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Descriptive Essay Type

Descriptive essays are more creative than any other type of academic writing. Creativity is encouraged here, so academic paper writers have a good chance not only to describe an object or event but also to share their emotions. A descriptive essay is an assignment that tests your ability to involve a reader in your way of thinking and discover memorable images. Such essays are common in high school and in composition or literature classes.

You can continue writing such essays in your future career. That can be an article, a book report, a travelog, or a memoir. Your goal can be describing an event, a personal experience, or an impression.

Readers can receive a more vivid picture with the help of figurative language and distinct details. They will be able to see a complete picture of a subject, for example, a work of art, a historical episode, or a place. If a subject is quite personal, for example, describing a favorite piece of music, food, or a film, getting the mastery of doing it will add a lot to your skill of descriptive writing.

This article will tell you how to write such an essay and what principles and tips to follow to get a better score.

Descriptive Essay Topics

Usually, when the professor assigns such an essay to you, they give you a prompt or several prompts. There, you will find the topic that you will have to cover on the basis of your experience and emotional perception. The topics can relate to the three basic spheres:

  1. Personal descriptive essay prompts:
    ✔️ Describe your favorite place in town.
    ✔️ Describe the birthday present you liked most of all.
  2. The topic may also require a description of something beyond your experience, so you will need all your imagination to cope with that:
    ✔️ Describe the experience of an alpinist on the top of Everest
    ✔️ Describe what it might be like inside the Shuttle spaceship
  3. You can also have a prompt to describe something abstract, like an emotion or feeling. Such essays are called conceptual descriptive ones. For example:
    ✔️ Describe the feeling of frustration.
    ✔️ Describe the emotions after you win a tennis game from the world champion.

Often, students do not receive a prompt with a specific topic. Then, they need to think about something they know well to be able to describe it in detail. Remember the exact feelings the place or object evokes in you and how to describe them in a clear way.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay, like any other piece of academic writing, should be well-structured, provide details, and be focused on facts and emotions they can reveal. Let’s have a thorough look at the process of descriptive essay writing step-by-step.

1. Choosing a topic.

Try to remain focused on it throughout the entire essay. Define the purpose of your writing before you start. You may formulate a thesis statement as well. It should not be about your personal views of the object but about the important information you want to convey to your readers, making them feel interested and impressed.

2. Compiling the information.

Make sure that your essay is full of detail. Think about the background information, characteristic features, names and dates, sensory impressions, and anything that can explain your main ideas to readers. You may also use notes to form the categories of such information to refer to them within the process of writing if you feel such a need.

3. Outlining.

Since the essay should be well-organized, you will need an outline. That is why arranging your main points into paragraphs. Each of them should represent one part of your main topic and idea.

4. Writing the introduction.

An introductory paragraph should start with a hook. That can be a rhetorical question or just an engaging statement. The entire paragraph should help a reader to understand what the essay will be about, so make it a road map. Focus on the questions your essay will be discussing. At the end of the introduction, formulate a thesis statement that has to be clear and explain the purpose of this writing.

5. Writing body paragraphs.

Start each paragraph with a topic sentence to focus the reader’s attention and relate the paragraph to the thesis statement. Provide as much detail as possible in each paragraph to describe the object specifically and distinctly. Avoid generalizations because they may make the whole writing unclear.

6. Summarizing the essay’s ideas in the conclusion.

State the main points again, referring them to the thesis statement. Sum up the details you have provided in the body paragraphs. Never introduce new ideas here. If you have discovered that something is left unsaid, makeup one more paragraph in the body instead.

7. Proofreading for more vivid and persuasive language.

If you feel that your writing lacks sensory details, add them. Check whether the essay is entertaining enough. It should not be just a list of points. That is why it needs more descriptive language and literary figures. The essay should impress readers and stand in their minds for a long time.

Tips for Descriptive Writing

To make your descriptive essay more effective, bring the topic to life. This type of writing should not be completely formal. So, you will need figurative devices, correct choices of words, and sensory details.

Figurative Language

Figurative language includes literary devices, for example, similes and metaphors. These tools will add a creative part to your writing, and your description will feel more original.

Literal description: There are many plants and flowers in the field.

You tell a reader something about the place, but they are unlikely to remember it. Add a bit of figurative language to make the description more vivid.

Figurative description: The spots of blue and red, and yellow flower heads are scattered around like the spots on a motley carpet extending far to the horizon.

Here, we use a simile that compares the field to the carpet, and it is quite memorable. The reader is sure to look at the field from a different angle and remain impressed.

Remember not to introduce figurative language into every sentence because the essay will be difficult to read.

Sensory Language

Sensory details can refer not just to the look but to smells, sounds, or touches.


✔️ I feel the wind blowing into my face bringing the smell of faded grasses and last autumn flowers.

Even if you need to write about something more abstract, try to use a metaphor to introduce the senses.

✔️ My frustration smells of dark smoke from the vanishing bonfire.

The Right Language

Be careful to choose the proper words. It relates not to adjectives only but to nouns, verbs, and even adverbs. Avoid cliches, such as ‘as busy as a bee’ or ‘cold as ice,’ but try to pick out more original words. Cliches are conventional, and they do not add anything new to the reader’s feelings and imagination. So, they cannot tell them anything new about you as an author.

You can use a thesaurus to choose some more vivid and precise words.

  • ✔️ My cat jumps onto the nearby tree to see everything from above.
  • ✔️ My cat leaps onto the nearby tree nimbly to survey the world from the height.

Nevertheless, you need to be careful about using the thesaurus. Do not opt for the most impressive synonym you can ever find in the thesaurus because your writing will look ridiculous:

My feline capers atop the nearby tree proficiently to regard the world from aloft.

Final Thoughts

Here, we have made an attempt to describe the essential features of a descriptive essay and provide you with useful tips on correct and quality writing. By following them, you will manage to improve your academic scores and continue with efficient writing in the future.

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