If you have got a task to write a descriptive essay at school or university, it is hardly worth immediately taking a pen and putting thoughts on paper. Experts advise to prepare for writing any academic assignment by taking four steps, following which you can make a work informative and well-structured:
- First, correctly allocate time studying the essence of the essay topic, generate ideas, collect material on essay topic using various sources.
- Secondly, write the detailed work outline.
- Then divide your work into meaningful fragments. The standard purpose of essays usually includes the following: analyze, contrast, illustrate. For example, you have been assigned to give a detailed description of some aspects (phenomena, actions), then you aren’t required to analyze them as this type of work has an aim to provide as many details as you can.
- And finally make your work as bright and lively that a reader can taste and smell the described things while a virtual place visit, which writer is talking about.
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Great Descriptive Essay Topics to Choose From
It is very important to choose the right descriptive topic. What does it mean “the right topic”? Choose an actual topic able to raise interest.
Descriptive essay topics may be either easier or more difficult. Have a look at popular topics.
Descriptive Essay Topics for 8 Grade
- How do you see your ideal world?
- How should your dream house look like?
- Share an experience of some journey, which impressed you.
- Describe the most beautiful person you know.
- Which laws do you consider inappropriate and describe why exactly?
- What are your household chores?
- Describe your first cooking experience.
- What age did you fall in love for the first time?
- Describe a person who made a great contribution to the history.
- Which design for your flat would you choose if had such an opportunity?
- What profession would you like to choose? Describe all possible benefits of your choice.
Topics for Descriptive Essays High School
- Describe the most pleasant memory.
- How do you imagine yourself in 5 years time?
- Describe your perfect wedding day.
- How do you feel when realizing that somebody lies to you?
- Give a description of your daily routine.
- Describe your feeling when you found out that Santa Claus isn’t real.
- Give a description of the best film you have watched.
- What is your favorite book about?
- Which character features do you appreciate in people most?
- How should your ideal present look like?
- What was the best gift you have ever got?
Descriptive Essay Topics for Middle School
- How should your ideal weekend look like?
- Describe your best summer.
- Which book do you like most and why?
- Which of your friends is a more pleasant person. Describe his/her main features.
- Describe your parents.
- How does your kitchen look like?
- Describe a place you want to live for the rest of your life.
- Give details about your personality.
- Describe one of your neighbors.
- Which toy was your favorite in childhood?
- Which attitude to fashion do you have?
Descriptive Essay Topics for College
- Tell which food you love most.
- Describe doing something for the first time.
- Can you imagine the world without laws and restrictions?
- What is your favorite kind of sports?
- Describe the well-known celebrity.
- Describe your unique experience.
- Give the detailed description of some process.
- Describe all steps necessary to learn to ride a bike.
- Describe holiday traditions in your family.
- How do you spend your working day?
- How do you imagine your perfect match? Include the description of his/her appearance and character.
If you use one of the above mentioned descriptive essay topics, you will definitely attract audience attention. Learn here how to write an effective title.
Descriptive Essay Examples to Look at Before Get Started
In case a student has never described anything in the written form, he or she may feel confused being unable to choose an appropriate tone. Don’t have any ideas? Look at the sample before writing a descriptive essay example.
Here you will find short descriptive essay examples:
Descriptive essay sample number 1: “How I want to spend my perfect weekend”
Descriptive essay sample number 2: My ideal house
Use descriptive essay examples if assigned to write about similar topics.
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Guidelines How to Write a Descriptive Essay
You may wonder how to write a descriptive essay. There are several things to keep in mind before you write:
- The selection of material should be systematic. What does this mean? There is no need to find out absolutely everything that in one way or another relates to the essay topic. You should focus on information that relates to the issue of the essay, has to do with it. What online resources will be useful? Should I use audio and video materials? These are the questions to ask before you get started. First, divide all sources into basic and secondary.
Usually, teachers give students a list of literature on the subject. Also, each textbook has a list of bibliographies to search for literary sources (books, magazine and newspaper publications). Get acquainted with the annotation to the publication and read excerpts from the text, only then make a decision to read the whole text. Electronic media will help you to keep abreast of current events and pick up bright living examples to illustrate the reasoning.
- Start processing the collected material only when it is sufficient to write an essay.
