of your friend, or highlight how certain people act under different conditions.

Bring your descriptions to life with EssayPro . Our team can help you create vivid, immersive descriptive essays that captivate the senses. Describe scenes, emotions, and experiences like never before.

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Two Classic Approaches to the Descriptive Essay

Two Classic Approaches to the Descriptive Essay

1. Personal Essay

Here you need to describe an experience using your feelings and responses. This work can awake empathy in readers. It can also be vague and disorganized. If you want to write a good personal essay, you should try to focus only on those aspects that most fully express your experience. Do not shy away from vivid, evocative language in this type of assignment.

A few examples of personal essay topics might be:

  • Describing the experience of swimming in the azure sea in summer
  • Explaining your favourite movie and its impact on you
  • Reflecting on your birthday and all the things that have shaped you in the past

2. Formal Description

This type of descriptive writing resembles an argumentative essay. Your main goal should be communicating a set of key points or describing something in detail—according to a clear structure. Rather than focusing on your own experience, you need to use specific categories of information to provide the fullest possible portrait of what you are describing. This approach can also be engaging, especially when the reader is more curious about the subject of the paper than the writer's response to it. Still, try not to make it dull with too formal language.

Topics for formal descriptions can include:

  • A descriptive essay about climate change, politics, or historical events.
  • A news story that provides a summary of an event or information about the place where it occurred.

Descriptive Essay Topics & Ideas

Finding descriptive essay topics isn’t hard. You can describe pretty much anything—from your favourite car to today’s weather. We’ve gathered some ideas to help you get started. Hopefully, you’ll find good descriptive essay topics to spark your imagination.

Descriptive Essay

Descriptive Essay Topics: People

Exploring the essence of individuals through this type of writing can be both engaging and insightful. Here are ten distinctive essay topics centered on people that go beyond the ordinary:

  • The Eccentric Street Performer Who Danced with Shadows
  • A Glimpse into the Daily Routine of a Lighthouse Keeper
  • The Mysterious Antique Shop Owner: Guardian of Forgotten Tales
  • A Day in the Life of a Vintage Jazz Club's Bartender
  • The Tattooed Wanderer: Stories Etched in Ink
  • A Conversation with the Urban Gardener Transforming Cityscapes
  • Portrait of a Silent Mime Artist: Communicating Without Words
  • A Chef's Culinary Odyssey: Exploring Flavor on a Plate
  • The Whimsical World of a Puppeteer: Strings of Imagination
  • Life Beneath the Spotlight: A Theatrical Makeup Artist's Secrets

Descriptive Essay Topics: Place

Places possess a unique ability to evoke emotions and tell their own stories through descriptive writing. To transport your readers to captivating destinations, consider these ten distinct topics, each offering a glimpse into a one-of-a-kind locale:

  • The Forgotten Underground Catacombs: A Subterranean Labyrinth of Secrets
  • Serenity by the Secluded Cliffside Cottage: Echoes of Solitude
  • A Day in the Life of an Abandoned Amusement Park: Whispers of Laughter
  • The Enchanted Forest: A Realm of Ancient Mysteries
  • A Fishing Village Frozen in Time: Life on the Shores of Nostalgia
  • The Rooftop Gardens of Babylon: Urban Oases in the Sky
  • The Hidden Café of Lost Conversations: Where Coffee and Stories Brew
  • A Night at the Desert Oasis: Starlit Mirages and Mirage Stars
  • The Echoing Halls of the Sunken Ship: A Submerged Voyage into History
  • The Neon Glow of the Midnight Arcade: Dreams Illuminated in Pixels

Descriptive Essay Topics: Memories

Memories offer a rich tapestry of experiences waiting to be woven into your descriptive essays. Dive into the realms of nostalgia and introspection with these topics, each drawing upon the power of recollection:

  • The Unfading Echoes of Childhood Hideouts: Adventures in the Past
  • A Forgotten Diary's Pages: Secrets of Lost Sentiments
  • The Last Summer Before College: Sunsets of Transition
  • The Old Family Recipe Book: Savoring Generations in Every Dish
  • Ghosts of Prom Nights Past: The Dance of Teenage Dreams
  • The Antique Music Box: Tunes That Unravel Time's Veil
  • Letters from the Front Lines: Ink-Stained Testaments of Courage
  • The Forgotten Album of Polaroids: Snapshots of Precious Moments
  • Ancestral Attic Treasures: Relics of Heritage and Identity
  • The Whispers of a Childhood Blanket: Comfort Woven in Threads

Creating a Descriptive Essay Outline

When thinking about writing a descriptive essay, remember that a structured paper outline is your golden ticket. Not only does it help you organize thoughts, but it will also help your essays flow better.

A descriptive essay outline is composed of the following:

  • An introduction
  • Hook sentence
  • Context/Background information
  • Thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs
  • Topic sentence
  • Sensory details
  • Actual details
  • A conclusion
  • Summary of all main points
  • Clincher Statement

It is important to spend enough time considering the victim of description because all of your illustrations will be based around it.

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The introduction serves to introduce your subject to the reader and give them enough context to fully understand your work—but keep it brief and interesting for the reader(s). When learning how to write a descriptive essay introduction, remember – the first paragraph of your paper is the part that can make your descriptive essay stand out from the others.

As with any college paper, a descriptive essay introduction must contain the following points:

  • Hook Sentence: Although the entire paper should be full of exciting and vivid descriptions, grabbing the reader's attention from the very beginning is ideal.
  • Context/Background Information: Tell the reader what you’re about to describe and explain why it is crucial to you. Give them a brief context for your paper.
  • Thesis Statement: The descriptive essay thesis should be a short yet concise summary of the work. It must include the subject of your description, and your purpose for describing it.

For further information on how to write a thesis for a descriptive essay, check out the examples below.

Place. If you were to write about Buckingham Palace: “Even though the monarchy is long gone, Buckingham Palace serves to remind us of the aesthetic beauty which that era had built.” Person. For describing Spider-Man: “The defining characteristics of Spider-Man are his youthfulness, New York City, and the fact that he talks to himself more than Hamlet.” Emotion. A piece about a personal experience of fear: “For many reasons, the dark forest is my greatest fear, though not a fear which I would necessarily like to venture into.”

Body Paragraph(s)

There are usually three body paragraphs in a paper. They cover three different points or arguments. How many body paragraphs to include in your descriptive essay is entirely up to you—or your professor. Sometimes it only takes a paragraph to tell a story, while other times it takes books.

How to write a body paragraph:

  • Start with a topic sentence. ex. The orange looks familiar; it is a round citrus fruit whose colour matches its name.
  • Add sensory details. When describing the orange, appeal to relatable senses.
  • Include actual details. Always include descriptive information within your body paragraphs. Finish a body paragraph by introducing the next. Transition sentences are essential because they create immersion within your writing. Your writing will become better and it won’t appear as if you are reading a list of facts.

The descriptive essay is one type of 5 paragraph essay , which is the most common type of essay a student may encounter.

According to the descriptive essay format, your conclusion should be a summary of all of the main points in the body text. It is a good idea to write a final sentence that relates to the main point of your paper. Once this is done, the paper is now complete. We advise that you proofread your descriptive essay to correct any grammatical errors.

Try to incorporate the following into your conclusion:

  • The first thing to do at the end is to reflect on the initial purpose of the work. Spill the beans on why you decided to write about this subject, and how this subject has affected your life. An article about reflection paper may also be helpful to you.
  • Signify the Importance of the Details: Go over some key moments of the paper. Give a summary of what you have covered, and prepare the audience for the clincher statement.
  • Clincher Statement: The clincher is the final sentence that reinforces your paper’s overall purpose or leaves your audience with an intriguing thought, question, or quote. You’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking of a hook to pull the audience in. Do not allow the paper to escape your audience’s thoughts right after they have finish reading it.

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Writing and Reviewing Your Descriptive Paper

Writing the paper consists of the following stages:

  • Pre-writing stage. Here you need to examine all of the sources you have and define if they all offer important information on the topic of your choice.
  • Writing the beginning. You should start your paper with a powerful, engaging hook that will grab the readers' attention. It may include an unusual metaphor or an interesting literary quote.
  • Creating the first draft of your descriptive essay. Here is where you just need to write down all of the words that come to your mind; you'll have a chance to narrow down your ideas later.
  • Adding details to your paper with the help of enriched English vocabulary and online dictionaries. Use your English vocabulary to add missing feelings, like hearing, to help make the descriptive essay leave a lasting impression.
  • Revising and editing the paper with the help of different free online grammar checking tools.

Let’s talk in detail about the final step here: reviewing your paper. After you finish writing, take a break. It’s always best to clear your mind before editing your paper.

When you come back to your descriptive essay, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you provided enough context in the introduction?
  • Is the paper easy to read?
  • Does the thesis relate to the content of the paper?
  • Does the paper feature vivid, descriptive language?
  • Will the clincher statement leave a lasting impact?
  • Are there enough details to make it possible for your readers to obtain a full and vivid perception of your description?
  • Does each section of your work focus on one aspect of your description?
  • Does your paper possess any unnecessary details in your description that can be thrown away or replaced by more meaningful information?
  • Overall, if you were the reader, does this paper make sense to you?
  • Are there any problems with grammar and punctuation?

Sometimes web applications like Grammarly or the Hemingway app can help you sort your grammar. However, it’s always best to master the rules of grammar yourself and become the best writer you can be. Once you’re convinced you have the final draft, read it out loud or give it to a friend to read. Sometimes you need some constructive criticism to tie up loose ends in your writing. You can also trust the professionals and buy cheap essay on EssayPro service.


Descriptive Essay Examples

Embracing the art of descriptive writing isn't always a natural gift for everyone. For those seeking inspiration and guidance, we prepared an example of a descriptive essay which is a valuable resource. Meanwhile, we acknowledge that not everyone may possess the innate talent for painting vivid word pictures. If you find yourself in need of assistance with more intricate endeavors, such as dissertations, rest assured that our team comprises writers who possess the innate ability to weave eloquent prose that breathes life into your ideas.

Example 1: 'The Enchanted Library: A Gateway to Forgotten Realms'

In this descriptive essay example, the author masterfully employs a wide array of descriptive tools, deftly painting a vivid picture of 'Bibliotheca Mirabilis.' Through metaphor, personification, and sensory details, the library comes to life, almost becoming a character within the narrative. The author's choice of words and careful descriptions immerses the reader in the enchanting setting, creating a captivating journey through the realms of imagination.

The writer of this descriptive essay example explains how there was a lot of life before humans existed. The world was full of Blue Jays and North Cardinal birds that most probably ate pansy seeds as a stable diet. In this example, it is clear that the writer has put himself/herself in the perspective of someone in the far future. He/she describes how we were in the 21st century, and how we used the poles as communication portals.

Example 2: 'The Forgotten Watchmaker: Crafting Timepieces of Elegance'

In this essay, the author adeptly employs a variety of descriptive tools to transport the reader into the heart of the potter's workshop. Through carefully chosen words, the workshop's ambiance, from the earthy scent of clay to the warmth of the kiln, becomes palpable. The rustic charm and ceramics in different stages of creation evoke a strong sense of tradition and dedication. The potter emerges as a central figure, their expertise and passion clearly portrayed. This essay immerses the reader in a world of craftsmanship, where each piece of pottery carries a unique narrative, and the art of creation is celebrated with profound reverence.

In the eyes of the untrained, a rugby game is just a bunch of huge individuals senselessly fighting one another, struggling to move an oval ball inch by inch down a field full of mud towards the goal line of the opposing team. Players don’t put on pads or get a timeout in the event of injuries. Yet rugby is a different thing, a gentleman’s sport—to those who understand it. While rugby appears rough, its players maintain good respect toward both teammates and opponents.

For those who may find writing a challenging endeavor, rest assured that it's a skill that can be developed over time. If you're looking for expert guidance or assistance with your academic life, our team includes experienced wordsmiths who can even help with dissertation writing. Whether you're working on essays, stories, or any writing project, we're here to support your creative journey and help you convey your ideas more effectively.

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Descriptive Essay

Wondering how to write an impressive descriptive essay? Writing a descriptive essay is both fun and challenging. You need to describe the main topic in detail and by engaging the five senses of the readers.

Students usually get this type of essay in high school and college. Writing a descriptive essay is different from other essays.

You need to focus on describing a certain person, place, or event.

Luckily for you, the following blog post will provide some helpful tips on how to create an engaging essay.

