Understanding the format of a descriptive essay

Throughout your college years, you are going to face various writing tasks, among which there is writing of descriptive papers. This kind of essay is quite detailed and will have to appeal to the senses that humans have. These senses will be the next: touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell. No matter what your topic is, it is crucial that you’ve got a serious understanding of it, because describing something foresees that you give specific facts that will help the reader create certain image of an object, place, person etc. It is common that this type of essay writing is used in such kinds of writing as fiction, however, you can also feel free to use it in non-fiction writing. Descriptive essay writing has its particular features which will be discussed later in the article. But at first, you need to get acquainted with the common guidelines to academic paper writing, as long as knowing them is important if you want to make your essay good-structured, informative, interesting and understandable enough.

What to start with when you’re writing an essay

First and foremost, you need to focus deeply on a great topic for your essay, unless you’ve been already given a specific one. In case if you are allowed to choose independently what you want to write about, you have a chance to pick a topic that would resonate with your personal interests, so you would already have much knowledge about it. Besides, writing about something that you like is much more exiting and won’t require so much effort. So before you choose any particular idea to discuss, you need to decide what your goal is what you are actually going to do. Will you use your paper to inform, compare or persuade your potential reader?

Once the goal of your essay is determined, it is time to do specific research. In case if you are still choosing the main idea, you may like to do research on several topics and then you will find out which one has more interesting information to discuss and facts to be provided. While doing research, try writing down all ideas coming to your mind, which will help you in further work.

When the previous step is undertaken, you will have to work with your options. There are different ways how you deal with your paper and it usually depends on the topic itself. In case if you would like it to be written in an informative or educative form, it’s good enough to choose a topic that you know much about, for example, it may be something that you have already studied at school or college. On the other hand, if you want to write a persuasive essay, we suggest you choosing a topic that rings a bell in your heart, something that you are really passionate about. It may be whatever you like, your hobby, music, art, animals, cosmos and so on.

Dealing with a good outline for your descriptive essay

If you goal is to impress you audience and have a great mark, you should probably start with creating a good outline. In fact, it is the best method to get your thoughts and ideas organized and prepare some ground for the work. Take a look at some steps that are necessary to undertake when dealing with the outline.

  • Take a pen and jot down all the possible thoughts you have on your mind, make a list of all of them not thinking whether you find them rational or not. The thing is, it is important to come up with as many ideas as possible, because you will later decide filter them and choose the best ones.
  • Try making a diagram to get your ideas organized. This means that you have to write the main idea in the center. Then, you have to put there several lines, and connect each of the lines with additional ideas. Later, you will use them to support your point.
  • Connect your ideas to each other, while noticing to what you find common between them. This will help you in classification and, eventually, in creating a good structure.

How to write a descriptive essay thesis statement

As soon as you made decision as for the topic and main ideas and got them written and organized into different categories, you can start dealing with a thesis statement. In this part of your paper, you are expected to inform your potential audience in regard to the key point. So take a look at the outline and figure out which ideas seem the most relevant. They will serve as the ground for your thesis statement.

Very often, a good thesis statement consists of two parts, and each part plays its own role. In the first part, you’re going to announce the statement of your topic, which has to be specific and narrow, this is how everybody will understand what you are actually going to write about. In the second part of the thesis statement, you will give a brief explanation of the key argument. This is going to be different from the topic because it’s about your personal point of view at the discussed issue.

How to write a great body of the paper

The body is bound to be the most challenging, but also the most important part of your paper, where you will give your ideas and support them with arguments, examples and evidences. Here, you need to have a clear vision of whatever or whoever you are going to describe. It can be a person, an animal, a plant, any kind of object, a place or anything you want. However, in order to write a remarkable paper you have to pick something or somebody really worthy describing. You can even choose a character from a book, but this character needs to be interesting in that or another way. Also, your object of description has to be unique in its own way and description itself has to be also original. This is the only way how you can get reader’s attention.

  • To start with, you will tell a few words about the object of your description. Make it clear to the reader from the very beginning. What is the name of the object? This is the opening sentence, so there has to be no common expressions.
  • Appeal to the audience’s sense of sight. This is how you will introduce the object, but first, let the reader know what exactly you want him to visualize and what sense he’s going to use. Be creative and use all kinds of illustrative adjectives in order to make your description bright.
  • If possible, describe how the object smells or how it tastes. Your goal is to create such an impression that the reader would think that he or she knows exactly what you are talking about and feels it as if they had a specific experience related to the object of description.
  • Provide a description of how one may feel the object. Does it actually feel good or bad? What does it remind of? Here, it is important that you use very specific adjectives different from such as “nice”, “pleasant” and replace them with more strong. To do this, you may use the dictionary or look for the synonyms.
  • What is the sound of the subject? If it’s a person, what does her or his voice sound? What it reminds you of? What can you compare it with? Again, remember mentioning whether it makes one feel good or bad and why.
  • Give your reader original observations. This is your chance to surprise your audience and provide them with something that they wouldn’t normally expect. If you are describing a person, a good way to do it is to uncover some kind of secret this person has. For example, a secret hobby or an obsession, some unusual facts from their past etc.

Using a descriptive essay example

To succeed in descriptive writing, it is helpful to use a lot of figurative language. To get some inspiration or to learn a couple of new words, you may go online and search for already made samples to get to know how other authors have done it. Of course there are tonnes of various techniques how to write a description effectively and every author has his own secret in this regard. So of course it would be beneficial if you analyze other works and use someone else’s experience. However, keep in mind that you cannot steal ideas or plagiarize, otherwise you can be caught and the consequences can be quite unpleasant.

When you noticed a well-written descriptive essay, try answering the next questions.

  • What makes you like that or another descriptive paragraph? What makes it so special and worthy reading?
  • What exactly helps you create a bright visualization of the object that is being described? What associations does the author use?
  • What did you get surprised by? What was it that you didn’t expect to read in the paragraph?

When you got your essay finished, remember checking it out to make sure you didn’t make any grammar or other mistakes. You can also ask somebody else to read it in order to hear their opinion, in case if you are willing to get critical comments. Depending on the topic, descriptive paper writing may be quite interesting, especially if you write about something that you’re passionate about. On the other hand, it is also a challenging task, especially for those who are not really into writing papers for academic purposes. In this case, we suggest using professional help of those who are experts in the area of academic writing. This will help you save you precious time and get your task done at a high level.