- Formulate themes and ideas that you want to cover in your essay. Pay special attention to the illustrative material and a descriptive essay example that will make your piece of writing more original and interesting.
- Do not forget about the structure. The paper identifies three main parts - introductory paragraph, main section, and conclusion. The main part is divided into paragraphs. Usually, every new aspect, a new idea is revealed in a new paragraph of the body.
How to Write an Introduction to a Descriptive Essay
The introduction can be considered successful if it performs the following functions:
- Informative: help your audience understand what your story will be about;
- Catching the reader’s attention:Hook the intended audience and do your best to hold their attention.
Choose the most suitable statement that covers all points that you are going to discuss in your work. Use some interesting quotes or citation making your introduction eye-catchy.
How to Create a Good Descriptive Essay Thesis
Make sure that your thesis statement meets all requirements:
- Must be short and concise,
- Must help to understand the leading idea,
- Must be understandable.
How to Write a Conclusion for a Descriptive Essay
Concluding, follow these recommendations:
- Make it clear which role it plays for you personally;
- Summarize all information given in the essay;
- Explain the reason why your reader should care about the idea provided in your essay.
Effective Tips How to Write a Descriptive Essay Outline
Follow several steps to have a good descriptive essay outline:
- Gather all topic information;
- Collect all pieces of information making it sound like one entity;
- Check out whether your text has a logical connection between the introduction, the body paragraphs, which are usually five, and the conclusion.
For example, if you have made your mind to write a description of some place, stick to the following detailed plan:
- Write an opening sentence revealing the topic idea;
- Present a place you are going to talk about;
- Tell about your feelings being at this certain place;
- Provide specific details about its location;
- Provide additional facts and details, which relate to your topic;
- Write a statement summarizing the entire word done.
The more locations you will describe, the more paragraphs your paper will consist of. If you find it difficult to organize your thoughts in the written form and develop a good outline, then you may ask those who know how to do this quickly and effectively by ordering it online.
Advice from Expert
Creating a successful description, you should use a vivid language to help your reader see the picture. Don’t forget to include different illustrative examples. You will be able to answer the question:” How to write a descriptive essay?” after you know the secret of successful descriptive texts: just make an accent on all sensory organs. Learn here how to write an observation essay.
For example, describing your holidays at the seaside, breathe life into your work and avoid formalism. Use simple, understandable language appealing to your target audience. Help your reader feel how it was great to swim and play with waves. You will succeed if the person reading your paper can feel like being there. In fact, it is a narration with more vivid details. This is the main peculiarity that makes this descriptive type of writing different from a simple narrative paper style. You may notice that compared to a narration, here you won’t see a lot of action. Sometimes there is no movement at all. Your work will contain a minimum of verbs and maximum of adjectives and adverbs.
Want to become a good writer? Then act like a fisherman who is ready to wait for long till he catches a fish. The same is about a writer, who need to be patient hitting the books and then doing his best hooking the reader. Learn here how to avoid the most common mistakes in your essay.
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As the name suggests, this is an essay that illustrates something using words. Using the power of illustrative words, the writer makes the reader feel, see, or hear what is being described. Descriptive essay writing involves less research effort as compared to other types of academic writing assignments. It is an opportunity for the writer to put his/her creativity to work to bring any topic to life. It is also a pretty open task that doesn’t have a lot of rules to be followed. When assigned such a task, students are usually required to describe an experience, person, feeling, place, object, situation, etc.
A descriptive essay can be an easy task to complete. However, for someone who hasn’t mastered the art of descriptive writing, coming up with a good essay can be an uphill task. Luckily, this guide provides enough resources to help you learn how to write a descriptive essay.
Let’s look at the structure of a good descriptive essay.
Format of a descriptive essay
As previously stated, there aren’t a lot of rules to be followed in descriptive essay writing. The format is often dictated by the subject and the mood you wish to create. Some rules do exist though; the most notable being that you need to start with the general before going into the specifics. An important aspect of good descriptive essay writing is how the essay is structured since it makes it easier for the reader to read and understand the essay. The standard descriptive essay outline thus consists of:
In this section, the main topic of the descriptive essay is introduced to the reader together with the reason why the description is being written. It should start with a strong opening sentence or quote that will catch attention. At the end of the introductory paragraph, a thesis statement should be presented. This section is concerned with giving the readers a general idea of what the essay is about. The introduction section is followed by the body of the essay.