Continue reading to learn how to write an A-worthy descriptive essay.

Descriptive Essay

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What is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay is a detailed paper that describes a place, person, situation, object, or emotion. Different people have different points of view and your job is to explain yours in detail.

You may be asked to write a descriptive essay about the beach or forest or about a person or situation. The purpose of this essay is to test the writer’s ability in expressing and explaining their experiences.

Descriptive writing should create a picture in the reader’s mind. You may be required to write a descriptive essay as a high school or college essay assignment.

For a compelling essay, using adjectives and adverbs, details, and figurative language is fundamental. Without proper usage of words, you will not be able to invoke the readers' emotions.

What is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

The purpose of a descriptive essay is to describe a person, place, or personal experience in vivid detail so that the reader can create a picture in his mind.

The descriptive essay is written to get the reader to understand by using descriptive language. It is different from narrative essays, where the writer tells the story about someone else. Usually, it starts with a real-life event and then the content follows the author's imagination.

Descriptive essays are not intended to persuade the reader or show facts and figures to prove something. Descriptive essays are like word paintings that contain personal and descriptive details and these are mostly assigned to students of creative writing.

How to Start a Descriptive Essay

A strong start for your descriptive essay is essential. Analyze your topic from every angle and document the following details:

Analyze the main subjects in detail and observe minute things.

  • Start with observing all the possible aspects of the subject.
  • Don't just observe the object but also its surroundings.
  • Focus on details and features of the subject and develop opinions about them.
  • Be thoughtful; this first step will be the basis for the essay.

Physical Settings

Describing the physical settings is a must in a descriptive essay. When describing, keep the following points in mind.

  • Focus on the subject's position and observe nearby objects
  • Note the time of day and kind of lighting: natural or imitated
  • Physical settings: all the basic and decorative elements
  • The position and shape of the objects
  • Alignment and any other observable information

Physical Features

When describing the physical features of the subject, living or nonliving, consider the following points.

  • Living or nonliving; describe the features in detail
  • The subject's skin color, texture, smoothness, expression, and age
  • The features of inanimate objects in the picture, color, surface, and texture

Create Drama

Storytelling and drama are the life and blood of a good descriptive essay. It turns your essay into an exciting and interesting piece of writing. However, be subtle about adding drama to your sentence structure and add it to complement your story only.

Focus On Your Feelings

Focus on how you feel about the particular topic or person and stick to it. It is easy to get involved when working on the essay. But, focus on your own feelings and write an essay based on them.

Use Of Specific Vocabulary

Vocabulary is important. Select the best words for describing an action or object. Don't always use the first word that comes to mind.

Write slowly and thoughtfully, and use specific words to convey your thoughts.

Psychological Aspects

Writing about a certain situation or behavior of a person focuses on the mental aspects and emotions involved in them.

For Example, describe your emotions when your friend misplaced your notes right before the exam.

You may have had several emotions in that incident. Maybe you were prepared for exams, but this situation put you under pressure and made you feel frustrated and hurt.

Explore those emotions and describe the feelings they aroused. Describe the body language also, if relevant.

Ask Yourself, WHY?

This is the most valuable tip for students. When you are looking at a particular subject, and having difficulty analyzing its aspects, ask yourself "WHY".

  • Why is the subject the way it is?
  • Why does the person you are describing have such a deep-set and cold eyes?
  • Why is the animal so wounded and terrified?
  • Why is this particular place famous?

It is a good practice and after some time you will do it naturally. Knowing the why is important if you want to describe your topic properly.

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How To Write A Descriptive Essay?

When you write a descriptive essay, you help your readers visualize an event, a person, or a story. It is written to make your readers feel what you feel about the respective subject.

A descriptive essay seeks to appeal to some or all of the audience’s five senses. Some key things to consider are:

  • Discussing your subject thoroughly
  • Focusing on details and adding them in your essay
  • Sharing your personal feelings and experience about the subject
  • Observing and describing all sensory details of your subject

Here are the steps to write a descriptive essay easily.

1- Choose an Engaging and Focused Essay Topic

An important step that all strong descriptive essays share is having a focused topic. Before you make the outline, identify the purpose of your essay and use it to create an appropriate thesis statement.This type of paper does not require much personal opinion from you. Its main goal should be focusing on information that will make a dominant impression in readers' minds instead.

2- Research and Gather Important Details

When writing a descriptive essay, it is important to make sure you include as many details and sensory information as possible. This helps your reader fully understand the images that are being presented in their mind's eye.You can organize these ideas into categories so they're easy for you to access when needed.

3- Create an Outline of Your Essay

Your essays must be organized by having subheadings that are clear and concise. Group your main points into individual body paragraphs, each of which should only cover one idea or topic at a time.

4- Write your Essay’s Introduction

A good introductory paragraph is much like a road map because it provides direction to your readers.

It provides relevant background information before diving into more specific details related to how something works or why something happens. These could include statistics or stories from real-life scenarios.

5- Write the Main Body Section of Your Essay

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that keeps the reader hooked on what you are saying. Use specific details instead of making generalized statements, and make sure to give examples if necessary.

6- End with a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion of an essay is the final paragraph, and it should summarize all that you have said throughout. It's a good idea to restate the main points and key details from the essay in this section.

It is important so the reader has everything they need for better understanding before ending off on something new.

If necessary be sure not to introduce anything odd or unusual, to avoid any confusion.

7- Proofread and Revise the Essay Carefully

Once you are done writing the essay, proofread and revise it carefully. Make sure that it is free from all kinds of errors.

Descriptive Essay Outline

Like all the other essays, a descriptive essay also follows the usual 5-paragraph essay structure and format.Before starting, it is important to create an outline. Following are the fundamental elements of your descriptive essay outline:

Descriptive Essay Introduction

The introduction sets the footing for the entire essay. Before heading towards the body section, the reader will come across the introduction.

It is the first impression of your work. It is very important to write an engaging introduction so that the readers read the essay till the end.

Start the essay in an easy-to-understand way and language. Provide background information on your topic so they can understand it and its importance.

To make sure the reader feels your emotions and decides to continue reading further, incorporate the following points in your introduction.

The following tips will guide you on how to write a good introduction for a descriptive essay.

  • Attract the reader's attention with an interesting fact, phrase, or quote
  • Don't bombard them with information
  • Go straight to the main pointsInclude enough information to introduce the topic and its significance.
  • Summarize the argument and the main topic and craft your thesis statement

Descriptive Essay Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is an integral part of your essay. It focuses on the argument and the writer’s main idea, which is to be discussed in the essay.

This statement also provides the writer with a chance of explaining the purpose and scope of the topic. It is intriguing and engaging.

A thesis statement is written at the end of the introduction, it is mainly a single sentence that describes the essay objective. The thesis statement should act as a guide to the reader on what to expect in the essay body. It is like a table of contents of a book, to the reader on contents you will get an idea of what the book is all about so you get to understand it better.

It is like a table of contents of a book. By reading it, you will get an idea of what the book is all about.

A good thesis should contain the following things:

  • Define the essay scope - it should narrow down all the points to clarify its purpose.
  • Avoid using common words - you should be creative with your choice of words.
  • Create suspense - it should attract the reader to the body paragraphs of the essay.

For further information on how to write a thesis for a descriptive essay, check out the following examples.

  • Descriptive essay example about a Place

“Even though monarchy is long gone, Buckingham Palace is here to remind us of the aesthetic beauty of that era.”

  • Descriptive essay example about a Person

“One of the characteristics of Spider-Man is his youthfulness, and the fact that he talks to himself more than Hamlet.”

  • Descriptive essay example about an Emotion

“For numerous reasons, the dark forest is my greatest fear, though not a fear which is necessarily smart to face.”

Descriptive Essay Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs of the essay come next after the introduction and thesis statement. It is the main part that continues your essay.

Usually, an essay consists of three body paragraphs but you can add more if needed.

Don't add more than one central idea in one paragraph. Fusing different ideas will confuse the reader.

Build your paragraphs according to the thesis and introduction.

  • Start each body paragraph with the main sentence
  • Use transitions to move between paragraphs smoothly
  • Each paragraph should be five to six sentences long

Descriptive Essay Conclusion

The concluding paragraph is the last part of an essay, and probably your last chance to impress your reader.

The last part that the reader can keep in mind is the conclusion, which is as important as the rest of the essay.

To make it interesting and thought-provoking, include the following points:

  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Summarize the main points
  • Add an intriguing closing statement

After writing the conclusion, make a review of your essay, identify the mistakes and maintain a good tone throughout the essay.

Descriptive Essay Format Sample

Here is the descriptive essay format to help you understand how you can write a winning descriptive essay.


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Descriptive Essay Topics Ideas

Descriptive essay topics are often related to physical settings, locations, living beings, and objects.

Make sure that your essay includes the five senses, touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, or at least one of them. It depends on the topic and the kind of feeling that you want to arouse.

Below are some descriptive essay ideas and ways to achieve them.

Living Beings

When you want to write about a person like a family member, consider the following elements:

  • Gender, age, complexion, and expressions
  • Physical features
  • Height, body type, and approximate weight
  • Kind of clothes

These details will add depth to the description and your readers will actually see your narrative.

When animals are the subject, you can add the above points plus the following details:

  • Species and animal
  • Size, weight, color
  • Behavior patterns
  • Temperament
  • Trained or wild?
  • Real or fictional?

Inanimate Subjects

Geographic locations and structures.

When your subject is a place or a building, add the following points:

  • Research about the place and its historical background
  • The color and the building's type
  • A famous place or landmark to draw a comparison and inspire interest

Human behavior and psychology is a compelling descriptive essay subject. When writing about it:

  • Describe the consequences of a particular behavior
  • Discuss the emotional dimension of the topic and how you perceive it personally

Event Or Travel Experience

A travel experience makes a good descriptive essay since you have experienced the event first hand.

Give a detailed description of the place, people at the venue, and the atmosphere of the location.

Idea, Concept, or Occupation

When writing on such topics, focus on how an idea or concept affects society and its different aspects.

Example Descriptive Essay Topics for Students

Choosing a topic for your descriptive essay is quite interesting. You get to choose something that you have an emotional connection with.

When writing a descriptive essay about a person or place, adding their personal traits will be helpful.

Some examples of descriptive essay topics include:

  • Compose a detailed descriptive essay about your best friend.
  • Describe a fancy place that you have created.
  • Describe your dream vacation destination.
  • Describe your favorite mall or store.
  • Describe your childhood home.
  • Descriptive essay about nature.
  • Descriptive essay about a place you visited.
  • Describe the personality of your Maths teacher.
  • Discuss the main characters of your favorite movie.
  • Descriptive essay about chocolate.
  • Write an essay using unique Words to describe yourself.
  • What makes me unique?
  • My first love.

Descriptive Essay Examples

Study these descriptive essay examples and sample papers to understand the main idea, structure, and purpose of descriptive essays.



To help you understand how to write a great descriptive essay, we have a whole blog post dedicated to it. We know that talking about something is one thing and demonstrating it is completely different.

Having a descriptive essay assignment with a short deadline? Looking for someone to do my essay for me ?

5StarEssays.com academic writing professionals are ready to help you. They read the essay details before writing and make sure that they incorporate all the details in it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the features of a descriptive essay.

A descriptive essay provides a perfect opportunity for writers to express their feelings on any subject. Descriptive writing has rich sensory details which appeal to all of your senses.

How do you start a descriptive essay introduction?

The introduction to the descriptive essay should set the scene and introduce the main topic. You can use these sensory details to get a sense of what the essay is all about.

What are the two types of descriptive essays?

There are two types of descriptive essays. The first type deals with people, and the second one is about objects.

What are the elements of a descriptive essay?

Here are the key elements of a descriptive essay.

  • Sensory details
  • Figurative language
  • Central and main theme
  • Precise and clear language
  • Proper organization of ideas

What makes good descriptive writing?

Good and effective descriptive writing consists of vivid sensory details that appeal to all senses including the sense of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Moreover, these essays also explain people’s feelings in writing.

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Finance Essay, Literature

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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Descriptive Essay

Caleb S.

Descriptive Essay - A Complete Guide

10 min read

Published on: Aug 18, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 15, 2023

descriptive essay

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Have you ever found yourself struggling to paint a vivid picture with your words, to capture the essence of a scene, person, or experience in your writing?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many writers face this challenge when tasked with crafting descriptive essays.

