Descriptive Essay Details

One of the keys to writing a descriptive essay is to create a picture in your reading audience’s mind by engaging all five of their senses – smell, sight, touch, taste and sound. If you can do this, then your essay is a success, if not, then you have a lot of work to do. The first steps in writing a descriptive essay will lay the groundwork for the entire piece.

Step 1: Choose a topic

A descriptive essay will usually focus on a single event, a person, a location or an item. When you write your essay, it is your job to convey your idea about that topic through your description of that topic and the way that you lay things out for your reader. You need to show your reader (not tell them) what you are trying to describe by illustrating a picture in their mind’s eye very carefully.

Your essay needs to be structured in a manner that helps your topic to make sense. If you are describing an event, you will need to write your paragraphs in chronological order. If you are writing about a person or a place you need to order the paragraphs so that you start off in a general manner and then write more specific details later. Your introductory paragraph sets the tone for the rest of the essay, so it needs to set out all of the main ideas that you are going to cover in your essay.

Step 2: Create a statement

The next step is to create a thesis statement. This is a single idea that will be prominent throughout your essay. It not only sets out the purpose of the essay, but regulates the way that the information is conveyed in the writing of that essay. This is an introductory paragraph that sets out your topic framework.

Step 3: Get the senses right

Next, create five labelled columns on a sheet of paper, each one having a different of the five senses. This labelled list will help you to sort out your thoughts as you describe your topic – the taste, sight, touch, smell and sound of your topic can be sketched out among the columns. List out in the columns any sensation or feeling that you associate with the topic that you are writing about. You need to provide full sensory details that help to support the thesis. You can utilize literary tools such as metaphors, similes, personification and descriptive adjectives.

Once you have the columns laid out you can start to fill them with details that help to support your thesis. These should be the most interesting items that you have noted in your columns and will the details that you flesh out into the paragraphs of the body of your essay. Topics are set out in each separate paragraph and a topic sentence begins that paragraph and need to relate to your introductory paragraph and your thesis.

Step 4: Create an outline

The next step is to create an outline listing the details of the discussion of each paragraph. Students in high school are generally asked to write a five paragraph essay while college students are given more freedom with the length of their piece. The standard five paragraph essay has a particular structure including the introductory paragraph with the inclusion of a thesis statement, followed by three body paragraphs which prove that statement.

Step 5: Write the conclusion

Finally, the conclusion paragraph makes a summary of the entirety of your essay. This conclusion also needs to reaffirm your thesis (if necessary). Your conclusion needs to be well written because it is the final thing to be read by your reader and will remain on their mind the longest after they have read the remainder of your essay.

Step 6: Review your essay

It is important to take a break from your writing once you have completed the work. By stepping away from the work for a short time you can clear your mind and take a short rest. You can then take a look at the essay with fresh eyes and view it in much the same way that a person reading it will when they first see the piece.

After you have taken a short break or a walk (or whatever the case may be), read the entire essay again thinking about your reader. You should ask yourself if you were the reader, would the essay make sense to you? Is it easy to read so that anyone can understand what the topic of the essay is? Do any of the paragraphs need to be rewritten because they are confusing and need to be better written to be descriptive?

Your choice of words and language need to convey what you are trying to describe when you talk about a particular topic. The details that you have provided should give your reader enough information that they can form a complete picture. Any details in the essay should help a reader to understand the meaning of the topic from the writer’s point of view.

Read your entire essay over again, out loud this time. Sometimes reading something out loud can help to identify any issues that should be worked out. Read the essay again to a friend or family member and have them give you any criticisms that they might have. Have someone else ready your essay and then ask them if anything needs to be clarified or if they received a clear picture from the details given in the essay.

Step 7: Finish it up

Finally, read your essay again very carefully and check for any grammar, punctuation or spelling errors that are obvious within the essay. If you find any clichés, be sure to delete them, they certainly do not belong in your essay. If there are any parts that are not completely descriptive or don’t make as much sense as you would like them to, rewrite them once again and then follow the proof reading and reading aloud process again to ensure that the final product is exactly as expected. You can never be too thorough when it comes to reading the essay over again and checking for any areas that need to be reworked.

