Guest Posts, Inspiration, Skills, Writing

Descriptive Essays A to Z: How to Prep and When to Start

A descriptive essay is intended to give the reader a clear picture of the subject. It could be a...

Avatar Written by Guest Author · 3 min read >
Working on essay

A descriptive essay is intended to give the reader a clear picture of the subject. It could be a person, a place, an incident, an emotion, or even an idea. The goal is to offer enough descriptions so that the reader can conceive your point with as many details as possible. 

This particular genre is often consulted as a means to encourage student’s creativity to compose an account of a specific experience. When asked what makes descriptive essays unique, the experts at essay help service pointed out artistic freedom. Unlike the other easy categories, there is a sense of liberty allowed in descriptive papers. One might notice such descriptions in fiction, where the author has portrayed a character or a scene. 

This creative approach also makes the writing process of descriptive essays more enjoyable. Here are some tips that will help you along the way. 

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

As a writer, you might be familiar with the term sensory words. These are used to describe how we experience the world; through sight, smell, hearing, feel, or taste. Your objective in a descriptive essay is to bring this sensory experience to the reader. For instance, take a look at this example. 

“I leave my house in the morning to go to my class. I take the path through the park so I can breathe in the fresh air, and watch the kids playing. Before I get to my campus, I also buy some breakfast pastry from the corner shop.”

Now, read this. 

“I often leave my house in a hurry in the morning. If I have time, I walk down a couple of streets so I can take the path through the park. I enjoy the sights of the kids playing, and the warmth of the morning sun peeking through the canopies. An old man always sits in the corner cafe reading his newspaper. He would pass a smile at me when I went into the cafe to get my breakfast.”

As you see, the reader’s experience from both passages is different. The first leaves room for the reader to imagine the details, whereas the second one is filled with tiny elements, that make the reader see and feel things from your perspective. There are a few more things to note here. 

1. Do Not Get Lost in Narratives

Though narratives are a way to outline your essay, you need to remember that you are not writing a story. You are merely painting a picture. Of course, this would vary depending on the topic of the essay. But do not slip into a storyline that is not relevant to the essay’s purpose.

2. Write From Your Point of View

As you have noticed, you are not merely writing a description but rather how you perceive it. For instance, you can write about the park generally that it has tall trees or kids are playing. But instead, it is preferable if you engage the audience with what you see from your point of view. This would make the essay more persuasive. 

3. Be Precise With Words

The strength of an excellent descriptive essay lies in its choice of words. There is no rule against the usage of adjectives. However, if some verbs or nouns are better suited, they are more preferred. This applies even when you are writing in figurative language, you need to use the right words that offer a better impression. 

For example, it is better to write “The day is scorching”, than “the day is extremely hot”. 

How to Start a Descriptive Essay?

Good descriptive writing is always organized. You can do it based on a timeline, different locations, or the order of significance.

Chronological Pattern

In this way, your writing will move with time. The subject would be moving from one scene to another, and you would be describing it as it happens. 

Spatial Pattern 

A spatial pattern will follow your subject based on location. Your story will move like a movie, offering scenes from different places. Sometimes, you also combine chronological and spatial patterns.

Climatic Pattern

This order of writing is suitable for most styles of descriptive essays, where you build up the narrative and save the pivotal point for the end of the paper. 

Outline of Descriptive Essays 

No matter what type of essay you choose, you always need to focus it around a thesis statement. It should appear not only in the introduction and conclusion, but the different paragraphs should also reflect your main idea. 

Similar to other models, a descriptive essay should also follow a format. It begins with an:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion 

It would be best if you began by drawing the reader in from the very first line. Compared to other essays, you have a clear idea of what goes into the narrative, and it would be easier to start with the introduction.

Proceed to provide context and background for your thesis statement. It is necessary to offer exact information rather than giving vague details of the setting. Most importantly, focus on painting a picture for your reader instead of merely accounting for the facts. The sensory experience is the key to an effective descriptive essay. The portrayal of the subject has to be engaging without being repetitive. 

When you have got a plan of in what order to present the essay, the essay rendition will take its natural course. Once you are done, make sure you read it over, remove any clichés, and edit it with a fresh set of eyes.

Please be advised that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the author or his/her sources and do not necessarily reflect those of English Forward. This includes, but is not limited to, third-party content contained on or accessible through the English Forward websites and web pages or sites displayed as search results or contained within a directory of links on the English Forward network.