For that, MyPerfectWords.com has come up with a solution!

In this blog, you’ll get easy steps to write good descriptive essays. Along with a step-by-step guide, you’ll also get impressive example essays to learn from.

With expert examples and helpful tips, you'll discover the secrets to crafting captivating descriptive essays. 

So let’s get into it!

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What Is a Descriptive Essay?

According to descriptive essay definition,

“It is a type of essay that is used to describe an event, a place, a person, or anything in detail.”

In a descriptive essay, you're not merely telling the reader about something; you're showing it to them. You're using your powers of observation and imagination to transport your audience to the scene you're describing. 

Whether it's a bustling city street, a serene natural landscape, a beloved childhood memory, or a complex character in a novel, a well-crafted descriptive essay can make the subject come alive in the reader's mind.

Purpose of a Descriptive Essay

The purpose of a descriptive essay is to evoke a strong, sensory experience in the reader's mind. 

Unlike other forms of writing that may aim to inform, persuade, or argue, the primary objective of a descriptive essay is to create a detailed and vivid portrayal of a subject. 

Whether you're describing a person, place, object, or experience, the goal is to transport your audience to that specific moment or location. 

This allows them to feel as if they are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling what you're describing.

Here’s a short video that explains descriptive writing:

Types of Descriptive Essay

Descriptive essays come in various forms, each serving a unique purpose and style of writing. 

Here are some common types of descriptive essays:

  • Spatial Descriptive Essays

These essays focus on describing a specific location or setting. Whether it's a serene beach, a bustling city street, spatial descriptive essays transport the reader to a particular place, allowing them to visualize it vividly.

  • Personal Descriptive Essays

In these essays, writers delve into their personal experiences, memories, and emotions to create a connection with the reader. They often describfge a significant moment in their life, a cherished memory, or a transformative event.

  • Object Descriptive Essays

These essays revolve around the detailed description of a particular object. It could be a family heirloom, a work of art, a unique gadget, or any item that holds personal or historical significance.

  • Character Descriptive Essays

These essays offer a comprehensive portrayal of a character's physical appearance, personality, motivations, and development within the narrative.

  • Process Descriptive Essays

These essays break down a complex process into a step-by-step description. Whether it's a cooking recipe, a scientific experiment, or an artistic technique. Process descriptive essays help readers understand how something is done.

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Elements of a Descriptive Essay

There are five basic features of descriptive essay: 

  • Sensory Details

A descriptive essay involves arousing the emotions of the readers and creating an association with them. Sensory details paint a picture of the subject for the reader and engage their senses like sight, touch, smell, and taste.

  • Figurative Language

Using figurative language is one of the main elements of a descriptive essay. The use of metaphors, similes, adjectives, and adverbs, etc. creates the character sketch of the subject. 

This sketch helps the readers feel what the writer felt about the subject and helps him visualize the subject.

  • Central Theme

The central theme shapes and directs the essay’s content and helps organize the details. It should be well defined and focused on a single point.

  • Precise Language

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. 

  • Organized Ideas    

An organized structure is an essential element of this essay. Also, the chronology, spatial location, and order play an important role.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay? 6 Steps

Writing an effective descriptive essay involves topic selection, creating an outline of parts of the descriptive essay, organizing ideas, and adding relevant information into the essay. 

The following is the process of descriptive writing.

Step# 1. Choose an Engaging Topic

Selecting the right topic is the crucial first step in writing a descriptive essay. Your topic should be captivating, drawing the reader in and keeping them engaged throughout the essay. 

A well-chosen topic sets the stage for an immersive and memorable descriptive experience.

Step# 2. Craft a Detailed Outline

Crafting an outline is essential to ensure your descriptive essay flows cohesively. It serves as a roadmap, helping you organize your thoughts and sensory details in a logical sequence. 

An effective outline keeps you on track to include all the necessary elements that make your description come alive.

Here's the typical descriptive essay structure for you to follow:

Explore this blog about creating a structured descriptive essay outline for organized essay writing.

Step# 3. Begin with a Compelling Introduction

The essay introduction sets the tone for your descriptive essay. It not only introduces the central theme but also incorporates a strong, captivating opinion that makes an initial impact on the reader.

In this section, you provide a concise preview of what the essay will explore, leaving your readers eager to delve further into your descriptive narrative.

Step# 4. Craft an Informative Thesis Statement

A thesis statement defines the scope and purpose of the essay. It is a narrow subject line, which should be clear and precise. 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.

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Step# 5. Writing the Body Paragraphs

To create good body paragraphs for your essay, start each one with a topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement. 

Then, use evidence to support your point and explain how it backs up your argument. Make sure your paragraphs are well-organized, especially if you're talking about personal experiences or memories. 

Finally, summarize the main points in each paragraph to keep your essay easy to follow and well-structured. This will help your essay flow smoothly and support your main idea.

Step# 6. Ending with a Strong Descriptive Essay Conclusion

Crafting a strong essay conclusion is your final opportunity to make a lasting impression on your reader. 

This section should effectively tie together the key elements of your essay. Begin by using appropriate transition words like "to finish with," "in conclusion," or "lastly" to signal the end of your essay. 

Moreover, offer insightful closing thoughts that resonate with the reader, whether it's a thought-provoking idea or a call to action.

Descriptive Essay Topics

Whether you are writing about a person or a place, your topic should have good supporting points that explain the topic. 

Choosing an engaging topic will develop curiosity and hook the reader to the last bit of the essay. Here we have prepared a list of amazing descriptive essay topics for you.

  • A Place of Childhood Memories: Describe your favorite childhood location.
  • The Perfect Sunset: Depict a mesmerizing evening sky.
  • A Walk in the Enchanted Forest: Explore the depths of a magical forest.
  • A Day at the Beach: Capture the sights, sounds, and sensations of a beach day.
  • An Abandoned House: Describe the mysterious allure of an abandoned building.
  • The Art of Street Photography: Portray the life and characters of a city street.
  • A Significant Family Heirloom: Tell the story of a cherished family keepsake.
  • A Visit to a Cultural Festival: Share the experience of a vibrant cultural event.
  • A Place of Solitude: Describe a location where you find peace and tranquility.
  • A Family Reunion: Capture the joy of a memorable gathering with family members.
  • My High School Cafeteria: Recount the bustling atmosphere and diverse interactions in the high school cafeteria.

Descriptive Essay Examples

You should read some good essay examples before writing your own essay. An essay example would help you demonstrate, compile, and organize your essay in a structured form.

Below we have provided some amazing examples to help you know the process.

A School Lunch Hall Descriptive Essay Example

The Weekend Market Descriptive Essay Sample

Descriptive Essay on Historical Place

Descriptive Essay on a Teacher that I Remember

Descriptive Essay on my Village

My Favorite Place Descriptive Essay

5 Paragraph Essay - Descriptive Essay PDF

Descriptive Essay about a person

Descriptive Essay Example about a place

The ultimate aim of this practice is to identify and learn different techniques for writing an impressive descriptive essay. Find more descriptive essay examples here to read and learn from.

Tips for Writing an Effective Descriptive Essay

Writing a compelling descriptive essay requires more than just describing a subject; it demands the skill to make your readers truly see, feel, and experience what you're portraying. Here are some valuable tips to help you craft an effective descriptive essay:

  • Choose an Engaging Topic: Start with a captivating subject that resonates with you and your audience. The more connected you are to the topic, the more vividly you can describe it.
  • Create a Detailed Outline: Plan the structure of your essay. Identify the key elements and sensory details you want to include in your description. A well-organized outline will keep your essay coherent.
  • Use Vivid Language: Your words are the paintbrush for your reader's imagination. Employ descriptive adjectives, strong verbs, and figurative language to create a vivid picture. Paint with words.
  • Engage the Senses: Appeal to all five senses – sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. This immersive approach helps readers connect with your narrative on a deeper level.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Rather than telling your readers about a subject, show it to them through sensory descriptions and tangible experiences. Let them draw their own conclusions.
  • Use Metaphors and Similes: Comparing your subject to something familiar can enhance the reader's understanding. Metaphors and similes create memorable images.
  • Organize Your Description: Present your sensory details logically. Consider the order in which you introduce them, ensuring a smooth flow that makes sense to the reader.
  • Engage Emotions: Your description should evoke emotions in the reader. Describe not only what is visible but also the feelings and atmosphere surrounding the subject.

Summing it up,

Descriptive essay writing is a skill that requires thorough practice. It involves the ability to craft an engaging story with vivid descriptions, sounding as realistic as possible. 

The above-mentioned steps and examples are a great way for students to learn how to write a descriptive essay. 

However, if you still need expert help to write a flawless essay, we’ve got your back.

You can hire an expert descriptive essay writer at MyPerfectWords.com. Our Write My Essay service is your go-to choice for all types of essay writing help. 

Moreover, we provide non-plagiarized essays and high-quality papers based on your custom requirements. So contact our descriptive essay writing service now to get the best essay help at an affordable price.

Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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Descriptive Essay Writing

Cathy A.

Descriptive Essay: Definition, Tips & Examples

Published on: Jun 21, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023

Descriptive Essay

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Many writers struggle to effectively convey vivid imagery and captivate readers through their descriptive essays.

The lack of proper guidance and techniques hinders writers from unlocking the full potential of their descriptive writing skills.

In this comprehensive blog, we aim to provide you with valuable insights, expert tips, and proven techniques to help you master descriptive essays.

We will guide you step-by-step, equipping you with the tools to create compelling and captivating essays.

Get prepared to transform your writing as we delve into the magic of descriptive essays.

Let's get started!

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What is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay is a type of essay that asks the students to describe something, such as a person, place, incident, emotion, or event. It is a detailed description where the writer is painting a picture in words.

Different people have different thoughts and points of view. A descriptive essay allows you to explain your point of view in your own way. You should give a description of every aspect of the topic so that a reader can feel as if he has personally experienced that.

Two Classic Approaches to the Descriptive Essay

There are two main ways to write a descriptive essay: the personal essay and the formal description. Let’s discuss them in detail.

  • Personal Essay

The best way to describe an experience using your feelings and responses would be through a personal essay. This work can awaken empathy in readers, but it's important not to make any mistakes or organize poorly.

Formal Description

Descriptive writing is a great way to show your readers what you're talking about. It resembles an argumentative essay because it has one main goal: communicating key points or describing something in detail.

Features of Descriptive Essay

There are five basic features of a descriptive essay that distinguishes it from other writing types.  Let's discuss them in detail.

  • Sensory Details - A great descriptive essay appeals to the audience's emotions and forms an association for them. In this essay type, a writer paints a picture with words so they have to be really engaging and appealing to the senses.
  • Central Theme - The content of your descriptive essay is shaped according to the central or major theme. Make sure to define the central theme explicitly and focus it on one single point.
  • Figurative Language - A key to writing an impactful descriptive essay is to use figurative language throughout the content. Use metaphors, similes, adverbs, and adjectives to describe settings and characters.
  • Precise Language - The vocabulary you use for the content should be appropriate and accurate. The language, as well as the tone, should reflect the major theme of the essay vividly.
  • Organization of Ideas - Arrange all your ideas and information in a properly structured manner.  Make sure that your descriptive writing is based on these elements to ensure its effectiveness and success. 

Descriptive Essay Format

All formal writing types, including descriptive papers, require a proper format to be readable and understandable.

Therefore, before starting your essay, you should create an outline of your essay. It will help you organize your essay.

Below is the format of the descriptive essay outline.

Descriptive Essay Outline Template

How to Start a Descriptive Essay?

Writing a strong descriptive essay requires a writer to form a strong plan. Following are the steps involved in the pre-writing or planning procedure of a good descriptive essay:

1. Topic Selection

Usually, professors assign the topic for a descriptive essay. But, if you have a choice to select a topic, then you have a great chance to select something which you know a lot about.

Have a look at some popular descriptive essay topics.