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What is a descriptive essay? A descriptive essay is a short paper which is all about describing or summarizing a topic. You don't need to collect responses from other people like you do when writing an argumentative essay. Based on my own experience, I can tell that expository essays barely occupy more than one page. They won't take a plenty of time. Still, if you have no desire to work on the stuff like that or you want to impress your essay reader even with such a simple assignment, contact academic writers for hire to have your vivid essay done in several hours.

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No details, no proofs, no special effort... It is the simplest academic homework essay. In general, students should illustrate a descriptive essay with words instead of using pictures. Describe whatever you see, feel, touch, taste, or hear about the target topic. Learn here how to write an A-level college essay.

A descriptive essay about a place, for instance, must provide author's impressions from attending a certain place in the world: from a small town to the biggest country. We explain how to write a descriptive essay based on its types.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Types to Consider

Study professional descriptive essay examples to understand each type listed below better. A descriptive essay can describe any of the following issues:

  • Human essay. It is much harder to tell about a person. Overall, such task would mean telling about the appearance, actions, behaviors, mood, and qualities of the chosen individual.
  • Place essay. The primary thing you should understand to find out how to write a descriptive essay about a place is the paper's focus. Focus on describing places with the most breathtaking sights; let your reader feel the might of such cities as New York or Rome in your description.
  • Event essay. You can describe your last vacation, loud rock gig, summer music festival, graduation day, or Euro trip.
  • Animal essay. Wild nature is full of wonders - choose the animal you like most of all or the one you can associate with yourself.
  • Occupation essay. Writing about the job of your dream is good training before preparing an admissions essay or job resume.
  • Behavior essay. If you want to describe the freaky behavior of your best friend to show how the same people act under different conditions, it's your chance!

We can explain just anything in details. The goal is to make it sound both artistically and officially.

Keep in mind you can count on help with writing a descriptive essay from academic experts who care about your performance.

100 Descriptive Essay Topics for Any Taste

We have selected 100 most outstanding descriptive essay topics most of the school and college tutors expect to see from each student. Mind that these are only the examples of the descriptive essay ideas; students can think of their own original topics by replacing some words with more suitable.

Despite there are many topics you might want to describe in detail, it is better to focus on a single person/place/event/object not to lose the point. Consider these 100 topics for your argumentative essay. A descriptive essay refers to showing than telling; deliver the main idea to your readers through drawing a picture of what you want to say.

Person/People Essay Ideas

  1. Make a detailed description of your mother (other relatives).
  2. Provide a vivid description of your role model. It could be your favorite actor, singer, movie director, fashion model, political figure, best friend, parents, etc.
  3. Why does Martin Luther King deserve respect?
  4. Describe a character from your favorite TV show (e.g. Buffy Summers, Piper Halliwell, Clark Kent, etc.)
  5. Choose a famous villain and reveal his personality.
  6. Describe specific traits you enjoy in one of your peers.
  7. List features of your boyfriend/girlfriend (fiancé/bride) which make this person so important in your life.
  8. Would you prefer Wonder Woman or Xena, Warrior Princess?
  9. Essay: Share a description of your most liked teacher.
  10. Why do you believe John Kennedy was a great political figure on the examples of his contribution to the US society?
  11. Explain why your favorite actress is better than the others.
  12. Why would a certain person behave in the way he/she does?
  13. Which psychological factors had the greatest impact on your own behavior?
  14. Describe a person whom you hate.
  15. Share description of your least favorite movie.
  16. Essay: Which horror film character has scared you to death?
  17. How would you act if you meet your favorite celebrity on the street one day?
  18. What traits belong to the term "best friend"?
  19. How would you define your potential enemies?
  20. Describe why you believe in a friendship between man and woman based on your own experience.
  21. Write who your favorite business manager is.
  22. Write how a perfect fashion model should look like today.
  23. Write why you think Abraham Lincoln deserves a special place in the history of the US.
  24. Essay: List specific features which make your mom stand out from the rest of the mothers.
  25. Why is your dad the kindest dad in the world?

