A descriptive essay refers to an essay that involves the use of sensory details to create a vivid picture of a given object to the reader. It is one of the essays that appear so simple yet quite challenging for most students. This type of essay provides a writer with a lot of artistic freedom. You are allowed to describe or talk about any object, situation or event with the aim of creating a mental image to the reader’s mind.
Typically, descriptive essays are meant to test your ability when it comes to expressing yourself or narrating your experiences.
But what makes a descriptive essay so challenging? What makes descriptive essays quite challenging is the fact that it acts as an entryway into a whole new world that the reader has never been before. Therefore, you need to employ the power of proper grammar and coherent writing to paint a picture and invoke emotions by appealing to the reader’s five senses.
One secret tip to writing a good descriptive essay is to select a topic that you are more passionate about or deeply connected with.
Are you having challenges writing a descriptive essay? Below is a detailed guide on how to go about it.
How to start a descriptive essay
Selecting suitable descriptive essay topics
Choosing an appropriate essay topic is the most essential part when it comes to writing a compelling descriptive essay. If you were not provided with a topic, you should select a subject matter that connects with you. You can consider writing about a person, an animal, a place, a memory or a feeling among others.
If you want to describe a person, then you can talk about your mentor, parent or best friend. For an object, you can define your favorite toy as a kid or your most valued possession. When it comes to memories, it could be your first day in school, your first kiss or your best high school moments.
Ideally, take ample time to brainstorm ideas about the topic you wish to focus on before you start to write the essay. This enables you to settle for a solid topic and to decide on the essay outline. Again, pick an interesting topic that you know so much about. It will be challenging for you to describe a dessert, for instance, if you have never seen one.
Essay outlining depends on your choice of topic. Typically, it will be composed of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. However, the pattern with which you will arrange your ideas and body paragraphs will depend on your topic. Your essay might require ordering of views in chronological order, spatial order or a logical way. Outlining does not only help to make your essay organized but also assist you when writing your first draft.
Regardless of the ordering used, a strong description involves well-structured paragraphs that are utterly meaningful to the reader.
Just like any other essay, descriptive essays usually have the main topic and multiple ideas. These ideas should be represented as individual paragraphs that try to build up or prove the topic sentence.
Come up with a thesis statement
Now that you have decided on the topic, you should create a thesis statement that is compelling enough. This statement will help to control the subject of the matter and also convey a significant message to the reader. Additionally, it allows readers to identify the purpose of the essay. The thesis statement should be kept short, concise and clear to help you summarize your main point effectively and to define the scope of the topic.
Write a catchy descriptive essay
As aforementioned, your descriptive essay will have an introduction, body and a conclusion.
Your introductory paragraph should set footing for the reader. For this reason, your opening line should be compelling enough to grab the reader’s attention immediately. The introduction should leave the reader with suspense in order to build anxiety.
Rhetoric or general questions are quite useful in providing the reader with the zeal to proceed to read the rest of the essay. But make sure to keep your introduction as short as possible. Also, include the thesis statement at the end of the introduction section.
This is the main section that constitutes your descriptive essay. It’s composed of multiple paragraphs, with each paragraph describing a different idea. Your ideas should be well structured to offer a smooth flow.
Ensure that each paragraph begins with a topic sentence based on a single idea that supports your main point. Now proceed to add supporting details, focusing more on “showing” rather than “telling.” If you are describing a waterfall or a beautiful sunset, you should adequately make use of sensory details appealing to all human senses to ensure that your readers can visualize or rather create the mental picture of what you are describing in their head. These senses include the sense of touch, smell, sight, sound, and touch. Additionally, you should leverage transition words to connect your ideas.
You should start a descriptive essay conclusion by restating your thesis statement and proceed to give a summary of the ideas you have covered in the body section intriguingly. If you are having problems compiling your essay, you can always surf the internet to find useful descriptive essay samples to use as guidelines.
Revise your descriptive essay
Lastly, you need to proofread your essay, correcting errors in grammar and mechanics. Check to see whether you have included all the critical details. Does each of the paragraphs help to prove your main point? Does your choice of words convey the right emotions to your prospective readers?