How to Write a Descriptive Essay: The Complete Guide

“We got to the hotel late at night but was shocked with its beauty even at such time. The building is completely covered with flowers, and there is a large white staircase with forged rails which leads to the entrance. Our room is in the bungalow in the center of the island.” – If this text makes you feel comfortable and relaxed, then the aim of the descriptive essay is completed. This type of work demonstrates the description of something and the writer has to affect the reader’s feeling and emotions. In this article, we will look deep into the writing process of the descriptive essay and you will learn here how to structured it correctly.

Prewriting activities

Before you start writing anything, it is essential to make a research on the topic you have. But as for the descriptive essay, it is not something you spend the most amount of time. Why? Because usually, the theme you need to describe in your paper is the place you have visited, or the person who you know or the thing you have. If it is something new for you, then it is the time to read through the information and then write about it.

The most time you need to spend on creating the topic you will write about, especially if your professor did not give you a specific one. Brainstorm for a little and write down any idea which comes to your mind. After achieving the list of topics, answer these questions:

  1. How could I describe it and what is the draft outline?
  2. Do I have the necessary vocabulary to express my feelings on this topic?
  3. Do I can provide a reader with my evident emotions and thought, or am I not sure about this topic?

Now it is the time to choose the topic which has the biggest number of positive answers and start writing about it. But if you are still struggling with the search of the descriptive essay topics, then you will find our ideas for you in the appropriate section below.

Needed structure

The outline of the descriptive essay is the representation of your thoughts in the logical order. Considering this, you should create for the reader a specific structure which will help him better understand your describing subject. To make it easier for you to understand, here is the sample of the outline if you describe a person:

  • the sentence which presents the topic
  • introduce the person
  • how do you feel about this person
  • details of appearance
  • details of character traits
  • summarize

This outline is usually the same for different descriptions – no matter if it is a place, a thing or a process. And now we will show you the in-depth look into each section.

An introduction

This part exist to give the reader the explanation what are you going to share in your essay. Do not be scared to use quotations, phrases, and questions, which will capture the eye of the reader. But do not start your description with the first words, it is only the intro part, and you should provide a brief overview of a topic and not reveal it. Because if you do it, the reader will not be interested in your writing and leave it.

How to write an excellent thesis

The thesis is the last part of the introduction. It is unique, not long sentence, which is used to reinforce the main idea, give more information about it to make it understandable for the readers. They should want to start reading your essay immediately after the moment they read the thesis. That’s why it will be nice if you do not use cliches or common words here. It does not make your sentence unique and will only aggravate the situation. Consider using the connotative and figurative language because such things usually help to create an image and it can be something you are looking for while writing the descriptive essay.

The body

Here you should portray beautifully all the information which is connected to your theme. Divide your thoughts into individual sections and write one paragraph for each section. Usually, the body part has three paragraphs, but it is possible to add 2-3 more if it is necessary. Do not forget that each item should be connected to your thesis sentence because if you do not do that, it will have a negative result in the not exciting story and make you a boring and incomprehensible author. Then create an outline for each paragraph:

  1. Topic sentence

It should be clear and present the idea of the paragraph. Do not combine different ideas in one place, be accurate and understandable – this is the way to become the reader’s favorite.

  1. Additional information

Here is finally the time and place to present your description. It should back up the idea and create an image in the reader’s mind. As soon as you learn how to express your thoughts greatly on the paper, you will see how people react on this and will be able to improve your writing. skills.

The last thing about paragraph organization is the length. Do not try to explain your thought in two sentences. You should use four-five of them to provide the reader with the full explanation (the rational variant is still six sentences – one for the idea and five to tell the story).

As for the whole body organization, you should use transition words to connect paragraphs and sentences. It will help to show whether you have a contradiction or addition, that’s why read through the list of conjunctions and decide which words are the most suitable for your situation. And do not follow the way from specific to general, everyone wants. to read about the cherry on top not in the first sentence. It is necessary to preserve the intrigue, but your writing should be clear and does not confuse the reader.

A conclusion

Pay enough attention to this part because of it depends on the overall opinion about your essay and lefts a positive or negative note in the reader’s mind. There is no need to rewrite the whole description, but you should mention the paraphrased thesis statement and then make a summary of the body paragraphs. Try to make it a short version of the. essay and do not write any additional information, which you have not mentioned before. It is a great idea to make the last part a little bit intriguing and memorable.

After writing a conclusion, it is the time to proofread and revise your essay. Read through one more time and carefully follow each paragraph – do you effectively place them? If yes, then think if. everything is important or have you add any unnecessary data in your essay, which do not fully connected to the topic. Because if you do, rewrite these parts and left only significant details. While reading, pay attention to the words which you use. If there are not enough synonyms or any unclear word, then rewrite them too. Your emotions should be reinforced by words.

Useful tips on writing a good descriptive essay

  1. Five senses

Your reader should achieve the rich experience of the subject. And if you are writing the descriptive essay, the only way you can get to your goal is to show and do not tell. The usage of all senses – sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing – will recreate a unique picture in the reader’s imagination. Compare these two pieces: “The park was green and big.” and “We went to the park which was full of flowers and exotic trees. We spend there three hours of walking, and still, there were places which we have not attend.” The second one gives the reader more details and causes more emotions, but explain the same thoughts.

  1. Tone

The tone of your essay should reflect the mood of the subject you describe, and its focus is on the voice of the piece, not on the overall atmosphere. It should not be informal, but over-formalization is also. out of place. Try to combine your feelings and what you want your reader feel during the text – it is the recipe of your success.

Ideas what to write

Now you know how to write a descriptive essay, but still did not find a topic? Here is the small list of ideas which you can use:

  • the feeling of the first working day
  • describe your ideal life
  • the famous person you admire
  • the book you read this summer
  • which music band is your favorite
  • the last concert you have attended
  • the time when you felt happy
  • describe the most succesful period in your life
  • your favorite mobile app
  • which film you don’t like


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