In the body section, you need to provide details about your topic. This part is presented in an artistic way with vivid language rich in adverbs and adjectives. This section is organized into paragraphs as follows.
The first paragraph vividly describes the object, person, or the event itself; providing the necessary details. For instance, if you are writing a descriptive essay about a place, you will describe the place here. For instance, when writing a descriptive essay about the beach, begin by describing the beach itself. Tell your readers about the waves and the appearance of the water and the sand. Tell them what you smelt on the beach, how the sand felt on your feet, and the sounds made by the water; remembering to use good descriptive words.
The second paragraph will discuss the surroundings of the subject of the essay. For the beach scenario, you could talk about the sun, birds, clouds, people and their activities, and other objects of interest in the surrounding. In the third paragraph, you bring the essay to life with a sensual description using your senses of touch, taste, sight, smell, and sound to paint a vivid picture. The main focus here will be on the emotions the subject invokes. In both the description of the surrounding and the emotion, similes and metaphors are often used. Once you’ve exhausted the ideas you had for the body section, you can then conclude the essay.
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In the conclusion, summarize the main points, including your physical and emotional attitude and views on the topic of your descriptive essay. This section is based largely on your imagination and an analysis of the essay topic. The descriptive essay thesis statement is also reframed.
Now that you know how to structure the essay, the next thing we are going to look at is how to go about writing your descriptive essay.
The writing process
Pick a topic
The first step to writing a descriptive essay is obviously selecting a topic; if you’ve not been assigned a specific topic. The problem is that many times students find it difficult to pick a topic. As with any essay, you need to pick a subject that is not too narrow. Doing so will make it difficult for you to meet the required essay length. You may also need to consider a number of topics before you finally settle on one. The topic doesn’t necessarily have to be unique as long as you can paint a vivid picture of it and give it life. Here are some descriptive essay topics to help you figure out what to write about. I’ll get ahead of myself here a bit to give a few things to note when writing each of these categories of descriptive essays.
- Descriptive essay about a person
The subject of your descriptive essay can be your favorite person such as a family member. It can also be a friend, a neighbor, or a famous person. You could also describe yourself. Whichever person you write about should be someone that you know well. As you write the essay, remember to describe other aspects in addition to the physical characteristics. Otherwise, your descriptive essay won’t be considered good. Include personality traits in your description in a creative way. You will probably have to pick just a few traits to talk about in the body paragraphs. It is also possible for a student to struggle with how to make a conclusion paragraph for this category of essays effective. For the conclusion, summarize those traits to explain how complex or interesting the person is. Use it to explain your experience and sentiments about interacting or living with that person.
- Descriptive essay about a place
Places are a common subject for descriptive essays. You could describe a place you love, your bedroom, your favorite classroom, or your favorite store. You could also go against the tide and choose less common places to write about. Cemeteries, construction sites, hospitals, or amusement parks are not commonly selected as descriptive essay topics. The places are not limited to these so feel free to consider more. It could be a real or imagined place. What’s important is that you describe the place, its surroundings and your emotions about it well.
- Descriptive essay about a memory
You can base your essay on a vivid memory that you have. This can be the most embarrassing moment, your saddest or happiest memories, a memorable trip or concert you attended and so on. Search you memories and find one that you can vividly describe in your essay.
- Descriptive essay about an experience
Descriptive essays can be written about common experiences such as graduation. You can however select other topics such as a frightening experience you had and provide descriptive details about what happened, where, when and how you felt. Don’t forget to use your five senses. You can also write about your first day in class regarding aspects such as the classroom, the people, and how you felt during the experience.
- Descriptive essay about an object
For this type of descriptive essay, any object can be the topic. You can write about your couch if you believe you can portray the couch in a fascinating way and make the essay interesting. Unfortunately, that would be a mean feat for many. If you are not confident about your ability to write a good descriptive essay on the common items before you, go for less orthodox choices. Write about things such as a painting, your favorite childhood toy, a tattoo, or a street.
Once you’ve settled on the general topic, you need to think about what characteristics/aspects you want to include in the essay. Brainstorm on all the details about the subject, its surroundings, and emotions it invokes. Not all of the ideas you come up with here will end up in the essay but just include them. You will filter out the unnecessary ones later as you continue to plan the essay and create an outline.
