How to write a descriptive essay

The descriptive essay is a type of essay where you need to describe something, such as an object, a person, an event, a place, an emotion, or a situation. The goal of this type of essay is to create a vivid picture through the use of the senses for the reader. As you have probably already guessed, this type of essay requires a great deal of creativity. Here are tips on how to write a descriptive essay.

descriptive essay writing

How to write a descriptive essay

  • Purpose. A descriptive essay can be written for many reasons; the most important thing is to keep this clear throughout. The purpose will also affect the way you construct your sentences or present your descriptions. For example, if you are writing about place with the purpose of reminiscing on a past event, you may take note of changes that has taken place there or on emotions evoked by the place as you describe it.
  • Hook. Any essay should be able to capture their reader’s interest from the beginning. That’s why it’s important to write a hook. Tell your reader what you will write about and why this is interesting, but also maintain a certain mystery so that they will read on to find what you have to say in your essay.
  • Factual details. Mix up your descriptions by inserting factual details. But of course, these details should be relevant to your topic and purpose.
  • Coherence. Just as your description should be purposeful, your descriptive essay should also be coherent and logical. Don’t just spew out descriptions of what you see or remember about your subject. Organize it in a way that makes it easy to imagine the subject, as well as to understand the meaning you are trying to convey.

writing a descriptive essay
Additional tips

  • Use your senses. The imagination is not limited to the sense of sight, so it’s important to make use of your other senses as well. These will complete the picture in your readers’ minds. For instance, when describing a room, you can talk about its colors as well as its smell or even the sounds you can hear there.
  • Descriptive Language. We have already established that the goal of a descriptive essay is to create a vivid picture of its subject. To achieve this goal, you need to use descriptive language in writing a descriptive essay. Descriptive language can also help spruce up your articles, speeches, and personal essays.
    • Adjectives and Adverbs. The most obvious signals of descriptive language are adjectives and adverbs. These two would come in handy when describing something since they modify nouns and adjectives and verbs respectively. However, do not use them excessively. Remember that a little variety in your writing keeps the readers on edge.
    • Figurative language. Another useful tip on how to write a descriptive essay is by using figurative language, such as similes and metaphors. Since figurative language is not meant to be taken literally, it takes your description to another level. Not only will your reader visualize the image you’re conveying, but they will also be able to better understand and interact with your description through their own imaginations and experiences.

Most importantly, let your creativity run wild! These are just some of tips on how to write a descriptive essay. You may also refer to other tips we gathered to help you write better here and here, or you may ask us for assistance.

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