Descriptive Essay Topics On Writing About A Person

  • Describe your favorite person
  • Describe your best friend
  • Describe your favorite family member
  • Describe your enemy
  • Describe someone whom you love the most
  • Describe your mother
  • Describe your father
  • Describe your family
  • Describe your favorite brother
  • Describe a person whom you idealize

Descriptive Essay Topics About an Event

  • Describe your friend’s wedding
  • Describe your college farewell
  • Describe the last Christmas party
  • Describe your brother’s bachelor party
  • Describe your own wedding
  • Describe the memorable concert you have attended
  • Describe your last convocation
  • Describe the best dinner party you have ever attended
  • Describe the event you have attended where you were not invited
  • Describe your last day at the office 

Descriptive Essay Topics About a Place

  • Describe your favorite place
  • Describe the place you have visited in the summer
  • Describe your grandmama’s farmhouse
  • Describe your hometown
  • Describe your favorite college
  • Describe your favorite vacation destination
  • Describe your favorite tourist spot
  • Describe your favorite museum
  • Describe your dream house
  • Describe a fancy place that you have created

2. Brainstorming

The next step is brainstorming about the selected topic. At this point, think of all the relevant points that exactly describe your topic.

3. Thesis Statement for Descriptive Essay

After the brainstorming session, develop a strong thesis statement . It is a very crucial part of the whole essay because it will be a prominent part of the essay.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay?

When you have drafted a plan for your essay, it is time to execute it effectively. The writing process of your essay will only get simpler if you have taken all the required pre-writing steps.

Follow the below-mentioned steps to finally begin your writing procedure for the descriptive essay: 

1. Introduction

An introduction is the entry point of your essay. It should be designed to grab the reader’s attention. Usually, it sets the mood for the entire essay. Do not put all the details here; just briefly introduce the main topic. Start the introductory paragraph with suspense so that you can capture the eye of the reader. You can even pose a question so that the reader tries to find the answer in your essay and continue reading.

The body part gives you the freedom to write the details about your selected topic. Here you have 3 to 4 paragraphs where you can paint a picture in the reader’s mind through vivid language, persuading dialogues, or images.

This part should support your thesis. Describe all the points in detail. The idea should come out at the beginning.

The paragraphs should be interlinked with good transition words . Organize your paragraphs in a way that makes sense.

3. Conclusion

It is the last chance to impress the reader. So, you need to pay all attention to this section. Restate your thesis statement and give a short reminder to the reader what the essay was required to cover. Make a good final statement so that the reader can leave thinking about your essay.

4. Proofreading

Proofread your essay to do a review. You can identify the mistakes and correct your tone.  Go through your essay 2 or 3 times so that you can identify all the mistakes and correct them before final submission.

Descriptive Essay Examples

Given below is a visual demonstration of how a descriptive essay typically looks!

features of writing descriptive essay

If you’re still struggling, check out some more descriptive essay examples given below!

Descriptive Essay Example About a Person

Descriptive Essay Example About an Event

Descriptive Essay Example About a Place

For further information, check out this informative video below.

In conclusion, mastering the art of descriptive essays is within your reach.

By implementing the expert techniques and tips shared in this blog, you can elevate your writing to new heights.

Remember to practice and refine your skills, allowing your creativity to flourish.

At CollegeEssay.org, we understand the importance of strong writing skills for academic success.

Our team of experienced writers is here to provide professional assistance. Whether it's your high school or narrative essay, we have got you covered!

Hire our writing service today to achieve your academic goals. Don't forget to try our AI writing tool for exceptional essays!

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

What are the 4 elements of descriptive writing.

The four elements of descriptive writing are:

What are the 2 types of description?

The two types of description are:

  • Impressionistic

How many paragraphs is a descriptive essay?

The five-paragraph essay is a classic format that has been used for a descriptive essay. This format includes an introductory paragraph with the inclusion of a thesis statement, followed by three body paragraphs and a conclusion.

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  • Descriptive Essay

You ever read a really good travel essay? It makes you believe that you are there with the writer, it paints a vivid picture. This is because the essay is so descriptive, that it appeals to our senses. As a result, our brain starts imagining it. Let’s learn more about a descriptive essay.

Suggested Videos

What is a descriptive essay.

Our brain is so powerful that it can easily imagine scenarios and make use of our senses. The job of such an essay is to appeal to our senses in a way that it creates an image in our minds. Hence a descriptive essay plays with at least one of our five senses (touch, smell, taste, hearing, sight).

In other words, the description of the person, place or thing in an essay should be really vivid. This means it after reading the essay, the reader should be left feeling like they actually know the person, have held the object or have visited the place.

Descriptive Essay

In the light of the above-mentioned things, it is comfortable to say that a descriptive essay provides for artistic freedom. For example, assume you’re writing about a house.

Instead of simply stating that the house was beautiful, you should talk about the color of the house, the garden in front of it i.e. all the details about the house. In that way, the readers would be able to imagine the house because of a nicely written essay.

Contents of a Descriptive Essay

As it is with most of the written forms of English literature, the basic structure of a descriptive essay also comprises of an introduction, a body, and the conclusion.

  • The introduction of a descriptive essay should be interesting enough to catch a reader’s attention. The introduction should be all about creating a base or a background for the person, place or thing you’re going to describe in your essay.
  • Next, the main body of a descriptive essay should appeal to the reader’s senses. This includes unfolding the information by creating images in the reader’s mind. A trick to achieving this is to explain how the subject about which you’re writing in your descriptive essay, appeals to your senses.
  • Lastly, the conclusion should summarize the whole essay. Along with again going over the main details about the essay’s subject, you should end the essay in a way that it gives a sense of completion.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay?

Before starting off with a descriptive essay, thinking about the subject in detail will be your best bet. Just take some time off and imagine about the subject. This means to imagine how the subject appeals to your senses- how does it smell, looks like and so on.

Further, if the subject is related to a past experience think about how it felt or your experience with the subject. Next, express all of these on the paper right in front of you. You can also take some time to think about how you want your essay to unfold. Lastly, a revision of the essay provides a great opportunity for improvements and small tweaks. Remember that a descriptive essay is all about teasing the reader’s senses.

A Solved Example For You

Q:   A descriptive essay should:

  • Narrate a story.
  • Appeal to the reader’s senses.
  • Present an argument
  • None of the above

Ans:   The correct option is ‘B’. A descriptive essay should appeal to the reader’s senses in such a way that the reader feels at one with the subject of the essay.

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Descriptive Essay

Publication Date: 20 Nov 2017

Descriptive Essay

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

When it comes to writing a descriptive essay, you have to uncover the deepest meaning of a particular subject, through describing its features with vivid words. You have to appeal to senses and emotions, so this task is quite different from many other essay types. It’s not enough to just provide your readers with facts; you must use all your writing skills and express feelings.

Your goal is to make your readers feel that they have really seen some place, event or object. You have to create an emotional connection with readers, and if you do it right, your essay will get highest grades.

Of course, such a creative task requires a lot of time and effort, there are many specific features that may raise your questions. We outlined a simple five-step guide for you, so you don’t need to puzzle on every paragraph anymore.

Descriptive Essay Writing in Five Steps

First of all, think about what you’re going to describe, and why. If you have an opportunity of choosing the topic, note that you don’t have to choose a well-known subject. You can write about somebody from your family, or about your favorite place, it doesn’t matter.

When you got a topic, think what features of this subject you consider the most important. Think about all details that can help your readers feel what you feel about it. If it’s somebody you know, tell where he or she lives, describe habits and tastes. Don’t focus strictly on physical features; you have to express the deepest meaning of the subject. Tell about your emotions and memories.

After that, draw up an outline and create a structure of your essay.

First of all, this essay type is not too focused on a certain structure. You still need to build a classic structure of introduction, body, and conclusions, but don’t forget that your main goal is to make your essay vivid and interesting. The best approach is to not tell, but show your readers all details. Of course, you don’t have to focus on visual features only. Involve all senses, such as smell, hearing, taste, and so on. Such a task requires you to use figurative and descriptive language. Try to use metaphors and other literary techniques. Take your time, feel your subject, and try to find the best words to describe it. Draw a mental picture and make it unforgettable!

It’s a quite important step. You have to look over your essay and ask yourself necessary questions about it. Does it describe the subject well? Does it create a full picture? Does it involve all senses? You have to make sure that your readers get all necessary information, as well as they feel all emotions related to this subject. You also have to make transitions between your paragraphs, to create an easy-to-read structure, so that your readers could perceive the text in the most natural way. Make sure that you describe all details, but don’t start with the specific features before general things. In other words, don’t describe your friend’s apartment before you introduce your friend.

It’s another step of key importance. Even if your essay sounds really good and grabs your readers’ attention, it still may be bad because of mistakes. Everyone does grammar mistakes, so you have to check your paper a few times to make sure that you haven’t missed a thing. If you need help with proofreading, you can use online grammar checkers, but don’t forget that such programs are unable to analyze your text as a whole, so we suggest you to order professional proofreading on our website, it will help you a lot.

Before you complete the essay, we suggest you to read it to your family or friends. We know that it may be a little bit scary, but anyway, people will read it, so it’s better to hear a feedback from somebody close to you. Take into account all questions and comments, use their feedback to make your essay really good.

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Characteristics of a Descriptive Essay

Devon willis.

The descriptive essay genre encourages a writer to create a striking account of a chosen subject.

A descriptive essay provides a good platform for a writer to express his or her feelings on a subject. As the name suggests, the essay is a description of an object, person, location, or experience. The essay generally includes an introduction, body and conclusion centered on a chosen theme. The writing style is expressive and may include descriptions, opinions, comparisons, personal perceptions and sensory perceptions. The main objective of a descriptive essay is to relate the unique qualities of the person, object, etc. vividly and comprehensively.

Explore this article

  • Capture Readers' Interest
  • Visualization
  • Sensory Experience
  • Objective vs. Subjective Viewpoint

1 Capture Readers' Interest

A descriptive essay should make for interesting reading. To make the essay appealing, the writer needs to consider audience preferences, and use words and descriptions that pique readers' interest. For example, a descriptive essay about a car, written for potential customers, would describe technical and design specifications but would place greater emphasis on aspects that are more likely to concern or interest customers, such as gas mileage, speed, comfort, special features like a sun roof or add-on features like LCD screens.

2 Visualization

Descriptive essays are based more on "show" than "tell" -- giving readers a visual idea of the subject. For example, a "tell" sentence would be, "The sun disappeared into the water." The same sentence in "show" mode might read, "The setting sun disappeared in a blaze of red and gold glory, swallowed up, it would seem, by the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean." Through vivid depictions, the writer conveys to readers individual impressions based on emotions or perceptions.

3 Sensory Experience

Descriptive essays make use of the five senses. The writer effectively conveys personal perceptions on the subject through the use of sensory details and figurative details. Sensory details are those that appeal to the five senses while figurative details involve the use of similes and metaphors to describe the subject. The use of sensory details makes the essay more vibrant and appealing to the readers' imagination. For example, graphic descriptions of odors -- pleasant or unpleasant -- allows readers to "experience" smells.

4 Objective vs. Subjective Viewpoint

A descriptive essay can be either objective (concrete, factual) or subjective (personal). The type of essay that a writer creates will be determined by the kind of emotion that the writer wants to elicit from readers. Presenting a purely objective can be difficult. Conversely, a writer can reduce subjectivity in an essay by including more objective factors, like size, color, shape and distance, exhausting them before injecting personal opinions or feelings.

  • 1 Best Essays: Descriptive Essay Writing Guide
  • 2 Holt, Rinehart and Winston: Writing Activities - Descriptive

About the Author

Devon Willis started writing in 2002. He has worked for publication houses like Edward Elgar Publishing and Nelson Thornes in Gloucestershire, England. He has a B.A. in journalism and a M.A. in mass communication from the University of Gloucestershire and London Metropolitan University, respectively.

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Descriptive Essay Writing

Author: Ashley Ferguson | Updated August 15, 2023

Descriptive Essay Writing: Clear Definition, Useful Student Tips & Good Ideas

Table of content.

  • 1. What is a Descriptive Essay?
  • 2. Two Classic Approaches to the Descriptive Essay
  • 3. Features of Descriptive Essay
  • 4. Descriptive Essay Format
  • 5. How to Write a Descriptive Essay
  • 6. Good Topics to Choose From

As a past student who has walked the same path you tread now, I can recall the challenge of crafting descriptive essays vividly. The dance between the rigidity of the structure and the freedom of creativity was always a delicate balance to maintain. Now, I am here, offering insights, unearthing the intricacies of paper writing, and especially, painting a clear picture of essays. Picture an adventure where every step uncovers new understanding and hidden treasures. Join me as we delve into descriptive essay writing, a journey that will help you master this valuable skill.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

Now, you might ask, what exactly is a descriptive writing essay? From my student days, I remember it as a type of writing that paints vivid images in the reader's mind. It's like being a painter, but instead of colors and brush strokes, you're using words and prose to describe an event, a person, or an emotion.

