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Descriptive Essay Writing Guide – Topics, Examples, Format

October 11, 2016 - Posted to Writing

Content descriptive essay writing guide   topics  examples  format

Descriptive essay writing is creating a vivid picture of a person, place, or property for the purposes of revealing the meaning of a subject matter by providing detailed sensory observation of it. Writing an essay of this sort requires the power of human senses and language to bring the said subject matter to life for the readers.

When writing a descriptive essay, there are no boundaries as to how one chooses to elaborate on their topic. The most important part about it is that it should be eloquent and factual.

How to write a descriptive essay

  1. The first thing you have to do is to think of some descriptive essay topics and think which one of them most interest you. Make sure to pick the one that you are also familiar with so you can effectively describe it. Once you have decided on a topic, gather all information available about it including your personal knowledge and experience related to the topic. Write an outline and create a mind map or your descriptive structure before constructing your essay from scratch to ensure that your thoughts are organized.

  2. Using your outline and mind map, start drafting your essay. Remember that you will have to deal with all senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Strike a balance between descriptive and figurative languages to paint a specific picture. Use similes, metaphors, and personification to keep your descriptions interesting and unique.

  3. When you are done with your initial draft, start editing. Check if your statements make sense individually and then as a whole. Review, modify, and reorganize more than once until you feel that it finally paints a complete picture of your subject matter. Additionally, check for word usage. Avoid using big words and jargons that will only confuse your readers.

  4. Once you are done editing, you can now proceed to proofread. Proofreading is checking for the spelling, punctuation marks used, and other technical aspects of the descriptive essay. Best to proofread hours or a day after you finished editing so you can look at it with fresh eyes. Fresh eyes spot errors faster and easier. You can also ask some family members and friends to edit and proofread it for you, or just to solicit for comments and suggestions.

  5. Depending on what the essay is for, you are going to receive feedback for it. The best way is to receive it with an open mind. Constructive criticisms can help you improve your writing skills whether it is for academic writing or even when writing essay online.

Examples of a descriptive essay

There is an unlimited number of persons, places, and properties you can write a descriptive essay of. You can even describe a memory or an experience, or even just about anything you can perceive. Here are some descriptive essay examples that could work for you:

  1. A description of a life-changing moment;

  2. A description of a walk in the park;

  3. A description of how you broke your heart for the first time;

  4. A description of how you fell in love for the first time;

  5. A description of how you got lost in a strange new place;

  6. A description of how you met your best friend;

  7. A description of how your parents came up with your name;

  8. A description of the love story of your parents;

  9. A description of the ocean;

  10. A description of the scariest nightmare you had;

  11. A description of the very first concert you went to;

  12. A description of the very first memory you remember;

  13. A description of your biggest childhood fear;

  14. A description of your childhood dream;

  15. A description of your favorite book;

  16. A description of your favorite cuisine;

  17. A description of your favorite historical event;

  18. A description of your favorite movie;

  19. A description of your favorite pet;

  20. A description of your favorite season;

  21. A description of your favorite song;

  22. A description of your favorite superhero;

  23. A description of your first crush;

  24. A description of your first kiss;

  25. A description of your hometown;

  26. A description of your ideal house;

  27. A description of your most embarrassing moment;

  28. A description of your most favorite summer getaway;

  29. A description of your most memorable vacation; and

  30. A description of your personal hero.

Additional tips on writing a descriptive essay

You can start by writing general details of your subject matter then slowly proceed to writing more specific and unique details about it. Write about a certain subject in a small paragraph. It would be even better if it was longer – like a small section about a specific subtopic.

Think of the order in which you will be describing your subject. Do you want to start by describing its physical appearance or by describing how you first met or encountered the subject? This step could fall under outlining and mind mapping.

Do not rush your descriptive essay. Take your time in describing both general and specific details to give your readers the chance to imagine or paint a picture of it in their heads. The more they know of the subject, the more they can relate to your essay.

Another important tip is to show instead of tell. That means instead of just describing a feeling or an action, you will have to go into details by reinventing the happening or the event through the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Make your readers live the moment the way you did. This will spark their interest and urge them to read on and consequently finish the essay regardless of its length.

Lastly, do not limit yourself by describing only external factors. Include internal factors as well such as how you felt and what you were thinking of. Writing a descriptive essay is all about telling a story, whether it’s your or someone else’s. The fact of the matter is, it should be analytical, detailed, and most of all, true.

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