Place/Location Descriptive Essay Examples

  1. Provide details on the house you're living in. Would you like to change something about it, move away to another location, or stay without fixing anything, and why?
  2. Where would you like to rest next winter and why?
  3. Share an example of a perfect summer location with your readers.
  4. Provide details on your favorite winter location.
  5. Some students want to describe the rooms they are living in on campus. Share ideas how the college/university community could unite to make this place better.
  6. Describe the top favorite place in your native country.
  7. Essay: How do you picture an ideal place to have a wedding ceremony?
  8. Write about the place where people can see the brightest stars in the sky.
  9. Think of the features of the perfect place to have the loudest rock gig ever!
  10. List the names of the countries you would like to visit.
  11. My hometown is in my heart and soul.
  12. Why has Melbourne the heart of Australia despite it is not even its capital city?
  13. Describe the loudest place you used to visit.
  14. Write about the place you think is the best in the whole world.
  15. Essay: Tell more about the place you're studying in.
  16. Describe the places you attended with your parents.
  17. Describe the most beautiful garden you have ever seen.
  18. Name the place you would choose for the summer festival.
  19. Write about 7 Wonders of the World.
  20. Write what you believe is the eighth Wonder of the World.
  21. Write how you feel when attending your childhood places.
  22. Essay: Write down why you prefer your native country over any other places in the world.
  23. Write how you can get to the certain destination.
  24. Describe a location for a perfect student party.
  25. Write about your favorite place which exists only in the fiction.

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Memory/Mind Essay Ideas

  1. Help your readers picture the best day of your life using vivid descriptions, different examples, original comparisons, and more attributes of the talented essay writer.
  2. What was the most special thing on your last trip to the sea?
  3. Do you remember the first birthday of your best friend?
  4. Create a map which would allow people to travel your mind to see a bit of your experience.
  5. Describe the introductory day in any of the existing educational institution - school, college, or university - using the entire spectrum of emotions.
  6. Essay: What would you call the ugliest experience in your life?
  7. Find proper words to describe the memories associated with the beloved person who used to die.
  8. List the things you like doing with your grandparents.
  9. Describe the event in your academic life which makes you proud enough to share it with the admissions officers later.
  10. Provide a description of the first time falling in love.
  11. Provide a description of the day in your life when something you like (e.g. hobby, art, music band, comic book, other objects) has almost changed your vision completely.
  12. Describe what you believe young children tend to memorize best of all.
  13. Essay: Help your readers understand how it feels like in the mountains.
  14. Do you like riding the bicycle?
  15. Describe the last time you were abroad.
  16. Share your feelings with the readers who wish to learn more about taking part in the exchange
  17. How did you feel during your English language exam?
  18. Which event from your life made you feel scared?
  19. Describe something that made you laugh to death.
  20. Offer details on your visit to London.
  21. Describe a silent place in the woods you love since your early ages.
  22. Write how you remember the first snow in your life.
  23. Write why it is important to keep a diary.
  24. Essay: Write down several things you remember from your tenth birthday.
  25. Write how it feels to attend the funeral based on your memory.

Object/Thing Descriptive Essay Topics

  1. Dedicate several powerful paragraphs to what you consider your family relict.
  2. Describe an object which you believe has once saved your life or prevented other adverse consequences for you or one of your close people.
  3. The Silk Road.
  4. Find appropriate words to describe something you wanted so bad you were ready to steal it due to the fact you did not have enough money to buy it.
  5. The most expensive painting ever sold.
  6. Pick one of the recent technological innovations. Make a description explaining why this particular thing plays in important role in the development of modern society.
  7. Essay: There is one more thing every writer should keep in mind to have a full vision of how to write a descriptive essay about yourself.
  8. Providing a description of distance and time from the physical aspect.
  9. Wonderful things every human should know from the Ancient World (choose Egypt, Greece, or Rome)
  10. How would you describe the icons in your home?
  11. The Empire State Building (or any other magnificent construction)
  12. Taj Mahal: historical value.
  13. Solar System and planets in it.
  14. The role of Bible in our life.
  15. Essay: A comfortable bed as a definition of good sleep.
  16. Can a dress make a man?
  17. Why do we love soft toys that much?
  18. Things to take with you on a sea trip.
  19. What can money change in the life of every person?
  20. The true value of vegetables in the markets.
  21. Essay: Write why your old Tamagotchi still matters to you.
  22. Write how your favorite video game has impacted you.
  23. Write down specific attributes which make your favorite doll special.
  24. Describe your living rooms in detail.
  25. Describe the neighboring house in detail.

Want to view several good descriptive essay examples from experts? We have attached the best samples to observe!