Picture yourself as an artist, a creator. Your palette is full of words, and your canvas is blank paper. Your mission? To capture a particular scene or moment and make it come alive for your reader. Descriptive essay writing is not just about telling what happened. It's about showing it, making the reader feel like they're with you. It's about creating an immersive experience through the art of describing and writing.

Remember, you are not just writing an essay. You are taking the reader on a journey. So pick up your metaphorical paintbrush and start painting your masterpiece.

Two Classic Approaches to the Descriptive Essay

Personal essay.

I vividly remember the thrill of writing my first personal descriptive essay. The central piece was always the descriptive essay thesis, a statement that concisely conveyed the topic of my essay. I likened it to the heart of my work, pumping vitality into every sentence, every word. Each paragraph would revolve around this statement, like planets in orbit, each providing a unique perspective on the central topic. The personal essay allowed me to share my experiences, thoughts, and world with the readers.

Formal Description

Stepping into the formal descriptive essay structure realm, I can recall the shift in perspective from the personal essay. Here, I described a favorite place, a historical event, or a scientific phenomenon. The thesis became the sturdy scaffold upon which I constructed the tower of my essay. Like a blueprint, the structure outlined the flow of my essay, determining how the thesis, evidence, and conclusion connected seamlessly to form a compelling narrative.

Features of Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay, I found, is like a delicately woven tapestry, full of patterns and features that give it depth and richness. Some of the salient features that make descriptive essays stand out are:

  • Sensory details: a great descriptive essay engages all the reader's senses, transporting them to the heart of the narrative.
  • Central theme: the theme is the backbone of the essay, driving the narrative forward.
  • Figurative language: using metaphors, similes, and personification adds color and vibrancy to the narrative.
  • Precise language: specificity adds authenticity to the descriptions, making them more believable.
  • Organization of ideas: a well-structured essay ensures the narrative flows seamlessly, with each idea leading to the next.

My journey as a student taught me that these features are not just elements of the essay but tools for the writer. By deftly wielding these tools, you, as the writer, can craft essays that breathe life into words, transcending the boundaries of paper and ink.

Descriptive Essay Format

While exploring the world of descriptive essay examples, I discovered they all had something in common – a clear and concise descriptive essay format. Remember, an essay's format is like the skeleton that gives it form and structure. It usually consists of three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

The introduction sets the stage, piquing the reader's interest. The body is where you unfurl your detailed descriptions, while the conclusion is your final bow, tying up your narrative neatly. By adhering to this format, your essays can stand tall, captivating the reader's attention from beginning to end.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

Here's the secret I uncovered on how to write a descriptive essay. Start with choosing a compelling topic that evokes a wealth of sensory details. Your topic can be as vast as a desert or as small as a grain of sand as long as it can paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind. Draft an outline following the format above, anchoring your work on a robust thesis statement.

Fill in the details using sensory descriptions, figurative language, and precise language to bring your topic to life. As you venture forth, remember to use the rich examples from the pantheon of literature as your guide. The path to mastering descriptive essay writing is paved with learning and practice, so don't be afraid to try, explore, and make mistakes. Remember, every masterpiece starts with a single brushstroke.

Good Topics to Choose From

Topics on writing about a person.

Writing an essay about a person is an opportunity to bring out their character, spirit, and essence in your words. A descriptive essay outline will aid you in structuring your paragraphs and ensuring your descriptions are coherent and impactful. Here are some potential topics that come to mind:

  • My grandmother's kitchen.
  • A day in the life of my best friend.
  • Portrait of a stranger in the train.
  • My favorite teacher.
  • An encounter with a celebrity.
  • My childhood hero.
  • The shopkeeper down the street.
  • My first love.
  • A character from a book.
  • A historical figure I admire.

Writing about a person can be an enriching experience. It allows you to dive into their persona, narrate their story, and encapsulate their aura in your descriptions.

Topics About an Event

Describing an event can be exhilarating. It lets you transport the reader to that moment, allowing them to experience it as you did. And, for descriptive essay topics college level, it can be the stepping stone to deeper, more profound themes. Here are some ideas:

  • The event that changed my life.
  • My first day at college.
  • The most embarrassing moment of my life.
  • A memorable birthday party.
  • The day I met my best friend.
  • A family vacation to remember.
  • Attending a traditional wedding.
  • The day I got my first pet.
  • A historical event I witnessed.
  • My graduation day.

Remember, your language, perspective, and unique voice can turn the simplest event into an unforgettable narrative as you write about these events. Choose your person or event and paint it with the color palette of your words.

Topics About a Place

Describing a place is akin to transporting your reader there, letting them experience the sights, sounds, and smells through your words. The options are virtually limitless if you are looking for ideas for descriptive essays about places. Here are ten topics that can ignite your imagination:

  • My secret hideaway.
  • The oldest tree in my neighborhood.
  • A trip to a far-flung island.
  • The busy buzz of a city market.
  • The peaceful tranquility of a monastery.
  • The majestic beauty of a mountain summit.
  • A night in a desert.
  • The liveliness of a children's park.
  • An abandoned building.
  • A day at my favorite cafe.

As writers, we can breathe life into places, turning bricks and mortar, trees, and streams into vibrant settings that captivate readers.

Essay Topics for Middle School

As a middle school student, writing a descriptive essay is an exciting chance to develop your creativity and engage your reader. Here are some essay topics for middle school that are both engaging and fun:

  • My dream bedroom.
  • The most exciting school trip.
  • The haunted house at the end of the street.
  • My favorite place to read.
  • A day at the zoo.
  • My most memorable Christmas.
  • The best tree house in the world.
  • The coolest science experiment.
  • My ideal summer vacation.
  • An imaginary land.

Each place, each event, holds a world of possibility. Choose your topic, draw in your reader with vivid descriptions, and let your words create an unforgettable journey. Remember, in descriptive writing, your imagination is your greatest asset.

What are the four key elements of descriptive writing?

The four key elements of descriptive writing are sensory details, central theme, precise language, and figurative language.

What are the two categories of description?

The two description categories are the personal essay and formal description, each providing a unique approach to descriptive essay writing.

How many paragraphs should a descriptive essay have?

A standard descriptive essay typically has at least five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, the number can vary depending on the depth and complexity of the topic.

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What is Descriptive Writing and How to Write a Descriptive Essay?

Table of Contents

Have your teacher asked you to submit a descriptive essay? If yes, then you must have a basic knowledge of descriptive writing to describe your essay topic in a way that is engaging and meaningful to your readers. What is descriptive writing? To know more about the definition of descriptive writing, types of descriptive writing, and characteristics of descriptive writing, continue reading this blog post. Also, from here, learn how to write an outstanding descriptive essay.

Definition of Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay is a kind of essay that summarizes or describes a topic using suitable details. The description can be about a person, event, thing, or place. The ultimate aim of a descriptive essay is to create a picture in the reader’s mind through a detailed description.

Mostly, in order to enhance the writing skills of students, teachers often ask students to submit a descriptive essay assignment. Moreover, writing descriptive essays regularly will help the students present their thoughts in a manner that is engaging and interesting for the readers.

What is Descriptive Writing?

So, what is descriptive writing? Descriptive writing is a type of writing technique that allows the authors to describe a specific topic in a more detailed, informative, and interesting way. Also, this writing strategy helps the authors to learn new words and improve their vocabulary. Basically, descriptive writing has an appealing structure and exceptional power. It invokes smells, sounds, tastes, and textures.

If you wish to strengthen the reading experience, then while composing your write-up, you can use descriptive writing. Your readers can easily relate to the writing and connect the content by using hearing, tasting, and touching.

Especially, by using descriptive writing, you can become a better writer and also write the essay in a way that is more appealing to your readers. This will help your readers to get a clear understanding of the thing you are describing. Most importantly, when describing, use the correct choice of words and describe the topic from your perspective by including your personal experience.

descriptive writing

Features of Descriptive Writing

Listed below are the characteristics of descriptive writing.

  • Good descriptive writing makes use of sensory details to showcase a picture that is appealing to the readers. 
  • It uses figurative language like metaphors and analogies to make the picture clear to readers.
  • This uses specific adjectives, and nouns to render life to the picture to set up in the reader’s mind. 
  • It should be organized using the physical description, feelings, actions, and thoughts of the person. 
  •  This should be concrete, evocative, and plausible. 

Types of Descriptive Writing

The following are the different types of descriptive writing.

  • Writing about self : This involves writing about My favorite holiday destination, My school, etc. The writer describes himself by writing a story on how things affect him. 
  • Writing about others : This includes articles like My Father, My Favorite Teacher, etc. The writer should be successful in creating a picture of the person in the audience’s mind. 
  • Any memory or experience : This involves recalling any memory or any visit to your favorite place. He has to describe any past event. 

Various Descriptive Writing Techniques

Listed below are some effective descriptive writing techniques that you can follow.

  • Brainstorming ideas : Think about some brainstorming ideas before writing the essay. If you are writing about bread, start by writing a few words like double bread, brown bread, and white bread. Compile a list for each.
  • Use precise and succinct language : Make the right choice of words that are relevant to your topic. 
  • Choose expressive language : Choose the language that serves the user’s purpose. Use ‘reminiscence’ in place of ‘memory’, and ‘leisurely’ in place of slow. Such words make a firm vision in the reader’s mind. While describing, make the thing captivating. 
  • Make a clear impression : Make a clear impact and an intense sense of appreciation and familiarity in the reader.
  • Be cognizant : Don’t fall into a trap of emotions. Have logical support for any argument to convince the readers.

Related post: A Look at the Benefits of Creative Writing Exercises

Understand How to Write a Descriptive Essay

The key to writing a descriptive essay is to form a picture in the reader’s mind by involving all five senses- smell, taste, sound, touch, and sight. As a writer, you will have to accomplish all these things to come up with a successful descriptive essay.

If you are asked to write a descriptive essay, make sure to execute the steps that are presented below.

Steps for writing the descriptive essay

Choose a Topic

This essay focuses on an event, person, place, or thing. While writing, the author has to make sure that he conveys the concept of the topic by describing the things in detail that make an impact on the reader’s mind. Demonstrate the things by showing the picture in the reader’s view carefully. Your essay has to make sense by describing the events in paragraphs in chronological order. The introductory paragraph should build a tone to set all the ideas you may cover later.

Read more topic: Thought-Provoking Argumentative Essay Topics for You to Explore

Identify the Thesis Statement

Find out a thesis statement to establish the purpose of the essay. This will regulate the flow of the essay through which the message is conveyed to the readers. This idea will set the essay structure while writing. 

List the senses

Create columns for describing the five senses. These designed columns will help you to analyze your thoughts as you describe the topic. Mention any feeling or sensation that you came across while writing. The author should provide all the sensory details to support the thesis statement. You can make use of tools like personification, similes, and metaphors. After preparing the columns, you have to store the information that supports your thesis. You will note these details to put into the paragraph. 

Sketch an Outline

Draft a well-structured essay outline by including the essential components such as the introduction, body, and conclusion. 

Develop the Essay

Next, with the support of the prepared outline, create an excellent descriptive essay as per the university guidelines. The essay should explain the thesis statement with valid arguments and supporting evidence. Particularly, in the conclusion section, summarize the entire essay and reconfirm your thesis. Note that, the conclusion should be written in an attractive manner so that your readers will remember the discussed points for a long time.

After writing the essay, take a short break to clear your mind. It is time to look back into the essay after a fresh and read it in the way, the audience will perceive it. Read the entire essay keeping the reader in mind. Think,  if the paper makes sense to you. Does any paragraph need to be rephrased or corrected? The choice of words will determine the author’s view and personality. The details you mention should give the readers adequate information to establish a whole picture. Proofread the entire essay again and again. Allow your friends and colleague to read it and be ready for any criticism and feedback.

Check for any spelling mistakes, grammar, and punctuation. Rectify your mistakes. Rewrite the things that do not make any sense. Make sure that the final product is ready to publish. Analyze the things that need to be reworked. 

Wrapping Up

We hope you have now gained a better understanding of descriptive writing. If you want to write a brilliant descriptive essay, then follow the tips shared above. In case, you are still confused about how to write a descriptive essay, quickly reach out to us. At greatassignmenthelp.com, we have plenty of experienced essay helpers to offer you cheap and best essay writing help online . According to the requirements you share with us, our experts will come up with an amazing descriptive essay. Besides that, from our experts, you can also get assistance for writing all types of essays. We offer 24/7 assignment writing services in diverse academic disciplines as well.