Draft the essay
Guided by the outline you developed in the first step, write the essay describing the subject and structure it accordingly. The standard descriptive essay format described above will guide you on what to include in each section. Also remember the general guidelines of writing a descriptive essay and ensure that there is a logical flow in the descriptive paragraphs and throughout the essay. Some of these guidelines include:
Descriptive writing guidelines
When writing a descriptive essay, you need to embellish it with senses. Sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste are key sense to include in your essay. If, for instance, you are describing the new eatery you just visited, talk about what it looked like, but also includes what the place smelt like (e.g. was there a sweet aroma of food or was the air smoke-filled and stuffy?). You could also talk about the sounds that you heard while there, e.g. was there soft music or were the trucks passing outside the only thing that you could hear?
A connection with the reader of your essay can only be effectively established if you are able to adequately describe the emotions. Therefore, when writing the descriptive essay, think about what you felt for instance if you are describing an experience. Tap into the feelings of joy, loss, or complacency to write descriptively and effectively create the image you want in the readers’ minds.
- Don’t just tell, show
As the descriptive essay definition indicates, the aim is to paint a picture using words. You can achieve this by using vivid language which will help you show the reader what you are talking about. Choose your words carefully when writing the essay. Avoid vague words. In their place, use more specific words that paint a clearer picture of what you are describing. For instance, rather than simply using ‘horse’, opt for words that paint a stronger, clearer image such as a ‘swift stallion’. This gives the reader the picture of a courser, male horse. It’s not enough to say ‘the woman wore old clothes’. That is simply telling. Show by including more details such as ‘the woman wore a faded dress that was torn on one side and looked as though a rat had made a meal out of the hem’.
There are a lot of good descriptive words that you can use to make the picture you want to create clear. These include adverbs such as angrily, quickly, and lazily; adjectives such as smart, brave, grim, mellow, luxurious, and agreeable, and gerunds such as running, walking, and grazing. Similes and metaphors will also feature in a good descriptive essay. Just remember that the descriptive words you use should flow freely.
A key requirement for writing a good descriptive essay is being concise. The level of conciseness is not as high as that of other essays since you have the freedom to add descriptive words. However, that freedom doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Most importantly, the details included in the essay should be relevant to the subject of the essay. As with any other essay or written literature, the reader won’t necessarily appreciate all the details you provide. In fact, if you fill the essay with unnecessary things, s/he might get bored. Descriptive doesn’t mean that you should go on and on describing a single thing or something that is not crucial to the topic. For instance, if you are describing a surprise party you had, it’s not really necessary to tell the reader about the three, tiled stairs at the door. You should also purpose to use words that are relevant to paint the picture you want to present clearly. Remember to describe without being too wordy and leave the clichés out of your essay.
A great descriptive essay idea can be turned into a boring, impossible-to-read piece of writing when it lacks organization. As you write your descriptive essay, be careful not to rumble incoherently. This is an easy trap to fall into and should be avoided at all costs. Furnish your essay with logical, organized description that will give the reader a clear picture of what you are trying to describe.
The aim should be to leave a strong appreciation for whatever you are describing in the reader’s minds. If you are able to make the reader feel as though s/he was the one relaxing or walking down the beach you just described or crave the pizza you just wrote about, you are on your way to being a great descriptive writer.
Once you are done creating the draft, you should go through the essay again, reorganizing and modifying it as you deem necessary to ensure that the entire essay has a logical flow. As you do these, you need to keep a few things in mind:
- The paragraphs should describe the subject and unfold in such a way that allows easy reading and appreciation of the subject. It should not confuse the reader.
- The language and word choice should involve the five senses and portray emotion and meaning.
- The details provided should be enough to give readers a clear, comprehensive picture.
- Will the reader identify with the conclusion?
Go through the essay removing grammatical mistakes and errors in mechanics, clichés, and overuse of adjectives and adverbs. Another pair of eyes can help you weed out these issues. Once done with this step, you should have a good, error-free descriptive essay ready for submission.
Hopefully, after going through this article, you have an idea about how to write a good descriptive essay. You’ll also find a lot of descriptive essay examples online to further assist you in writing your essay. You can also get assistance in the form of quality custom essays to use as a descriptive essay sample from Writingelites.net.
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Need help with your descriptive essay? Yes
Need help with your descriptive essay? Yes