Common Structure: How to Write a Descriptive Essay

The structure of such essay depends on the topic. There is no need to follow strict chronology if you write about a person/object, but you should mind the order of events in the essay describing a place. Do not waste time on in-depth research or search for many sources - focus on writing about your feelings.

Work on the senses. To succeed, it is important to create 5 titled columns on a separate worksheet to list five human senses. Any good descriptive essay must cover each of the five senses, taste, sight, touch, smell and sound, to make the reader(s) feel the full spectrum of emotions associated with the chosen topic. It is obvious that some topics are better associated with certain feelings than others; focus on these feelings when describing the issue in detail.

Writing an outline. Create an outline to be your action plan during the entire writing process. No matter whether you're a high school student or the one studying in college, the teachers everywhere expect to see a 5-paragraph descriptive essay. Descriptive essays belong to the category of creative pieces. Use them to expand your imagination by lengthening the text. The standard outline covers five paragraphs: introduction, 3-5 body paragraphs, and conclusion. Descriptive essays do not have a reference page as the obligatory part. Add important sources if you're not reflecting personal experience.

Explore how a professional descriptive writing looks in several great descriptive essay examples!

Descriptive writing is not a piece of cake, but some expert recommendations help students to overcome different obstacles in their academic life:

"Most of my students wondered how to write a descriptive essay about a person, place, or object. The best topic is one that writer has a deep connection with. No matter whether you have a list of wonderful topics or the one your teacher expects to see: brainstorming is the key! I recommend this technique to every student. Once you master brainstorming, it would be easier for you to work in a team within any environment. I like original ideas such as Things to Do in Your City, The Funniest Memory, A Perfect Day with a Favorite Rock Star, Detailed Description of the Self-Invented Food, and more."

Lisa Head, Literature Professor at University College London (UCL)

DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY FORMULA

  1. Pre-writing stage. Do you have a clear image of the object you’re going to describe? Look at all sources you have on hands to define whether they provide all important information on the topic of your choice. Mind that having an experience in the discussed field would be a plus. Focus on your own senses, taste, smell, and other feelings while recalling your example, and then create an action plan for further writing.
  2. How to start a descriptive essay? Start writing with a powerful, eye-catching hook to grab the reader's attention: simile, metaphor, literary quote, famous people quotations, poetry lines, interesting facts, jokes, etc.
  3. Create a draft of your expository essay. You may put all words that come to your mind; you'll have a chance to make your ideas shorter later. It's not enough to tell - show the image of the object with the help of words only. The way you create a mental image for the reader defines your ability to make up a good descriptive essay. It is the quality of a skilled narrator as well.
  4. Adding details to your essay with the help of enriched English vocabulary and online dictionaries. Use your English language vocabulary to add all missing feelings like hearing to the descriptive essay last Play with adjectives and adverbs. Mind your language when writing a descriptive paper - it must be lyrical to deliver all your feelings in full. Involve many different adjectives.
  5. Take time to revise and edit the paper with the help of various free online grammar checking tools. Once you have described your vivid place, check the structure of your essay again to answer several critical questions: Can the sentences or paragraphs be arranged in a better way? Are any transition words missing? Put down all sources used to describe your topic; make sure the descriptive essay is following the tutor's instructions in full.
  6. Edit the descriptive essay. Try to avoid any grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes to show how great your knowledge of the language is.

After completing your final descriptive essay draft, it is better to keep in touch with some experts to have the assignment fully checked. You should evaluate your work critically. Proofread and edit the descriptive essay to eliminate or fix any mistakes. You may be interested in adding some details in case you require telling something more about your main object.

  • What does a general revision process involve?
  • Are there enough details to make it possible for your readers to obtain a full and vivid perception?
  • Have you missed any small but significant descriptive details?
  • Are there words that convey the emotion, feeling (touch, smell, etc.) or perspective?
  • Does your essay possess any unnecessary details in your description which can be thrown away or replaced by the more meaningful information?
  • Does each section of your essay focus on one aspect of your description?
  • Are all paragraphs arranged in the most efficient way; are they properly connected with the help of corresponding transition words?

Want a professional academic writing help to get rid of all troubles? Students tend to have too many homework assignments along with the need to study important material for their exams. We would like to offer a better opportunity than hiring expensive freelance writers who lack corresponding experience - place your order with the team of certified online academic tutors, and obtain top-quality descriptive essay on the topic of your choice!


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