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4 Characteristics Of A Good Descriptive Essay

Characteristics of descriptive essay

Table of Contents

Search for a good descriptive essay.

Writing a descriptive essay is easy, but writing a good descriptive essay is hard. It would not be an overstatement to say that the whole act of writing one is about bringing in and balancing multiple elements. These elements do vary much in character, but in intensity and frequency with which they appear throughout the text.

Throughout high school, college admissions, and then college, students are often asked to write detailed descriptive essays to pass classes. That’s why it is imperative for them to not only understand the mechanics of a good descriptive essay but also train their eyes to separate a great one from a mediocre one. This resource is all about explaining the characteristics of a good descriptive essay.

Descriptive Essay Writing – A Recap

Before we move on to the characteristics of one, let’s recap what a descriptive essay is. In a nutshell, a descriptive essay is a personal account describing a person, a place, a thing, an event, or an experience using literary devices such as figurative language, sensory details, and so on. The rationale behind indulging in this exercise is to connect the subject with the readers through relevant details. Based on the approach and content of a descriptive essay, it can be classified into one of two types:

  • Objective descriptive essay
  • Impressionistic/ subjective descriptive essay

Where the former merely describes the features and traits of a subject in all its earnestness, the latter bears a strong mark of the writer’s biases, subjectivity, and experience.

Even though there is no set structure for a descriptive essay, it is best to spill out the details in an organized fashion so that it becomes easier for the writer to check all the boxes. In turn, the readers will be more satisfied because they will find the text easier to follow and understand.

Characteristics To Look For In A Good Descriptive Essay

There are benchmarks for certain things that can help us distinguish a good one from the mediocre one. A smartphone with the best features can tower over a mid-ranger with a middling performance. In the art department, a singer who can hit all the notes with a clear dynamic range is likely able to engage listeners in the best way.

All of this is true for descriptive essay writing. It has its mechanics as well as bells and whistles under the hood, but the manifestation helps the readers connect with the subject in the best manner.

In this section, we will take a look at these characteristics through examples and analogies.

Capturing Readers’ Imagination

The purpose of  writing a descriptive essay is to entertain readers by providing a quality account of the subject under consideration. The essay that cannot do that fails to fulfill its primary duty. Experts even go to the length that a descriptive essay cannot do that is not a descriptive essay at. The first thing that the writer needs to do to capture readers’ imagination describes the person, the event, or the thing that is the topic of the essay. Many students err on the side of quantity instead of quality, resulting in poor grip and bridging between the sections. That’s why while writing, editing, and before submitting your descriptive essay, you need to take a look at it through the eyes of a reader and see how much of it is working.

Visualization of the Subject

In a descriptive essay, the subject range is wide and large. It can be a person with certain characters, a place that holds a special spot in the mind of the writer, an object with certain qualities, and so on. While writing the description, the writer’s job should be to help readers see or feel the subject. It can go to a length where readers can swear that they have experienced the subject under consideration with no barrier at all. For instance, if you are writing an essay on a person that you envied, there are three aspects to that.

You need to show who you are, who that person is, and what are the unique things that that person possesses that you envy him about. Without visualizing these details, readers will have a hard time understanding anything at all.

Sensory Experience To Bridge The Gap

Human beings rely on the five senses to distinguish between different things, even the individual character of one thing from the other in the same family. For instance, an apple smells different than a lemon, and a rotten apple smells different from a fresh apple. While writing a descriptive essay, writers need to make things come alive using sensory details. By providing copious information on what the subject looks like, how it smells, what the quality of its sound is, and more bridge the gap for the readers. This is one of the hallmarks of descriptive writing and one that is devoid of this aspect cannot be called rightly so. Students in schools and colleges should be well aware of the fact and infuse life and character in the subjects through the sensory experience.

The Viewpoint of the Writer

Whether you are writing an objective description of a subject or an impressionistic one, it is necessary to have the character and personal experience of the writer in the viewpoint. Just like narrative writing, the narrator or writer himself is part of the essay. His biases, likes, and dislikes, as well as opinions on certain things, provide a character to the writing. For example, if a writer finds the fall romantic and a prelude to life, he will show the power of regeneration in yellowed leaves.

On the other side, if a writer feels overwhelmed with gloom in the autumn season, it is hard to escape his take during description. No matter what the take the writer is, it should be clear and ubiquitous throughout the length and breadth of the essay.

Writing A Winning Descriptive Essay

After we have identified the major distinguishing characteristics of a descriptive essay , let us go through the process of writing one. The process is similar to writing a narrative essay, especially in the approach to getting started and covering the basics. It has a thesis statement, a theme to focus on and incorporate into the content, and a setting where all the elements get to play out and balance one another.

As mentioned in the opening lines, writing is easy but writing a good piece is hard. So no matter how many tips and hacks we share with novice writers, personal discretion and interest will also play a role in improving their writing.

Using Figurative Language

Figurative language has been a hallmark of descriptive writing. Depending on the subject, reach, and scope of an essay, it is used to connect the dots for the readers. Figurative language comes in different forms, but it must be refined and on-point to be effective. Imagery is one of the most important aspects of figurative language. Its power and capability can be understood through the fictional worlds and universes that writers have created in their stories and sagas. Where a standard essay may not be long enough to create whole new worlds, you can make the subject come alive through the masterful use of figurative language.

Making The Subject Come Alive

The primary motive behind writing a descriptive essay is to entertain the readers and make them “see” or “feel” the subject through the sheer power of description. This is not possible without using literary devices and other clever use of language. Many writers appeal to the sensory and perceptive powers of the readers by leaving a trail of sensory breadcrumbs. This is but one way of doing that. Literary devices such as similes, metaphors, analogies, and more can do the job as they can help the readers bridge gaps between what is being described and what they know already. Remember, the rationale is to make it come alive on paper.

Evolving Essay Structure

A descriptive essay does not have a rigid structure and construction lines to follow, unlike its other counterparts. Still, writers with little to no experience can benefit from creating a working outline and structure before moving forward. This will keep their heading true and help them reach the destination they set out to reach in the first place. Many writers claim that creating an outline can hinder the creative process. This is not true because the outline is not something immutable and can be altered according to the needs, whenever they arise. So, having a flexible structure from the beginning can help the students stay on course.

What are the basic elements of a descriptive essay?

These four are considered to be the basic elements of a descriptive essay:

  • Vivid details
  • Use of figurative language
  • Sensory experience
  • Evolving structure

A writer’s job while writing a descriptive essay is to balance them in such a way that the potency of each one is amplified for the benefit of the reader.

How can I identify a good descriptive essay from a poor one?

A good descriptive essay has the following characteristics:

  • It has a hinting topic that interests potential readers
  • The structure is not rigid but the necessary information is organized and accessible
  • It has all major sections doing their job
  • The subject is well-defined and observed in the essay

Are there any rules for descriptive writing in college?

The rules for descriptive writing can be different from one college to another, depending on their focus and curriculum. Here are some universal merits that writers should keep in mind:

  • No obvious descriptions
  • Bland language with no character
  • Figurative language to provide vivid details
  • Steer clear of over-description

How many paragraphs are in a descriptive essay?

In a standard school or college descriptive essay, there are usually five paragraphs. Here is a breakdown of them according to their place and content.

  • Opening/ introduction (1 paragraph): it starts with a hook and sets the stage for the context and setting and closes with a thesis statement.
  • The main body (3 paragraphs): this is where all the major elements of the essay come into play and balance one another.  
  • Closing/ conclusion (1 paragraph): it summarizes the main points of the essay and ties all the loose ends for the readers.

What is the best way to start a descriptive essay?

The best way to start a descriptive essay is with a hook. A hook is a literary device that can be a quotation from a writer or a literary work, a question directly asked by a reader, or a statistic that connects the opening with the general content of the essay. A hook makes the readers invested in the essay and urges them to complete it.

How do you conclude a descriptive essay?

Many students overlook the importance of concluding an essay resulting in a poor reader’s response. Essentially, a conclusion provides the place for the writer to reiterate the important points and make them memorable since this is the last section that readers will read. A descriptive essay should be concluded by summarizing important points and signing off with catchy one-liners.

Summing It Up

Writing a descriptive essay has its highs and lows. The process seems arduous and taxing to many, especially deciding on a topic and then conducting due research to outline the whole essay. But the results come out satisfactory and bring good scores for students in schools and colleges.

We have shed ample light on the characteristics that distinguish a good descriptive essay from a poor one. These include capturing readers’ imagination, helping them visualize the subject, sensory details to bridge the gap of space and time, and the clear position of the writer. In addition to this, we have chalked out a simple guide to writing a descriptive essay.

We hope that students will find it helpful and put the knowledge into practice while composing a descriptive essay!

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How to write a Descriptive Essay? With Outline & Examples

Are you a newbie to descriptive essay? Searching for expert guide on “how to write a descriptive essay”? Wants to have the best of all? Want to be safe from the pitfalls? Are you really worried about writing the best of all? Do not worry! We got this for you. Continue reading this if you want answers to all of these.

An academic career always require writing a good descriptive essay. This essay is considered good when the details provided are vivid and introduce some sensory information to “show” the readers rather than “tell” them. Still wondering what is a description essay and how to write a descriptive essay? Keep on reading as we are about to delve into this in some detail below.

Table of Contents

What Is A Descriptive Essay?

Such an essay is described as an essay which gives details of an event, person,place, etc., using figurative language and sensory information. After reading a descriptive essay, the audience clearly understands the topic, having a bit of detail about what the writer has written, Such as Writing a descriptive essay about a place. But remember, figurative, vivid and sensory details play the most crucial role in such an essay.

Examples of descriptions

Examples of description are:


Research articles etc.

What Is The Purpose Of A Descriptive Essay?

The purpose of any descriptive essay is to describe something first of all. However, a descriptive essay tends to give a clear cut picture to the audience so that they walk away after reading the essay like watching something and feeling them through their own senses.

It helps to improve vocabulary. Such as; When a person write such an essay, he must refer to some tools and techniques for writing good description such as Grammarly, meanings, synonyms, punctuation etc. This will help him form strong basis for error free writing in other forms of writings too and not just the descriptive. Hence, it proves to be effective.

This will help him form strong basis for error free writing in other forms of writings too and not just the descriptive. Hence, it proves to be effective.

How To Write A Descriptive Essay?

how to write a descriptive essay

in the start, there are some steps that needs to be followed properly to make an essay longer with words. Such steps are as follows:

Select an essay topic of your choice

Organize the information.

Brainstorm ideas

Choose a person, place or event to describe

Select tone or emotion

Listing sensory details to add

Let’s discuss these in a brief detail now. Here you go:

Pick a particular point at the start. It is crucial to choose the motivation behind the paper before you start illustrating or composing. For example, it could be proper to sum up your primary thought in a proposition explanation. In these papers, your focus should be less about your perspective and more about highlighting the data that should establish the prevailing connection in your reader’s brain.

The best papers are with detail—names, times, fundamental qualities, foundation data, and tactile data that can help embed your central matters in your scholar’s brain. Gather these subtleties, and afterward, use note cards to bunch them into explicit classes of data that you can pull up on a case-to-case basis.

Brainstorm Ideas

Brainstorming is the art of mind mapping ideas and information in imagination and jotting these ideas down if necessary. The experts’ advice is to jot these ideas down because when there are lots of them, they can’t be remembered all at the same time when you will be adding them into the original essay.

Choose A Person, Place Or Event To Describe

Choose one in the list. One good option is to  write an introduction paragraph  about a person you admire the most. It could be anyone; parents, instructor, first love, the person you hate the most, and many more including the fictional personalities in movies, books, novels, etc. But, before writing, you have to make sure that lots of information and ideas are in mind about that person so as to complete the requirements of the word count too. And not just the word count, but overall a small description would not work well

One have to be brief while writing such a long essay because it is not just about describing, it is about showing what you feel.

Likewise, second good option is to write about a place. It can be any place either you have visited or you just want to describe it because you love it or hate it. Such as Bermuda triangle, a good vocational spot, the most haunted place etc. Make sure to use enough sensory details to sound good. You can also describe an object likewise.

