How to Write a Perfect Descriptive Essay (Step by Step)
There are various types of essays that students get to write during their school life, and one of them is the descriptive essay. In a descriptive essay, writers are given the opportunity of sharing their impressions and moods. It is, therefore, necessary to involve all the sensory details, that is, sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. The main aim of a descriptive essay is to try and paint a clear picture to the audience. When given such a task, the writers often express their thoughts and try to make sure that readers can have the idea or experience the same feeling as they did. Therefore, writers need to make use of vivid language and be as detailed as possible with the intention of making the picture clear and avoid any room for ambiguity.
The purpose or reason for writing a descriptive is simply to describe a person, an object, or a place using the simplest of words but with the intention of having a huge impact. The goal is to take the audience on a journey and by using a unique power as well as appeal. Writers must seek to evoke the audience’s senses because it is the only way that an impression will be made.
As already stated, perfect descriptive essays are written with the intention of discussing a person, place, or object. However, before you begin the writing process, it is important first to select a suitable topic. Descriptive essay topics are many, but writers are always cautioned on their selection strategy. It is, therefore, necessary to exercise caution when selecting a topic so as to avoid topics that will make it hard for the writer to articulate their ideas smoothly. Below are some tips on a descriptive essay topic selection:
- Choose topics that you are familiar with. These make the writing process easier as well as research easy.
- Select a topic whose content coincides with the article requirements. For example, it would be unwise to select a topic on something such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while you have been asked to write a 5-paragraph essay. The example above contains a lot of information and will hence be troublesome to fit it into only three body paragraphs.
- Start with several topics and evaluate them by listing their pros and cons. Here, you should select the topic that seems to give you enough details for the essay.
Examples of descriptive essay topics include:
- Best vacation site.
- Your first kiss.
- Your worst nightmare.
- Hurricane Katrina.
- High school reunion.
- A walk on the beach.
- First breakup.
- Favorite pizza joint.
- Favorite movie.
- Best teacher.
- The most embarrassing experience.
- The best childhood memory.
- Your role model.
- Trip to Egypt.
- Your career.
- Favorite hobby.
- First day in college.
- First speech as college president.
- Your worst fear.
- First airplane ride.
Descriptive Essay Structure
Fundamentally, an outline contains the essay’s main point or thesis statement, and the supporting arguments. It is always necessary to start an essay with an outline, mainly because of the following reasons:
- Saves the writer time.
- It is easier to organize ideas and points.
- Helps to make the research efficient and goal-oriented.
- The writer can divide the different sections based on word count.
If, for example, you have been asked to write a descriptive essay about the City of New York, the following would be the outline:
New York City
- Include general information about the city, for example, the location, population, etc.
- Include the city’s diversity in culture.
- Transportation (Highways, Bus and Railroad Service, Subway, Airport, etc.).
- People (diversity in their cultures).
- Public Safety.
- Restates the thesis statement.
- Synthesize the main points of the essay.
How to start a descriptive essay
A descriptive essay introduction should be interesting and have a hook that will help to capture the attention of the audience. You can start with a quote whose main aim should be to make sure that the readers are motivated to continue reading the article. Here are some tips on writing an introduction for a descriptive essay:
- Start with a hook. You should not pass the opportunity of grabbing your readership’s attention. Start strong and make it impossible for the audience to drop your essay.
- Provide some background information. Readers must be introduced to the topic at hand. The writer should, therefore, include a brief piece that introduces the audience to the topic at hand.
- Narrow down your scope and avoid ambiguity.
- Include a thesis statement. Provides readers with your main argument.
Tips on Thesis Writing
A thesis statement bears the main argument of an article. Teachers often insist on having it as a part of the introduction, simply because it makes the writers stance or perception of a topic clear to the readers. Here are some tips on writing a thesis statement:
- Make the thesis statement interesting. Question common knowledge or make it argumentative.
- Avoid using cliché statements or phrases, for example, “The focus of the article is…”
- Base your thesis on reliable research.
How to Write a Body Paragraphs
The body of any essay often has supporting arguments that build on the author’s thesis statement. Here wise topic selection and thorough research come in handy, and writers need to be good in both. Below are some tips on how to write good descriptive essay bodies:
- Use topic sentences for the supporting arguments.
- Cite accurately.
- Use transition words. These provide readers with the opportunity of following an assignment systematically.
- The common number of body paragraphs is three unless otherwise stated and each is often five to six sentences long.
Tips on Conclusion Writing
A descriptive essay conclusion provides you with the opportunity of leaving a lasting impression on the readers. It is, therefore vital to have a good quality end for an essay. When writing a conclusion for a descriptive essay, the writer must, first of all, factor in the components or variables that need to be included in their essay. Consider the following tips when writing a conclusion:
- Restate the purpose of the essay.
- Summarize the main supporting argument within the essay.
- Conclude with a general statement or something that encourages a discussion beyond your essay.
Sources for Essay Choice
There are numerous online essay sources that writers can choose essays from. However, writers are always advised to select essays that they are familiar with and that will provide them with enough content. It is indeed easy to get essays online and while some might appear easy at first, finding content could be harder later. Familiar essay choices should hence be the only viable options for writers. The writing process should be enjoyable, and writers should not be led to believe that it is not.
An essay’s title is indeed important and in an instance decides whether a person will read an essay or not. Descriptive essays should have interesting titles which should help to grow the readership of your essay.
Proofreading is not optional and should always be done once the paper is complete. Grammatical, omission and punctuation errors are common mistakes, but they should be amended before the essay is submitted. Proofreading an essay helps to identify and correct such mistakes before finally submitting the paper.
Essay revision is a necessary step in descriptive essay writing. Errors such as inconsistencies in some of the arguments, wrong citations, duplications of points, etc. are not easily identifiable. These make revising a necessity and help to ensure that an essay is of high quality.