An event can also be described based on either personal experience or just a historical or generic event. Such as, your visit to a mall, World War II, the speech of a renowned personality, the scene at the station after a bomb blast etc.

Select Tone Or Emotion

A tone of an essay is the main thing you need to consider. This will make your essay the best or the worst. Hence, while choosing a tone for your essay, make sure you give consideration to it from every angle. A good tone is the one which is friendly, connecting and well established throughout the essay.

Likewise, the emotions you use in the essay matter a lot. This connects you with the audience or the readers. Emotions such as happiness, sadness, desire, rage etc., are used in an essay. Professional essay writers can also build the emotions to describe his own experience with the topic under discussion, Such as writing about descriptive essay about sadness, which describes the writer’s emotion on that particular topic.

Listing Sensory Details To Add

Here comes the most important part of this essay. After done with the above initial steps, now is the time to plan for sensory details to be integrated into the essay. It could take the same form as that of the brainstorming ideas. Make a list of these details about the topic.

By drafting, we mean the rough essay that resembles the same original essay you will finalize at the end of the process. Rough drafting help purify choices and the essay itself. While rough drafting, never think of an idea as silly and do not stop. Keep going and add every bit of an idea that you have brainstormed.

This draft may contain lots of errors and mistakes but it will help you write the final draft free of these thingies. Hence, draft the essay before a final write-up and do consider reviewing it twice before moving ahead with your final draft to help minimize errors and purify ideas.

How to write a descriptive essay introduction?

Introduction for this essay is an important part of the essay. It captures reader’s attention, prepares them for the type of information they will get in the essay and also whets their appetite.

It is important that you introduce what your essay will be about in just a few sentences, this way people know whether or not they want to read it. This introduction should mention some key points in order to attract readers.

For example, if you are writing an essay about something you love or something that impacted your life, mention it in the introduction so people know it’s coming up later on in the text.

A good opening sentence may be “I love ice cream” or “The event that changed my life was when my dad died”

features of writing descriptive essay

How to write a conclusion for a descriptive essay?

The conclusion of a descriptive paper or essay is an opportunity to summarize what you’ve written and to provide a sense of closure for the reader.

When writing a conclusion for this essay, it is important to reiterate the main points of your paper. You should also summarize what you have learned from the experience and how you have grown as a person. Finally, wrap up by stating your opinion on whether or not you would do something similar again in the future.

Descriptive Essay Outline

descriptive essay outline

The outline for descriptive essay is stated in here. It has the same basic structure of any essay i.e.


However, it integrates many elements into its structure and the outline for it is as follows in the descriptive essay outline example.

Paragraph 1:


Hook statement

Background information with sensory details

Thesis statement with integrated details

Paragraph 2:

Topic sentence related to the paragraph

Detail description of the object, event or person integrating sensory details

Closing statement

Paragraph 3:

Topic sentence and transition from the previous paragraph

Paragraph 4:

Here you have to write a good descriptive essay conclusion summing all the essay. The best answer to how to end a descriptive essay is to state your opinion on whether or not you would do something similar again in the future.

Paragraph 5:

Summarize the whole discussion about the event, object or place.

Restate your thesis statement

Close with a clincher statement or a happy ending

Your engaging composition should be coordinated. For example, gathering your primary concerns into sole body paragraphs or passages, every one of which ought to be a sub-classes of your essay’s principal theme.

This is a perfect descriptive outline example according to the topic. You can also check out more descriptive essay examples online to improve your writing.

Introduction of the essay

A decent start on a paragraph can be a guide for your whole piece. The best presentations start with a trick like a non-serious inquiry or a strong assertion. Then, after your surprise, give worldwide setting and blueprint questions that your paper will try to handle. Finally, your essay proclamation should come toward the finish of the presentation.

Each body passage should start with a topic sentence that secures the consideration of your readers and mentions to them what’s in store from the section. Be just about as explicit as conceivable without overpowering the reader’s mind with data. Exact models consistently establish a more incredible amount of a connection than speculations.

Concluding or Summarized Paragraph

Sum up the article in the finishing up section.

Your decision is the catch on the whole article.

  • Use it to repeat the primary thoughts you set up in the central section and contact back on critical subtleties from body passages.
  • Try not to utilize this passage to present groundbreaking thoughts fascinatingly.
  • On the off chance that you understand you actually have significant themes to incorporate, make another body passage.

Features Of Descriptive Writing

A descriptive writing has the following characteristics:

  • Use of colorful language
  • Integrating the senses
  • Making a clear impression

Let’s discuss these in detail now:

A good description is the one having a stream and flowy transition from one ideas to another. Organize your writing starting from a good introduction leading its way through conclusion. Write a good introduction, starting from hook statement, adding background details and at its end the thesis statement of the essay.

The body paragraphs should be such that it displays all the details and requirements of the description adding sensory details into it as well.

Also, unnecessary and irrelevant details should be avoided to make sure there is no ambiguity left. The conclusion at the end should be such that it summarize all the description of the above all essay. It should restate the thesis and end with a good clincher. Also, ensure you essay is fully organized so to be easily understood.

Use Of Colorful Language

The important thing about a description is that, the writer has to show the readers and just telling might not work. Such as when describing a day as a cloudy day, telling like “cloudy the blue sky is” might not work. You have to show the readers “the sky was surrounded by huge cotton candies like clouds in different colors with its massive structure indicating a shower of rain is to occur”.

Use good vocabulary and colorful language just like the one given in university essay examples so to give details and connect to the readers. Crystal clear eyes are a better word when describing blue eyes. Figurative language i.e. metaphors, similes, etc. make the description even colorful. Figurative language is also useful to be appealing to the audience.

Integrating The Senses

Sensory details make the entire essay of this sort. The writer has to integrate them to show the audience how something sound, taste, smell, look like etc. These details should be such that the readers develop a vivid picture in their mind and imaginations. The reader should feel it when you describe the sparkling stars, the sourness of the lemon, the spices of the soup, the loudness of the thunder etc.

Well! You might be aware now after these examples that how such details work. Let’s move ahead.

Making A Clear Impression

Make sure the reader has clearly understood what you have integrated into the essay. By clear impression, we mean that after reading your essay, the reader should know how the bell rings, how spicy the dish was, how tasty the cake was, how colorful the cotton candies were and details like these.

Remember! You have to impress the readers to an extent that they want more of it. Leave them in cravings for more. This is what makes a good description work.

You might have understood now, how the integration of senses, figurative language, organize piece of writing and good description work to make a perfect essay.

Search for approaches to breathe life into your language

Before you consider your paper total, please go through it and search for where unique tactile distinctions may upgrade a description. Search for freedoms to recount a story as opposed to present records. Expressive language and artistic instruments will keep your paper in your persuader’s psyche long after they’ve completed the process of perusing.

A Descriptive essay may seem to be a sort of an essay, but it has distinct qualities. Because it has a purpose, composing pattern, proper body structure, and ending.

Readers prefer to read, as it works as an escape from them for peace of mind. It is way too engaging.

It doesn’t let them get distracted, and they find their time well utilized.

Also, a tremendous healthy strategy from the writer’s perspective too.

Descriptive Essay Example

Now that you are familiar with all the processes of descriptive writing, let’s move now to some examples to show you how these all things work. So, let’s move from theory to application:

features of writing descriptive essay

This is all the required information for a good descriptive essay on our side. But in case of queries regarding this, or you are looking for something that is not discussed here, the  perfect essay writing services are all yours.

The feature of descriptive essay are:

These features ensure a good descriptive essay by proper structuring, use of figurative language and sensory details, and flashing a clear picture of the details on the audience.

Following topics are narrow enough to be the subject of a descriptive essay:

  • Vintage computers
  • Personal computers
  • Laptop computers
  • Computers etc.

To write a descriptive essay thesis:

  • Plan through brainstorming
  • Look through the main idea of the essay
  • Keep it brief and relevant
  • Keep it specific to the subject
  • Reflect it in the entire essay

To  start a descriptive essay  about a place:

  • Plan for the hook to catch the attention of your reader about the subject.
  • Give some background details to reflect the essay about the place
  • Use sensory detail to provoke the response of audience
  • Insert a good and strong thesis statement that will reflect the entire discussion of the place represented throughout the essay.
  • Sum up the essay in the conclusion
  • Your decision is the catch on the whole essay.

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features of writing descriptive essay


Descriptive Essays: General Overview

Table of Contents

Descriptive Essay: Definition and Purpose

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What Are the Elements of a Descriptive Essay?

How to write a descriptive essay: step-by-step guide, common descriptive essay topics, how to order a descriptive essay, what makes good descriptive writing, learn more about figurative language, expert tips for writing a descriptive essay, make writing a descriptive essay easier – order it online, customer feedback on the delivered essays.

Students at colleges and universities have to know what EDNA means – Exposition, Description, Narration, and Argumentation, which are commonly known as the modes of discourse. Students have to comprehend the basic differences and requirements of the abovementioned modes of discourse if they want to succeed in academic writing. To develop one’s descriptive essay writing skills, he/she has to work on the task and keep practicing all the time. However, there are some prompts, which if used properly, can help you write very imaginative, effective descriptive essays. At Fresh-Essay.com, we will provide an extensive descriptive essay definition and explain how students have to approach such writing tasks.

As the name suggests, the main goal of writing a descriptive essay is to describe something in a thorough manner from someone’s personal or impressionistic perspective. Descriptive essays have some characteristics that are similar narrative essays’ ones, but the end goals of descriptive and narrative essays are different.

A descriptive essay is a form of essay that asks a student to describe something; for instance, a place, person, incident, even or even an emotion. Providing a detailed description of something, in this type of essay the author is painting a picture in words. A descriptive essay allows the writer to explain his/her point of view in his/her own way. The writer should provide a vivid description of every aspect of the topic, giving the readers an opportunity to feel as if they have personally experienced that.

Descriptive essays are written with the aim of describing someone’s experience, emotions, attitudes, beliefs, places, objects, people, customers, cultures, etc. It is just a small list of what this type of writing can entail. Professors usually assign writing descriptive papers when they want to make students apply their creativity and imagination to the writing task. The key feature of descriptive papers is to reflect your artistic freedom and make reader visualize the subject of description. You are welcome to look at our descriptive essay examples produced by the writers at Fresh-Essay.com, which will help you understand better how to organize your ideas in descriptive pieces of writing.

Usually professors do not restrain students from the selection of their own descriptive essay topics. Therefore, you should choose the one that interests you the most. However, you have to understand that describing an object, event, etc. you know little about will not bring good results. Therefore, do not think that the choice of a difficult topic will surprise your professor, who is interested not in the topic itself, but the way you explore it. While working on any descriptive paper, it is preferable to have someone who can read it. It can be your friend or classmate who could tate if it was easy to visualize what you described and whether the language is vivid/dull to create any impressions.

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When students get such an assignment for the first time, they often ask “ what are critical elements of descriptive essays ?” There are some major and critical elements of an essay that are to be followed, a few of them are mentioned below:

  • Expressions or sensory details

It is like adding the details that can arise emotions in the readers so that they can connect to whatever they are reading. A writer has to add all the details that can add to the underlying meaning of the content. The sensory details are a must in the essay such as helping readers engage their senses such as sight, smell, touch, and taste.

  • Use of figurative language

It is central to make use of figurative language because it is another major element of the descriptive essay. One should make use of metaphors, adjectives, similes, adverbs, and symbols that can make a reading worth a time. The use of figurative language can also help the readers understand the subject and visualize the meaning of the work.

  • Major idea and the theme

Although the essay is based on the expressions, it is important to infer that there is a central theme that should be followed. The choice of the theme helps to create the underlying essence of the essay and it is important to keep the essay to the point and focused.

  • To the point language

The language of the essay should be to the point because it will help to keep the readers stay connected with the content and the subject. The language should also be compatible with the theme that the writer is following in the essay

  • Ideas organization

An essay should have organized ideas taking into account the chronology, the orders plat, and the spatial location.

USEFUL TIP: A narrative essay investigates a topic using narrative techniques, while the aim of a descriptive essay is to illustrate a place, concept, or an object in detail.

When you are working on this type of paper, it is important to know the descriptive essay format. If you wonder “what is a descriptive writing procedure?”, we are going to give you some useful tips. To create this type of paper, follow the steps provided below:

  • Choose a Topic

Choosing a good 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.

  • Create an Outline

Draft a descriptive essay outline to organize your information in a proper sequence. It will help you structure your essay and remind you to include all the sensory details.

  • Write a Descriptive Essay Introduction

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.

  • Craft an Informative Thesis Statement

A descriptive essay thesis statement defines the scope and purpose of the essay. It is a narrow subject line, which should be clear and precise. 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.

  • Compose Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs support the introduction, the purpose, and follow 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 this essay, most of the transition words used are conjunctions. Make appropriate use of conjunctions that suit your essay. Organize your paragraphs properly in an orderly form, in case of experience and memories.

The greatest thing in working on descriptive essays is the variety of topics and the wide range of aspects that can be discussed. One can write the essay about a person, a place, an object or a memory. Here are a few examples of descriptive essay topics:

Essay about a person:

  • Describe someone you love
  • Describe your best friend
  • Describe one of your family members
  • How might Othello look like in real life
  • Princess Diana as a role model
  • A stranger that I would like to meet

Essay about a place:

  • Explain the detailing of the Lincoln Castle
  • The description of the dream house
  • The description of Safari Park
  • A detailed insight into the Niagara Falls

Essay about an object:

  • The description of my best watch
  • How my favorite PlayStation looks like
  • What are the things that I want to purchase patiently?
  • The description of the vase that I got from my mother

Essay about a memory:

  • Describe any memory of the childhood
  • What is the worst memory of life
  • How I celebrated my birthday
  • How I felt when I went abroad for the first time

The answer to ‘what makes good descriptive writing?’ isn’t always a clear one. Everyone writes differently and has their own unique style. However, there are ways that children can learn and improve their descriptive writing as they grow. One of the most effective ways to make good descriptive writing is to make use of the five senses: sound, sight, smell, touch and taste. By exploring the senses, we can create a vivid picture that the reader can visualize. Think about it: when you go to the park or even when you sit at home, you don’t just see things. You hear, feel, touch (and sometimes taste) them too. Using this helps to make the description more real, authentic and effective for the reader. As well as this, here are some other pointers to help an author understand what makes good descriptive writing:

  • Use unexpected words – Sometimes it’s possible to convey a certain mood by using words or phrases that aren’t usually associated with the thing being described.
  • Think about the person who is describing – Like the above, certain characters might have different views about what’s being talked about. Try to match the words you use with how the character might think.
  • The use of figurative language – Metaphors, personification, onomatopoeia, alliteration, similes, idioms and hyperbole can all elevate the standard of descriptive writing.
  • Do not over-describe – Sometimes, there are certain things that don’t need to be described, but it all depends on what the story is about and what’s important to it. While a window might not be important for one story, it might be the centre-piece for another. Think about what’s important and don’t over-describe what’s not.

To create vivid and effective descriptive writing and develop writing techniques, it is necessary to learn everything about descriptive language. Writing techniques are specific language devices used by many writers in order to uplift their writing and make it fascinating and more attractive to the readers. Let us explore those techniques in writing in more detail.

While it’s important to use these techniques in writing and it can make the writing much more engaging for the reader, it’s a good idea to use them in moderation. When writing is packed full of metaphors, hyperbole, alliteration and more, the original meaning can be lost and it can be hard for the reader to follow. That’s why writing techniques should be carefully thought out and chosen. What does the technique add to the story and the reader’s experience? Is the reader going to be overwhelmed with foreshadowing and similes? One powerful metaphor will be much more effective than 10 weak ones. Remember that techniques in writing are an incredible tool – when used correctly!

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If you have read our descriptive essay examples and still do not know how to begin writing your paper, please have a look at our writing guidelines that the writers at Fresh-Essay.com follow while working on such tasks:

  • Use some brainstorming techniques.

If you want to describe your perfect day off, you have to know beforehand what your essay will include. In this way, brainstorming is just what you need. Take a sheet of paper and write down everything you would like to do. Your list can look in this way: eat pizza, go to sleep, have a date with Mike/Mia, read a book, etc. This list will help you organize ideas in your paper and include all the necessary details.

  • Your language must be formal and concise.

If you want to write a descriptive essay about a place, event, object, etc., please make sure that your language is formal or neutral. Academic writing is all about formality and the choice of “high vocabulary.” Moreover, it is highly advisable to use vivid language that will stir readers’ imagination. You have to resort to the verbs that will provoke visualization of the discussed subject.

  • Resort to the sense verbs.

It is of primary importance to appeal to the senses of your future readers. You have to use the sense verbs that represent the look, taste, sound, smell, and feelings. Your reader should experience the situation as if they are present there or are doers of the action.

  • Your reader has to be impressed with your discussion.

Examples of descriptive essays should make you wish to complete the same action according to the author’s description. If you have just described how to cook pasta, your reader should wish to do the same after reading your essay. Descriptive essay must be compelling and interesting for readers to experience the same emotions in the nearest future.

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Writing a descriptive essay is both interesting and entertaining, but it takes time and requires lots of creativity. Follow the simple steps we outlined and consider our useful tips for making your writing easier and more appealing. Mind though, even when you are short of time, you can still have papers that will bring you As.

It may be that even after reading our comprehensive guide and essay writing prompts you still have no idea what to start with. Then you might need our professional help! We cooperate with the most talented and professional specialists that are ready to write a unique and quality essay for you in the shortest terms. Trust our experienced writers and solve your problem just in a couple of clicks.

Should you need any assistance with descriptive essays, Fresh-Essay.com is accessible 24/7 and can complete your order even at night! Place an order on our website and we will work on your homework instead of you at a fair and reasonable price!


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Descriptive Writing

6 July 2023

last updated

Writing skills are essential in achieving academic success. Basically, students should understand different types of writing to ensure that they score better grades. In this case, some common examples of writing include formal and descriptive. Firstly, formal or scholarly writing is less personal and appropriate for educational and professional purposes. Academic writing follows unique writing rules that enhance the clarity and quality of the message delivered. Then, descriptive writing provides illustrations of people, places, events, ideas, and feelings. Also, descriptions provide sensory information that makes the writing interesting. In particular, descriptive writing illustrates events and objects to create a dominant impression but becomes formal when written for educational purposes since one must follow specific rules that enhance clarity and quality.   

Formal Writing

Formal writing follows specific rules to remove ambiguity and enhance communication compared to descriptive writing. For instance, formal writing is objective while people need to use appropriate terms. In this case, this type of writing states the main points confidently and provides evidence to support arguments. Besides, scholarly writing avoids emotive punctuations. In turn, formal writing does not use contractions or abbreviations but covers full words. Besides, abbreviations must be spelled out in full to enhance the clarity of the content. On the other hand, academic writing avoids words, like “I,” “we,” and “you,” and relies on the third person. Besides, all phrases should use present tense to enhance clarity. Thus, formal writing uses clear rules that improve the communication of ideas. 

Descriptive writing

Features of Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is one of the writing styles that cover objects and develops an overall impression. For instance, an informative speech seeks to express a unique idea or theme to the audience. Basically, descriptions create a literary texture of the impression of a story. Along these lines, the overall impression helps to show the audience through various senses. For example, a descriptive essay includes several vivid sensory details that appeal to the reader. In this case, it helps the audience to imagine or develop feelings toward an object of the event. Besides, this form of writing utilizes similes, metaphors, and imagery to explain events or objects. Thus, the descriptive essay provides clear explanations that influence the reader’s thoughts.

Descriptive writing utilizes some rules to achieve an academic objective. For instance, descriptive essays can utilize the standards used in formal writing. Along these lines, students use full words, third person, present tenses and avoid contractions when writing descriptive papers. In turn, they use these traits in descriptive writing to make it formal. For instance, expressive writing can utilize various rules to meet academic standards. Along these lines, descriptive and formal essays bear similar traits. Therefore, descriptive and academic writing can take the same characteristics.

Conclusion on Descriptive Writing

In conclusion, descriptive and scholarly writing have some differences and similarities. Firstly, official writing utilizes specific rules to achieve clarity. In this case, people must void the use of contraction or first-person language in formal papers. Besides, it relies on present tenses to make arguments clear. On the other hand, descriptive essays include illustrations of objects or events. Also, the primary focus of descriptions is to develop an overall impression on the audience through various meanings. Hence, students write a descriptive essay for academic purposes where they must observe specific rules. Thus, scholarly and descriptive papers bear similar traits. In turn, a cause and effect essay is another type of paper while expository essay examples can help people to learn new aspects of writing.

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features of writing descriptive essay

Descriptive Writing – Format, Examples And Techniques Of Descriptive Writing

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, popularly known as R. K. Narayan, was one of the finest Indian writers. Known for his…

Descriptive Writing – Format, Examples And Techniques Of Descriptive Writing

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, popularly known as R. K. Narayan, was one of the finest Indian writers. Known for his Malgudi series, Narayan left his mark through extraordinarily simple and unpretentious writing style. He drew inspiration from his real life and his ability to juxtapose reality with fiction is a common tactic used by descriptive writers.

More often than not, we use descriptive writing in our email and text messages, without even realizing it. Anybody can learn how to become a descriptive writer, with patience and practice. Let’s explore what is descriptive writing and how it can benefit us in a business environment?

Descriptive Writing: Meaning & Types

How to master the art of descriptive writing, descriptive writing: meaning and types.

As the name suggests, descriptive writing is a type of writing where an author describes a person, place or object. The purpose of descriptive writing is to help readers visualize everything that’s written. In other words, readers imagine themselves to be a character in the story, experiencing different events and situations. It creates sensory experiences by describing, illustrating, persuading and demonstrating descriptive details.

Descriptive writing techniques help you become experimental and creative. You pay attention to detail and become more observant. Not only does it change the way you write, but it also influences the way you interact with others. Being well-versed with a descriptive writing format is an important skill in the workplace. Whether you want to pitch new ideas or write convincing emails, descriptive writing is the way to go. You’ll be able to hold your readers’ attention and engage them in ways like never before!

To paint a vivid picture in the minds of your readers, here are the various examples of descriptive writing that explore its different kinds.

Location Description

You describe places and want to connect to a memory that transpired in a particular place. For example, you met a potential investor at a business conference. If you reach out to them, remember to talk about where and how you both met.

Action Description 

You describe what your characters are doing. For example, you have to present a progress report of the project your team is doing. Look at every member as an individual character who is contributing to the project in their own ways.

Emotion Description

You describe the emotions that your characters are feeling. For example, while drafting a congratulatory email, you’re likely to have an emotional tone and describe your feelings. It helps you connect with your readers better.

How To Master The Art Of Descriptive Writing  

Writing is one of the most crucial business communication skills. Whether you’re looking for a new job or asking for a letter of recommendation, your style, tone and language matter a lot. Well-crafted descriptive writing will help you get into essential details without sounding boring. Here are some of the top descriptive writing techniques that’ll effectively get your message across.

Show, Don’t Tell

One of the most useful tactics is to sprinkle specific details that appeal to the readers’ senses. Sensory information helps them experience the description more closely, captivating their attention and interest.

Exaggerate In Moderation

Figurative language is a powerful literary device that can paint instant pictures of your characters or settings. Similes and metaphors are some of the common tools but even onomatopoeia (words that sound like what they mean; e.g., tick-tock) can make a difference. Brands often use this device for slogans and advertisements.

Surprise Your Readers

Descriptive writing gives you the liberty to pepper your sentences with surprising elements i.e., more interesting words. For example, instead of a cold mountain, you can describe it as a sleepy mountain. Using unique adjectives will keep your writing fresh and your readers interested.

Prompt For Prompts

Create your own mystery box by writing a few ideas or words in small pieces of paper and tossing them inside a box. You can grab a piece at random and use it to enhance your writing. You can even describe the way you feel about the object or what you think about it. Be adventurous and try out challenging ways to describe things.

What Do You See?

Before you paint mental images for others, take time to understand how you visualize a character or a setting. What do your five senses tell you? A good way to expand your sensory experiences is to read comic books or graphic novels. Replicate tactics from your favorite authors and make note of what you experience.

Harappa Education’s   Writing Proficiently course will help structure your thoughts, polish your writing style and teach you to write clearly, concisely and compellingly. The SCQR—Situation, Complication, Question and Resolution—Framework will guide you in enhancing your storytelling skills and tactics. The tried-and-tested methods will make your business communication so effective that everyone sits up and takes notice!

Explore topics such as Significance of  Writing Skills , Different Types of  Writing Styles ,  Expository Writing ,  Process of Writing  &  How to Write an Email  from Harappa Diaries and polish your writing skills.



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